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2011 May 11 Wednesday
Border Controls Coming Back In Europe

The revolutions in North Africa have driven so many Muslims northward into Europe that even Europe's ruling elites have decided that drastic measures must be taken to cut the flow of illegal immigrants.

In a serious blow to one of the cornerstones of a united, integrated Europe, EU interior ministers embarked on a radical revision of the passport-free travel regime known as the Schengen system to allow the 26 participating governments to restore border controls.

They also agreed to combat immigration by pressing for "readmission accords" with countries in the Middle East and north Africa to send refugees back to where they came from.

The Danes have turned against Muslim immigration. Without waiting for an EU decision Denmark has already started doing some border checks.

Denmark came under a barrage of European fire Thursday over its sudden decision to reintroduce controls at its borders with Germany and Sweden, despite its membership of the Schengen passport-free zone.

Razib says Go Denmark! I agree.

France stopped a train from Italy known to have Tunisians on it.

France acted within its rights when it halted trains carrying North African migrants crossing its border from Italy, the European Commission says.

Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said French officials had cited "public order reasons".

The African immigrants aim to get into wealthier northern Europe.

In the past, most immigrants were keen to travel on to the richer countries in the north, such as the UK, Germany, or the Netherlands, and Schengen made it easier for them to reach most destinations. The 30,000 Tunisians who have arrived in Italy lately are mostly heading to France. They speak the language and many have relatives or friends who already live there. Italy, eager to ease the burden on their reception camps in Lampedusa and Sicily, issued temporary residency permits and ushered them on.

Anti-immigrant sentiment is rising worldwide.

Just as Americans want Mexicans out, Mexicans, who might be tolerant of their country as a passageway north to the United States, have no patience with the undocumented Guatemalans and Hondurans increasingly falling short of their destinations. Nor are their feelings of resentment unique. Around the world, the welcome mat for outsiders is being rolled up on a scale rarely seen in history as economies continue to struggle and worries about cultural identities rise.

Of course in the US our elites continue to lecture us on how we should be for more immigration. The US is definitely a lagging state due to its elites. But throw in some more recessions caused by Peak Oil and high commodities costs and even our elites will be forced to turn anti-immigration.

By Randall Parker    2011 May 11 07:38 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (3)
2010 November 04 Thursday
Greece Preferred Entry Point For Euro Illegal Aliens

The long Greek coast line near the poor Muslim Middle East attracts illegals trying to flow up into richer European countries.

Fleeing war or poverty, these migrants and legions of others have sneaked across the Greek-Turkish border illegally to the promised land of European Union riches. The numbers are staggering. Greece now accounts for 90 percent of the bloc's detected illegal border crossings, compared to 75 percent in 2009. Greek authorities reported 45,000 illegal border crossings in just the first half of this year, according to European border authorities.

Greece has a huge debt to the rest of the EU. I can see a deal here: The Greeks could agree to accept funding (and even non-Greek Euros as staff) for a huge border control force in exchange for some interest rate subsidies or other breaks on their debt. The rest of Europe gets a stop to illegal Muslim immigration and a lot of Greeks get jobs and less debt.

Turns out a smaller EU force is already headed to Greece. But the Euros need to think bigger.

The debt-hobbled country says it can no longer cope - and has called for emergency help. For the first time, the EU's border agency Frontex is deploying rapid intervention teams. The 175-strong force, with officers drawn from 26 countries, began arriving in the northeastern town of Orestiada this week for a two-month mission, and started their first border patrols at dawn on Thursday.

I say step it up, step it way up. Want to solve the problem? Do what is necessary to solve it.

By Randall Parker    2010 November 04 11:25 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (4)
2010 May 02 Sunday
Peggy Noonan: Control The US Border With Mexico

Peggy Noonan argues in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that the first thing that should be done about immigration is border control.

The American president has the power to control America's borders if he wants to, but George W. Bush and Barack Obama did not and do not want to, and for the same reason, and we all know what it is. The fastest-growing demographic in America is the Hispanic vote, and if either party cracks down on illegal immigration, it risks losing that vote for generations.

The Republican Party has no hope of winning the majority of Hispanic voters regardless of what it does about immigration. This is what Republican leaders are too stupid to understand. Why should an ethnic group that earns much lower wages than whites, graduates from high school and college at much lower rates than whites, and benefits from taxing whites to spend on themselves vote for the Republicans? It does not take rocket science to figure out that the Republican Party's catering to Hispanic voters is absolutely futile. Better to go after Indians or Chinese or any other ethnic group with higher incomes.

Noonan says both parties neglect to worry about what's best for America. That means, what is best for Americans. We really are allowed to have best interests and to defend them, all liberal excoriation of the voters of Arizona notwithstanding.

But while the Democrats worry about the prospects of the Democrats and the Republicans about the well-being of the Republicans, who worries about America?

No one. Which the American people have noticed, and which adds to the dangerous alienation—actually it's at the heart of the alienation—of the age.

In the past four years, I have argued in this space that nothing can or should be done, no new federal law passed, until the border itself is secure. That is the predicate, the common sense first step. Once existing laws are enforced and the border made peaceful, everyone in the country will be able to breathe easier and consider, without an air of clamor and crisis, what should be done next. What might that be? How about relax, see where we are, and absorb. Pass a small, clear law—say, one granting citizenship to all who serve two years in the armed forces—and then go have a Coke. Not everything has to be settled right away. Only controlling the border has to be settled right away.

We also need to control the border to keep the heavily armed drug smugglers down in Mexico. Arizona's steps to enforce immigration law should serve as an example for other states to emulate.

By Randall Parker    2010 May 02 09:04 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (11)
2009 March 24 Tuesday
US And Mexico Agree On Larger Border Law Security Plan

But where's the wall to stop the illegal crossers, the drug smugglers, and the criminal gang activity?

Mexico City and Washington - The United States unveiled Tuesday a beefed-up, multiagency security plan for the US-Mexico border that reflects President Obama's recognition of the "two-way" street responsible for rising drug violence. The plan allows Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to emphasize cooperative action when she visits the embattled southern neighbor Wednesday.

The border security policy includes the formation of a new FBI-directed Southwest Intelligence Group, relocating 100 federal agents to the border to curtail gun trafficking, and sending more federal agents to Mexico to coordinate counternarcotics operations. But it does not endorse Texas Gov. Rick Perry's call for National Guard troops on the border.

The border would not cause large scale lawlessness and criminality in Mexico if crossing the border with illegal goals was not so easy to do. Imagine that walls and ditches with lots of barbed wire made illegal crossings at uncontrolled locations impossible. Imagine that the scale of the effort to search vehicles and trains was ramped up by an order of magnitude. Fewer illegals and much less contraband (whether drugs, guns, or stolen goods) would get thru. In America we'd see a reduction in crime, a slowing of the growth rate of social pathology, and the demographic decay would be less bad. In Mexico the organized crime organizations would have much less money to fund their activities. More people in Mexico would engage in constructive activity instead of criminal activity. Both countries would be better off.

By Randall Parker    2009 March 24 09:22 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (3)
2008 April 23 Wednesday
Money Flows To Mexico From Illegals In US Decline In Recession

A Washington Post story headline claims the economic downturn in the US is actually increasing the lure of America to Mexicans who can't count on cash flows from unemployed relatives in the United States. But even with the decrease in money flows the absolute amount is still over 5 times the amount sent 10 years ago.

Buoyed by increased migration and lower money-transfer costs, remittances to Mexico peaked last year at just under $24 billion, more than 5 1/2 times the amount sent a decade earlier. Remittances recently vaulted over tourism to become the second-largest source of foreign currency in Mexico, topped only by oil exports.

The point about remittances being topped only by oil exports is important. Mexico's oil production has peaked. Their biggest oil field, Canterell, is heavily depleted and will never produce as much oil per day as it did at its peak.

The money has transformed the landscape of many small towns, paying for new houses and new kitchens, cars and childcare, medical care and clothes. But some economists also say the giant sums sent to Mexico have created a sense of complacency, especially among government officials who have failed to right the country's wobbly economy.

"This is demonstrating that there is an increased dependence on remittances and a great vulnerability for the country," said Rodolfo García Zamora, an economics professor at the University of Zacatecas and one of Mexico's leading authorities on remittances. "Neither the government nor the families who are affected have a good alternative to remittances."

The complacency in the Mexican government is bad news for Americans. Unless we close Mexico's safety valve with a border barrier and immigration law enforcement Mexico's elites aren't going to try to reform Mexico's schools and economy. Oil production in Mexico fell 7.8% in the first quarter 2008 and exports dropped 12.5%. With less money coming in from oil sales Mexicans will feel even more motivated to head north. We need to build a very substantial layered barrier to keep them out.

But the Wall Street Journal reports border crossings are way down due to job cuts in the US.

The number of illegal immigrants apprehended along the U.S.-Mexico border is falling steeply, an indication that the economic downturn and beefed-up security could be deterring unauthorized crossings.

The U.S. Border Patrol said Tuesday that the number of apprehensions dropped 17% to 347,372 between Oct. 1, 2007, and March 31, 2008, from the same period in late 2006 and early 2007.

One academic quoted in the article claims she can spot recessions in the US at least a year in advance due to declines in arrests of border crossers. So it is hard to tell how much of the current decline is due to economic factors versus improved border enforcement and interior enforcement.

Arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border have been falling for more than two years. However, the dramatic drop in the first half of the fiscal year means that the number of apprehensions for the whole year ending Sept. 30 could dwindle to less than the 858,638 in fiscal 2007. That would be roughly half the nearly 1.64 million arrests during fiscal 2000, the peak year. Immigration experts also believe state laws to crack down on employers of illegal immigrants are discouraging attempts.

In Arizona, an employer-sanctions law has made finding work more difficult as companies start using an electronic system to verify worker documents. The state, currently the main gateway into the U.S. for illegal immigrants, has also stepped up enforcement beyond the border.

A big build of a border barrier during this recession could prevent an eventual post-recession surge of border crossers. We ought to take this recession as an opportunity to get ready to stop the next surge of illegal crossings.

By Randall Parker    2008 April 23 10:03 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (2)
2008 March 01 Saturday
Virtual Border Fence Fails In Pilot Project Phase

We need a formidable multi-layer physical barrier along the entire US-Mexico border. But the Bush administration is trying to build something cheaper and less effective. The first attempt to build a sensor and surveillance system in lieu of a physical barrier worked very poorly and pushes out the virtual fence at least 3 years.

The Bush administration has scaled back plans to quickly build a "virtual fence" along the U.S.-Mexico border, delaying completion of the first phase of the project by at least three years and shifting away from a network of tower-mounted sensors and surveillance gear, federal officials said yesterday.

Technical problems discovered in a 28-mile pilot project south of Tucson prompted the change in plans, Department of Homeland Security officials and congressional auditors told a House subcommittee.

They can't even begin to try to appease conservative critics of lax border enforcement for another 3 years. I bet some of the amnesty and open border proponents in the Bush administration are pleased to know they've bought at least 3 more years of their preferred policy.

But officials said yesterday that they now expect to complete the first phase of the virtual fence's deployment -- roughly 100 miles near Tucson and Yuma, Ariz., and El Paso, Tex. -- by the end of 2011, instead of by the end of 2008. That target falls outside Boeing's initial contract, which will end in September 2009 but can be extended.

The excuse of "we've got years more engineering development to do before we can control the border" is unacceptable. We can seal the border using methods the Israelis developed years ago to seal off Gaza from Israel. We do not see many Palestinians sneaking across that border. That's why the Palestinians have had to resort to use of Qassem short range missiles to try to hit targets in Israel. They can't send physical terrorists across the border to do the job

By Randall Parker    2008 March 01 10:54 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2007 December 18 Tuesday
Congress Cuts Border Fence Depth

The House of Representatives follows the US Senate in scaling back the scale of the border fence getting built along parts of the US border with Mexico. Unless we apply constant pressure our elites will continue to act contrary to our best interests.

Congress last night passed a giant new spending bill that undermines current plans for a U.S.-Mexico border fence, allowing the Homeland Security Department to build a single-tier barrier rather than the two-tier version that has worked in California.

The spending bill, written by Democrats and passed 253-154 with mostly their votes, surrenders to President Bush's budget demands, meeting his spending limit with a $515 billion bill to fund most of the federal government and setting up votes to pay for the Iraq war. But Democrats reached his goal in part by slashing his defense and foreign-aid priorities to pay for added domestic spending.

The fence has to be less formidable to allow easier illegal crossings.

The 2006 Secure Fence Act specifically called for "two layers of reinforced fencing" and listed five specific sections of border where it should be installed. The new spending bill removes the two-tier requirement and the list of locations.

The fence is still getting built. Future Congresses will come under considerable pressure to upgrade and expand its length. The outcome of future elections matter for immigration law enforcement. Pay attention to what the candidates say. Make your views known.

The biggest immigration battle currently raging is in the Republican Party for nomination for the Presidency. If a hard line immigration restrictionist takes the lead in the Republican primary then Hillary will have to move rightward on immigration. So which of the Republican mediocrities wins the early primaries will help set the tone for the wider election.

It has finally dawned on Jim Gilchrist that Mike Huckabee isn't really tough on illegal immigration.

Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist says he will have to reconsider his endorsement of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee after learning the Republican presidential candidate favors allowing illegal aliens to wait only days to receive documents allowing re-entry into the U.S.

Why is Gilchrist reconsidering his support for Huckabee? Because Huckabee wants the illegals to leave in order to apply for legal work permits and to return a mere days or weeks after they leave.

HUCKABEE: Well, I don't think there's an inconsistency. When I said a pathway, I didn't say what the pathway was.

I now believe that the only thing the American people are going to accept — and, frankly, the only thing that really makes sense — is a pathway that sends people back to the starting point.

But this idea of the waiting years — no, I don't agree with that. In fact, look, if we can get a credit card application done within hours, if we can get passports done within days, if we can transact business over the Internet any place in the world within seconds, do a background check instantaneously — it's our government that has failed and is dysfunctional.

It shouldn't take years to get a work permit to come here and pick lettuce. So part of the plan that I have is that we seal the borders. You don't have amnesty and sanctuary cities. You do have a pathway that gets you back home.

But that pathway to get back here legally doesn't take years. It would take days, maybe weeks, and then people could come back in the workforce.

So this heart throb of many fundamentalist Christian Republicans wants to end the illegal alien problem by rapidly turning all the illegal aliens into legal aliens with work permits.

By Randall Parker    2007 December 18 10:10 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (2)
2007 May 02 Wednesday
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 Entry Permalink | Comments (4)
2006 July 02 Sunday
United States And Canada Cooperate On Border Enforcement

Two industrialized and civilized countries with low levels of official corruption can cooperate effectively to crack down on criminals operating across their shared border. But the United States can not hope to do the same with Mexico.

Along the border in Texas, local police departments have claimed to see Mexican army troops protecting drug smugglers, a claim the Mexicans deny. Corruption has been common among some Mexican police. The United States has constructed walls and fences and stationed National Guard troops along the border to keep out illegal immigrants.

Along the Canadian border, there are no plans for fences, and efforts focus on smuggling and terrorism. U.S. and Canadian authorities are patrolling together on the Great Lakes and have plans to operate a joint radio network. In a real-life repeat of the 1990s TV show "Due South" that featured a well-mannered Mountie and a hard-bitten Chicago cop, American agents and their Canadian counterparts have begun to investigate cases on each other's soil.

The article reports on a great scaling up of cross-border cooperation by Canadian and American law enforcement personnel. By contrast, American law enforcement see the Mexican police and military as hopelessly corrupt and criminal:

Border Patrol senior agent Bob Riffle, who worked on the Mexican border for a decade before transferring to Washington state, said the two borders have different cultures and had high praise for his Canadian counterparts. "I trust those guys implicitly," he said. "In Mexico, how can you have serious cooperation on a day-to-day level with guys who might have just robbed a group of illegals? It's a different world down there."

America can not totally isolate itself from Mexico. But we can not fix the place either. A barrier layer of fences and walls built along whole length of the Mexican border would reduce the damage done to the United States by the corruption and backwardness of Mexico.

US law enforcers can not risk sharing intelligence with corrupt Mexican counterparts.

The problem is any kind of cooperation and sharing of intelligence and communication systems with Mexico could run to the rampant corruption on the other side of the border.

Mexican government, police and military units struggle with corruption and direct links to drug cartels and immigrant smugglers. That creates problems when U.S. or border state officials looking to coordinate efforts. Information and intelligence sharing can often end up in the hands of organized criminal syndicates and cartels.

We are supposed to believe that Mexico is going to rise up and eventually the US problems with Mexican immigration, Mexican corruption, and the like will be solved by economic development. That is the argument you can hear from elements of the Open Borders crowd. But Mexico is not narrowing the economic gap with the United States.

Adjusted for inflation, Mexico's growth in gross domestic product has been flat for more than two decades. The cost to Mexico's people for this dismal performance is staggering. If Mexico's economy had grown at the same pace from 1980 to the present as it did in the period from 1960 to 1980, today it would have the same standard of living as Spain, said economist Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy and Research in Washington. Instead, nearly half of Mexico's 106 million people live in poverty.

In fact, the US-Mexico economic gap is widening. (and economists who ignore the elephant in the room can not explain this)

The Harvard-educated Saracho has analyzed Mexico's post-1980 economic performance. His results are grim.

In constant 2000 dollars, the World Bank reports, Mexican per-capita GDP was $7,758 in 1980. It inched upward to $8,661 in 2003. Over that period, Chile went from trailing to topping Mexico, with its figures rising from $4,620 to $9,706. Former laggard South Korea leapfrogged from $4,556 to $16,977.

In 1980, Mexico's per-capita GDP was 34 percent of America's. By 2003, it had slid to 24 percent. Concurrently, South Korea began behind Mexico, at 20 percent, and then outpaced it to achieve a per-capita GDP 48 percent of America's.

...

Registering a Mexican business takes 58 days, versus 48 in China, 27 in Chile, 22 in South Korea, and five here. During nearly two months of procedures, Mexican officials have numerous opportunities to encourage "tips" to speed things along. Mexico's Private Sector Center for Economic Studies calculates that, in 2004, 34 percent of businesses paid "extra-official" sums to functionaries and parliamentarians totaling $11.2 billion. As the late Carlos Hank Gonzalez — Mexico City's once-humble, eventually loaded, former mayor — put it: "Show me a politician who is poor, and I will show you a poor politician."

In the last 25 years per capita GDP in Mexico has grown by only 0.7% per year.

Well-off Mexicans pay almost no taxes and the government only takes in 14 percent of GDP. Welfare and unemployment benefits are unknown and job creation and salaries have stagnated. Mexico's per-capita real GDP has grown at only 0.7 percent annually since the early 1980s.

All else equal, rapid economic growth is easier for a country with lower per capita GDP because it can adopt existing technologies to raise living standards. Whereas the most developed economies must create new technologies in order to raise productivity and living standards. But all else is not equal. The elephant in the room is IQ differences. You won't hear much about that elephant since the left has managed to enforce a vigorous taboo regime against the truth. But the elephant is hard to miss if you use your own lying eyes to see it.

Mexican economic growth even appears to have slowed in recent years in spite of Vicente Fox's supposedly more business-friendly economic policies.

Calderón is promising to maintain the economic status quo of the last 25 years, but Weisbrot and Sandoval note that while Mexico's per capita GDP grew by 99 percent between 1960 and 1980, it grew by only 15 percent from 1980 to 2000. In the first five years of this decade, Mexicans have seen their economy grow by an anemic 2 percent.

By contrast, Richard W. Fisher is president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, provides details of US economic growth from 1980 to 2005 when the US per capita GDP increased by 63.7% in stark contrast to Mexico's own increase of only 15% over the same time period.

From 1980 to 2005, American workers filed 118 million claims for unemployment insurance. Many others lost their jobs, of course, but either didn’t qualify for benefits, were not unemployed long enough to file a claim, or quickly transitioned to new jobs. It is hard to find a figure that would include all the job losses, but it would be more than 150 million, surely. That is the destructive and painful side of the churn.

Yet, despite all these job losses:

Total employment over the period rose by 44 million—net. At annual rates, unemployment fell from 7.2 percent to today’s 4.7 percent. Productivity increased by 72 percent. Per capita real GDP shot up from $26,113 to $42,760. The average workweek fell by nearly two hours to 33.7 hours, and average household real net worth more than doubled to $431,000. That is the creative and restorative side of the churn.

You hear the claim that illegal immigration from Mexico will slow due to faster economic growth in Mexico. But that claim is false! Contrary to claims made by economists and free trade advocates in the early 1990s NAFTA did not set Mexicon on a path toward closing the living standards gap. The gap has continued to widen. I see these results as a consequence of the increasing economic premium on higher IQ. Therefore I predict that the living standards gap between higher and lower IQ countries is going to widen and with it the incentive for immigration from low to high IQ countries.

Given that the IQ premium will continue to grow the living standards gap between low and high IQ countries will continue to grow as well. Therefore the need to erect higher barriers to legal and illegal immigration of low IQ workers will increase. If the United States continues to let in lower IQ immigrants then the gap between the US and Mexico will eventually shrink as as less able American workforce cuts into competency of American businesses, research labs, and government agencies. Since IQ is inversely correlated with corruption a rise in corruption will further cut into the efficiency of the US economy.

By Randall Parker    2006 July 02 03:01 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2006 June 10 Saturday
Texas Governor Proposes Border Cameras On Internet

Governor Rick Perry of Texas expects to have cameras up on the Texas border with Mexico within 30 days and these camera feeds on the internet.

June 6, 2006 — The Texas government is installing hundreds of cameras along the Mexican border and enlisting Americans who use the Internet to monitor illegal activity.

Within 30 days, the Texas Department of Homeland Security will enable citizens and law enforcement officials to watch alleged crimes through the Internet as they occur, using surveillance cameras along the 1,200-mile border with Mexico. Texas officials expect the cameras to capture images of drug trafficking, trespassing, theft, rape and kidnapping, all common to border areas.

If anyone has a good source for exactly how many cameras they are installing with the distance between cameras please post in the comments. I'd like to get an idea of how much it would cost to install cameras along the entire border.

I can imagine a software system where cameras with few people watching them can be identified so that volunteers can know which cameras to watch. Also, motion detectors could alert to the need for humans to watch particular cameras. Though wind blowing bushes and trees as well as animals would generate a lot of alerts.

The cameras will have night vision capacity and activity can be reported at a toll free number.

Texans, as well as those in other states, will be able to watch real-time video streams on the Internet to monitor the borders. The cameras will run 24 hours a day and will have night-vision capabilities.

If these border watchers see something suspicious taking place, they can call an 800 number that will be routed to the appropriate law-enforcement agency.

Unlike his Open Borders predecessor as governor Perry is taking a hard line against illegal immigration.

SAN ANTONIO – Gov. Rick Perry joined his fellow Texas Republicans in railing against illegal immigration Friday, telling the GOP faithful the Bush administration has failed to control a "porous and unsecured border."

"There is no homeland security without border security," Mr. Perry told thousands of delegates to the party's state convention.

The delegates cheered, but the party was at the same time striking a defiant tone against the policies of its leadership in Washington and, in some cases, Mr. Perry himself.

...

In addition, the delegates object to a state law allowing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, a bill that Mr. Perry signed into law. Republicans also want federal funds withdrawn from colleges that provide such tuition discounts.

Perry might be in the process of shifting toward a more restrictionist position due to popular anger over illegal immigration.

The Border Patrol chief spoke Spanish as he answered questions about the cameras.

Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar, talking to reporters Wednesday in Mission, suggested the state camera plan was devised separately from the federal camera network.

“It’s important that we take the opportunity to align our forces,” Aguilar said in Spanish. “Regarding the proposal by Governor Perry, we are looking forward to the opportunity to sit down and discuss it with him to ensure that whatever is done will be aligned with the efforts of the Border Patrol.”

Luis Figueroa, an attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, warned that the cameras could lead to racial profiling and vigilanteism.

“This leaves the door open to anyone who has a vindictive state of mind or a racial motive,” Figueroa said. “Anyone down there could easily be mistaken and falsely accused of something they didn’t do.”

MALDEF wants Americans to pay for even more Hispanic immigrants. Me, I don't want to take on the "white man's burden" "To seek another's profit, And work another's gain." and I deeply resent the desire of our elites to make me do so.

A Border Patrol union president does not think the Border Patrol has enough agents to respond to all the calls that will come in.

And T.J. Bonner, president of the union that represents nearly all Border Patrol agents, said the plan could further strain the overworked agency.

“At first blush, it sounds like just another crazy idea that is going to overwhelm the capabilities of the federal government to be able to respond to the number of calls coming in and to the number of reports,” Bonner said. “But there is a silver lining: It might just make legislators aware.”

Bonner said it won’t take smugglers long to figure out where the cameras are.

But cameras placed densely along the entire border and watched by people at home could eliminate the need for patrols. The Border Patrol could spend all their time just responding to calls to go exactly to where illegals are crossing. More funds for local law enforcement to do border enforcement could provide the people needed to catch the illegal crossers.

The border is only 2000 miles long and there's 5280 feet to a mile. So how many feet (or meters if you prefer) between cameras would be acceptable to get good coverage?

Combine the cameras with a barrier layer of fences and walls along the entire length and the number of illegal crossers to even report would go down by orders of magnitude.

Governor Perry is acting like a politician who wants to get reelected.

"A stronger border is what Americans want and it's what our security demands and that is what Texas is going to deliver," Mr Perry said.

The cameras will cost $5m (£2.7m) to install and will be trained on sections of the 1,000-mile (1,600km) border known to be favoured by illegal immigrants.

Web users who spot an apparently illegal crossing will be able to alert the authorities by telephoning a number free of charge.

Mr Perry, a Republican, is running for re-election in November.

I like the idea of states operating the cameras rather than the federal government. The states can move more quickly without federal regulations and without federal level lobbyist organizations trying to torpedo immigration enforcement initiatives.

Governor Perry's Virtual Border Watch Program is part of a larger initiative to put more local law enforcement officers along the border.

  • Texas will dedicate $20 million in available state funds to sustain and expand Operation Rio Grande, a comprehensive border security strategy ordered by the governor in Feb. 2005, through the current fiscal biennium. These funds will be used to pay for officer overtime, needed equipment like four-wheel drive vehicles, body armor and night-vision goggles, and technology upgrades such as electronic fingerprint booking stations. Funding will not only continue to flow to border sheriffs, but will also go to local police departments and law enforcement agencies up to 100 miles from the border.
  • Perry will ask the Legislature in the next session to authorize $100 million to sustain Operation Rio Grande until "the federal government fulfills its responsibility of securing the border." With these funds, said the release, Texas will be able to increase law enforcement's presence on the border by the equivalent of 1,000 additional officers. "Putting more officers on the ground has always been the best strategy for reducing all types of crime, from misdemeanors to drug trafficking and human smuggling, and this new commitment will make Texas safer," Perry said.

