1. The Sea Within Which the Fish Swim

Excerpt: One of the reasons ongoing mass immigration is a security problem for a modern society is that it creates and constantly refreshes unassimilated immigrant communities that serve as cover for bad guys, whether transnational terrorists or transnational criminals, whose access to modern technologies of communications, transportation, and weaponry makes the threat different in kind from anything we faced in earlier eras.

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2. UAFA Senate Hearing

Excerpt: On June 3, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Uniting American Families Act of 2009 (H.R. 1024, S. 424). Under current U.S. immigration law, citizens engaged in a same-sex partnership with a foreigner have no legal channel to sponsor their partner’s attempt to gain legal permanent residence in the United States. In response, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) have introduced the act in their respective chambers. This is the sixth time a version of the bill has been introduced. From 2000 to 2005, it was known as the Permanent Partners Immigration Act.

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3. Know-Nothings vs. Restrictionists

Excerpt: I was the keynote speaker at a big naturalization ceremony yesterday at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, Calif. (a really cool art-deco building, at least on the inside; maybe there is some there there after all). I gave a version of my naturalization speech to the nearly 1,000 new citizens, plus maybe 1,500 friends and family, who greeted it with pretty boisterous applause, much more so than at the more sedate ceremonies I’ve addressed in D.C. and Baltimore.

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4. The Uniting American Families Act: Addressing Inequality in Federal Immigration Law

Excerpt: Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Sessions, and other committee members, thank you for the opportunity to be here today to discuss proposed changes to U.S. immigration law that would create a new type of relationship in immigration law — “permanent partners” – for the purposes of obtaining benefits now available only to married men and women. I fully understand the goal of this legislation and the difficulties current law presents, particularly for same-sex couples. However, this legislation is addressing the issue from the wrong direction, and would create new problems for officials who adjudicate immigration benefits applications and for the many individuals involved in those applications.

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5. First 24 Hours of WHTI a Big Success

Excerpt: The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative reported its first 24 hours of operation at our land and sea ports of entry– now fully in operation across all ports of entry– as nothing short of incredible success. On June 1, 2009, WHTI became the first fully implemented 9/11 Commission border recommendation that was not ‘under construction’ prior to our Final Report of July 2004. I received this information from DHS leadership last night:

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6. Enhanced DLs Deemed Compliant for Use at Borders

Excerpt: Today the Federal Register announced that the agency responsible for securing our borders, Customs and Border Protection, is designating enhanced driver’s licenses and identification documents issued by the states of Vermont and Michigan and the Canadian provinces of Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia, and Ontario as acceptable documents for purposes of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) that goes into effect at land and sea borders on June 1, 2009. Washington State (April 3, 2008) and New York (December 2, 2008) were previously designated as WHTI compliant. These documents may be used to denote identity and citizenship of, as appropriate, U.S. or Canadian citizens entering the United States from within the Western Hemisphere at land and sea ports of entry.

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7. Pull factor down in U.S. Push factor up in Mexico. Trouble predicted.

Excerpt: Unemployment is growing in the United States, and CIS has recently reported that immigrants are being hit harder than natives by the ongoing recession. That means a sharp reduction in the pull factor in illegal immigration. But a study by Mexican researcher Clemente Ruiz Duran indicates that the recession in Mexico is intensifying the push factor of unemployment.

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8. We Promise to Keep Enforcing the Law, Honest!

Excerpt: Chuck Schumer is making a big show of (the Bush administration’s!) immigration enforcement successes, arguing, in the words of the Washington Times story, that ‘lawmakers have proved to the nation that they are serious about security. Now, he said, voters should be ready to accept a law that legalizes illegal immigrants and rewrites immigration rules.’

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9. An Immigration Debate Without Immigrants?

Excerpt: Skirmishing over semantics is such a recurrent component of the immigration debate it seems scarcely worth mentioning. The pro-amnesty, open-borders side eschews the term ‘illegal alien’ and describes all who enter the U.S. legally or illegally as ‘immigrants.’ Their policy opponents are equally careful to avoid terminology that serves as euphemisms for lawbreaking, hence their detestation of the coinage ‘undocumented worker.’ As George Orwell reminds us in ‘Politics and the English Language,’ improving our language is a prerequisite to improving our political thought. That axiom applies to how we speak and write about immigration policy. This is true of a core component of the issue we have mistakenly subsumed under the label ‘immigration policy.’ To paraphrase Orwell when he says – ‘Since you don’t know what Fascism is, how can you struggle against Fascism?’ – how can we fix the problem we’re debating if we’re so confused about its essence we’re mislabeling it?

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10. Screening for Illegals

Excerpt: I agree with Heather Mac Donald that the administration’s decision to expand immigration checks to all jails is a positive development that needs watching. But I have two concerns that Heather didn’t touch on.

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11. Five Million waiting on Family Visas

Excerpt: For the first time in over a decade, the State Department has released basic information on the number of people on the waiting list for family-based immigrants, reporting that more than 2.7 million people are awaiting interviews overseas for their immigrant visa. In addition, there are another 2.2 million people are waiting in the United States for USCIS to process their family visa application. With visa demand from eligible people now more than 20 times what our law allows in annual issuances, it seems past time to eliminate some of the categories – the current system is unfair to applicants and their sponsors, encourages illegal immigration, and wastes government resources.

The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: center@cis.org http://www.cis.org

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