The Arizona state legislature passed a law that instructs and empowers local law enforcement officials to enforce US federal law on immigration. All the groups that do not want immigration law enforced, groups that favor amnesties for illegal aliens, have predictably denounced the law as racist, xenophobic, and a threat to civil liberties. Of course they would say that, wouldn't they? The majority of the American people support the Arizona law.
In Arizona and beyond, the law has many supporters. A CBS News poll last month found that 52 percent of respondents nationally think the Arizona law is "about right" in its handling of illegal immigrants. Seventeen percent said it does not go far enough. Twenty-eight percent said the law goes too far.
Given that the liberal media disagrees with the majority of the American people it is impressive that the majority of the American people can form opinions that the liberal media tries so hard to keep them from forming.
The vast overwhelming majority of Americans do not think that illegal aliens should be treated as legals. The American people think we should live by rule of law.
A Zogby Interactive poll of 2,108 adults conducted from April 16-19 found broad support for major immigration reform and immigration regulations that are more restrictive. “79 percent do not agree that illegal aliens are entitled to the same rights and basic freedoms as US citizens,” said the poll..
Barack Obama disagrees with the majority of the American people and Barack Obama does
According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, 48% say they want their state to pass an Arizona-style immigration law.
Steve Poizner, running against Meg Whitman in the California Republican primary for governor, says he would enforce the equivalent of the Arizona law in California and go even further.
"I would take all of what they're doing in Arizona here to California plus a whole lot more," said Poizner."If I find a company in California that's hiring people illegally and breaking the law, I'll revoke their business license. I don't need anyone in the Legislature to give me permission to do that," Poizner said.
Obama favors amnesty before enforcement. This means that all the illegals will be turned into legals so that the law can't be enforced against them. Cheeky of him.
Obama has called the measure “misguided” and instructed the Justice Department to monitor its enforcement for possible civil liberties violations.
“She’s got a point of view that you have to do border security first, the president has a view that we have to have comprehensive immigration reform,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters at today’s daily briefing.
If Obama really favored enforcement and border security he would do enforcement, deport all the illegal aliens (just like Ike Eisenhower did), and build a huge wall on the entire border to keep out most illegal border crossers. Of course, Obama does not really favor enforcement and Obama does not really want border security.
In my meeting with President Obama yesterday, I personally invited him to visit Arizona and see our open borders for himself. Only then might he understand that border security is the mandatory first step in any real effort to battle illegal immigration.
Unfortunately, the President declined to commit to a personal visit.
He also declined my request to increase the National Guard commitment, did not commit to build and extend the fence, and refused to pay the federal obligations for incarceration expenses – over $750 million just since 2003.
Along the border, many residents have family members on both sides. Generations of residents have been accustomed to passing back and forth relatively freely, often daily, and exchanging goods, legal or not.
Federal officials believe that drug traffickers are seeking to exploit those ties more than ever, urging family and friends on the American side to take advantage of the hiring rush for customs agents. The majority of agents and officers stay out of crime. But smuggling can be appealing. The average officer makes $70,000 a year, a sum that can be dwarfed by what smugglers pay to get just a few trucks full of drugs into the United States.
An obvious solution: Do not recruit Border Patrol officers from local Mexican border communities. Recruit them from the least corrupt states in the union - near Canada's border.
Of course, to selectively recruit from some populations but not others based on their rack records for less corruption would be politically incorrect. We need to blind ourselves to evidence in the interest of fairness. In early 21st century America prevention of corruption and smuggling is deemed less important than career opportunities for lower performing ethnic groups.
The article reports that recruitment from the border area used to be avoided. But the policy was changed in order to make recruitment easier. Surely in a country with 10% unemployment lots of people could be recruited from, for example, Michigan. $70k per year would sound pretty good to a laid off auto worker.
A Zogby poll of Mexicans in Mexico that if Congress passes another illegal immigrant amnesty then more Mexicans will decide to enter the United States illegally. No surprise here. But tell that to the US Congress. It is simple really: If you do not enforce the law more people will break it.
The immigration amnesty supporters in the US Congress call themselves supporters of immigration reform and avoid the term amnesty. They pretend they are promoting a permanent solution. But all they are doing to promoting more of the same with another round of amnesty to be followed by a big surge in illegal immigration.
To stop the illegal immigrant influx we need to enforce immigration laws, not grant amnesties to the immigrant law breakers.
The immigration amnesty stakes are quite high. As Audacious Epigone points out, 41 million Mexicans would move to the United States if they could.
More than one-third of Mexicans living south of the border profess that they would head to the US if they had the "means and opportunity" to do so. That's 41 million aspiring settlers from a country where the purchasing power parity is less then one-third what it is in the US. There is no better way to increase poverty in the US than to import it on such a massive scale.
America has enough people, especially enough poor people who want Robin Hood government for their benefit. Audacious Epigone points out GSS data that shows that we also get a lower support for private property rights from letting in more Mexicans. Oh the irony of libertarians supporting open borders. They support policies that undermine support for their strongly held belief in property rights.
The change is evident statewide. Massachusetts, once a top destination for Brazilian immigrants, along with Florida, New Jersey, and New York, used to receive about 50,000 a year during the boom years, says Fausto da Rocha, executive director of the Brazilian Immigrant Center in Allston, Mass. In the past two years, about 17,000 of the state’s approximately 200,000 Brazilians have gone back home, he estimates.
He expects up to 7,000 to decamp this year – and more in 2010 unless the US passes immigration reform that allows illegal immigrants to work in the US. “The economy and immigration crackdown – that’s what pushed the Brazilians back,” Mr. da Rocha says. During the first half of the decade, Brazilians were the second-fastest-growing group of illegal immigrants to the US (behind Indians), according to Alan Marcus, a professor of geography at Towson University in Maryland.
They were flying in on visas and overstaying. A lot of Brazilians have concentrated in Framingham Mass. It would no be hard to find illegals among them. The US government should station a bunch of agents there to work with local police to identify illegals and deport large numbers of them. This would not be hard to do. A big enforcement action in a single community could be used as a demonstration of what could be done in other communities with lots of illegals.
The government today agreed a new deal to handle the growing crisis of migrants gathered at Calais, allocating £15m to tighten British border controls, while France promised to begin voluntary and forced repatriations.
The £15m is money well spent. The Brits are saving themselves much larger long term costs and a decay of their national identity.
There are currently around 1,600 mainly Afghan and Eritrean migrants sleeping rough in makeshift tents on the Nord-Pas-de-Calais coast, desperate to reach Kent by stowing away under cars and lorries.
The US border with Mexico is still too poorly defended to force illegal crossers into living in tent cities. The Brits are fortunate to have the English Channel.
Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, said: ``The investment will be made on the understanding that the French will, in return, effect significant returns of illegal migrants from northern French regions.
People smugglers, who charge up to £1,000-a-head for an illegal passage use all kinds of methods to bypass checks, including instructing migrants to place plastic bags over their heads to beat carbon dioxide tests.
Ministers said last night that the new British technology would make it impossible for them to evade detection.
Meanwhile, in a deepening recession with high and rising unemployment America's elites are plotting how to do another immigration amnesty.
Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, is point man for President Obama on immigration, riding herd on the Big Push for "comprehensive immigration reform." According to members of Congress committed to this unpopular policy, the campaign will be launched sometime in the fall.
An Arizona man who has waged a 10-year campaign to stop a flood of illegal immigrants from crossing his property is being sued by 16 Mexican nationals who accuse him of conspiring to violate their civil rights when he stopped them at gunpoint on his ranch on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Roger Barnett, 64, began rounding up illegal immigrants in 1998 and turning them over to the U.S. Border Patrol, he said, after they destroyed his property, killed his calves and broke into his home.
Barnett has captured 12,000 illegals crossing his land over several years. They caused lots of damage to his property. The US government did not defend his property. He had to do it himself. In response to his doing what was necessary the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) is attacking him using illegal aliens in a lawsuit against him. This is an outrage.
In an earlier and more sane era Barnett would have been congratulated and the lawsuit would have been thrown out. But the Left's attack on American society has greatly weakened our ability to do reasonable things to make our society work well. We are worse off for this attack.
The Real ID Act, passed by the US Congress to make getting a driver's license more difficult for terrorists and illegal aliens, is under attack and Real ID might be repealed by Congress.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano this week said she is working with governors to repeal the Real ID Act, which was passed in 2005 and went into effect last year.
One argument against the Real ID requirements is that they amount to an unfunded mandate on states. True. But states have become the de facto issuers of national ID cards. Identify theft and creation of false identities are enabled by the lax attitude the states take toward verifying identities before issuing drivers' licenses.
On Tuesday, Gov. Janet Napolitano signed a measure, House Bill 2677, barring Arizona's compliance with the Real ID program. In so doing, she called it an unfunded federal mandate that would stick states such as Arizona with a multibillion-dollar bill for the cost to develop and implement the series of new fraud-proof identification cards.
The Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, was intended to create nationwide security standards for driver’s licenses to prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorists and illegal immigrants. The law is based on a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission, the independent panel that investigated the 2001 terrorist attacks and found that the Sept. 11 hijackers had obtained 30 pieces of state identification.
But states have revolted at Real ID, calling it an “unfunded federal mandate” that infringes on a core state responsibility: the issuance of driver’s licenses.
Since 2005, at least 18 states have passed legislation opposing Real ID, either through non-binding resolutions or through statutes that expressly prohibit participation in the program, according to a database kept by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The organization, which represents the nation’s more than 7,000 state legislators, will discuss the new congressional proposal on Friday (April 24) during its annual conference in Washington, D.C.
Some of the opposition to Real ID comes from people who do not want a crack down on illegal immigration. But not all the opposition stems from the debate over immigration.
Authentication that people are who they say they are is not a trivial problem to solve. Birth certificates are stored in county and city buildings all over the United States. There's no easy way to verify the authenticity of large numbers of birth certificates submitted at departments of motor vehicles as part of drivers license applications.
We need better measures for identifying people using false and stolen identities. Congress ought to enact other means for authenticating identity if Congress is going to repeal Real ID.
WASHINGTON—The applicability date of the final rule requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to begin using U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) E-Verify system has been pushed back by six weeks to June 30, 2009.
The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (collectively known as the Federal Acquisitions Regulatory Councils) will publish an amendment in the Federal Register tomorrow postponing the applicability of the final rule until June 30, 2009. The rule requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to agree to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their employees was first published on Nov. 14, 2008, and went into effect on Jan 19, 2009.
The extension provides the Administration an adequate opportunity to review the entire rule prior to its applicability to federal contractors and subcontractors.
I doubt the Obama Administration ever would have initiated the E-Verify system of background checks for prospective employees if they had to decide at the start. Now they'd like to get out of it. But it is more visible to cancel it when it is fully developed and ready for more extended roll-out.
"An adequate opportunity to review the entire rule"? That sounds like bureaucrat-ese for "We're looking for a way to kill this thing without anyone noticing."
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Agreeing to a request by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the federal government will delay until February 20, 2009 the implementation of a new procurement rule that requires federal contractors and subcontractors to use E-Verify. The rule was scheduled to take effect on January 15, 2009.
The US Chamber of Commerce opposes mandatory use of E-Verify. It would reduce the supply of cheap labor. So that's predictable.
Under current federal law, E-Verify use is strictly voluntary and the program may not be used to re-authorize existing employees. On December 23, 2008, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit challenging the use of an Executive Order to create a federal procurement rule requiring federal contractors with projects exceeding $100,000 and for sub-contractors with projects exceeding $3,000 to use E-Verify to authorize new employees and to re-authorize all of their existing employees.
The lawsuit, Chamber of Commerce, et al v. Chertoff, et al., is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. The Chamber's co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the Society for Human Resource Management, the Associated Builders and Contractors, the HR Policy Association, and the American Council on International Personnel.
It makes sense that the Associated Builders and Contractors oppose E-Verify since one seventh of the workforce used by construction companies are cheaper illegal aliens.
About one out of seven (or 15 percent) of workers employed in construction in the U.S. is an illegal immigrant. Unless strong mechanisms are put in place to prevent the hiring of illegal immigrants, it is reasonable to expect that a similar proportion of workers hired for construction projects under the stimulus bill would be in the country illegally.
Part of the run-up in the federal debt is going to employ illegal aliens.
Currently, 118,917 employers have signed up for E-Verify, which Congress established as a voluntary system.
Stuebner told a federal official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that the process can be costly indirectly.
Employers can use the system only to check on an employee who recently has been hired, but not before that employee has been hired.
For Stuebner, whose 1,100 company has about an 80% turnover rate, that means providing the new employees with a uniform, training and other equipment. "We could spend more than a $100 on an employee only to find out that they can't work," he said.
E-Verify is a voluntary program for all employers, with very limited exceptions. Companies can access E-Verify online and compare an employee's Form I-9 information with over 444 million records in the SSA database, and more than 60 million records in Department of Homeland Security immigration databases. E-Verify is an essential tool for employers committed to maintaining a legal workforce, and the number of registered employers is growing by over 1,000 per week.
French immigration minister (yes, they have a cabinet level official in charge of immigration) Eric Besson proposes to use DNA tests to find out if applicants for family-related immigration really are the relatives they claim to be.
The tests will be for applications for visas of more than three months when there are doubts about an immigrant's birth or marriage certificates.
The move would allow officials to 'propose' to applicants that they take a test at their own expense to prove a biological link with other family members.
A recent report said there was often doubt over the authenticity of papers in family applications for visas.
It claimed that in African countries such as Senegal, Ivory Coast and Togo up to 80 per cent of birth and marriage certificates were forged.
An even better solution: just stop letting in immigrants due to family relations. If immigrants want to live with family members around they can always return to where they came from.
As the Obama administration takes shape, many experts are betting it will significantly curtail one of the most visible and controversial facets of the Bush administration's immigration crackdown: the high-profile workplace raids in which federal agents arrest dozens, even hundreds, of undocumented workers.
The number of people arrested in such raids has risen tenfold in the past five years, to 6,287 in 2008.
The economy is bleeding jobs like a slashed open pig. Hundreds of thousands lose their jobs every month and this will continue until some time in 2010. You might think that under such dire circumstances reserving what jobs there are for Americans might be a priority. But no.
With tens of millions of illegal aliens the US government could manage to find just 6,287 of them to round up in 2008. By contrast, Dwight D. "I like Ike" Eisenhower rounded up illegals by the tens of thousands and over a million fled to avoid getting caught. We could do this today if only we had the political will.
By the end of July, over 50,000 immigrants were caught in the two states. Around 488,000 illegal immigrants are claimed to have left voluntarily for fear of being apprehended. By September, 80,000 had been taken into custody in Texas, and the INS estimates that 500,000 to 700,000 had left Texas on their own.
We used to be able to build things in the 1950s. We could build roads without years of planning. We could build cars and lots of gadgets. We could also get things done in government. Got illegal aliens? Just go out there and round them up. We live in the era where we can't do things any more.
A Rasmussen poll finds an overwhelming majority of Americans do not want people to be able to traipse into the country illegally. Fancy that.
A growing majority of Americans believe that gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing illegal immigrants, and three out of four (74%) say the government is not doing enough to make that happen.
Sixty-nine percent (69%) of voters in a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey say controlling the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers, while just 21% think legalization is more important.
Only 14% think the government is doing enough to secure the borders.
Regardless of whether Obama or McCain wins the White House we stand a decent chance of cutting back on illegal immigration. The bigger battle shaping up is over legal immigration. The supporters of illegal immigration want to make legal immigration so much easier that efforts to cut back on illegal immigration will not cut the rate of immigration.
A battle over increased legal immigration at least opens up the opportunity to raise the standards on the quality of immigrants. If we could stop the deluge of high school drop-outs and even grade school drop-outs then the damage from immigration would be substantially reduced. The immigration would still be contrary to the interests of the nation in my view. But any rise in quality of immigrants would reduce costs on citizens.
Update: Did you know that the average Mexican immigrant to the US has an 8th grade education. But the average Mexican in Mexico has an even lower level of education. Also, while the children of Mexican immigrants go further in school than their parents they do not go very far and after the second generation immigrants do not improve further scholastically. Also, see a table on Mexican immigrant educational attainment across 4 generations. Note that the percentage of them that graduate from college stays below 10% even into the 4th generation.
March prosecutions numbered 9,360. That's small compared to the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the US. Nonetheless, "It's working," says Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington think tank that would like immigration levels reduced considerably.
The hike in prosecutions stems from an expansion of "Operation Streamline" last year by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Under the effort, undocumented aliens caught by border guards are no longer simply steered into "air-conditioned buses," as Mr. Krikorian puts it, and driven back across the border to try crossing again. Instead, they are charged with crimes and detained.
Note that the Christian Science Monitor uses the politically correct lie-speak term "undocumented immigrants". Try "illegal aliens" or "illegal immigrants".
It will be interesting to see whether President Obama continues the practice of prosecuting illegal border crossers. Strengthening immigration law enforcement could raise the wages and labor market participation of poor black men. This would also reduce the future growth of the welfare state and the prison population and the amount of crime and population growth.
Krikorian guesses that in the past, 800,000 to 900,000 illegal immigrants successfully entered the US every year, and about 400,000 left voluntarily or were deported each year – a net growth of about 500,000 illegal immigrants a year.
If current moves to restrain illegal immigration trim that growth by 100,000 to 200,000 immigrants, it should have some effect on the nation's labor supply, notes University of Chicago economist Jeffrey Grogger. He's coauthor of a paper calculating that a 10 percent increase in the supply of a particular skill group caused by higher immigration prompted a reduction in the wages of similarly low-skilled black men by 4 percent between 1960 and 2000, lowered their employment rate by a huge 3.5 percentage points, and increased their incarceration rate by almost a full percentage point.
As soon as the new Congress is elected it will be time to once again start flooding Congressional offices with faxes, emails, and snail mails demanding tougher immigration law enforcement.
PARIS, June 18 -- The European Parliament approved new rules Wednesday designed to standardize the dramatic differences in member countries' treatment of illegal immigrants, whose presence is one of the most heated political issues in Europe today.
The measure, which would allow countries to jail illegal immigrants for as long as 18 months pending deportation, was decried by human rights organizations as promoting excessive detention. Supporters defended it as providing greater protections for the foreigners in countries that now permit indefinite detentions and grant detainees few legal rights.
This ups the costs of being an illegal alien. But how much will EU member states use this new legal power? Enforcement of tough laws would send most illegal aliens fleeing in short order. What is needed is the political will to enforce the laws.
Steven Malanga reports on a huge rise in identity theft driven by illegal immigration.
As everyone knows, America is experiencing an epidemic of identity theft. In the last five years alone, complaints to the Federal Trade Commission from U.S. residents who have had their identity stolen have skyrocketed 60 percent, to 258,427 in 2007—one-third of all consumer fraud complaints that the commission receives. What’s less well understood, however, is how illegal immigration is helping to fuel this rash of crime. Seeking access to jobs, credit, and driver’s licenses, many undocumented aliens are using the personal data of real Americans on forged documents. The immigrants’ identity theft has become so pervasive that the need to combat it is “a disturbing front in the war against illegal immigration,” according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The FTC’s latest statistics help show why. The top five states in terms of reported identity theft in 2007 all have large immigrant populations—the border states of Arizona, California, and Texas, as well as Florida and Nevada. People who pilfer legitimate identities in these states are much more likely than in other parts of the country to use them to gain employment unlawfully—the most common reason that illegal aliens steal personal information. In Arizona, for instance, 36 percent of all identity theft is for employment purposes, compared with only 5 percent in Maine, a state with far fewer illegal aliens. “To many law enforcement leaders in Arizona, this suggests that Arizona’s identity-theft epidemic is directly linked to the problem of illegal immigration,” says a recent report by Identity Theft 911, an Arizona company that helps businesses and individuals protect themselves.
Getting your identity stolen can throw you into a nightmare.
Americans who have their identity stolen by these gangs are in for major headaches. Among the complaints filed with the FTC is that of a Texas man arrested for a crime committed by an illegal alien who had filched his identity. In another case, highlighted by Nevada senator John Ensign in last year’s immigration-reform debate in Congress, the Internal Revenue Service hit a woman with a $1 million back-tax bill, even though she was a stay-at-home mom. An investigation later found that 218 illegal aliens were using her Social Security number. A Los Angeles police detective—who, ironically, worked in the department’s fraud bureau—was unable to buy a home because of bills piled up by an illegal immigrant who stole his Social Security number to gain employment at a processing plant. Then the IRS served the cop with a bill for $40,000 in back taxes; when he protested, the agency threatened to send his case to collection. Other legal residents have had their unemployment claims or workers’ compensation cases rejected after government records showed that someone with their Social Security number was working.
When President Obama takes office you will need to demand your Congressional representatives pass legislation that cracks down on illegal immigration in general and identity theft in particular.
Cedar Rapids, Ia. – The number of illegal immigrants detained Monday in Postville has risen to 390 in what federal officials now describe as the largest single-site raid of its kind nationwide.
The detainees include 314 men and 76 women, according to figures released this morning by federal authorities. Fifty-six detainees – mostly women with young children – have been released under the supervision of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
My own reaction is that since millions of illegal aliens are within US borders and easy to identify the size of this raid is much too small.
How did a few Ukranians and Israelis get jobs in this plant?
The detainees included 290 who claimed to be Guatemalans, 93 Mexicans, three Israelis and four Ukrainians.
Use of labor that is outside the legal system is a temptation for abusive behavior.
Dummermuth declined to comment about possible charges against managers at Agriprocessors, Inc., citing the ongoing investigation. A federal affidavit released Monday detailed several eyewitness accounts of employee abuse, including one floor manager who allegedly struck a worker with a meat hook.
Will President Obama cut back on immigration law enforcement? Anyone have a good basis for answering that question?
The best way to stop and reverse the influx of illegal aliens is to enforce immigration laws against hiring of illegal aliens. Under pressure from a large and vocal movement against illegal aliens the Bush Administration has made some moves to cut down on the illegal influx. But the Bush Administration is trying to get a federal judge to allow the crack-down.
The Bush administration yesterday renewed its drive to crack down on U.S. companies that hire illegal immigrants by slightly altering an earlier initiative stalled by a federal judge since last September.
If the new proposal satisfies the court, the government could begin warning 140,000 employers in writing as early as June about suspect Social Security numbers used by their employees and force businesses to resolve questions about their identities or fire them within 90 days.
Assorted enemies such as the ACLU and the US Chamber of Commerce are fighting this regulation in court because, well, it will make it harder for employers to pretend that their illegal aliens really have US citizenship or a green card.
In the past, employers have been able to comply with the law by obtaining identification documents from new workers. After that, the government notifies employers if the Social Security number on an employee's W-2 tax form doesn't match the number in the Social Security database. That worker may not have earnings credited for Social Security benefits, but no action is taken against the employer.
