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2010 August 13 Friday
Obama Tries To Buy GOP Support With Border Agents

Barack Obama wants you to think that 1,000 more Border Patrol agents should make you favor another immigration amnesty.

President Obama signed a $600 million border protection bill Friday. Does that mean comprehensive immigration legislation has a better chance of passing?

Where's the logic in this position? A 5% increase in the number of agents is not going to work as long as Obama refuses to build a border barrier large enough to make illegal passage really difficult. The border is too large to be secured by manpower alone unless the Border Patrol goes thru a couple of more doublings in size.

20,000 agents over 2000 miles is 10 agents per mile. But since there are administrators, vacation time, days off, sick time, holidays, training days, and time spent doing paperwork the real effective strength isn't even 1 per mile 24 hours per day. That's why we need a big multi-layer barrier that takes a long time to cross which triggers alarms providing border patrol time to get to an illegal crossing attempt.

That’s the position the White House is pushing. The border legislation, which would pay for 1,000 new Border Patrol agents, and add other law enforcement personnel to investigate immigration violations, was enacted with substantial bipartisan support. Administration officials hope this will translate into hands-across-the-aisle cooperation on the larger issue of immigration reform.

By "the larger issue of immigration reform" the Obama Administration means amnesty for all the illegal aliens. Such an amnesty would of course encourage more people to enter the United States illegally to get in line for the next immigration amnesty.

Fouad Ajami spots the contradiction in Obama's position.

The nation may be ill at ease with an immigration reform bill that would provide some 12 million illegal immigrants a path toward citizenship, but the administration would still insist on the primacy of its own judgment. It would take Arizona to court, even though the public let it be known that it understood Arizona's immigration law as an expression of that state's frustration with the federal government's abdication of its responsibility over border security.

It was clear as daylight that there was a built-in contradiction between opening the citizenship rolls to a vast flood of new petitioners and a political economy of redistribution favored by the Obama administration. The choice was stark: You could either "spread the wealth around" or open the gates for legalizing millions of immigrants of lower skills. You could not do both.

Milton Friedman said open borders immigration and a welfare state are incompatible. Yet Barack Obama, who sees the welfare state as a tool to redistribute wealth between the races, supports immigration amnesty. He's hurting blacks by taking this position. Does he fail to understand this?

Q: Dr. Friedman should the U.S.A. open its borders to all immigrants? What is your opinion on that?

A: Unfortunately no. You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state.

Q: Do you oppose a unilateral reduction of tariffs and if not how can you oppose open immigration until the welfare state is eliminated?

A: I am in favor of the unilateral reduction of tariffs, but the movement of goods is a substitute for the movement of people. As long as you have a welfare state, I do not believe you can have a unilateral open immigration. I would like to see a world in which you could have open immigration, but stop kidding yourselves. On the other hand, the welfare state does not prevent unilateral free trade. I believe that they are in different categories.

Also see Milton Friedman Opposes Mission To Spread Democracy. He was wise.

By Randall Parker    2010 August 13 07:06 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (2)
2010 August 01 Sunday
Most Americans Prefer State Immigration Enforcement

Most Americans do not see the US federal government as up to the task of immigration law enforcement on their own. So then most Americans have an accurate assessment of the situation.

4* Which is the better approach to dealing with illegal immigration—allowing individual states to act on their own to enforce immigration laws or relying upon the federal government to enforce immigration laws?

  • 53% Allowing individual states to act on their own to enforce immigration laws
  • 41% Relying on the federal government to enforce immigration laws
  • 6% Not sure

As Heather Mac Donald points out, the Obama Administration and a sympathetic federal judge demonstrate by their opposition to Arizona's law on immigration enforcement that the people are right to put greater trust in the states.

Judge Bolton’s ruling regarding S.B. 1070’s provision on the possession of immigration documents verges on bad faith. S.B. 1070 adopts virtually verbatim a federal law requiring lawful aliens to carry their immigration papers with them; the Arizona version merely lessens the federal penalties regarding the amount of the fine and possible jail time for violation of the federal document requirement. As the judge notes, federal registration power is exclusive; Congress’s registration scheme may not be altered by the states. But nothing in S.B. 1070 changes the rules for registration; the Arizona law merely confirms those rules in state law. Judge Bolton alleges that the Arizona provision “alters the penalties” in the federal law, without disclosing that the Arizona law lowers them. She concludes without the slightest trace of argument that the Arizona document provision “stands as an obstacle to the uniform federal registration scheme and is therefore impermissible.”

The only factually plausible objection to S.B. 1070’s document requirement and to the provision authorizing inquiries into an alien’s status is that Arizona may penalize someone for being in the country illegally whom the federal government intends to ignore. It is the effect of the law on illegal aliens, not on legal ones, that has most upset the Obama administration and illegal-alien advocates (the Bush administration would probably have reacted similarly). A large reason why S.B. 1070’s impact on illegal aliens was so carefully kept offstage in the federal government’s brief and the judge’s ruling is that Congress has repeatedly expressed its intention that local governments cooperate with the federal government in the “apprehension, detention or removal or [illegal] aliens,” as a 1996 federal law declares. The very immigration-information clearinghouse that Judge Bolton worries would be overtaxed by S.B. 1070 was created to effectuate Congress’s mandate that the federal and local governments share information regarding illegal aliens. As the Senate declared in 1996 when banning sanctuary laws (a ban whose disregard in Arizona led to S.B. 1070): “illegal aliens do not have a right to remain in the U.S. undetected and apprehended.” If in fact that information clearinghouse becomes burdened with “too many” inquiries from Arizona, it’s for the executive branch to seek greater funding. Congress never said: We want information sharing, but only up to a point. Moreover, many of Arizona’s own law-enforcement officers are capable of using the federal immigration database without needing to go through federal channels.

By Randall Parker    2010 August 01 03:55 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (4)
2010 July 28 Wednesday
Arizona Immigration Law Ruling Temporary Setback

In spite of the Obama Administration's legal war against Arizona's immigration enforcement law many states see Arizona as a model to follow.

With its now-suspended immigration law, Arizona sent a clear message to illegal immigrants: Pack your bags and go home. Five other state legislatures have introduced similar legislation and 20 more are considering it.

A group which is opposed to illegal immigration wants a concerted effort to help the illegals to leave.

Now, a group committed to stopping illegal immigration is proposing a way to make this happen.

It's called "safe passage," and it's the idea that the US should allow – and in some cases help – the 15 million undocumented Hispanic workers believed to be residing in the US to leave the country freely.

The US government could fund bus and air fares for departing illegals. The illegals could sign up and select times and places to leave from.

Meanwhile, US federal judge Susan Bolton's decision to put the enforcement of most of the new Arizona law against illegals has elicited a lot of commentary. Liberals who favor illegal immigration of course applaud the decision But even in the New York Times a couple of voices in favor of enforcement are allowed to state opposing positions. Law prof John C. Eastman casts a critical eye on Judge Bolton's ruling.

Take the provision that has garnered most of the national attention, Section 2, which requires local law enforcement to check the immigration status of arrestees if there is reasonable suspicion that they are in the U.S. illegally. Federal law – Title 8, Section 1373(c) — already requires the Department of Homeland Security to respond to immigration status requests from state and local law enforcement “for any purpose authorized by law.”


Judge Bolton also blocked enforcement of the new state law requirement that aliens carry immigration papers proving they are in this country legally. But again, this merely parallels a requirement of existing federal law, specifically, Section 1304(e) of Title 8, which requires an alien to carry a certificate of alien registration. In fact, the Arizona law expressly incorporates the federal law in its provision, and the penalty for violation is identical to that provided by federal law--$100 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

The anti-enforcement faction basically argues there's no constitutional way to effectively enforce immigration law. You can tell whether an enforcement measure is likely to be effective by whether they oppose it on constitutional grounds.

Steven A. Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies points a previously enacted Arizona law against illegal immigration ultimately survived court challenges and helped substantially reduce Arizona's illegal immigrant population. SB 1070 will probably be appealed all the way to the US Supreme Court and it might survive too.

It is also worth noting that Arizona’s other important immigration law also had to wind its way through the courts. That law went into effect in 2008 and requires employers to verify that new hires are authorized to work in the United States using the government-provided E-Verify system. That law was also the subject of court challenges and demonstrations at the time, but it ultimately passed legal muster and went into effect. The Department of Homeland Security reports that the illegal immigrant population declined by 18 percent in Arizona between 2008 and 2009 compared to a 7 percent decline over the same period for the nation as a whole. It seems likely the 2008 law accounted for a significant share of that decline.

The US could eliminate 95+% of its illegal immigrant population. This could be done cheaply and easily. Even rounding up 10% of the illegals would cause most of the remaining illegals to self-deport. They'd rather leave on their own terms than to get arrested.

Even without this new law one county in Arizona has sent 26,146 illegal aliens out of the United States. Local law enforcement personnel are so numerous that they can do orders of magnitude more rounding up of illegals than federal immigration enforcement officers could ever hope to.

Statistics obtained by the Associated Press show that the Maricopa County sheriff’s office was responsible for the deportation or forced departure of 26,146 immigrants since 2007.