Drug smuggling and general crime will also go down as a result of a system of cameras combined with many more officers available to catch crossers.

By Randall Parker    2006 June 10 11:50 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (13)
2006 May 17 Wednesday
Mexicans Fear Political Chaos

When El Presidente Jorge W. Bush advocates for the Reconquista consider what sort of society we will become. Proponents of Open Borders with Mexico advance the argument that the huge Hispanic immigrant influx is stabilizing Mexico. That means it needs stabilization. Half the people in Mexico think Mexico is on the brink of chaos with drug lords and revolutionaries threatening government sovereignty.

A poll published Friday in Excelsior newspaper found 50 percent of respondents feared the government was on the brink of losing control. The polling company Parametria conducted face-to-face interviews at 1,000 homes across Mexico. The poll had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

The conflicts are "a warning sign," said Yamel Nares, Parametria's research director.

Security is the top concern for Mexicans, and Fox has struggled to reform Mexico's notoriously corrupt police. Meanwhile, drug-related bloodshed has accelerated, with some cities seeing killings almost daily.

In April, suspected drug lords posted the heads of two police officers on a wall outside a government building where four drug traffickers died in a Jan. 27 shootout with officers in the Pacific resort of Acapulco.

A sign nearby read: "So that you learn to respect."

This is nature's way of telling us we need to build a big buffer that will protect ourselves from the political events in Mexico. We've let in tens of millions of Mexicans who send tens of billions of dollars per year south of the border. But this has not bought stability in Mexico. We can not control the events in Mexico. Instead we should protect ourselves from those events.

The argument that we need stability in Mexico seems wrong to me. We can isolate ourselves from the political events if we build a sufficiently formidable border barrier. Our biggest risk would be a potential cut off of oil production if revolution erupted. But in Nigeria the challenge to the central authorities so far has cut production only 20%. The offshore oil fields of Mexico could probably continue to operate even if part of the country erupted in fighting.

Police in Sal Salvador Atenco Mexico escalated a dispute with flower vendors in a town that just a few years ago challenged government authority over a plan for an airport.

SAN SALVADOR ATENCO, Mexico - It started as a dispute between eight flower vendors and local police over where they could sell their goods. By the next day, it had escalated into a massive raid by 3,000 state and federal police officers that left one dead and 200 arrested.

Now, more than a week later, the events of May 4 in the farming town of San Salvador Atenco 15 miles northeast of Mexico City are sending waves across the country's political system, highlighting the tension Mexicans feel just weeks before they select a new president July 2.

Police say the raid was necessary to quell danger when supporters of the flower vendors seized as many as nine local officers and severely beat and slashed two with machetes.

But there's a bigger context for these events. In 2002 in this same town a rebel group ousted the local government and took over.

For many, the town of 10,000 was already a flash point even before this month's police raid. In 2002, a peasant revolt led by a rebel group known as the Community Front in Defense of the Land stopped a plan pushed by Fox to build an international airport on their farmland. The Community Front also organized the defense of the flower vendors.

After the farmers' 2002 victory, Community Front leader Ignacio del Valle took over the town and ousted the municipal government, much in the manner of the 1994 Zapatista uprising Subcomandante Marcos led in Chiapas.

Imagine rebel groups overthrowing governments in towns in the United States.

A barrier on the US border with Mexico might increase the power of the Mexican central government by cutting back on the power of the drug smugglers. The money the drug lords make from smuggling finances their private armies and bribery of local and national police and politicians. Take away a big chunk of that revenue and they'd become weaker vis a vis the Mexican government.

Yankee dollars corrupt Mexico because the amounts of money Mexicans can make in illegal activities across the border are so much larger than what they can make legally within their country. They basically do not have the culture, political system, and character to handle the side effects of living next to such a wealthier society.

By Randall Parker    2006 May 17 09:51 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (2)
2006 May 14 Sunday
Norwood On Troop Deployments Needed For Border Control

US House Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-GA) says if Bush follows through on rumours and announces deployment of National Guard along the US border with Mexico then unless the number of soldiers deployed are adequate to do the job (at least 36,000 needed) the policy will just be spin.

But will the proposal be real, or just spin?

The truth will lie in the proposed numbers, and whether the plan is for a short-term demonstration project or a long-term strategy for truly securing our southern border.

A real plan has already been proposed, with full details and research data included in last year's Immigration Reform Caucus special report, "Results and Implications of the Minutemen Project."

Under that plan, the southern border can be virtually closed except at legal points of entry within a one-month period -- at the longest. The flood of illegal immigration that has plagued America since the last amnesty plan in 1986 will be over.

It will initially take 36,000 troops. At the start, they should be National Guard personnel drawn nationally. There isn't enough National Guard in the border states alone to do the job without hindering combat readiness, so the forces will need to be pulled from other states as well under current National Guard Bureau assistance regulations.

The 36,000 troops will provide an average of three two-man teams per border mile for the entire 1,951-mile border with Mexico, working eight-hour shifts. Once in place on the ground, the deployment will need to be increased to 48,000 troops, to provide necessary manpower for time-off, sick leave, and long-term support services.

Most likely Bush might try to placate his (former) conservative base with a token deployment of troops. I do not expect him to sign up for a deployment of 48,00 troops to stop the illegal influx while a wall gets built. I also do not expect him to commence serious interior enforcement of immigration laws.

Troops could be used to secure the border while a border barrier gets built. Then the barrier fence or wall could make crossing harder and slower. Attempts to cross would trigger electronic alarms and get caught on video cameras and infrared cameras. Then the Border Patrol could dispatch personnel to catch crossers while they are still in the barrier zone.

Here are the findings of the Immigration Reform Caucus "Results and Implications of the Minutemen Project" report which Norwood refers to above.

Based on the evidence gathered from the Minuteman Project; U.S. Border Patrol; Cochise County Sheriff’s Department; Bisbee, Arizona Police Department; National Park Service; U.S. Army; multiple media sources; and individual testimonies, the Caucus Team reports the following findings on the Results and Implications of the Minuteman Project.

  1. Reasonable Manpower Increases Will Immediately Curtail Rampant Illegal Immigration. An average six additional personnel on station per border mile proved effective in dramatically reducing illegal crossings.
  2. Reinforcements Can Be Oriented and Deployed in Days. In contrast to the Border Patrol position of two-year training time for new officers, the Minutemen demonstrated that auxiliary personnel can be trained and deployed in three days. The lesser duties of supporting higher-trained Border Patrol and other state and federal law enforcement agencies does not require the full legal skills of Border Patrol agents.
  3. 36,000 Reinforcements Would Likely Seal Our Southern Border. However, unlike the Minutemen’s 12-hour shifts, to maintain six personnel on station 24/7 on a permanent basis would require adequate personnel for at least three shifts, or 18 auxiliaries per mile. The 2000-mile southern border would therefore require a minimum 36,000 total additional personnel, with 48,000 likely for a long-term deployment requiring substantial support personnel.
  4. Reinforcements Are Available From Existing Reserves. Troops should be drawn from all 50 states, or the border states and their neighbors at minimum. Mobilizing troops from just the border states would exhaust their manpower reserves, eliminate the warfighting capability of Guard members in those states, and would be unsustainable. Drawing 36,000 National Guard and State Defense Force personnel from the border states and their immediate neighbors would require 41% of available forces in the respective states. If drawn from National Guard forces nationwide, the border reinforcements would total 11% of available forces. As a long-term solution, one-half of the 70,000 federal troops returning from overseas could be permanently assigned the mission as part of the BRAC process currently underway.
  5. The Defense Authorization Act of 2005 provides specific legal authority for the Governors and the Secretary of Defense to immediately implement this plan with full federal funding. Section 512 of HR 4200, the Defense Authorization Act of 2005, passed by the 108th Congress, amends Title 32 Section 9 of U.S. Code to allow Governors to call forth their National Guard for homeland security duties within their state in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, and receive full federal funding for the mission, with no action required by Congress or the President.
  6. Long-Term Solutions: Border Security should remain a federal responsibility. The U.S. Border Patrol must be increased to somewhere between 25-50,000 officers to adequately guard our southern border, with the final size determination dependent on proven field effectiveness of new technology and infrastructure such as fencing, lighting, UAVs, sensors, etc. Until the Border Patrol is fully staffed and equipped, military support will remain a necessity. One-half or more of the 70,000 federal troops returning from overseas should be assigned the mission as part of the BRAC process currently underway, to relieve our National Guard and State forces as soon as practicable. Federal troops should in turn be relieved by a strengthened Border Patrol, but only when such reinforcements are fully in place.

I do not expect honest proposals from Jorge W. Bush. It isn't in his character to mean what he says. He wants to pursue policies that will turn the United States of America into Latin America. His goal at this point is to pursue his policies in a way that allows him to placate Americans across the political spectrum who want immigration reduction. I hope the American people are not gullible enough to be fooled by his next attempt at deception. They do not agree with him: Majority Of American Public Are Immigration Restrictionists.

Update: Bush plans to send a token force of soldiers in hopes of convincing the House Republicans to support his worker permit program for illegal aliens.

The White House formally insisted that no decision has been made and that Bush was still considering options yesterday. But aides left little doubt that the president intends to call for an expanded Guard deployment at the border involving several thousand troops, a significant increase from the 200 or so now there.

...

Tonight's speech is aimed at assuaging House Republicans who have insisted on tougher enforcement measures against workers illegally in the country. If the House contingent feels action is being taken, White House officials hope they may yet sign off on some version of Bush's guest-worker proposal, which would provide a way for undocumented immigrants to stay here legally if they pay back taxes and penalties.

If you want to understand why Jorge Bush's proposal will make the problem with the Hispanic influx even worse see my post Thinking About Bush's Less Than Half-Baked Worker Permit Proposal. I explain the stupidity of this plan in consideable detail.

I have a simple question for Bush and his fellow traitors in the US Senate: When Mexicans here under their worker permit plan show up with their family members at a US hospital's emergency ward who is going to pay for their medical care? If they break the law who will pay for their public defender, their trial costs, and their prison costs? Who will pay for the schooling of their kids?

Update II: Lawrence Auster asks whether Bush will strike a pose of transparent insincerity or a somewhat slightly more deceptive pose of translucent insincerity.

Oh the nail-biting suspense! What will the president say in his illegal-immigration speech Monday night? Will he huff and puff and deliver his tried and tested, transparently insincere, self-evidently unbelievable, pro-forma statement that he intends to enforce the law ... or will he recognize the trouble he is in, reach deep within himself, and come up with ... a slightly less transparently insincere statement that he intends to enforce the law?

...

In other words, Hewitt is upset at the thought that the president is going to make a border-security proposal that is transparently insincere. For Hewitt, everything depends on the president’s making a border-security proposal that is only translucently insincere.

As Larry has pointed out, some Bush apologists are at least partial immigration restrictionists who support an end to illegal immigration while avoiding taking a position about legal immigration and while avoiding addressing Bush's role in keeping the Hispanic influx at a high rate.

Larry Auster also passes along a very interesting analysis of Bush by Howard Sutherland (which you ought to click through to and read in full):

Bush is also a born-and-bred establishment liberal. For all the Texas accent, he belongs (patrician Greenwich family; Andover; Yale; Harvard) to a bipartisan Northeastern liberal elite. That set may have been wrong about most things in the end, but during his schooldays they were quite sure they were right. With the possible exception of abortion, he does not question fundamental liberal assumptions. His foreign policy is nothing but armed liberalism, and his domestic policies are those of Lyndon Johnson, only worse. Bush used that Texas accent and phrases like “compassionate conservatism” to fool the Republican rubes. Other people may see him as dumb; I think Bush sees himself as smart, successful and in charge. I don’t put much stock in his being in some sort of psychological contest with his father. Any feelings of inferiority he might have had on that score would have vanished when he beat the old man’s record by winning re-election.

...

But why Mexico? Throughout his life, Bush has been exposed to nice Mexicans. At the lower end, there were probably nice maids and ranch hands who helped out around the place and, in their way, helped raise him. For all I know, the Mexican maids were nicer to him than his mother, who is a formidable woman. At the upper end, there were the elegant, erudite, fun and mind-bogglingly rich Mexican oligarchs with whom his father did business and politics, and whose playboy children would have been some of Bush’s playmates in his partying days. He just likes Mexicans. I think he likes them better than Americans. The Mexican functionaries he meets are a lot more like the people he goes hunting with in Texas (some are the same people) than any of his geek Washington advisers. Like many people I know in Texas, he is very comfortable with Mexican culture seen through a tex-mex lens. I like it myself, and I am a sworn enemy of the Mexican government. Bush probably has better memories overall of relations with Mexicans throughout his life than he does with Americans. I would bet that while his personal experiences of his fellow Americans have been good and bad, his experiences of Mexicans have been almost all good from his point of view. He won’t see the bad in Mexico; he hasn’t experienced it and, anyway, to criticize Mexico on social or cultural grounds would be racist. Not gonna happen…

Maybe Bush hates Americans because they aren't as subservient toward him as Mexicans are.

By Randall Parker    2006 May 14 06:19 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (8)
2006 January 24 Tuesday
Mexican Soldiers Cross Over Into United States Smuggling Drugs

Jerry Seper reports on Mexican soldiers crossing the US border helping drug smugglers.

The U.S. Border Patrol has warned agents in Arizona of incursions into the United States by Mexican soldiers "trained to escape, evade and counterambush" if detected -- a scenario Mexico denied yesterday.

The warning to Border Patrol agents in Tucson, Ariz., comes after increased sightings of what authorities described as heavily armed Mexican military units on the U.S. side of the border. The warning asks the agents to report the size, activity, location, time and equipment of any units observed.

It also cautions agents to keep "a low profile," to use "cover and concealment" in approaching the Mexican units, to employ "shadows and camouflage" to conceal themselves and to "stay as quiet as possible."

The bad President in the White House and the elite club of fools in the US Senate do not care about this sort thing.

Rafael Laveaga of the Mexican embassy in Washington DC would like us to believe that drug smugglers are just dressing up to look like Mexican soldiers. The head of the Border Patrol union thinks this claim is ridiculous.

Laveaga said some drug smugglers headed "both north and south" wear uniforms and drive military-type vehicles, and might have "confused" U.S. authorities.

"Give me a break," said T.J. Bonner, a 27-year Border Patrol veteran who heads the National Border Patrol Council. "Intrusions by the Mexican military to protect drug loads happen all the time and represent a significant threat to the agents.

The FBI acknowledged a recent border stand-off.

SIERRA BLANCA, Texas – Men dressed as Mexican Army soldiers, apparent drug suspects and Texas law enforcement officers faced off on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande, an FBI spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Andrea Simmons, an agency spokeswoman in El Paso, told The Associated Press that Texas Department of Public Safety troopers chased three SUVs, believing they were carrying drugs, to the banks of the Rio Grande during Monday's incident.

Men dressed in Mexican military uniforms or camouflage were on the U.S. side of the border in Texas, she said.

The statement by Andrea Simmons of the FBI confirms claims by local officlals of a stand-off with Mexican soldiers and civilian smugglers.

Mexican soldiers and civilian smugglers had an armed standoff with nearly 30 U.S. law enforcement officials on the Rio Grande in Texas Monday afternoon, according to Texas police and the FBI.

Mexican military Humvees were towing what appeared to be thousands of pounds of marijuana across the border into the United States, said Chief Deputy Mike Doyal, of the Hudspeth County Sheriff's Department.

Mexican Army troops had several mounted machine guns on the ground more than 200 yards inside the U.S. border -- near Neely's Crossing, about 50 miles east of El Paso -- when Border Patrol agents called for backup. Hudspeth County deputies and Texas Highway patrol officers arrived shortly afterward, Doyal said.

"It's been so bred into everyone not to start an international incident with Mexico that it's been going on for years," Doyal said. "When you're up against mounted machine guns, what can you do? Who wants to pull the trigger first? Certainly not us."

An FBI spokeswoman confirmed the incident happened at 2:15 p.m. Pacific Time.

US federal officials will avoid saying that elements of the Mexican military are crossing over into the United States to smuggle drugs. While it is obvious this is happening do not expect the Bush Administration to send US soldiers down to the border to shoot the border crossing corrupt Mexican soldiers.

Congressman Rick Renzi wants the US to protest diplomatically.

WASHINGTON -- An Arizona congressman yesterday demanded the State Department take "immediate diplomatic action" to stop Mexican military incursions into the United States, saying U.S. Border Patrol agents face a continuing threat of being killed by rogue soldiers protecting drug smugglers.

Two-term Republican Rep. Rick Renzi, in a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said reports of Mexican military units providing armed escorts to drug and alien smuggling operations represent "narco-terrorism in its purest form."

"Our borders are under attack by sophisticated organizations that have no qualms about firing on our Border Patrol units," Mr. Renzi said. "As we get tougher and more committed, so do the organizations committed to smuggling death and terror across our borders."

I think a border wall and some battle-hardened US military veterans brought home from Iraq and sent out to shoot at Mexican Army drug smugglers on US territory would be a better response.

The Minutemen say they have a video of an earlier Mexican military incursion from 2004.

The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps said the 2004 video is an example of the incursions made by the Mexican military during the past 10 years, first reported in the Daily Bulletin on Jan. 15.

"(Minuteman co-founder) Chris Simcox and others were in that area watching for people illegally crossing when they stumbled upon these Mexican soldiers on our side of the border," said Connie Hair, a spokeswoman for the group.

In the video, at least three men in military-style uniforms run from the border fence with automatic weapons toward a Humvee on the Mexican side of the border.

Hair said the incident happened at the border near the San Pedro River in Arizona.

The Bush Administration is morally decadent because they let this nonsense go on. Their protestations of being good Christians count for nothing with me. Their actions and inactions speak louder than their prayers.

By Randall Parker    2006 January 24 09:00 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (7)
2005 October 31 Monday
US-Mexico Border Violence Doubles Against Border Patrol

The US Border Patrol is getting attacked much more often this year.

At least 687 assaults against agents were reported during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, up from the previous year's total of 354 and the highest since the agency began tracking assaults across the Southwest border in the late 1990s, according to Border Patrol officials.

If the United States built a border barrier along the entire length of the border that was far more substantial then fewer would try to cross and the violence would decline. Half-way measures will be contested. Effective measures would intimidate the bulk of the smugglers out of trying to cross at all.

Gunshot incidents are rising rapidly.

In Tucson and San Diego, the most violent sectors, agents reported being shot at 43 times — up from 18 the previous year. No agents were killed, but three were shot in the leg. At least 20 more were hospitalized, many with head injuries from rocks.

Officials interviewed by the LA Times reporter claim the violence is a response to tougher border enforcement.

"They're feeling they have to fight their way through now," said Agent Jim Hawkins, a spokesman for the agency's Tucson sector. "We're taking their livelihood away from them, so they're getting angry and desperate."

A border barrier along the entire US-Mexico border would solve this problem. Using Israel's West Bank barrier as a guide the cost would be between $2 bilion and $8 billion.

By Randall Parker    2005 October 31 01:34 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2005 October 27 Thursday
Allan Wall Calls For National Guard On US Border

Serving with his Texas Army National Guard in Iraq Allan Wall argues for use of National Guard units to secure the US border with Mexico and stop the illegal alien influx.

I think it's a great idea. An excellent idea. An idea whose time has come. Many of the tasks necessary to secure the U.S. border are the same tasks we are already performing here in Iraq. They could be carried out just as easily (and less expensively) on our own borders. Here in Iraq, National Guardsmen are patrolling 24/7, logging thousands of miles in armored humvees. Why can't they do the same on our own borders?

In Iraq, Guardsmen secure defensive perimeters, they man guard towers, they operate UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). They do surveillance in the dark with night-vision equipment. Why can't they do the same on the borders of their own country?

Currently, Guard units are being called up on 18-month deployments to Iraq and other places. Why can't they be deployed the same length of time to guard the border? When a Guard unit is not deployed, guardsmen train a total of about 40 days a year, one weekend a month and a two-week "annual training" period. Why not rotate National Guard units in and out of border duty for their yearly "training" period?

A unilaterial withdrawal of US troops from Iraq would free up all those soldiers to do border control for the United States. All that equipment deployed in Iraq could then get shifted to the US southern border. While those soldiers were deployed along the Mexican border the US government could fund construction of a border barrier that would gradually reduce the need for troops.

While the National Guard can not (according to Allan) act like police and pick up illegal aliens the Guard could do all the patrolling and spotting so that the Border Patrolmen themselves could just go from place to place using the directions of Guardsmen.

Enforcement of the US southern border would greatly reduce the illegal alien influx and therefore save taxpayers lots of money and improve the quality of life in the United States. Effective border enforcement would reduce the illegal drug flow. One beneficial side effect would be a slowing and possibly even a reversal of the slide of Mexico into a corrupt lawless narco-state. That would provide security and quality of governance benefits for both the United States and Mexico.

By Randall Parker    2005 October 27 04:14 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (4)
2005 August 17 Wednesday
Arizona Governor Napolitano Declares Border Emergency

The problems with massive illegal immigration can no longer be ignored.

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano declared an emergency Monday in four border counties because of problems related to lax border enforcement and moved to provide local governments in those counties with up to $1.5 million in state funding.

Napolitano's order directly released $200,000 from the state's emergency fund for disasters while her emergency council released an additional $1.3 million, spokeswoman Jeanine L'Ecuyer said.

$1.5 million is chicken feed for a multi-billion dollar problem. I see her move as window dressing, similar to the recent move by New Mexico Democratic Governor Bill Richardson to put up $1.75 million for border security. But these moves are very important politically because they make it harder for politicians in Washington to pretend that the border and immigration problems are minor. Two elected Democratic governors have now gone on record with declarations of emergency stating that border security and illegal immigration are major problems.

The US Ambassador to Mexico is defending the moves by these US governors.

Tony Garza, the US ambassador to Mexico and a friend of President George W. Bush, responded on Tuesday night that violence “from Matamoros to Tijuana” was “destroying the social and economic fabric of our border communities”.

“The longer that violence continues, the tougher it becomes for many Americans to talk about Mexicans as our trusted partners with mutual interests,” he said in a speech in Denver.

One argument put forth by some members of the Open Borders crowd is that we have to keep the border open to keep Mexico stable. Well, Nuevo Laredo Mexico has degenerated into lawlessness because of the open border. This argument for open borders gets it exactly backwards. Closed borders will take the incentives away from organized crime to corrupt Mexican politics for the purpose of supporting illegal narcotics production and smuggling. Also, Mexico's problems are causing lots of crime in the United States and therefore victimizing lots of Americans. We need protection against what Mexico is right now.

Governor Napolitano wants to get reelected next year.

"Both federal governments let us down. There doesn't seem to be any sense of urgency,'' said Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona, a Democrat seeking re-election next year, in a telephone interview Tuesday, a day after declaring a state of emergency in four border counties. Napolitano said "ranchers are at their wits' end'' over smuggled immigrants who damage their property and livestock.

...

In July, Arizona's Napolitano met with about 100 law enforcement supervisors to discuss border smuggling and violence. Last week, she wrote to Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, saying she was ``increasingly disappointed by red tape'' and complaining that her efforts to have 12 state police officers work alongside federal border and immigration agents had been turned down.

One of New Mexico's US Senators supports Richardson's move to declare a state of emergency in New Mexico.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., toured the border Monday and said Richardson was right to declare an emergency and he hoped it would call attention to the needs of the region.

The state Republican Party also commended the governor in a news release issued Monday.

One Arizona state legislator wants the state of Arizona to build a barrier along the part of Arizona's border with Mexico.

Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, is crafting a measure to ask voters next year to spend the money to erect a climb-proof fence wherever possible from Yuma to east of Douglas.

Pearce acknowledged Tuesday he doesn't have a price tag. A similar fence erected by federal officials near San Diego cost about $1.7 million a mile; the Arizona border stretches for 341 miles.

For less than $1 billion all of Arizon'a border with Mexico could be closed to illegal movements of people and a great deal of the drug trafficking could be stopped. For less than $10 billion we could build a barrier across the entire length of the US-Mexico border. We should start building the barrier immediately.

By Randall Parker    2005 August 17 02:20 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2005 August 15 Monday
New Mexico Governor Richardson Declares Border State Of Emergency

Governor Bill Richardson (D-N.M.) has declard a state of emergency in 4 counties on the Mexican border in large part due to the failure of the US federal government to stop the lawlessness.

The executive order, issued after Richardson toured the area around Columbus, makes $750,000 immediately available to Dona Ana, Luna, Grant and Hidalgo counties. He pledged an additional $1 million.

The money will aid state and area law enforcement efforts, fund a field office for the state Office of Homeland Security and help build a fence to protect a Columbus-area livestock yard where a number of cattle have been killed or stolen.

Illegal aliens are a big contributing factor.

"As Governor I have a responsibility to protect our citizens, property, and communities," said Governor Richardson. "Recent developments have convinced me this action is necessary- including violence directed at law enforcement, damage to property and livestock, increased evidence of drug smuggling, and an increase in the number of undocumented immigrants."

The damage to property and livestock is mostly committed by illegals passing through the border areas.

The violence against law enforcement includes AWOL Mexican Zeta Commandos aiming to kill US Border Patrol agents.

Richardson says the US government does not devote enough resources to border security.

"The situation is out of hand," Richardson said Friday night on CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight," noting that one 54-mile stretch is particularly bad.

...

In announcing the state of emergency, Richardson -- a Democrat who served in President Clinton's Cabinet -- criticized the "total inaction and lack of resources from the federal government and Congress" in helping protect his state's residents along the border.

"There's very little response from the Border Patrol," he said on CNN. "They're doing a good job, but they don't have the resources."

The governor of Arizona might follow Richardson's lead.

"I'm taking these serious steps because of the urgency of the situation and, unfortunately, because of the total inaction and lack of resources from the federal government and Congress," Richardson said. "We will continue to work with the federal government in an attempt to get their assistance, but something had to be done immediately."

The Arizona Republic reported Saturday that Gov. Janet Napolitano, D-Ariz., might also declare a state of emergency this week because of border concerns.

George W. Bush has other priorities. He wants Hispanic votes and he wants to cater to business interests that want cheap labor. Lots of US Senators see immigration through the same prism as Bush. These politicians are worse than worthless.

Update: Can Democratic Governor Bill Richardson be trusted to take a hard line against illegal immigration? Of course not. John Fund of the Wall Street Journal (which is "Open Borders" central in the American press) says Richardson only pretends to take a hard line against illegal immigration.

Further evidence of the governor's zigzag policy on immigration came in April when he vetoed a "No Fear" bill, which would have prohibited state and local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal authorities to detect or apprehend people based solely on immigration status. But then he quietly issued an executive order that had much the same effect. Earlier this year, he also signed legislation giving some illegal aliens the right to in-state tuition rates at public universities.