Under the new rule, employers who get no-match letters would have 90 days to resolve the discrepancy and an additional three days for an employee to submit a new, valid Social Security number. After that, an employer who failed to fire the worker would be subject to civil fines or criminal prosecution.
That the Bush Administration has gotten this far trying to implement this procedure demonstrates the power and influence of the immigration restrictionist movement.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said that in the 12-month period that ended Sept. 30, it placed 164,000 criminals in deportation proceedings, a sharp increase from the 64,000 the agency said it identified and placed in proceedings the year before. The agency estimates that the number will rise to 200,000 this year.
The elites were willing to allow hundreds of thousands (millions?) of criminal aliens to remain in the country before popular discontent with immigration policy forced them to crack down. We are still paying a big and avoidable price for that past laxness. How many rapes, murders, bank robbers, assaults, and other crimes do Americans suffer daily because the Democrats want more poor Democrat voters and because the upper classes like cheap labor?
Okay, if they tried to deport 164,000 in 2007 but only managed to deport 91,000 then what happened with the other 73,000? Still in the pipeline or managed to avoid deportation?
Two groups of people are now more likely to be placed in deportation proceedings: illegal immigrants who might once have been criminally prosecuted without coming to the attention of immigration authorities, and legal immigrants whose visas and residency permits are being revoked because of criminal convictions.
The number of deported immigrants with criminal convictions has increased steadily this decade, from about 73,000 in 2001 to more than 91,000 in 2007, according to ICE.
I'm pleased to see that legal aliens are getting their residency permits and visas revoked as a consequence of their criminal activity. But I'd like to see efforts to round up criminals who have already been released from prison. We could deport hundreds of thousands of criminals who are out on the streets. We'd benefit from lower crime and lower costs for prisons, courts, and police.
This is a great time to enforce more laws against employers of illegal aliens. The downturn in the economy has already cut back on jobs available to illegals. Now Arizona's new law that will revoke business licenses of companies that employ illegals combined with the economic downturn is causing a flight of illegal immigrants out of Arizona.
PHOENIX — The signs of flight among Latino immigrants here are multiple: Families moving out of apartment complexes, schools reporting enrollment drops, business owners complaining about fewer clients.
While it is too early to know for certain, a consensus is developing among economists, business people and immigration groups that the weakening economy coupled with recent curbs on illegal immigration are steering Hispanic immigrants out of the state.
Immigration amnesty advocates argue that amnesty is the only practical response to large scale illegal immigation. But immigration law enforcement obviously works and quickly too.
Arizona employers have begun firing illegal aliens in order to get compliant with the new law.
Although prosecutors in the state do not plan to begin enforcing the sanctions against employers until next month, several employers have reportedly already dismissed workers whose legal authorization to work could not be proved, as required by the law.
Illegal alien families are moving out of Arizona to other states and back to Mexico.
Property managers report that families have uprooted overnight, with little or no notice. Carlos Flores Vizcarra, the Mexican consul general in Phoenix, said while he could not tie the phenomenon to a single factor, the consulate had experienced an “unusual” five-fold increase in parents applying for Mexican birth certificates for their children and other documents that often are a prelude to moving.
Gary Hudder, president of the Yavapai County Contractors Association board of directors, said that to his knowledge, no members have suffered from the illegal immigrants departing the area at this time.
Hudder believes the slowdown in the construction sector has skewed the magnitude of the illegal immigrants departing the area.
HOUSTON: Illegal immigrants are coming into Texas, but not from where one might think.
While Texas shares a border with Mexico, this rush is coming from Oklahoma, Arizona and other U.S. states that have recently passed tough new anti-illegal immigrant laws.
The two toughest measures are in Oklahoma and Arizona.
Faced with a $550 million budget deficit Rhode Island legislators are getting ready to chase out the illegals in order to cut costs.
PROVIDENCE - Rhode Island, facing a budget crisis that will lead to massive cutbacks, is engulfed in the most intense battle over illegal immigration in New England, with Republicans and Democrats alike calling for a crackdown on unauthorized workers.
In the past few weeks, state lawmakers and the governor have proposed a battery of measures targeting unauthorized workers, from expelling undocumented children from the state's healthcare system to making English the official language to jailing business owners and landlords who harbor illegal workers.
Never mind that the major Presidential candidates are soft on illegal immigration. The populace across the nation can get their will enforced at state and local levels and at those levels they are forcing a crackdown on illegal immigrants. That crack down is going to continue to scale up.
On Thursday, a federal judge in Arizona ruled against a lawsuit by construction contractors and immigrant organizations who sought to halt a state law that went into effect on Jan. 1 imposing severe penalties on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. The judge, Neil V. Wake of Federal District Court, methodically rejected all of the contractors’ arguments that the Arizona law invaded legal territory belonging exclusively to the federal government.
On Jan. 31, a federal judge in Missouri, E. Richard Webber, issued a similarly broad and even more forcefully worded decision in favor of an ordinance aimed at employers of illegal immigrants adopted by Valley Park, Mo., a city on the outskirts of St. Louis.
And, in an even more sweeping ruling in December, a judge in Oklahoma, James H. Payne, threw out a lawsuit against a state statute enacted last year requiring state contractors to verify new employees’ immigration status. Judge Payne said the immigrants should not be able to bring their claims to court because they were living in the country in violation of the law.
By contrast, in an earlier court ruling Hazleton Pennsylvania lost in its attempt to enforce ordinances against illegal aliens. But Hazleton has appealed.
I would like to know who appointed each of these judges. Anyone know of an online resource for finding out which Administration appointed each US federal judge?
If John McCain is elected he's probably going to feel constrained to appoint judges that pass muster with the Federalist Society and other right wing strict constructionist legal organizations. So even though he personally prefers weaker immigration law enforcement at least on the topic of judiciary rulings he's not likely to get his way.
Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama would appoint judges far more likely to overrule local anti-illegal immigrant statutes based on supposed civil rights or federal supremacy in setting and enforcing immigration policy.
'Whatever frustrations officials of the city of Hazleton may feel about the current state of federal immigration enforcement, the nature of the political system in the United States prohibits the city from enacting ordinances that disrupt a carefully drawn federal statutory scheme,'' U.S. District Judge James Munley wrote.
In his opinion, issued six months after Munley's, Webber noted he was free to depart from the ruling in the Hazleton case.
''The Court respectfully notes that the Pennsylvania decision is not binding, and therefore, the Court will conduct its own thorough analysis of the issues presented,'' he wrote.
Hazleton has appealed Munley's ruling to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. The city's lawyers plan to file a brief with the court Thursday arguing that Munley erred in his interpretation of federal law -- and citing Webber's decision in the Valley Park case.
The American Civil Liberties Union predictably opposed tougher immigration law enforcement in both the Hazleton and Valley Park cases. The ACLU needs US courts to have sovereign power to make decisions that the ACLU wants and yet the ACLU fights for outcomes that ultimately will destroy American sovereignty.
The employer and immigration-rights groups said they would appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. They had been expecting Wake -- who was openly critical of their arguments in court hearings in December -- to rule against them.
In announcing an end to the "honor system" under which Americans and Canadians can enter the United States simply by presenting a driver's license or declaring their citizenship, Chertoff wrote to lawmakers that people had made 1,517 false claims of U.S. citizenship at land crossings in the past three months. That included one man with an outstanding arrest warrant for a homicide charge in California.
A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection acknowledged this week, however, that only 20 of the recent cases -- and 210 out of 31,060 false claims in the past three years -- occurred at the border with Canada. The other 99 percent came at the Mexican border.
One wonders about the 210 on the Canadian border though. How many were Muslims?
The people on our southern border have less respect for the law than the people on our northern border. I think immigration law enforcement policy should reflect that fact. We need to finish and enhance the US-Mexico border barrier so that illegal entry becomes difficult and very rare.
Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota has just signed a series of executive orders designed to crack down on illegal aliens and the employment thereof.
Among the executive orders Pawlenty signed:
• Minnesota law enforcement officers will work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to help enforce immigration laws. Seifert said that’s primarily state-level law enforcement, such as Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
• New state employees and contractors doing business with the state will be required to verify their citizenship through an Internet-based system operated by the federal government, known as E-Verify.
• The Department of Public Safety will conduct a review of Minnesota’s driver’s license database to catch duplicate photos and study them for possible fraud.
• The DPS will conduct summits for law enforcement, including local law enforcement officers, to provide training in targeting criminal activity related to illegal immigration.
He also proposed several measures that lawmakers would have to approve, including stiffer penalties for identity theft and a ban on so-called sanctuary ordinances that prevent police from asking about immigration status. He described his ideas as "reasonable steps to help combat illegal immigration."
"These are legitimate concerns both in Minnesota and across the country. Other states are moving to address them and we have been as well, but more needs to be done," Pawlenty said, flanked by GOP lawmakers, police chiefs and state commissioners.
Most of Pawlenty's illegal immigration plan failed two years ago, when Republicans controlled the House. Prospects for the latest package appear even worse now that Democrats rule both legislative chambers. Key Democrats were panning the plan minutes after the governor's news conference wrapped up.
Growing popular support for illegal immigration crackdowns have turned similar proposals into state law in other states. Maybe trends in Minnesota will eventually result in enough pressure on the state legislature to get these proposals passed as well.
A law with real enforcement teeth to get employers to stop hiring illegal aliens is going into effect on January 1, 2008 and employers who knowingly employ illegal aliens can lose their business license.
Businesses knowingly employing illegal immigrants face corporate death penalties.
The first offense can result in a 10-day suspension of a company's business license. The second offense can mean loss of the business license altogether. The law is widely viewed as the toughest of more than 100 passed by states and municipalities nationwide since the summer to crack down on illegal immigration.
The state sanctions law is the toughest in the nation. It is aimed at turning off the job magnet that has drawn more than 500,000 undocumented immigrants to Arizona. In addition to punishing businesses for knowingly employing illegal workers, the measure requires employers to use a federal online computer program known as E-Verify to check the work eligibility of all new employees hired after Jan. 1.
If employers refused to hire illegals then the illegal aliens would stop coming and, in fact, would turn around and go home. In fact, self deportation by illegals is already accelerating. If Arizona's law is not overturned in court it could cut the number of illegals in Arizona and set an example for what could be done on a national scale.
Arizona stands out in illegal hires – about 10 to 12 percent of the workforce. This border state with only 6.2 million people has more illegal immigrants than Illinois or New York. Two-thirds of Arizona's foreign-born population are not in the US legally, and the vast majority of them live at or near the poverty level.
The political impetus behind the law is due in large measure to the state's social services being overwhelmed in recent years by a flood of migrants evading tighter border security in California and Texas. The state, in other words, may represent the United States of the future, unless more is done to address the problem of both illegal (too much) and legal (too little) immigration. Since 2000, the US has seen its highest increase in immigrants, but more than half were illegal.
Cutting back on the supply of illegals will accelerate the automation of agriculture.
And one economist, Philip Martin at the University of California, Davis, predicts higher wages will force needed mechanization and increased productivity in farming and not significantly raise prices for produce. That was the case, he says, after the "Bracero" Mexican guest-worker program ended in the 1960s.
Simonds said, "What that means is you got workers who are not seasoned. They don't know how to work a field, and so production is way down across the board,. If you have new people showing up every day, you are going to spend half your day or more training them how to adhere to food safety standards."
Because employers have to compete more for workers, Rademacher said he has raised salaries from about $7 three years to close to $10 this year.
Waters said some growers are paying $15 to $18 an hour this season.
Some of the legal Hispanic field workers think like farmer workers union leader Cesar Chavez did and oppose the illegals since the illegals drive down wages.
Ramona Ortiz, 55, who has been working in the fields since she was 16, said that there are undocumented workers, contrary to growers who say most workers are documented. And she would like to see fewer of them.
"Too many workers hurt the people with documents," she said. "It holds the salaries down."
But that is why the employers want the illegals: to lower their costs of labor while sticking the rest of us with higher taxes to pay for welfare, police, jails, crowding, and other costs. Privatize profits, socialize costs. I say we put a stop to this.
The Department of Homeland Security is expected to make public soon new rules for employers notified when their worker's name or Social Security number was flagged by the Social Security Administration.
The rule, as initially drafted, requires employers to fire people who cannot be verified as a legal worker and cannot resolve within 60 days why the name or Social Security number on their W-2 doesn't match the government's database.
Employers who do not comply could face fines of $250 to $10,000 (€180 to €7,300) per illegal worker and incident.
My reaction is along the lines of "I'll believe it when I see it". Our political masters are not keen to stop the use of illegal alien labor. They've pretended to get tough in the past. Immigration has become such a huge political issue that their pretending is getting hard to do.
After first proposing the rules last year, Department of Homeland Security officials said they held off finishing them to await the outcome of the debate in Congress over a sweeping immigration bill. That measure, which was supported by President Bush, died in the Senate in June.
Now administration officials are signaling that they intend to clamp down on employers of illegal immigrants even without a new immigration law to offer legal status to millions of illegal immigrants already in the workforce.
The popular winds are blowing so hard for real immigration law enforcement that even Senator John McCain is supporting enforcement-only changes in immigration policy.
Farmers are starting to feel the effects of tougher immigration law enforcement. Necessity being a mother, tougher policies against illegal aliens have led to the use of prisoners as farm labor.
The ongoing debate over illegal immigration in the U.S. is having some strange and unintended consequences in the West, where farmers facing acres of unpicked crops are replacing immigrants with inmates.
In Colorado, which last year passed some of the strictest immigration laws in the country, a new program aims to stem a severe labor shortage by using prisoners to work fields once farmed by migrant workers. In Arizona and Idaho, farmers are begging for the expansion of existing prison labor programs as states begin to target employers who hire illegal immigrants.
Great. Make people who are a financial drain on the rest of us do work that at least partially pays for the costs of their criminality.
But farmers who can't afford to pay market rates for labor should either get out of farming or automate their operations or switch to crops that require less labor. We are going to see a lot more farm automation as a result of vigorous immigration law enforcement.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R AL) says the Senate immigration amnesty bill (now S.1639) will not decrease illegal immigration by much even with the $4.4 billion in funding for what is supposed to be increased immigration enforcement.
WASHINGTON— U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) made the following comments regarding the $4.4 billion included in the immigration bill Sen. Reid reintroduced yesterday:
“If we assume that the Administration and the bill’s drafters were serious about their commitment to enforcement, the recent promises of guaranteed funding are unnecessary.
“The only significance of the promised funding is to effectively say ‘we’re going to fund what we already promised to fund.’ The $4.4 billion will not build additional miles of fencing, provide any new technology, hire additional agents or acquire more detention beds than already promised by the President and included in the bill’s provisions that trigger amnesty.
“Let me emphasize that this money will do nothing more than fund the enforcement trigger in the bill, which was already a solemn promise to the American people. The real problem is that the enforcement trigger does not go far enough. It will not adequately secure the border or restore the rule of law.
“The trigger remains very weak. It does not ensure – and the mandatory spending does not provide for – construction of the 700 miles of fencing already authorized by current law. The immigration bill only provides for construction of a total of 370 miles. A mere 87 miles of fencing exist today on our 2,000 mile southern border. Likewise, current law requires 43,000 detention spaces by the end of fiscal year 2007, but the bill’s enforcement trigger provides for only 31,500. The trigger does not require completion of the U.S. VISIT exit system, which is absolutely critical to ensure that foreign workers and visitors do not overstay their visas. To assert that these enforcement items are an assurance to the American people is disingenuous.
“Most significantly, the $4.4 billion will do nothing to change CBO’s conclusion that the bill will only reduce illegal immigration by 13 percent. CBO assumed the bill’s enforcement items would be funded when it published its June 4th cost estimate. If the Senate bill is enacted, CBO projects an additional 8.7 million new illegal immigrants will be in the U.S. in 20 years. These new promises do nothing to prevent that.”
Congress has repeatedly pretended to adopt policies that will reduce illegal immigration. The fact that advocates of increased immigration are prominent supporters of this latest bill provides a strong indication that they are pretending and trying to deceive us yet again. Do not be deceived.
If Congress was serious about cutting illegal immigration they wouldn't let their amnesty trigger kick in till illegal crossings of the border dropped by 99%. But why have an illegal alien amnesty in the first place. We can and should deport all the illegal aliens. We should also reduce legal immigration and set high requirements on who gets to come to America.
Update: If you want to follow the shifts in voting positions by US Senators on whether to vote for cloture on this bill (and 60 votes for cloture would assure the bill's passage) then read Noam Askew's cloture vote counting page. The vote is probably coming on Tuesday. So you should call your Senators early Monday morning and tell them you are opposed to S. 1639. Also, check out the Numbers USA web site and follow their recommendations on how to oppose this bill. You can use their site to send faxes to your Senators.
The European Union looks set to start taking a much tougher line against illegal aliens. The United States could benefit from following the EU's lead on immigration policy. The European Commission is developing a new law to cut back on illegal immigrants.
The European Commission has presented a new Directive to crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. The proposal is part of a comprehensive European Migration policy supporting legal migration, fighting illegal migration and building cooperation with Third Countries. "It is vital to acknowledge that the near certainty of finding illegal work in EU Member States is the main driving force behind illegal immigration from third countries," said Vice-President Franco Frattini, EU Commissioner responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security.
Anyone caught employing illegal immigrants would be banned from taking part in national public procurement contracts or from receiving subsidies for up to five years. The measure would affect farms, for example, that benefit from generous EU or national agriculture subsidies and are caught employing illegal crop pickers.
Companies would also be fined and forced to pay the cost of repatriating illegal migrants to their countries of origin. For more serious abuses such as human trafficking or the repeated employment of illegal workers, EU states could impose jail sentences, though the proposal leaves the length of jail sentences to the discretion of national governments.
Frattini said the legislation would require countries to increase from 2 percent to 10 percent the number of companies they inspect each year for illegal employment.
As it stands, 19 of the EU's 27 member states have criminal sanctions against those who employ illegal entrants. In the UK, bosses face fines, and a new law will introduce jail terms of up to two years. Commissioner Fratini, however, wants to ensure that errant employers face more consistent penalties, because legislation and enforcement rates vary widely.
Harmonised jail sentences, although being considered, were not touted at the Wednesday announcement.
Behind the proposal is a desire to reduce exploitation of undocumented immigrants and the "pull" factor that drives illegal entry. Mr Frattini also believes that the employment of illegal immigrants distorts competition.
We need more immigration law enforcement against US employers. Also, putting the cost of deportations on employers is an excellent idea. It contrasts with the practice of so many American businesses which increase private profits by socializing costs.
The conservative government of newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy seeks to fulfill campaign promises to cut back on immigrants in France by paying them to leave. The new French government has created a new department to enforce immigration laws more aggressively. Also, the French government promises to initiate a vigorous program to pay legal immigrants to leave.
France is home to over 5 million immigrants -- and the new conservative-led government doesn't plan on making things any more comfortable for them. While the new regime in Paris is determined to curb illegal immigration, it is also looking to encourage legal migrants to reconsider their decision to stay in France -- by paying them to go back home.
New immigration minister, Brice Hortefeux, confirmed on Wednesday that the government is planning to offer incentives to more immigrants to return home voluntarily. "We must increase this measure to help voluntary return. I am very clearly committed to doing that," Hortefeux said in an interview with RFI radio.
Under the scheme, Paris will provide each family with a nest egg of €6,000 ($8,000) for when they go back to their country of origin. A similar scheme, which was introduced in 2005 and 2006, was taken up by around 3,000 families.
The French should levy big fines on the employers of illegals and use the money to fund the bribing of legals to leave. Also, they should follow the British approach (see further below) of increasing fees on applications for legal residency and use that money to deal with illegals. Why force the citizens to pay for the foreigners?
"We must increase this measure to help voluntary return. I am very clearly committed to doing that," said Hortefeux, who last week was named in the rightwing government of President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Hortefeux heads a newly-created ministry of immigration, integration, national identity and co-development that is expected toughen up immigration policy and tailor it to France's employment needs.
Hortefeux estimates that France has between 200,000 and 400,000 illegal immigrants. The United States should be so lucky.
Thanks to Dragon Horse for the tip.
Britain is taking a different approach: The cost of staying in Britain is going up.
The price tag for naturalization more than doubled in early April to £575, or $1,135, from £200, part of a wave of steep increases in fees to immigrants. The biggest rise was in the cost of the long-term residency permit, known here as indefinite leave to remain, which rose to £750 from £335. Same-day service for the permit costs £950, compared to £500 before the change.
Officials say the proceeds will help pay for a big new push to enforce immigration laws and crack down on illegal arrivals. The Home Office, the government department in charge of domestic security, said it wanted to hire more enforcement agents, build detention centers and increase its ability to process migrants efficiently without spending tax money.
Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said it was fair to require those who benefit economically from living in Britain to pay for the changes.
Note how some of the money will be spent on enforcement activities against illegal immigrants. We start fining employers of illegals and use the money to fund the capture and deportation of illegals.
Update: In 2005 Steve Sailer proposed buying out Muslim immigrants (who are France's biggest concern) in two articles here and here. One interesting thing to note about a buy-out: The more economically successful the immigrant the less enticing the buy-out. So we would tend to get rid of the poorest immigrants (those who pay the least in taxes and cost the most for medical and other welfare state services) if we paid legal immigrants a fixed amount to leave.
Contra the open borders libertarians I do not see the ability to immigrate as a basic right. Any supposed right which, if put into full practice, would destroy many other rights (e.g. by raising crime and taxes) does not strike me as a right. Also, I do not buy the argument that all people should get all the same rights. Rights have to flow from other attributes that people possess. We do not all equally possess the attributes needed to make a free society work. Therefore we should not all possess equal rights. The law already recognizes this, for example, vis a vis children. They are not considered to have the capacity for the exercise of full rights. Neither are retarded people. Similarly, we also shouldn't grant full rights to psychopaths since they lack sufficient motive to respect the rights of others.
Critics will argue that $8,000 comes nowhere near making up for the entitlements to be accrued by a migrant who elects to remain in France. Stateside, low-skilled workers create an annual net taxpayer liability of over $22,000 per capita. While ascertaining demographic attributes in France is even more difficult than in the US, since the French government doesn't inquire about the race or ethnicity of its residents, in 2002 a private thinktank found that half of the foreign-born in France do menial jobs compared to the one-quarter of natives who do, are twice as likely to be unemployed as their native cohorts, and are three times as likely as natives to make only the minimum wage. The French entitlement structure is even more generous to the impoverished than the one in the US is. So it's safe to assume that for most of the migrants the new initiative will apply to, recouping the $8,000 given up will only take a matter of months.
The French government needs to start restricting welfare state benefits eligibility for legal immigrants and to stop letting in legal immigrants who can't earn more than the average French wage.
Update II: The French approach to immigration is especially heartening because they do not seek just to slow the growth of the problem or to stop its growth. The French approach potentially could reverse the growth of the problem. Since so many of the illegal immigrants to France are Muslims they have a special need to turn back the clock and undo some of the damage. But we too could benefit from this approach.
