Posts Tagged ‘immigration law’

GOP lawmakers preparing changes to immigration system

Interest in reforming the immigration law remains high as Republican lawmakers prepare bills that would make changes to the current system.

President Obama received harsh criticism after proposing an executive action steering clear from congressional approval to halt deportation for nearly four million immigrants. However, Republicans remain up to the task to enact their own proposals into the bill.

GOP lawmakers want to tighten security on the Southwest border, but are still noncommittal when it comes to backing any of the new proposed immigration legislation. It is also unclear if Congress would insist a bill to include a reversal of the illegal immigrant action.

Democratic lawmakers insist that Congress pass a bill to fix a wide variety of immigration problems.

“We need a practical plan that strengthens our borders, addresses the systemic problems with our legal immigration policies and provides a tough, fair process for those who want to earn the opportunity for citizenship,” said a recent letter to congressional leaders from Democratic Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

Congress hopes to pass a bill for border-security. Homeland Security Committee, on the Senate side, hopes to have a framework for the bill ready by January.

“We want to set our own agenda on this,” said Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas), chairman of the House committee. House leaders have asked him to have a border bill ready for action by late January or February, committee aides said.

Other bills being discussed are a temporary worker program that would allow nearly 350,000 foreigners to help out in low-skilled jobs. Another bill would prevent undocumented immigrants from winning legal status through normal channels repealing the “three-and-10-year bars.”

Rubio: Immigration plan ‘not amnesty’

By Cameron Josephrubio2ration Plan
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) blitzed all five Sunday shows in his most public pitch yet for the emerging immigration reform bill, arguing that it would control the border and rejecting conservative criticisms that it provided “amnesty” for illegal immigrants in the country.
“This is not ‘amnesty.’ ‘Amnesty’ is the forgiveness of something. ‘Amnesty’ is anything that says ‘do it illegally, it’ll be cheaper and easier,'” Rubio, a member of the bipartisan ‘Gang of Eight’ senators set to unveil their immigration bill on Tuesday, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Rubio, a Tea Party favorite, is a key figure in winning GOP support for the bill overhauling the nation’s immigration laws through tighter border security and a pathway to citizenship for those illegal immigrants already in the country.
But the contentious politics also place the potential 2016 presidential candidate in a difficult spot, as many conservatives strongly oppose offering immigrants who came here illegally a chance to stay in the U.S. and eventually apply for citizenship. The charge is the most potent attack conservatives have lobbed at the bill.
Rubio defended the bill on Sunday, saying it would allow illegal immigrants to stay only after meeting a series of requirements, including having a job and paying fines, and would require them to wait years before applying for citizenship.