"The governor is all puff and no cigar," says David Pfeffer, a Santa Fe city councilman who abandoned the Democratic Party this past March when he concluded its members "were closer to Michael Moore than to me." He expects the governor "to run for national office while saying one thing while he does something else back home."

Hillary Clinton's tough talk on immigration is similarly unbelievable. See my post "Hillary Clinton Not Serious About Border Security". The way forward for anti-immigration activists is at the state level. Lots of states have ballot initiative processes and direct appeals to voters through ballot initiatives can fix many of our border control and immigration problems. The California Border Police Initiative shows the way. A similar initiative in Arizona and state-level funding for border barriers in the border states could close the border. All other states - either through legislative action or ballot initiatives - could instruct their police to start rounding up illegals for deportation.

By Randall Parker    2005 August 15 03:26 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (20)
2004 September 13 Monday
3 Million Illegals Will Enter United States This Year

Drudge has an excerpt of a new Time magazine report on the rapidly growing influx on illegal aliens on the US border with Mexico. (Update: Here is the full article: Who Left the Door Open?)

The U.S.’s borders, rather than become more secure since 9/11, have grown even more porous and the trend has accelerated in the past year. Based on a TIME investigation, it’s fair to estimate that the number of illegal aliens flooding into the U.S. this year will total 3 million, enough to fill 22,000 Boeing 737-700 airliners, or 60 flights every day. It will be the largest wave since 2001 and roughly triple the number of immigrants who will come to America by legal means, TIME reports in its cover story , "Who Left the Door Open?" (on newsstands Monday, Sept. 13th).

The category "Other Than Mexicans" or "OTMs" is rapidly growing.

From Oct. 1 of last year until Aug. 25, the border patrol estimates, it apprehended along the southwest border 55,890 people who fall into the category described officially as other than Mexicans, or OTMS. With five weeks remaining in the fiscal year, the number is nearly double the 28,048 apprehended in all of 2002. But that’s just how many were caught.

Based on longtime government formulas for calculating how many elude capture, TIME estimates that as many as 190,000 illegals from countries other than Mexico have melted into the U.S. population so far this year. The border patrol, which is run by the Department of Homeland Security, refuses to break down OTMS by country. But local law officers, ranchers and others who daily confront the issue tell TIME they have encountered not only a wide variety of Latin Americans (from Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil, Nicaragua and Venezuela) but also intruders from Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Russia and China, as well as people who said they were from Egypt, Iran and Iraq.

Any guesses out there on whether Al Qaeda operatives know that the US border with Mexico is an easy route for sneaking into the United States? Some of those people sneaking in from Middle Eastern countries are probably coming for higher salaries. But if the poor immigrants looking for higher paying work know about our undefended southern border then surely Al Qaeda's intelligence gatherers have figured this out as well. So do not be surprised if the next terrorist attack in the United States is carried out by people who crossed the border from Mexico.

Keep in mind that if the political will existed to do so then immigration law could be enforced and One Year Of Illegal Alien Health Care Costs Would Pay For Border Barrier with Mexico.

Time also has an excerpt for non-subscribers.

Update: Here is the full article: Who Left the Door Open?

By Randall Parker    2004 September 13 11:18 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (3)
2004 June 13 Sunday
Fifth Of London Marriages Faked For Immigration

Fake marriages are becoming very widely used to stay in the UK.

Up to a fifth of wedding ceremonies in London could be bogus, a senior registrar warned today.

Officials fear the government's drive on immigration has triggered a surge in fake marriages.

Mark Rimmer, service director for registrations of births, deaths and marriages, believes rising numbers of foreigners are organising the ceremonies in a desperate bid to stay in the UK.

Rimmer sounds fairly confident the number is high.

"You are looking at one in five marriages in London being bogus.

The marriages are being made by non-EU citizens to citizens of various European Union countries. (Daily Telegraph free registration required)

Fake marriages typically involve a partner from the European Union, usually a "bride" from Portugal, France or Holland, and someone from outside, primarily North Africa or Turkey.

Registrars say that they regularly see cases in which couples sit refusing to face each other and flinch when they kiss. In one case when a bride was asked the name of the man she wanted to marry she had to first read it out of the passport.

This comes on the heels of the claims of another government official that immigration may be far higher than the official numbers indicate. (Daily Telegraph free registration required)

Immigration could be running at six times higher than official figures, a Home Office official told a court yesterday.

Robert Owen said he could not even "guesstimate" the true number of foreign nationals living in Britain.

The Manchester Chinese community is 6 times larger than official estimates.

Called to the trial to give an overview of the situation he claimed that up to 1,000 people a day were at one time arriving at Heathrow’s Terminal 3 claiming asylum.

He also claimed that the Chinese community in Manchester put the true number of people from China living in the city at up to 50,000 more than six times official estimates.

Britain is fortunate in one respect as compared to the United States: The British elites feel so pressured by an angry populace that the government's official position now is that immigration has to be reduced. America's elite continues to defy the wishes of the majority and to work toward increasing the immigrant flow into the United States. An example of this is the AgJobs amnesty which now has 62 sponsors in the US Senate.

The United States needs a new political party. In Britain the UK Independence Party shows signs of becoming a contender that can threaten the existing status quo. Given that the Republican leaders have decided to be just as traitorous as the Democrats we desperately need a new political party.

By Randall Parker    2004 June 13 05:02 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (4)
2004 May 27 Thursday
Poll Finds Majority Opposition To Immigration In Most Western Countries

With Canada as the notable exception in almost all Western countries the majority sees immigration in a negative light.

In the United States and in the European countries polled - Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain - people were more likely to say they had negative views of the influence of immigrants, according to AP-Ipsos polls. That comes at a time of high concern over unemployment and worries about terrorism.

When asked "What influence do you think immigrants have on the way thing are going in your country" the combined percentage for very good/somewhat good versus very bad/somewhat bad broke down for the United States as as 42% positive/47% negative, for Canada 73% positive/20% negative, for Japan 44% positive/44% negative, and for Europe as a whole 37% positive/54% negative.

The more important question from a policy standpoint is what level of immigration is best? An earlier 2000 poll showed that in spite of a overall positive view of immigration about half of Canadians think current immigration is too high.

They are also split about the number of immigrants coming to Canada (45% "too high", 45% "about right"), and whether Canadians as a whole should be encouraged "to try to accept minority groups and their customs and languages" (46%) versus 50 percent who say that Canada should “encourage minority groups to change to be more like Canadians".

The latest poll does not ask whether current immigration levels are too high. But the section of the poll on whether immigration is a good or bad influence is probably a proxy that underestimates the percentage of the respondents that would support a decrease in immigration levels. For polls on American attitudes toward levels of immigration see my previous posts Elite Populace Gap On Immigration Issues and Most Americans Want Halt To Illegal Immigration.

Given the message we hear in favor of more immigation from Hispanic activists in the United States and from the Mexican government it is quite ironic that the latest poll shows 24% of Mexicans see immigration as a very bad influence, 29% see it as somewhat bad, only 28% see it as somewhat good, and a mere 8% see it as very good. Also, when Mexicans were asked whether it was important for all people to share the same culture and traditions 42% strongly agreed and 29% somewhat agreed. So 71% of Mexicans think multiculturalism is a bad idea.

The full survey results can be downloaded in PDF format.

By Randall Parker    2004 May 27 07:46 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (3)
2004 March 04 Thursday
Immigration Policy Plays Big Role Making Canada Terrorist Haven

Canada's National Post has managed to get access to a recent report by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) which claims terrorists see Canada as an appealing base from which to raise funds and engage in other activities to support terrorist networks.

In a 22-page assessment of the security threats facing the nation, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service said international terrorists are still using the country as a base for waging worldwide political and religious violence.

"Terrorism of foreign origin continues to be a major concern in regard to the safety of Canadians at home and abroad," says the Oct. 10, 2003, report, titled "Threats to Canada's National Security." "Canada is viewed by some terrorist groups as a place to try to seek refuge, raise funds, procure materials and/or conduct other support activities. ... Virtually all of the most notorious international terrorist organizations are known to maintain a network presence in Canada."

The report follows on the heels of the October 2003 US Library of Congress report Nations Hospitable To Organized Crime And Terrorism (PDF format) which lists Canada as a nation hospitable to terrorists.

According to a 2001 report by the U.S. Department of State, “Overall anti-terrorism cooperation with Canada is excellent, and stands as a model of how the United States and other nations can work together on terrorism issues.”580 Canada has assisted and cooperated with the United States on all fronts of the current war against terrorism. It has, for example, frozen the assets of suspected terrorists and is working closely with the United States to improve security along their common borders. Canadian and U.S. customs and immigration agencies, police forces, and intelligence agencies have a long history of cooperation on border security. This coordination has been strengthened in recent years through formal arrangements such as the U.S.-Canadian Bilateral Consultative Group on Counterterrorism Cooperation (BCG) and the Smart Border Action Plan.581

According to numerous intelligence and law enforcement reports, however, terrorists and international organized crime groups increasingly are using Canada as an operational base and transit country en route to the United States. A generous social-welfare system, lax immigration laws, infrequent prosecutions, light sentencing, and long borders and coastlines offer many points and methods of entry that facilitate movement to and from various countries, particularly to the United States. These factors combine to make Canada a favored destination for terrorists and international organized crime groups.

The report dwells at length on how Canadian immigration policy plays such a major role in making Canada a hospitable environment for terrorist operations.

Third, particular systemic and institutional characteristics make Canada hospitable to international terrorists and criminals. David Griffin, Executive Officer of the Canadian Police Association, explained:

Our proximity to the United States of America makes Canada extremely vulnerable, however it is our lax immigration policy, open borders, weak laws, archaic justice system, an even weaker corrections system and under enforcement that make us extremely attractive to the sophisticated criminal.584

In a 1999 Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) report entitled “Exploitation of Canada’s Immigration System: An Overview of Security Intelligence Concerns,” CSIS Director Ward Elcock is quoted as saying that “in most cases, [terrorists] appear to use Canadian residence as a safe haven, a means to raise funds, to plan or support overseas activities or as a way to obtain Canadian travel documents which make global travel easier.” According to the report, more than 50 terrorist groups are believed to be operating in Canada, including the Algerian Armed Islamic Group, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Tamil Tigers, Sikh extremists, the Kurdistan Workers Party, Hizballah, and extremist Irish groups.585 According to a 1999 report by Canada’s Special Senate Committee on Security and Intelligence,

Illegal migration into Canada—primarily through the refugee determination system— persists as a concern from two perspectives. First, it is a means by which terrorists may circumvent Canada’s vetting process abroad and enter in search of a temporary or permanent haven. Once in Canada, they may conduct fundraising or other activities or, in a very few cases, organize acts of violence in Canada or against other countries. Second, large volumes of illegal migrants provide the stream in which a few terrorists can ultimately gain entry to the United States by circumventing Canadian and United States border controls.586

Canada has arguably the most generous asylum system of any country in the world. Aliens have a substantially higher chance of gaining asylum in Canada than in the United States. In 1999, Canada granted asylum to 54 percent of applicants, compared with 35 percent in the United States. This condition, combined with easy entry into the United States from Canada, explains why Canada is a primary transition point for smuggled aliens.587

Perhaps until recently, there has also not been widespread concern that Canada could be the victim of a terrorist attack. Sensitivity to civil liberties combined with this low threat perception has made both the adoption and the enforcement of tougher immigration laws and strong counter terrorism measures more difficult. The fact that the 2002 bill designed to make Canada’s immigration laws less favorable to terrorists and international criminals is entitled the “Immigration and Refugee Protection Act” serves as an indication of the prevailing concern for or priority placed upon civil liberties in Canada.

Crimes committed in Canada are not considered relevant to asylum requests unless they would bring more than ten years of imprisonment. 588 This provision means that most of the criminal means by which terrorists raise funds—such as fraud, theft, and counterfeiting—would not disqualify them for asylum, even if they are found guilty. The same can be said for a portion of the illegal activities engaged in by international organized criminal groups.

Upon arriving at a Canadian port of entry, an individual claiming refugee status normally is released, with no provision for monitoring, rather than being detained pending investigation, as is the practice in Great Britain and the United States.589 As their claim is under consideration, such claimants can receive work permits, welfare payments, and housing and health care from the government.590 Deportation orders seldom are carried out for those whose refugee claims are denied.591

As of April 2003, Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board had a backlog of 53,000 asylum cases. A 2003 report by Canada’s Auditor-General said Canada has lost track of 36,000 people who have been ordered to leave the country over the past six years. The report also notes

I hope it does not take a terrorist attack on the United States launched from Canada to bring enough pressure to bear to fix the problems with lax Canadian immigration policies that make it so easy for Islamic terrorists to find their way to Canada. But my guess is that, yes, it will take an attack traceable at least in part to Canada to get the Canadian government to make a big change in their immigration policies. But even then Canada may not really attack the problem if the US government response to date is any indication of what we can expect from the Canadian government. Given the unwillingness of the US government to make large immigration enforcement changes to reduce the threat of terrorism this inadequate Canadian response to the terrorist threat should not be too surprising.

By Randall Parker    2004 March 04 02:29 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (2)
2004 February 29 Sunday
Prospect Of Democracy Breeding Ethnic Hatred In Iraq

Yale law professor Amy Chua, author of World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability, argues that democracy is unleashing inter-ethnic conflicts around the world, including in Iraq.

When sudden democratisation gives voice to this previously silenced majority, opportunistic demagogues can swiftly marshal animosity into powerful ethno-nationalist movements that can subvert both markets and democracy. That is what happened in Indonesia, Zimbabwe, and most recently Bolivia, where weeks of majority-supported, Amerindian-led protests resulted in the resignation of the pro-US, pro-free-market "gringo" President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada. In another variation, recent confiscations by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, of the assets of the "oligarchs" Boris Berezovsky, Vladimir Gusinsky and Mikhail Khodorkovsky - all well-known in Russia to be Jewish - were facilitated by pervasive anti-semitic resentment among the Russian majority.

Iraq is the next tinderbox. The Sunni minority, particularly the Ba'aths, have a large head start in education, capital and economic expertise. The Shiites, although far from homogeneous, represent a long-oppressed majority of 60-70%, with every reason to exploit their numerical power. Liberation has already unleashed powerful fundamentalist movements which, needless to say, are intensely anti-secular and anti-western. Iraq's 20% Kurdish minority in the north, mistrustful of Arab rule, creates another source of profound instability. Finally, Iraq's oil could prove a curse, leading to massive corruption and a destructive battle between groups to capture the nation's oil wealth.

Chua points out that the government of Indonesia, once it became democratic, nationalized $58 billion dollars worth of assets formerly owned by Indonesian Chinese. The result is stagnation of Indonesia's economy with high unemployment, poverty, and the rise of extremist movements. Will similar calamities befall Iraq? Since I favor placing empirical evidence ahead of ideological beliefs when setting policy I think the rational response to the situation in Iraq is to split the country up into 3 countries where there is a single dominant overwhelming majority in each country with more trust of its own members. More arguments for that approach here.

Chua is unwilling to build on her observations to either explain why there are market dominant minorities or to explain what ought to be done about preventing the development of the conflicts that inevitably come from having market dominant minorities. Paul Craig Roberts argues that Chua misses obvious conclusions about US immigration polices and about US foreign policy that can be drawn from her observations.

Certainly the U.S. government and the IMF should take care not to export policies that worsen ethnic conflicts, but the more powerful conclusion to be drawn from Chua’s material—a conclusion that Chua studiously avoids—is that the U.S., Europe, the U.K., Australia, Canada, and New Zealand should immediately cease and desist from reconstructing themselves as multi-ethnic societies. Accentuating ethnic conflict abroad is stupid, even criminal, but it is insane to import unassimiliable ethnic groups into Western countries, thus replicating in the West the Third World conflicts that Chua so terrifyingly describes.

In his analysis of Chua's work Steve Sailer points out that property rights and one man-one vote do not always mix and that this is bad news for the future of the United States.

That property rights and one man-one vote democracy don't always mix well would not have surprised Aristotle, Edmund Burke, or Alexander Hamilton. Yet many Americans who call themselves conservatives have forgotten this.

One reason: we are one of the fairly small number of lucky countries with "market dominant majorities." We can have our cake (capitalism) and eat it too (democracy) because our majority group is economically quite competent.

America's perpetual trouble has been a less-productive black minority. Black-white economic inequality is not a problem that America is going to be able to solve any time soon. But, due to our market-dominant majority, our country is rich enough to live with it.

In contrast, if our current mass immigration system is allowed to continue, America will become just another country with a market dominant minority. Through government policy, we will have inflicted upon ourselves the kind of ugly society seen in most of the rest of the world.

Also see Vinod on Amy Chua's work.

Proclaiming that all ethnic and racial groups should all be equally economically successful will not make it happen. Less successful groups will inevitably resent more successful groups and will therefore act politically, whether at the ballot box or by other means, to express their resentments. Any society whose most successful groups become a smaller fraction of the population is one that is going to have more strife, more crime, more use of government to seize assets from the most successful groups, less civility, and less trust. The debate over this problem and its implications for and foreign policy - especially for immigration policy - has now reached the leftish mainstream in the UK with David Goodhart's Prospect article about Great Britain becoming too diverse being republished in the Guardian. Anthony Browne, Environment Editor of the London Times, has also played a role in bringing a skeptical look at immigration into the mainstream of British political debate. But that debate is still taboo in The New York Times and other legitimizers of elite liberal-left discourse in America. This taboo also has the effect of making US foreign policy in places like Iraq dangerously naive as the assertion of unversalist beliefs about how we can all just get along in democratic capitalistic utopians obscures the much uglier truths about why the world's problems are so much less tractable.

By Randall Parker    2004 February 29 01:35 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2004 February 28 Saturday
On The Hypocrisy Of The Mexican Matricula Consular ID

The Mexican government continues to busily lobby American local, state and federal government officials for acceptance of the matricula consular ID card granted by Mexican consulates to Mexican illegal aliens (and even to some Guatemalan illegals) in the US. At the very same time that the Mexican government wants US government agencies to treat illegal aliens more like legal aliens in Mexico 5 million people are ineligble to vote, get a bank account, or go to school because they have no birth certificate.

Isabel Lopez Torres, a shy-eyed 11-year-old, can't write her own name because she's never been to school. Like thousands of other children in Mexico, she's been barred from public schools because of a bureaucratic barrier: She has no birth certificate.

...

The government estimates that more than 5 million Mexicans lack birth certificates. For poor people in rural areas, getting a birth certificate can mean walking hours or even days to the nearest municipal office. For many, especially in the poorest indigenous communities, the $5 or $10 processing fee represents the family's food budget for a week.

Effectively these Mexicans who do not have birth certificates are not even being treated as full citizens in their own country. This is happening even while the hypocritical Mexican government is pushing to have US government agencies to treat Mexican illegal immigrants as de facto US citizens.

Mexico is broken and needs to be fixed. But the ease with which Mexicans can cross over the border into the United States reduces the internal pressure in Mexico to make substantial reforms. In fact, as Allan Wall reports from Mexico, many illegal alien men who travel from Mexico to live and work in the United States abandon their families in the process of doing so.

Sara and her five children were abandoned by her husband in 1985.

This deadbeat dad is believed to live in Texas. Since his emigration, he has not sent one cent to his family!

Señora Garcia related to the reporter, Angel Amador Sanchez, that many other women were in her situation. In a town like Jerez, where emigration is a part of the culture, that’s not surprising, and as Sara puts it, “...these men abandon their wives and children as if it were nothing.”

The United States can not fix Mexico by letting tens of millions of Mexicans come to the United States.

By Randall Parker    2004 February 28 12:36 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2004 February 26 Thursday
Hispanic And Black High School Graduation Rates Very Low

The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University and the Urban Institute have released a report entitled Losing Our Future: How Minority Youth Are Being Left Behind by the Graduation Rate Crisis.

Washington, DC--February 25, 2004-- Half or more of Black, Hispanic and Native American youth in the United States are getting left behind before high school graduation in a “hidden crisis” that is obscured by U.S. Department of Education regulations issued under the “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) Act that “allow schools, districts, and states to all but eliminate graduation rate accountability for minority subgroups,” according to a new report from two nonpartisan groups, The Civil Rights Project at Harvard and The Urban Institute.

The new report, also issued by the Civil Society Institute’s Results for America (RFA) project and Advocates for Children of New York, notes that the minority high school graduation rate crisis is masked by the widespread circulation of “misleading and inaccurate reporting of dropout and graduation rates.” According to the report, while 75 percent of white students graduated from high school in 2001, only 50 percent of all Black students, 51 percent of Native American students, and 53 percent of all Hispanic students got a high school diploma in the same year. The study found that the problem was even worse for Black, Native American, and Hispanic young men at 43 percent, 47 percent, and 48 percent, respectively.

The graduation rates tell only half of this story. The other half is just how much did the students learn? When comparing only high school graduates those black and Hispanic students that do graduate score far lower on standardized tests of knowledge on average than white students that also graduate. So the picture is even grimmer than it first appears.

Asian ethnics do slightly better than whites.

By comparison, graduation rates for Whites and Asians are 75 and 77 percent nationally.

The use of the category "Asians" is unfortunate as it is a huge continent populated by a diverse assortment of peoples. Surely there are differences in graduation rates between, say, East Asians, Southeast Asians, and South Asians. But rarely is any effort made to compare them.

The success of Asians as a whole is still a very important point which is entirely ignored by the bulk of the press reports on this story. Why are they more successful? Given that Asians are more successful in school doesn't it make sense to adjust immigration policy to reduce Hispanic immigration in favor of Asian and white immigration?

Christopher Edley of Harvard blames Jim Crow for this problem.

"We will never dissolve the hegemony of Jim Crow segregation . . . unless we get serious about this problem," said Christopher Edley, co-director of the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, which joined the Urban Institute to write "Losing Our Future: How Minority Youth Are Being Left Behind by the Graduation Rate Crisis."

How can that be the explanation? The vast bulk of Hispanics came to this country after Jim Crow laws were repealed and settled in parts of the country that had no Jim Crow laws. Plus, the vast bulk of Hispanics are not even black. The "legacy of racism" explanation for why some ethnic groups do poorly in school is getting very old and tired.

In fact, liberal New York has the worst statewide black and Hispanic high school graduation rates.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York has the worst statewide graduation rates for black and Hispanic high school students in the nation, according to a report released Wednesday.

Edley does get one thing right: these results are frightening.

"It's frightening," said Christopher Edley, the co-director of the Harvard Civil Rights Project, who will become dean of the law school at the University of California, Berkeley, in July. "With graduation rates this low, one has to worry about the long-term growth and wealth of the nation."

The growth in the Hispanic population is going to translate into a growing population of high school drop-outs.

By the year 2030, the U.S. Bureau of the Census projections suggest that Latino students age 5 to 18 will number almost 16 million — 25 percent of the total school population.

That percentage will rise even higher in later decades.

Asians are a much higher percentage of science engineering workers than of the population as a whole.

Asians, although a small percentage of the population, are not considered underrepresented in science and engineering. Asians were 4 percent of the U.S. population in 1999 and 11 percent of the people employed in S&E occupations in that same year.

Asians are going to be too small a percentage of the total population for their higher performance in science and engineering to compensate for the lower academic achievement of Hispanics and blacks. The rate at which the size of this problem grows could be slowed if immigration policy was changed to only allow highly skilled immigrants to settle in the United States.

By Randall Parker    2004 February 26 01:51 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (34)
2004 February 19 Thursday
Current Year H1B Skilled Worker Visa Quota Already Filled

The current year allotment of H1-B visas have already been assigned 5 months into the fiscal year.

WASHINGTON - The federal government won't accept any more applications for a popular visa program that provides skilled foreign labor to U.S. companies, the office of Citizenship and Immigration Services said Tuesday.

Less than five months into the fiscal year there already are enough applications to fill all 65,000 slots for H1-B visas, said Chris Bentley, a spokesman for the agency, a division of the Homeland Security Department.

IT managers in search of cheap programming talent are unhappy.

Adrian Williams, an IT manager at a health-care firm, said Wednesday that his company sometimes hires foreign workers because they have more experience and are more affordable than even some recent college grads; these U.S. workers are sometimes willing to take lesser-paying jobs but take much longer to train.

Executives who hire foreign scientists claim this limit puts them at a competitive disadvantage.

Pulling up the welcome mat to foreign talent when corporate America is gearing up for a turnaround poses a threat to America's global competitiveness, Cheung and other executives said recently. They predicted that a shortage of H-1B visas would force them to pass over promising foreign-born scientists, leave crucial jobs unfilled or delay projects that require special talents that can't be found in this country.

Handing out visas in a first-come first-serve fashion starting at the beginning of each fiscal year is an inefficient way to allocate a scarce resource. I have two proposals for better ways to hand out skilled work visas:

Auction off the visas once a month with one twelfth of each year's visas sold every month. This accomplishes two goals at once. First, it causes more of the visas to be allocated to the most valued workers. Secondly, by doing the auctions continuously throughout the year it assures a continous supply of the most skilled workers to fill slots that come available during the year. A finer time granularity on skilled worker availability will increase market efficiencies of labor allocation. Currently the system allocates visas toward companies which just happen to have openings when the new allotment of slots for a year becomes available at the beginning of a fiscal year. But those users are not, on average, going to be the most productive users of the resource. Yearly quotas handed out all at once are inefficient at allocating resources.

Make fewer visas available at lower salary levels. Which workers are more valuable to the economy? Those who make more or those who make less? On average, more value is going to be generated by those who make more. So why hand out visas for programmers who make $35k per year when we could be handing them out to engineers or scientists who make $70k or $120k or more?

People who make more produce more on average. They pay more in taxes. They are more likely to be net benefits to the economy and less likely to generate costs for the rest of us in excess of the taxes and benefits they provide. A visa allocation system should be designed to optimize for allocation of work permits to workers who will generate the most in benefits and least in costs.

It may be possible to improve upon this scheme above in all sorts of ways. How to factor in the lower salary of a young scientist who is as yet unproven? We expect salaries to increase as a person proves himself. So we might conceivably have lower allowed salaries for younger workers. But we don't want companies to use a scheme of constantly bringing in low-paid workers for a few years and then shipping them back to get new low-paid ones. Such workers might be in occupations where the employer does not expect great growth in productivity as a result of experience. So how to protect against that? Make a company pay more for the visa if the salaries of its H1-B workers are never going up? Or make the visa cost more if the total amount of tax paid by the worker over the life of the visa is low?

The US should try to get the most talent possible from the limited number of H1-B visas, permanent residency visas, and citizenships it hands out to foreigners. How best to do that?

