1. 2009 Katz Award Ceremony

Jaxon Van Derbeken, police reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, is this year’s winner of the Eugene Katz Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Immigration. The award, presented each year by the Center for Immigration Studies, is intended to recognize journalists who go beyond the cliches so prevalent in reporting on immigration and whose reporting informs deliberations in this important policy area.

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2. Orchowski addresses PFIR on new book, immigration politics

Excerpt: Nobody disputes that almost all Americans can trace their ancestry to immigrants, but in public debates on immigration, the agreement often stops there. Even catchphrases like ‘nation of immigrants’ are problematic – how should America balance its proud history as the land of opportunity against our nation’s security and economic priorities?

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3. ICE, CBP, and USCG Budget Hearing

Excerpt: On June 11, the House Subcommittee of Border, Maritime, and Global Counterterrorism held a hearing on the FY 2010 Budget for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and the U.S. Coast Guard. The proposed budget allocates $5.77 billion to ICE, $1.3 billion to CBP, and $9.96 billion to the Coast Guard for the 2010 fiscal year.

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4. First Virtual Fencing, Now a Virtual Immigration Raid

Excerpt: Of course, this is the whole point of attrition through enforcement — make it impossible for illegal aliens to live a normal life here so they go home. And it works — my colleague Steve Camarota has a paper in the works that suggests the total illegal population may now be below 11 million. And as his earlier piece on the subject found, the decline started before the onset of the recession, so enforcement is a factor, in addition to the obvious increase in unemployment.

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5. Repealing REAL ID? Rolling Back Driver’s License Security

Excerpt: Senior members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs are set to introduce the “Providing for Additional Security in States’ Identification Act of 2009,” also known as the PASS ID Act.1 This act would repeal the REAL ID Act of 2005, legislation aimed at ensuring that all states meet minimum driver’s license security standards in order to enhance national security and driver safety, combat drug running, and better safeguard against identity theft and fraud. While no state must comply, the 30 or so states that are choosing to actively meet REAL ID minimum standards are helping make America less vulnerable. Opponents critical of REAL ID provisions have painted the law as an affront to privacy and states’ rights, but the reality is that REAL ID is the appropriate means by which to maintain liberty and security. Congress should preserve REAL ID, fund it adequately, and take steps to ensure its full implementation.

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6. REAL ID a No-Brainer in Europe

Excerpt: Most European countries — including Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain — are among those with compulsory national ID card requirements on their citizenry. Non-compulsory national ID cards are issued by Canada, Finland, Iceland, France (previously compulsory), Sweden, and Switzerland. The European Union offers these ID cards as valid EU travel documents in place of a passport. Denmark, Ireland, Norway, and the United Kingdom are the few holdouts in not offering a national ID card. In the United Kingdom, legislation was passed in 2006 to issue national IDs, but with most British citizens already having driver licenses and passports, like in the U.S., British citizens do not see the need for a national ID. However, procurement is already in process to create one, and it should be issued within the next few years. Interestingly, none of these countries has has seen opposition to putting minimum standards in place for driver’s licenses like the U.S. special interests continue to do. Our REAL ID law is a no-brainer for most of these countries. Repealing it — as the not-yet-introduced PASS ID would do (rumor is that Sen. Akaka will drop the bill ‘very soon’) — seems simply absurd to those who have lived with ID security for years.

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7. Welcome to America!

Excerpt: Welcome to America!

That may sound a little funny, since you all have lived here for many years already; you can’t become a citizen until living here for at least five years, and for most of you, it’s probably been longer than that.

But until two minutes ago, you were in America, but not of America – that’s what changed with the oath you’ve just taken.

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8. An End to Immigration?

Excerpt: Matt Dowd made this same argument (much less tentatively and carefully than Barone) a few years back, to which I responded here. In fact, falling fertility has actually correlated with increased immigration from Mexico — correlation isn’t necessarily causation, but it does complicate their story line. What’s more, when my colleagues Steve Camarota and Karen Jensenius looked at this question last year, they concluded that while the illegal population had fallen (and looks like it’s continued to fall — they have a follow-up piece in the works), the legal immigrant population has continued to increase. That’s not surprising since there is no real-world scenario short of changes in the immigration law that would lead to reductions in legal immigration — there are just too many people in line, and too many hundreds of millions more abroad not yet in line, for demand for immigration to the U.S. to ever be slaked.

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9. Can We Retire ‘Jobs Americans Won’t Do?’

Excerpt: You mean Americans will do farm work?

Colorado farmers have applied for 13 percent fewer foreign worker visas this year and state labor officials believe the cause is the lagging U.S. economy and the thousands of Coloradans looking for work.

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10. Protect the Public, Not the Illegal Aliens

Excerpt: The Rhode Island legislature is currently considering a bill to require the state’s employers to verify that all new employees are legal workers. Introduced by two Woonsocket-area Democrats, Sen. Marc Cote and Rep. Jon Brien, it passed the RI House in April, by a vote of 38-33. Massachusetts lawmakers should take note — this is a common sense approach to a problem that burdens our state as well.

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11. A Study in Irrelevancy: The ‘Values Downturn’ and the Immigration Debate

Excerpt: The supposed big news and dominant motif in a survey released by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press in May, ‘Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes 1987-2009,’ is Americans are far less concerned with ‘values’ when making political choices than four years ago. Respondents who cite ‘values’ as the main reason for choosing a president declined by more than half from 27% in Pew’s post-2004 election survey to a tiny current low of 10%. In ‘Values Voters in a Downturn,’ columnist E.J. Dionne, Jr., boosts the ‘extremely useful’ survey ‘which has not received enough attention’ as descriptive, prescriptive, and predictive, benevolently cautioning Republicans against employing a ‘culture wars’ strategy in opposing Judge Sonia Sotomayor by focusing on ‘reverse racism’ or resorting to anti-affirmative action absolutism by labeling her a ‘quota queen.’

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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