Amnesty legislation faces a number obstacles to passage in Congress, one being strong opposition by many Republicans to any legal status for illegal aliens. Another is disagreement among amnesty supporters as to whether simply to legalize illegal aliens, or legalize them with a pathway to citizenship. A crowded legislative agenda this year and hightened conflict between Republicans and Democrats also weigh against amnesty.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.aicfoundation.com/amnesty-faces-hurdles-in-congress/
White House officials met with six members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to plot amnesty legislation. One of the members, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), said he was impressed with the work and attention that the president and his administration are now devoting to amnesty. One purpose of the meeting was to reasure amnesty advocates that the president is not forgetting their issue to focus on gun control.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.aicfoundation.com/white-house-plots-amnesty-with-hispanic-caucus-members/
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that the administration was encouraged by the immigration proposals outlined over the weekend by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), saying the freshman senator’s proposals “bode well” for striking a deal on reform.
In a weekend interview with the Wall Street Journal, Rubio called for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are already in the United States. Under the plan, immigrants would likely be assessed a fine and back taxes, undergo a background check and work through a lengthy probationary period.
That’s a break from some Republicans, who have suggested that a pathway to citizenship would be tantamount to amnesty for illegal immigrants. But it’s also a far more conservative plan than the one advocated by the White House. Nevertheless, the administration saw reason for optimism as they gear up for a second-term push on immigration reform.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.aicfoundation.com/obama-regime-likes-gop-immigration-plan/
The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) recently released a study claiming that the federal government spends more on immigration law enforcement than all other federal enforcement agencies combined. Specifically, it states that expenditures for immigration law enforcement last year totaled $18 billion, while the cost of all other agencies was only $14 billion. The MPI says expenditures on immigration enforcement have risen steadily during the past 26 years, totaling $187 billion during that interval.
The study also maintains that the increased expenditures have greatly improved immigration law enforcement. It says that the government has deported four million non-citizens (mostly illegal aliens) since 1990 and that “removals have increased dramatically in recent years.” Many news outlets reported on the study, and some pro-amnesty commentators have used it to argue that with enforcement so well-funded and effective, it is now appropriate to consider “immigration reform,” i.e., amnesty for illegal aliens now living in the U.S.
Fact Check: The MPI report suggests this possibility itself, and it isn’t surprising, considering that MPI is pro-amnesty and that a co-author of the report is Doris Meissner, former head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service during the Clinton Administration. At that post Meissner showed little enthusiasm for enforcement.
The MPI report has numerous flaws. A review by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) finds it “riddled with false statements [and], cherry-picked statistics.” [See link below.] One outstanding flaw is that the study lists the total expenditures of agencies that enforce immigration law, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It fails to point out, however, a large share of these expenditures have nothing to do with immigration, such as the work of Customs, which includes such activities as customs screening and cargo inspection.
CIS estimates that if all non-immigration activities were subtracted from the agencies MPI lists in the immigration enforcement category, the total expenditures would be from 25 to 30 percent less. In addition, the MPI study fails to list significant expenditures of non-immigration law enforcement, a big example being the federal prison system. Also it omits entire non-immigration agencies such as Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which has a larger budget than ICE. When all is properly added up, immigration enforcement expenditures are only half of non-immigration enforcement.
Most of the increases in deportations, cited by the study, occurred during the Bush Administration. Alleged increases under Obama, as noted by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), head of the House Judiciary Committee, came about by padding the deportation totals with expulsions at the border not previously counted as deportation. In a moment of candor, to reassure open border activists that he really wasn’t cracking down, Obama admitted that the deportation totals were “actually a little deceptive.”
Border enforcement may have improved, as the study states, but it still has a long way to go. According to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, the Border Patrol apprehends only about 60 percent of illegal border crossers.
The MPI study should not be taken seriously. It’s simply part of a stream of misinformation to make Americans think that illegal immigration is no longer a problem, and thereby persuade them to accept amnesty.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.aicfoundation.com/mpi-study-gives-false-picture-of-immigration-law-enforcement/
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., outlined his proposals for immigration reform in an interview with the Wall Street Journal in a plan that is sure to upset some within his own party. But Rubio argues that immigration is an important issue to Hispanic voters, a voting bloc that the Republicans lost ground with in 2012.