Update: One problem with a pure auction scheme is that some employers who simply want cheap labor will use an auction scheme to bring in large numbers of low-paid workers in some occupation where the gap in salaries between the US and other countries is the largest. A prospective employer would be willing to pay an auction price that is smaller than that gap. From the standpoint of the common good of all American citizens this is not the best reason to bring in immigrant labor. We should want laborers who will pay more in taxes, produce more in goods and services, innovate, and be law-abiding. An auction scheme ought to account for both cost and benefit forms of externalities. With that in mind here are some additional ideas:

  • For each dollar of federal income tax paid by an H1-B visa holder a few pennies should be refunded to the employer to partially repay the auction cost the employer paid to get the work permit. This would make employers favor workers who they expected to make more money since such workers would pay more taxes and pay back part of their permit costs. There should not be a full dollar-per-dollar deduction because the foreign worker is generating costs for the citizenry.
  • The employer should put up a cash deposit or insurance policy when the worker enters. If the work visa holder or a dependent of the visa holder is convicted of a felony in the United States then deposit should be forfeited to the government. This gives employers an incentive to hire people who seem like they are very law-abiding. A method of paying the costs with insurance would even create a market in which insurance companies would have an incentive to collect information on potential workers to determine risks.
  • If a worker becomes an illegal and remains in the country when the work visa expires then, again, some value of a bond or deposit would be forfeited to the government. This could work something like a bail bond and there could even be extradition bail bond agencies to hunt down and deport illegal overstayers.
  • A scientific citation ratings mechanism could be developed to rate the relative scientific value of potential workers. The relative values could be used as additions to academic scientist salaries to boost scientists up into salary categories that have more visas available.

Update II: Another advantage of a visa auction is it reduces the amount of subjective judgements of value made by government workers. Plus, it reduces uncertainty and opportunity cost caused by application time delays by compressing the amount of time it takes for an employer to get a work permit.

Update III: There is another problem with an auction system: Some potential employees can't be tested for their talent level without being employed for a while. Also, some occupations have a far greater amount of variability in productivity from one worker to the next. There is a narrower variation in productivity among truck drivers for example than among computer programmers or engineers. It is harder to judge in advance the level of productivity of workers in occupations that have larger variations in performance. If all visas are for an equal period of time then the companies bidding on them are going to tend to favor bidding for visas for job positions where productivity is more predictable in advance. A company that might want to try out an engineer for 6 months to find out if that engineer is a star or mediocre is going to tend to not want to pay for a work permit that lasts for, say, 6 years. Therefore there should be a market for permits that are extensible. In fact, an argument could be made for a market for, say, 50,000 6 month or 1 year permits where then a smaller market for, say, 35,000 5 year extension permits would be available at the end of the 6 months.Those companies that were most impressed by their workers would be willing to then bid more for the extensions.

By Randall Parker    2004 February 19 03:56 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (14)
2004 February 18 Wednesday
Sierra Club Election Battle Over Immigration Issue

Former Democratic Governor of Colorado Richard Lamm is on a slate of anti-immigration candidates that are running for positions on the board of directors of the Sierra Club. Lamm says the environment can not be protected from massive population growth.

Our natural American birth rate will lead to a stable population around 2050. But with the current level of immigration our population will be approximately 500 million on its way to a billion. I have yet to meet an American who wants one billion neighbors. What possible public policy advantage would there be to an America of 500 million? Do we lack for people? Do we have too much open space, parkland and recreation? What will 500 million Americans mean to our environment?

We have a chance to stabilize America’s population or we can double it and double it again: The key driver is immigration. If we continue with our present policy of mass immigration (America takes twice as many immigrants as the rest of the world combined) we will continue to grow and grow and grow. The geometry is relentless.

Opponents of Lamm's faction claim immigration is not a proper issue for the Sierra Club to take on.

But to Sierra Club members like McGinn, the immigration-reduction stance being advocated by what he calls "outside " candidates is part of a misguided insurgency as insidious as any noxious weed.

"Everything gets related back to the environment in one way or another, but that does not make it an environmental issue," said McGinn, 44, the de facto local spokesman for Groundswell Sierra, which says its mission is to "save" the 112-year-old Sierra Club.

But if something hurts the environment why is it not an environmental issue?

Sierra Club activists in a group called Support US Population Stabilization (SUSPS) support candidates for the Sierra Cluib board who will change Sierra Club policy back toward opposition to immigration and advocacy of population stabilization. SUSPS states its polices on its main web page:

SUSPS® is a network of Sierra Club activists who support a comprehensive approach to environmentalism within the Sierra Club. This approach includes effective action for population stabilization in the United States. Currently Sierra Club policies call for stabilizing U.S. population but do not address the combined impacts of mass migration and birth rates on U.S. population growth.

...

Immigration into the U.S. averaged a near replacement level of 178,000 per year from 1925 through 1965. In 1965 Congress increased legal immigration approximately 6-fold through the Immigration and Nationality Act. After subsequent legislation further increasing yearly legal immigration, the U.S. now takes in a million legal immigrants and an estimated 700,000 illegal immigrants each year. This high level of migration will be responsible for nearly 70% of U.S. population doubling during this century.

Environmentalists need not apologize for acknowledging this demographic reality. To the contrary, environmentalists who refuse to recognize the seismic shift of demographics in the U.S. betray their own cause. Only by confronting birth rates and mass migration as the root causes of U.S. population growth will we be able to ensure sustainability for future generations - of all species.

Another website which advocates for the anti-immgration Sierra Club board candidates is SierraDemocracy.org.

One advocate for reduced immigration who is already on the Sierra Club board says the immigration opponents are being unfairly accused.

"It's a democratic process. To accuse these candidates of taking over the Sierra Club is like accusing the Democrats of taking over the White House," said board member Paul Watson, who co-founded Greenpeace and now heads the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

As Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee goes thru the math about population growth in California and shows that immigration is the major driver of population growth.

This is what typically happens in California every year:

As 300,000 foreign immigrants - legal and illegal - arrive in California, another 500,000-plus babies are born (60 percent of them to immigrant mothers, incidentally), and 200,000 or so Californians die. The state's net population growth is 600,000.

Adding 600,000 new souls a year translates into 6 million each decade.

Walters discusses the battle for control of the Sierra Club position on immigration and concludes:

It's a microcosm of California's reluctance to seriously debate growth in its most fundamental terms even as we cope with its massive impacts.

I do not want to see the population of California double. That is one of the reasons why I am for the stop of all illegal immigration, deportation of all illegal immigrants, and much greater selectivity for who can come in as legal immigrants. I hope Richard Lamm and his allies win the Sierra Club board election.

By Randall Parker    2004 February 18 02:24 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (8)
2004 February 07 Saturday
Thinking About Bush's Less Than Half-Baked Worker Permit Proposal

George W. Bush's proposal for foreign temporary worker work permits has angered many conservatives for good reason. What follows is an examination of some salient characteristics and motivations of present and future illegal aliens, the ways the illegals differ (on average) from the much larger set of people who, under Bush's proposal, would seek to come in on legal temporary work permits. Also, the employers of illegal aliens and the potential employers of the proposed temporary workers are compared to highlight how they differ in their characteristics and motivations. This examination demonstrates why the implementation of Bush's proposal would not stop the on-going influx of illegal aliens or cause the expulsion of illegals who are already in the United States. Bush's proposal does not solve any problems related to immigration and instead makes America's existing immigration problems even worse. To summarize my argument:

  • The factors that separate out current illegals from those who are currently unwilling or unable to come to work in the US illegally will continue to cause current illegals to behave differently from those who would come under legal temporary work permits.
  • Work permits will effectively expand the potential pool of foreign labor by orders of magnitude. The willingness to work for lower wages will give foreigners a competitive advantage over Americans for existing jobs.
  • Many and probably most work permit jobs would go to people who are not now illegals and who would never become illegals in the absence of Bush's temporary work permit program. This will leave many existing illegals still looking for illegal work.
  • Much of the work currently done by illegals will continue to be done by illegals as long as illegals can get into and stay in the United States. Even if Bush's proposal is enacted some employers will still have economic motives to use illegals.
  • Many who would come as legals under the Bush plan would turn into illegals once their work permit expires.
  • Many jobs not now taken by foreigners will be taken by foreigners once foreign temporary workers can be hired legally in much greater numbers.

The Bush Administration's temporary worker permit program is being presented as an alternative to the current large wave of illegal immigration and to the presence of millions of illegal aliens in our midst. What follows is an argument for why the opposite is the case. A temporary or guest worker program will not prevent illegal aliens from crossing the border. It will not eliminate the incentive for millions to cross the border. It will not eliminate many incentives for employers to hire illegals.

Think about it from the perspective of a potential illegal alien and think about the reasons why a potential illegal immigrant may still opt to enter illegally in the face of a US federal temporary worker permit system.

  • Many who are willing to come to the US illegally will find it easier to come and search for a job than to find advertisements for legal temporary jobs for foreigners. A job offer from an American employer approved by the US government has to have a way to come to the attention of the potential foreign worker. If the job is advertised on the internet (as the Bush Administration has suggested) what is the likelihood that a Mexican with only a grade school education (typical immigrant from Mexico btw) is going to have the resources to find it? If it is advertised in a newspaper what are the odds it will be in a newspaper that the prospective illegal reads?
  • Not all jobs approved by the US government for advertisement to foreigners will be good matches for typical illegals. The prospective illegal has to be a good match for the job approved by the US government. The US government will not approve foreign temporary worker permits for every single job that current and illegals illegals fill. At the same time, the government will inevitably approve foreign temps for higher skilled jobs that typical illegals (who are far less educated and skilled) are not qualified to do.
  • Some illegals will be disqualified from a temporary worker permit by their own record. Some current and future illegals have criminal records or other factors in their past that will disqualify them for a temporary work permit in the United States.
  • The temporary nature of the work permit will be a disincentive for some who come illegally. If a person comes in on a temporary work visa the US government will probably take pictures, fingerprints, and other information for permanent records useful for identifying that person in the future. If someone wants to come and work in the US for many more years the advantage of never showing up in the legal system is that the government doesn't know the person exists to even try for deportation in the first place. In the minds of some illegals it may make sense to never show up in the system or to show up with a fake American citizen identity.
  • Many illegals do not trust governments and avoid them instinctively. Most come from countries that have corrupt governments after all. Some will shun government contact entirely unless the benefit of doing so is expected to be permanent residency.
  • An illegal can leave a job more easily than a legal temp worker. If a temp worker permit is for a particular employer then the permit that provides legal work status ties that employee to that employer. The illegal has greater freedom to quit a job than a foreign legal temp worker. A temporary work permit for a particular job effectively makes a temporary worker into a serf with two legal choices: either serve that one employer regardless of the employer's demands or go back to their home country. Some illegals are going to decide to continue to be illegal rather than become a serf.

The people who are now willing to cross over borders to illegally enter the United States would, under the Bush Administration proposal, be faced with competition from workers who are currently unwilling or unable to cross borders illegally to seek jobs in the United States. With a legal program to bring in temporary workers the applications would flood in from Argentina, Chile, India, Bangladesh, China, and many other countries. Hundreds of millions of people would compete for the jobs. Think about it from the perspective of someone who is reluctant to attempt illegal entry into the United States or who simply lacks the resources to make it into the United States illegally. Here are some factors that make some people far more likely than others to illegally enter into the United States:

  • Propinquity. The people who are most likely to become illegals are living close to the United States. They are already living in Mexico or some other country fairly close to the US. Hence it is easy for them to try illegal entry than those in more distant contries.
  • Willingness to take risks. One must be willing to brave the dangers of an illegal border crossing and other risks inherent to a life as an illegal. Not all the people in other countries are willing to do so.
  • Willingness to break laws. Not every person in a less developed country is willing to violate US law to enter the United States illegally.
  • Stamina. Crossing an isolated desert border area illegally on foot and navigating the other challenges of illegal alien life is a deterrent to many.
  • Connections in the United States. Anyone who already knows people working here legally or illegally who will help them out has a destination to shoot for, a friend who knows prospective employers at the destination, and perhaps even a place to live, a source of cash loans or of gifts to finance the trip.
  • A familiar subcultural environment within the United States. Even someone who has no connections in the US will have an easier time of living here illegally if that person can move into an area where there is a large number of people from that person's originating culture who speak the same language.
  • Money. It costs to travel to the US border. Once there human smugglers get paid to move people across the border. Then there is an additional cost to travel to the final destination.

Under Bush's worker permit program all of these factors will become less of an obstacle to make it into the United States for the far greater number of people who are not illegal aliens and who are not going to try to make it into the United States as illegal aliens. For instance, a person who has a work permit to come work in the US for 3 years may be offered financial assistance by their future employer to pay relocation fees. Also, the dangers which require daring and stamina are eliminated with legal entry. Many who would be intimidated by the idea of breaking the law and coming in illegally will be willing to come legally. Therefore if a temporary worker permit program is enacted the people who currently are willing to come as illegal aliens will face orders of magnitude more competition than they face currently from the more distant, less daring, less energetic, less connected, poorer, and more law-abiding. As a consequence the current illegals will fail to get most of the legal worker permit jobs as most of those jobs will go to those who are unwilling or unable to come as illegals.

If a temporary worker permit program is enacted will there still be work for those who continue to enter the United States illegally? Think about it from the perspective of a potential or actual employer of illegal immigrants. Even if a temporary worker program is enacted there are a number of reasons to expect that much work will still be available for illegals:

  • Immediacy of the need. An employer who suddenly wants an employee tomorrow or next week will want to hire someone who is already local.
  • Short term nature of work. Many employers of illegal workers hire them for only a short time for a day or week or month on jobs to work on a construction site or other temporary work site.
  • Ability of employers to size up and interview prospective employees. Does anyone seriously think that employers are going to fly potential $6 per hour manual laborers into the US for a temporary visit for a job interview?
  • Certainty on the part of an employer that a person can be hired. Not all current employers of illegal immigrants will manage to convince the government that they need to hire someone from another country with a temporary worker permit. Why go through the uncertainty of trying to hire someone if there is an illegal nearby willing to work for cheap without complaint?
  • Unscrupulous employers want cheap exploitable low-tax pliable workers. Employers know they can get a cheaper and more pliable workforce if the workers are afraid of going to the authorities. Illegals help with tax avoidance too since the illegal will be a willing uncomplaining participant in the untaxed under-the-table economy.
  • No employer to do the hiring. Some jobs done by illegal aliens in the United States amount to self emloyment providing services. There is no legal US resident employer to even apply to hire people to do those jobs. Gardeners and other workers work by the task and many have a long list of customers and regular repeat customers. These people are their own bosses and therefore these jobs will therefore not be covered by a worker permit system.

A temporary work permit program will be a path to eventual illegal status. Many of the obstacles and deterrents for someone becoming an illegal alien in the United States are encountered in the initial step of trying to come here. What a work permit will do is to lower all those initial obstacles and allow someone to enter, work, save up money, make contacts, and learn how to live in America. At the end of the proposed 3 year work period a person whose permit is about to run out will be able to look for an illegal job far more easily than if that person had set out from another country to enter the United States and find an illegal job from the start. The danger of border crossing, the fear of the unknown, and many other obstacles are either reduced or eliminated for those who initially enter legally. How can the US government hope to deport these proposed temporary workers at the end of their 3 year temporary work period when the US government can not or will not even deport known illegals at the end of prison terms and illegals who are ordered by courts to leave the country?

A temporary work permit program will be widely used by employers who will not now use illegals. Just as there is a larger number of non-Americans who will not work in the United States illegally who will do so if it is legal there is a larger number of American employers who will hire foreign workers legally than will do so illegally. Make something legal and more people will do it than will be the case if it is not legal. The law is respected more by most people than it is by the advocates of allowing illegals to stay in the United States. The employers, once they are allowed to hire legally from abroad in much larger numbers, will have a big incentive to go for legalized foreign labor because it is cheaper: most countries have lower market prices for labor than the United States does and so most people in other countries are willing to work for wages that are lower than what Americans will accept. It is all about the Benjamins. Employers are going to go for foreign labor if that labor is cheaper to the employers.

The fallacy underlying the justification for bringing in millions of foreign laborers for low skilled jobs is that there is a labor shortage for some types of jobs. But markets do not have shortages. Markets simply have prices at which supply and demand for various types of jobs will match up and equal. In areas of the United States where few illegals have reached the trash still gets collected and people still work as dishwashers, fast food cookers, sewer workers, and other jobs which the advocates of mass immigration falsely claim that Americans will not do. A smaller supply of less skilled workers will cause the price of their labor to rise and companies and individuals will respond by developing and using techniques and equipment that reduce the need for human labor. The market will not only adjust but it will grow as companies speed up their rate of development of labor-saving innovations.

Another fundamental objection to a guest worker program is that there seems little point to bringing in large numbers of workers when there is no intention to keep them permanently. If they are talented enough in the first place (and most of our illegal and even many of our legal immigrants have few skills and little education; also see here). In this regard the German experience with temporary workers is a cautionary tale of many of its pitfalls.

People familiar with the German experience say there are lessons for all concerned. Kangal, in addition to recommending that workers learn the language earlier than he did, said the host country should enter the arrangement with open eyes.

If a country needing cheap labor hires another country's least-qualified workers, it will get poorly educated and unsophisticated people ill-equipped to learn the language and assimilate.

Though he is a Turk and experiences prejudice "every day," he also said it was not primarily Turkey's elite that had come to Germany. "In some ways," he said, "the prejudice is not wrong."

The Bush faux immigration reform proposal does not solve the shortcomings of current lax immigration law enforcement and the resulting crime and disrespect for the law that these shortcomings engender. It is possible to enforce immigration law but interest groups have managed to ensure that immigration law enforcement is undermined.

Bush's proposal does not attempt to slow the growth of the Recipient Class whose members receive more in benefits than they pay in taxes. As a result, the benefits that employers receive from employing cheap foreign labor comes with costs that the rest of the taxpayers have to pay. Current immigration policy is increasing the supply of grade school and high school drop-outs over five times more than all more educated people combined. The defenders of Bush's proposal ignore all this evidence and just attack the character of those who criticise this state of affairs. The only reason the US is not in even more trouble from our current policy and its foolish defenders is that unlike with Europe most of our immigrants are not Muslims.

Outside of the Bush Administration and outside of Washington DC there are many proposals being made for practical and effective ways to regain control of our borders and immigration. One proposal would be to build a barrier fence or wall on the entire US border with Mexico. Such a fence would cost $7 billion if built in the manner of the Israel-West Bank barrier which would be far less than what US taxpayers pay for medical care for illegal aliens in a single year. Another proposal from Tyler Cowen would raise the quality of people accepted as immigrants. More immigration reform proposals can be read here and here and here and here.

Update: Tyler Cowen reacts to this post on Volokh Conspiracy as does Arnold Kling on his EconLog blog.

By Randall Parker    2004 February 07 10:56 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (8)
2004 January 26 Monday
Bush Immigration Amnesty Proposal Sparking Rush For Border

Mexicans who believe the Bush Administration is going to offer an illegal alien amnesty are rushing to cross the border in order to qualify.

WASHINGTON – More than half the people accused of using phony documents to sneak through the San Ysidro port of entry in recent days said they were trying to get into the United States because of President Bush's proposal to give temporary legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.

Of 162 people stopped for using phony documents at San Ysidro since Bush announced his plan on Jan. 7, 94 said they were trying to enter because of the proposed new work program, according to sources present at a Wednesday meeting of a border-security working group in San Diego.

Border Patrol agents are very angry about George W. Bush's proposal.

Border Patrol Agent Bud Tuffly, who has patrolled the desert in Arizona for nearly 20 years, recalled the surge of illegal immigrants who crossed the border in advance of Congress' landmark 1986 amnesty.

"We saw the numbers skyrocket and all this naturally encourages them to come across," said Tuffly, a union representative in Tucson, Ariz. "You have to do your job. It's very demoralizing to do your job. We have rocks thrown at us daily. We had a guy from Yuma who died. Why?"

Charles Showalter of the National Immigration and Naturalization Service Council says the Bush Administration proposal would be a huge burden on the already overburdened Border Patrol.

The anticipated deluge of would-be temporary workers and their families would affect legal ports of entry, prompting a need for more inspectors, he added.

"This won't be just a temporary spike in workload," said Showalter, whose group represents 18,000 employees of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, including 5,600 border inspectors. "It's going to clobber the system."

All those temporary workers whose work permits expired would have to be rounded up for deportation. But the US government is not serious about rounding up existing illegals. So the importation of millions more workers on work permits would just increase the ranks of the illegals as the work permits expired.

Bottom line about this latest proposal: George W. Bush is not proposing to round up and deport all the illegals currently here to make slots available for the workers who would come under a worker permit system. So Bush's proposal is just a legal pipeline to increase the flow of low-skilled foreigners into the United States to drive wages and living conditions of all Americans lower.

The last amnesty increased the flow of illegals into the United States.

The federal government's offer of amnesty to nearly 3 million illegal immigrants in 1986 — almost a third of them in Southern California — was intended largely to reduce immigration. But even by conservative estimates, the number of illegal immigrants has doubled since then, while the overall population of the nation has increased about 20%. Agents say they have no reason to believe the results will be any different this time.

The amnestied workers were able to serve as a support network for new illegals. Plus, each time there is an amnesty the incentive to come to the US to be here for a future amnesty increases as foreigners come to expect additional amnesties.

The Bush Administration is trying to silence Border Patrol agents so that the agents do not complain to the press about Bush's proposal.

The Bush administration's proposal to offer amnesty to illegal immigrant workers has prompted federal officials to instruct border patrol agents not to disclose information that might reflect poorly on the idea, a government document shows.

Meanwhile, U.S. border patrol agents have been told to ask a series of questions when they capture illegal immigrants, including whether the immigrants have heard of President George W. Bush's proposal.

The Bush Administration would like very much to be able to shut up Border Patrol agents and take away their use of their right to free speech to criticise their political masters on the issue of immigration (and I can't believe that I'm beginning to sound like the paranoics who rail against John Ashcroft). The National Border Patrol Council of the American Federation of Government Employees which is a part of the AFL-CIO union organization has set up a NoAmnesty.com web site where they describe their opposition to the Bush proposal. But they start out describing how their very right to do so is threatened:

The National Border Patrol Council is the labor organization that represents all 10,000 non-supervisory U.S. Border Patrol employees. Under current civil service law, its representatives are free to speak openly about matters of public concern, including illegal immigration. However, this freedom could be severely restrained or even extinguished under the Homeland Security Act, which granted broad authority to high-level bureaucrats to set up new personnel rules for all employees within the new Department. Should this occur, the public will lose the most authoritative and honest voice on immigration issues – that of the dedicated men and women who enforce our Nation’s immigration laws 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

On January 7, 2004, President George Bush outlined his proposals for immigration law reform. The National Border Patrol Council finds his proposal to be a slap in the face to each and every man and woman who has ever worn the Border Patrol uniform. Border Patrol Agents risk their lives on a daily basis protecting the citizens of the United States, and many have lost their lives doing so. The President has apparently decided that cheap labor and votes outweigh obedience to laws and the sacrifices of dedicated law enforcement officers.

Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies describes how all the elites in Washington are in favor of sabotage of immigration law enforcement.

This lack of political commitment to the work of a particular government agency is nothing new. When Republicans are in power, agencies they would like to get rid of but can't, like the Labor Department, tend to be denied resources and political support in order to inhibit their ability to function. Likewise, Democratic administrations, whether or not they actually "loathe the military," still accord it low priority, leading to erosion in pay and readiness. Hobbling the military is, of course, a much bigger deal than hobbling the Labor Department, but the impulse is the same.

What's unique about the immigration bureaucracy is that no one in the political elite wants it to work properly, so it remains underfunded and unappreciated, regardless of the party in power.

Do not believe the lies that are made that immigration law is unenforceable or that the southern border can not be protected against illegal crossings. The reason so many illegal aliens are in the United States is that a succession of presidents and Congresses have bowed to the will of various interest groups to sabotage immigration law enforcement. There are many ways that immigration law could be enforced if the political will existed to do so. For starters, local police could be authorized to take illegal aliens into custody for rapid deportation. Also, a barrier fence on the border with Mexico is an affordable option. Immigration is creating an ever growing Recipient Class who receive more in benefits than they pay in taxes.

By Randall Parker    2004 January 26 03:43 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (9)
2004 January 05 Monday
African Immigrants Paid $2 Per Hour To Deliver Groceries

Increase supply and prices will fall.

Over the past three years, five contractors in Florida have been convicted of enslaving farm workers.

Phillip Martin, a professor of agricultural economics at the University of California at Davis, said using contractors gives employers the ability to deny knowledge that people working for them were illegal immigrants or were not paid overtime. "Increasingly the purpose of contractors is to be risk absorbers," he said.

A contractor working for a Manhattan grocery chain was accused of using this rationale to try to justify paying just $2 an hour to African immigrants who delivered groceries. The federal minimum is $5.15.

If US borders were open to all immigrants then supply of labor would drive the price down so far that the federal minimum wage would be too high and the result would be massive unemployment. Increase the supply of something and its price will drop. Labor is not immune to this effect. The African immigrants were still making far more than most Africans can make in Africa and so their willingness to work for such a low wage should not be too surprising.

By Randall Parker    2004 January 05 10:44 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2003 December 21 Sunday
European Governments Press North Africans To Limit Illegal Immigration

European countries bordering on the Mediterranean want North African countries to take steps to slow the flow of illegal immigrants into Europe.

The leaders of 10 west Mediterranean countries, including France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, are holding an informal and unprecedented summit in Tunisia to discuss immigration, the U.S.-led war on terror and closer economic ties.

...

"Fortress Europe wants North Africa to keep its citizens at home as well as preventing the region from becoming a transit point," a French diplomat said.

It is hard to imagine the current crop of politicians in Washington DC pressing Mexico and other Latin American countries to take steps to reduce the flow of illegal immigrants to the US.

By Randall Parker    2003 December 21 04:16 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (3)
Human Smugglers And Kidnappers Engage In Gunfights

The US government's unwillingness to properly police and enforce immigration laws on American borders is leading to increasing crime and a wave of murder and rape.

PHOENIX -- Moving with the cunning and cruelty of modern-day pirates, gangs of kidnappers are swooping down on Arizona highways, attacking smugglers transporting undocumented immigrants and stealing their human cargo.

The kidnappers stash the immigrants in hundreds of drop houses scattered around the city, using violence and threats to extort money from their relatives.

Now smugglers are fighting back, shooting it out with kidnappers on sidewalks and freeways in broad daylight.

...

The new wave of violence has made this the deadliest year in Phoenix history with 247 homicides, edging out the previous high of 245 in 2001. Police say 60 percent of the city's crime is related to smuggling and kidnapping. "It's impacted the whole quality of life here," said police spokesman Sgt. Randy Force.

The kidnappers rape kidnapped girls while their families listen over the phone. These kidnappers are beasts.

In the face of an obvious need to stop the inflow of illegal immigrants and to deport the illegal aliens that are already here what does the US government's Department of Homeland Security propose to do about it? Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge proposes an amnesty for illegal aliens.

In what may be a break from the status quo since Sept. 11, 2001, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said last week he favored granting legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, a move immigrant advocates welcomed and critics said would undermine the law and national security.