At 2:10 a.m., a fleet of dark SUVs surged from the garage beneath a federal building onto the deserted streets of Fairfax County, carrying a raiding party of flak-jacketed immigration agents.
Their quarry: illegal immigrants who have ignored and evaded deportation orders. Called "fugitive aliens" or "alien absconders," they have nearly doubled in number since 2001, now totaling more than 636,000.
The Fairfax operation was part of a stepped-up national effort that has increased the number of fugitive arrests from 1,560 in 2003 to a projected 16,000 this year, U.S. immigration officials said.
This is part of Bush's program to appear to get tough on enforcing immigration laws because he thinks that acting tough will help him get an immigration amnesty through Congress. But at the rate of 16,000 per year captured it will take 40 years to capture the illegal alien absconders who are already here. There's an easier solution for future potential absconders: Once someone gets a deportation order do not let them walk out the court room the way they got in. Put them in detention and ship them out under law enforcement supervision.
Steven Camarota says the 600,000 absconders show how the US government neglects immigration law enforcement.
The failure to remove "low-hanging fruit" such as fugitives "may reflect the fact that there's a complete neglect for enforcement, or that even in egregious cases, they just can't get their act together," said Steven A. Camarota, spokesman for the Center on Immigration Studies, a group that advocates less immigration.
We should reduce immigration by at least 99%. The country has enough people. The most desirable places to live are becoming really expensive. We have enough people. We do not need any more.
An advocate for amnesty for millions of illegal aliens cites the US government's failure to round up absconders as an argument against enforcement as a solution to the American immigration problem.
"The absconder population is exhibit number one," said Victor X. Cerda, former chief of staff and general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). "We haven't been able to handle the 600,000-plus who went through the legal system. What's going to lead us to believe we're going to handle the 12 million?"
Victor X. Cerda gets this exactly backward. The 600,000 who went through the legal system are exhibit number one that a foreign worker permit program would fail abysmally. If the ICE can't round up absconders now then the US government obviously lacks the capacity to manage and enforce Bush's guest worker program. The presence of 600,000 absconders is proof that the US government lacks the capacity to enforce the law in a foreign guest worker program.
The US government could find many of these hundreds of thousands of illegals if they put up pictures of them on a web site with a financial reward for finding each one. But to implement such an incentive program would require that the US government get seriously motivated to stop immigration law violation.
Documents released in the controversy about eight fired U.S. attorneys show that federal prosecutors in Texas generally have declined to bring criminal charges against illegal immigrants caught crossing the border — until at least their sixth arrest.
A heavily redacted Department of Justice memo from late 2005 disclosed the prosecution guidelines for immigration offenses, numbers the federal government tries to keep classified. DOJ officials would not say Thursday whether it has adjusted the number since the memo was written, citing "law enforcement reasons."
This six times rule is dumb for obvious reasons. But let me go and state the most obvious one anyway: Most illegal crossers are probably going to make it across in less than 6 tries. This rule seems aimed at simply reducing the amount of work prosecuting and holding illegals.
What other justification is there for 5 warnings? Cost is the only one I can see. The Justice Department could argue they can't handle the volume of lawbreakers. But that's an argument for hiring a lot more prosecutors and judges to allow prosecution of all illegals on their first attempts. The effect of such a strategy would be to reduce the number who try to cross illegally in the first place. We should spend much more and try much harder to enforce immigration law for a short period of time. Go all out for a year or two. Then the total number of illegal crossers will plummet and the amount of law enforcement resources needed on the border will drop.
A spot check by federal agents has identified 59 street gang members in Southern California jails who are illegal immigrants subject to deportation, sparking a debate about the role of border enforcement in the region's battle against violent gangs.
The initial identification of deportable gang members came during a first-of-its-kind screening of a portion of jail inmates last month.
The review will continue, and officials expect during the first year to identify 700 to 800 gang members who are illegal immigrants, according to Jim Hayes, director of the Los Angeles field office for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The pressure on the federal government from popular outrage over immigration has gotten high enough that the US government is doing "first-of-its-kind screening" on jail inmates. These are people in jail. In other words, they are criminals. Yet doing a screening on them to identify illegal alien gang members for deportation is a "first-of-its-kind" event now in the year 2007. That shows how bad things got and how far we still have to go on immigration law enforcement.
Arrests and criminal charges along a section of the Texas-Mexico border have drastically cut down illegal alien crossings. We need the same policy along the rest of the border. Our supporters of open borders for years argued it is futile to control the borders. They wanted us to to give in to feelings of helplessness and passivity. Instead we got angry, yelled at the gub'mint and they did something about it while trying not to. Now we have more narcotics getting seized because the reduction in the flow of illegals frees up more Border Patrol time to go after smugglers. Border law enforcement works, the border is controllable, and illegal crossings can be brought down to a small trickle.
Border Patrol commanders argue the slackening flow of migrants belies the conventional wisdom that it is impossible to stem illegal migration along a 2,000 mile, or 3,200 kilometer, border. Many veteran officers in the force are now beginning to believe that with sufficient resources, it can be controlled.
We need a wall. We need more monitoring gadgets. We need more Border Patrol agents. We also need prosecution of illegal crossers along the entire length of the border. Plus, we need more interior enforcement of immigration laws.
Despite its spartan conditions, the facility in Willacy County, 260 miles south of Austin, is a key to President Bush's drive to create a channel for temporary foreign workers and a path toward legalization for as many as 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States.
To do so, the government must convince skeptics that it can credibly enforce laws aimed at illegal immigrants and their employers, and can hold and deport those caught by the U.S. Border Patrol. At the same time, the administration and its allies argue that even additional detention beds will be overwhelmed without new channels for legal immigration. Accordingly, the United States has embarked on a huge prison building and contracting campaign, increasing the number of illegal immigrants detained from 19,718 a day in 2005 to about 26,500 now, and a projected 32,000 this summer.
We could deport at least 300,000 illegals who are criminals if we just identified them as illegals and made sure they do not get released at the end of their prison terms.
The Border Patrol made 1.1 million apprehensions last year -- mostly Mexicans who were promptly returned across the border -- but estimates 500,000 people evaded capture or entered legally and then overstayed visas.
An additional 630,000 are at large, ignoring deportation orders, and 300,000 more who entered state and local prisons for committing crimes are to be deported but will probably slip through the cracks after completing their sentences.
Bush wants to end illegal immigration as part of a drive to drastically ramp up legal immigration. Will he get away with it? As the supply of illegals dry up the businesses that make use of cheaper labor will complain about the need to pay more. But any temporary worker permit program will ramp up both legal and illegal immigration.
RICHMOND, Jan. 17 -- Virginia Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell (R) called Wednesday for legislation and an executive order to allow state and local police to enforce federal immigration laws in an effort to crack down on violent criminals who are in the country illegally.
Flanked by lawmakers from Manassas, Prince William County and Herndon -- three Northern Virginia communities with large Latino populations and plenty of public pressure to get tougher on undocumented residents -- McDonnell said law enforcement must be given more tools to stop such criminals.
`McDonnell says state and local officers currently lack the legal ability to detain people on immigration charges. He also wants this authority in order to go after illegal immigrants who have committed crimes, been deported, and then returned. He says that 80,000 such people are in the United States currently.
But the Governor, a Democrat, does not want the police to gain that power. He would apparently rather let violent criminals prey on the people of his state.
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), however, reiterated that he does not intend to sign an executive order of the sort McDonnell endorsed. He said immigration enforcement is a federal duty, not a state one.
"What we want to do is demand of our federal delegation and legislators that they provide appropriate funding for anti-immigration activity, and not take the pressure off by having the Virginia taxpayers pay the bill," Kaine said.
Kaine is wrong on a few counts. First of all, Virginia taxpayers are going to pay the bill either way. It is just a question of which government agency at what level takes their money and uses it for that purpose. Second, local enforcement is the most cost effective and most practical way to go. Local police are in every town. Federal immigration agents are rare compared to local police. Also, local police run into illegals in the course of their normal work investigating crimes and doing patrols. Why waste those many fortuitous encounters and all the knowledge they gain when questioning people?
Kaine is most fundamentally wrong when he finds excuses to prevent police from catching violent criminals. The primary purpose of government is to protect our rights. He would rather pander to ethnic interests than to protect the rights and safety of citizens. He demonstrates yet another reason why immigration of non-majority ethnic groups and races causes problems for the white majority.
The U.S. Border Patrol apprehended 8 percent fewer illegal immigrants last fiscal year than the year before, reversing a two-year increase in the historically volatile benchmark, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced yesterday.
Chertoff credited the drop of nearly 100,000 apprehensions largely to the Bush administration's strategy of deporting virtually all non-Mexican border crossers as fast as they are caught, deterring them and others in what had been the fastest-growing group of illegal immigrants. After quadrupling the previous four years, apprehensions of "other than Mexican" border crossers fell 57,144, or 35 percent, to 108,026 last year.
I'd be more convinced by more objective evidence. For example, could regular aircraft flights at night with high resolution digital infrared cameras measure the rate of illegal alien crossings by counting human shape heat signatures along desert sections of the border?
Some knowledgeable observers question Chertoff's interpretation of the figures on apprehensions.
Analysts immediately disputed Chertoff's claim of an unprecedented decline in arrests. Border Patrol apprehensions have risen and fallen like a roller coaster over the years, peaking at almost 1.7 million in 2000 before bottoming out at 932,000 in 2003. Causes include earlier threats of congressional crackdowns; the security climate after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; and changes in Border Patrol funding and strategies.
Experts instead called yesterday's announcement the administration's latest effort to walk a political tightrope in its handling of illegal immigration heading into the Nov. 7 congressional elections.
In any case, improvements in border enforcement come only as a result of loud and persistent popular demand. Bush doesn't want tougher border enforcement and neither do a majority of the Democrats in Congress.
Chertoff is either a liar or a fool when he says that a guest worker program will help control the southern border.
Chertoff backed away yesterday from the Bush administration's pledge to control the nation's borders by 2008, saying it would be "very, very difficult" without a guest-worker program, which the House has resisted. Proponents in Congress say it would take 18 months to six years to set up such a program, after paying for a long-needed computerized worker-verification system to manage it.
Bush and Nancy Pelosi stand a very substantial chance of enacting an amnesty and guest worker program that'll increase legal immigration by millions a year while not decreasing illegal immigration. I've explained in considerable detail how a guest worker program will draw mostly from people who do not now try to enter the US illegally and how the guest workers will increase the influx of illegal immigrants. You can read all about it and know that the guest worker program advocates are lying to you.
George W. Bush is a true believer in amnesty for illegal aliens, at least for Mexicans, and perhaps in some sort of EU-style shotgun marriage of Canada, the United States and Mexico as well. For reasons that beg for psychoanalysis (although from knowing the Texas milieu that produced Mr. Bush I have some speculations), President Bush loves Mexicans. I think on balance he sees the average Mexican as in some moral sense superior to the average American, more genuine in some inchoate way. My impression is that, in his heart of hearts, he likes them better than he likes us. When he says “family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande river,” he is speaking from his heart. That he is sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, not the welfare of Mexicans, does not faze him. The amnesty/guest worker program is President Bush’s lodestar, the legacy he sincerely wants to leave America. In the teeth of all the evidence, he believes that we would be better for it and it’s just the right thing to do. It is more important to him than Iraq, so important that he jettisoned the GOP’s best chance to hold on to the Congress rather than back away from it.
Jorge Bush's gut instinct told him in 1999 (really) to invade Iraq to win an easy war that would boost his popularity. This guy has bad judgement which he trusts. Bush makes huge mistakes which he refuses to acknowledge. He also has a condescending attitude toward the vast majority of the American people. He looks down on us and wants to replace us with Mexicans who he sees as more compliant for elites. Stand up against this guy. He's bad news and if he gets away with it his legacy will be huge lasting damage to the quality of life in America.
Immigration restrictionists need to yell even louder and more often in the next couple of years. The foxes are now in control of the henhouse and they mean to destroy what most Americans love about America.
President Bush claims he’s serious about immigration enforcement. Here’s one way he could show it. The Orange County, Ca., sheriff has asked the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to train and deputize his detectives in immigration law and to authorize them to enforce it. That way, when a sheriff’s detective comes across an illegal-alien gang suspect, he can get him off the street immediately on an immigration charge. ICE has sat on Sheriff Michael Corona’s request (which conforms to a 1996 federal law) for ten months. If President Bush wants to demonstrate that he is willing to protect the country against illegal-alien criminals, he should order ICE to approve Orange County’s request without further delay.
But President Bush does not want to protect the country against illegal alien criminals as much as he wants to flood the country with tens of millions more illegal aliens.
Orange County spends $18 million holding illegals who already are wanted for immigration law violations. That's just one county in one state.
Orange County, Ca., spends nearly $18 million a year incarcerating just those illegal aliens who already have immigration holds on them — over ten percent of its jail population; that number leaves out the many other illegal-alien criminals who have escaped ICE detection entirely.
In contrast to most of the existing local immigration agreements, the Orange County plan tries to nab illegal-alien criminals before they end up in jail. Unlike state highway troopers, sheriff’s detectives work in the most crime-prone, often immigrant-heavy, neighborhoods every day; they actively seek out criminals rather than waiting for a law-breaker to come to them. In these gang-saturated neighborhoods, illegal-alien criminals prey on law-abiding immigrants; their law-abiding victims are usually reluctant to provide evidence against them. The only tool that a law-enforcement officer may have for getting an illegal gang-banger off the street is his immigration status; trying to build a case for armed robbery, say, may be futile. Moreover, if an investigator has only enough evidence to detain someone briefly for questioning about a crime, but not yet probable cause to arrest him, a quick check of the immigration database may provide grounds to arrest him rather than let him get away.
We should not have to live with the consequences of Hispanic gangs in our neighborhoods. We should not have to live in a decaying society. We should not have to be governed by lying elites that work to harm our interests.
Due to objections from illegal immigrant advocacy organizations and the Bush Administration illegal immigrant appeasers Orange County has had to water down their proposal.
Orange County’s original proposal would have given sheriffs deputies on routine patrol access to the ICE immigration-crime databases — not just detectives. ICE and immigrant advocates rejected this reasonable idea and also sharply reduced the number of detectives who would be given clearance to check immigration databases.
The Bushies pretend they want to enforce immigration laws. But the Bushies reject any proposal that would be effective. You can't trust them.
We can not trust the President of the United States. Jorge W. Bush feels pressured to pretend that he wants immigration laws strictly enforced.
CINCINNATI, July 30 — Immigration agents had prepared a nasty surprise for the Garcia Labor Company, a temporary worker contractor, when they moved against it on charges of hiring illegal immigrants. They brought a 40-count federal indictment, part of a new nationwide strategy by immigration officials to clamp down on employers of illegal immigrant laborers.
Bush thinks he has a better chance of getting what he wants from Congress on immigration if the US government carries out some high profile immigration law enforcement prosecutions.
The White House is hoping the increased enforcement will strengthen Mr. Bush’s hand in the battle over immigration reform, Homeland Security Department officials said, by pre-empting House Republicans who are pressing a bill they passed in December that centers on enforcement and border security but does not provide a way for illegal immigrants to become legal.
The Bush Administration spent its early years in office gutting what was left of immigration enforcement.
For years, workplace raids were a low priority for immigration authorities. Testifying in June before a Senate immigration subcommittee, Richard M. Stana, a director in the Government Accountability Office, reported that civil fine notices issued to employers dropped to 3 in 2003, from 417 in 1999.
While the old immigration agency brought 25 criminal charges against employers in 2002, this year Immigration and Customs Enforcement has already made 445 criminal arrests of employers, officials said. Some 2,700 immigrant workers were caught up in those operations, and most were deported, the officials said.
Bush continued a trend toward decreased enforcement that started back in the mid 1990s. Now he's pursuing an enforcement policy that he personally does not like. Why? He hopes that by temporarily pretending that he wants to enforce immgration laws he can get Congress to pass a massive amnesty and guest worker program.
We need a very tough enforcement-only immigration bill from Congress. Both Congress and Bush will quickly backslide and oppose enforcement once the amnesty people get what they want. Our elites can not be trusted.
Avon Park Florida is very likely to pass an ordinance patterned after that of Hazleton Pennsylvania to fine landlords who rent to illegal aliens and to deny business permits to businesses that hire illegals.
A city up north, Hazleton, Pa., planned to root out and punish landlords who rented to illegal immigrants, fining them $1,000 for every such tenant. Mr. Macklin, whose own small city has swelled with immigrants from Mexico, Haiti and Jamaica over the past decade, swiftly proposed the same for Avon Park.
"It was almost as if I was sitting in church at a revival and he was preaching to me," Mr. Macklin said of Mayor Lou Barletta of Hazleton, whom he heard promoting that city's Illegal Immigration Relief Act on the radio show last month. "If we address the housing issue — make it as difficult as possible for illegals to find safe haven in Avon Park — then they are going to have to find someplace else to go."
Like Hazleton's proposal, Avon Park's would deny business permits to companies that knowingly hired illegal immigrants.
Some of the employers of illegals are orange groves and cattle ranches outside of town. Therefore they may escape the business permit ordinance's reach. But their illegals won't be able to live in Avon Park if this ordinance is passed and enforced.
I can identify with their wistfulness. I miss the days when Hispanic gangs didn't deface my neighborhood with graffiti.
Both mayors, white baby boomers who grew up in the 1960's and 70's, speak wistfully of the days when nuclear families were the only occupants of single-family homes in their towns, every resident paid taxes and English was the only language heard on the streets. Mr. Macklin said the City of Charm, as Avon Park has long called itself, no longer met that description, despite the gazebo and shuffleboard courts on Main Street, several dainty lakes and ubiquitous live oaks.
"When people come to our area," he said, "they see degrading neighborhoods, homes falling down among themselves, four or five vehicles parked in yards. There's a perception for those that come to this area — looking to perhaps expand a business, move here — that it might not necessarily be where they want to be."
The Supreme Court endorsed a tough application of immigration law to certain longtime illegal immigrants, clearing the way for summary deportations of perhaps thousands who have been living in the United States for a decade or more.
By a vote of 8 to 1, the court ruled that the U.S. government properly sent Utah truck driver Humberto Fernandez-Vargas back to Mexico in 2004 because he returned to the U.S. illegally in 1982 after having been previously deported.
A new local court ruling in Arizona also makes immigration law enforcement easier. Maricopa County Arizona (encompasses Phoenix) Superior Court Judge Thomas O'Toole ruled that Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas's practice of prosecuting illegal immigrants for engaging in a conspiracy to violate US immigration laws is constitutional.
PHOENIX -- A judge upheld an Arizona law Friday that created the state crime of immigrant smuggling, rejecting arguments that it was an unconstitutional attempt by the state to regulate immigration.
The ruling was a victory for a prosecutor who has used the 9-month-old law to target not only smugglers but also their customers as conspirators to the crime.
The interpretation led to scores of prosecutions against immigrants in Maricopa County and drew a sharp response from immigrant advocates and the law's author, who said it was intended to apply only to smugglers.
He said state law makes it clear that when two or more people are involved in a plan to break the law, that constitutes a conspiracy.
The judge also said federal immigration laws do not pre-empt states from imposing their own regulations.
That part of the ruling has potential implications beyond the specific questions of the law in question. It also goes to the ongoing fight at the Capitol over whether the state has the power to enact various laws dealing with illegal entrants — and specifically whether it can punish companies that hire undocumented workers.
Following the legal advice of Maricopa County's tough on crime prosecutor Andrew Thomas, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio began arresting illegal immigrants under the new law and referring them for prosecution. Since the enforcement began, 272 illegal immigrants have been arrested and charged. Twenty-three illegal immigrants and one coyote have pled guilty, and will serve jail-time before being deported. With a felony on their record, they will have a slim chance at ever entering the U.S. legally or obtaining U.S. citizenship.
National and local level enforcement of immigration laws has the potential to send the illegals running back to their countries of origin.
Governor Mitt Romney is seeking an agreement with federal authorities that would allow Massachusetts state troopers to arrest undocumented immigrants for being in the country illegally.
If the proposal is approved, Massachusetts would join a handful of states and localities that have entered into such pacts since they were first authorized in 1996. That list includes Florida, Alabama, and a few counties in California and North Carolina, where a limited number of officers have been trained to enforce immigration laws.
The US Senate and President are out of step with the rest of the country on immigration.
The "Other Than Mexicans" who are caught on one section of the US border with Mexico are all held, prosecuted for breaking the law, and then deported.
But this year, a 190-mile stretch of riverbank that includes the small border cities of Eagle Pass and Del Rio became a "zero-tolerance zone." If apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol, illegal immigrants are prosecuted by federal authorities for a misdemeanor, sent to jail for 15 to 180 days and then deported. If they are caught illegally entering the country a second time, they are eligible for a felony charge of illegal entry and as much as two years in federal prison.
"Catch and release" -- in which Mexican citizens are returned promptly to Mexico, but citizens of other countries are given a notice to appear in immigration court at a later date, set free and never tracked down by authorities -- would end here, said Department of Homeland Security officials at a Washington news conference this year. "Catch and remove" would start. And, officials predicted, as this tough policy became known, immigrants would be discouraged from crossing through this slice of southwest Texas.
This is the way it should work on the entire border.
The Border Patrol agents have so much extra time that they are catching many more drug smugglers.
As of June 5, apprehensions of illegal immigrants in Eagle Pass, where Operation Streamline II began Dec. 6, were down 51 percent, and they were down 32 percent in Del Rio, compared with the same period a year ago. Apprehensions of drug smugglers increased substantially between Dec. 6 and June 5, because agents were no longer tied up processing illegal immigrants, Clark said. Since the program began, the value of narcotics seizures has increased 309 percent to $13 million in Eagle Pass and by 176 percent to almost $40 million in Del Rio, he said.
Some of the crossers have shifted to other sections of the border. But this same program could be implemented along the entire border. At first the prisons along the border would be flooded with people. But as word got out the news would deter a substantial fraction of potential illegal crossers.
Border enforcement is possible. We just need the political will to do it.
Arizona lawmakers have approved legislation that would criminalize the presence of illegal aliens and seeks to cut off job opportunities that attract illegal border crossers.
"The House and Senate may not get anything done. So we have an obligation to respond, since this is not just a national border [that's being compromised], it's the Arizona border," said state Rep. Russell Pearce, lead sponsor of the bill that passed the Legislature Thursday.
The bill, which calls for revoking business licenses for repeatedly hiring known illegal aliens and bars illegals from some state services including child care and adult education, has passed both chambers of the Republican-controlled Legislature, but is expected to be vetoed by Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat,
Mrs. Napolitano earlier vetoed a bill that would have expanded the state's trespassing statutes to allow the arrest of illegal aliens who wind up there. She has vowed to veto any further measures that would have this same effect.
