August 16, 2007
Renewed immigration enforcement
A welcome change from the Bush administration is the stated intention to enforce the immigration laws already on the books. Finally.
Some of the measures included are just continuations of current policy (completion of about half the border fencing by the end of next year, for instance) or not likely to have major impacts (expanding the number of foreign criminal gangs whose members are ineligible for visas). These efforts are welcome, but should be routine.
However, there are several novel elements (well, not so novel, since you could have read about them in NR), that must be part of any comprehensive attrition strategy to reduce the illegal population. Most important is the final rule on Social Security “no-match” letters. These are letters sent by the Social Security Administration to employers who’ve submitted W-2 forms for employees whose names and numbers don’t match the agency’s records. Some instances, of course, are the result of clerical mistakes or unreported name changes, but the majority are illegal aliens using fake or stolen Social Security numbers to gain employment.
This matters because more than half of illegal immigrants with jobs aren’t living “in the shadows” but instead are working on the books. In the past, no-match letters were sent only to employers with the largest number of problem files, and created no obligation to follow up. In fact, one version of the letter advised employers that “You should not use this letter to take any adverse action against an employee just because his or her Social Security number appears on the list, such as laying off, suspending, firing, or discriminating against that individual. Doing so could, in fact, violate state or federal law and subject you to legal consequences.”
As you can imagine, after that caveat most letters were just thrown away.
The new rule sets out common-sense steps an employer must take upon receiving a no-match letter to ensure that he won’t be held liable if the worker turns out to be an illegal alien. Social Security is now sending out these letters to employers with more than ten mismatches that make up more than one half of one percent of its workforce — covering about 80 percent of all mismatches. Most employers are likely to follow through the process and, if necessary, fire those workers who turn out to be illegals (most of whom will likely have left anyway by that point); while some may re-hire the workers off the books, “An employer who does that,” as Secretary Chertoff points out, “is making a deliberate decision to compound their legal difficulties by committing tax crimes as well as immigration crimes.” (In other words, “You may not think much of my department, but the IRS isn’t fooling around.”)
The underlying rationale for ensuring that no-match letters are acted on by employers is to turn off the magnet of jobs that attracts — and keeps — illegal aliens here. As it becomes harder to get a job, and as the jobs illegals can get are less stable, sneaking across the border or overstaying a visa will become less and less attractive, and illegals already here — especially those with fewer attachments — will start deporting themselves.
It's a start.
UPDATE: I corrected the spelling in the title . . .
June 21, 2007
Mary Katharine Ham does a good job of promoting the 'America as a melting pot' perspective.
The movement to make English the official language of America is, in part, a response to the Left’s active discouragement of assimilation. Even the idea of the “melting pot” went out of style when I was in grade school, replaced in text books by the less offensive “mosaic.” You see, now we don’t do anything so gauche as melt into one, cohesive society. Instead, we are all obligated to hold onto our various ethnic and cultural identities and languages, building little barriers between communities, lest we be accused of “selling out” or trying to be too “white.”
There is certainly a way to assimilate without losing all touch with one’s culture. Being American does not mean being “white.” “American” is, by definition, many colors and characteristics. But the strength of America has always been in creating Americans of all colors and characteristics, not all colors and characters who happen to live in America.
The English language and cultural assimilation are unifying forces, economic passports, essential parts of preserving the American dream and all its blessings for everyone who comes to our shores.
She also cites Jessica Alba, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Al Pacino as Americans who immigrated here, or whose parents/grandparents immigrated here.
The common theme is that the immigrants came to America to become Americans, and though they brought elements of their previous culture with them, they largely abandoned it for the American 'melting pot' culture. They put aside their previous lives as citizens of other countries, and took on new lives as citizens of the United States of America. This is something that we present-day Americans should expect from immigrants to our country -- unapologetically, and without exception.
It's good reading. Recommended.
May 29, 2007
Thomas Sowell points out some things about the immigration bill being rushed through the Senate which our senators seemingly do not want us to have a say in.
Here's how he starts:
Nothing is more common than political “solutions” to immediate problems which create much bigger problems down the road. The current immigration bill in the Senate is a classic example.