Other states are following Arizona's lead.

The report said that as of June 30, legislators in five other states had filed bills to create Arizona-style laws — South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Michigan.

In Utah, state Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, has said he will unveil a similar law in early August for study by legislative interim committees, and he intends to introduce it in Utah's 2011 Legislature.

Fremont Nebraska has to decide whether it can afford to legally fight the legal bullies of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).

The city council of Fremont, Nebraska (pop. 25,000), is expected to decide Tuesday whether to delay enforcement of a new illegal immigration law because of legal challenges by civil rights groups. The ordinance, which would prohibit businesses from hiring and landlords from renting to illegal immigrants, was approved by voters June 21 and is scheduled to go into effect on Thursday.

The ACLU and MALDEF could easily win against a small town just from their deep pockets. The town can't afford the legal costs. Fremont should set up a web site for donations to their legal fund.

By Randall Parker    2010 July 28 10:39 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (14)
2010 July 11 Sunday
Eric Holder Threatens Racial Profiling Suit Against AZ

Immigration is the issue where the desires of the elites conflict most severely with the will of the masses. The elites are very keen to defeat the will of the masses. We aren't supposed to notice that illegal immigrants from Mexico are Mexicans.

Washington — Atty. Gen. Eric Holder, the nation's top law enforcement officer, said Sunday he might sue Arizona a second time if he finds its tough-on-illegal-immigrants law leads to racial profiling.

News flash for Eric Holder: The vast majority of illegal aliens from Mexico look like they are from Mexico. If the local police in Arizona start pulling over blue-eyed blondes and ask them questions about where they were born then they might occasionally unearth a woman from Sweden or Norway here on vacation. But it'll be a big waste of time unless the cops want to try to seduce hot tourists.

One core fact has to be kept in mind in the Arizona immigration law enforcement flap: Barack Obama and other top leaders in the Democratic Party do not want immigration law enforced.

When the Obama Administration talks about the Arizona law as interfering with federal immigration law enforcement that's really cheeky. Arizona can't interfere with what the feds aren't doing. Obama is trying to cut spending on immigration law enforcement. The state and local governments are compensating for federal passivity in the face of large scale law violation by illegals.

Here's part of Arizona's response to the federal suit.

iii. SB 1070 does not conflict with federal law

“[C]onflict preemption exists when ‘compliance with both State and federal law is impossible, or when the state law stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress.’” Ariz. Contrs. Ass’n v. Napolitano, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96194, at *39 (D. Ariz. Dec. 21, 2007), aff’d sub nom. CPLC, 558 F.3d 856 (quoting Mich. Canners & Freezers Ass'n Inc. v. Agric. Mktg. & Bargaining Bd., 467 U.S. 461, 469 (1984)). Plaintiffs allege that SB 1070 interferes with federal interests and that an actual conflict exists between federal law and SB 1070 with respect to registration, transportation, and harboring, work authorization, and state and local law enforcement officers’ arrest authority. However, an analysis of SB 1070 in connection with plaintiffs’ claims demonstrates that plaintiffs are misconstruing or misapplying the Act.

a. SB 1070 does not interfere with federal interests

Plaintiffs assert that SB 1070 conflicts with “federal government interests.” Compl. 144-46. However, the question in any implied conflict preemption analysis is whether the state law “stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment … of the full purposes and objectives of Congress.”29 SB 1070 is not only consistent with federal objectives, but it expressly (and in effect) serves to reinforce existing federal laws. See 8 U.S.C. §§ 1304(e), 1306(a), 1324(a)(1)(A), 1324a. In the words of Judge Learned Hand, “it would be unreasonable to suppose that [the federal government’s] purpose was to deny itself any help that the states may allow.” Marsh v. United States, 29 F.2d 172, 174 (2d Cir. 1928). 28 See also 8 U.S.C. § 1373(c) (requiring the federal government to respond to inquiries by state and local police officers seeking to verify the immigration status of any alien); 8 U.S.C. § 1644 (prohibiting restrictions on state and local government entities in “sending to or receiving from the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of an alien in the United States.”).

b. SB 1070 concurrently enforces the documentation
provisions of federal law

Plaintiffs allege that A.R.S. § 13-1509(A) “conflicts with federal law and enforcement priorities.” Compl. 99. This provision, however, precisely conforms to federal law: “In addition to any violation of federal law, a person is guilty of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document if the person is in violation of 8 United States Code Section 1304(e) or 1306(a).” A.R.S. § 13-1509(A).30 A.R.S. § 13- 1509(A), (H) further impose the same misdemeanor penalties as federal law imposes for violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1304(e) – a maximum fine of $100 and a maximum imprisonment of 30 days. “Where state enforcement activities do not impair federal regulatory interests concurrent enforcement activity is authorized.” Gonzales v. Peoria, 722 F.2d 468, 474 (9th Cir. 1983) (emphasis added), overruled on other grounds by Durgin v. De La Vina, 199 F.3d 1037 (9th Cir. 1999)). Where “[f]ederal and local enforcement have identical purposes,” preemption does not occur. Id. Because A.R.S. § 13-1509(A) prohibits precisely the same conduct that is prohibited by 8 U.S.C. §§ 1304(e) and 1306(a), Arizona law and federal law are in concurrence.

By Randall Parker    2010 July 11 06:34 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (8)
2008 May 23 Friday
McCain Renews His Support For Immigration Amnesty

"Comprehensive immigration reform" is Washington DC code-speak for immigration amnesty. Well, speaking in Silicon Valley John McCain renewed his support for immigration amnesty.

UNION CITY - Republican presidential candidate John McCain joined Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in calling today for comprehensive immigration reform, including guest worker visas to bring employees to California's Silicon Valley and the state's vast agricultural fields.

The two men brought up the issue at McCain's prompting during a global competitiveness roundtable featuring California technology executives and entrepreneurs.

Is Obama as thoroughly as bad as McCain on immigration?

McCain wants to recruit the best and the brightest into farm fields.

McCain said they should be allowed to seek legal status in a "humane and comprehensive fashion" through a program "they can count on and trust."

Responding to a question about so-called H1-B visas for Silicon Valley workers, McCain said: "We have to attract the best and brightest minds. It isn't just H1-B visas. In our agricultural sector, they can't find workers as well. We need a temporary agriculture (worker) program."

He's arguing that we can't afford to pay decent wages to farm field workers. He's arguing that we can't automate much of the work. No, we need to bring in large numbers of foreign peasants to live in poverty and do lots of manual work.

McCain is a religious universalist on immigration and wants all of God's children to be able to move to the Promised Land of the United States.

McCain repeated his line about illegal immigrants being "God's children" — one he's been using since he openly backed comprehensive reform, and one that aims to mollify his base. (The board likes it too.) So far, it's unclear whether he chimed in when Schwarzenegger voiced his support for driver's licenses for illegal immigrants.

It's also notable that he went further than his Silicon Valley interlocutors asked him to go — they were focusing on a relatively small segment of the immigrant population (temporary skilled workers) that's easier, politically, to support. But McCain extended his answer to include agricultural workers and even said "comprehensive" — seen as a synonym for amnesty in some parts.

Yes, "comprehensive" means amnesty.

By Randall Parker    2008 May 23 04:45 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (12)
2007 November 12 Monday
Three Quarters Of Americans Oppose Illegal Alien Drivers Licenses

Scott Rasmussen finds that Americans overwhelmingly oppose granting drivers licenses to illegal aliens.

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of American adults are opposed to making drivers licenses available to people who are in the country illegally. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 16% take the opposite view and believe that undocumented immigrants should be allowed to get a license.

On immigration our rulers of course disagree with our masses and our rulers try very hard to ignore the wishes of the public to crack down on illegal immigration.

SAN JUAN, P.R., Nov. 9 — Reeling from relentless criticism of his plan to issue New York driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, Gov. Eliot Spitzer indicated on Friday that he had not ruled out shelving the idea.

The governor’s aides have grown increasingly concerned that reaction to the plan is preventing Mr. Spitzer from advancing or even discussing other matters. It has also become an issue for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign and has caused anxiety among other Democrats.

The Democrats have a bad economy, the Iraq war, declining housing prices, and rising gas prices in their favor. But they seem determined to remind the public what the public dislikes about the Democratic party. They just can't help being what they are and doing it in public.

By Randall Parker    2007 November 12 11:33 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2007 October 15 Monday
People Around The World Want Less Immigration

Audacious Epigone reports on a new Pew Research Center survey on global attitudes that found out of 48 countries polled in 45 the majority favors greater restrictions on immigration.

Pew recently released the results of an interesting survey on international attitudes toward free trade, immigration, and democracy. It's worth taking a look at.

The bottom line comes in two parts: Firstly, nations overwhelmingly like being able to trade with other nations and favor free market economies over those that are centrally-planned. Pew is a trustworthy source, but in spite of this it strains credulity to see that, of the 47 nations polled, support for free trade (59%) was the very lowest in the United States.

