Saturday, April 22, 2006
The national immigration debate is muddying Republican relations with Roman Catholics - coveted swing voters who comprise about one-quarter of the electorate.
While Catholic bishops and many Republican politicians share opposition to abortion, they're often split over the specifics of immigration reform. Church leaders are challenging - and in some cases even vowing to defy - the tougher enforcement proposals by GOP lawmakers.
The issue highlights the roadblocks that the Catholic worldview creates for Republicans and Democrats. Catholics are generally conservative on personal issues such as marriage, but tend to be liberal on social justice problems, limiting the appeal of both major parties and leaving Catholics "politically homeless," said the Rev. James L. Heft, president of the Institute of Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California.
Click on: Immigration reform splits Catholics, GOP
RCUK Fellowship in International Political Economy of Globalisation Centre for the Study of Globalisation & Regionalisation University of Warwick U.K. Click here for information.
Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Politics/Human Rights School of Social Science Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Kingston University. Click here to check it out.
The Los Angeles Times in a story (April 22) on "What Was Behind the Big Raid" reports that an informant triggered the nationwide sweep and that investigators say a plant in Albany, New York flaunted the law and mistreated its illegal workers. Click here to see the story.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Majority Leader Bill Frist intends to seek Senate passage of
immigration legislation by Memorial Day, hoping to revive a bill that tightens
border security and gives millions of illegal immigrants a chance at
citizenship, Republican leadership aides said today.
In a gesture to conservative critics of the measure, Frist and other Republicans also intend to seek roughly $2 billion in immediate additional spending for border protection.
The aides said the money would allow for training of Border Patrol agents, construction of detention facilities for immigrants caught entering the country illegally, the purchase of helicopters and surveillance aircraft and construction of a fence in high-traffic areas.
The aides spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to pre-empt a formal announcement.
Frist's decision signals a determination by Republicans to press ahead toward passage of election-year legislation. The issue has triggered large, peaceful street protests by immigrants' rights supporters as well as internal disputes in both political parties and partisan bickering.
Click on: Frist will try anew for immigration bill
The left splits over immigration?
Most liberals have celebrated the recent pro-immigration marches. But some leading progressives say illegal immigration hurts American workers. By Michelle Goldberg . This, of course, is an argument championed in academic circles by, among others George Borjas and Vernon Briggs. To see the latest incarnation of the argument, click here.
304,374 Visas Issued To Chinese Nationals
According to an Associated Press news report, "Chinese citizens received the highest number of US visas on record last year as China's economic power expanded, a U.S. Embassy official said Friday." For the full AP story, see here. Will this information have any impact on the current immigration debate, which tends to focus on Mexico?
Silent Civil Rights Groups
Earl Ofari Hutchinson writes "The great irony in the gargantuan march of hundreds of thousands in Los Angeles and other cities for immigrant rights is that the old civil rights groups have been virtually mute on the explosively growing movement." See what Hutchinson says by clicking here. Will the recent mass immigration demonstrations turn out to be something broader based, possibly ven a new civil rights movement? Watch this blog for a story on this by one of your blog editors.
Tom Tancredo: Leader Of The Anti-Immigrant Populist Revolt or Madman Seeking His next Elected Office Whatever the Cost?
Tom Barry writes "Rep. Tom Tancredo, who has represented Colorado's Sixth District since 1999, has in the last six years succeeded in rallying an anti-immigrant populist revolt that brings together the nativists, religious right, cultural supremacists, militia movement, and anti-immigration policy institutes with a new anti-immigration wing of the Republican Party." CLick here to see the article.
A new Republican radio ad is trying to turn the tables on the immigration debate. The ad which is running on Spanish language radio stations is blaming Democrats for trying to make illegal immigration a felony.
In the world of spin, everything is possible. But this ad from the Republican National Committee is misleading in the extreme.
Ad: "Terrorists coming across our borders... drugs smuggled to America's shores... but just last week, there was hope."
The ad says Congress was working together on immigration reform to secure our borders and protect American families. But Democrat leader Harry Reid got in the way.