“[T]he immigration issue is a gateway issue for Hispanics, no doubt about it. No matter what your stance is on a number of other issues, if people somehow come to believe that you don’t like them or want them here, it’s difficult to get them to listen to anything else,” Rubio said.
The Republican Party’s struggle with Hispanics in the 2012 elections was most glaring at the top of the ticket as Mitt Romney only received 27 percent of the Hispanic vote. Party leaders now admit that they have to do more to reach out to the growing demographic.
Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, said he would like to propose a “comprehensive package of bills”, which would include increased access for high-skilled workers, such as engieneers and doctors, a guest worker program for low-skilled workers, including farm workers. He supports workplace enforcement and stronger border security.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.aicfoundation.com/gop-senator-proposes-importing-more-immigrant-workers/
WASHINGTON — Federal immigration agents were prepared to arrest an illegal immigrant and registered sex offender days before the November elections but were ordered by Washington to hold off after officials warned of “significant interest” from Congress and news organizations because the suspect was a volunteer intern for Sen. Robert Menendez, according to internal agency documents provided to Congress.
The Homeland Security Department said last month, when The Associated Press first disclosed the delayed arrest of Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta, that AP’s report was “categorically false.”
Sanchez, 18, was an immigrant from Peru who entered the country on a now-expired visitor visa. He eventually was arrested at his home in New Jersey on Dec. 6. He has since been released from an immigration jail and is facing deportation. Sanchez has declined to speak to the AP.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.aicfoundation.com/arrest-of-illegal-alien-intern-delayed-to-protect-senators-reelection/
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the time is “now” to pass comprehensive amnesty legislation that would legalize illegal aliens and grant them the pathway to citizenship. He added that “We can’t wait another political season and we can’t do a piecemeal approach.” When he was in college Villaraigosa was a member of MEChA, an organization that wants to create a Hispanic homeland in the U.S. He has never fully repudiated MEChA.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.aicfoundation.com/la-mayor-demands-quick-passage-of-amnesty/
Officials at Homeland Security have confirmed that Janet Napolitano will continue to serve as secretary of that agency, which oversees immigration law enforcement. This anncouncement pleased many amnesty advocates. Citing her alleged steps to improve enforcement, they maintain that it is now appropriate to legalize illegal aliens.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.aicfoundation.com/napolitano-will-remain-at-dhs/
Community activist Sonny Scroggins is planning a Bias Busters demonstration in support of Grover Norquist’s appearance Wednesday in Topeka.
The Kansas Chamber and members of the Kansas Business Coalition for Immigration Reform announced earlier this month they would host a breakfast for legislators with Norquist. A release from the chamber said Norquist will talk about immigration policy, explaining why restrictions are harmful.
The breakfast is set for 8 to 9 a.m. at the Maner Conference Center, adjacent to Capitol Plaza Hotel, 1717 S.W. Topeka Blvd.
Scroggins is supporting Norquist for having immigration policies Scroggins says are different from those of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and other Republicans. Norquist has said it is good policy to have dramatically more immigrants in the United States and to provide a path forward for those already here.
For Scroggins, immigration today is comparable to the Exoduster migration that followed the Civil War.
Immigrants “are looking for a better way of life,” Scroggins said in a release.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.aicfoundation.com/right-winger-tells-kansas-business-group-to-push-for-more-immigration/
WASHINGTON — As the Obama administration pushes forward on immigration reform, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) made clear on Monday that many members of his party are deeply opposed to the White House’s plans to insist on a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Smith was a longtime head of the House Judiciary Committee — he is now a member but not the chairman — and a former leader of the Immigration Subcommittee, and will likely be heavily involved in the lower chamber’s efforts for reform.
He told reporters after his remarks at a Center for Immigration Studies event that he predicts an uphill battle for any bill with a pathway to citizenship, but that he hasn’t spoken to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) about whether it could be passed. The Center for Immigration Studies supports lowering immigration levels.
“I won’t speak for the House, but mass amnesty I think will have a hard time getting through the House,” Smith said.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.aicfoundation.com/rep-lamar-smith-predicts-fight-on-obamas-amnesty-in-house/