The Florida senator argued the time was ripe for addressing immigration reform.
“This is an issue that needs to be solved,” he said.
Rubio argued that the current system is “de facto amnesty” and that the bipartisan plan would greatly improve control of the border with Mexico.
He said the creation of an “entry-exit” monitoring system to keep immigrants from overstaying their visas, and an “E-Verify” system to make sure companies aren’t illegally hiring unauthorized immigrants would be a central component of the comprehensive bill.
But some conservatives are marshaling their forces in opposition to the legislation and Rubio has sought to allay their concerns about the bill.
Rubio pushed back against a report from the conservative Heritage Foundation that immigration reform would be costly to the government. A similar report helped derail immigration reform six years ago by undercutting conservative support for the measure.
“Conservatives love dynamic scoring,” he said, arguing the bill’s effects should be taken on the whole and not just looked at from what it would cost the government. “This will be a net positive for our country now and for the future.”
Former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a close Rubio ally who helped get him elected in 2010, is now head of the organization — and has long been a staunch opponent of giving illegal immigrants any legal status.
Rubio emphasized on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the bill was “a starting point.”
“It’s not a take-it-or-leave-it offer,” he said, acknowledging the work ahead to win support.
Speaking CNN’s “State of the Union,” Rubio said the bipartisan group of senators behind the bill wouldn’t stop amendments to the legislation.
“We haven’t agreed to band together to keep anyone from amending it. There are 92 other senators who have their own ideas about immigration reform, who, quite frankly, I think, can help make this bill better,” Rubio said.
The Gang of Eight first unveiled their framework in January and have been negotiating details of the plan since then.
A House group is working on its own bipartisan immigration overhaul, and leaders from both parties have said they hope to move on legislation soon. President Obama has made immigration reform a top priority for his second term.
But House GOP concerns over citizenship and conservative calls for the border to be secured first remain key obstacles.
Rubio has taken a deliberative approach to talks on the bill, and has urged Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to move slowly, allowing time for senators to build public support for their proposals.
Rubio said on multiple shows Sunday that he wasn’t backing the bill to boost his political prospects or to help the GOP improve its standing with minority voters, but rather because the nation’s immigration policy was broken.
“There are political ramifications to everything we do in Washington, but it’s not the reason to do it and it’s certainly not the reason I’m involved in this,” he said on “Meet the Press.”
“This is not about improving anyone’s poll numbers. This is very simple — I’m a senator. I get paid not to just give speeches, I get paid to solve problems. This is a serious problem here in Florida, this is a serious problem in America,” he added.
Rubio did say the next Republican presidential nominee would need to address immigration, even if his or her views on the issue didn’t match what Rubio has proposed.
“The nominee of our party needs to be someone that has answers to the problems our country faces, and immigration is a serious problem,” he said.

On CNN, Rubio said that he hadn’t considered if the success of the immigration reform bill could affect his own chances in 2016.
“I really haven’t. I have a job. My belief has always been that if I do my job and I do my job well, I’ll have options and opportunities in the future to do things, whether it’s run for reelection, run for something else or give someone else a chance at public service. And that’s how I view this issue,” Rubio said.
Kevin Bogardus contributed

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Alabama’s Unemployment Drop Directly Connected to The New Immigration Law

The Alabama Government is attempting to rehabilitate Alabama’s reputation following the considerable backlash the state has received from passing the country’s toughest and most controversial immigration law.

Alabama’s big unemployment drop in November tied the state for the second-largest decrease in the nation and gave Alabama the third-lowest unemployment rate in the Southeast. In November, Alabama’s rate went down again to 8.7 percent, which is the lowest since February 2009
It is suggested the lower rate is attributable to the immigration law. It argued — with support from the anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies — that the data showed that previously unemployed Americans in Alabama are scooping up the jobs left behind by undocumented immigrants who have since deserted the state.
September was the first full month that the reform was in force, and the unemployment rate fell from 9.8 percent in September to 9.3 percent in October, according to a Nov. 18 report from the state government.
The rates fell from 9.9 percent to 9 percent in Etowah County, from 8.8 percent to 8.1 percent in Marshall county, and from 11.6 percent to 10.6 percent in DeKalb county.
“The latest fall in unemployment numbers is proof that American citizens will work, and continues to solidify [the evidence] that self-deportation [by illegal immigrants] due to the Alabama Taxpayer & Citizen’s Protection Act is occurring,” said Chuck Ellis, a city council member in Albertville — the main town in Marshall County, northern Alabama.