"The bottom line is, as a country, we have to come to grips with the presence of 8 to 12 million illegals, afford them some kind of legal status some way," Ridge said at a town hall meeting in Miami last week.

We can come to grips with the presence of illegal aliens by deporting them. It is not impossible to round up the bulk of the illegal aliens and deport them. But the politicians in Washington DC are putting business interests, ethinc group activists, and other interests ahead of those of the bulk of American citizens. If the United States government would only make a serious effort to deport illegal aliens then most illegal aliens would deport themselves in advance of being forcefully deported. Also, a fence barrier along the border with Mexico is a feasible solution for greatly reducing the flow of illegal aliens into the United States. See my previous post: One Year Of Illegal Alien Health Care Costs Would Pay For Border Barrier

Update: John Jay Ray points to a column by Michelle Malkin where Malkin reports on continued efforts by the US federal government to sabotage immigration law enforcement.

From homeland security personnel, I continue to hear open-borders horror stories. A Border Patrol agent who works along the northern border reports that federal immigration judges in his area are subverting the deportation process by refusing to issue arrest warrants for illegal alien absconders (fugitives who have been ordered deported but never showed up for their hearings). A special agent notes that San Diego supervisors continue to discourage interior immigration enforcement near the southern border. And countless rank-and-file immigration enforcement officers have written to express disgust at Washington's bipartisan talk of "amnesty" for millions of immigration law-breakers whose presence makes a mockery of homeland defense.

Why can't anything be done to put a stop to the flow of millions of illegal aliens into the United States? Is it because it is impossible to stop illegal immigration? No! Again, the problem is that the top politicians in Washington DC want the current high level of immigration, both legal and illegal.

By Randall Parker    2003 December 21 03:17 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2003 December 17 Wednesday
US Homeland Security Dept Wants To Include Illegal Aliens In FBI Database

United State Department of Homeland Security officials want to include 140,000 deported illegal aliens in an FBI database for criminals.

Homeland security officials want to add tens of thousands of illegal immigrants and foreign students to an FBI database designed primarily to help police apprehend wanted criminals, allowing them to instantly identify foreign nationals who have been deported or have violated student visas.

The proposal -- part of a broad push by the Bush administration to more closely monitor foreign nationals since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- is raising concerns among some civil liberties advocates and law enforcement groups that fear it will bring police heavily into the business of apprehending immigration violators who have committed no serious crimes. In some cases, they said, that could violate state rules that prohibit police from enforcing federal immigration laws.

Being in the United States illegally is against the law. Immigration law is not some special category of the law that is not meant to be enforced. It is a proper function of the federal government to enforce immigration law and it is a proper function of local and state governments to enforce federal laws as well.

The state level is a political battlefield where immigration reduction and reform advocates could make some serious headway. At the national level the politicians are a hopeless case and most are opposed to the majority's desire to see more vigorous enforcement of immigration law and a reduction of immigration. But the state ballot initiative process is available in nearly half the states. Immigration reform groups ought to come up with ballot language to change state laws to require local and state police to detain illegal aliens for deportation. A ballot initiative that combined that proposal with other legal changes (e.g. outlaw the acceptance of the matricula consular as identification and the outlawing of driver's licenses for illegal aliens) would probably pass in many states.

By Randall Parker    2003 December 17 12:19 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (3)
2003 December 11 Thursday
UCLA Chicano Studies Academic Calls For Voting Rights For Non-Citizens

Consider this as nature's way of trying to tell American citizens that illegal aliens ought to be deported en masse.

A new study by UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center recommends increasing public debate about whether noncitizens in California should vote and developing a consensus for a constitutional amendment that would permit noncitizens to vote in local elections.

According to study author and UCLA law lecturer Joaquin Avila, a de facto political apartheid will exist in California if steps are not taken to include more than 4.6 million non‑citizen adults in the voting process.

"The new census data shows that many communities in California have significant Latino non-citizen populations who do not have the right to vote," said Avila, a voting rights expert and former president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. "The continued political exclusion of this non-citizen population will have negative repercussions on community grass-roots efforts to promote a more inclusive and cohesive society."

In California, noncitizens make up nearly 19 percent of the adult population, or more than 4.6 million adults, according to the study. Three million of these noncitizens are Latinos.

In 12 cities, noncitizens make up the majority of adults. These cities include Santa Ana, Bell Gardens and San Joaquin in Fresno County. In Los Angeles, which is the largest city in the state, non-citizen adults comprise about one-third of the population.

All pronouncements that illegal immigration is unstoppable are false. A wall could be built along the entire stretch of the US-Mexico border to stop the influx of illegal aliens. Local police could be ordered to arrest and hold for deportation all illegal aliens that they encounter. Numerous other policies could be adopted to make it difficult for illegal aliens to reach and stay in the United States. The alternative is a less cohesive, higher tax, higher crime, and higher poverty society that crowds out citizens who can no longer afford to live in California.

By Randall Parker    2003 December 11 11:20 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (7)
2003 November 25 Tuesday
38 Percent Of Ph.D. Scientists In United States Are Foreign-Born

A substantial portion of the brightest scientific and technical talent in America come from abroad.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Science Board (NSB) today released a report on the U.S. science and engineering (S&E) workforce following a three-year study, saying that new figures on the proportion of foreign-born workers in science and technology occupations make it crucial for the government to "act now" to meet future needs in science, engineering and technology fields.

NSB members briefing media at the National Press Club said that a sampling from 2000 census figures indicates a larger than previously known percentage of degree-holding, foreign-born professionals working in the United States in science and engineering occupations. The NSB presenters also revealed a downturn in the number of H1-B visas issued to foreign-born workers in science and technology.

According to the National Science Foundation's (NSF) figures derived from the 1990 census estimates of foreign-born workers in 1999 holding bachelor's degrees represented 11 percent of the total population in S&E-classified occupations. Foreign-born individuals with master's degrees held 19 percent of the S&E occupations held by master's recipients overall. Foreign-born Ph.D.s represented 29 percent of those positions.

The 2000 census figures, however, allowed for the first time a sampling that takes into account foreign workers holding degrees obtained in countries outside the United States. When factored in, the estimated proportions of foreign-born workers in S&E occupations in 1999 rose between six and 10 percent per category. Foreign-born workers with bachelor's degrees actually represented 17 percent of the total in S&E positions held by people with bachelor's degrees. The foreign-born proportion went up to 29 percent among those with master's degrees, and 38 percent among doctorate holders. NSF analysts point out that during the 1990s, there was a large influx of foreign-born scientists and engineers across most fields.

NSB members also reported that from 2001 to 2002, H-1B visas for foreign workers in science, engineering and technology-related fields declined sharply from about 166,000 to around 74,000.

The NSB began its review of the workforce in October 2000, even then recognizing that global competition for S&E talent was intensifying while the number of native-born graduates entering the S&E workforce was declining, a trend likely to continue, it said. The newest figures confirm the need for national-level action to ensure the nation's capacity in these critical fields in the face of an increasingly competitive global market, said members today.

"These trends provide policymakers with the unusual challenge in the coming years of producing enough talent from pools of both U.S. and foreign-educated professionals to fill the important and growing numbers of positions we expect in critical fields," said Warren M. Washington, NSB chair. Washington led the Press Club discussion on the board's new report, The Science and Engineering Workforce – Realizing America's Potential. Appearing with him were three members of the task force on national S&E workforce policies who led the study, Joseph A. Miller, an executive with Corning, Inc., George M. Langford, a research scientist, and Diana Natalicio, president of the University of Texas - El Paso. National Science Foundation director Rita R. Colwell was also on hand for the presentation.

In the longer term as living standards rise and opportunities increase for highly skilled engineers and scienists in such countries as China and India it will become more difficult for the US to recruit the best and the brightest. Eastern Europe's living standards will also likely rise and it is possible that the European Union might decide to fund a lot more science research and, by doing so, decrease the incentive for scientists in European countries to move to the United States. Also, companies that can distribute work around the world will have fewer incentives to try to bring highly skilled scientists and engineers to the United States to work. The ability of the United States to brain-drain the rest of the world looks like it may decline in coming decades.

By Randall Parker    2003 November 25 12:59 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (2)
2003 November 07 Friday
Munich Jewish Leader Confused About Religion And Totalitarianism

Charlotte Knobloch is very confused.

In Germany, the number of Jewish immigrants, mainly from Eastern Europe, has tripled in the last 10 years, corresponding to a backlash against anti-Semitism, Charlotte Knobloch, leader of Munich's Jewish community, told the gathering.

Referring to the debate over Europe's new constitution, Knobloch called reference to God ``essential to avoid the rebirth of totalitarian regimes.''

Ms. Knobloch is looking backward toward the 20th century when totalitarian regimes were almost all atheistic and hostile toward religions. The totalitarian impulse of today flows mostly from religious fundamentalists who see God as their source of legitimacy to justify harsh totalitarian rule. Did reference to God inspire the Taliban to make Afghanistan a tolerant free place? No, of course not. The opposite is the case.

Secular ideologies have no monopoly on causing repressive political systems.

Ms. Knobloch would do better to pay attention to Mark Steyn and worry less about constitutions and more about demographics.

Given the rate of Islamic immigration to Europe, those anti-Israeli numbers are heading in only one direction. At present demographic rates, by 2020 the majority of children in Holland — i.e., the population under 18 — will be Muslim. What do you figure that 74 per cent will be up to by then? Eighty-five per cent? Ninety-six per cent? If Americans think it’s difficult getting the Continentals on side now, wait another decade. In that sense, the Israelis are the canaries in the coalmine.

Oh come on Mark, tell us what you really think:

Europe is dying. As I’ve pointed out here before, it can’t square rising welfare costs, a collapsed birthrate and a manpower dependent on the world’s least skilled, least assimilable immigrants.

Suggestion to Dutch Jews: Time to move.

Suggestion to Mark Steyn and to all Americans: Start paying attention to our own dismal demographics of massive unskilled immigration and plunging reproduction of the most sharp and educated. Austin Minnesota is our future.

By Randall Parker    2003 November 07 03:07 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2003 October 21 Tuesday
Derb: Third Party Anti-Illegal Immigration Candidate In 2004?

John Derbyshire says that if a well-funded third party candidate runs in 2004 for the Presidency on a strong platform to control the borders and enforce immigration law he would get at least 20 million votes.

Here is my prediction. Should a candidate come up saying these things, or anything close to them, and should that candidate's campaign not be derailed by the machinations of his opponents or the media, or by some gross blunder of his own, he will get at least 20 million votes next November — more than Ross Perot got in 1992.

Such a candidate would probably take more votes from the Republicans than from the Democrats. But that is by no means a certainty. Many lower income people who don't like competing against lots of low skilled immigrants. The lower income people are experiencing declining wages due to immigrant competition and therefore the low income citizens who might otherwise vote for the Democrats would be tempted to vote for such a candidate.

It is a myth that it is impossible to enforce immigration laws. A large barrier on the border with Mexico would probably cut illegal immigration by about half. Instead of enforcing immigration law our elites want another amnesty. Derb is quite right in pointing out that on the issue of immigration the elites are ignoring the will of the people. Therefore a populist voting booth revolt is possible given a suitable third party candidate. If that revolt cost the Republicans the White House it would be a lesson that would be well worth it for the national Republican leaders to learn the hard way.

By Randall Parker    2003 October 21 03:54 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2003 October 10 Friday
Mark Krikorian Says Immigration Not Electoral Third Rail Issue

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, says that Arnold Schwarzenegger's victory proves that taking a position critical of illegal immigration does not harm a Republican candidate seeking office.

The very first issue that arose when Arnold entered the race was his past support for Prop. 187 — which he did not back away from. Even worse, the demonic Pete Wilson was cochairman of Arnold's campaign, and most of Arnold's staff were former Wilson people. Also, Arnold immediately denounced the new law granting driver's licenses to illegal aliens, signed by Gov. Davis in a desperate attempt to shore up Hispanic support. And to top it off, Arnold's main opponent to succeed Davis was a well-known Hispanic Democrat who had taken the lead in opposing Prop. 187.

There was obviously a lot more going on in this election than immigration, but if the bipartisan consensus had been correct about illegal immigration being radioactive for Republicans, Arnold could not have won. And yet, not only did he win, but he and the other major candidate who had something critical to say about illegal immigration — State Sen. Tom McClintock — got a combined total of 62 percent of the vote.

While it seems unlikely he will do so, if Schwarzenegger was to pursue the use of state and local law enforcement personnel to round up and deport illegal aliens he could make a substantial impact on the size of the California state budget deficit. Illegal immigrants who work at low wage jobs, pay little in taxes, but who use more social services and generate other costs for state and local government cost the taxpayers of California billions of dollars per year more than they pay in taxes. Their deportation would help balance the budget.

By Randall Parker    2003 October 10 08:40 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2003 August 20 Wednesday
Bridgeton New Jersey Has Many Hit And Run Accidents Due To Illegals

Business interests that lobby to block the deportation of illegal immigration bear some of the responsibility for the problems in Bridgeton New Jersey.

Since Jan. 1, the city has seen 235 traffic accidents, 139 of them hit-and-runs. That rate is more than three times that of Newark, the state's largest city. Nearly all the hit-and-runs, police say, appear to involve Mexican migrants who flee largely out of fear they will be arrested or deported.

...

With an official population of 22,771 and an undocumented population estimated at 6,000 to 10,000, this sleepy city struggles with many of the social problems associated with illegal immigration, such as overcrowded housing and hospitals trying to care for uninsured patients.

George W. Bush doesn't care because he wants to appeal to Hispanics in order to get reelected.

By Randall Parker    2003 August 20 12:07 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (4)
Bush Favors Kolbe-McCain-Flake Immigant Worker Visa Bill

As part of their continuing campaign to get around the opposition to a general illegal immigrant amnesty George W. Bush and his allies are shifting toward supporting legalization of illegals via a temporary worker visa program.

"The president was enthusiastic about the bill," said Kolbe. "He is supportive and told us to take the legislation up with his staff."

The controversial guest-worker proposal would allow millions of foreigners — including illegal immigrants already in the United States — to live and work here with temporary visas.

This is a steath amnesty program. Illegals will be able to be legals and therefore eligible for more benefits and more due process legal rights. They will be able to have children here who are automatically citizens at birth. They will be able to start down the road to more permanent residency rights from a position of being legals rather than illegals.

Another consequence is that more illegals will come in. When someone can work here legally that person then has a larger choice in jobs with employers who will not hire illegals. Those employers who will hire illegals will then go looking for replacements for the now legal workers who move on to more desireable jobs. Therefore a new wave of illegals will find job openings available to them that were opened up by legalized workers who move on to other jobs.

Update: I get seriously annoyed when I read statements based on fallacies about economics:

The proposal recognizes that 6 million to 10 million undocumented workers in this country are, in Kolbe's words, "performing invaluable services to all of us."

How about a reality check?

  • People who are paid low wages are doing something that the market considers to be of low economic value. Invaluable? If a good or service has a high economic value and it is difficult to get it done then its price will rise until someone will do it.
  • Prices do not always embody total costs. For instance, production of a good or service can result in harmful pollution whose cost does not show up as part of the price of the good. Such external costs are present with immigrant labor when, for instance, the immigrants get government-funded health care, welfare payments, or education for their kids that far exceeds what they pay in taxes.
  • Before the massive wave of illegal immigrants basic services got done. The trash was collected. Houses were built. There were restaurants and laundromats. Some of the prices for those services were higher. But the prices more accurately represented total costs.
  • Immigrants are political actors as well as economic actors. As a group that does more poorly economically grows as a percentage of the total population it is inevitable that that group will vote for more goods and services for itself. Immigrants are already much bigger users of welfare than natives.
  • Higher prices for labor are an incentive for companies to develop and buy capital equipment to automate processes. Therefore, cheap low-skilled immigrant labor is a disincentive for innovation and modernization of physical plant.

Our political leaders short-sighted and pursuing their own re-election interests at the expense of the longer term interests of the commonwealth.

Update II: Here's an example of external costs that do not show up in the price of illegal alien labor:

Emergency medical care for the undocumented cost nearly $1 billion last year by one federal estimate. They received 30 percent of Medicaid payments and 31 percent of welfare payments, often because their children were born here, and are therefore American citizens.

Note the Owellian newsspeak by the reporter above with her use of the term "undocumented" workers rather than illegal aliens.

Update III: Steve Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies outlines the some of the economic costs of immigration to Californians.

Camarota's data showed that the average taxes paid by Mexican immigrants in California amount to about $1,535 per year, while native-born Californians pay $5,600 in taxes.

While Mexican immigrants pay one-third the taxes of native Californians on average, they also consume roughly three times more welfare, Camarota said.

Employers benefit. But the rest of society pays.

By Randall Parker    2003 August 20 11:55 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (7)
Middle Easterners Smuggled Into US Thru Mexico

In a wide ranging interview about immigration US House Representative Tom Tancredo (R CO) says it costs $30,000 for Middle Easterners to get smuggled into the US thru Mexico.

Q: The U.S.-Mexican border remains a danger point as far as international terrorism is concerned, does it not?

A: That's undeniably true. There are terror cells in Mexico. We have identified terrorists who have come into the United States through Mexico.

In Arizona, there's a road just north of the city of Douglas called the "Arab road." They charge $30,000 to smuggle Arabs or Middle Easterners into the United States and $1,150 to $1,500 for a Mexican peasant.

Q: What is the government doing to stop this problem?

A: Little that I am aware of. We certainly are not doing everything possible to protect us. As long as the president and the Democrats stay silent on this issue, who's going to bring it up?

We can tell by watching the prices that smugglers charge whether the US government will ever start trying harder to stop the entry of illegal immigrants. Given the willingness of the national Republican Party to try to appeal to the Hispanic voters by allowing in more illegals and making it easier for illegals to function in the US the best hope for a substantial change in US immigration policy probably comes from the state level. Those states that have state level ballot referendums could have their policies toward illegals changed by citizen ballot initiatives. The matricula consular could be outlawed. Also, state and local police forces could be authorized and ordered to round up illegals for deportation. As the two border states that have referendum processes Arizona and California could have referendums for state funding of the construction of a wall on the Mexican border.

By Randall Parker    2003 August 20 10:32 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2003 August 15 Friday
Lowry: Schwarzenegger Should Run On Immigration Control

Rich Lowry argues that Arnold should fight on the issue of immigration in his campaign for governor of California.

The state's health-care crisis is largely driven by immigrants. There are roughly 7 million people in California without health insurance. About 4 million of them are immigrants or the young children of immigrants.

Half of all welfare usage in the state is from immigrant households, and 32 percent of all illegal-immigrant households receive benefits from at least one welfare program. The average welfare payment -- just counting the four major welfare programs -- to illegal-immigrant households is $1,400 a year.

Half of all kids in the public-school system are from immigrant families, a dramatic increase in the number of kids in schools without a corresponding increase in the tax base. About half of immigrants are too poor to pay any income taxes.

While Proposition 187 to cut off state government spending on illegal aliens passed with over 60% of the vote Governor Gray Davis successfully colluded with Hispanic leaders to gut its implementation. Lowry and others are arguing that Ah-nold should run on a platform to implement it and to employ state police and other law enforcement officials to apply US immigration law to cut back on illegal immigrants. Deporting large numbers of illegal immigrants and keeping more from coming to California would go a long way toward reducing the state budget crisis.

This call from Rich Lowry comes at a time of increasing support on the Right for a dramatic reduction in current levels of immigration. In a Hudson Institute review of Victor Davis Hanson's Mexifornia: A State of Becoming John Fonte discusses the larger trends in the debate on immigration on the US political Right.

One reason for this enthusiasm is that the book has arrived at just the right time. Conservatives are having "second thoughts" on immigration and assimilation policies. During the 1970s and 1980s, when there was broad support for relatively open immigration among conservatives, it was assumed that assimilation into the American mainstream would take care itself. With the publication of a seminal article ("Time to Rethink Immigration") in National Review in June 1992, by a free-market journalist and Forbes contributor named Peter Brimelow, opposition to mass immigration started to build on the right. Under the editorship of John O’Sullivan, National Review was at the center of this first-wave debate that faded in the late ’90s.

During the same period, however, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, it was becoming increasingly clear to many thoughtful conservatives that traditional assimilation was not working. Slowly and almost imperceptibly, leading conservative intellectuals and activists began having "second thoughts" about our de facto mass immigration policy. The events of 9/11 further strengthened the rethinking.

Today, this "second thoughts" group would include, in varying degrees, Californians such as Ward Connerly, Thomas Sowell, and former leftists David Horowitz and Peter Collier (Collier urged Hanson to write this manuscript in the first place for Encounter Books, his publishing house; City Journal writers such as Myron Magnet and Heather MacDonald; First Things editor Fr. Richard John Neuhaus; American Enterprise editor Karl Zinsmeister; Hudson Institute President Herb London; Nixon Center President Dimitri Simes and center scholar Robert Leiken; academics including Walter McDougall, James Kurth, Fred Lynch, and Samuel Huntington; National Association of Scholars stalwarts such as Carol Iannone, Glynn Custred, Thomas Wood, Gilbert T. Sewall, and Eugene Genovese; journalist Michele Malkin (whose new book on immigration and national security, Invasion, is a best seller); the National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru; Claremont Institute scholars Ken Masugi and Tom West; neoconservative professor Fred Siegal; and, since 9/11, the prominent scholar of Islam and presidential appointee, Daniel Pipes. Even the venerable libertarian thinker Milton Friedman has noted that mass immigration and the welfare state don’t mix.

For more on Hanson's book see my previous post Victor Davis Hanson Against Massive Immigration From Mexico

Update: But if it turns out that Arnie says things that make it sound like he will wimp out on immigration remember that Joe Guzzardi is running.

Update II: The editors of Human Events say Proposition 187 to cut welfare spending to illegal aliens should be resurrected.

With the removal of Davis, Prop 187 should be resurrected. The proposition is not only right, it is also indispensable to saving California from financial ruin. In April, for example, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) determined that its un-reimbursed cost for providing non-emergency health care to illegal aliens is now running $340 million per year. That means it will account for more than the aggregate $993 million deficit the DHS is expected to run over the next three years. In 1999, the Rand Corporation calculated that native-born California taxpayers pay an additional $1,200 in state and local taxes each year to subsidize services for immigrants.

As a bonus, Prop 187 is still popular. Despite the demagogic race-baiting campaign to thwart it, evidence suggests that support for Prop 187 has grown. In June 1999, the Los Angeles Times conducted a massive poll of 1,179 registered California voters. Sixty percent said they supported Prop 187, only 35% said they opposed it.

Even more effective would be to build a wall on the entire border of Mexico and then authorize local and state police to arrest and deport illegal aliens. If the illegal aliens were not in the US they would not be able to demand medical treatment and other social welfare benefits.

Update III: David Horowitz makes the case for illegal immigrants as large contributors to California's budget crisis.

The second event is the impending bankruptcy of the state's finances. Illegal immigration is a significant component of this problem, which liberals don’t like to discuss. As a result of the judicial scuttling of Prop 187, big-ticket items like education, health-care and welfare are still available to anyone crossing the border, whether he crosses legally or not. The costs of this generosity to aliens who are here illegally amounts to billions of dollars every year in addition to unpaid taxes which are estimated at $7 billion dollars annually, i.e., almost 20 percent of the budget deficit.

By Randall Parker    2003 August 15 03:12 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2003 August 13 Wednesday
Australian Prime Minister Howard Opposes Low Skill Immigration

Conservative Australian Prime Minister John Howard opposes large scale immigration of unskilled immigrants.

Howard has never shown enthusiasm for the more radical notion of building a new Australian culture based on diversity. Thus his concern expressed at various times over the rapid change in the country's ethnic mix that resulted from an immigration policy based around family reunion. His Government's immigration policy, while increasing numbers over recent years, has dramatically shifted the emphasis away from family reunion to a more controllable skill-needs basis.

George Bush has a very different approach on these issues. Like many in the Republican party, Bush is an aggressive exponent of ethnic diversity and high and continuing immigration levels. (The US takes in more than one million legal migrants a year, with no requirement to read, write or speak English.)

A neo-conservative, Bush is regarded in US immigration circles as a "radical" on the subject - certainly for a president.

It is hard to detect any difference between George W. Bush and liberal Democrats on immigration. The liberal attitude toward immigration can be seen most clearly in their attitude toward illegals. Some liberal publications now routinely refer to illegal immigrants as "undocumented workers" rather than as illegal aliens. In their Orwellian-speak these people are not here illegally and they are not from another country. A recent Washington Post story has a title "Schwarzenegger Opposed Immigrant Services" which neatly illustrates this liberal bias. The text of the article reveals that what Arnie was opposed to was government social spending in illegal aliens. But the article title makes no distinction. Now the Democrats are clamoring to make make a campaign issue about the audacity of anyone who would dare oppose forcing the taxpayer to pay for medical care and other services for illegal aliens. The illegals who try to get government services ought to be deported. They are breaking the law by being here. They cost more to the government than they pay in taxes. They drive down the wages of citizens. They therefore actually cause the poorest citizens to have less money and to therefore be in more need of government services themselves.

By Randall Parker    2003 August 13 04:27 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (3)
2003 August 08 Friday
Mickey Kaus Comes Out For Reduction In Immigration

First, Kaus points out that the Republican Party has entirely caved on immigration.

3) Republicans, after a temprorary post-9/11 retreat, are once again proposing measures that would, among other things, retroactively legalize yet another wave of illegal immigrants, providing an obvious incentive for the next wave. ... As 3) suggests, the Republican party, eager to win Hispanic votes, is no longer reliably speaking up for those who are worried about the immigrant influx.

Kaus says that Elton Gallegly could run for governor on a platform to build a wall to cut off illegal immigration from Mexico. Then Kaus seems to come out for a reduction in the current rate of illegal immigration:

[Do you agree with the border control cause?-ed. We have to have some limits 1) to help raise wages of low-skilled U.S. citizens; 2) to help prevent California from becoming a Quebec (with France next door); 3) to support social equality, which seems hard to achieve in an open-borders world of educated, well-paid elites and slums of dirt-poor unskilled laborers.]

I think the anti-immigration forces need to give up on the Republican Party. The Republican politicians are in full pander mode for Hispanic votes and do not care what the majority of the US public thinks about immigration. It is time to start using state-level voter initiatives. State initiatives on building a wall between the US and Mexico could be done for all the border states that have an initiative mechanism in their state constitutions. California and Arizona both have provisions for state-level ballot initiatives. Therefore an intiative to build a wall on the California and Arizona borders with Mexico could be done at the state level. Also, state-level initiatives could be used to legalize and order the use of state and local police to round up illegal aliens.

By Randall Parker    2003 August 08 05:18 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (2)
2003 August 05 Tuesday
Anthony Browne On The Immigration Debate In Britain

The immigration debate is growing more intense in Britain.