I think Arizonans saw what happened to California due to large scale Hispanic immigration (not a few of them are Cal expats who fled the decay) and do not want to see the process repeat in Arizona.
One key distinction is that the new version could be enforced only when police first approach a person about another offense, such as a traffic violation.
A first offense would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. Subsequent offenses would be a felony carrying a sentence of at least three years in prison.
Political activists in Arizona want to sidestep Governor Napolitano's veto by putting an initiative on the ballot that would accomplish many of the same goals as the legislation that Napolitano will probably veto.
A citizens group is seeking the end of a policy that prevents Phoenix police officers from detaining suspected illegal aliens, questioning a person under arrest about immigration status or notifying federal authorities that an illegal alien is in custody.
Members of Protect Our City have started a petition drive to change the city's charter to require that police officers, along with all other city agencies and employees, assist federal authorities in enforcing U.S. immigration law.
Randy Pullen, a Republican National Committeeman from Arizona and the project's leader, told The Washington Times that he hopes to gather enough signatures to qualify the measure as an initiative on the city's November ballot.
Several Republican consultants say putting an immigration proposal on this year's ballot could pay political dividends as the party looks to unseat the Democratic governor and fend off challenges in U.S. Senate and congressional races.
By moving the immigration issue onto the ballot, Republicans are hoping to drive more voters to the polls. Republicans hold an edge of 6 percentage points over Democrats in voter registration.
"At that point it's just pure mathematics," said Doug Cole, a political consultant who works mostly with Republican candidates.
The national Republican Party, under control of El Presidente Jorge W. Bush, is totally blowing an opportunity to win elections by making immigration restriction a major Republican cause. The House Republicans should reject a compromise with the Imperial Senate on immigration and instead run for reelection as immigration restrictionsts.
Update: Maricopa County Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio has orderd his department to arrest all illegal aliens they encounter.
Since March, Arpaio, a Republican who refers to himself as "America's toughest sheriff," has directed the 3,000 men and women in the nation's third-largest sheriff's department to arrest undocumented workers. As of Thursday, his deputies and a posse of several hundred volunteers had captured 170 -- in a region where an estimated one in 10 workers is illegal. "My message to the illegals is this: Stay out of Maricopa County, because I'm the sheriff here," Arpaio said in an interview in his office on the 19th floor of a building in downtown Phoenix.
Notice the liberal Washington Post's use of the Orwellian "undocumented worker" instead of "illegal alien".
Many state and local governments are starting to enforce immigration laws.
In April, Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) signed a tough immigration bill that made Georgia the first state to require municipalities to require immigration enforcement training for their police. Police must check the immigration status of anyone arrested for a felony or drunken driving. The law also fines employers who hire illegal immigrants. Fourteen other states, including Virginia, are working on laws like Georgia's that would require local police training.
While our leaders are trying to dissolve the Republic and turn it into an Imperial government most people still want to save the old Republic. It is not yet clear to me which side will win.
I've been reading the mostly very empirical posts of The Inductivist blogger Ron Guhname. He mostly digs through the results of General Social Surveys (GSS) and finds facts about groups that go against the conventional wisdom. But he's got one post on illegal immigration where he argues that we should focus far more on the people who enable the illegal aliens by hiring them and making it legally easy for them to work in the United States
So, everyone argues about the whether the immigrants are a good or bad thing, but all this talk is about the little fish. All to often the big fish get off the hook. This is a big mistake since, in this immigration drama, the employer is the drug dealer and the illegal is only a junkie. The drug dealer gets fat while the neighborhood goes to hell. The politicians are the cops who close their eyes to the transaction in exchange for a dirty money payoff. And the ACLU who sues the employer for investigating the legal status of his workers is the fellow gangbanger who threatens you if you are even thinking about leaving the gang and going straight. Now, none of us likes a junkie, but he is just the little guy. American save their rage for the guy peddling the dope. He is the one who needs to serve some serious time.
Some jail terms for executives in businesses hiring illegals would cut back on illegal hiring very rapidly and send millions back across the border. We need internal enforcement of immigration laws.
Read the whole post.
The Center for Immigration Studies has the goods once again. Driving out the illegal aliens from the United States would be a fairly cheap thing to accomplish since most could be induced to self-deport. Law enforcement would work wonders.
Proponents of mass legalization of the illegal alien population, whether through amnesty or expanded guestworker programs, often justify this radical step by suggesting that the only alternative – a broad campaign to remove illegal aliens by force – is unworkable. One study put the cost of such a deportation strategy at $206 billion over the next five years. But mass forced removal is not the only alternative to mass legalization. This analysis shows that a strategy of attrition through enforcement, in combination with a stronger border security effort such as the administration’s Secure Border Initiative (SBI), will significantly reduce the size of the illegal alien population at a reasonable cost. Reducing the size of the illegal population in turn will reduce the fiscal and social burdens that illegal immigration imposes on communities. In contrast, a policy of mass legalization is likely to increase these costs and prompt more illegal immigration.
Studies of the size and growth of the illegal population show that a borders-oriented strategy like SBI, which aims to improve border security and focuses mainly on removing criminal aliens, will achieve only limited results. If supplemented by attrition through enforcement, which encourages voluntary compliance with immigration laws rather than relying on forced removal, the illegal population could be nearly halved in five years. According to the government’s own cost estimates, such a strategy requires an additional investment of less than $2 billion, or $400 million per year – an increase of less than 1 percent of the President’s 2007 budget request for the Department of Homeland Security ($42.7 billion).
Elements of the attrition through enforcement strategy include: mandatory workplace verification of immigration status; measures to curb misuse of Social Security and IRS identification numbers; partnerships with state and local law enforcement officials; expanded entry-exit recording under US-VISIT; increased non-criminal removals; and state and local laws to discourage illegal settlement.
Pakistani illegals self-deported when US government agents started tracking them down after 9/11. Hispanic illegals would do the same thing if they figured they stood a good chance of eventually getting caught.
This is all doable stuff.
Here are some of the key elements of an attrition strategy.
1) eliminating access to jobs through mandatory employer verification of Social Security numbers and immigration status;
2) ending misuse of Social Security and IRS identification numbers, which illegal immigrants use to secure jobs, bank accounts, drivers licenses, and other privileges, and improved information-sharing among key federal agencies;
3) increasing apprehensions and detention of illegal immigrants through partnerships between federal immigration authorities and state and local law enforcement agencies;
4) reducing visa overstays;
5) doubling the number of non-criminal, non-expedited removals;
6) passing state and local laws to discourage the settlement of illegal aliens and to make it more difficult for illegal aliens to conceal their status.
Immigration laws are enforceable. Claims to the contrary are motivated by the desire to get the public resigned to the increasing hordes of illegals in our midst. But there's no need for that feeling of resignation that the Open Borders crowd wants you to feel. The battle against illegal immigration is winnable.
Update: Enforcement of immigration laws has plummeted in a trend that began in the latter years of the Clinton Administration and continued under Bush. Edwin Rubinstein has the facts. Immigration enforcement plunged by a few orders of magnitude from 1997 to 2004 and today enforcement is truly token. Vigorous enforcement would drive out the illegals. Also see Michelle Malkin on the Bush Administration's failure to enforce immigration law.
The government plans to crack down ever harder on employers who harbor and hire illegal immigrants, pursuing companies that ignore the law so they can exploit cheap labor.
"We are going to move beyond the current level of activity to a higher level in each month and year to come," Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said yesterday. He pledged to "come down as hard as possible" on violators.
Has something changed? The trend in recent years has been toward weaker and weaker enforcement.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), enacted in 1986, requires employers to verify that prospective employees are either US citizens or authorized to work here. But rather than mandate a national identity card - because of privacy reasons - the legislation gives employers wide latitude in determining eligibility. Workers can offer employers at least 25 different documents to prove they are authorized to work in the US.
"The law has been so difficult to enforce that the number of cases brought against employers is about half what it was a decade ago even though the number of unauthorized workers has roughly doubled in that time," a Pew Research Center report concluded last month.
Sanctions against violators have dropped steeply, with the feds notifying only three employers of fines in 2004. And hardly anyone's walking the worksite police beat - just 65 federal agents were assigned to worksites in 2004. Considering the roughly 7 million illegal aliens working in the US, that effort isn't laughable, it's a crying shame - and a taint on employers who play this game.
In the IFCO Systems case, federal agents apprehended 1,187 workers on immigration charges in raids on more than 40 plants Wednesday. Seven current and former IFCO Systems managers were arrested on criminal charges, accused of conspiring to harbor illegal immigrants.
Is the IFCO case an aberration or a turn back toward real enforcement?
Fines against employers, which hit $3.7 million in fiscal 1999, dropped to $212,322 in fiscal 2003, the Congressional Research Service reported.
And the Bush administration in fiscal 2004 filed only three notices of intent to fine employers for hiring illegal workers, down from 417 such cases in fiscal 1999, according to the General Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.
The Bush Administration is feeling heat from popular radio talk shows, Fox News talking heads, and a rising fraction of the Republican base on immigration. Will their response extend beyond tokenism? Too early to tell. My guess is we have to get a lot madder before they make substantial changes.
To implement the work-site enforcement strategy, the department has requested $41 million in funds and 200 more U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) agents for fiscal 2007, which will increase to about 525 the number of ICE agents assigned to track down more than 11 million illegal aliens now in the United States.
They ought to increase staffing to many thousands of agents in order to create a credible threat to employers. Once employers get scared out of employing illegals it will cost less to maintain credible deterrence. But the cost of getting a handle on such a large problem will be higher initially.
Frustrated by congressional inaction and pushed by anger at home, state legislatures across the United States are debating tough new restrictions on illegal immigrants.
For years, states deferred to the federal government on immigration matters, but as illegal immigrants have spread throughout the country and Congress has been unable to pass an immigration reform bill, that has changed. In the first six months of last year, states considered nearly 300 immigration-related bills and passed 36 of them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Bush and the US Senate are going to continue to put business interests and Hispanic votes ahead of the will of the majorty and the best interests of the nation as a whole. So popular anger will continue to build and states will pass more legislation aimed at illegal aliens.
Cracking down on employers who either willfully or negligently employ undocumented immigrants seems to be gaining favor not only with the federal Department of Homeland Security but with lawmakers in statehouses and Congress. And Georgia is no exception.
Several bills are before the Georgia Legislature this session that would address the issue. In Georgia, an estimated 4 percent of workers are illegal immigrants, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
While officials in Los Angeles predictably decry the move some Orange County California police departments are among the first to train to enforce immigration laws.
The Costa Mesa Police Department and Orange County Sheriff's Department are developing plans for their officers to be trained alongside federal immigration agents so they can understand and help enforce immigration laws.
They are among the first in the nation to seek the training, and their effort has generated both interest from other agencies and protests from immigrants' rights groups.
"Dozens of jurisdictions have reached out to us and asked us for copies of this policy," said Jon Fleischman, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Department. "Like with any instrument that provides a resource to find criminals, departments are looking at this to see if this will help fight crime."
The editors of the Christian Science Monitor argue that state level activity in making immigration policy is a symptom of the unwillingness of the US federal government to enforce immigration laws.
But the bottom line is that the US is a country of laws. Illegal immigration is a large-scale abuse of the law, with social and economic costs. The fact that states considered more than 300 immigration bills last year shows the absolute failure of the federal government to enforce immigration laws.
Only popular anger will force the idiots in Washington DC to crack down. But the anger has to build a lot more before the Senators will listen.
Calling a single deportation officer for North Carolina "inexcusable," U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick asked federal immigration officials Wednesday to explain why they're "not fulfilling their responsibilities."
Myrick's letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and other officials came four days after the death of constituent Scott Gardner, a Mount Holly man killed Saturday when his car was hit by a truck driven by an illegal immigrant later charged with driving while impaired.
It's the fourth time in three years that Ramiro Gallegos, 25, who lives in the Brunswick County town of Supply, has faced DWI charges.
"It should not take a horrible incident like this to draw attention to this persistent problem plaguing the enforcement of our immigration laws," wrote Myrick, a Charlotte Republican.
See Steve Sailer's post on just how cheaply illegal immigrants could be deported. The same correspondent who he quotes anonymously tells me small numbers of federal agents could deport large numbers of illegal aliens.
What could be done instead? For a start, we could build a wall from Tijuana too Brownsville for the cost of one month in Iraq. We could simply enforce our laws like Israel and Malaysia do. Both Israel and Malaysia have removed massive illegal populations with minor law enforcement efforts. Indeed, the U.S. has done so as well... Three times it turns out. There were large scale deportations in the 20s, 30s, and 50s. The 50s enforcement effort was ordered by President Eisenhower and was named "Operation Wetback" (not very PC). 700 federal agents removed some 80,000 illegals. However, it is clear that large numbers of illegals left on their own faced with real immigration enforcement. Estimates range from 700,000 to as high as 2 million. See [here] for a sane article on the subject
“We should crack down on the borders more and allow local police to have the power to make arrests,” said Shays, a Republican who represents the 4th District, which includes Ridgefield and Redding. “Federal law prohibits bank robbery and we allow local law enforcement to make arrests.”
The call from Shays comes several months after Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton unsuccessfully sought help from the state police to crack down on illegal immigrants in the city. Federal law requires local or state police to get six weeks of special training to enforce immigration law.
If police can identify someone as an illegal then why should they go through 6 weeks of expensive training before they can make an arrest?
A renegade band of Mexican military deserters, offering $50,000 bounties for the assassination of U.S. law-enforcement officers, has expanded its base of operations into the United States to protect loads of cocaine and marijuana being brought into America by Mexican smugglers, authorities said.
The deserters, known as the "Zetas," trained in the United States as an elite force of anti-drug commandos, but have since signed on as mercenaries for Mexican narcotics traffickers and have recruited an army of followers, many of whom are believed to be operating in Texas, Arizona, California and Florida.
In lawless Mexico military deserters can operate as outlaws for years. Some of these people deserted as far back as 1991. Yet they are still wandering around free.
In the last year the attack rate on US Border Patrol agents has doubled with shootings quintupling.
Since Oct. 1, the start of the fiscal year, there have been 196 assaults on Border Patrol agents in the Tucson sector, including 24 shootings. During the same period last year, 92 assaults were reported, with five shootings. The sector is the busiest alien- and drug-trafficking corridor in the country.
The US government should deploy the US military to stop the immigrant influx, stop the drug smuggling, and restore order to the US-Mexican border.
The Zetas and other armed groups associated with drug smugglers control Nuevo Laredo across the border from Laredo Texas. Battles between rival groups in Nuevo Laredo have caused the US to close its consulate there.
The United States is closing temporarily its consulate in this lawless Mexican border city after rival drugs gangs clashed with bazookas, hand grenades and heavy machine-gun fire.
"A violent battle involving unusually advanced weaponry took place between armed criminal factions last night in Nuevo Laredo," U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza said on Friday.
Progress is not inevitable. Nuevo Laredo is the Wild West but in the 21st century.
At least 72 people, including 13 police officers, have been killed in the city this year in the battle between powerful gangs from western Sinaloa state and the local Gulf cartel.
If the United States was to build a barrier on the full length of the US border with Mexico and make drug and people smuggling extremely difficult then the drug smugglers would derive far less value from controlling Nuevo Laredo. Therefore less money would flow to the gangs and the place would become relatively more civilized.
What happens when the law goes unenforced? At the risk of stating the obvious and insulting my readers: When the law is not enforced more people break the law. The word has gotten out to an increasing number of "Other Than Mexicans" that if they can cross the border from Mexico into the United States that they will not be deported even if caught.
Already this year, the number of non-Mexican apprehensions has far outpaced last year's total in just eight months. And while they are still a relatively small percentage compared with the number of illegal Mexicans, critics say the federal government's policy in dealing with them is far more dangerous.
Because OTMs, or "Other Than Mexicans" as the Border Patrol classifies them, must be returned to their country of origin, they cannot be simply sent back across the southern border, as most Mexicans are. Under US law, they must be detained (in the US) pending a deportation hearing. The problem is, immigration detention centers are packed, so most OTMs are given a court summons and told to return in three months. A full 85 percent don't.
According to the Border Patrol, some 465,000 OTMs have taken advantage of this "catch and release" policy to settle here in the US. "It's an insane policy which encourages OTMs to come into the country illegally, and we shouldn't be shocked that they are coming in record numbers," says T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents more than 9,000 agents.
I predict that until all OTMs caught on the border get held for deportation the number of OTMs crossing the border will continue to grow at double digit percentage rates each year. The longer the problem goes unaddressed the bigger and more expensive the fix will become. Right now we need the ability to hold perhaps at most a half million OTMs at once in detention. Eventually we will need the ability to hold millions of them.
A border barrier is already the cheapest way to stop the Mexican illegal immigrant flood. As the OTM flood increases a border barrier will also become the cheapest way to stop that as well. Estimates for the cost of Israel's barrier fence with the West Bank range upward toward $2 billion dollars with per mile costs ranging from $3 million to $3.5 million to $4.15 million. The total US-Mexican border runs 1951 miles. Taking the $4.15 million per mile border barrier cost the total cost of a barrier on the full length of the US-Mexican border runs to $8.1 billion dollars. But even if we doubled the cost per mile to make concrete barriers taller with perhaps another fence layer and put more concertina wire on the barrier layers in order to make the barrier even harder to cross the total would be only $16 billion.
Instead of tough enforcement of immigration and border control imagine we go in the opposite direction. The gradually building flood of OTMs with no attempt made to deport most OTMs is pushing America toward de facto open borders. Where will that take us? Steve Sailer says if America adopts total open borders as much as 1.5 billion people would try immigrate to the United States.
What about in the long run? We have two informative examples:
- The U.S. maintains an open border with its territory of Puerto Rico. One-fourth of all Puerto Ricans live on the U.S. mainland, according to Harvard economist George Borjas, and that proportion is kept down only by paying generous benefits to Puerto Ricans who stay home.
- There are currently 106 million people in Mexico and approximately 25 million people of Mexican descent in the United States. In other words, just under 1/5th of all Mexicans in the world now live in America. And they got here without an official open borders plan.
So what does that imply?
There are currently over six billion people who live neither in America nor Mexico. So, if one-fourth of the rest wanted to move to America, as happened with Puerto Ricans, that would be 1.5 additional billion people, compared to the current American population of 296 million.
If we formally gave up enforcing rules on immigration then over a few decade period the United States would grow to have a population of about 1.8 billion people. One has to be a lunatic to want such an outcome. Therefore it is not implausible that Bush and the neocons want exactly that. Why? They have faith in the most foolish ideas and consider embracing such ideas a virtue.
Maybe they want to make America become the most populated country in the world in order to outcompete China. But in order to outcompete China in the long run what we need is more brains, not more dummies. Totally open borders would bring in huge waves of dummies while the smarter people would recoil with horror from the thought of moving to a country with nearly two billion people speaking a "Tower of Babel" of languages. The racial and religious conflicts would lead to a civil war and dictatorship.
If you are not aware of just how dumb Bush's immigration policies and proposals really are I strongly urge you to read my post "Thinking About Bush's Less Than Half-Baked Worker Permit Proposal".
Update: Plans to extend the US-Mexican border barrier at San Diego the final 5 miles to the ocean put the cost at $5 million per mile even with special environmental restoration costs added in.
The project would denude a swath of vegetation about the width of a six-lane freeway. It would cut across a habitat preserve included in the Multiple Species Conservation Program, a system of interconnected open-space areas established by the federal and state governments.
To offset the project's damage to the habitat preserve, the Border Patrol has offered to restore plants to 85 miles of dirt roads – or 145 acres – that will no longer be necessary to patrol the border.
The final five miles of the project could cost an estimated $25 million, including $11 million to offset the loss of rare wildlife habitat.
With a barrier running the full length of the US-Mexico border there'd be no need for such large efforts at environmental harm abatement on most of its length. Note that the barrier width is similar to that of a 6 lane freeway and the United States has tens of thousands of miles of such freeways in the interstates highway system.
At least 40 anti-immigration groups have popped up nationally, inspired by the Minuteman Project that rallied hundreds this year to patrol the Mexican border in Arizona.
"It's like O'Leary's cow has kicked over the lantern. The fire has just started now," said Carl "Two Feathers" Whitaker, an American Indian activist and perennial gubernatorial candidate who runs the Tennessee Volunteer Minutemen, aimed at exposing those who employ illegals.
Some local governments are looking for ways to enforce immigration law as well. The government of Canyon County Idaho is planning to bring RICO suits against local businesses which hire illegal aliens to recover costs of providing services to illegals.
"Their presence lowers the labor wage for American citizens and removes employment opportunities," county Commissioner Robert Vasquez, an ambitious politician who just started a bid for Congress, said of the illegal workers. "Certainly it uses tax dollars to provide them with educational services, medical care, unemployment compensation for those that are injured on the job. They are a drain on the taxpayers of Canyon County, the state of Idaho and the U.S. in general."
The county's attempt to recoup its expenses would be filed under the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly called the RICO Act, which has been used against targets ranging from organized crime to Internet spammers.
Though Vasquez has talked about the possibility of filing suit for several weeks, the commissioners signed a contract Tuesday hiring the Chicago-based law firm Johnson-Bell and lawyer Howard Foster. The contract instructs Foster to file the lawsuit.
The county alleges the businesses, which Vasquez declined to identify until the lawsuit is filed, are hurting the county by taking jobs from U.S. citizens and giving them to illegal immigrants, who then use county resources such as indigent medical care, schools and jails
Should these lawsuits succeed many other county governments could copy Canyon County and use RICO as a tool to intimidate businesses to stop employing illegals. Also, if RICO can be used against the employers of illegals then the desire for big money will bring trial lawyers looking for big scores. The triple damages available under RICO could bring a large change in incentives when it comes to immigration law enforcement.
Efforts to enforce immigration law at the local level will continue to grow as long as the federal government refuses to enforce immigration law. Don't expect the growth of the grassroots movement to change policy in Washington DC. I expect America's treasonous elites to try to get an amnesty through Congress in 2006 as a way to make all the illegals legal and thereby undermine local immigration law enforcement efforts.
BRITAIN is to join four big EU states in joint charter flights to send home failed asylum seekers as part of the drive to increase the rate of removals from the country.
The aircraft, dubbed “Asylum Airways”, will fly from capital to capital picking up illegal migrants in an initiative agreed at a meeting of the interior ministers of the five biggest EU states.
Many British and European airlines refuse to accept asylum deportees on regular flights because of threatening behavior from previous deportees. The bundling together of deportees from multiple European countries will allow the use charter flights with much fewer empty seats.
The scheme will effectively set up a discrete charter airline, already dubbed "migrant-air", that will cut the cost of deportations and reduce the need to send those being deported back home on commercial airlines.
The scale of removals of illegal migrants in Britain needs to be stepped up sharply if the Home Office is to meet Tony Blair's target that the number of monthly total deportations exceeds the number of unfounded new asylum applications by the end of this year. In the first three months of 2005 3,000 were removed but 5,200 new unfounded asylum claims were lodged.