“The fact is that those who want illegal immigrants to leave have sound reasons for doing that, and one is to free up some jobs at the bottom end of the labor market,” said Steven Camarota, direct of research at the Center for Immigration Studies. The center’s motto is “low immigration, pro immigrant.”
“It is only one month of data, so we have to be careful, but it is a reminder of what the state legislature is trying to do,” he said.
The article added:
The new unemployment data is muddied, however, by routine changes in the unemployment situation. For example, state and federal jobless benefits expire and prompt residents to take jobs they otherwise would not have taken.
But “the fact the unemployment rate is down all over [the] state is a positive sign to me that the immigration bill is doing what it was designed to do, and that is put Alabamians back to work,” Matt Arnold, Marshall County’s economic development chief, told local newspaper The Sand Mountain Reporter.
In fact, Alabama is hardly the only state that saw a drop in unemployment — it was the national trend. Not only that, but Alabama’s unemployment rate has been dropping for the past four months. As the Associated Press reported:
Alabama’s unemployment rate has dropped one-half percentage point to 8.7 percent, which is the fourth consecutive month of improvement, according to statistics released Friday.
“I’m about ready to call it a trend,” said Alabama’s industrial relations director, Tom Surtees.
October was the first full month for major portions of Alabama’s tough immigration law to be in effect. The Legislature passed the law to open up jobs for legal residents, but Surtees said there is nothing in the statistics to indicate whether the law is having an impact.
That’s because Alabama’s drop mirrored a national decline from 9.1 percent in September to 9.0 in October. Every Alabama county recorded a lower unemployment rate in October. Three of Alabama’s neighbors — Georgia, Tennessee and Florida — had lower unemployment rates. And the seasonally adjusted unemployment figures don’t include farm jobs, which some laborers abandoned when the immigration law went into effect in late September.
The Birmingham News further reported:
Figures from the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations show that the state created 9,700 jobs in October. Most of the gains were in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, the government sector, and the professional and business services sector.
The Daily Caller’s article comes on the heels of a German manager with Mercedes-Benz being arrested in Alabama over the weekend for failing to show a driver’s license when stopped by police. Under the state’s immigration law, failing to have proper identification is cause for arrest. The manager was apparently in Alabama on a business visit. According to The Local, an English-language website in Germany, Mercedes’ plant near Tuscaloosa “provides more than 22,000 jobs and is Alabama’s largest exporter, sending $1 billion (€743 million) in exports throughout the world.”
The MOTO is – the Americans will work – deport the illegals and let our people work.

A Review of U.S. Immigration History

On the matter of immigration many of those who support the concepts of “free choice migration,” “open borders,” or “free market labor,” defend their position with the argument that from earliest times immigration was wide open and all comers were welcome, and that is what made America great. This is absolutely untrue. It was never like that, and has never in the history of the country been close to what has been happening since 1965- the immigration problem is a recent one stemming from misguided progressives and free market labor conservatives.

The first immigrants were from Europe, mostly Britain, the Netherlands, and France, settling in the Northern Atlantic coastal areas (During the same period all parties were battling for a share of the Caribbean islands, and the Spanish and Portuguese where concentrating on Central and South America, though there were minor colonies in what would eventually be the United States). During the 1600’s approximately 175,000 English migrated to America. Many of these were recruited to establish colonies for agriculture and to exploit natural resources.

Over the next 200 hundred years about 500,000 British and other Europeans, migrated to expand the colonies; of these at least half were indentured servants, people who were provided passage, room and board, and usually training in return for a long period of working for the colonist. It was during this period that most of the African slaves were brought to America. This was not open migration, it was migration with a specific purpose and consisted of volunteer farmers, merchants, craftsmen, entrepreneurs, indentured labor, and forced labor.

Immigration had little need for control because it was controlled naturally by the arduous and expensive crossing of the ocean. People who came here as religious pilgrims/refugees, were a problem in their home countries where their emerging churches caused conflict with the establishment; colonization got the problem out of the homeland and helped to develop the colonial production needed to provide a robust merchant trade; a win-win for the home government.

This continued to be the situation through the American Revolution, with the added immigration of mercenary French and Hessian (German) soldiers, some of whom stayed on as residents. The restriction of immigration as a consequence of difficulty and cost began to fail with the formation of the United States, since there was considerable political and social upheaval in Europe and ocean crossing had become much faster, safer, and less expensive. The Constitution was ratified in 1787, and the first immigration law of the United States was passed just three years later in 1790 in which only free white persons could be naturalized. From 1787 to 1820 immigration was less than 8000 per year. The next change was after the civil war when blacks were granted citizenship.