Labour, in its self-righteous arrogance, performed this remarkable U-turn confident that no one would break the taboo. When I started writing in the Times about the economic and demographic consequences of mass immigration, Blunkett denounced me by name in Parliament as ‘bordering on fascism’. I was contacted by Sir Andrew Green, the former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who had just set up a lobby-group, Migration Watch UK, to curb immigration, and wrote a profile of his new group. Ever since, Blunkett has been denouncing it as ‘right-wing’ and ‘tin-pot’, despite the fact that its advisory council consists of former ambassadors, former heads of the government’s immigration service, several professors, a Sri Lankan law lecturer and a Sudanese businessman.

The trouble for the government is that while promoting mass immigration might make people feel cosmopolitan and modern, and calling critics racist may make people feel virtuous, few of the consequences of mass immigration have been thought through. The long immigration silence has meant that all negative consequences of migration have been suppressed, and only the positive aspects talked about. If you blind yourself to all negative consequences of a complex policy, you are bound to conclude that it is a thoroughly good thing and want as much of it as possible. Civil servants sat with ministers discussing all the good things about immigration without anyone daring to think any of the bad things, and they concluded that the borders should be pushed wide open.

Britain's debate on immigration is similar to the debate in the US in some respects. Opponents of high rates of immigration are labelled racist, extreme, heartless, and so on. Negative consequences are denied or minimized. The government institutes policies that lead to increased levels of immigration while most of the populace are unenthusiastic or opposed.

Browne discusses a number of fallacies and negative consequences of large scale immigration.

By Randall Parker    2003 August 05 11:47 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2003 August 02 Saturday
Foreign Workers Increasingly Brought In To Replace American Workers

The Mercedes plant in Vance Alabama is using imported Polish workers working on B1 visas as a cheaper source of labor to install painting equipment.

Eisenmann has done work for Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp., but used local labor. The difference this time: The company says new technology requires specialized workers from Transsystem and Gregorec, which helped develop the process for assembling the paint system.

The Polish men themselves and union leaders like Donaldson and Karczynski, who have seen their work, say it is not specialized and could be done by Americans.

"I paint, I cut," a Polish worker said. "I do everything an assembler has to do."

An industry insider also said installing paint shops is not complicated.

The employers of Nantucket Massachusetts use H2B visas to bring workers up from the Caribbean to do work that formerly provided jobs for college students.

The face of Nantucket's summer workforce gradually shifted starting in the late 1980s. No more do Ivy League college students bus tables or check in guests at the downtown inns. Middle-aged immigrants, imported from Jamaica and El Salvador, have stepped into those jobs - their complexions highlighting the disparity between the island's haves and have-nots.

The employers offer the standard argument that American workers just don't have the work ethic and how the foreigners work harder. But it is all about cost. Foreign workers from poor countries will work for less. There are now also 200 year-around workers in Nantucket from El Salvador.

L1 visas are also being used to replace American workers with cheaper foreign workers.

Whereas H1-B visas allow US companies to hire foreign workers specifically for job openings, L-1 visas are meant for intra-company transfers and are valid for a maximum of seven years.

Although there are legitimate reasons behind a company transferring a foreign employee to the US, critics say the programme is being abused as a cheap way to replace American workers.

A company sets up shop in the US and in another country such as India, hires a bunch of programmers in India, and then ships them to the US on H1B visas. Then it contracts out the programmers to US companies at lower hourly rates than American citizens can earn.

Being born an American citizen to American citizen parents means less and less.

Update: US House Representative Tom Tancredo (R CO) says the US has a cheap labor policy.

Insight: The U.S. economy is in a slump and Americans by the millions are out of work, yet the wholesale replacement of our workers by immigrants is under way. What gives?

Rep. Thomas Tancredo: We have a cheap-labor policy. This government has determined that part of its economic policy is to undermine the value of American jobs. We have record-high unemployment rates. We have a stagnating economy. Yet this administration refuses to take any action to reduce the number of immigrants who are coming into the country [illegally], removing Americans from their jobs and replacing them with cheap labor.

Perhaps it should be codified. Any area of the country that has its poverty level drop below some legislated level should have its employers become eligible for a large allotment of low skilled immigrant worker permits. The number of permits should be increased until the poverty rate is raised up at least to the legislated level.

By Randall Parker    2003 August 02 02:48 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (3)
2003 July 31 Thursday
Group Lobbies For Illegal Alien College Financial Aid

Illegal aliens want financial aid to attend college.

But an Uptown-based community group is hoping to change that. The Organization of the NorthEast is lobbying a handful of local private universities to do more to help illegal students attend their campuses.

Emboldened by the passage of a recent law allowing illegal, longtime Illinois residents who graduate from state high schools to pay in-state tuition, they say there is nothing stopping schools like Northwestern from providing their own funds to help the students. Under current law, the students are ineligible for federal or state aid.

Isn't it amazing that the state government of Illinois allows illegal aliens to pay in-state tuition at government-operated universities when the people who benefit from that are breaking the law just by being in the United States in the first place?

By Randall Parker    2003 July 31 08:38 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (115)
Guatemalan Illegal Aliens Getting Mexican Matricula Consular Cards

A recent sting operation that caught a bunch of illegal aliens working at the US Air Force Academy turned up Guatemalans using the identification card that Mexican consulates in the US issue to Mexicans.

U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., said the Air Force Academy sting has raised new questions about the identification cards - better known as matricula consular - issued by Mexican consulates.

According to Tancredo, of those arrested, nine were Guatemalan women and five were carrying false matricula consular cards identifying them as Mexicans from the state of Chiapas.

The only purpose of the matricula consular cards is to allow illegal aliens to function more easily in the United States. The Mexican consulates make little effort to confirm the identities of people who apply to them to receive these ID cards. People have been found who have multiple matricula consular cards and now it is clear that some of the recipients aren't even Mexicans. A law ought to be passed requiring law enforcement personnel to arrest anyone who can only produce a matricula consular ID to hold them for deportation.

Update: While a number of local jurisdictions and businesses are deciding to accept the matricula consular cards some in Congress are introducing legislative changes to restrict their use.

Earlier this month, Gallegly co-sponsored an amendment to a foreign operations bill that would heavily restrict the use of the cards. It would require foreign governments to reveal to U.S. authorities the names and addresses of all people receiving the card. The amendment passed on a 226-198 vote.

As a strict enforcement mechanism, the amendment requires the U.S. State Department to stop issuing visas to visitors and immigrants from countries that refuse to abide by the new regulations.

Keep in mind that legal immigrants have no need for the card. Those who have the card ought to be rounded up and deported.

Also see my previous post FBI Official Says Matricula Consular Card Is Security Threat.

By Randall Parker    2003 July 31 08:08 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (18)
2003 July 15 Tuesday
South Korea Has More Illegal Than Legal Foreign Workers

South Korea has 4 times more illegal than legal foreign residents.

There are some 361,00 foreign workers in the country. Of those, only 72,000 or 19.9 percent have legal status, while 289,000 or 80.1 percent are undocumented migrant workers.

South Korea has a total population of 48 million and so this makes illegal alien workers 0.6% of the total population.

In the fall of 2002 the Center for Immigration Studies says there were 8 million illegals in the US in 2000.

The findings indicate that during the 1990s the illegal population grew by roughly half a million a year. We know this because a draft report given to the House immigration subcommittee by the INS estimated that the illegal population was 3.5 million in 1990 (on line at http://wwwa.house.gov/lamarsmith/INSreport.pdf , see page 16). For the illegal population to have reached 8 million by 2000, the net increase had to be 400,000 to 500,000 per year during the 1990s. Moreover, a net increase of this size implies that the total flow of new illegals entering each year must be more than 700,000, because the INS estimates that several hundred thousand illegals return home each year or receive legal status as part of the normal "legal" immigration process.

Given the rate of increase there are probably 9 million in the US now. The CIA estimates the US population at around 280 million people. Therefore illegals are 3.2% of the US population. However, South Korea is granting few legal residency permits (let alone citizenship) to its illegals whereas the US does that. Also, in the US babies born to illegals are legal. Whereas in South Korea this is not the case (unless I'm very wrong) and it is unlikely that the foreign illegal worker population in South Korea has non-working family members with them.

Another difference between South Korea and the US is that in the US most immigrants currently have legal status.

Immigrants account for 11.5 percent of the total population, the highest percentage in 70 years. If current trends continue, by the end of this decade the immigrant share of the total population will surpass the all time high of 14.8 percent reached in 1890.

Keep in mind that a substantial fraction of those currently legal in the US were originally illegal. Also, the vast bulk of South Korea's legal foreign residents are never going to be granted South Korean citizenship.

By Randall Parker    2003 July 15 12:10 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (75)
2003 July 03 Thursday
Mexico Losing US Export Market To China

Nicole Gelinas has written an excellent article about the squeeze on Mexico from competition from China and the Mexican political system's failure to adopt needed economic reforms.

China has also beaten Mexico in manufacturing markets. China continues to gain ground in the mid-skilled telecom equipment-making industry, having increased its share of that market from 12 percent in 1999 to 17 percent last year while Mexico has stagnated, according Berges. At this rate, China will soon surpass Mexico as the world's second-largest exporter of goods to the U.S.

So how can Mexico save itself? Mexico excels in manufacturing and exporting products that require close proximity to the U.S. market, like autos and other heavy equipment. But Mexico risks losing these jobs to China as well if it cannot improve its domestic investment environment.

Faced with unreliable monopoly power providers, ever shifting tax and regulatory laws at the state and local level, and assorted other obstacles to doing business in Mexico a lot of American companies are picking up and leaving for China. NAFTA opened the US market to Mexico but NAFTA can not fix what is wrong with Mexico internally. Only the Mexican government can do that and so far it has chosen not to.

Gelinas says that the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) is using its control of both houses of the Mexican legislature to block economic reforms sought by Mexican President Vicente Fox and his party PAN (National Action Party with the word order flipped around in Spanish). She adds "At best, Fox's fixation on free migration to the U.S. is a distraction.". Yes, no kidding. The solutions to Mexico's economic problems lie in Mexico, not in Mexican workers abandoning Mexico for the US.

Imagine what the effects would be if the US adopted a very hard line toward immigration from Mexico. Suppose the US started building a wall to close off the border (total cost of only about $3.4 billion dollars) and started to round up and deport the millions of illegal aliens currently living in the US. The shock of the closing of the emigration escape valve on the Mexican political system would shatter the status quo thinking that maintains the current political deadlock over economic reform. The forces that stand against the modernization of Mexico might well feel so much pressure that they'd cave in and stop blocking obvious needed reforms.

The US, by accepting continuing waves of legal and illegal immigration from Mexico, is acting rather like an enabler in a relationship with a substance abuser. The Mexican government needs to break up and sell off government-owned businesses, to lift government-granted monopolies, and do all the classic things involved with modernizing an economy to introduce more free market forces and predictability to the legal environment.

By Randall Parker    2003 July 03 02:39 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2003 June 30 Monday
Victor Davis Hanson Against Massive Immigration From Mexico

Victor Davis Hanson emphatically wants an end to illegal immigration. (my emphases added)

Simply peruse the Mexico City newspapers, read what Mr. Fox says to non-Americans, or listen carefully to la Raza (a blatantly racist term analogous to the old German concept of a pure Volk) dogma in the southwest. Papers in Mexico often mirror those in the Arab world — blaming the United States for Mexico City's own failure to address self-created pathologies. If we truly wished to help Mexico and its people, then we would not be complicit in the present corrupt status quo by allowing its ruling families to export millions of potential dissidents and would-be reformers.

It is not a moral thing for either Mexico or us to barter in human capital, as we accept tens of thousands of poor economic refugees who work at menial jobs that we say we cannot do. Both the race industry on the left and the corporate right must accept that they are on the wrong side of history, and it is time to return to the sanity of measured, documented, and legal immigration — jettisoning the charade of consular IDs, billions lost in unfunded entitlements, and everything from driver's licenses to in-state tuition discounts for those who are here illegally. Rwanda, the Balkans, and separatist Muslim communities in southern France should remind us all of the wages of ethnic separatism, chauvinism, illegal immigration, and the creation of a second-class citizenry relegated to menial work.

Hanson has come out with a new book entitled Mexifornia: A State of Becoming. A good article adapted from it is entitled The Universe of the Illegal Alien.

Chewey Escobar, now 38, whom I met when he was looking for work at 15, at last has noticed that all the people in the American Southwest who do the least sought-after work are, like himself, Mexicans — whether washing windows, making beds at the hotel, hauling trash, or picking lettuce. Why is this so? Chewey has a vague idea that the absence of education, degrees, contacts, perfect English, and years (if not centuries) of family roots in America can mean that you blow leaves while some pink person in slippers and bathrobe sips coffee and watches you from a glass-enclosed solarium by the pool.

Someone like Chewey cannot help but think something like: "I work, she does not. I sweat and lift and pick, and they sit and talk." Envy, it turns out, is a powerful new force in the life of the alien — especially when so often he is not mixing with America’s middling classes, but hired as a gardener, nanny, or unskilled laborer by our more affluent. That I tell him there are millions of poor whites who far outnumber impoverished Mexican-Americans makes no impression; it is the contrast — Mexican help, white helped — that he is obsessed with.

I am surprised but pleased to find such a well known conservative commentator and classical scholar in the ranks of those who think the United States is in need of drastic reform of immigration policy and greatly improved border control.

Update: Trent Telenko has an excellent post about Hanson's book with more extensive excerpts on WindsOfChange.net entitled "Mexifornia" and the Opening of the Immigration Debate.

For my own previous posts on immigration see the Immigration and Border Control archive.

Update II: Hanson has an earlier article in The City Journal on immigration entitled Do We Want Mexifornia.

Nor is there agreement on the economic effects of the influx. Liberal economists swear that legal immigrants to America bring in $25 billion in net revenue annually. More skeptical statisticians using different models conclude that aliens cost the United States over $40 billion a year, and that here in California each illegal immigrant will take $50,000 in services from the state beyond what he will contribute in taxes during his lifetime. Other studies suggest that the average California household must contribute at least $1,200 each year to subsidize the deficit between what immigrants cost in services and pay in taxes.

The irony, of course, is that the present immigration crisis was not what any Californian had anticipated. Along with the cheap labor that the tax-conscious Right wanted, it got thousands of unassimilated others, who eventually flooded into the state’s near-bankrupt entitlement industry and filled its newly built prisons: California is $12 billion in the red this year and nearly one-quarter of its inmates are aliens from Mexico (while nearly a third of all drug-trafficking arrests involve illegal aliens). The pro-labor Left found that the industrious new arrivals whom it championed eroded the wages of its own domestic low-wage constituencies—the Labor Department attributes 50 percent of real wage declines to the influx of cheap immigrant labor.

He is wrong that no Californian anticipated this. He just wasn't listening to us malcontents many years ago. He also unfortunately perpetuates a common economic fallacy:

We know what caused the tidal waves of immigration of the last three decades. While Mexico’s economy has been in a state of chronic collapse, California has needed workers of a certain type—muscular, uneducated, and industrious—to cut our lawns, harvest fruit, cook and serve meals, baby-sit kids, build homes, clean offices, and make beds in motels and nursing homes.

Let us be clear on this: The economy did not need more labor than was already available before illegal immigrants flooded in. Markets work to match up supply and demand. Labor markets are no different. Had there been less illegal immigration then people would have purchased less manual labor at higher prices and shifted their consumption patterns to use more equipment in place of labor. They would have changed their lifestyles in countless ways (e.g. plant lawns that needed less maintenance, lived closer to other family members to get child care from family members or teamed up with friends with children to share the watching of children back and forth) to reduce their need for cheap manual labor. There is no absolute level of need for labor that necessitated the importation of large numbers of low-skilled grade school and high school drop-outs.

The argument that the US economy needed large numbers of manual laborers runs up against a really basic fact: If the economy pays little for a job then that is a sign that the job does not create much economic value. How can a job that generates little economic value be necessary for the economy? To argue that the illegals created large amounts of economic value one would have to argue that the economy has some built-in inefficiency that causes it to undervalue what manual laborers do. This seems highly unlikely. It defies common sense. Highly skilled workers command much higher salaries because they can produce more. Picture a society in which everyone was unskilled. Who'd design cars, houses, bridges, factory robots, new plastics, drug compounds, and countless other items of value? Mental skills that allow people to do design and discovery of new products and to discover applications for potential or existing products are much more highly valued because people who have such skills can produce much greater value than unskilled manual laborers.

In a recent interview Hanson describes some of the cost-shifting between those who use illegal immigrant labor and those who end up paying for it.

We live in an Orwellian state, where liberal Silicon Valley executives pick up day workers on El Camino Real in Atherton, drive them home for a few hours of trench work, and then dump them off on the street at 5 P.M., as if they are going to parachute back to Oaxaca — or conservative hoteliers, farmers, and contractors who employ for 30 years hardworking illegal aliens until their bodies give out at 50, then expect the state to provide with entitlements what the employer could not with retirement plans, lament the absence of a "work ethic" among the aliens' children — all as a preliminary to welcoming another cohort, as the tragic traffic in human capital continues in some sort of surreal life cycle.

Everyone who lives in America generates costs to everyone else. One can show up at a hospital emergency ward and demand medical care. One can get in an acccident and cause others injury, death, and loss of property. One can pollute the air or water. One can show up at a public school with kids that one wants to be educated. In all of these and many more ways we generate costs. The question is for each of us can we afford the kinds of costs we generate or will the society have to pay? An immigration policy that imports additional people every day who will, on average, generate more costs than revenues is a dumb immigration policy.

By Randall Parker    2003 June 30 07:56 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (17)
2003 June 25 Wednesday
Senate, White House Divided On Medicaid Funding For Immigrants

An amendment in the US Senate version of the current Medicare bill seeks to extend federal funding of federal Medicaid and State Child Health Insurance Program spending to encompass legal immigrants.

Now the issue is before the Senate again, sooner than expected. The same provision was included in the Medicare bill. Its cost to the federal government over 10 years is estimated at about $2.2 billion, and it eventually would aid about 170,000 children and 110,000 pregnant women each year.

The Bush Administration is opposing this amendment because it claims this should not be included in a bill on Medicare. It is not clear that the Bush Administration will oppose the amendment if it is placed in a welfare bill instead. Currently many states already provide funding to legal alien residents using state tax money.

About 20 states and the District use their own money to cover costs for pregnant women and children who are legal aliens.

The much higher rate of lack of medical insurance among Hispanics combined with their growing portion of the population has been forcing a rapid growth in the Medicaid budgets of many states even as Medicaid benefits have been cut for both citizens and aliens alike. In some states it is likely that a sizeable portion of those immigrants who are being treated using state funding are not even legal immigrants. Local agencies and clinics either do not check whether the aliens are legally here or the aliens present false documentation to prove that they are legal immigrants.

By Randall Parker    2003 June 25 06:45 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2003 June 20 Friday
Steve Sailer Checks Out Border Hawk UAV

Steve Sailer visited a ranch near Palominas, Arizona where the volunteer group American Border Patrol are testing out a prototype Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) they plan to use to track illegal aliens entering the United States from Mexico.

His plan, he noted, is to narrowcast live coverage nightly over the AmericanBorderPatrol.com Web site, using low-light and thermal imaging cameras, of what he carefully calls "suspected border intruders." However, he intends to only report their global positioning satellite coordinates to the Department of Homeland Security to prevent vigilantes and other hotheads from beating the government agents to them.

Spencer claimed his goals are two-fold: to help the DHS's Border Patrol do a better job, and to make vivid to the public the extent of the illegal immigration problem in order to build political pressure for stronger enforcement of immigration laws.

American Border Patrol uses a number of other technologies to detect illegal aliens crossing the border.

Once they're out in the field, they deploy mobile microwave and satellite links and military motion sensors. They communicate with each other using Rino GPS-equipped radios.

Robert Bonner, commissioner of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, told a House of Representatives panel yesterday that it makes sense to conduct a pilot program using unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones.

Tom Ridge, Cabinet Secretary for the Homeland Security Department, says the US government will be operating at least one drone on the border by the end of the year. But so far the government has not made moves to purchase UAVs to patrol the border.

Despite Ridge's statement that drones might be in use before year's end, the government has taken no steps to purchase any, according to Mario Villareal, a spokesman for the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection.

Even if every illegal alien could be identified using a large number of UAVs there'd probably still be a need for a larger number of Border Patrol agents to go around and round them all up. Still, UAVs could enable exsitng agents to use their time much more productively.

By Randall Parker    2003 June 20 03:00 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (5)
2003 June 16 Monday
Mexican Consulate To Help Illegals Get US Medical Care

The Mexican consulates in Los Angeles and San Diego are opening offices that help both legal and illegal Mexican immigrants to the United States get medical treatment in the United States.

The San Diego-based consulate today will open its first ventanilla de salud, Spanish for health window. The office will target low-income Latino immigrants who have little to no access to affordable health care.

The consulate is going to help illegal immigrants get access to clinics and hospitals. Anyone want to guess who will pay for this help? Hint: the immigrants are too poor to pay for it and the Mexican government is not going to foot the bill.

By Randall Parker    2003 June 16 01:57 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (2)
2003 June 13 Friday
Steve Sailer Reports From The Arizona-Mexico Border

Steve Sailer has been touring the border region between the United States and Mexico and has written a lengthy article on what he saw. Arizona is being hit hard by illegal immigration because of successes in making it more difficult to come in via California and Texas.

Paradoxically, Arizona's recent inundation of undocumented immigrants is the result of the Border Patrol's relative successes in California and Texas in the 1990s. The favorite route of illegal immigrants used to be along the cool Pacific Ocean. This turned San Diego's southern suburbs such as Imperial Beach, where the Border Patrol once caught 2,000 illegal crossers in one 24-hour period, into no man's lands.

Homeowners repeatedly protested the theft, vandalism, physical danger and psychological violation caused by the masses of desperate men pouring through their backyards every night. So, the government built several big walls along the California-Mexico border.

The United States could cut off the bulk of illegal immigration across the border from Mexico for about $3.4 billion dollars. A big reduction in illegal immigration would save us a lot more than that in decreased social spending.

By Randall Parker    2003 June 13 03:19 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2003 May 08 Thursday
UK Parliament Group Calls For Decrease In Asylum Seekers

An all-party group of UK Parliamentarians has issued a report arguing that Great Britain must reduce the influx of asylum seekers or face social unrest and the rise of extremist parties.

"If allowed to continue unchecked, it could overwhelm the capacity of the receiving countries to cope, leading inevitably to social unrest. It could also, and there are signs this may already be happening, lead to a growing political backlash, which will in turn lead to the election of extremist parties with extremist solutions," the MPs conclude. The report by Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative MPs gives the strongest warning yet of the danger of not tackling the controversial asylum issue, and follows the unprecedented election of 16 British National party councillors in last week's local elections.

Yes, if a problem gets bad enough and the major parties refuse to deal with it new parties will rise up and gain increasing portions of the vote. Such parties are often the targets of morally indignant criticism from the mainstream media and establishment politicians ("the Nazis came to power thru elections, blah, blah, blah"). However, they serve the very useful purpose of forcing mainstream parties to address problems that the public at large wants to solve that the elites, for various reasons, would just as soon ignore.

Officially 110,700 people arrived in Great Britain in 2002 seeking asylum. This represents a huge growth in numbers.

The report says the increase in the number of asylum seekers in the UK - from 4,223 in 1982 to 110,700 in 2002 - is "unacceptable".

In addition there are probably a bunch of illegals who didn't even report their presence though such people seem to attract less attention from the British media. The British government has made some rather tepid moves to cut down on asylum seekers but as long as they continue to deport so few of those who make it to Britain the problem looks set to grow larger.

By Randall Parker    2003 May 08 02:19 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2003 April 29 Tuesday
US Supreme Court Rules Convicted Aliens Can Be Held Till Deportation

Convicted aliens who are to be deported after serving criminal sentences can be held in prison after their sentences expire while waiting for deportation proceedings to complete.

he Supreme Court today upheld a seven-year-old federal law that says aliens, including permanent residents, who have committed certain crimes must be detained while the federal government decides whether to deport them.

From the text of majority opinion in DEMORE, DISTRICT DIRECTOR, SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT OF IMMIGRATION AND NATURALI-ZATION SERVICE, et al. v. KIM.

In contrast, because the statutory provision at issue in this case governs detention of deportable criminal aliens pending their removal proceedings, the detention necessarily serves the purpose of preventing the aliens from fleeing prior to or during such proceedings. Second, while the period of detention at issue in Zadvydas was "indefinite" and "potentially permanent," id., at 690-691, the record shows that 1226(c) detention not only has a definite termination point, but lasts, in the majority of cases, for less than the 90 days the Court considered presumptively valid in Zadvydas. Pp. 6-20.

Put this in context. The Immigration and Naturalization Service track record on rounding up high priority fugitives for deportation is appalling. If the San Diego office's performance is indicative then only about 1% of those sought are found and most of those who are found turn themselves in voluntarily (really, as the saying goes, I am not making this up). If aliens to be deported are let go after finishing prison terms then the vast bulk of them will never be deported.

By Randall Parker    2003 April 29 04:48 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2003 April 09 Wednesday
Al Qaeda Working With Mexican Criminals To Enter America

Bill Gertz reports on attempts by a group of Al Qaeda terrorists to gain entrance into the United States via the Mexican border.

The al Qaeda members are working with Mexican organized crime groups, such as drug-trafficking organizations, in an attempt to enter the United States covertly, the officials said

When organized crime in Mexico cooperates with terrorists that constitutes a national security threat to America. Corruption in the Mexican government makes the organized crime problem in Mexico worse. The United States needs better border control.

By Randall Parker    2003 April 09 11:39 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2003 March 22 Saturday
Illegal Aliens Found Working On ICBM Headquarters

Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, headquarters for the control of a large number of ICBMs was found to have illegal aliens doing construction work on the base.

On Feb. 26, INS arrested 37 Latin American illegals working construction projects at the base. How did INS catch them? Was it the result of aggressive investigation? Was it the result of the Air Force screening of workers? No. The Rocky Mountain (Colo.) News reported that on Feb. 7, base security noticed five people strolling out the main gate during a restricted period. They turned out to be illegals. Almost three weeks later, INS made its arrests.

They were not just illegal aliens. They did not even have documentation to authorize their presence on the base.

Base officials said a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sponsor is required to report to the base entrance to get any construction workers onto the base for up to three days at a time. The investigation began Feb. 7, when five people were seen leaving through the base gate at a time when vehicle and pedestrian traffic was being limited. Security forces stopped the five and learned that they did not have credentials to be on the base, base officials said.

American immigration and border control policy is a joke.

By Randall Parker    2003 March 22 10:20 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (4)
2003 February 26 Wednesday
US Retirement Fund May Be Extended To Illegal Mexican Workers

Back in December the US government was negotiating an agreement to allow Mexicans who have worked in the US to become eligible to collect US Social Security retirement payments.