I counted 48 in their charts. But that included the Palestinian Territories that are not exactly a country. They are not exactly part of some other country either. The Palestinian Territories, Japan, and South Korea were the 3 places that lacked a simple majority in favor of greater immigration restriction. But the rest of the world had very large majorities in favor of immigration restriction. See the second chart for the details.

These results aren't surprising. Most people prefer to live around their own kind and do not want their countries changed by large influxes that remake the demographics of a society into something alien to the existing inhabitants.

By Randall Parker    2007 October 15 09:34 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2007 June 24 Sunday
Steve Sailer On Why Our Elites Wrong On Immigration

Steve Sailer lists a dozen reasons why America's elites can not think rationally about immigration.

1. An aversion to working with numbers is common among intellectuals and media types. For instance, it’s of some relevance to crafting immigration policy to know that 5 billion people live in countries with lower average per capita GDPs than Mexico. About a fifth of the 135 million people in the world of Mexican descent now reside in America, and another 40 million Mexicans tell pollsters they’d like to immigrate here. That suggests that if the Wall Street Journal editorial board had its way, and there were a constitutional amendment declaring, “There shall be open borders,” at least a billion foreigners would try to move here. At a minimum, this quick estimate suggests that the WSJ’s immigration views are mad. Yet these numbers are not at all well-known because few in public life have bothered to do the simple calculations required.

2. Views on illegal immigration may be the surest status symbol. A blithe attitude toward illegal immigration conveys your self-confidence that you don’t have to worry about competition from Latin American peasants and that you can afford to insulate your children from their children. Moreover, your desire to keep down the wages of nannies, housekeepers, and pool boys by importing more cheap labor advertises that you are a member of the servant-employing upper-middle class.

3. While libertarians enjoy displaying their feelings of economic superiority— their Randian confidence that they can claw their way to the top of the heap no matter how overcrowded it gets—liberals feel that laxity on illegal immigration shows off their moral superiority. Celebrating diversity has been promoted for a generation now as the highest imaginable ethical value, so the ambitious compete to be seen espousing most fervently the reigning civic religion and damning most loudly any heretics who dare to speak up.

The desire for higher status is a huge motivator for human behavior. Some whites attempt to signal their higher status by acting insouciant about things that make life much more difficult for lower class whites.

Since the New York Times doesn't report on the large ethnic crime rate differences our elites do not see fit to make immigration policy based on ethnic and racial crime rate differences.

6. Among the privileged, if a tree falls in the forest but it’s not reported in the New York Times, it never happened. For example, the best estimate is that the Latino crime rate is roughly triple the Anglo white rate, which would not come as much of a surprise to anybody who doesn’t live in a cave. Yet because the major media won’t note differences in mean crime rates by ethnicity, this fact is considered outside the limits of acceptable discussion of immigration.

Yet the upper class liberals know that the crime rates differ by race and therefore spend big bucks to live in neighborhoods that contain few if any members of high crime racial groups. They also spend big bucks to shield their kids from the lower IQ and higher crime ethnic groups in schools. They use euphemisms such as "failed schools" rather the far more accurate "bad students" to describe their motivations for doing this.

Read Steve's full list of reasons why our public intellectuals and rulers take up positions on immigration that mostly range from useless to damaging.

As for the desire of the rulers to avert their gaze from the truth: do not let them. Contact your Senators and tell them that on immigration you want them to represent you and not their own class interests. Then contact your Representative in House and do the same.

By Randall Parker    2007 June 24 02:28 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (14)
2007 June 21 Thursday
Kay Bailey Hutchison Decides Against Amnesty Bill

US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) has decided to vote against the Senate immigration amnesty bill.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, who has been under intense pressure from the White House and Republican leadership to support a sweeping immigration overhaul, nevertheless announced today that she will vote against reviving the legislation when it returns to the Senate floor next week.

She was joined today by the state's other senator, Republican John Cornyn, who had been expected by the bill's supporters to take such a stance. They had aggressively lobbied Hutchison in hopes of adding her vote to the 60 necessary to revive the stalled legislation.

Members of the Imperial Senate are obviously under a lot of pressure from the core population of the empire. Cornyn says he favors "comprehensive" immigration reform. That term "comprehensive" is a tip-off that he's only opposing this bill due to pressure from constituents.

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says he is wavering on whether to vote for this bill.

But in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, McConnell said he would not decide how to vote on the measure until a long series of amendments are disposed of next week.

``The bill on the merits is a mixed bag,'' said McConnell, who had brushed aside reporters' questions on immigration Tuesday and Wednesday. ``I'm not uniformly enthusiastic about it.''

``At the end of the process,'' he said, ``we're going to have to make a call as to whether this is an improvement over the status quo. I'm not ready to make that call yet.''

McConnell would probably vote for the bill if he wasn't afraid of what his constituents will do when he runs for reelection.

Keep the pressure on your Senators and call some House Reps too. Contact your Senators and make them switch to oppose the immigration amnesty too. Time for immigration law enforcement and mass deportations of illegal aliens.

By Randall Parker    2007 June 21 10:32 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (4)
2007 June 18 Monday
Many Senate Border Enforcement Supporters Lying

Charles Krauthammer argues that while all the Senators say they support better border enforcement many demonstrate their dishonesty by making it contingent on amnesty and legal immigration.

There is only one provision that has unanimous support: stronger border enforcement. I've seen senators stand up and object to the point system, to chain migration, to guest workers, to every and any idea in this bill - except one. I have yet to hear a senator stand up and say he or she is against better border enforcement.

Why not start by passing what everyone says they want? After all, proponents of this comprehensive reform insist that the current situation is intolerable and must be resolved. It follows, therefore, that however much they differ in the details of how the current mess should be resolved, they are united in the belief that such a mess should not be allowed to happen again. And the only way to make sure of that is border control.

So why not pass it, with the understanding that the other contentious provisions would be taken up subsequently? Because for all the protestations, many of those who say they are deeply devoted to enforcement are being deeply disingenuous. They profess to care about immigration control because they have to. But they care so little about the issue that they are willing to make it hostage to the other controversial provisions, most notably legalization.

In a nutshell: our elites are holding border security hostage to their desire to bring in more cheap labor.

People understand they are being lied to. An article in the New York Times reports on Georgians who do not trust or believe what politicians in Washington DC are telling them on immigration.

“It’s all window dressing,” said Mark A. Johnson, a real estate lawyer in this fast-growing suburb of Atlanta. “We don’t believe the government has the will to enforce any of these promises. Everybody can see the folly of it, everybody but the politicians.”


“It really upsets me to find out that my government says, ‘Yes, we can secure the border, we can detain illegal aliens, we can take all sorts of actions to enforce the law, but we will do so only if Congress provides legal status to those who are here illegally,’ ” Mr. Dean said.

Reagan Dean understands.

A majority of Democrats in Georgia oppose the Senate immigration amnesty bill.

Louis S. Hunter, a pollster and political analyst based in Atlanta, said, “Congress and the president are completely out of touch with how people here feel about illegal immigration.”

Senator Chambliss, who is up for re-election next year, was booed last month when he defended the bill at the state Republican convention. In nearby Gwinnett County, the local Republican Party adopted a resolution last week urging both senators to “vote no on this amnesty bill.”

Jane V. Kidd, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, said: “This is not a partisan issue in Georgia. A small percentage of Democrats are supporting the bill as it stands, but a majority of Democrats and Republicans in the state do not like it.”

Saxby Chambliss ought to get defeated in his next run for reelection. Some Democrats might try to run his right on immigration to beat him.

Three Democrats who hope to unseat Mr. Chambliss have criticized the bill and his role in drafting it, Ms. Kidd said.

This is what we need: throw the bums out. Among the Republicans who should go down against Republican primary challengers: Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Johnny Isakson also of Georgia, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and John Kyl of Arizona all should go down to defeat in their next elections.

By Randall Parker    2007 June 18 09:25 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (4)
2007 June 17 Sunday
Rasmussen Poll: Populace Opposes Immigration Amnesty Bill

George W. Bush, the US Senate, and other Beltway elites are conspiring to ignore the will of the people.

Just 20% of American voters want Congress to try and pass the immigration reform bill that failed in the Senate last week. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 51% would like their legislators to “take smaller steps towards reform” while 16% believe they should wait until next year. The survey was conducted on Monday and Tuesday night as the President was publicly attempting to rally support for the legislation.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of voters would favor an approach that focuses exclusively on “exclusively on securing the border and reducing illegal immigration.” Support for the enforcement only approach comes from 84% of Republicans, 55% of Democrats, and 69% of those not affiliated with either major party.

Overall, just 21% are opposed to the enforcement-only approach.

Just 30% would favor legislation that focused “exclusively on legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living in the United States.” Fifty-seven percent (57%) oppose that strategy, including 63% of Republicans, 52% of Democrats, and 55% of unaffiliated voters.

The polls by assorted liberal media organizations that show more support for immigration and the Senate bill are designed to produce the answers they desired. Why? They want to convince opponents of the amnesty that the opponents are vastly outnumbered. They want to make the immigration restrictionists feel hopeless and helpless. Well, don't do it.