In 1875 the first comprehensive immigration law was passed, replacing the 1790 act. The purpose was to control both the number and nature of immigrants, so that they would not displace American workers, would not be enemies of the U.S., would give up allegiance to all other countries, would learn to read and write English, would not carry communicable disease, could assimilate into the American culture, and were capable of being self-sustaining. Fifteen years later, in 1890 Ellis Island in New York became the primary immigration screening and processing point of entry for European immigrants.

In 1854 the Gadsden Purchase added the southern portions of territory to what are now the states of Arizona and New Mexico. In the purchase it was agreed with Mexico that existing Mexican and Spanish land titles would be recognized and those Mexican citizens who wished to remain Mexican could sell their holdings and relocate to Mexico; those who chose to stay automatically became U.S. Citizens. The total population in the Arizona portion of the Gadsden Purchase was less than 500 people, most Mexican citizens, but also many friendly Indians. There were also Mexican Citizens at La Mesilla but they numbered no more than 500, some of these elected to move south and remain Mexican, others accepted U.S. Citizenship.

From 1836 to 1914 30 million Europeans immigrated to the U.S; almost 400,000 per year. The country had vast tracts of western land to populate, so the Europeans were welcomed with open arms. In 1921 the Emergency Quota Act limited the number of immigrants. The Immigration Act of 1924 restricted southern and eastern Europeans from immigrating and was designed to stop the large influx of Italians, Poles, Slavs, and Jews who had been coming in large numbers and settling in ethnic groups since the end of the 1800’s. There was great concern with the amount of time it took for these immigrants to learn English and become acculturated into the American social and economic structure.

Immigration dropped significantly during the years of the Great Depression, and more people actually emigrated from the U.S. than entered the country. During this time almost half a million were repatriated to Mexico, many voluntarily but about half were deported.

The Hart-Cellar act of 1965 for the first time abolished quotas by national origin. This changed the ethnic proportions of the country – prior to the act Europeans made up 60% of immigrants, and following the act only 15% were of European origin. In the five years following Hart-Cellar, immigration doubled, then double again in the following twenty years. Bush I signed the 1990 immigration act increasing immigrants by an additional 40%. Clinton commissioned a panel of experts to make recommendations on immigration – they recommended cutting legal immigration by 60%; the recommendation was ignored.

Today the United States allows more legal immigration than any other country, 317% more than the next highest. We are bringing in over 1 million new immigrants per year. We now have 38 million first generation legal immigrants in the country. In addition to that it is estimated that approximately 12 million illegal aliens are also in the country.

Our current immigration policy verges on the insane. At a time when we have more than 15 million Americans out of work we should not be bringing a million people a year into the country, and we should certainly not be tolerating the 12 million illegal aliens that are in the country, along with granting citizenship the anchor babies, and contemplating giving children of illegals a competitive advantage over children of citizens with the so-called dream act. The success of America was not is based on efficient functioning of enterprise and effective laws and institutions, but also on metering immigration to meet our needs, and assuring that those who are allowed into our country value our ideals and way of life. Prior to 1965 we had rational immigration policy that was anything but open borders, and demanded that immigrants were to become Americans in every aspect. 

We do indeed need comprehensive immigration reform, but not the kind the open borders/amnesty crowd is pushing. We need to repeal the acts from 1965 to present and do two things: 1) reduce allowed immigration to do actual sustainable demand, and 2) let only people who will support our American values and way of life into the country. We need to do that as soon as we stop illegal immigration and repatriate 12 million illegals back to their homeland.

A Lame-Duck Congress Stuck on Stupid

by Ross Mackenzie
Up In his marvelous book “Decision Points,” former President George W. Bush cites the comment of a general during a review of flagging American policy in Iraq. Bush quotes the general as saying, “Don’t get stuck on stupid.” U.S. strategy there, he said, needed changing to something different and more successful.