"Our idea is simple - we think that foreigners with no right or entitlement to be in our countries should not stay. They are in breach of our laws," said the French interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy.
"So we have decided to combine our political and financial efforts and organise return flights for those foreigners whose residence papers are not in order."
My guess is that in response to the London bus and train bombings Blair will now be under pressure to deport far more people. Might the bombings have been prevented if all the asylum applicants had already been deported?
The idea - suggested by Spain - was accepted by Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, and France, Italy and Germany, at a meeting at Evian on the French shore of Lake Geneva yesterday.
If asylum seekers or asylum grantees are found to have been involved in the London bombings then this proposal will be seen as too little too late.
The U.S. Border Patrol has nabbed 15,195 non-Mexican migrants crossing over the Rio Bravo around Eagle Pass in the past eight months, a rise of almost 240 percent on the same period last year, officials said on Monday.
Agents say what they call "OTMs" -- "other than Mexican migrants" -- now account for 90 percent of all migrant detentions in the sweltering trade and ranching hub of 40,000 people. That is up from the 5 percent to 10 percent nationwide normally recorded by the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Mexicans who are caught crossing the border are deported back to Mexico very quickly. But the bulk of Other Than Mexicans (OTMs) are released with orders to appear at a deportation hearing at some future date. Few of those OTMs show up for their hearings. To deport the OTMs the illegal crossers must be held in detention for days or weeks to do legal processing and arrange for transportation (typically flights) back to their countries of origin. But the Border Patrol lack funding to hold all the OTMs for the needed lengths of time. Knowledge of this fact is gradually spreading throughout Latin America and even to more distant places such as the Middle East.
Think about that one year 240% rise of OTMs at Eagle Pass Texas. Effectively the United States now has open borders for non-Mexicans. Unless the Border Patrol's capacity to detain OTMs is greatly increased the flood is going to grow.
Congressman Solomon Ortiz (D-TX), who has served as a sheriff in south Texas, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee - Subcommittee on Immigration on March 3, 2005 says 90% of OTMs never show up for their deportation hearings and organized crime gangs from Central America enter the United States as OTMs.
1. The release of OTMs (other than Mexicans) by the U.S. government. Border law enforcement officers routinely release illegal immigrants into the general population of the U.S. because they do not have sufficient funds and space to detain them at detention facilities. Captured OTMs are released on their own recognizance and are ordered to appear at a deportation hearing weeks after their release. The number of “absconders” – those who never appear for deportation – varies widely, but is said to be 90% of those released, a number now approaching 75,000.
2. The growing number of Mara Salvatrucha (MS 13) gangs, the bloody, violent Central American gangs that are now a serious criminal element in major cities and in states around the country. These gangs are entering the country as OTMs, and gaining easy release.
3. A recent warning to Americans by the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico illustrating the danger of narcotrafficking gangs along the U.S. border directed against Americans in the border area, including kidnapping of American citizens.
Detention facilities and Border Patrol staffing are not keeping pace with the needs.
The Intelligence Reform bill passed by Congress, and signed by the President, mandated 10,000 Border Patrol agents over 10 years, 2,000 annually. The budget received by Congress in early February only funded 210 BP agents. The Border Patrol will lose more than 210 agents to attrition – the strength of the Border Patrol is dwindling. Just this week, 24 more Border Patrol agents were mobilized with the National Guard to the war in Iraq from the McAllen sector alone.
Intelligence Reform mandated an increase of 8,000 beds in detention facilities annually for the next 5 years, still not nearly enough to hold all those coming in to the U.S. Yet, our budget proposal provides for only about 1,900 new detention space beds – over 6,000 beds short of the congressional mandate passed in December 2004.
This is a clear and present danger inside the United States, and the number of released illegal immigrants not returning for deportation grows by the hundreds each week.
Border Patrol agents do not have time to even do background checks on the OTMs to identify and hold the known criminals.
I asked those who stand on our front lines what they would want to say to the U.S. Congress; here’s what they said:
- “Our borders are not secure.”
- “What’s our mission here? We’re spinning our wheels.”
- “The whole system is broken.”
- “We’re releasing OTMs without proper checks due to lack of time and info.”
The Border Patrol caught 39,215 OTMs in 2003 and 65,814 in 2004. The numbers will continue to rise until most OTMs are held for deportation. Terrorists could obviously exploit this route if they got their act together. Middle Easterners enter the US as OTMs from Mexico.
OTM release is just one of the big gaps in immigration law enforcement. Another big gap is the collapse of interior enforcement against employers who hire illegals.
In the Los Angeles area, there are about 400 ICE agents to investigate cases involving narcotics, gangs, port security, criminal immigrants, computer crimes, smuggling and customs violations. They cover seven Southern California counties and part of Nevada.
The last time an employer targeted by the work-site division faced criminal charges here was in 2002, authorities said, when a Pasadena dress shop owner received probation after luring, then imprisoning, an illegal immigrant worker.
"How thin can you stretch roughly 400 employees with all our responsibilities?" Jeffery asked. "Everything is done on a priority basis. That's why the focus may not be the dry cleaners, but rather the power plants."
Any tips that do not involve critical infrastructure, he added, are "put in a file cabinet and filed."
Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies says immigration law enforcement can be improved to deter people from entering the country illegally and to encourage those who are here illegally to leave.
But there is a third way that rejects this false choice, and it is the only approach that can actually work: Shrink the illegal population through consistent, across-the-board enforcement of the immigration law. By deterring the settlement of new illegals, by increasing deportations to the extent possible, and, most importantly, by increasing the number of illegals already here who give up and deport themselves, the United States can bring about an annual decrease in the illegal-alien population, rather than allowing it to continually increase. The point, in other words, is not merely to curtail illegal immigration, but rather to bring about a steady reduction in the total number of illegal immigrants who are living in the United States. The result would be a shrinking of the illegal population to a manageable nuisance, rather than today’s looming crisis.
This is analogous to the approach a corporation might take to downsizing a bloated workforce: a hiring freeze, some layoffs, plus new incentives to encourage excess workers to leave on their own.
It is worth noting that such a strategy of attrition is implicit in many proposals for improved enforcement of the immigration law, such as the recently passed Real ID Act (which, among other things, sought to bars illegals from getting driver’s licenses) and the Clear Act (a bill which, if passed, would systematize the interaction of federal immigration authorities with state and local law enforcement). But however important such specific measures are, they are merely tactics, pieces of a larger puzzle. An overall blueprint for success also needs to be articulated, in order to place such tactics in strategic context for the public, for lawmakers, and for the enforcement personnel assigned to do the job.
Krikorian notes that self-deportation and other means to reducing illegal alien employment have worked in the past. We have precedents for how to make immigration law enforcement work.
During the first several years after the passage of the IRCA, illegal crossings from Mexico fell precipitously, as prospective illegals waited to see if we were serious. Apprehensions of aliens by the Border Patrol – an imperfect measure but the only one available – fell from more than 1.7 million in FY 1986 to under a million in 1989. But then the flow began to increase again as the deterrent effect of the hiring ban dissipated, when word got back that we were not serious about enforcement and that the system could be easily evaded through the use of inexpensive phony documents.
That showed that reducing new illegal immigration is possible; but what about increasing the number of illegals already here who give up and leave? That, too, has already been demonstrated. After the 9/11 attacks, immigration authorities undertook a “Special Registration” program for visitors from Islamic countries. The affected nation with the largest illegal-alien population was Pakistan, with an estimated 26,000 illegals here in 2000. Once it became clear that the government was getting more serious about enforcing the immigration law – at least with regard to Middle Easterners – Pakistani illegals started leaving on their own in large numbers. The Pakistani embassy estimated that more than 15,000 of its illegal aliens left the United States, and the Washington Post reported the “disquieting” fact that in Brooklyn’s Little Pakistan the mosque was one-third empty, business was down, there were fewer want ads in the local Urdu-language paper, and “For Rent” signs sprouted everywhere.6
And in an inadvertent enforcement initiative, the Social Security Administration in 2002 sent out almost a million “no-match” letters to employers who filed W-2s with information that was inconsistent with SSA’s records.7 The intention was to clear up misspellings, name changes, and other mistakes that had caused a large amount of money paid into the system to go uncredited. But, of course, most of the problem was caused by illegal aliens lying to their employers, and thousands of illegals quit or were fired when they were found out. The effort was so successful at denying work to illegals that business and immigrant-rights groups organized to stop it and won a 90 percent reduction in the number of letters to be sent out.8
Americans have to get mad enough about immigration to make politicians enforce immigration laws. Will anger build to a high enough level that elite desires will cease to determine immigration policy?
According to Jerry Seper a new report written by investigators for the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus claims that the National Guard in the US southern border states could stop all illegal immigration across the US-Mexico border.
The deployment of 36,000 National Guard troops or state militia on the U.S.-Mexico border would stop the illegal flow of foreigners into America, says a congressional report that credits the Minuteman Project with proving that additional manpower could "dramatically reduce if not virtually eliminate" illegal immigration.
State militias could also be funded to accomplish the task.
As an alternative to using existing powers and forces, the report said, a $2.5 billion annual initiative coordinated through the states for the issuance of Homeland Security grants could authorize and fund state militia, or state defense forces, to assist the Border Patrol. State militia units already exist in 22 states, including Maryland and Virginia. Militia units also are located in the border states of California, New Mexico and Texas.
We have illegal immigration because effective border control policies are blocked by politicians. Some open borders advocates claim that border control is impossible.
If anyone can find a link to this 33 page report please post it in the comments or send it to me by email.
Putting a large number of National Guard or militia members out on the southern border should be seen as a stop-gap measure before a more formidable barrier is built on the entire length of the almost 2000 mile border.
Now the government is calling for a total of some 500 miles of fencing by the end of 2005, at an estimated cost of $4.15 million a mile.
Even at $4.15 million per mile a barrier on the US border with Mexico would still be under $10 billion and therefore cost less than one year of illegal alien health care.
Only a tiny fraction of the barrier (less than 3% or about 15 miles) is actually a 30 foot high concrete wall, and that is being built in specific locations where it will prevent Palestinian snipers from shooting at cars as they have done for the last three years along the Trans-Israel Highway, one of the country's main roads. The remainder is a fence similar to that used throughout the United States, but with a network of barriers, underground and long-range sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles, trenches, land mines and guard paths. Passage through the fence will only be permitted through guarded gates.
I'd really like to know what the cost per mile is for their higher security sections. Also, what is the cost per mile of the thicker barrier section of the San Diego border with Mexico? That section has fences and a concrete wall. Those two numbers would set upper bounds for the cost of a deluxe barrier that would reduce on-going labor costs.
Most of the barrier will be a chain-link type fence similar to those used all over the United States combined with underground and long-range sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles, trenches, landmines and guard paths. Manned checkpoints will constitute the only way to travel back and forth through the fence. The barrier is altogether about 160 feet wide in most places.
Layers of fences and other obstacles combined with sensors would slow down any attempted border crossers and give border patrol personnel time to reach illegal border crossers before they could travel far inland. An effective barrier would cause many would-be crossers to give up trying entirely. Others would cross at much slower speeds and be detected before making it through the barrier region. This would reduce the number of border patrol personnel needed for effective border control.
The editors of the New York Times make an intellectually incoherent argument against the Real ID proposal which is heading into law.
Attaching a bad bill to a vital one is a sneaky business, making it nearly impossible for thoughtful members of Congress to vote against it. In this case, in order to provide financial support to American troops doing dangerous service abroad, lawmakers are stuck also supporting a plan that eliminates the chance of doing anything serious about identity security. It also puts a new burden on the states and potentially subverts the real purpose of driver's licenses: safe drivers.
By implication the New York Times would have us believe that airport security drivers license checks are either a generally non-legitimate use of drivers licenses or a purpose that is somehow harmful to the "real" purpose of drivers licenses..
Well, if driver's licenses are just for making drivers safe would the New York Times be content to ban their use for other purposes? Read the last sentence. Sounds like the Times is uncomfortable about having state government employees verify that a driver's license applicant is really who they purport to be.
Once this new driver's license requirement becomes law, licenses from states that do not screen for immigration status will not be accepted as federal identification for things like boarding airplanes or entering federal buildings. Many state officials are understandably concerned about the added cost of this new license because so far there is no federal money attached to Mr. Sensenbrenner's bill. Security-conscious Americans will also be concerned about making state motor vehicle department employees the ultimate authorities on identity security.
Why should the Times complain if some lax states do not want to make their licenses reliable enough to be used for other ID purposes? After all, the Grey Lady says the real purpose of driver's licenses is just to have safe drivers.
Bars use drivers licenses to verify age. Stores and banks use drivers licenses to verify identity. So do airports and many other establishments. What is Congress saying? That a drivers license can not be used in certain circumstances by agents of the federal government to verify identity unless the issuing state for a drivers license adheres to strict standards in issuing that form of ID. In a sense, the federal government is regulating itself. It is unwilling to use the drivers license as a de facto national ID unless each state wants to meet certain standards for issuance.
The Feds are not making any state meet that standard. A state can choose to issue drivers licenses that can not be confidently used for other purposes. In that case the citizens of that state would be free to pursue getting passports or some other form of ID that the feds would accept as more rigorously authenticated when issued. Why should the Grey Lady object to this? If states don't want their drivers licenses to be general IDs they are free to only issue drivers licenses that are not useful for general purposes.
What appears to irk the Grey Lady is that the feds are not allowing states to issue two kinds of drivers licenses: One for illegals and another for everyone else. But the editors of that paper try to dance around that point and end up taking contradictory positions. They simultaneously oppose treating drivers licenses as general purpose IDs and at the same time oppose federal efforts to impose standards on when they will accept drivers licenses as general purpose IDs. Well, by the Grey Lady's logic if the feds simply refused to accept drivers licenses at all that would in some sense protect the purity of purpose of drivers licenses as being solely for safe driving. Yet the Grey Lady would no doubt object to a ban on the use of drivers licenses for passage through federally controlled facilities.
My guess is that the NY Times editors are really opposed to Real ID because they oppose tougher immigration law enforcement and their desire to hide their real motive has resulted in an incoherent argument. Their attempt to make an argument for states rights isn't even appropriate in the case of illegal immigrants because immigration is a federal issue and state granting of drivers licenses to illegals undermines federal immigration law enforcement.
Police Chief Garrett Chamberlain of New Ipswich New Hampshire has arrested Mexican illegal alien Jorge Mora Ramirez under the unique legal interpretation that Ramirez's mere presence in New Ipswich amounts to criminal trespass.
Jorge Mora Ramirez, 21, who is living in Waltham, Mass., but is from Mexico, admitted to police that he was in the country on forged documents, Chamberlain said. Therefore, the chief said, Ramirez knew he wasn’t “licensed” to enter or remain in New Ipswich and so was guilty of criminal trespass.
“This is a state law we’ve had for a long time, but I’m the first to use it this way, so far as I know,” Chamberlain said Monday. “Basically, what it is, (federal immigration authorities) expressed no interest in taking custody of (Ramirez), so we’ve elected to address it by ourselves. . . . I knew of the law and figured we’d try this and see what happens.”
Chamberlain has now asked the State Attorney's office of New Hampshire for an opinion on the legality of this arrest. Whether a court would uphold this as a valid arrest in New Hampshire remains to be seen.
Suppose this basis for an arrest does not pan out. Isn't use of fraudulent IDs a felony of some sort?
When Ramirez was asked for his license, according to police, he produced a Mexican driver’s license and a photo ID from Massachusetts with an incorrect Social Security number and no state seal.
Ramirez allegedly admitted that he was here illegally, said he was working for a construction company in Jaffrey and that all of his U.S. IDs were fake.
Ramirez was arrested for operating without a valid license and taken to the New Ipswich police station.
Do any readers know whether use of fake IDs amounts to a felony in at least some circumstances? Could it be interpreted as simple fraud perhaps?
If local police and local prosecutors had a legal basis for charging illegal aliens with crimes an increasing number of jurisdictions would do so. Chamberlain is far from the only local police chief who has been looking for ways to get illegals out of their jurisdiction.
Note that Chamberlain and other local police find themselves in the situation of looking for legal ways to get rid of illegals because the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency won't come and pick up ilegals that local police pick up. The claim is made by the "Open Borders" crowd that immigration law enforcement is impossible because all the illegals can not be found. yet lots of illegals are found every day by local police and other law enforcement officers and the US government refuses to accept transfer of custody for most of them. If the US government would simply deport all the illegals that local law enforcement came across the number of illegals in the United States could be decreased by millions.
Could states pass laws aganst the use of fake IDs by illegal aliens in order to give local police the power to arrest illegals and have them prosecuted? The ability to tag illegals with felony convictions would make it easier to get the illegals deported. News of the existence of such a state law might scare many illegal aliens out of a state where police use it.
Update: The editors of the Christian Science Monitor argue that local police are best equipped to track down and capture all the illegal aliens.
As it is, the federal government deploys only some 2,000 immigration agents to nab that tide of humanity - after they've managed to slip past the Border Patrol.
Yet ask any of the 650,000 state and local police in the US if they could easily find illegal immigrants in their jurisdiction, and the answer would probably be "no problem."
If the federal government would agree to take and deport all illegal aliens captured by local and state authorities we could have 90+% of the illegals out of the United States in 5 years.
The number of calls to a national immigration and customs hotline -- including tips turning in illegal immigrants -- has skyrocketed in the past six months, according to officials of the Department of Homeland Security.
Assistant Secretary Michael J. Garcia lauded the record growth of the hotline operated by his agency.
``Alert citizens, using the . . . tip line, are making significant contributions to homeland security,'' Garcia said in a statement Tuesday.
But the growing popularity of the government hotline, (866) 347-2423, has immigrants and their advocates worried about racial stereotyping and targeting of immigrant communities.
They have little to worry about while George W. Bush is in office. My guess is that most calls reporting illegal aliens are ignored unless the illegals are from the Middle East and therefore potential terrorists.
However, the hotline demonstrates that if only the government would be willing to deport illegals the American people would find the illegals. So large scale deportation of illegals is possible if only enough pressure can be built up on the federal government to act.
Note that identity theft is one of the problems people report. Identity theft is a large and growing problem. People who get their identity stolen go through ordeals that cost them hundreds of hours to handle.
On a given day, the hotline will receive tips about human smuggling, drug smuggling, identity theft, a corporation hiring undocumented immigrants and immigrants who have been deported and have returned to the United States, said spokesman Michael W. Gilhooly.
At the Law Enforcement Support Center in Williston, Vt., 260 employees take reports from citizens across the United States on a variety of crimes. The center operates every day, around the clock.
Even though the government ignores reports the calls are going to make a difference politically. It is inevitable that some Congress reps are going to ask for statistical summaries of the numbers of calls received, the type of each call, and the percentage of calls of each type for which actions were taken or not taken. This call hotline could become a means to pressure the government to start deporting illegals in earnest.
My advice to people who want to turn in illegal aliens: Call the hotline and report the information. But also then write your Congressman and both your US Senators and report the same information to them noting that you have provided this information to the hotline. The Congress needs to hear from large numbers of Americans who say that they want immigration laws enforced. If illegal aliens you report are still living in your community a few months later then call the hotline again and write to your Congresscritters telling them nothing has been done about your report. Make sure you tell them you are angry about it.
Volunteer border patrol Minuteman Project spokesman Grey Deacon says that American Civil Liberties Union members who are watching the Minutemen are actively helping the illegal aliens crossing from Mexico to avoid detection by the Minutemen.
Grey Deacon told Joseph Farah's nationally syndicated "WorldNetDaily RadioActive" audience yesterday that ACLU monitors sent to the border to watch Minuteman activity and report civil-liberties abuses to authorities have begun flashing lights, sounding horns and warning off illegals and their "coyote" human smugglers from entering territory patrolled by the volunteers.
"They are actively engaging in criminal activity," said Deacon.
Deacon said the ACLU activists are resorting to new tactics because of the success the Minuteman Project is having in assisting the Border Patrol in spotting illegal aliens and in generating publicity about the insecure U.S.-Mexico border.
If the ACLU members are doing this then they are breaking the law by aiding and abetting the violation of immigration laws. This is not surprising. The ACLU consistently takes a position against the enforcement of immigration laws. See my post "ACLU Wants To Delegitimize Immigration Law Enforcement" for another example of their attempts to subvert immigration law enforcement.
I view the ACLU as an enemy of liberty, not its defender.
This vast desert border just west of Douglas, Ariz., is the busiest illegal crossing point in the nation. Enriquez said more than 400 people a day walk these harsh trails. But news of the Minutemen's arrival, combined with media hype in Mexico, has cut the traffic to a few dozen a day.
Some smugglers have refused to take clients to the border area until the activists leave. Others are directing them elsewhere, as far east as El Paso, Texas. An air of fear and indignation hangs over this side of the border, where misinformation is rife.
AGUA PRIETA, Mexico Apr 6, 2005 — The number of Mexican migrants trying to sneak into the United States through the Arizona border has dropped by half since hundreds of American civilians began guarding the area earlier this week, say Mexican officials assigned to protect their citizens.
''The project is already a huge success because all the world is watching," said Mike McGarry, a Minuteman Project spokesman.
The Minutemen Project web site has photos from their patrols at the border in Arizona.
About 500 volunteers have registered and have been in the field, said McGarry, who added that he expects 1,000 people to participate at some point during the monthlong project. Organizers said 200 volunteers took up positions Monday, the vast majority during the day. Some ''minutemen" set up lawn chairs and applied sunscreen as they watched the border.
On the Mexican side of the border, agents in orange jumpsuits from the government migrant aid agency were driving around warning people where the volunteers were stationed. Many of the migrants were likely going to other sections of the border, said Bertha de la Rosa, director of Grupo Beta in the border town of Aguaprieta.
The Minuteman Project is the brainchild of Chris Simcox, the editor of Tombstone Tumbleweed, the newspaper in the town best known for the Gunfight at the OK Corral.
"Our aim is to send a message to Mr Bush and Congress that they have not listened to the demands of citizens," he said as he deployed teams every few hundred yards along five miles of border. "We are modelling what homeland security should look like. There should be National Guardsmen every 2,000 yards from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico. You can't find a greater threat to the US than right here."
A spokesman for the Border Patrol objects to the Minutemen because the Minutemen disrupt regular bureaucratic procedures and also because some illegals are so dangerous that the Border Patrol doesn't want to accidentally run into US civilians in what the Border Patrol considers a danger zone.
But Border Patrol agents weren't happy with the hoards of volunteers who they said posed a dangerous situation for both the agents and themselves. In the Naco area of the Tucson sector last year, 118 border agents were assaulted, said Jose Maheda, spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
"These minutemen are causing a disruption in our normal operating procedures,' Maheda said over the growing chants of the crowd. "Now we have to worry about running into civilians in the dark night out there in the desert, armed civilians without training. We do not encourage this type of participation.'