White House and Mexican government officials say discussions on an agreement to align the Social Security systems of the two countries are informal and preliminary. But excerpts from an internal Social Security Administration memo obtained this month say the agreement "is expected to move forward at an accelerated pace," with the support of both governments, and could be in force by next October.

The National Review discovered details of the agreement and learned it would be incredibly expensive.

By contrast, the Mexican deal could cost, according to National Review, $345 billion over the next 20 years. Congressional experts say Mexico would burden Social Security with 162,000 new beneficiaries in the next five years.

Most of that $345 billion would go to illegal aliens. One proxy for how much the Social Security Administration gets in taxes paid by illegal aliens is the figure for money collected that can't be tracked to potential beneficiaries. That figure of $21 billion is a small fraction of the projected $345 billion cost.

Mexico would also like the US to allow workers employed under false Social Security numbers to obtain credit for their US earnings. Over $21 billion in Social Security payments have not been tracked to potential beneficiaries, most likely because they were paid under a false Social Security number.

Joel Mowbray reports that the White House wasn't aware of the scope of the agreement the State Department was negotiating.

When White House officials learned the scope of the Totalization Agreement ("totalization" is government-speak for combining or "totalizing" the Social Security taxes paid by individuals into the U.S.'s and a foreign country's respective systems to create a single, harmonized retirement payment), the eye-popping price tag caught many off guard. Explains one senior GOP congressional staffer: "The White House thought this was a low-cost favor to get in Vicente Fox's good graces." According to people familiar with the negotiations, officials at State knew illegal aliens would be covered by the deal — and they also knew that the White House didn't know. Which brings us to "character," which State's mission statement defines as "Maintenance of high ethical standards and integrity."

Libertarian Republican Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) is opposed.

Furthermore, Congress needs to ensure that Social Security benefits are paid to American citizens only. In December, the national press reported on a deal looming between the administration and the Mexican government that would allow Mexican citizens who worked in the U.S.- even illegally- to qualify for Social Security benefits. A so-called “totalization” system would permit Mexican workers to add years worked in Mexico to those in the U.S. when qualifying for benefits. Unless Congress acts, the administration will begin using Social Security dollars to fund a global welfare system!

Paul Weyrich agrees with Ron Paul that this is a bad idea.

Give credit to Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) for his willingness to take on totalization by introducing the "Social Security for American Citizens Only Act." Paul is a congressman with Libertarian views whom I respect for his willingness to stand on principle even though, over the years, there have been times we have been at odds over one thing or another.

The Social Security system is already projected to start running a deficit in the next 20 years as the ratio of retirees to workers steadily rises. Social Security taxes will inevitably rise even as benefits are reduced. Under the circumstances it would be the height of folly to extend Social Security benefits to large numbers of illegal aliens.

Update: The treaty with Mexico will undermine a previously passed law that cuts back on Social Security payments to aliens who haven't paid into Social Security for very long.

If the draft treaty becomes law, it will dismantle the chief provision of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, a law which has saved U.S. taxpayers $72 billion since inception, because it will give Social Security payments to illegal aliens and legal aliens who have not paid into our payroll tax system for the requisite 10 years.

Update II: The Center for Immigration Studies finds a high cost for Mexican immigraton. (bold emphases added)

This report has found that Mexican immigration creates significant challenges for the United States. It has added significantly to the size of the poor and uninsured U.S. populations, as well as substantially added to the welfare caseload in the United States. For example, while Mexican immigrants and their young children comprise 4.2 percent of the nation’s total population, they comprise 10.2 percent of all persons in poverty. They also comprise 12.5 percent of those without health insurance. Perhaps most troubling, the findings show that the welfare use, income, and other measures of socio-economic status of legal Mexican immigrants do not converge with natives over time. Legal Mexican immigrants who have lived in the United States for many years do not enjoy a standard of living similar to that of natives. Their low incomes coupled with high use of means-tested programs create very significant fiscal costs for the country as well. Based on research by the National Academy of Sciences, the lifetime net fiscal drain (taxes paid minus services used) on public coffers created by the average adult Mexican immigrant is estimated to be more than $55,000. While employers may want increased access to unskilled Mexican labor, this cheap labor comes with a very high cost.

The primary reason why Mexican immigrants have not faired well is that a very large share have little formal education at time when the U.S. labor market increasingly rewards skilled workers, while offering very limited opportunities to the unskilled. The heavy concentration of Mexican immigrants at the bottom of the labor market also is likely to have a significant negative effect on wages for unskilled natives who are in direct competition with them. Mexican immigrants now comprise 22 percent of all the high school dropouts in the work force, while they comprise 1.5 percent of all workers with more than a high school education. Therefore, it is only the lowest-skilled workers who are adversely affected by Mexican immigration.

Because the vast majority of natives have completed high school and are employed in higher-skilled occupations, most natives do not face significant job competition from Mexican immigrants. However, there are more than 10 million adult native-born workers who lack a high school education in the U.S. workforce. Consistent with previous research, the results in this study indicate that these less-educated natives face significant job competition from Mexican immigrants. And those native-born workers adversely affected by Mexican immigration are among the poorest in the United States and are also disproportionately native-born minorities. Moreover, it is difficult to justify reducing the wages of unskilled workers since their wages, unlike those for other workers, actually declined in the 1990s, indicating that there is no shortage of high school dropouts in the United States.

The problem is that low income Mexican immigrants pay less in taxes and receive more in benefits.

So far, this report has generally concentrated on public service use by Mexican immigrants; however, this is only half of the fiscal equation. Immigrants also pay taxes to federal, state, and local governments. The CPS contains estimated federal income tax liabilities for those in the sample. These estimates are based on adjusted gross income, number of dependents, and other tax characteristics. These estimates are useful because they can provide some insight into the likely tax payments made by immigrants and natives. Because of their much lower incomes and their larger family size, Mexican immigrants pay dramatically less in federal income taxes than do natives. The March 2000 CPS indicates that in 1999, the average federal income tax payment by households headed by Mexican immigrants was $2,156, less than one third of the $7,255 average tax contribution made by native households. By design, the federal income tax system is supposed to tax those with higher income and fewer dependents at higher rates than those with lower income and more dependents. So the much lower income tax contributions of Mexican immigrants simply reflect the tax code and not some systematic attempt by Mexican immigrants to avoid paying taxes.

In 1999, 74 percent of households headed by natives had to pay at least some federal income tax, compared to only 59 percent of Mexican immigrant households. Even if one confines the analysis to legal Mexican immigrants, the gap between their tax contributions and those of natives remains large. Using the same method as before to distinguish legal and illegal Mexican immigrant households, the estimated federal income liability of households headed by legal Mexican immigrants in 1999 was $2,538. Thus, the very low tax contribution of Mexican immigrants is not simply or even mostly a function of legal status, but rather reflects their much lower incomes and larger average family size.

The much lower tax payments made by Mexican immigrants point to a fundamental problem associated with unskilled immigration that seems unavoidable. Even if Mexican Immigrants’ use of public services were roughly equal to natives, there would still be a significant drain on public coffers because their average tax payments would be much lower. While much of the fiscal concern centers on use of means-tested programs, clearly tax payments matter at least as much when evaluating the fiscal impact of Mexican immigration. Changing welfare eligibility or other efforts designed to reduce immigrant use of public services will not change the fact that Mexican immigrants pay significantly less in taxes than natives.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform reports on the total cost of all immigration.

Current levels of immigration are not beneficial to our country’s economy, its fiscal well-being, or the health of our labor market. In fact, immigration is a drain on the economy; the net annual cost of immigration has been estimated at between $67 and $87 billion a year.1 The National Academy of Sciences found that the net fiscal drain on American taxpayers is between $166 and $226 a year per native household. Even studies claiming some modest overall gain for the economy from immigration ($1 to $10 billion a year) have found that it is outweighed by the fiscal cost ($15 to $20 billion a year) to native taxpayers.2 In short, the average native taxpayer is paying for immigration so that large companies can profit by employing immigrants in low-wage positions.

Obviously there are categories of immigrants (e.g. engineers and scientists) who provide a large net benefit to the US taxpayers and economy. But the current mix of immigrants is far too heavily skewed toward the least skilled. This is happening in an era when the demand for unskilled labor is declining and the demand for highly skilled labor is rising. Current US immigration policy is in need of drastic revision to produce an outcome that is a net benefit to the nation.

By Randall Parker    2003 February 26 06:38 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (4)
2003 February 19 Wednesday
INS Speeding Up Airport Security Checks

The death rate from terrorism has fallen too low to justify continued vigilance checking people entering the country.

"INS managers have reverted back to pre-9/11 attitudes," said Ignatius Gentile, president of the National Immigration and Naturalization Service Council, the union of INS workers. "Managers are demanding faster passenger processing rates, instructing employees to cut corners."

The Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act, signed by President Bush on May 14, 2002, lifted the 45-minute limit for INS inspectors to process passengers entering the U.S. from incoming international flights.

My forecast: increasing laxness until the next big terrorist attack.

By Randall Parker    2003 February 19 10:04 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2003 February 08 Saturday
Tony Blair Proposes To Cut Asylum Seekers In Britain

The British government is attempting to stem the influx of asylum seekers into the UK.

The government hopes measures in new asylum legislation coming into effect, including securing the border with France, withdrawing benefits, increasing the number of deportations and extending the "white list" of safe countries from 10 to 17 states will rapidly bring the numbers down.

On Monday Mr Blair will also discuss his longer-term "safe havens" plan with Ruud Lubbers, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, under which most arrivals would be removed from Britain before they can claim asylum.

The number of asylum seekers is rising rapidly.

Last year Britain received 89,700 applications for asylum, up 53 percent over the previous year.

Swamped with more than 100,000 still unprocessed asylum applications, people who arrive here without visas often stay five years or more before there is a ruling. While they wait, many receive state benefits like welfare payments.

If Britain cut the number in half it would still be more than twice the number of asylum seekers it received in 1993.

There were 22,400 asylum seekers in Britain (excluding dependent relatives and children), five times the number who applied six years ago, but a drop of 2,200 from 1992.

Asylum seeking in Britain has grown by over an order of magnitude over the last 15 years. The British government is divided over proposals to reduce the influx. Home Secretary David Blunkett is unenthused about Blair's proposal and does not promise to achieve it. As it standads now the vast bulk of asylum applicants have their complaints rejected but very few of those are deported.

Only about 10,000 were granted asylum. Of the remainder, approximately 8,000 left or were deported, leaving another 82,000 whose claims were rejected, but who remain in Britain and whose whereabouts are unknown. This means that more than 200 rejected asylum seekers a day disappear.

There are now over 300,000 illegals still living in Britain after having their asylum applications rejected. The British government appears to be as inefficient in carrying out deportation orders as is the United States government.

One analyst questions the sincerity of the British government's statements.

Harriet Sergeant, who wrote a report on asylum for the right-wing think tank the Centre for Policy Studies, said Mr Blair would cut numbers by reclassifying refugees.

"We simply rename half our asylum seekers economic migrants, give them work permits and let them into this country," she said.

In a similar vein visa applications will be harder to get for those who are trying to travel to the UK to get free medical care.

Suspected 'health tourists' - foreigners who come to Britain just to seek free NHS treatment - are to be barred from travelling to this country under a planned government clampdown.

Visas will be withheld from applicants with obvious signs of pre-existing medical conditions - such as heavily pregnant women - unless they show they can pay for their medical care while here.

The vast bulk of the asylum seekers are economic migrants looking for a higher living standard. Some come from politically repressive countries. Therefore human rights activists oppose their return. The human rights activists are taking an impractical position. If the British government let anyone stay who came from a politically repressive country then the rate of entry by asylum seekers would rise by one or two orders of magnitude. People would manage to gain entrance with tourist visas, fake identifications, and by smuggling. The economic incentives are so great that any Western country that is lax in its efforts to control asylum seekers will be deluged.

Update: Anthony Browne discusses the causes of the rising opposition to immigration in Britain.

The police raided a North London mosque where the imams regularly order their followers to murder all British people, particularly Jews. The police discovered several asylum seekers, hundreds of false passports, stolen credit cards, a biological warfare protection suit and a small arsenal of weapons.

But the event that tipped the public mood right over the edge was the discovery that several Taliban fighters, who until recently were supporting Osama bin Laden in his quest to destroy the West and trying to kill British troops in Afghanistan, had successfully claimed asylum in Britain claiming persecution by the Western backed, democratic government.

By Randall Parker    2003 February 08 08:45 PM Entry Permalink
2003 January 29 Wednesday
UK Tories Opposed To Asylum For Terrorists

The British government interprets a UN convention and European human rights laws as requiring even a member of the Taliban to be granted asylum in Britain. The Conservative Party in the UK thinks it is dumb to grant asylum to foot soldiers in Islamic Jihad armies and to terrorists.

The Conservatives will unveil "radical" reforms of Britain's asylum laws next week to allow those suspected of terrorist offences to be deported or refused entry to this country. Every asylum seeker entering Britain would be vetted on security grounds under the Tory plan.

It could mean the next Conservative government temporarily withdrawing from, or seeking changes to, the United Nations Convention on Refugees and European human rights laws, which prevent individuals being deported to a country where they claim that their life would be endangered.

Unfortunately for the British the Tories are in a rather small minority in their Parliament. The Labour majority may well decide to place international law over the safety of the British people. The US constitution has one big underappreciated advantage over international law: In the United States it is generally widely conceded that the US constitution is not a sucide pact.

In 1949, Justice Jackson (he was not the chief justice) finished a fiery dissenting opinion in Terminiello v. City of Chicago (1949) with these words: "There is danger that, if the court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact."

By Randall Parker    2003 January 29 12:10 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2003 January 24 Friday
Mark Steyn: Canada Opts Out Of Security Perimeter

Mark Steyn says that Canada is unwilling to cooperate with the United States to form a North American security perimeter. It is even more unrealistic to expect that level of cooperation from Mexico. Though in Mexico's case the its government's intentions matter less because Mexico lacks the necessary institutional capacity to enforce such a perimeter even if it was willing to try. In Canada's case the requirements of increased security clash with other values (a large value for the elites of both Canada and Mexico is the emotional need to appear as distinct and independent of America as possible) and the Canadian government has decided the other values are more important.

Within 48 hours of 9/11, it was clear that Canada had a choice: It could be inside a North American perimeter or outside a U.S. perimeter. Given that the trucks were mostly backed up on the northern side of the border, the answer seemed obvious. But the siren song of "Canadian values" -- i.e., Liberal Party values -- was too powerful, and, as we know from Kyoto to the gun registry, whenever the national interest conflicts with Liberal platitudes the Grits go with the latter. Last fall, when the U.S. announced that Canadians born in selected Middle Eastern countries would be required to submit to "special registration" procedures, Ottawa's privacy commissioner responded by demanding that "place of birth" be removed from all Canadian passports and The Toronto Star huffed and puffed about "Muslim-focused racial profiling" full of "contempt for due process."

They have a point. Effectively, the commissioner invited the U.S. to treat all Canadians as Syrian, and increasingly they do. No more profiling! That's great, isn't it? Unless you're a Quebec logger.

We live in an era when declining costs of transportation and communications are combining with increased economic integration to bring the peoples of the world into increasing contact with each other. This leads many commentators to prophesy the decline of the nation-state. However, the growing threat posed by terrorists will increasingly trump these other trends in importance. The ability of the denizens of Toronto (or of London or Rome or Calcutta for that matter) to fly to New York City or to cheaply call or exchange electronic data with people in New York City depends very strongly on the physical existence of New York City and the absence of biological, chemical and radiological contamination therein.

National borders are the places where the still very powerful sovereign states can exercise the greatest control over the movement of people. Just as it is inevitable that new terrorist attacks will occur in the Western nations so it is inevitable that the attacks will lead to greater anger and fear in Western populaces. These populaces will respond by making increasingly strident demands that borders be made larger obstacles for the passage of any people who might conceivably be terrorists.

As for the inevitability of future terrorist attacks in Western countries look at the recent spate of arrests of terrorist suspects throughout Europe. 16 terrorist suspects were just arrested in Spain.

Sixteen suspected Islamic terrorists arrested in Spain were "preparing for attacks with explosive and chemical material" in Europe, top Spanish officials say.

The suspects in Spain had links to four arrested last month in France:

Four Islamic terrorist suspects arrested last month in France -- identified as Merouane Benahmed, Mourredine Merabet, Menad Benchellali and Ahmed Belhout -- had previously been in Spain and had maintained contact with the suspects arrested on Friday, the government statement said.

Connections to the London apartment raid that found ricin led to a raid and arrests at the Finsbury Park Mosque.

Police swooped on a north London mosque linked to Islamic radicals, arresting seven people in what a top police officer called a "successful raid" linked to the discovery of deadly ricin in a London apartment two weeks earlier.

A sixth man has been arrested in connection with five originally arrested due to the ricin discovery in a London apartment.

British police have arrested a North African man in connection with the discovery of the deadly poison ricin in a London apartment.

The five Moroccans arrested Wednesday in Italy were discovered as a result of efforts to find illegal aliens.

Police who had been looking for illegal immigrants discovered a kilo of explosives, believed to be C4, and maps of central London. Police also reportedly found maps marking the site of Italian churches and Nato bases.

This bears repeating. The Italian police were not looking for terrorists. They were only looking for illegal immigrants and in the process came across what appears to have been a terrorist cell. Certainly this is an argument for a larger effort to round up illegal aliens from Muslim countries. But is the recent spate of arrests of terrorist suspects also a sign that the Western countries are going ot be able to prevent further attacks? Unfortunately the opposite is more likely the case. The element of luck involved in making some of the arrests is an indication of a much larger number of terrorist operatives still at large in Western nations who are not going to be detected by conventional methods for identifying terrorist suspects. For many terrrorists luck will break in the other direction. They will elude detection. Other networks of cells will manage to organize and pull off attacks.

My forecast is for more terrrorist attacks in the West, rising populist anger, and in response to that anger the sweeping from power of Western political parties that so far have been unwilling to take greater measures to expel and prevent the entry of terrorists into Western countries.

Update: An Algerian arrested during the sweep on Finsbury Park mosque was helping to finance the ricin plotters. His assistance included helping the budding terrorists to apply for British government welfare benefits.

The paper reported that detectives, who have examined computers seized during the investigation, believe the man recruited men from the Finsbury Park mosque, helping them with benefit claims.

By funding a social welfare state that gives money to terrorists the British government is, in effect, paying for "Getting hit on the head lessons". One wonders how big the lesson will have to get before it sinks in.

The UK Daily Telegraph has an article that summarizes the recent wave of terrorist arrests in Europe. The accompanying pop-up graph lists all the terrorist arrests since September 11, 2001. Note that the 70 arrested in Britain exceeds the number arrested in all of the rest of Europe. The effectiveness of this round of arrests depends in part on whether are separate terrorist networks that have no contact with the North Africans currently being rounded up.

Most of the fundamentalists arrested so far are north Africans with a web of connections to fellow nationals throughout Europe. Arrests in one country have led police and intelligence officers to alleged cells in others.

The latest arrests follow dozens made in London, Paris, Manchester and Edinburgh in recent weeks. More are expected soon.

By Randall Parker    2003 January 24 10:41 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (2)
2003 January 07 Tuesday
White House Groundsworker Illegal Alien Caught At Border

Michelle Malkin reports on an illegal alien who was working the White House for a couple of years after he was ordered deported as an illegal alien. Salvador Martinez-Gonzalez was caught at the Laredo, Texas border crossing with false documents when a fingerprint check identified him as having a deportation order against him.

While the Secret Service has now instituted criminal and citizenship screening procedures for all tourists (including children) who visit the White House, federal agents failed to detect an illegal alien who used a false identity and fraudulent documents and was employed for at least two years as a supervisor of tent installation for White House social events.

This illegal alien had been ordered kicked out of the county by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in February 2000, but was able to evade the law and fool both his employer and the Secret Service through petty identity fraud. He was finally caught at the U.S.-Mexico border last month, but it was no thanks to the law enforcement agents in Washington who are assigned to protect the White House from unknown intruders.

Update: Mark Steyn examines the national security implications of illegal aliens and the black market for fake IDs.

Maybe the Secret Service are right and all the fellows with "legitimate identification purchased from someone else" pose no security threat. But, in her riveting exposé of the immigration bureaucracy, Invasion, Michelle Malkin does a superb job of connecting the particular lapses of September 11th with the broader "undocumented" culture in the U.S.

One vignette is especially choice: A month before their rendezvous with destiny, two of the 9/11 killers drove to Falls Church, Virginia, to the parking lot of a 7-Eleven where "undocumented" Hispanics congregate in search of casual labour. The terrorists were in search of ID, and it pretty much fell into their lap. Luis Martinez-Flores, an illegal from El Salvador who's been in America since 1994, approached their car and offered his services. He accompanied them to the nearest Department of Motor Vehicles office, supplied the al-Qaeda guys with fake addresses for the residency forms and certified that they lived there. The ID was processed on the spot, and afterwards the trio drove back to the 7-Eleven where Hanjour and Almidhar withdrew a hundred bucks from the ATM and paid off Mr. Martinez-Flores.

America is still not entirely committed to fighting the Islamic terrorists. People do not yet believe that the threat is so great that hundreds of thousands or even millions will die from a terrorist attack. Look at the indicators. No serious attempt is being made to crack down on illegal aliens even though the methods that the job seeking illegal aliens use are many of the same methods that terrorists make use of as well. Also, the Bush Administration is proposing tax cuts in order to stimulate the economy even as the military is too stretched to deal with North Korea because it already has Iraq, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan, peacekeeping duties in Kosovo, and assorted other commitments on its plate. A comparison to the mobilization for World War II is laughable.

We are supposed to believe that the threat is enormous (and I do). Yet its business as usual. The military's budget has grown by less than one whole GDP percentage point. Some even claim that increase is too much money even though in World War II the US dedicated over 50% of GDP to military spending. Current military spending is (at about 4% of GDP) about an order of magnitude less as percentage of GDP. Also, on assorted other public policy topics other considerations take precedence over fighting terrorism. For instance, the State Department is more concerned about inconveniencing Arab travellers than it is about preventing terrorists from entering the country. An alliance of business interests, Democratic Party activists eager for more naturalized Democrat voters, and Hispanic immigrant activists combine to ensure that increasing the flow of legal and illegal immigrant takes precedence over national security.

The inability of Al Qaeda to mount a second attack on American territory since 9/11 has lulled the public into complacency. A minority of the populace is very concerned but most people are not sufficiently worked up to make demands that override the forces that want to return to business as usual. This complacency is eventually going to cost a great many lives. The US is not going to exercise sufficient control of its borders or of its immigration process to prevent terrorists from infiltrating American society. It also seems unlikely at this point that the United States is going to do what is necessary to prevent the rise of an even greater threat of catastrophic terrorism. Programs to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proceed apace in North Korea, Iran, and very likely Libya. North Korea has already demonstrated a willingness to sell missiles and WMD technology to the highest bidder. It is not inconceivable that the North Korean regime would even sell a nuclear weapon.

Delay makes the problem harder to deal with. In 1994 Bill Clinton could have taken out the North Korean regime, albeit at considerable loss of lives. Clinton and Carter opted for a naive path of bribery instead. But the North Koreans never intended to live up to the bargain. Taking out the North Korean regime now may exact a higher price if the regime can get off some nuclear or biological weapons before it goes down (to be fair, it might have been able to do that in 1994 but to a lesser degree). An attempt to take out the North Korean regime 5 or 10 years from now after, say, its sold nuclear weapons on the black market and after it has ICBMs capable of reaching America would exact an enormously greater price.

To watch the TV news shows one would get the sense from the rhetoric that Islamic terrorism is a major concern. But against all the rhetoric and the speechifying measure what gets done and what could be done. America isn't fully mobilised to eliminate the threat of catastrophic terrorism committed by Islamic terrorists. It is not going to be until the scope of the attacks grows larger. Unfortunately, by the time the larger attacks begin the cost of victory will be much greater.

By Randall Parker    2003 January 07 07:31 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (3)
2003 January 03 Friday
Muslim Immigration Moving Europe Rightward

John O'Sullivan and Christopher Hitchens see Muslim immigration as a cause of a rightward political reaction in Europe.

"Muslim immigration of a very considerable size has meant that the liberal traditions and liberal political values of some of these countries have come under attack," says O'Sullivan. As a result, many voters "have switched to the right because they're worried that Muslim immigration is transforming their societies in illiberal ways as well as in more obvious cultural ones." Hitchens saw this illiberal spirit during mass demonstrations in Britain by young Pakistanis who not only wanted to burn The Satanic Verses, but who "wanted to burn the author, Salman Rushdie, too."

This rightward swing may also translate into less power for Brussels and more power for the national governments if the rightwing parties are less supportive of the whole EU enterprise.

By Randall Parker    2003 January 03 03:09 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (6)
2002 December 18 Wednesday
UK Imports Nurses Simply To Get Cheaper Labour

There is no shortage of nurses in the UK. There is just a shortage of people who are willing to work for the low salaries that the British National Health Service is willing to pay.

In fact, as Anthony Browne demonstrates in Do We Need Mass Immigration? (Civitas), Britain is not suffering from any of these. David Miles, Professor of Finance at Imperial College, is even more emphatic. Immigration, he writes on the pensions crises for Prospect magazine, is no solution. "One of the things we are not short of in Britain is people." To keep the population growing "is simply mad".

Take nurses for example. We are informed that the NHS is desperately short of them. There are, however, more trained nurses in Britain not working than there are still in the profession. Instead of making a return to work attractive with better pay, flexible hours (many are women with children) and better conditions, the NHS recruits nurses from Third World countries.

One argument made by pro-immigration advocates is that there is a labor shortage in the US or UK or other Western nations. No, there is never a labor shortage. There is just the market price at which people are willing to work. If an employer can't offer enough (or doesn't want to offer enough) to get someone to do a job then the job isn't deemed important enough by the employer to justify the salary that prospective employees will accept.

Note: The David Miles article which Harriet Sergeant refers to is only available on-line to subscribers. But Prospect Magazine makes its previous issue articles available to all after the next issue comes out. So check back in January 2003 if you want to read it for free.

By Randall Parker    2002 December 18 04:08 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2002 December 16 Monday
Project USA Says Guest Worker Program To Be Debated

Project USA examines the coming debate on guest workers in a missive entitled Guest Worker Program Looming.

When Congress convenes in January it is almost certain that legislators will finally have to address America's fiercely criticized immigration policies.

Clearly, the status quo is untenable. More than 11 million foreign nationals now reside with impunity illegally in the United States. Hundreds of foreigners die on our southern border every year attempting an illegal crossing. Armed citizen militia movements are forming to enforce immigration law. And, waiting in the wings, the nearly 5 billion who live in countries poorer than Mexico present an enormous political and security challenge. Across the political spectrum, consensus demands something be done.