The Democratic Congress is now embarked on a lame-duck session that ought to be history’s last.

This is the same Congress that gave the nation a program of socialized medicine it doesn’t want and various “stimulus” measures that haven’t worked — spending measures that hardly have nudged the needle on unemployment or economic recovery.

It is the same feckless Congress, boasting lopsided Democratic margins, that during the regular session failed to pass a single appropriation bill for the fiscal year that began more than two months ago.

And it is the same Democratic Congress that declined to address the expiring Bush tax cuts before the November 2 electoral firestorm because its leaders, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, explained, the fate of the Bush tax cuts could be resolved more easily in the elections’ aftermath.

Polls on election day and throughout November have been unequivocal: If there were national referendums, ObamaCare would be (in the words of one poll) “repealed and replaced” and the Bush tax cuts would be extended for all income brackets. But President Obama and the tin-eared congressional lame-duckers are already stuck on stupid.

Here, for instance, is The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel:

According to (Nevadan Harry Reid), Senate Democrats are going to confirm judges, rewrite immigration law, extend unemployment insurance, fix the issue of gays in the military, reorganize the FDA, forestall tax hikes, re-fund the government, and ratify a nuclear arms treaty — all in two, maybe three, weeks. This is the same institution that needs a month to rename a post office.”

And if the Democrats cannot get their game together and extend the Bush tax cuts (in both houses they have ample majorities to do so), nearly 100 taxes will rise come January 1.

A MONTH ago, the nation’s voters did not cast their ballots the way they did because (as the president said the day after) they were victims confused by Obamian rhetoric falling short of Ronald Reagan’s “Great Communicator” model. Rather, they were angry about a federal administration taxing too much, spending too much, and too much an intruder in their lives.

That’s angry. They understood his and the Democratic Congress’ policies only too well. Less than a year after putting a Republican in the Kennedy Senate seat in Massachusetts, they put a Republican in Obama’s Senate seat in Illinois.

If Obama was not on any ballot, public sentiment toward his policies definitely was. The voters gave a massive, emphatic thumbs-down. And in appraising the results, if Obama is not a good communicator, he is not a good listener, either. Or maybe he just doesn’t get it.

He and Nancy and Harry are pressing on with making the Republicans’ day. Let’s see how the Democrats — most notably Obama himself — fare in 2012 campaigning on (a) higher taxes, (b) anti-growth tax policies, (c) even less stable exchange rates, (d) a $5 trillion annual budget $1 trillion in deficit, (e) open homosexuals in the military, and (f) an ObamaCare not kinder and gentler but meaner and tougher.

The Democratic lame-duckers ought to pass their appropriation bills and extend the Bush tax cuts across the board — and get out of town.

Come January and the new year, when California and Illinois (etc.) may well follow Greece and Ireland (etc.) into bankruptcy, the augmented Republican cohort in Congress — with a majority in the House — will have its opportunity.

The Republicans might build on their anti-earmarks stance by regaining the public trust with pledges to — e.g.: limited government, balanced budgets, capitalism and free markets, lower (and more understandable) taxes, term limits, an undiminished military, victory over islamofascism, secure borders, a stable dollar, and family first.

Republicans also might commit to measures requiring (1) that members of Congress be subject to every law now on the books or to every new law they pass. (2) That they may not participate in programs unavailable to the populace at large, such as the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan. And (3) that they may not exempt themselves from any federal program covering the general citizenry — such as Social Security and Medicare.

Oh, and — to prevent the next Congress from going lame and getting stuck on stupid — as author and New York state’s former lieutenant governor Betsy McCaughey suggests:

When John Boehner (becomes) speaker…in January, he should introduce a bill providing that Congress will not meet between the November 2012 election and January 3, 2013. That simple change in the law will put the voters back where they always belong: in charge.