Of course there are lots of American citizens living near the border getting assaulted and robbed by these dangerous illegal border crossers. What of them?
: "I am against vigilantes in the United States of America. I am for enforcing law in a rational way. That's why we have a Border Patrol, and they ought to be in charge of enforcing the border." Bush, as HUMAN EVENTS readers know, budgeted only $37 million for 210 new Border Patrol agents, even though he signed a law in December that authorized doubling the Border Patrol from about 10,000 agents to 20,000 by adding 2,000 new agents per year for five years. The Minuteman Project, meanwhile, was none too pleased by the President's remarks. Its leaders called the group a large-scale "neighborhood watch" project that would work with police to report illegal aliens.
News flash to Bush: Citizens have a legal right to enforce the laws of the United States. But as Michelle Malkin pointed out in response Bush does not intend to enforce immigration law.
"Since when did actually enforcing the laws of the land become a radical idea?" asked Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., a leading supporter of tougher immigration measures. "If you don't know who is coming across your borders and for what purpose, then you cannot call yourself a nation."
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., fresh from victory in three online presidential straw polls over formidable candidates, told Joseph Farah's radio audience today he would run for president in 2008 if no other Republican candidate takes the border issue seriously.
"I'll tell you what," he said, "if no one else does it, I will do it."
I'll vote for Tom. If another Open Borders yahoo gets the Republican nomination then I hope I'll be able to vote for staunch illegal immigration opponent Hillary Clinton.
Update: Michelle Malkin found Hillary's anti-immigration rhetoric worth taking seriously even though previously Michelle found much to fault Hillary for on immigration. The late Sam Francis was more skeptical about Hillary's more recent immigration position. Hillary has a bad report card on immigration voting. Well, I'm a Tom Tancredo for President supporter.
The editors of the Christian Science Monitor call current enforcement of laws against hiring illegal immigrants "pathetically inadequate" and call out for tougher enforcement of laws against hiring illegal immigrants.
Ha ha ha. That's a good one. Wal-Mart, a company with $285 billion in sales, gets fined a mere $11 million earlier this month for having hundreds of illegal immigrants clean its stores.
The federal government boasts it's the largest fine of its kind. But for Wal-Mart, it amounts to a rounding error - and no admittance of wrongdoing since it claims it didn't know its contractors hired the illegals.
The Monitor's editors point out that the big surge in illegal immigrants is depressing wages of Americans and that the claim illegals take jobs Americans won't do is false.
The Wal-Mart fine is unusual. Enforcement actions against employers have declined from low to near non-existent.
Even so, the sanctions' decline is staggering. In 1999, fines totaling $3.69 million were collected from 890 companies. Last year, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) collected $118,500 from 64 companies. But it levied zero fines. Zero.
Lax enforcement spans administrations, and experts blame the twin pressures of ethnic advocacy and business interests.
If Hillary Clinton sticks with her tough rhetoric against illegal immigration and the Republican Party nominates an Open Border Bush clone I'm voting for Hillary in 2008.
The REAL ID Act (H.R.418), was introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) to revive the terrorist travel provisions that were stripped from the 9/11 intelligence reform bill to get the 9/11 bill passed by the US Senate. The REAL ID Act has just passed in the House of Representatives in a 261 to 161 vote.
House Republicans approved a package of immigration-control measures yesterday that would make deportation easier, make political asylum tougher and exempt the federal government from environmental laws in building roads and barriers along U.S. borders.
The bill -- touted as a major anti-terrorism initiative -- is aimed at making it easier for authorities to keep illegal immigrants out, track down those in the country and hinder their travel. The measure would impose new requirements on states to seek proof of applicants' legal residence in issuing driver's licenses.
Only 8 Republicans voted against it and only 42 Democrats voted for it. House Republicans continue to be the biggest supporters of real immigration law enforcement, especially measures to make it more difficult for terrorists to enter and operate in the United States.
States would be required to demand proof of the person's Social Security number and confirm that number with the Social Security Administration. They would also have to scan in documents showing the person's date of birth and immigration status, and create a massive store "so that the (scanned) images can be retained in electronic storage in a transferable format" permanently.
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner's Real ID Act would force states to stop issuing licenses to illegal immigrants. Utah is one of 11 states that don't require proof of legal residency.
My guess is that some illegals would buy fake birth certificates and other fake documentation to present as documents when applying for drivers licenses. But the Real ID Act would reduce the number of illegals getting drivers licenses and other documentation. So the Act would raise the level of difficulty for living in the United States illegally and increase the odds of getting caught by law enforcement officers.
Chairman Sensenbrenner stated, “The goal of the Real ID Act is straightforward: it seeks to prevent another 9/11-type attack by disrupting terrorist travel. First, this legislation does not try to set state policy for who may or may not drive a car, but it does address the use of a driver’s license as a form of identification to a federal official. American citizens have the right to know who is in their country, that people are who they say they are, and that the name on a driver’s license is the holder’s real name, not some alias.
“The 9/11 hijackers could have used their passports to board the planes, but only one did. Why? Those murderers chose our driver’s licenses and state ID’s as their forms of identification because these documents allowed them to blend in and not raise suspicion or concern. Mohammed Atta received a 6-month visa to stay in the U.S. yet received a Florida driver’s license good for 6 years!
“The Real ID Act will end this by establishing a uniform rule for all states that temporary driver’s licenses for foreign visitors expire when their visa terms expire, and establishing tough rules for confirming identity before temporary driver’s licenses are issued.
“The Real ID Act tightens our asylum system that has been abused by terrorists with deadly consequences. It will finish the 3-mile hole in the fortified U.S./Mexico fence near San Diego. And it will protect the American people by ensuring that all terrorism-related grounds for inadmissability are also grounds for deportation.
One can argue that the Real ID Act will not make it impossible for terrorists to get into the US or to operate here. Of course. But the Act puts up obstacles that make it harder for terrorists to operate. While some terrorists are fairly bright others are not the sharpest tools in the shed. Set up some hoops for them to have to hop through and at least some of them will get tripped up. They will need to solve more different problems to carry out a terrorist attack. They will need more training and more coordination and more brains.
In hopes of forcing the Senate to act on the bill, House Republican leaders intend to roll it into the first must-pass legislation of the year, likely to be the supplemental funding for the war in Iraq. That move could set up a confrontation with Senate GOP leaders, who have said they don't want to load the Iraq bill with extra measures.
Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies testified to Congress that large scale violations of immigration laws creates conditions ideal for terrorists.
Tolerating illegal immigration facilitates terrorism. Of course, vast majority of aliens who violate immigration laws are not terrorists. However, allowing a large illegal population to reside in the United States facilitates terrorism for two reasons. First, it has created a large underground industry that furnishes illegals with fraudulent identities and documents that terrorists can (and have) tapped into. Several of the 9/11 terrorists were assisted in getting their Virginia driver's licenses from someone who specialized in helping run-of-the-mill illegal aliens obtain them. Second, the existence of a huge illegal population creates a general contempt or disregard for immigration law. Although the general public may still want the law enforced, the scale of illegal immigration creates a tacit acceptance by law enforcement, policymakers, and even immigration-enforcement personnel themselves. With millions of illegal immigrants already in the country, and with immigration laws widely flouted, it is perhaps easy to understand why the immigration inspector at Miami's airport allowed Mohammed Atta back into the country in January 2001 even though he had overstayed his visa on his last visit and had abandoned his application to change status to vocational student by leaving the country.
This is basically the "Broken Windows" argument for law enforcement applied to the threat from terrorism.
In general, banks allow those with visitor visas to open checking accounts if they have a driver's license. (Since Atta did not receive his license until May 2001, he apparently was able to open his account without one.) Getting an American driver's license is helpful not only in opening bank accounts but also facilitates the renting of motor vehicles and small aircraft, holding a job, buying ammunition, accessing government archives, and of course, boarding commercial airplanes. Atta and al Shehhi received their driver's licenses from Florida in May 2001 despite the fact that Atta had been stopped for driving without a license a few months earlier in the state. According to the Washington Post, at least eight other 9/11 terrorists obtained Virginia licenses illegally.9 Virginia was used by the terrorists because prior to 9/11 the requirement for obtaining a license in that state was one of the weakest in the nation. There is little question that the ability to obtain what has become our nation's de facto national ID — a U.S. driver's license — was very important to the 9/11 hijackers and for this reason many of them went to the trouble of obtaining them.
Coverage of problems associated with illegal-immigrant access to state driver licenses and other documents used to establish false identity or avoid detection has also been remiss. According to authorities, many of the hijackers obtained multiple state driver licenses, using them to blend into society or to bolster false identities that made them difficult for law enforcement to identify or track. (Virginia, where a robust black market in licenses and official ID cards has flourished for at least four years, was a particularly easy mark — seven hijackers got identification documents there, courtesy of a network of corrupt lawyers and notaries public, as well as Latin American immigrants who knew the ropes and offered facilitation services.)9 Yet when the subject of illegal-alien access to driver licenses got any press attention at all, most analyses presented it favorably, as a way for illegals to connect to mainstream society and economic opportunity, and as a way for them to feel more “personal independence.”
Lack of coordination between state and local police and federal immigration authorities is another major shortcoming. In the normal course of their work, police frequently encounter aliens. For instance, Mohammed Atta was ticketed in Broward County, Florida, in the spring of 2001 for driving without a license. But the officer had no mechanism to inform him that Atta had overstayed his visa during his prior trip to the United States. Although not an overstayer, another hijacker, Ziad Samir Jarrah, was issued a speeding ticket in Maryland just two days before 9/11, proving that even the most effective terrorists have run afoul of the law before launching their attacks.
My guess is that some terrorists could choose to present their passport rather than an expired drivers license when boarding an airplane since obviously legitimate foreign tourist visitors who do not have US drivers licenses will have to be able to offer up their passports as ID. Also, a terrorist pulled over for speeding could just say they forgot their drivers license rather than show an expired license. But eventually biometric databases will defeat these attempts to present incriminating forms of ID. Cops could scan the eyes or handprints of a person pulled over for a moving violation and get back ID information that shows the person has overstayed a visa.
On the practicality of immigration law enforcement in the interior of the United States see from the Center for Immigration Studies the articles Making Interior Enforcement Work, The Role of State and Local Law Enforcement in Immigration, Can Immigration Law Be Enforced? and Officers Need Backup.
Q. When was the last time an employer in the Phoenix area was fined for hiring undocumented immigrants?
A. The last significant fine was in the summer of 2001. It involved a company that was in fact knowingly employing unauthorized workers. That fine was ultimately paid in the summer of 2001, about $125,000.
Q. Have any employers of undocumented immigrants been fined since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks?
A. Not in Phoenix, and one of the chief reasons for that is because we've shifted our focus to deal with businesses of national interests, such as the Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant and Sky Harbor Airport. In our most recent case, we arrested nine undocumented workers at one of Boeing's defense locations in Phoenix, and we are conducting other similar investigations. . . . We haven't found that any of them have been involved in knowing or willful violations.
The necessary focus on the threat of terrorists has shifted limited resources away from the capture of common place illegal aliens.
Even targetting of illegals with criminal records does not go uncriticised by illegal immigrant "rights" activists. Mexican illegal alien Rodrigo Perez Sanchez has been arrested as part of an effort to target illegal aliens who have deportation orders pending against them. Even efforts to arrest the worst behaving illegals brings charges by Hispanic groups of unfair targetting by the government.
Since then, he's worked hard, acquired a house and a few thousand dollars in savings. He's also acquired a long criminal rap sheet, including convictions for first-degree rape, felony assault and two instances of DUI.
Since June, arrests of illegal immigrants such as Perez Sanchez around Washington have fueled rumors of wholesale dragnets in which ICE officers indiscriminately arrest any Latino lacking proper papers. But high-level ICE officials say they have neither the interest nor the resources to conduct "sweeps" targeting otherwise law-abiding, undocumented immigrants.
"We never, ever pull anyone over just because we think they might be illegal," said Blake Brown, supervisor of a six-person Detention and Removal squad that covers Washington, Oregon and Alaska. "Our interest is in arresting fugitives."
Note that Perez Sanchez has managed to spend enough time in the United States to commit and be arrested for a whole string of crimes. Amazingly, this time around he is going to be charged with a crime simply for being here illegally. That happens to be a crime. But it is a crime which is rarely prosecuted. An effective way to deter illegals would be to start prosecuting them after they have been caught illegally entering the United States, say, 3 times.
ICE doesn't have enough resources to do sweeps and to go after potential terrorists and to try to catch illegal aliens who have also broken other laws.
Currently in Oklahoma (and many other states as well) when local police accidentally come across large groups of illegals (for example, when pulling over vans - click through on this link) the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) tells the police to let them go because ICE doesn't have enough agents or jail space to go around and collect the illegals and process them for deportation. A group of House Republicans would like to provide more resources for border and interior immigration enforcement.
Led by House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R.-Wis.), House Republicans put strong immigration-enforcement provisions in the House version of this bill. These include:
Doubling the Border Patrol from 10,000 to 20,000 agents. Tripling the number of ICE investigations officers, who enforce immigration laws in the interior of the country, from 2,000 to 6,000. Mandating that one-half of the new ICE investigations officers be assigned to enforcing immigration laws in the workplace. Guaranteeing that each state gets at least three new ICE officers. Increasing the authority of the Department of Homeland Security to quickly deport illegal aliens from countries other than Mexico rather than release them into the United States pending protracted immigration-court proceedings.
Some of the provisions for better immigration enforcement in H.R. 10 mentioned above are opposed by President Bush. See my previous post Bush Opposes 9/11 Commission Border Control Recommendations for the details.
Trying to get rid of over 26,000 foreigners who have been denied asylum the Netherlands is going to bribe them to leave.
The Dutch government this week softened the blow of its tough new immigration law by offering refugee families whose asylum applications are rejected a sum of $7,200 to voluntarily leave the land of windmills, dikes, wooden shoes and Hans Brinker.
Their thinking is that the cost of monthly government benefits is high enough that bribing the illegals to leave will save money. But why can't they just round them up and put them on airplanes to their countries of origin?
As nutty as Dutch immgration policy may seem tighter enforcement and changed immigration laws are having a dramatic effect in reducing the influx of new asylum seekers and applicants for citizenship.
The number of people applying for asylum in the Netherlands fell from 43,500 in 2000 to just 13,400 in 2003. The Immigration Ministry said last week that just 4,832 asylum applications were received in the first half of this year.
And applications for Dutch citizenship are also expected to fall sharply this year, from 32,000 in 2003 to a projected 24,000 this year.
Update: Part of the problem is that, as this report on European Commission negotiations mentions, countries of origin for illegal aliens resist taking back their own nationals.
The Commission has also put forward a communication focusing on the seven re-admission agreements that the Commission is negotiating with Morocco, Russia, Pakistan, Ukraine, Algeria, China and Turkey to get them to take back their illegal immigrants. The communication says these pacts are a key element in fighting illegal immigration. Since September 2000, only four readmission agreements have been signed with Hong Kong, Macao, Sri Lanka and Albania. Finalising such agreements is proving difficult because third countries think they do not get enough in return for their efforts. They are asking the EU to open its labour market to their nationals in return for their efforts.
Under the new system, immigrants will be forced to pay for the courses themselves and if they successfully pass the course within three years, they will be refunded part of the costs. If they have not passed a language exam in five years, immigrants will not be issued with a permanent residence permit.
AMSTERDAM — It will take at least another year before would-be permanent immigrants will be required to complete an integration exam in their country of origin before being allowed entry to the Netherlands.
Imagine the United States carrying out such a program. Millions of Mexicans would have to learn English and American ways before they can even cross the border. Only would-be immigrants motivated enough and smart enough to pass the tests would get in. Immigrant quality and willingness and ability to assimilate would rise and the numbers coming in would fall.
On the US Department of Justice web site I came across the most curious fact: The US Virgin Islands is the only part of the United States where all illegal immigrants are prosecuted for breaking the law.
The District contains separate customs zones. Unlike Puerto Rico, when persons leave this District they are required to go through U.S. Customs. Goods are duty free up to $1,200. Duties which are paid go to the Territory of the Virgin Islands. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) office in this District is very active. This is the only District which prosecutes all illegal alien cases. Recently, it was noted that the District had the 8th largest number of Immigration cases of all of the nation's 94 districts.
Anyone know the reason for this? I'm guessing that the USVI are probably seen as especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of illlegal immigrants owing their location, small size, and small population. The US government should build upon this example and extend real immigration law enforcement to other parts of the United States.
Smugglers imprisoned more than 110 illegal immigrants for days in an 1,100-square-foot bungalow in Watts, securing the doors with chains and demanding ransom from family members until a tip led to a police raid, authorities said Wednesday.
The captives — including some children — were smuggled into the United States from Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador and were apparently bound for the East Coast.
The house had been used in this manner for at least 2 years. If you were living next door to a house with over 100 people chained into it would you call the police? Or would you consider that a normal state of affairs? Do you want to live in a society where people will call the police when they are faced with a house with in their neighborhood which is being used to hold people against their will?
Commenting on the raid, local law enforcement officials said that, other than the large number of people in the house, there was nothing unusual except that most such houses and human smuggling rings go without federal notice. The neighbors who saw what was happening saw no reason to turn them in.
Perversely, the Los Angeles Times editorializes against allowing local police to enforce immgration laws. We have at least one neighborhood (and probably many more) in Los Angeles where the neighbors think it is a routine and normal thing for smugglers to turn into kidnappers who hold people for ransom. The culture of lower class immigrant LA has deterioriated to the point where the people living there think this is normal and morally acceptable. Yet the LA Times doesn't see why the local police should be involved.
As I've previously argued, the "Broken Windows" argument for law enforcement applies to immigration law as well. Failure to treat violations of immigration law on a par with violations of other types of laws has created a culture of lawlessness that leads to kidnapping. Kidnapping is a very serious crime. Americans should want to see it remain rare and not to become as common as it is in some Latin American countries.
When the LAPD handles a smuggling case on its own, the immigrants are usually released. When the bureau is involved, it's much more likely that the immigrants will be deported.
Los Angeles police have a long-standing policy, called Special Order 40, that bars officers from informing federal immigration officials about undocumented immigrants they discover during the normal course of their duties. The purpose of the order, which was adopted by the Police Department in 1979, is to assuage illegal immigrants' fears that they may be detained or deported if they seek assistance from local law enforcement.
Note that in spite of Special Order 40 the neighbors of the Watts house would still not call the police to let those people escape. Nor did the neighbors take it upon themselves to act vigilante style to help the illegals to escape. Do you want to live in a society in which people do not see that they have any responsibility to enforce the law aganst holding people against their will? Do you want to live in a corrupt Latin American culture with a completely different sensibility about government and the law?
The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement doesn't even have enough funding to hold all captured illegals for deportation and so it sometimes releases illegal immigrants it rescues from smugglers who are holding them for ransom.
"When the narco elements started moving human beings, they brought their propensity for violence with them," Ahr said. Hundreds of home invasions related to the illegal-immigrant trade were reported in Phoenix every year, he said.
The activities of the more ruthless and brutal smugglers have gotten bad enough that in some cases even Hispanic immigrants have begun reporting some of the smugglers.
WASHINGTON -- The federal government will soon grant a group of Virginia State Police officers the power to enforce immigration law, making the state the third in the country to adopt the practice since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, local officials said.
The tentative agreement between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Virginia State Police, permissible under a 1996 law, is part of a movement across the country to grant local law enforcement officials more authority to detain illegal immigrants.
I've previously posted about this trend toward state and lower level enforcement of immigration law in the post State Governments Move To Enforce Immigration Laws.
A new Virginia law targeting illegal aliens has been embraced as a powerful weapon to combat gangs and terrorism by local police departments, but Arlington County officials plan to ignore it.
The law, which takes effect July 1, permits local police to arrest any illegal immigrant who previously had been convicted of a felony and deported. Under current state law, police investigating a crime are not authorized to forcibly hold an illegal immigrant pending the arrival of a Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent.
Arlington County is a classic example of a government entity that becomes captured by the forces that see government's purposes to serve welfare clients. Arlington County also insists upon providing rent subsidies to illegal aliens.
Arlington also is the only jurisdiction in the Northern Virginia suburbs that does not check the immigration status of residents receiving tax-funded county rent subsidies -- a breach that an ICE official said opens the door to terrorists.
Illegal immigration and immigration of people from cultures that have less respect for the law are corrupting the nation. It is possible to enforce immigration law. This source of decay of the health of the body politic and quality of life in America can be greatly reduced.
Rachel L. Swans has an article in the New York Times about efforts of states to begin enforcing immigration laws in cooperation with the US Department of Homeland Security.
Alabama is the epicenter of a widening effort by the Department of Homeland Security to encourage states and localities to help enforce immigration laws in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Colorado, Idaho and Virginia are considering following the examples of Alabama, which began its partnership with the Department of Homeland Security in September, and Florida, which signed an agreement with federal officials in 2002. In Los Angeles County, the sheriff's office is close to an agreement to allow booking officers to identify illegal immigrants in county jails for deportation.
The creation of the Department of Homeland Security appears to be having a net effect of stiffening immigration law enforcement. As more states sign on the enforcement effort for immigration laws may become much more thorough.
There is a lot of activity at the state level about immigration law. Some governors and state legislators have tried to legalize driver's licenses for illegal aliens. This has caused considerable opposition to develop. Governor Jeb Bush's proposal for illegal alien driver's licenses has produced widespread opposition by Florida sheriffs to Jeb Bush's proposal.
TALLAHASSEE - Sheriffs around the state are quickly opposing a proposal backed by Gov. Jeb Bush to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses, saying it is too great a security risk.
The opposition has included sheriffs who serve on the state's Domestic Security Task Force.
"It's incomprehensible to me that you would legitimize through the issuance of a driver's license someone who is here illegally," said Marion County Sheriff Ed Dean, who heads the law enforcement arm of the task force. "I'm sure the governor has his reasons. From strictly a law enforcement viewpoint, I would have to respectfully disagree."
The President of the Colorado state Senate is sponsoring a bill to require Colorado police and other government employees to enforce federal immigration law.
DENVER -- A legislative committee has cleared the way for full Senate debate on a bill that could eventually lead to state police and other state employees helping the U.S. Department of Homeland Security enforce federal immigration laws.
Senate President John Andrews, R-Centennial, said he is sponsoring Senate Bill 210 because the United States has been "invaded" by an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, about 250,000 of whom he said are living in Colorado.
While many states are debating and adopting policies to enforce immigration law Maine has just taken a step in the opposite direction against the national trend.
AUGUSTA — Gov. John Baldacci signed an executive order Friday prohibiting state employees who provide public services from asking about a person's immigration status. The new policy mirrors those adopted by a number of cities across the country, including Portland, but it appears to be the first statewide measure of its kind in the nation.