Contact your Senators and tell them to stop illegal immigration and slash legal immigration. Once you've done that: Think about how to change the US Senate. We've reached the point where we need to start defeating US Senators running for reelection. We need to impose a litmus test on all Congressional and Presidential candidates on the National Question. Advocates of cheap labor and Banana Republicans should be rejected.

By Randall Parker    2007 June 17 12:18 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (10)
2007 June 14 Thursday
Senate Immigration Amnesty Alive Again

Banana Republicans continue to work with their Democratic Party counterparts to turn America into a Banana Republic. The monster has been brought back from the dead.

Senators Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader from Nevada, and Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader from Kentucky, agreed on a timetable for the bill and for a limited number of amendments to be offered.

The agreement, coming after President Bush’s pledge earlier today to provide $4.4 billion for border security, revives a bill that had stalled in the Senate and was all but given up for dead.

“We met this evening with several of the senators involved in the immigration bill negotiations,” Mr. Reid and Mr. McConnell said in a statement. “Based on that discussion, the immigration bill will return to the Senate floor after completion of the energy bill.”

We need to stop this stupidity. Contact your Senators and tell them no to amnesty and demand real immigration law enforcement.

By contrast, The states are closer to the will of the American people and the states are adopting measures aimed against illegal immigrants.

Through mid-April, legislators in all 50 states had introduced a record 1,169 bills dealing with illegal immigrants – more than twice the number put forward in all of 2006. Eighteen states had enacted 57 of those bills as of April 19, two-thirds of the number of immigration laws adopted by states last year, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) in Washington.

"I would not be surprised to see an increase above this year's historic level [of state legislation] if there's no [federal] reform," says Sheri Steisel, an immigration policy expert at NCSL. "Clearly, in areas of employer documentation, education, and healthcare we'll see even more activity next year."

Cities take action, too

Cities, counties, and towns are grappling with illegal immigration as well.

"More than 90 cities or counties have proposed, passed, or rejected laws prohibiting landlords from leasing to illegal immigrants, penalizing businesses that employ undocumented workers, or training local police to enforce federal immigration laws," said Dennis Zine, a board member of the National League of Cities and the chair of its Immigration Task Force, in testimony before a US House Judiciary subcommittee in May.

We need to politically organize to defeat amnesty-supporting Senators in primaries and general elections. We need to do the same in House elections.

Update: The links above are more connected to each other than you might have guessed. Over at The Corner a reader writes to Rich Lowry and proposes a theory: the impetus behind the immigration amnesty comes from business fears that state and local governments will cut down on the supply of cheap illegal immigrant labor.

Chertoff and Kyl both seem to have answered that question recently, Kyl in his Wall Street Journal interview and Chertoff on Fox News yesterday: because businesses are starting to worry about efforts to enforce immigration laws at the local level. One state in the vanguard of that effort is Kyl's (and McCain's) home state of Arizona, where the legislature has passed numerous laws (usually vetoed) on the issue, and where the public voted for Prop 200 back in 2004.

To me that says something far more ominous than that Congress is being disingenuous or naïve on the matter. Far from simple being empty promises, this amnesty bill is actually a blatant attempt to head off any attempts at enforcement at all.

Think about that. The Democrats then are the party of big business, not the Republicans. The Democrats more clearly represent the interests of capital over that of labor!

Mickey Kaus comments:

It also means the current immigration debate isn't as important as obsessive bloggers have been making it seem. It's more important! And it's not important to the GOPs so much as the Dems--because it means business is acting now to avoid what it perceives as a coming labor shortage in which it will have to substantially raise wages at the bottom, altering the economic contours of the economy in favor of unskilled workers and their families. You wouldn't think that--whatever Republicans do--a Democrat like Harry Reid would really want to move a bill that would prevent such a dramatic, progressive shift, would you? ...

Big money owns both the political parties. We need to get them back.

Update II: Thanks to "tommy" for putting the term "Banana Republicans" into my head. The term works. I suggest other bloggers pick up on it when talking about amnesty and North American Union supporting Republicans.

By Randall Parker    2007 June 14 07:36 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (22)
2007 June 07 Thursday
Senate Immigrant Amnesty Bill Loses Vote

Another attempt to move the Senate S.1348 illegal immigrant amnesty bill toward passage suffered a defeat.

The sharply divided Senate refused to limit debate on the fragile compromise hammered out by a bipartisan group of senators and the White House. The vote was 45-50, 15 short of the 60 votes needed to advance significant legislation in the 100-member body toward a final vote.

The huge volume of calls and mail from the public opposing this measure along with the uprising of mostly right wing commentators against this bill have taken their toll on the US Senators who thought they could safely vote this monstrosity into law. We haven't won yet but our odds of defeating this bill have improved considerably. Keep those calls and faxes coming.

5 Senators managed not to be there for the vote. How many of them are out running for President?

Who were the 7 Republicans who voted to end debate and who were the 11 Democrats who voted against and end to debate?

All but seven Republicans voted against ending debate, with many arguing they needed more time to make the bill tougher with tighter border security measures and a more arduous legalization process for unlawful immigrants.

All but 11 Democrats supported the move, but they, too, were holding their noses at provisions of the bill.

The Democrats must have received blistering criticism from their constituents for so many of them to break ranks and vote against an immigration amnesty. Let this be a lesson: A sufficiently angered populace which calls up and faxes and emails its elected representatives can pull them back from making a move that the masses oppose.

An amendment on S.1348 had already made the temporary worker program of limited duration.

The 49-48 vote just after midnight on making the temporary worker program itself temporary came two weeks after the Senate, also by a one-vote margin, rejected an earlier attempt by Sen. Byron Dorgan to end the program after five years. The North Dakota Democrat says immigrants take many jobs Americans could fill.

Byron Dorgan is one of the more restrictionist Democrats in the US Senate. I'd rather have him than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama running for President.

By Randall Parker    2007 June 07 09:14 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (5)
2007 June 04 Monday
Immigration: Bush's Domestic Iraq

In an article entitled "Immigration -- Bush's domestic Iraq" Mickey Kaus says "The rigid thinking leading us to failure in the Mideast spawned 'comprehensive immigration reform.'".

6. In both cases, the solution has failed before. The British failed to "stand up" democracy in Iraq. We failed to do the same in Vietnam and also failed to establish stable, trans-factional governing structures in Lebanon and Somalia. Likewise, the grand, bipartisan Simpson-Mazzoli immigration reform of 1986 had promised, and failed, to establish an effective immigration enforcement mechanism.

7. In both cases, some Bush plan enthusiasts may not really mind a chaotic end result. Iraq war foes argue that some important neocon supporters of the Iraq war weren't really bothered by the prospect of Sunni-versus-Shiite warfare — even seeing divide-and-conquer advantages. Similarly, there's the suspicion that many supporters of Bush's immigration plan won't really be bothered if the enforcement parts of the law fail to stop the flow of new illegals. Employers, for one, would get additional inexpensive, willing workers.

All of his 10 points are great. I recommend reading the whole thing.

The domestic debacle of Bush's immigration proposal would be even worse than the foreign policy debacle of Iraq.

10. In both cases the consequences of losing the grand Bush bet are severe. Bush himself is busy these days describing the debacle that his big Iraq bet has now made possible: a government "overrun by extremists on all sides … an epic battle between Shia extremists backed by Iran, and Sunni extremists aided by Al Qaeda." Possibly "the entire region could be drawn into the conflict."

The equivalent disaster scenario on immigration would go something like this: "Comprehensive reform" passes. The 12 million illegals are legalized as planned. But the untested enforcement provisions prove no more effective than they've been in the past — or else they are crippled by ACLU-style lawsuits and lobbying (as in the past). Legal guest workers enter the country to work, but so do millions of new illegal workers, drawn by the near-certain prospect that they too, some day, will be considered too numerous to deport. Soon we have another 12 million illegals, or more. Wages for unskilled low-income American and immigrant workers are depressed. As a result, in parts of L.A., visible contrasts of wealth and poverty reach near-Latin American levels.

For people who want to live in a Latin American style society I have some simple advice: Go on a very extended vacation to one of those countries and take a real hard look at it. The United States of America is a far better place than Latin America. Or go for a ride through LA and look at the graffiti. Or follow the news in Santa Barbara about knife stabbings. Or read up on the one state that already has the demographics that Bush and our foolish elites want to make the United States into: New Mexico. What Bush wants is very bad for America.

By Randall Parker    2007 June 04 10:54 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (10)
2007 May 23 Wednesday
More Democrats Than Republicans Oppose Senate Illegal Amnesty

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

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

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

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

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

We may yet win this thing.

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

By Randall Parker    2007 May 23 11:19 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (8)
2007 May 20 Sunday
Corporations Want To Retain More Control Over Immigrants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Steve calls for a massive public response.

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

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

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

By Randall Parker    2007 May 20 04:02 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (13)
2006 December 26 Tuesday
Congress Wants Big Illegal Amnesty

Our masters do not want what we want.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 25 — Counting on the support of the new Democratic majority in Congress, Democratic lawmakers and their Republican allies are working on measures that could place millions of illegal immigrants on a more direct path to citizenship than would a bill that the Senate passed in the spring.