The Asian American Justice Center, Asian Pacific American
Legal Center, and
Asian Counseling and Referral Service
cordially invite you to the launch of a new demographic report:
A Community of Contrasts
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States
While there are large Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in states such as New York, Hawai’i and California, significant demographic shifts are also occurring in cities such as Atlanta, Minneapolis-St.Paul, Houston, Las Vegas, and Seattle. Join a panel of national and local experts as we highlight socioeconomic data and explore issues facing the diverse and emerging AAPI communities in Seattle and the United States.
Date: Thursday, April 27, 2006
Time: 9:30 a.m. Registration and
10:00 – 12 p.m. Program and Panel Discussion
12:00 p.m. Networking Lunch
Location: Asian Counseling and Referral
Service - Community Room
720 8th Avenue South, Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98104
Please RSVP by Monday, April 24 to Ming Tanaka, (206) 695-7582 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Admission is free, but reservations are required. Each attendee will receive a complimentary copy of A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Congress reconvenes next week, with immigration reform near the top of the agenda. For an updated summary by Gregory Siskind of the Senate's last compromise measure including the Senate Judiciary Committee's immigration reform proposal and the Hagel- Martinez amendments, click here.
For a side-by-side comparison of immigration reform proposals by FAIR, click here.
The Missouri House of Representatives just gave initial approval to a bill to bar undocumented migrants from all Missouri state colleges and universities (not just to deny in-state resident tuition, but to bar admission entirely).
What's going on in Mizzou?
Earlier today, my colleague, Dean Kevin Johnson, posted the story on more interior immigration enforcement.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency arrested current and former managers of the German-based IFCO Systems in raids on more than 40 of the company's plants in 26 states. The agency says nearly 1,200 undocumented aliens working for the company were arrested during the raids.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced the crackdown during a news conference in Washington, saying customs agents are now targeting businesses allegedly involved in deliberately hiring undocumented immigrants in violation of U.S. law.
My Query: The timing of such a high-publicity action in response to recent calls for more enforcement by Senators Frist and Congressmen Sensenbrenner and Tancredo is interesting. Could this be a way of appeasing them, while the White House continues its promotion of a guestworker program?
For the NPR story on the raids, click here.
For the DHS releases, click here.
What impact have the protest marches on behalf of immigrants had on the politics of immigration reform?
One Republican pollster reports that opinion has moved in the direction of tougher enforcement in recent weeks, and that by a 37 percent to 31 percent margin, the public trusts Republicans more than Democrats on the issue. A new Gallup poll also finds that most Americans favor making illegal immigration a crime. Some 81 percent say illegal immigration is "out of control."
But attitudes are not as simple as those responses suggest. A CBS News poll found that three out of four people support offering legal status to undocumented immigrants if they been here at least five years, speak English, pay their back taxes and have no criminal history. An ABC News/Washington Post survey found that 50 percent of Americans trust Democrats more on this issue, with 38 percent putting greater faith in Republicans.
So it's not clear either party can hope to exploit the issue for much advantage in November. The answers you get on immigration reform depend a lot on just how you word the questions. And many people may be of two minds.
Click on: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0604200028apr20,1,2362553.story?coll=chi-opinionfront-hed
On April 20, CNN reported that
Federal immigration authorities rounded up more than 1,000 illegal immigrants at dozens of sites and charged nine individuals of the firm that employed them, federal law enforcement officials announced. . . . Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and other Bush administration officials and a federal prosecutor will appear at the agency's Washington headquarters Thursday. They will announce the new strategy aimed at employers and disclose the results of the enforcement actions targeting IFCO Systems. . . .A customs official said federal authorities checked a "sample" of 5,800 IFCO employee records last year and found that 53 percent had faulty Social Security numbers.
Click here for the story.