Some federal law changes have encouraged the trend toward local immigration law enforcement. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act has led to a federally funded pilot effort to stop human smuggling for slavery and indentured servitude.
Philadelphia is one of three cities chosen to develop a pilot program to implement the Trafficking Victims Protection Act enacted in 2000. Phoenix and Atlanta are the other cities.
The U.S. effort is part of the United Nations' world-wide crackdown on human smugglers who turn 800,000 to 900,000 humans into slaves each year.
More federal support for local immigration law enforcement may be forthcoming. Georgia Republican Congressional Rep. Charles Norwood jhas introduced federal legislation aimed at getting state and local police and other law enforcement officials involved in immigration law enforcement.
The CLEAR Act, introduced last July, makes it "clear" that the nation's 600,000 state and local law enforcement officials have the jurisdictional authority to enforce immigration laws while making their ordinary rounds. (CLEAR stands for Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal Act of 2003.)
The bill would "encourage" state and local police departments to "investigate, apprehend, detain, or remove aliens" discovered in the course of their normal law enforcement duties.
Backers of the legislation, noting the House version has 120 co-sponsors, hope for passage this year. And a House Judiciary Committee spokesman, Jeff Lungren, said that although prospects for the bill there may seem uncertain, "I would disagree that it's dead."
But others say the congressional inaction reflects the growing resistance from police and municipal groups, including the Phoenix Police Department, who are joined by immigrant advocates in the belief that legislation would erode trust between immigrants and police and divert needed resources from other law enforcement areas.
The trend toward state level enforcement of immigration laws could get a big boost if more groups start putting initiatives on state ballots to require the enforcement. Most of the Western states have voter ballot initiative processes in their constitutions as those states were created and their constitutions written when the voter initiative process was in vogue. The ability of voters to force policy changes allows a way for popular anger about immigration to be expressed as policy changes in spite of elite support for mass low skilled and illegal immigration.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, argues that there is a practical way to enforce laws to gradually reduce the illegal alien presence in the United States.
Fortunately for America there is a third way, between the politically impossible and disruptive approach of mass roundups on one hand, and the surrender of our sovereignty by the open-borders Left and its libertarian fellow-travelers on the other. This third way is attrition, squeezing the illegal population through consistent, across-the-board law enforcement to bring about an annual reduction in the illegal population rather than the annual increases we have seen for more than a decade. Over a few years, the number of illegal aliens would drop significantly, shrinking the problem from a crisis to a manageable nuisance.
Krikorian argues that a substantial reduction of the millions of illegal aliens in the US is a practical goal.
This isn’t just a wonkish daydream. There is significant churn in the illegal population, which we can use to our advantage. According to a 2003 INS report, thousands of people stop being illegal aliens each year. From 1995 to 1999, an average of 165,000 a year went back home; the same number got some kind of legal status, about 50,000 were deported, and 25,000 died, for a total of more than 400,000 people each year subtracted from the resident illegal population. The problem is that the average inflow of new illegal aliens was nearly 800,000, swamping the outflow and creating an average annual increase of close to 400,000.
The solution, then, is to increase the number of people leaving the illegal population and to reduce the number of new illegal settlers, so that there is an annual decline in the total number. This is a measured, Burkean approach to the problem. It doesn’t aspire to an immediate, magical solution to a long-brewing crisis, but rather helps us back out of an untenable situation that we helped create through our inattention to the law.
After reviewing the history of unenforced and undermined immigrant laws Krikorian outlines some ideas for what serious enforcement would look like. First Krikorian cites examples of sucessful enforcement and the effects these examples have had.
As I’ve written in these pages before, when we stepped up immigration enforcement against Middle Easterners (and only Middle Easterners) in the wake of 9/11, the largest group of illegals from that part of the world, Pakistanis, fled the country in droves to avoid being caught up in the dragnet.
And in an inadvertent enforcement initiative, the Social Security Administration in 2002 sent out almost a million “no-match” letters to employers who filed W-2s with information that was inconsistent with SSA’s records. The intention was to clear up misspellings, name changes, and other mistakes that had caused a large amount of money paid into the system to go uncredited. But, of course, most of the problem was caused by illegal aliens lying to their employers, and thousands of illegals quit or were fired when they were found out. The effort was so successful at denying work to illegals that business and immigrant-rights groups organized to stop it and won a 90 percent reduction in the number of letters to be sent out.
The reported self-deportation of illegal Pakistanis through the end of 2002 represents about 25% of all illegal Pakistanis in country before the vigorous enforcement against them began. Many more Pakistanis have probably left since then. A vigorous effort to enforce immigration law against all illegals would result in literally millions of self-deportations.
Krikorian outlines what a serious effort at immigration law enforcement would look like.
We know that when we actually enforce the law, eroding the illegal-immigration population is possible. So, what would a policy of attrition look like? It would have two key components. The first would include more conventional enforcement – arrests, prosecutions, deportations, asset seizures, etc. The second would require verification of legal status at a variety of important choke points, to make it as difficult and unpleasant as possible to live here illegally.
As to the first, the authorities need to start taking immigration violations seriously. To use only one example, people who repeatedly sneak across the border are supposed to be prosecuted and jailed, and the Border Patrol unveiled a new digital fingerprint system in the mid ‘90s to make tracking of repeat crossers possible. The problem is that short-staffed U.S. attorneys’ offices kept increasing the number of apprehensions needed before they would prosecute, to avoid actually having to prosecute at all.
It would be hard to exaggerate the demoralizing effect that such disregard for the law has on the Homeland Security Department’s staff. Conversely, the morale of immigration workers would soar in the wake of a real commitment to law enforcement. We’ve already seen a real-world example of this, too. I met with deportation officers in a newly formed “fugitive operations team” in Southern California who, unlike other immigration personnel I have spoken with, were actually excited about their jobs. They still have gripes, but the clear political commitment to locating and deporting fugitive aliens communicates to them that their work is genuinely valued by their superiors all the way up to the White House.
Other measures that would facilitate enforcement include hiring more U.S. Attorneys and judges in border areas, to allow for more prosecutions; passage of the CLEAR Act, which would enhance cooperation between federal immigration authorities and state and local police; and seizing the assets, however modest, of apprehended illegal aliens.
Krikorian argues the way gradually reduce the number of illegals is to create "virtual checkpoints". These checkpoints will catch illegals for deportation, encourage illegals to self-deport, and discourage would-be illegals from entering the United States.
The solution is to create “virtual chokepoints” – events that are necessary for life in a modern society but are infrequent enough not to bog down the business of society.
This is the thinking behind the law banning the employment of illegal aliens – people have to work, so requiring proof of legal status upon starting a job would serve as such a virtual choke point. As discussed above, in the absence of a verification mechanism, such a system couldn’t succeed. But the president signed into law at the end of last year a measure to re-authorize and expand the verification pilot programs that immigration authorities have been experimenting with since the mid 1990s.
Building on this fledgling system, we need to find other instances in which legal status can be verified, such as getting a driver’s license, registering an automobile, opening a bank account, applying for a car loan or a mortgage, enrolling children in public schools, and getting a business or occupational license.
An effective strategy of immigration law enforcement requires no booby traps, no tanks, no tattoos on arms – none of the cartoonish images invoked in the objections raised routinely by the loose-borders side. The consistent application of ordinary law-enforcement tools is all we need.
For more on the question of how and whether immigration law can be enforced see my previous post Can Immigration Law Be Enforced? For more proposals on immigration law enforcement see Eighteen Illegal Alien solutions that are better than any Amnesty.
The Center for Immigration Studies held a panel at the National Press Club on Sept 26, 2003 to discuss whether US immigration laws can actually be enforced. Would it be possible to control immigration if the laws were enforced? The panel shares my view that immigration could be controlled if only our political leaders would make a good faith effort to enforce the relevant laws in the first place. First off, Michael Cutler, former Senior Special Agent at the New York District Office of the INS:
From 1988 until 1992, I was the assigned INS representative to the Unified Intelligence Division of DEA in New York City. In that position I worked in cooperation with law enforcement personnel from virtually every federal law enforcement agency, as well as state, local, and other law enforcement personnel from other countries.
While I was in that assignment, I did an analysis of DEA arrest records. This analysis shows that some 60 percent of all individuals arrested in New York by DEA were identified as foreign-born. Nationwide, about 30 percent of the people arrested by DEA were identified as foreign-born. Those percentages remained constant for about five years, and I suspect they wouldn’t be much different today.
The violence that is attendant with the drug trade leads to the loss of many more people’s lives than the 3,000 people who perished on 9/11, and this is because of the crimes that are carried out within the borders of our country by drug traffickers.
Nearly half of all illegals came in through legals ports of entry. So the construction of a barrier on the border with Mexico would probably cut illegal immigration by about half.
It is the interior enforcement program that has been ignored and neglected for decades. There are currently approximately 10,000 Border Patrol agents working for our government nationwide. Compare that number with the 2,000 special agents who are employed by the government to enforce the immigration laws from within the United States. Consider also the fact that it is currently estimated that of the 8-12 million illegal aliens believed to be living in the United States today, nearly half of them did not run the border but rather entered the United States through ports of entry, as did the terrorists. These aliens could not have been stopped by the Border Patrol because they were lawfully admitted into the United States, meaning that only once they became deportable it was only the special agents who had the authority and the wherewithal to go after them.
Those 2,000 special agents are an even smaller number than first appears because they have a lot of other responsibilities.
We also need to consider another important issue. Border Patrol agents have a specific and narrow focus. They are responsible for the interdiction of aliens attempting to run the border and to attempt to identify, investigate, and apprehend alien smugglers. Special agents have many more missions to carry out under their jurisdictions. They are supposed to seek out and apprehend aliens who have been deported for committing serious felonies and have subsequently illegally re-entered the United States. They are supposed to conduct investigations into immigration fraud. They are supposed to conduct investigations into alien smuggling. And they are also supposed to conduct investigations involving employer sanctions.
Additionally, the special agents are also supposed to work with such organizations as the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, where I spent 10 years of my career, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Now, Congress has additionally mandated that we are supposed to also track foreign students in the United States to make certain that they go to the schools that they’ve been admitted to attend, and to implement a meaningful departure control program to make certain that people that are here for a limited time leave when they’re supposed to.
Now, additionally, it’s been announced that the new Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement will also provide agents to serve as air marshals, and also back up the United States Secret Service protecting the President, the vice president, and visiting foreign dignitaries. And all this is going to be done with what will now become a force of 5,500 agents when we merge Customs in with the immigration agents. The thing that you need to realize also, though, is that when they merge Customs with immigration, you’re going to also be doubling the area of responsibility because now all these agents will need to enforce the customs statutes as well as the immigration statutes.
Politicians respond to their own undermining of immigration law enforcement by trying to undermine it further with additional amnesties.
Today, perhaps in part because of the abysmal track record, and also because of the politicization of the entire immigration system, politicians talk about creating another amnesty as a way to bring the massive illegal alien population out of the shadows, notwithstanding that this approach was tried before. World War I was supposed to have been the war that would end all wars, and the immigration amnesty program of 1986 was supposed to be the best way of getting illegal aliens out of the shadows and restoring a measure of credibility to the thoroughly dysfunctional administration and enforcement of immigration laws. With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, we now know that World War I led to World War II, and we know that the 1986 amnesty led to perhaps one of the largest influxes of illegal aliens into the United States. And yet there are people today calling for yet another amnesty.
George W. Bush would happily sign an immigration amnesty bill if one reached his desk.
Jessica Vaughan, former Foreign Service officer and Senior Policy Analyst at CIS, discusses how an approach developed by a young US State Department Foreign Service officer, worked too well at identifying people ineligible for green cards and other immigration benefits due to illegal use of US social welfare programs. The results were predictable:
This fellow working in Paris realized that he was having a really hard time figuring out whether people were ineligible for reasons like that. So he decided to start calling social service agencies in the United States. He started with California. He found out that the state of California was very happy to provide him with this information, which was very relevant to his adjudication of the application.
Then this person went on in his next tour to serve in Manila, which is a much higher volume post in the Philippines. It’s known as a visa mill because of the number of applications that they process every year, and lots and lots of them are going to California, and lots and lots of the applicants have spent time in California. So he really got a lot of great information from California, MediCal officials in particular. Instead of just using it to do green card applications, he also started checking on people who were applying for temporary visitors’ visas, and uncovered tons and tons of fraud, including one notorious case of a Philippine Airlines pilot who was basically bringing his child over for regular leukemia treatments in the California hospitals, completely free.
So this was working so well that all these other posts found out about the program and thought it was a great idea. There were three posts in Mexico which worked out an arrangement with the state of California to get this information. Then word kind of got out among people who were applying for green cards that the embassy was actually going to check to see if you had access to services to which you were not entitled, and people started deciding to pay back the amount of the services that they’d received, so all these checks started flowing in to the California treasury from all these people who really did want their green card and they didn’t want to be found ineligible. So all this money starts flowing in and California is really loving the program. The governor at the time went and visited the consulate in Manila and went around and shook everybody's hand because he loved it so much.
Then Texas decided that it wanted to sign up because it was working so well for California. At about that time, the front office of Consular Affairs got wind of it and pretty quickly sent out a cable to all posts saying, you’ve got to stop this now. And the reason that they gave was that it was taking too much time to do these checks. This was in spite of the fact that the state of California had actually offered to pay for the positions for people to sit and do the background checks. Then the Department of Health and Human Services got involved and said, you know, this is kind of a violation of people’s privacy to be checking on what services that they’ve obtained. So the program was, as I said, working so well that it ended, even though tens of thousands of people had been found ineligible and all the consular officers really liked it a lot.I hope that some of the other programs that we’ve instituted recently, like NCRS and SEVIS, where we’re already starting to see some good results, do not go down the same road of being found so effective that they have to be canceled.
Consider the HHS argument: the government can be made to pay medical and other benefits to foreigners who are not eligible but to investigate foreigners to see if they have used services of the government is a violation of the privacy of those same foreigners. This boggles the mind. On the other hand, it seems logical to expect a bunch of leftist bureaucrats who see their mission as handing out as increasing amounts of services and other benefits to look at any policy that would reduce their ability to do so as a threat to their mission to expand the welfare state. Plus, there are powerful interest groups fighting to give immigrants more goods and services and citizenship and those groups are going to seek to undermine any program serves as an impediment to their goals.
Mark Krikorian lists a number of methods that show promise for identifying illegal aliens but notes that as long as political leaders don't want to stop illegal immigation they will just stop any program that starts to effectively identify illegals for deportation.
Another example was just in the newspaper yesterday or the day before. The Internal Revenue Service has announced that it’s looking into sharing information from tax returns, specifically from people who file using what’s called the individual identification number, which is in place of a Social Security number, largely used by illegal aliens, though not necessarily, and sharing that information with the Homeland Security Department.
If past experience is any guide, it will work and then it will be stopped, precisely because it succeeds in deterring illegal aliens from working.
The argument for amnesties is that it is not possible to stop illegal immigration. But the United States government has repeatedly undermined any efforts that started to make serious in-roads against the problem. We have illegal immigration because a majority of our elites want it in spite of the fact that the majority of the populace wants it cut back. Our immigration policy is therefore undemocratic.
An order by the chief Border Patrol agent in San Diego for his agents not to arrest illegal immigrants on city streets or question them except along the border has been overturned by Robert C. Bonner, commissioner of the new Bureau of Customs and Border Protection.
To the extent that Chief Veal interpreted the previous INS policy to preclude Border Patrol from apprehending any place other than at the border itself or at checkpoints, that's incorrect and I've rescinded it," Bonner said. "The policy of the Border Patrol is not set by Chief Veal or any other sector chief. It's set on a national basis."
Veal's memo said agents cannot arrest or questioning suspects in cities, workplaces, residential areas or even while traveling between assignments.
Border Patrol Agent Joe Dassaro, president of Local 1613 of the National Border Patrol Council, says popular anger was key in getting the policy changed.
Dassaro credited pressure both from his union and angry residents, as well as media exposure, for getting the directive killed.
"The average citizen out there is outraged by this policy," he said.
The policy amounted to a de facto amnesty for illegal immigrants, he said.
De facto amnesty is exactly what the Bush Administration is pushing for.
This change in policy happened within a couple of weeks after the original decision to restrict the Border Patrol agents. Apparently, if enough Americans get angry they still have enough pull with their own government to get their government to put their demands ahead of the demands of the Mexican government.
The most amazing thing about this article about a plant to use ankle bracelets to track illegal aliens awaiting deportation is the current cost of holding illegal aliens in prison runs into the billions per year.
On average, 190,000 illegal immigrants are held in detention every day. The cost to jail each one is more than $53,000 a year. The cost of the bracelet — not including the undetermined amount of monitoring fees — is $3.18. The comparative annual cost would be a minimum of $570,000 for the bracelets, or more than $10 billion for detention.
The $53,000 per year times 190,000 illegals being held at any one time does multiply out to $10.07 billion. That is an astounding figure. We could build a wall along the border of Mexico for far less money than we spend per year on illegal alien detention. As fewer illegals made it into the United States the resulting gradual reduction in the number of illegal aliens being held for detention would by itself pay for the cost of the wall. Of course, reductions in spending on medical care, welfare benefits, and other costs due to illegal aliens would be in addition to the savings from detention costs. Plus, there would be additional savings from reductions in the legal costs of lawyers, judges, and court workers incurred from holding court deportation proceedings.
A directive barring Border Patrol agents from stopping suspected illegal immigrants on city streets is throwing the 1,600 San Diego-area agents into turmoil.
The directive, contained in an internal memo last week from William T. Veal, Border Patrol chief in San Diego, said "agents are not authorized to conduct any interior enforcement or city patrol operations in or near residential areas or places of employment."
The directive resulted from a series of recent, highly publicized incidents, the best-known of which occurred Aug. 2, when a Mexican family of five on their way to the Mexican Consulate was stopped by Border Patrol agents within a block of their destination.
The Border Patrol is being told they can only patrol right on the border. Even if they see a criminal on a San Diego city street who they know has been deported before they are powerless to stop that person.
Be clear on this: the Bush Administration supports this policy. If you disagree with George W. Bush on this then send the President an email.
Update: The US federal government doesn't just want to prevent the Border Patrol from stopping illegal aliens away from the Border. The Bush Administration also wants to stop private groups from stopping illegal aliens from entering the United States.
Chris Simcox, editor of the Tombstone Tumbleweed and leader of Civil Homeland Defense, or CHD, told WorldNetDaily local Border Patrol supervisors and agents say their orders to contact the Cochise County Sheriff's Department whenever his volunteers hand over illegal aliens came straight from Washington, D.C.
The Bush Administration is responding to pressure from Hispanic groups that lobby for illegal immigration and for the extension of more rights of citizenship to illegals.
Update: As for whether the illegal immigration can be stopped, the short answer is Yes! A barrier fence on our border with Mexico would cost much less than one year's cost to the US taxpayer for medical treatments given to illegal aliens. To appreciate just how much the US government has sabotaged and undermined its own enforcement of immigration laws and put a stop to the use of effective policies to get control of illegal immigration see the post Can Immigration Law Be Enforced? for infuriating examples of how federal policy makers have sabotaged enforcement mechanisms.
One Mississippi sheriff is going to make modern American history when he systematically rounds up all the illegal aliens in his jurisdiction.
Sheriff Toby Trowbridge said he requested help about six months ago from the Jackson office of what was then the Immigration and Naturalization Service, now a part of the Department of Homeland Security.
...Details of the proposed sweep have not been worked out, Trowbridge said. "You've got to work smart to get it done ... so they won't come back across the border the next day ... and I'm fixing to get it started," Trowbridge said.
This is an approach that could work throughout the United States if only the political will existed to do it.
In fact, while the latest INS figures show a 75% increase in the deportation of Arabs and Muslims (FY 2002 compared to FY 2001), the same figures show an OVERALL DECREASE of 16% in the total number of deportations. In FY 2002, 28,833 fewer deportations took place than the preceding year; the biggest decline was among Mexicans, the single largest national group, which saw a decline of 32,692 illegal alien Mexicans.
Who are the illegal aliens in America? Mostly Mexicans and they are a growing percentage of the total.
Mexicans made up 69 percent, or 4.8 million, of the illegal immigrant population in 2000, compared with 58 percent in 1990, the INS said.
Note that estimates for the number of illegal aliens run from 8 million as high as 12 million people. However, what is uncontroversial is that the number is increasing even as the number deported is decreasing.
The education level of the illegals is much lower than that of the US native born population. One reason for that is that Mexico's education system produces very few high school graduates.
Lorenzo Meyer, a historian and political analyst in Mexico City, said Mexico needs "an education revolution" to improve workers' skills and, ultimately, their wages.
In recent years, younger children have been staying in school longer, but progress is slow. Students typically quit before high school; the national average is slightly less than eight years of schooling.
Rather than spending money on Liberian military adventures the US ought to spend the money to build a wall on the border with Mexico and to improve the education of Mexicans in Mexico. The vast bulk of the poorly educated people in Mexico are not going to come to the United States. There are over 100 million people in Mexico. Their standards of living can't all be raised by immigrating illegally to the United States. The Mexican government continues to try to export their problems to America. This should be strenuously resisted. We should start pressuring the Mexican government to seriously fix what is wrong with Mexico. Both countries would derive a great deal of benefit if Mexico became a more prosperous place.
July 9— The government said today it has arrested nearly 90 illegal aliens who were still living in the United States after serving time for sex crimes against children.
Winchell's agents in the Northwest have recently arrested 118 convicted alien sex offenders and placed an additional 13 "detainers" on violators currently incarcerated for crimes of sexual exploitation in those states.
But is it really as good as it sounds? What is missing is the context of the larger problem of illegal immigrant criminals. Let us fill in some of that context.
The Department of Homeland Security has announced Operation Predator to go after those who prey in children.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Homeland Security today announced Operation Predator, a comprehensive DHS initiative designed to enhance the Administration's efforts to protect children from pornographers, child prostitution rings, Internet predators, alien smugglers, human traffickers, and other criminals. The President has made it clear that anyone who harms a child will be a priority target of law enforcement in this Administration.
"Operation Predator integrates the Department's authorities to target those who exploit children," said Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. "The Department of Homeland Security is coordinating the Department's once-fragmented investigative and intelligence resources into a united campaign against child predators."
The Department's Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will house the initiative from its headquarters in Washington, D.C., coordinating all field enforcement actions from the ICE CyberSmuggling Center in Fairfax, Virginia. Operation Predator draws on the full spectrum of cyber, intelligence, investigative, and detention & removal functions of ICE to target those who exploit children.
"There is nothing more important than protecting our children - the future of our nation. Through Operation Predator, ICE is in a unique position to carry out this critical responsibility," said Michael J. Garcia, Acting Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
ICE is partnering with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to facilitate the exchange of information on missing children, as well as investigative and intelligence leads. For the first time an ICE Senior Special Agent has been assigned to NCMEC to coordinate leads developed by NCMEC that require ICE law enforcement capabilities. In addition, ICE will work with the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Justice to partner with NCMEC in an effort to develop a National Child Victim Identification Program.