The lawmakers are considering abandoning a requirement in the Senate bill that would compel several million illegal immigrants to leave the United States before becoming eligible to apply for citizenship.

Never mind that the vast majority of the American people oppose our current level of immigration and want a reduction. Never mind that the Hispanics do poorly as measured by educational attainment, IQ, income, crime rates, illegitimacy, and other measures. Our elites have decided that they can change reality just by dreaming that truths are falsehoods and falsehoods are truths.

They do not want to build the fence. This means that not only do they want to make millions of illegals into legal residents and citizens (i.e. voters for the Left), they also want to keep the supply of illegals coming.

The lawmakers are also considering denying financing for 700 miles of fencing along the border with Mexico, a law championed by Republicans that passed with significant Democratic support.

The result will surely be the end to the United States as a high trust society, a low crime non-gated community society, as a limited government republic, and other characteristics that we still possess to a constantly dwindling extent. Idiocracy is our future. We already face a big enough dysgenesis problem from the fertility trend. Why make the problem even bigger?

Left liberalism combined with narrow short term business interests make for an especially destructive alliance in American politics.

By Randall Parker    2006 December 26 09:14 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (10)
2006 December 06 Wednesday
Survey Shows Popular-Elite Gap On Immigration

While our elites are broadly supportive of high levels of immigration yet another survey, this one from the Center for Immigration Studies, shows once again that the public wants less immigration, not more.

A. Neutral Questions Prompt Strong Opinions.

In October 2006, a month before the November mid-term elections, the Center for Immigration Studies commissioned a poll of likely voters by the polling company. The findings show that when presented with hard facts about the number of immigrants (both legal and illegal) currently in America, voters made clear that there are currently too many immigrants crossing our borders. In addition, the public wants the U.S. government to intensify its efforts to enforce current immigration laws (with the intent of causing illegals to go home over time) and rejected any increase in legal immigration levels. The views espoused by most Americans were those encapsulated by the bill passed earlier this year by Republicans in the United States House of Representatives. This suggests that the losses House Republicans sustained this election season are not linked to their stance on immigration, which was actually quite popular with voters.

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

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

C. Data Contradict Other Polls Showing Support for Legalization.

Several advocacy groups and even some media outlets have released polls showing support for legalizing current illegals. However, those polls often gave voters a very limited choice between large scale deportations or earned legalization. This survey also finds some support for earned legalization. However, when given the third choice of across-the-board enforcement with the goal of causing illegals to go home on their own (which is the basis of the bill passed by the U.S. House), the public strongly favored this "attrition strategy" over mass deportations or earned legalizations.

D. Very Little Support for Increasing Legal Immigration.

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

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

E. Immigration Plan Passed by the U.S. House by Far the Favorite.

Voters generally rejected the extremes of mass deportations or legalization of illegals. When asked to evaluate several proposed immigration policies, Americans rallied most forcefully around the House of Representatives plan. The House plan, which increases enforcement with the intent of causing illegals to go home, was the most popular when tested alone and when stacked up against other plans. Futhermore, when given three simple choices, across the board enforcement was the most popular: with 44 percent favoring the House’s attrition approach, 31 percent supporting an earned legalization, and just 20 percent in favor of large scale deportations. Enforcement without an earned legalization or an increase in legal immigration is clearly the public’s choice. No matter how the questions were asked, the results were virtually the same.

F. Voters Skeptical of the Need for Unskilled Immigrant Labor.

When presented with two competing views regarding the need for immigrants to supplement the low-wage, low-skill workforce, more than 70 percent of voters agreed that there were, "plenty of Americans to do low-wage jobs that require relatively little education, employers just need to pay higher wages and treat workers better to attract Americans." Less than one-third that many (21 percent) said the country needed immigrants because there are not enough Americans to do such jobs.

G. Lax Enforcement Partly to Blame for Illegal Immigration.

Nearly three-out-of-four voters said that the United States had done too little to enforce immigration laws. And three-quarters also agreed that the reason we have so many illegals in this country is that past enforcement efforts have before "grossly inadequate." Only 14 percent felt the government has made a "real effort" to enforce our laws and the reason we have so much illegal immigration is that we are not allowing in enough immigrants legally. This is a key argument posited by those who argue in favor of increased legal immigration and is a central tenet of the Senate plan.

H. Republican Most Strongly in Favor of Enforcement, but Independents and Many Democrats also Oppose Legalization.

While there were members of all three political persuasions (e.g. Republican, Democrat, and Independent) on both sides of the issue, overall Republicans were the most likely to believe that immigration was too high, and were most supportive of an enforcement approach. However, a majority of Democratic voters also felt overall immigration was too high and preferred either large scale deportations or an attrition strategy over earned legalization. There was little supporting for increasing legal immigration among adherents of any party.

I. Traditionally Democratic Voters – Including Minorities and Low-Wage, Low-Skill Workers – Split from Party on Many Aspects of Immigration.

Voters whose life and livelihoods are perhaps most apt to be directly affected by the presence of immigrants – those who are potentially being passed over for jobs in favor of immigrants who will accept lower wages and fewer benefits – split from their traditional Democratic roots and sided with Republicans. They were much more likely to believe the current number of immigrants in the country was too high and more favorable towards enforcement policies – including those that simply rounded up illegals and deported them.

The lower classes know they are most heavily shafted by immigration because the low skilled immigrants drive down their wages and worsen their working condtions. Plus, the immigrants increase crime in low income neighborhoods.

Will Jorge W. Bush and the Democrats pass a huge immigration amnesty in 2007? That is what they want to do. Will the public get mad enough to stop them?

By Randall Parker    2006 December 06 11:16 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (6)
2006 November 19 Sunday
Tancredo Says Bush Wants North American Union

US House Representative Tom Tancredo (R Colorado) says George W. Bush and other members of the elites want to dissolve US borders into a North American Union.

"People have to understand what we're talking about here. The president of the United States is an internationalist," said Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo. "He is going to do what he can to create a place where the idea of America is just that – it's an idea. It's not an actual place defined by borders. I mean this is where this guy is really going."

Tancredo lashed out at the White House's lack of action in securing U.S. borders, and said efforts to merge the U.S. with both Mexico and Canada is not a fantasy.

"I know this is dramatic – or maybe somebody would say overly dramatic – but I'm telling you, that everything I see leads me to believe that this whole idea of the North American Union, it's not something that just is written about by right-wing fringe kooks. It is something in the head of the president of the United States, the president of Mexico, I think the prime minister of Canada buys into it. ...

Tom Tancredo for President!

NAFTA supporters argued that it would help accelerate Mexico's economic growth so that the gap between the United States and Mexico would graudally close. But the US per capita GDP has continued to growth at a faster rate than that of Mexico. Mexico's corruption, political violence, and backwardness is something the United States should seek to isolate itself from, not to move closer to.

Different cultures should be allowed to be separate and different. That's what's great about borders. On the two sides of a border the different peoples can live differently, believe differently, speak different languages, and organize their affairs in ways that best suit their values, dispositions, and abilities.

By Randall Parker    2006 November 19 09:17 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (5)
2006 November 08 Wednesday
US And Mexican Leaders To Discuss Immigration

Jorge W. Bush will shortly be meeting with the incoming Mexican president Felipe Calderón and immigration is the stealth discussion topic of their meeting.

MEXICO CITY – The nearly 700 miles of fencing President Bush authorized for the US-Mexican border two weeks ago could overshadow other issues when Mexican president-elect Felipe Calderón makes his first visit to the White House on Thursday.

Bush wants to use the fence to demonstrate he's serious about border security so that he can argue for amnesty and a guest worker program. Never mind that next House Speaker and big time Open Borders advocate Nancy Pelosi might not allow funding of the fence.

Calderón, like many advocates for US Open Borders (but not for Mexico's southern border - Mexico's own immigration policy being built upon hypocrisy), tries to make the ridiculous claim that fences that keep people out are morally equivalent to fences that keep people in.

On a recent trip to Canada, Mexico's president-elect compared the fence to the "Berlin Wall," the former barrier between Communist East and democratic West Berlin.

"The most important thing for him is to end the monothematic tone [between the two nations]," says Luis Rubio, president of the Center of Research for Development, a think tank in Mexico City. He says the US-Mexican relationship, dominated by drug trafficking in the 1980s, now is being driven by differences over US immigration policy.

Bush is hoping that the big electoral victory by Open Borders supporters in the Congress due to the Iraq debacle can help him realize one of the big ambitions of his Manchurian Candidate presidency: A massive guest worker program combined with a massive amnesty.

The US border fence, meant to enhance security and deter illegal immigration, is one step in a comprehensive immigration reform plan that Bush hopes can later include a guest-worker program and amnesty plan for some undocumented immigrants. Half of the estimated 11 million undocumented migrants living in the US are believed to be Mexican.

Note to the Democrats: If Bush is for something it is usually a sign that it is a bad idea.