The big talking point of those who want to legalize the illegal immigrants currently in the United States is to say that it is “unrealistic” to round up and deport 12 million people.
Back in 1986 it was “unrealistic” to round up and deport the three million illegal immigrants in the United States then. So they were given amnesty — honestly labeled, back then — which is precisely why there are now 12 million illegal immigrants.
As a result of the current amnesty bill — not honestly labeled this time — will it be “unrealistic” to round up and deport 40 million or 50 million illegal immigrants in the future?
If the current immigration bill is as “realistic” as its advocates claim, why is it being rushed through the Senate faster than a local zoning ordinance could be passed?
We are, after all, talking about a major and irreversible change in the American population, the American culture, and the American political balance. Why is there no time to talk about it?
Are its advocates afraid that the voting public might discover what a fraud it is? The biggest fraud is denying that this is an amnesty bill.
Go read the rest.
March 10, 2007
Why we need to enforce our immigration laws
It seems that another, much less publicized, study is out that shows a positive correlation between illegal aliens and probability of breaking other laws, as well.
WASHINGTON, March 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A recent study by the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) purported to show that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes in this country than the general population. The results of the IPC report, "The Myth of Immigrant Criminality and the Paradox of Assimilation," are misleading because they lump legal and illegal immigrants together, finds an analysis done by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
Not surprisingly, legal immigrants, who are screened for criminal records before being admitted to the United States, tend not to engage in criminal activities once in the country. The same is not the case for illegal aliens, who constitute the fastest growing share of the foreign-born population. An examination of official data on the U.S. prison population reveals that they represent a larger share of the overall prison population than their presence in the country.
Food for thought.
January 11, 2007
The Examiner urges Congress to fix our broken immigration system. Here's how it begins:
One of the most urgent problems facing the new Congress is our broken immigration system. Unchecked immigration threatens not only our physical and financial security, but the very future of the United States as a sovereign nation. So comprehensive immigration reform simply cannot be put off any longer.
Job one on immigration reform is regaining control of America’s borders.
Allowing millions of unknown foreigners to enter our nation illegally is foolhardy in the extreme in the post-Sept. 11 era. You would never let strangers move into your own home uninvited, then pay the intruders for being there. But that’s exactly what we’ve been doing at the national level for too many years.
And there's much more. Recommended reading . . .
December 01, 2006
Another danger of open borders
An article by Heather Mac Donald in the Autumn 2006 issue of City Journal provides an alarming look at one aspect of our immigration problem.
Unless the life chances of children raised by single mothers suddenly improve, the explosive growth of the U.S. Hispanic population over the next couple of decades does not bode well for American social stability. Hispanic immigrants bring near–Third World levels of fertility to America, coupled with what were once thought to be First World levels of illegitimacy. (In fact, family breakdown is higher in many Hispanic countries than here.) Nearly half of the children born to Hispanic mothers in the U.S. are born out of wedlock, a proportion that has been increasing rapidly with no signs of slowing down. Given what psychologists and sociologists now know about the much higher likelihood of social pathology among those who grow up in single-mother households, the Hispanic baby boom is certain to produce more juvenile delinquents, more school failure, more welfare use, and more teen pregnancy in the future.
It's a bit long, but well worth reading. And pondering.
November 19, 2006
Immigration's Human Cost is a website detailing stories of those who have paid the price of illegal immigration -- many with their lives. One recent example:
"I was having a bad day," illegal immigrant Diego Pillco, 19, allegedly told cops. "I didn't mean to kill her. But I did kill her." Pillco told detectives that he punched Shelly, 40, last Wednesday afternoon outside the Abingdon Square apartment she was using as an office after she yelled at him about the noise he was making while working in a vacant apartment below.
After seeing she was unconscious and believing she was dead, Pillco claimed, he dragged Shelly into her apartment, wrapped a bed sheet around her neck and attached it to a shower rod in the bathroom to make it appear she had hanged herself, sources said.
I recommend you visit the site and do some independent research of your own before you decide whether an open borders policy is a good idea.