It is very likely that the Congressional response to the political demand will be a guest worker program. Many policy-makers (and opinion leaders) believe that a guest worker program is the best way to balance political realities with the economic interests of those who profit by cheap foreign labor.

Business leaders will oppose any aspect of a guest-worker program that might drive up labor costs, but will ultimately support the idea, taking comfort in the fact that once a market-driven immigration policy has been institutionalized, it will thereafter be relatively easy to increase periodically the size of the guest worker program in order to meet future business "needs."

However, ethnic-identity pressure groups see a guest worker program as a backdoor way to import more of "their people," and will push very hard to make sure any guest worker program includes eventual permanent residence for the workers.

Permanent status must be resisted at all costs. The U.S. population is already set to double within the lifetimes of today's children thanks to our profligate immigration policies. We certainly don't need to be importing permanent workers on top of the already staggering numbers. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration and many in Congress -- primarily Democrats -- will be tempted to back a permanent status component in a guest worker program for ethnically calculated political reasons.

It would be good, of course, if there were no guest worker program at all; in a perfect world, the United States would simply enforce existing immigration law, reduce legal immigration to sustainable levels, and reassess immigration policy in light of the long-term consequences for all, rather than the short-term economic benefits for a few.

However, these policies are still some way off, and immigration moderates should recognize that, unless there is another 9/11, a guest worker program is going to be introduced in the next Congress (at least 2 are already being written). Furthermore, some kind of program will very likely pass. So, the question for immigration realists is not whether to support guest worker programs, the question is how to ensure that the new program is an improvement over the status quo, rather than a deterioration of it.

In July 2001, ProjectUSA published a list of conditions that any guest worker plan must include if it is to be fair, humane, workable, politically feasible, and an improvement over the status quo. It included:

=> Management. A new tamper-proof identification card must be devised that includes a biometric identifier, and an easily accessible national databank must be created through which employers could check the legal status of potential employees.

=> Enforcement. To ensure the integrity of the program, local law enforcement must be given the training and resources necessary to assist an overwhelmed INS (or its successor).

=> Time limits. Temporary foreign workers must be limited to a six-month stint, and then they must return to their homes and families for a period of at least six months in order to give someone else a chance to use the program.

=> Required savings. Twenty percent of the workers' salaries while they work in the United States must be set aside in a special account collectible only upon return to their country of citizenship.

=> Health care. U.S. employers who use temporary foreign workers must provide them with health insurance.

=> Anchor babies. The misinterpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, which grants automatic citizenship to babies born in the United States to temporary workers, illegal aliens, and tourists, must not apply to guest workers (as it likewise does not apply to the children of foreign diplomats).

=> Proper sequence. In order to avoid encouraging and rewarding illegal immigration, the temporary foreign worker program must contain a start-up phase that would limit use of the program only to those illegal immigrants already in the country.

These reasonable conditions would enjoy widespread political support. Additional provisions could mandate that employers provide transportation to and from the home country, and that workers be unaccompanied by family members. Strict oversight could ensure workers were not being exploited or abused. And, in order to prevent the undercutting of American workers, wages could be tied to prevailing wages in other industries not using foreign labor.

As we wrote in the summer of 2001, "We can expect the ethnic identity and cheap labor special interest lobbies to fight this sensible, fair, and politically palatable solution. But if they do, they will only expose their motives as unrelated to humane solutions or the well-being of the American people."

One reason I like the set of conditions outlined above is because these conditions reduce the economic burden that foreign workers impose on American taxpayers. Illegal aliens end up using hospital emergency rooms and other taxpayer funded medical services for poor people. The requirement that guest workers have health insurance eliminates one very expensive burden that illegals currently impose on the American taxpayer. One big problem with illegal aliens is that employers use them in order to get cheaper labor for the employers. But then the rest of the legal taxpaying population has to pay for medical care, schooling, higher crime rates, more police and prisons, and in other ways. The employers who use illegals are sticking the rest of the population for these added costs. This is analogous to the external costs caused by pollution when the price of a product doesn't reflect the costs of the pollution generated when making it.

In order to make the guest worker program effective as a way to reduce the costs of foreign workers it would have to be combined with a much bigger effort to prevent illegals from entering the USA and to deport those who do make it in. I have previously suggested a way to round up most of the illegals who are already here. Combine that with a border barrier on the border with Mexico and better checking of those who enter thru legal border checkpoints and the number of illegals and the cost of foreign workers could be greatly reduced.

By Randall Parker    2002 December 16 01:00 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (7)
Mark Krikorian reviews Michelle Malkin's Invasion

Mark Krikorian reviews Michelle Malkin's book Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists Criminals & Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores in this article entitled Welcoming the Enemy.

Malkin's new book, Invasion: How American Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores, counters these anecdotes with compelling stories of the fallout from our failure to enforce the immigration law. She tells us not only about the individual terrorists, criminals, and other foreign menaces, but also about their victims. She devotes an entire chapter to the case of Angel Resendiz, the illegal-alien Railway Killer, including capsule profiles of the people he murdered -- people like Noemi Dominguez, a 26-year-old former school teacher in Texas, who was raped and beaten to death by Resendiz in 1999. Malkin also tells the stories of police officers murdered by aliens who should not have been out on the street--such as the murder of Sgt. Ricky Timbrook of Winchester, Va., who was shot in the head by Edward Nathaniel Bell, an immigrant from Jamaica scheduled to be deported for earlier crimes.

Malkin’s chapter on human-rights violators from abroad taking up residence in America includes the tale of Kelbessa Negewo, a sadistic secret policeman from Ethiopia who was granted political asylum in 1988 and U.S. citizenship seven years later. In a chapter sporting the unofficial motto of immigration lawyers -- "It Ain't Over Til the Alien Wins" -- she includes brief descriptions of various immigrant lowlifes who have gamed the system to avoid deportation. One such is German immigrant Stephanie Short, who was convicted of encouraging her three-year-old daughter to submit to sexual assault at the hands of her stepfather--but was not deported because she supposedly had not committed a "crime of moral turpitude"!

Malkin's use of anecdotes differs from that in much of the previous debate over immigrant’s vices and virtues, in that it focuses not on immigration policy as a whole but simply on enforcement of the law. Rather than generalizing from individual stories -- some immigrants are criminals, so end all immigration or, conversely, some immigrants are geniuses, so end all border controls -- Malkin's emphasis is on profiling bad guys who should not have been able to do what they did had the existing law been applied. But the book is not simply a collection of anecdotes. Unlike most journalists writing about immigrants, Malkin, Philadelphia-born daughter of Filipino immigrants, actually learned something about our immigration system and uses the profiles of individual immigrants to flesh out her picture.

And it’s a grim picture indeed. She starts, naturally, with the 9/11 hijackers, and examines how they got here. She describes the myriad ways terrorists have penetrated our nation: lax border security; fraudulent marriages to U.S. citizens; bogus asylum claims; illegal-alien amnesties; lax standards in issuing visas for workers, students, clergymen, and wealthy investors; the visa lottery; and the Visa Waiver Program.

In explaining this, she does, of course, excoriate the INS for its many scandals -- crooked or incompetent employees, Clintonian bureaucrats lying to Congress, unbelievable technological snafus. But rather than leave it at that, as too many observers do, she digs deeper, to find out why we have such a ridiculous system in the first place. In two chapters -- "Pandering While Osama Plots" and "The Profiteers" (another virtue of this book is that you couldn't flip through it at Borders and claim not to know the author's point of view) -- she lays out the rogues' gallery of groups responsible for our inept immigration system: politicians pandering to Hispanic voters by promoting illegal-alien amnesties; ethnic pressure-groups trying to get drivers licenses for illegal aliens; local governments declaring themselves sanctuaries for illegals; universities seeking ever more foreign students, even if they're in the country illegally, and resisting any measures to track such students; the American Immigration Lawyers Association, "a powerful lobbying network against all major immigration reforms during the past four decades"; and, perhaps worst of all, the corporate rope sellers, like the travel and tourism industries (which seek to speed foreigners into the U.S. at any cost), or banks eagerly seeking the deposits of illegal aliens, or employers of cheap immigrant labor, or border-town chambers of commerce.

More in immigration and border control in the category archive Immgration and Border Control.

By Randall Parker    2002 December 16 12:01 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2002 December 08 Sunday
Millions Enter US With Fake Documents Every Year

Dr. Palmer Morrel-Samuels conducted a study for the INS that about 1% of the people coming thru controlled border crossings are carrying fake documentation that is allowing them to enter the country illegally.

Commissioned by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, the study concluded that between 2.95 million and 5.45 million illegal aliens cross undetected every year into the country through guarded ports of entry — with about one in every nine illegal aliens being detained.

The total does not include an estimated 3 million to 5 million illegal aliens who annually cross into the United States through unguarded areas along the border.

Morrel-Samuels calculates based on the percentage of illegals his team was able to detect in longer interviews of people who were already approved for entry. It is by no means certain that his team was able to detect all such illegals in the longer interviews. So he may well be underestimating the number of illegals who are being approved for entry by INS workers.

An INS manager claims the Morrel-Samuels study is not an indication that large numbers of terrorists are entering the country illegally. Michael Cronin would have us believe that the INS is much better at detecting terrorists than at detecting other illegals.

But Michael D. Cronin, INS assistant commissioner for inspections, said since the September 11 attacks the agency has "designed and calibrated" a border inspection system at the 300 guarded ports of entry that is designed to identify "persons of highest interest to us," including terrorists and other major criminals.

"Our highest focus are high-risk individuals, and that program is working," Mr. Cronin said. "I'm not going to suggest that illegal aliens are not getting through, but we are focused on counterterrorism and the identification of major criminals. And these folks are going to be caught."

I find the INS defense of their performance to be implausible. They are probably doing ethnic profiling to reduce the number of people that they look at closely in their search for potential terrorists. The ethnic profiling is certainly going to drastically cut down on number of people that they will look at closely. But even if we assume that all terrorists fit the INS profile it seems unlikely that the INS inspectors are taking enough time or even have enough tools in terms of computer systems to discover all the fake documentation.

Terrorists could still sneak in the country illegally without going thru controlled border points. Plus, terrorists could also get legal documentation by inventing a plausible reason for why they want to visit. Morrel-Samuels says half a billion people enter the US per year to visit. The INS would have to have an incredibly low error rate in order to be able to keep out all terrorists.

Morrel-Samuels was interviewed by Bill O'Reilly. Most of the interview is not too enlightening because, of course, O'Reilly isn't keen on letting his guests articulate very many complete thoughts. But Morrel-Samuels does manage to complete some sentences.

DR. PALMER MORREL-SAMUELS, CONDUCTED STUDY FOR THE INS: It is that as the study shows, a far greater number of people are slipping into the country through the ports of entry than we had previously suspected.

O'REILLY: So we previously suspected 13 million illegal aliens are here. You mean there's more than that?

MORREL-SAMUELS: Well, every year, the study suggests, about 4 million new travelers come into the country through the ports of entry, not by wading across a river in the middle of the night with a backpack, but by simply presenting documents to an inspector at a port of entry.

O'REILLY: That are bogus.

MORREL-SAMUELS: Well, in some cases they are. Actually we sampled about 5,000 travelers who had already been approved for entry into the country, and we tapped them on the shoulder before they left the inspection area, and we asked them if they'd be willing to cooperate -- and they all were willing to cooperate -- and go through a brief reinspection.

And, during that reinspection, which lasted about 20 minutes, we found that about 1 percent -- slightly less than 1 percent -- 1 percent of the people who had been approved for entry actually should not have been given approval, and...

You might be wondering whether prospective illegal aliens and prospective terrorists will hear about this latest report and decide that their chances of getting into the US are higher than they thought. Well, The Hindu of India and in The Daily Times of Pakistan are reporting this story.

By Randall Parker    2002 December 08 08:02 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (2)
2002 December 03 Tuesday
Immigration Control And Asymmetrical Warfare

Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies discusses the national security needs for immigration control: in this essay "Asymmetrical Warfare and Immigration". (my emphasis added in bold)

Furthermore, the border security bill mentioned above is quite modest in scope. Hailed as a great advance, the law in fact merely lifted some of the more ridiculous limitations on the INS's ability to do its job and mandated reforms that won't bear fruit for years, if ever. And even the revival of long-ignored immigration-control tools, such as alien registration and change-of-address requirements, often come at the expense of efforts that would deliver more bang for the buck — but which are politically problematic. One such measure would be to roll out the experimental system already developed by the INS that allows employers to verify a new hire's work eligibility. Though less comprehensive than attempting to track all changes of address, such a system would give the INS much more reliable information as to the daytime whereabouts of the large majority of aliens. Of course, it would also significantly limit illegal immigration, and thus is unacceptable to interest groups that benefit from the status quo.

Because of this ambivalence about immigration controls, we remain vulnerable to attack. The vast majority of visa applicants are still never interviewed by U.S. consular officers; there is no significant enforcement of immigration laws within the country; efforts to use the military in a support role to supplement the Border Patrol have been rebuffed; and worst of all, government at all levels is blurring the distinction between legal and illegal residents by providing illegal aliens with driver's licenses, offering them in-state college tuition discounts, and encouraging financial institutions to open bank accounts for them using identifications issued by foreign governments.

This lack of seriousness about the security imperative of immigration control is particularly troubling because it applies not only in this war but also in any future war the United States is likely to fight. In a sense, immigration control is to asymmetrical warfare what missile defense is to strategic warfare. There are other weapons we must use against an enemy employing asymmetrical means — more effective international coordination, improved intelligence gathering and distribution, special military operations — but in the end, ineffective immigration control leaves us naked in the face of the enemy.

It is a characteristic of modern technology that it allows very small numbers of people to inflict enormous damage and death on large numbers of people. This characteristic will become much more amplified the more that technology advances. Immigrant populations that contain even 1% of very angry elements motivated and organized by a hostile religious ideology or other ideology are an enormous national security risk.

More from the Center of Immigration Studies on terrorism and immigration here.

By Randall Parker    2002 December 03 11:37 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
Jewish Groups Begin To Shift On Immigration Policy

Jewish groups in America are beginning to debate whether a continued high level of immigration poses problems that are too great.

Although no Jewish agency has formally switched sides, the professional head of one major national organization, who requested anonymity, told the Forward: "It seems that Jewish opinions are changing and trending toward more concern about security issues than in the past."

The AJCommittee's 2001 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion showed a stark drop in support for maintaining current immigration numbers. In 2001, 49% of those polled wanted immigration numbers decreased, compared to 27% the year before.

Among the advocates of immigration restrictions who have been seeking inroads in the Jewish community are Stephen Steinlight, editor of South Asia in Review and a onetime AJCommittee director of national affairs; Dan Stein, executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform in Washington, and Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies.

Speaking of the Center for Immigration Studies, they have a new report out entitled "Immigration Numbers Continue to Climb". Here are some items from the summary of the report.

  • There is no evidence that the economic slowdown that began in 2000 or the terrorist attacks in 2001 has significantly slowed the rate of immigration. More than 3.3 million legal and illegal immigrants entered the country between January 2000 and March 2002.
  • An immigrant population of 33.1 million is historically unprecedented. It is more than twice the number (13.5 million) reached in 1910 during the previous great wave of immigration.
  • Immigration has become the determinate factor in U.S. population growth. The arrival of over 3 million legal and illegal immigrants, coupled with 1.5 million births to immigrant women over the last two years, accounts for nearly 90 percent of U.S. population growth since the 2000 census.
  • While immigration has a dramatic effect on the overall size of the U.S. population, it has had a relatively modest effect on the age structure. The nearly 16 million immigrants who arrived in the United States since 1990 have lowered the average age in the United States by only four months.
  • The percentage of immigrants without a high school diploma is 30 percent, more than three-and-a-half times the rate for natives. Since 1990 immigration has increased the number of high school dropouts in the labor force by 21 percent while increasing the supply of all other workers by 5 percent.
  • The poverty rate for immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18) is two-thirds higher than that of natives and their children, 17.6 percent versus 10.6 percent for natives.
  • The proportion of immigrant headed households using at least one major welfare program is 24.5 percent compared 16.3 percent for native households.
  • One-third of immigrants do not have health insurance — two-and-one-half times the rate for natives, and new immigrants and their U.S.-born children account for 95 percent of the increase in the uninsured population since 1989.

Read the full text of the report.

Since they make less money, pay less taxes, demand more government services, and are not lowering the average age of the country by much they are not going to be a solution to the demographic problem of an increasing ratio of retired people to working people. In fact, as an additional group that needs more government help they will make the long term fiscal problems of supporting old people even worse.

By Randall Parker    2002 December 03 11:12 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (2)
2002 December 02 Monday
Steve Sailer: GOP vote orthodoxy shy on facts

Steve Sailer argues that the neo-conservatives are misrepresenting the reasons for the Republican Party's electoral victory in 2002.

When Bush lost the popular vote in 2000, less than 10 percent of his votes came from minorities. So, it's easy to see why many commentators assumed that the GOP would have to win more votes from minorities to win in the future.

In 2002, however, in all likelihood the GOP drew an even smaller share of its support from minorities. Yet, the Republicans triumphed at the polls, winning about 53 percent of the two-party vote.

No single poll result should be trusted, especially this year when the collapse of the VNS national exit poll made analysts' jobs even harder.

Still, a wide variety of results from both state and small-scale national polls suggest that the non-Hispanic white share of the total vote was up in 2002 over 2000 and thus the minority share was down. Further, Republican candidates may have won a larger share of the white vote than in 2000.

More on the voting patterns by ethnic groups here.

By Randall Parker    2002 December 02 03:56 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2002 November 23 Saturday
Saudis Singled Out In Homeland Security Bill

Use of third party screeners of Saudi visa applicants is banned by act of Congress and the State Department screeners are going to be replaced by Homeland Security personnel. Even after 9/11 only 3% of Saudi visa applicants have been rejected versus 25% worldwide. The State Department apparently believes that it works for the Saudis.

In the new Homeland Security bill just passed by both houses of Congress, stricter visa controls were enacted for people wishing to gain entry to the United States from one specific country: Saudi Arabia. The only people who lobbied against the policy — taking the Saudi royal family's position — were officials at the State Department.

Just two sentences of a 400-page bill spell out the two new requirements. The policy prohibits "third-party screening programs" — the most famous example of which is Visa Express, which allowed Saudi residents to submit their visa applications to private Saudi travel agents — and every Saudi visa application must be reviewed by an onsite Homeland Security officer before a visa can be issued.

Update: Washington Post writer Colbert King describes a visit by a Saudi delegation with Washington Post editors and writers in which the Saudis saw no inconsistency when they complained about this change in the law while their own country's rules about visitors are enormously more strict.

By tightening visa regulations, one of them said, America is closing off an important avenue by which Saudis can learn about Western values, transmitting same back home. "Shame, shame, you ol' retrogrades," seemed to be the message.

Curiously, nary a visitor uttered one word about Saudi Arabia's "enlightened" visa policy.

What are your chances of visiting Saudi Arabia alone as a tourist? Slim to none. Join an approved tour group, get your itinerary blessed by the government, and then maybe, just maybe, you can enter the kingdom. Does your passport show that you were born in Israel? Prepare to wait until kingdom come.

The Saudis are disgusting. They are funding the spread of ideas that are deeply hostile to the West. They even fund the spread of those ideas in the United States. We owe these people nothing. Their religious belief is that they have every right to force people to believe only their religion. Intolerance for other religions is a core belief in their religion. They do not share our values or our intellectual assumptions about democracy, human rights, or other ideas of The Enlightenment. Our conflict with them runs far deeper than a clash of competing national interests. We clash over incompatible values.

By Randall Parker    2002 November 23 01:54 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (2)
2002 November 20 Wednesday
Tom Holsinger On Populist Anger And US Policy

While the Bush Administration claims it is making the war against the terrorists its top priority there still are domestic policy issues which it considers more important. Immigration is one of them. Bush and Karl Rove still place a higher priority on their naive and doomed attempt to get more Hispanics and other minorities to vote GOP than they do on keeping terrorists out of the US. Their priorities may backfire on them if another big terrorist attack happens in the US:

America's enemies abroad can only be dealt with by our government, but foreign enemies appearing in our homeland can be and, on 9/11, were, attacked by the American people. They know full well that denying entry to 20-45 year-old Arab males would prevent most terrorist attacks here and that deporting those already present would prevent almost all such attacks. People do not understand why their government outright refuses to do either (it's because too many special interests benefit from illegal immigration). Further terrorism here would create a significant possibility of a populist political uprising against the Bush Administration plus vigilante action against Arab and Muslim immigrants to get them all deported.

By Randall Parker    2002 November 20 03:18 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2002 October 31 Thursday
Michelle Malkin On Why Lee Malvo's Age Is A Mystery

Michelle Malkin, author of Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists Criminals & Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores explains the incentive for an illegal alien such as Lee Malvo to lie about his age:

There is a large incentive to fudge the numbers. Minors who enter the United States illegally, unlike most adult illegal aliens, qualify for exemptions from immediate deportation. They are automatically released to any family members living in the country while deportation hearings slowly move forward.

INS also allows minors to remain in the United States if they file for political asylum. The backlog of claims is huge, allowing asylum applicants young and old to disappear into the American mainstream. Even if a juvenile alien is denied asylum, he can remain in the country if relatives in his native land cannot be contacted before sending him back. Moreover, agency spokesman Art Moreno has noted in the past that "Young adults arrested by the Border Patrol often pose as juveniles in hopes they can escape from the less-secure juvenile facilities."

More on Lee Malvo and the INS here.

By Randall Parker    2002 October 31 10:00 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2002 October 25 Friday
Lee Malvo: Illegal Alien - and Nathaniel Osbourne too

The politically correct New York Times calls Washington DC sniper suspect Lee Malvo an undocumented alien:

The task force, which included an array of local, state and federal agencies, ran the Alabama print through the F.B.I. database, finding a match with Mr. Malvo's prints, which were on file with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, officials said. Immigration investigators quickly found Mr. Malvo had been fingerprinted as an undocumented alien after a minor family fight on Dec. 19 in Washington State.

That is the politically correct term for illegal alien. Of course, the INS did create documents about Malvo and even recorded his fingerprints. So he was documented, just not legal. If the INS had not fingerprinted Malvo then this case might not have been cracked as soon as it was. Michelle Malkin says that if the INS had followed the letter of the law the INS would have deported Malvo back in December of 2001:

According to INS records I obtained, Malvo was arrested by Border Patrol agents in Bellingham, Wash., on Dec. 19, 2001. Local police called the Border Patrol during an incident involving "some sort of custody dispute" between Malvo's mother, Uma Sceon James, and stepfather, John Mohammed (the ex-Army soldier with black radical Muslim ties now at the center of the sniper investigation). James admitted that six months earlier, "she and her son were passengers on a cargo ship that was filled with 'illegal asians (sic).' They were all off loaded in the Miami, FL area where she immediately located work at the Red Lobster in Ft. Myers, FL."

From there, Malvo and James traveled to Tacoma, Wash., and ended up in Bellingham. At the time of their arrest, INS records indicate, neither Malvo nor his mother had any documents proving their identities or allowing them "to be or remain in the United States legally." The Border Patrol agents concluded that because she had "no roots or close family ties in the United States, James was likely to abscond." The arresting officer noted that the mother-and-son illegal aliens, Malvo and James, would be "detained at the Seattle Detention facility in Seattle, Washington pending deportation charges."

That's not what happened. About a month after their arrest, Malvo and his mother were set free by the Seattle district INS — contrary to what the arresting Border Patrol officers had determined should be done. And in clear violation of federal law regarding the removal of illegal alien stowaways.

Michelle Malkin is the author of Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists Criminals & Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores

It gets worse: This article claims John Allen Muhummad had his Caprice co-registered with another Jamaican illegal alien named Nathaniel Osbourne. Note the comment by the FBI spokeswoman that if Osbourne would turn himself in the FBI might help him get a visa in exchange for helping them!

Perhaps the key to the Camden connection lies with a man named Nathaniel Osbourne, who sources say apparently is an illegal alien from Jamaica.

The FBI were searching for Osbourne yesterday, and they seem to have some pretty good reasons.

Muhammad registered his Chevy Caprice - a former Bordentown Township police cruiser sold as surplus - in Camden this past Sept. 11.

And it was co-registered to Osbourne, whose address was 1400 Sheridan St., the site of the bar and restaurant. And for the car registration, Muhammad listed that address as well.

Also, an accomplice of Muhammad may have called in a bomb threat to the New Jersey DMV office to speed up the registration process when Muhammad went to register the Caprice.

By Randall Parker    2002 October 25 06:38 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2002 October 01 Tuesday
Border control series in the Washington Times

Jerry Seper in the Washington Times has written a 5 part series on border control and illegal immigration.

Part 1: Thin green line takes a new strategy

The day-night vision cameras are linked to command centers equipped with video monitors, which allow agents to scour the southern edges of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Thousands of sensitive electronic sensors, hidden along hundreds of miles of suspected alien trails, send signals — when triggered — to designated cameras.

Command-center personnel immediately can dispatch field agents to intercept the illegal aliens or drug smugglers.

I wonder whether UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) equipped with infrared sensors would be a more cost effective way to watch for illegals crossing at night. Seems they could look over a lot more territory than ground-based sensors. Warm human bodies would stand on an infrared sensor at night in cold deserts.

Part 2: 'We are overwhelmed'

"We are a small rural hospital funded by Congress to take care of our Native American population," said Darrell W. Rumley, director of the Sells Indian Hospital, which serves the nation's 25,500 members. "We are the only hospital between Tucson and Yuma, serving an area about the size of Connecticut.

"But we are required by law to treat those who present themselves for care, including the illegal aliens who show up on their own and those being brought here by the federal government. Over the last few years, their numbers have been going up in a big way," he said. "We're doing what we can to survive."

Mr. Rumley's situation is not unique.

Part 3: Border War: Mexican police join drug lords

Mexican drug lords, backed by corrupt Mexican military officers and police officials, will move tons of marijuana, cocaine and heroin this year over rugged desert trails to accomplices in Phoenix and Tucson for shipment to willing buyers throughout the United States.

Part 4: Border Wars: Helping is hurting

Humane Borders, based in Tucson, was established in June 2000 for what its founder, the Rev. Robin Hoover, said was to create "a just and humane border environment."

Mr. Hoover, pastor of Tucson's First Christian Church, said the group is committed to responding with humanitarian assistance to those who risk their lives crossing the border and to the creation of public policies toward a "humane, nonmilitarized border" with work opportunities for migrants in the United States.

Part 5: Border Wars: Agents resent zeal for amnesty

"What the hell are we doing out here?" asked one veteran agent. "Why don't we just pack it in? Amnesty? It's just an open invitation for more illegal aliens to come into the country, stay low for a while and, eventually, get their citizenship papers.

By Randall Parker    2002 October 01 12:46 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (4)
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