By Randall Parker    2006 November 08 09:56 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (4)
2004 January 25 Sunday
Bush Libertarian Immigration Proposal Radical, Unpopular

Steve Sailer reports on the Bush Administration's radical proposal to substantially increase the flow of foreigners into the United States to take jobs.

While some details of the Bush guest worker program remain murky, and any actual legislation would have to be hammered out with Congress, the statements issued so far by the White House imply an open-ended, strikingly libertarian approach to globalizing the U.S. job market.

A fact sheet issued by the White House to accompany the president's speech on Wednesday made clear that the administration envisions bringing into the country a substantial increase in the supply of labor above that provided by current U.S. residents, both legal and presently illegal. The White House complained: "Current immigration law can also hinder companies from finding willing workers. The visas now available do not allow employers to fill jobs in many key sectors of our economy."

Bush announced: "I propose a new temporary worker program that will match willing foreign workers with willing American employers, when no Americans can be found to fill the jobs. This program will offer legal status, as temporary workers, to the millions of undocumented men and women now employed in the United States, and to those in foreign countries who seek to participate in the program and have been offered employment here. ... All who participate in the temporary worker program must have a job, or, if not living in the United States, a job offer."

The White House list of common questions and answers about the Bush proposal argues for an inability of American employers to find willing American workers which is the fallacy at the base of the Bush Administration immigration proposal.

Question: Will the federal government be able to implement such a large-scale immigration program and also enforce the immigration laws?

While the details of the program will be worked out during discussions with Congress, we envision that the temporary worker program will simplify employers' hiring of foreign workers and contain sufficient protections to protect the American workforce. We anticipate that the program would include: a web site that would list available jobs and authorized workers; a simple process for employers to establish that they have been unable to find American workers; the requirement that the employer report when foreign workers enter and leave their employ; and strong audit and penalty provisions to ensure that both employers and workers are following the rules.

How would employers show that they have been unable to find local workers? That seems easy to do: figure out what the local market price is for workers to do a particular job and then advertise for workers to do that job at an amount that is less than the local market price but which is an amount high enough to be appealing to, say, someone living in a poor part of Mexico or Ecuador or India. Then when no applicants are forthcoming an employer can claim a need to hire foreign workers to fill open positions at that low wage.

An accomplished Republican Party activist offers comments on the very radical and unconservative Bush immigration proposal:

Under the proposal, any American employer with an unfilled job opening may post that opening on the Internet and immediately import an at-will foreign worker to "temporarily" fill that job, since the "magic of the marketplace" proves that all open jobs are axiomatically unattractive to American workers. Thus, if Walmart currently pays its "associates" $8.25 an hour with some benefits, it could immediately lower its compensation scheme to $5.25 an hour with no benefits, tut-tut in disappointment when 90% of its workforce quickly quit, then utilize the chartered freight-trains and buses it had thoughtfully prepared to immediately import a million Mexicans to replace them. This really does appear to be the intent of the Bush Proposal.

Furthermore, given the Administration's noted humanitarian bent and its desire to foster Latino entrepreneurship, we should not be surprised at some of the subtler aspects of the Bush Plan. For example, under the heightened border patrol regime put in place during the 1990s, the cost paid by illegal immigrants to smugglers has steadily risen into the thousands of dollars each and significant numbers of border crossers die each year in the scorching Arizona desert. As proposed by the Bushies, current smugglers have merely to rebrand themselves American "employers," post their "job" openings on the Internet, then quietly charge their Third World "applicants" a hefty but hidden fee covering travel, overhead, a healthy profit, and a week's minimum wage's, afterward telling their erstwhile employees to "get lost"---which they will eagerly do, in Los Angeles or New York.

Presumably, the goal of the politics-uber-alles Bush White House is to appeal to Latino and immigrant voters. I suspect this media strategy will be quite successful---for the first two seconds until Democratic organizers inform heavily-immigrant SEIU or hotel workers that Bush has proposed allowing their employers to immediately import unlimited numbers of minimum-wage foreign strike-breakers from everywhere in the world. After those two seconds, El Busho will be lucky to get 1% of the (overwhelmingly) working-class Latino vote.

And given all the current grim facts about our jobless "recovery," we shouldn't expect El W's share of the Anglo working-class vote to end up much higher.

Even if Bush's proposed foreign temporary worker hiring law was enforced well enough to prevent importation of workers for non-existent jobs the smugglers could still use the law to bring in large numbers of workers. The smugglers could essentially turn themselves into contract worker supply agencies and develop large numbers of contacts with both small and large businesses that want cheaper labor. Any factory, home builder, painting contractor, trash collection company, janitorial services company, or a company in countless other industries could make deals with Mexican entrepreneurs to bring in an endless supply of minimum wage workers who can replace workers who are currently making $8 or $10 or $12 or $15 per hour.

Of course the Mexican workers would have to compete with the Bangladeshis, Indians, Pakistanis, Vietnamese, Ecuadorians, and literally billions of others. A program that allowed employers to recruit unlimited numbers of foreign temporary workers would make the current rate of influx of illegal aliens seem meager by comparison. The United States could become like Saudi Arabia with more foreigners working in the economy than natives.

Most of the temporary workers would disappear from their legal jobs if the time for their work permit came to an end and they were facing deportation. So millions of temporary workers would eventually become permanent illegal aliens. Worse, many of them would have kids and those kids would be born American citizens. This would all be paid for by taxpayer subsidies for the births as the foreign women presented themselves at emergency wards in labor. Then their kids would become eligible for Medicaid and other benefits, again paid for by the taxpayers. This will continue the growth of the Recipient Class. The growth of the less skilled portions of the populace inevitably leads to the growth of big government. Said growth in government is something that real conservatives oppose.

For many previous supporters of George W. Bush this latest proposal is serving as a last straw. Georgia GOP Bush fund raiser Phil Kent reports Republican donors are angry about Bush's proposal. (same article here)

Phil Kent, a member of the host committee for a Bush fund-raiser in Atlanta yesterday, said he was told by several would-be donors that they would not attend the $2,000-per-person event because of the president's announcement last week on immigration reform.

Part of Bush's base may abandon him over immigration.

"They're not going to vote Democratic," said Karlyn H. Bowman, a polling specialist at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. "Staying home in a close election is what the Republicans would be worried about."

Right now, polls indicate that more than 90 percent of people who identify themselves as conservative back Bush. The president's conservative base has been firmed up by patriotic identification with the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the cuts in income-tax rates, and Bush's embrace of some key aspects of the evangelical Christian social agenda, including enacting a ban on the procedure conservatives call "partial-birth" abortion.

Famed Republican Party activist Paul Weyrich says Bush has stepped on a political landmine.

At any rate, Bush clearly has stepped on a land mine with his immigration initiative. This is not like other issues. Emotions run so deep on immigration that once voters are lost over this issue it will be next to impossible to get them back.

And while I said there was not enough of a revolt on the spending issues to cause a revolt, it could be that immigration in addition to spending may push some voters over the cliff.

Rep. LaMar Smith, an expert on immigration, says he can't imagine something this controversial passing the Congress in an election year. I can. Unless Democrats just want to vote no to embarrass the President, most of them favor the Bush plan and there will be enough Republicans loyal to Bush to garner the votes needed to pass the measure.

Even if the proposal does not pass in 2004 it seems reasonable to expect that Bush will promote it in 2005. If he wins reelection by a substantial margin he will be in a stronger position to promote its passage.

Many Republicans have begun to rationalize to themselves the advantage of a single term Bush presidency.

A conservative activist who has worked to help the Bush-Cheney campaign but asked not to be identified said many people with whom he talks are beginning to justify in their minds a one-term Bush presidency.

"As long as Republicans and conservatives keep the Congress, we can lose the White House," the activist said. "Let Karl Rove put that in his pipe and smoke it, because we can use the Congress to block a Democratic president's judges and initiatives."

Count me in the ranks of those who think the United States of America would be better off if George W. Bush is not reelected.

Update: Work permits would tie the foreign workers to specific employers who would manage to be approved to hire foreigners. Therefore work permits would tie foreign workers to their employers and give the employers a dangerous amount of power over them.

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, state Sen. Barack Obama and state Comptroller Dan Hynes fear employer abuses as immigrants likely would do anything to keep their permits and avoid illegal status.

Pappas said the policy creates a "second-class citizenry living within our borders."

I'd rather not live in a feudal society.

By Randall Parker    2004 January 25 02:33 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (6)
2004 January 15 Thursday
Jonah Goldberg Prefers Immigrants Over Young Whites As American Voters

The National Review Online blog The Corner has a raging debate about immgration in response to Bush's terrible immigration proposal ("Oh come on", I hear you all saying, "stop holding back on what you think of that lazy irresponsible guy currently occupying the Oval Office") with most NR writers opposing it. However, Jonah Goldberg is firmly in the ranks of those who like large scale immigration and for all sorts of interesting reasons. Among the reasons is that Jonah has a higher opinion of the political preferences of recently naturalized citizens than of white 18-22 year olds.

Indeed, I would be more comfortable having newly naturlized immigrants decide the future of this country at the ballot box than leaving it up to, say, typical white 18-22 year-olds. I know that the immigrants can pass a civics test. I have no such confidence in the kids at my local malls.