Will this mark a new emphasis on interior enforcement? Probably not. We have seen highgly publicized raids, including of Wal-Mart and Tyson Foods, in recent memory but without much follow-up.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States by
Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States byGordon H. Hanson
This paper selectively reviews recent literature on illegal migration from Mexico to the United States. I begin by discussing methods for estimating stocks and flows of illegal migrants. While there is uncertainty about the size of the unauthorized population, new data sources make it possible to examine the composition of legal and illegal populations and the time-series covariates of illegal labor flows. I then consider the supply of and demand for illegal migrants. Wage differentials between the United States and Mexico are hardly a new phenomenon, yet illegal migration from Mexico did not reach high levels until recently. An increase in the relative size of Mexico’s working-age population, greater volatility in U.S.-Mexico relative wages, and
changes in U.S. immigration policies are all candidate explanations for increasing labor flows from Mexico. Finally, I consider policies that regulate the cross-border flow of illegal migrants. While U.S. laws mandate that authorities prevent illegal entry and punish firms that hire unauthorized immigrants, these laws are imperfectly enforced. Lax enforcement may reflect political pressure by employers and other interests that favor open borders.
Click here to see the article.
Bad News: Arizona lawmakers voted to allow the arrest and prosecution of undocumented immigrants under Arizona's trespassing law, saying the move would deter immigrants from entering the country illegally. The House and Senate gave final approval to Senate Bill 1157 and sent it to the governor, just two days after undocumented immigrants joined thousands of supporters at the Capitol seeking recognition of their contributions to American society. The bill won passage after sponsors agreed to charge first offenders with a misdemeanor, not a felony as the bill had originally been written.
Good News: Evelyn Cruz (ASU) is "happy to report that it was vetoed by the governor--on pre-emption, police oposition & 'are they nuts' grounds."
Deborah Post (Touro) reports that:
In Long Island, the local officials use the housing code provisions to evict undocumented workers in an effort to run them off. There were a series of articles on the evictions in Farmingville -- site of a large fight over day laborers -- and I was asked to write an op ed piece on the topic. Its the "broken window" theory brought to bear on "undesirables" -- not criminals or drug dealers but low income workers, the disabled and the undocumented workers.
In American Pioneers -- or 'Illegals'?, Washington Post, Sunday, April 16, 2006; at B07, Eduardo Penalver writes:
A number of the politicians calling for the criminalization of illegal immigrants may not be aware that they and a good many of their constituents could themselves be direct descendants of people who did some illegal migrating of their own many years ago. Much of the territory of the United States was settled by people -- hundreds of thousands of them -- who disregarded the law by squatting on public lands. Of course, they had a ready reason for doing so: Like today's immigrants, they were seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Indeed, many of the current residents of the states between the Appalachian and Rocky mountains can trace their roots directly to these onetime criminals -- whom we now call "pioneers."
You get the gist!
Since 9/11, concern has mounted among policymakers and law-enforcement authorities that foreign terrorists affiliated with al Qaeda might use Mexico as a transit point to enter the United States, relying on the same people-smuggling networks as undocumented immigrants and becoming lost in the large undocumented flow. Some lawmakers have voiced fears that terrorists might be among the growing number of undocumented non-Mexicans crossing the southern border, although these Other Than Mexicans (OTMs) come principally from Central and South America. There is no evidence this has happened, despite suggestions by several lawmakers that the extremely small number of Arab and Muslim OTMs apprehended at the border constitutes a threat to national security. Ironically, the U.S. government’s efforts to stem undocumented immigration by fortifying the U.S.-Mexico border have increased the profitability of the people-smuggling business and fostered greater sophistication in the smuggling networks through which a foreign terrorist might enter the country. U.S. national security would be better served if undocumented labor migration were taken out of the border-security equation by reforming the U.S. immigration system to accommodate U.S. labor demand. In the process, fewer immigrants would try to enter the country without authorization, the market for people smugglers would be undercut, and foreign terrorists would be deprived of the large undocumented flows and smuggling infrastructure that might aid their entry into the United States. Moreover, the U.S. Border Patrol could focus more on finding terrorists and less on apprehending jobseekers.
Click here to see the report.