"Combating child victimization in all its forms requires the cooperation and collaboration of law enforcement personnel worldwide," stated NCMEC President Ernie Allen. "Operation Predator strengthens the combined efforts of law enforcement agencies to investigate and apprehend those who prey upon children, while providing the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the public the tools to assist with identifying perpetrators and reporting crimes."
Surely this effort will yield some benefit. Many children who otherwise would have been victims of these deported predators will not be. So far, so good.
US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge says the US government will pursue more vigorously the deportation of illegal immigrant criminals.
So now, Mike has the personnel to do far more in this area than he's ever had before, and clearly, with the concerted effort, we know there are illegals on the street or those who have done their time who are back out on the street, and we go after them and deport them, and now with this concerted effort, when the last day of their sentence has expired, we'll meet them at the front door of the prison and escort them to the border.
So again, we bring these resources together and make sure the information is shared. We've got more people to act on it. We don't guarantee a fail-safe perfect system, but it is a real plus-up, is really an enhancement of our ability to enforce the law, deport those who, because of these crimes, having done their time here, are therefore eligible and should and must and will be deported, and again, Mike will have additional people to do it because of the merger of the agencies.
You might be thinking this all sounds wonderful. After all, it is an improvement. But pay close attention to this excerpt from DOJ official Mike Garcia:
MR.. GARCIA: Yeah, but in terms of resources, your question to the Secretary, I think also today's announcement is about prioritization.
So while we have 50,000 criminal alien absconders, we are now prioritizing those with violent crimes, those sexual predators, and particularly those predators who prey on children.
The same with the institutional removal program, where we go to prisons to make sure that violent felons don't hit the streets. We're now prioritizing our efforts in that area, to target sexual predators, to target predators that prey on children, and make sure that those people do not leave the prison and go back out on the streets.
Stop and think about this. There are at least 50,000 illegal aliens (probably more, see below) who have been released from prisons in the US and not immediately deported. The DOJ is going to target the subset that are classified as sexual predators. That part is great. But what about the rest of them?
Look even more closely at what Garcia said. The Department of Justice is going to prioritize their efforts to deport illegal aliens yet to be released from prison. They are not saying that all illegal aliens currently in prison will be when their prison terms are completed. That is incredible. There are thousands of illegal aliens in prison and so government agencies have control of them. The government is supposed to deport them when their prison terms are up. But the best the US Department of Homeland Security can offer is that the federal government will place a higher priority on the deportation of those classified as predators.
Those 50,000 illegals released from prison probably represent only a subset of those illegal aliens who have committed crimes and not been deported. The government does not try that hard to detect illegals and many are probably passing as US citizens even as they pass thru the criminal justice system.
In fact, there are reasons to believe that the 50,000 person figure is low by a whole order of magnitude. US House Representative Tom Tancredo (R CO) thinks there may be half a million illegal aliens in America who have been released from prison.
There is good reason to take a special look at these so-called sanctuary cities like Los Angeles, because it is the largest city in the largest State of the Nation. A few years ago, the INS found that 40 percent of illegal immigrants go to California, and other cities have shown that a third of their illegal aliens go to Los Angeles. Thus, what happens in Los Angeles directly affects the rest of this country.
It happens that in 2000, the County of Los Angeles did a thorough study of the impact of criminal aliens on the Los Angeles County jail system. They recently shared a copy of this report with me. Among other things, they found that, first, during the decade of 1990 to 2000, the number of illegal aliens in the county jail system doubled from 11 to 23 percent. The cost impact on the county jail system also doubled from 75 million to 150 million. This is only the cost of jail administration and does not include the cost of routine police patrols and investigative activities.
The Federal SCAP program, that State Criminal Assistance Program that reimburses local jails for the cost of detention being held for deportation does not adequately cover all on the costs. The recidivism rate among criminal aliens deported is 40 percent. That means 40 percent of them return and commit more crime. There are a significant number of Federal prosecutions by the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles against recidivist criminal aliens. Only 350 such cases were prosecuted in 1998 compared to 2,400 in San Diego and 3,000 in Phoenix, which is a much smaller city.
A GAO study in 1997 concluded that the INS process for identifying and processing criminal aliens in jail and subject to deportation was so flawed and underfunded that more than half of the criminals who should be deported are not, and they are released back into society. The percentage of jail inmates in Los Angeles who are deportable aliens rose from 11 percent to 17 percent in June 1995 and 23 percent in January of 2000.
One INS study cited by the Los Angeles County report showed that INS identified only 65 percent of the inmates who were, in fact, subject to deportation orders and thus placed on a detainer list. That means that all of the numbers of inmates on the whole list need to be adjusted upward by one half to get to the true number of aliens in the penal system who are subject to deportation.It is fair to speculate that for the Nation as a whole this number is over 500,000 over the past decade, a half million criminal aliens who should have been deported but instead were released into society to commit more crimes.
Also, look at the bigger picture. There are over 300,000 illegal aliens who have defied court orders for their deportation. There are several million (perhaps 8 million, perhaps 10 million, but no one really knows) illegal aliens in the country total. The latest US government initiative is a pretty lame response to the bigger problem of illegal aliens. It isn't even adequate to deal with the illegal aliens who are currently in jail, let alone the illegal aliens released from jail or the illegals who have been ordered deported.
US House Representative Charles Norwood, a fairly consistent supporter of tougher immigration laws and a member of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, is co-sponsoring the Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal (CLEAR) Act.
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Charlie Norwood and bipartisan allies introduced far-reaching legislation Wednesday to enlist local police nationwide in an effort to deport immigration law violators, especially those who are convicted criminals.
The Georgia Republican said he was prompted by the case of Miguel Angelo Gordoba, an illegal Mexican immigrant who spent four years in prison for molesting a 3-year-old girl in Alma, Ga. After his prison term ended in August 2001, Gordoba was released instead of being deported, as required by federal law.
Another Congressman from Georgia is upset by repeat offenders who get brought to court multiple times and yet are not deported.
WASHINGTON - Congressman Nathan Deal says criminal illegal immigrants have become the number one issue for law enforcement officers and the courts in his north Georgia district, which includes Gainesville and most of northeast Georgia.
The U.S. Justice Department estimated four years ago that there were 678,000 state and local police officers nationwide.
"The federal immigration service has 2,000 investigators (the agents engaged in enforcement) out of its 37,000 employees," Edwards said, adding that the U.S. Border Patrol is deployed "almost exclusively along the border."
If local police were authorized and instructed to pick up and hold any illegal aliens they encountered and if the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE, formerly the INS) was staffed at a level sufficient to come and get and deport the illegals as fast as they were taken into custody then the number of illegal aliens in the United States would decline quite dramatically.
"Clearly, this is a threat to vulnerability," Steven McCraw, the assistant director of the FBI's Office of Intelligence, told a House immigration panel yesterday.
Given the Bush Administration's willingness to court the Hispanic vote by supporting immigration from Mexico it is surprising that an FBI agent would be willing and able to basically take a position that makes it harder for the Bushies to attempt (totally futilely I might add) to outbid the Democratic Party for the Hispanic vote.
“The FBI is particularly concerned about fraudulent financial transactions in the post 9/11 environment, given the fact that foreign terrorists often rely on money transferred from within the United States.”—McCraw, FBI “Federal officials have discovered individuals from many different countries in possession of the matricula consular card. … At least one individual of Middle Eastern descent has also been arrested in possession of the matricula consular card. The ability of foreign nationals to use the matricula consular to create a well-documented, but fictitious, identity in the United States provides an opportunity for terrorists to move freely within the United States without triggering name-based watch lists that are disseminated to local police officers. It allows them to board planes without revealing their true identity.”—McCraw, FBI
Even more surprising is that someone at the level of a department Assistant Secretary has come out and expressed concerns about the ID cards granted for illegal aliens.
"We're very concerned about these cards,' said Homeland Security Department Assistant Secretary C. Stewart Verdery.
Verdery voiced concern about misuse of the cards as "breeder documents' to more easily gain access to other documents, such as driver's licenses, and create false identities
Here is an excerpt of the full text of Verdery's testimony before the US House Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims.
We believe that individuals have been able to obtain multiple cards under multiple names, an occurrence which poses a significant security issue and impacts their reliability as valid forms of identification.
Another concern is the extent to which consular identification cards are used as “breeder documents,” that is, to more easily gain access to other documentation, such as drivers’ licenses. We are concerned that foreign consular identification cards fraudulently obtained could aid criminal activity - such as money laundering - by facilitating the creation of false identities. We need to examine not only the security features of these cards but also the security of the issuance process and the documentary requirements for obtaining them.
The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP) has disseminated an intelligence alert that contains background information about the consular identification cards, including an example of a matricula consular. BCBP requires reporting on the interdiction of individuals who have been caught carrying multiple cards. Further, they will work closely with other BTS agencies to coordinate any information and intelligence arising from such cases.
Legal aliens have identification granted to them by the United States government. The only people who need matricula counsular cards are illegal aliens. As Allan Wall (who is married to a Mexican woman and lives and works in Mexico) reports from Mexico, most Mexican banks do not accept the matricula consular as a valid form of identification.
In other words, Mexicans who legally enter the U.S. and have all their papers in order (like my wife, for example) have no need of a matricula consular. And here in Mexico, most banks don’t even accept it! That should tell you something. Nearly all the applicants for the matricula consular are illegal aliens.
The Center for Immigration Studies has done a study on the matricula consular.
* The matricula consular is useful in the United States only for illegal aliens, since legal immigrants, by definition, have U.S. government-issued documents.
* The Mexican government has launched an aggressive grassroots lobbying campaign to win acceptance for its matricula card from state and local jurisdictions and from banks, especially in areas where Mexican illegal aliens are concentrated.
* The objective of this lobbying effort is to achieve quasi-legal status for Mexican illegals in the United States without waiting for action from Washington.
* The matricula itself, however, is useful to illegal aliens only insofar as U.S. institutions are willing to collaborate with Mexico’s efforts to circumvent U.S. immigration law.
* While many jurisdictions have resisted pressure from the Mexican government, others have not; the matricula is now accepted by 800 local law enforcement agencies and 74 banks, as well as by 13 states for purposes of obtaining a driver’s license.
* Not only does the matricula subvert U.S. immigration law, it is not even a secure identity document. Mexico is not authenticating the documents used to obtain the matricula against computerized data files in Mexico.
* Safeguards are not in place to prevent multiple issuance of matriculas to the same individual; in fact, the INS has already reported finding multiple cards in different names issued to the same person.
* The matricula is becoming a shield that hides criminal activity for two reasons: first, the holder’s identity was not verified when the card was issued, and second, police in jurisdictions that accept the matricula are less likely to run background checks on card holders picked up for minor infractions.
* The U.S. Treasury Department has given its approval to banks to accept the matricula for opening bank accounts.
* The acceptance of Mexico’s matricula consular sets a precedent, making it almost impossible to reject similar cards presented by illegal aliens from other countries, including those which have sent terrorists to the United States in the past.
A more sensible response to the matricula consular would be for all law enforcement agencies at all levels of government to be instructed (by legislation where necessary) to arrest for deportation anyone found carrying the matricula card who has no paperwork from the United States government indicating that they have a right to be in the United States. The states should pass laws requiring state and local law enforcement officials to take into custody all illegals that they encounter to hold them for deportation. To support this effort the US Congress ought to instruct the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP) to pick up all such detained illegals from local custody in a timely manner and deport them rapidly.
Mexican government officials are lobbying US local governments all across America to encourage acceptance of the matricula consular issued by Mexican consulates in America to illegal aliens. (or see here).
WASHINGTON – Mexico's consul general in Detroit made the 172-mile drive across Michigan five times in just two weeks last month. Each time his mission was the same: to persuade authorities in the small city of Holland to accept Mexico's matricula consular as an ID card for Mexican immigrants.
A pair of Assembly bills parked for the moment in the Senate Public Safety Committee are poised to stamp the imprimatur of the state on a practice that already is becoming common in San Diego County: accepting a photo identification card issued by the Mexican government to its nationals who reside, legally or illegally, in California.
By contrast, the governor of the state of Colorado signed into law the The Colorado Secure and Verifiable Identity Document Act which effectively bans the acceptance of such forms of ID in the state of Colorado. At least two other states have similar bills pending in their legislatures and Rep. Tom Tancredo (R CO) has introduced legislation in the US House of Representatives to ban the acceptance of the matricula consular and similar forms of ID in the United States.
A guy from the Dominican Republic discovered when he went to apply for US citizenship that his own brother had stolen his identity and used it to get citizenship in the United States. The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) which is the successor agency in the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) did nothing in response to this discovery and basically the BCIS is doing nothing about known cases of citizenship granted to people who used identity fraud to help them get US citizenship.
On May 3, 2003, Alberto returned to the BCIS on a second interview for his citizenship. For months, he and his lawyer had been operating under the assumption that the fraudulent application for citizenship filed by his brother had been investigated and that the lengthy process of denaturalization (search) had begun.
"We were wrong," says Jones. "When we arrived, we found that nothing had been done, and I was told by an officer in the Naturalization Unit that there is a class of cases like this just sitting around because nobody at the BCIS knows what to do with them. And this occurred after I was told that the matter would be taken to the district director."
The BCIS, confident it its ability to ascertain the identity of people who fill out immigration-related forms, has even switched to electronic filing of two of the most popular forms which BCIS accepts.
CHICAGO – Today, the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) started accepting electronic filing (e-filing) of two of the most commonly submitted immigration forms – the application used to renew or replace a "green card”" (Form I-90) and the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765). Together, both forms represent approximately 30 percent of the 7 million applications filed with the Bureau every year.
For those who file electronically, BCIS confirms the identity of the customer early in the application process. BCIS also electronically collects a photograph, signature, and fingerprint for the individual. These biometric data are stored and can be used later for verification of the person’s identity. Customers whose applications are approved receive high quality immigration documents with special security features produced from BCIS’ centralized card production facility.
How convenient. A person intent on identity fraud can now provide fake biometric data over the internet. The US government is essentially automating the process of committing fraud in order to save more time for all concerned.
Next what is needed is to automate the process of ignoring the fraud cases that are discovered. As soon as a fraud case is discovered its particulars could be entered into a computer and any time someone wants to know its status they could be referred to a web form to enter a query and the computer server could return a message like "that matter is under investigation" or "the data for that matter is being retained for future queries" or something else equally inane. That way human BCIS employees would not have to waste any time fielding questions about fraudulently obtained citizenship cases.
Rich Lowry reports that in response to an increase in deportations to Muslim countries illegal immigrants are deporting themselves.
But as deportations of Pakistanis, Jordanians, Lebanese and Moroccans have doubled during the past two years, the new signal has begun to register.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service estimated that there were 26,000 Pakistani illegals in the United States as of 2000. The Pakistani Embassy now says that more than 15,000 Pakistani illegals have left the country since Sept. 11. Even if the original INS estimate was low, this represents a sizable proportion of the illegal Pakistani community engaging in do-it-yourself deportation.
Lowry quotes Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies arguing that this change in the behavior of the illegals is analogous to the Broken Windows theory of policing first proposed by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling. Enforce the laws more vigorously and people will get the hint and show greater respect for the law. This illustrates one reason why the United States should seriously crack down on illegal immigration: it is illegal. The toleration of widespread law-breaking inevitably leads to more kinds of law-breaking that are even more harmful. The United States could end the chaos and lawlessness on the US-Mexico border by building a fence for about $3.4 billion dollars. The US government could also make a concerted effort to deport a lot more illegal aliens. This would encourage many to leave voluntarily and would also discourage many from even trying to come in the first place.
When you read arguments from Mexico about why the United States should open its border keep in mind the Mexican double standard on border control.
Mexico has instituted two different border policies — one for its southern border and another for its northern border. In the south, the government’s Plan Sur has militarized the border and toughened deportation. The reason, says the head of Mexico’s immigration service, Felipe de Jesus Preciado, is because Central Americans crossing illegally into Mexico are “a security problem.” They use the same routes and trails as smugglers, he says, and they also cause difficulties for Mexican border towns. “It would not be a big problem,” he said, “if they were getting through to the United States, but they get stuck and they hang around the frontier cities making trouble, sleeping in the streets with no money.” In response to such observations, Blanca Villasenor, of the Mexican-based human rights organization Sin Fronteras, disapprovingly observes, “In the south the Mexicans are repeating the same discourse as the United States” (The Washington Times, 8/13/2001). Another reason Mexico controls its southern border is to limit the number of non-Mexicans making the illegal crossing into the United States in order to preserve Mexican predominance in that lucrative and, potentially, politically beneficial practice of the ruling elite.
Mexico's political and economic problems can not be fixed by letting half the Mexican population move to America. Mexico's elites need to fix their own problems.
An amazing story over the last two years is that if you deport a few Pakistani illegals--OK, maybe a few thousand--huge numbers of other Pakistani illegals will leave voluntarily because they get the hint. This theory should be tried in California and Arizona--I'm guessing if 1,000 illegals from Mexico and Latin America were deported tomorrow in a high-profile action it would have a huge effect on the in-flow of more illegals.
One problem with Mexican illegal aliens who come to the United States and commit crimes is that if they can manage to escape back to Mexico it is very unlikely that they will be sent back to the US for criminal trial. (bold emphasis mine)
Crime. Dealing with Mexicans who commit crimes in the US has long been difficult. The US deported 150,000 Mexicans in FY00, including 56,000 criminals. Mexicans are 80-85 percent of all foreigners deported. Most are returned to Mexico by bus. However, some Mexicans commit crimes in the US and flee to Mexico. When the US seeks their extradition, Mexican suspects often challenge their extradition on the grounds that they face the death penalty, which does not exist in Mexico.
Until 1996, the Mexican government did not extradite any of its nationals. Beginning in 1996, Mexico began to extradite those wanted for committing crimes in the US, often after US prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty, but the number of Mexicans extradited was two or three a year in the late 1990s. The number rose to six in 2001, when the Mexican Supreme Court placed restrictions on extraditing Mexicans who face life imprisonment in the US, an alternative to the death penalty. In FY00, there were almost 4,000 open extradition requests.
This is an outrage. Yet, in the face of the Mexican government attitude toward the US that these numbers demonstrate the Bush White House actively looks for ways to do favors for Mexican President Vicente Fox.
Michelle Malkin, author of Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists Criminals & Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores, explains why Lee Malvo was let loose when the INS had Malvo in custody:
On Nov. 13, 2001, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Michigan) chaired the hearing on INS's deadly detention and deportation practices. Levin's tough questions are worth quoting at length.
First, Sen. Levin summarized the problem:
"If the Border Patrol decides to detain a person or set a bond to help assure that a person shows up at the hearing, the INS deportation office can revise that decision and order the person released on a lower bond or on his or her own recognizance. To be released on your own recognizance means that you are released on your promise that you will appear at the scheduled hearing. There is no bond.
"[T]he Border Patrol and the INS release on their own recognizance a significant number of people who are arrested for illegal entry, even though it is clear that most won't show up at their removal hearing. That means that most people who get caught and arrested for illegal entry.are allowed to move at will in this country with no constraints other than a written instruction to appear at a hearing that is likely to result in their removal from this country, and that is absurd."
My guess is it will take another big domestic terrorist attack in which illegal aliens are involved before the political outcry will become large enough to force a US President to seriously try to fix the INS. Illegal immigrants are so much more important to the two political parties as future voters that what the current voters think of current immigration policies is just not considered relevant by policy makers.
Michelle Malkin reports that its Immigration and Naturalization Service standard operating procedure to release criminal illegal aliens rather than hold them until they are deported:
In September, Maximiliano Silerio Esparza, an illegal alien from El Salvador, was indicted on charges of brutally raping two nuns who were praying on a walking path in Klamath Falls, Ore., and then strangling one of them to death with her own rosary beads.
Esparza was detained twice earlier this year by the U.S. Border Patrol, but was released both times. According to the Oregonian, Esparza was let loose under INS's cost-saving catch-and-release policy. He previously served time in jail in California, had been arrested later in Portland on drug charges, and had an outstanding warrant for his arrest at the time of the alleged rapes and murder.
Federal law mandates that immigration authorities detain criminal aliens with extensive rap sheets such as Esparza's until their deportation outside the United States. But following INS "standard procedure," Esparza was set free in violation of the law.
Read the full article for several other examples of the fruits of this policy.Tens of thousands of criminal aliens are released back onto the street every year. You can find previous posts on immigration issues here.
Jerry Seper has an another interesting article on the immigration issues:
Inspector General Glenn A. Fine said the INS is not able to identify and process deportable inmates and that several illegal immigrants improperly released have gone on to commit additional crimes. He said INS interviews of foreign-born inmates to determine their deportability were "minimal to nonexistent," particularly at the county level.
"We found that many potentially deportable foreign-born inmates passed through county jails virtually undetected," he said.
Chronic vacancies involving INS immigration agents have hampered agency efforts to identify criminal inmates, the audit said, noting that INS employees assigned to the removal program are often reassigned at the district management's discretion to any one of several competing priorities, such as employer sanctions, anti-smuggling and fraud.
Once someone has permanent residency in the US can the permanent residency status be revoked as a result of criminal behavior? Are these deportations only done to illegals?
Illegal immigration could be reduced fairly easily. My modest proposal: Offer a reward per illegal immigrant reported to the authorities. Any citizen or legal resident should be able to earn some amount of money for turning in illegals.
How much money would make a sufficiently large incentive for this to work? My guess is that the program should start with a smaller amount of money (say $100) and see how well it works. This will basically net the easiest ones to find. After running the program with the smaller amount raise it to a higher amount (say $500 or $1000). Also, by starting lower we avoid a deluge that overwhelms the ability of the INS to process them.
Allow local law enforcement organizations to turn in illegals as well. Whether the money should go to police agencies or to the individual police officers could be left for each local law enforcement agency to decide. It is not clear to me whether law enforcement agencies should get more or less or the same amount as private citizens for turning in illegal immigrants.
How much money would such a program cost the taxpayers? Well, we need to start with an estimate of the number of illegal immigrants living in the US:
Census estimates show that the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States rose nearly 5 million during the decade, to 8.7 million in 2000.
If the $100 reward amount was completely successful the cost in reward money would be at most $870 million to eliminate all the illegals. Of course, in the face of such a huge crackdown some illegals would flee in advance of being caught. Yet others would continue to come into the country. But with greatly increased prospects of getting caught far fewer would try to enter the country in the first place.
There would be additional costs for the administrative processing and transportation to deport all the illegals. So the costs would run into the billions. Still, there would be a net savings to taxpayers from reduced demands for social services, education, and health care.
Note to citizens of other industrialized countries: This plan would work for your countries as well.