His statement comes very close to being character assassination against the whole block of people who are American white 18 to 22 year olds. This is curious because people who want a large reduction in immigration are often accused of racism in some quarters and this sort of character assassination is a lot easier than debating the facts. But being a very empirical guy I'm interested in facts. What I find interesting about the accusations of racism is that at their base there appears to be a desire to delegitimize the view that existing citizens should be able to put their own interests ahead of those who are not citizens. If we look at the effects of at least some kinds of immigration (especially of the lesser skilled and lesser educated) it is clear that these kinds of immigration are harmful to the interests of the majority. This is hardly a fringe viewpoint (except perhaps in Washington DC). In poll after poll clear majorities of Americans state opinions about immigration that makes it clear they see their interests are harmed by the current level and types of immigrants the US is receiving.

Jonah writes for a supposedly conservative publication. Therefore one expects him to be in favor of conservative ideas like a smaller government that provides less in the way of services and opposition to affirmative action. But our Hispanic immigrants favor very unconservative policies.

They were twice as likely to call themselves Democrats as Republicans, viewed the Democratic Party more favorably than the Republican Party and, by a margin of 49 percent to 21 percent, said the Democratic Party was more likely to care about the needs of Hispanics.

A majority said they supported a bigger government providing more services, backed affirmative action and questioned whether the war in Iraq was worth the cost.

I have doubts about the efficacy of any sort civic test that the US government would require newly naturalized citizens to pass. It seems to me that the US is sustained by beliefs in common values and that these beliefs are hard to test for in people who have an incentive to give you the answer you want to hear. One can know the rules or facts and still not embrace those values. But out of curiosity I went looking for information on the citizenship test and found a long list of typical questions that prospective citizens get asked. Here are some sample US citizenship test questions.

1. What are the colors of the flag?

2. How many stars are there in our flag?

3. What color are the stars on our flag?

4. What do the stars on the flag mean?

5. How many stripes are there in the flag?

6. What color are the stripes?

7. What do the stripes on the flag mean?

8. How many states are there in the union (United States)?

9. What is the 4th of July?

10. What is the date of Independence Day?

These questions are suitable for a low level trivial pursuit game for an 8th grade American civics class. But they are hardly a good measure of a prospective citizen's sentiments, beliefs, and values. Some of the later questions on the list are a little more difficult but not by much and are not much better as a measure of support for American values and institutions.

Then there is the not-so-small problem about our immigrants that Jonah ignores when he states such a dim view of white 18 to 22 year olds: the young white kids are a whole lot better educated than the average immigrant. Mexico is the biggest source of immigrants to this country. While the average level of education in Mexico is only the fifth grade we are getting moderately better educated Mexican immigrants because those Mexican who come to the US have an average 8th grade education! Does Jonah want these people as voters?

See more here:

Overall, recent immigrants from Mexico and Central America face greater socioeconomic challenges than their counterparts from other major sending regions, such as Southeast and East Asia. Nearly one-third live below the poverty line, compared to only 16 percent of Southeast Asians and 21 percent of East Asians. More than 70 percent have less than a high school diploma (Southeast Asians: 26%, East Asians: 14%). And nearly 80 percent live in crowded housing conditions (Southeast Asians: 57%, East Asians: 36%).

Total Open Borders would amount to an abolition of America as a nation. High levels of sustained immigration will accomplish the same outcome, albeit more slowly.

Update: An article entitled The Recipient Class summarizes one demographic problem of mass unskilled immigration: its cost will rise very dramatically in the future. Scary article.

By Randall Parker    2004 January 15 03:18 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (9)
2003 October 28 Tuesday
California Public Angry About Illegal Alien Immigration

Georgie Anne Geyer reports on a California recall exit poll which Frank Luntz of The Luntz Research Companies conducted for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIRUS) in which he discovered mounting public anger at the effects of illegal immigration.

"We found more anger, more fear of the future, more rage than I had seen since the Newt Gingrich campaign in 1994," Frank Luntz began. "People historically went to California to experience something very special. There was always more hope and more future there – except this year. They are so fed up with traffic congestion, and hospitals where they don't get care and everyone coming across the border, that the anger was so great they were actually punching the voting machines.

"There is a rejection of the status quo that may move eastward; it is a rejection of politics and of principles that have failed and that have fundamentally destroyed the state – and immigration is at the top of it all. The public in California has decided it's gone too far, and they want a change."

Since the elected politicians (including, alas, Arnold Schwarzenegger) are going to continue to ignore the will of the majority on immigration the state ballot initiative process is the best way forward. Fortunately, almost half of the states have state ballot initiative processes and two states that border on Mexico (Arizona and California) do. The results of this poll suggest a number of changes that state ballot propositions could bring about with regard to immigration policy including repeal of laws that make it easy for illegals to function in American society and the requirement that state and local law enforcement officials detain for deportation any illegals they encounter. Another attractive option that would pay for itself many times over would be the construction of a border barrier on the border with Mexico.

The detailed results of the Luntz/FAIRUS poll are on-line:

16. Under California state law, voters have the ability to block a law passed by the legislature and signed by the governor through the referendum process. A referendum to block the law allowing illegal immigrants to obtain California driver's licenses has been proposed for the March 2004 ballot. If such a referendum were to appear, would you be very likely, somewhat likely, somewhat unlikely, or very unlikely to support it?


17. State law now allows illegal immigrants who reside in California to be eligible for reduced, in-state tuition rates at the University of California and other state run colleges and universities. In your opinion, should illegal immigrants be eligible for in-state tuition rates?

73% NO
18% YES

So voter referendums on revoking driver's licenses for illegals and to take away in-state tuition for illegals would both pass. But those are far from the only illegal alien issues on which referendums could easily pass:

20. The State of California and many jurisdictions throughout California prohibit local police and sheriffs departments from sharing information about suspected illegal immigrants with federal immigration authorities. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose such a measure?


21. The State of California and many jurisdictions throughout California prohibit local police and sheriffs departments from detaining suspected illegal immigrants with federal immigration authorities. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose such a measure?


The latter two questions cry out for a voter referendum that would order state and local law enforcement authorities to round up illegal aliens. Such a referendum would most likely win.

There are many more legal and policy changes about the handling of illegal aliens that would stand a decent chance of winning on a state-wide ballot in the state of California. For instance, all state and local government agencies which encounter illegal aliens could be required to report them to the policy or to federal authorities. Also, state governments could maintain a database of legal Social Security numbers and require all employers to check potential hires against the database for an illegal Social Security number with the requirement of hiring only those with legal numbers and the requirement that all illegal Social Security numbers and the details about their users should be reported.

More ideas: Allow any employer who loses business to another business that employs lower paid illegals to bring suit for damages against the employer that hires illegals. Require any government contractor found employing illegals to lose their government contract as a result. The state governments could provide a financial reward to anyone who reports an illegal for using Medicaid or some other government service. The financial reward would cost the taxpayers money but would be paid back many times over with the savings in spending for government services.

By Randall Parker    2003 October 28 12:08 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (11)
2003 May 01 Thursday
Most Americans Want Halt To Illegal Immigration

ProjectUSA reports a new poll that demonstrates once again that America's elites continue to ignore the wishes of the overwhelming majority on illegal immigration.

According to a Roper Poll released Tuesday by the United to Secure America Coalition, 85% of Americans consider illegal immigration to be a serious problem -- a majority believing it to be "very serious." Two thirds of us say the United States should actually set the goal of completely halting illegal immigration and should reduce the number of foreign nationals illegally residing in the United States to "near zero."

Furthermore, among that majority, a stunning four out of five respondents were willing to take very strong measures against illegal aliens, including "mandatory detention and forfeiture of property, followed by deportation."

Nevertheless, in clear contravention of the will of the American people, high officials in the Bush Administration continue to push aggressively to make it easier -- rather than harder -- for illegal aliens to remain in the United States. These officials are working behind the scenes in support of the matricula consular card -- the Mexican ID widely used by illegal aliens to access public services in the United States and to open bank accounts.

One such official is Bush political guru, Karl Rove, a staunch foe of the immigration reductionist movement. While sending mixed messages to Members of Congress about his position on U.S. acceptance of the Mexican ID card, Rove's underlings at the Domestic Policy Council (DPC) have been orchestrating a push to have the card accepted at the federal agency level. While the DPC did not return a call asking for verification, a source familiar with the struggle now going on in an inter-agency commission studying the issue says Karl Rove and the White House are behind strong pressure to endorse the illegal alien ID card.

In particular, the White House is working with factions within the State and Treasury Departments to override national security concerns from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security as well as objections from those in the State Department who, rightly, understand that acceptance of the card will undermine many of State's functions.

A huge wave of illegal aliens is not inevitable. If the government offered a reward for each illegal alien turned in to authorities and if the federal government became efficient in deporting illegal aliens the presence of illegal aliens in the United States could be greatly reduced.

In some rural sections along the 2000 mile US Mexico border where a fence has been built crime has dropped 90%. Could a fence be built along the entire border in order to reduce illegal immigration and crime? A good example the cost of a sensor-rich high security fence structure is the fence which Israel is building on part of the Israel-West Bank border.

Israeli leaders have been discussing the idea since at least the mid-1990s, but it has taken the violence of the past 21 months to make it happen. In mid-June, Israel's government officially began construction of an initial, 66-mile section of the fence that will divide the northern West Bank from Israel. Set to take a year and cost nearly $1.7 million per mile, the initial phase will cover about a third of what Israelis call the "seam line" along the West Bank. Israel has already fenced off the Gaza Strip.

At $1.7 million per mile the US-Mexico border could be closed off for only $3.4 billion dollars. Let us put that in perspective. That is less than 5% of the $74.7 billion dollar cost of the war in Iraq. The proposed US federal budget for FY 2004 is $2.2 trillion dollars. A US-Mexico border fence would then cost 0.15% of a single year of the US federal budget.

It is not physically impossible or even very costly to drastically reduce illegal alien immigration. Many policy changes could have a dramatic impact on the number of illegal aliens in the US. The reason that there are large numbers of illegal aliens flowing into the US every year is that the elites see a net benefit to their own interests in allowing this state of affairs.

One way to seal the border in spite of elite opposition might be thru the state government initiative process. California has only 7% of the total US border with Mexico. Therefore a border fence between California and Mexico could be constructed for $238 million dollars if a state voter initiative was passed to order the construction of a fence on that border. Such a fence would reduce the flow of illegal immigrants into California and therefore eventually pay for itself in reduce costs for the California state taxpayers (illegals pay less in taxes and generate a lot of social services costs).

By Randall Parker    2003 May 01 12:34 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (29)
2002 December 17 Tuesday
Elite Populace Gap On Immigration Issues

The Center for Immigration Studies has released a new report demonstrating the gap between elite and popular opinion on immigration.

While it has long been suspected that public and elite opinion differ on the issue of immigration, a new poll provides the most compelling evidence yet that there is an enormous gap between the American people and "opinion leaders" on the issue. The survey also suggests that the gap between the public and elites has actually widened since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

This Backgrounder is based on the findings of a recent national poll conducted by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations in May through July of this year. The Council is a non-profit policy organization that sponsors polls and events on a host of foreign policy issues. The Council has a long tradition of polling to find differences between the public and opinion leaders.

The polling of the public was based on 2,800 telephone interviews from across the nation. The council also surveyed nearly 400 opinion leaders, including members of Congress, the administration, and leaders of church groups, business executives, union leaders, journalists, academics, and leaders of major interest groups. (The full results of the survey can be found at This Backgrounder is the first detailed examination of the poll’s results on the issue of immigration.

  • The results of the survey indicate that the gap between the opinions of the American people on immigration and those of their leaders is enormous. The poll found that 60 percent of the public regards the present level of immigration to be a "critical threat to the vital interests of the United States," compared to only 14 percent of the nation’s leadership – a 46 percentage point gap.
  • The current gap is even wider than that found in 1998, when 55 percent of the public viewed immigration as a "critical threat," compared to 18 percent of opinion leaders – a 37 percentage point gap.
  • The poll results indicate that there is no other foreign policy-related issue on which the American people and their leaders disagreed more profoundly than immigration. Even on such divisive issues as globalization or strengthening the United Nations, the public and the elite are much closer together than they are on immigration.
  • When asked a specific question about whether legal immigration should be reduced, kept the same, or increased, 55 percent of the public said it should be reduced, and 27 percent said it should remain the same. In contrast, only 18 percent of opinion leaders said it should be reduced and 60 percent said it should remain the same. There was no other issue-specific question on which the public and elites differed more widely.
  • The enormous difference between elite and public opinion can also be seen on the issue of illegal immigration. The survey found that 70 percent of the public said that reducing illegal immigration should be a "very important" foreign-policy goal of the United States, compared to only 22 percent of elites.

  • Also with respect to illegal immigration, when the public was asked to rank the biggest foreign policy problems, the public ranked illegal immigration sixth, while elites ranked it 26th.
  • The very large difference between elite and public opinion explains the current political stalemate on immigration. For example, supporters of an amnesty for illegal immigrants have broad elite support ranging from religious to business and union leaders. Normally elite support of this kind would lead to policy changes, but on this issue public opposition is so strong that it creates a political stalemate.
  • Continued deep public dissatisfaction with current immigration policy indicates that candidates or political parties that advocate a reduction in immigration might reap a significant political benefit. This is especially true because it could be marketed as "anti-elite" and more in sync with the American people, a message that has traditionally been well received by voters.
  • President Bush’s efforts to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants appear to be hurting him politically. While 53 percent of the public said his handling of foreign policy overall was excellent or good, on immigration only 27 percent said his handling of immigration was good or excellent; moreover, 70 percent rated Bush as poor or fair on immigration. the lowest rating he received on any foreign policy-related issue.

For many years the Chicago Council has polled to find differences between the public and "opinion leaders." Harris Interactive conducted the poll for the Council. The polling of the public included 2,862 telephone interviews from a scientific sampling of the nation in June. In addition, 397 telephone interviews were conducted with opinion leaders between May and July of this year. Included in the survey of leaders were: top executives of the Fortune 1000 corporations; presidents of the largest labor unions; TV and radio news directors, network newscasters, newspaper editors and columnists; leaders of all religious faiths, chosen proportionate to the number of Americans who worship in each; presidents of large special interest groups and think tanks with an emphasis on foreign policy matters; presidents and faculty of universities; members of the U.S. House and Senate; and assistant secretaries and other senior staff in the Administration. In this Backgrounder, the terms "elite" and "leaders" are used synonymously with "opinion leaders."

It is a well established fact in public opinion polling that most Americans for nearly all of the last quarter century have desired reductions in legal and illegal immigration. However, in general, federal lawmakers have moved in the opposite direction of their constituents’ desires, continually raising the numerical level of legal immigration and failing to take steps to reduce illegal migration.

Business interests and an incredibly naive hope of winning the Hispanic vote push the Republican Party leaders toward favoring more immigration. Ethnic groups elites who want to make their groups a larger portion of the US population plus the rather more accurate expectation that the Democrats can get most of the votes of immigrants push the Democrats to favor immigration. What is curious about the position of the Democratic Party is that it is taking a position that is against the economic interests of its members. Lower income Democrats are most severely impacted by competition from unskilled and low-skilled immigrant labor. Blacks are the most solidly Democratic of any ethnic group in America and their lower average incomes puts them most directly in competition with immigrants. Yet the Democratic Party betrays their interests on this issue.

Will a political stalemate allow the continuing rise of both legal and illegal immigration? The populists have a few ways forward. One battleground would be the initiative process on state ballots. There are a number of state ballot initiative ideas that could make a difference:

  • Initiatives in California and other border states with Mexico to build a large barrier along the entire length of the border.
  • Initiatives to command state and local police to arrest and hold illegal immigrants for deportation.
  • Initiatives to require proof of legal residence for bank accounts, driver's licenses, and other services, permits, and licenses.
  • Initiatives which required all state and local government employees to report illegal aliens that they come into contact with.
  • Initiatives to create state agencies to process illegal aliens into federal custody for deportation. Add an additional element to such initiatives where private citizens would be given a reward for turning in illegal aliens.
  • Initiatives that add citizenship requirements for many state and local jobs that may not now require them (could have exceptions for a small number highly skilled occupations).
  • Initiatives to outlaw in-state tuition for non-citizens.

Basically, the states could do many of the functions that the federal government is failing to do. If the initiative process met with success then some politicians would choose to run on immigration positions that align more closely with the wishes of the majority of US citizens.

By Randall Parker    2002 December 17 12:02 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (1)
2002 November 25 Monday
Bush Still Wants Illegal Immigrant Amnesty

Bush's new ambassador to Mexico says that the Bush Administration still wants to do a big amnesty of illegal immigrants. Its even worse. The current system is already processing lots of illegals into legals in spite of the opposition of the public at large.

In August, the government said 215,000 illegal aliens were granted legal status in fiscal 2001 and an additional 970,000 cases were pending. One in five persons who became legal U.S. residents in fiscal 2001 either entered the country illegally or remained here after the expiration of a temporary visa, the report said.

A recent Zogby poll found that 77 percent of Americans surveyed believe the government is not doing enough to control the border and 56 percent thought efforts by Mr. Bush and Mr. Fox to consider amnesty for as many as 3 million illegal immigrants was a "bad or very bad idea."

It is obvious that Bush is willing to put his naive and futile attempt to attract Hispanic voters to the Republican Party ahead of the wishes of the majority of the public. He's just going to turn the Republican Party into the Pataki Party. Republican candidates will all become Rinos: Republicans In Name Only. What folly.

If you are interested in reading some more interesting articles on immigration and border control then see this post by the Cracker Barrel Philosopher. I especially like the link to the article in Wired on techie ranchers who are putting up their own sensor systems to detect illegals coming across their ranches.

By Randall Parker    2002 November 25 11:55 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
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