1. A Shifting Tide: Recent Trends in the Illegal Immigrant Population

Excerpt: Monthly Census Bureau data show that the number of less-educated young Hispanic immigrants in the country has declined significantly. The evidence indicates that the illegal population declined after July 2007 and then rebounded somewhat in the summer of 2008 before resuming its decline in the fall of 2008 and into the first quarter of 2009. Both increased immigration enforcement and the recession seem to explain this decline. There is evidence that the decline was caused by both fewer illegal immigrants coming and an increase in the number returning home. However, this pattern does not apply to the legal immigrant population, which has not fallen significantly.

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2. E-Verify: Challenges and Opportunities

Excerpt: I am currently the Director of National Security Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies and a former counsel to the 9/11 Commission, where I co-authored the monograph 9/11 and Terrorist Travel alongside recommendations that appear in the 9/11 Final Report1. Prior to 9/11, I was counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Technology and Terrorism where I specialized in foreign terrorist activity in the United States and worked to pass the federal criminal and redress system in place today for identity theft. Today I focus on issues pertaining to border and identity security and its nexus to national security issues. In September I released an extensive report on E-Verify, and this past March a statistical analysis regarding current use of E-Verify. These two reports will be the focus of this testimony, alongside some basic facts in regard to how border issues affect national security. I have testified before the U.S. Congress ten times, and I am privileged to submit my testimony to the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Management today.

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3. New Film Explores Collision of Cultures in California

Excerpt: Mexican director Amat Escalante says ‘Los Bastardos,’ his stunningly violent new movie about two Mexican illegal immigrants in the uncaring world of California, grew out of his own experiences living there as a child.

‘The story comes from this uneasiness I have because of living there for a long time, and from wanting to show how these two cultures could come to collide and to break down in some way,’ Escalante says in today’s edition of the Mexico City newspaper Reforma.

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4. He’s Just Not That Into You

Excerpt: Schadenfreude alert: ‘Obama loses immigration allies; Activists picket, feel betrayed by administration policies.’ Actually, though, I’m sure Rahm Emanuel chuckles appreciatively anytime the lefties accuse the White House of being too tough on immigration — if I didn’t know better, I’d think he put them up to it just to make Obama (falsely) look tough on enforcement.

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5. The Cosmic Race

Excerpt: The National Council of La Raza has just wrapped up its annual conference in Chicago. While I think Tom Tancredo was engaging in hyperbole when he described La Raza as ‘a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses’ (that describes instead MEChA and the Brown Berets), there’s more to the comparison than people might realize.

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6. ‘The Basic Goal Is to Promote the Free Flow of Labor into the USA’

Excerpt: Jim Robb of Numbers USA has some fun with the notes (taken by a participant who grew a conscience) of a closed-door meeting of open-borders lobbyists. It was organized by amnesty czarina Tamar Jacoby, who’s the source of the title of this post. None of it’s all that surprising — rope-selling businessmen complaining that even in this econony they need more cheap labor. One thing that was notable was that right after lefty wonk Simon Rosenberg said ‘Passing CIR [amnesty and increased immigration] will help Democrats lock in the Hispanic vote,’ Grover Norquist chimed in to agree that we need amnesty and more immigration. Who’s side is he on?

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7. PASS ID Act: A Boon for Criminals

Excerpt: In November 2008, an illegal immigrant facing deportation and running for political office in Rhode Island was prosecuted and found guilty of using her position as a Rhode Island DMV clerk to sell driver’s licenses to ‘out of state’ drug dealers with stolen identities. The scam included 11 others. The beauty of the scam was that the DMV clerk, Dolores Rodriguez LaFlamme, was able to pursue her illegal activity because Rhode Island does not verify an applicant’s license information from another state.

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8. ‘If Mexico had had an avalanche of foreigners so large’

Excerpt: Sergio Sarmiento, a renowned Mexican journalist whose column is syndicated throughout that country, has some interesting observations about the immigration controversy north of the border.

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9. More Slaves, Please

Excerpt: An op-ed in yesterday’s Post is titled ‘Immigration Pitfall: Why ‘Legalization Only’ Won’t Fly’ and I thought to myself it’d be worth a look to see what pro-enforcement arguments might have made it into the paper. Then I saw the authors and figured out what was up. Penned by former Mexican foreign minister Jorge Castaneda and amnesty czarina Tamar Jacoby, now head of a business-oriented open-borders lobby, the piece argues that amnesty must be coupled with increases in future guest-worker programs if it is to be acceptable to business or to Mexico. (The word ‘enforcement’ appears just once in the whole piece.) It’s actually a good sign politically, because it signals the deep disaffection between the right and left wings of the ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ crowd, with the lefties figuring their man is in charge now so they can stop pretending to care what rope-selling businesses think. That makes both amnesty and increased immigration less likely, and thus America better off.

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10. Court Crusader Against Illegal Immigration

Excerpt: There’s a fair, even-handed profile in the Times today of Kris Kobach, the law professor who’s taken the lead role in legal advocacy for local communities seeking to implement their own immigration-related ordinances. (See his CIS report). My only quibble with the article is the headline writer’s description that ‘a lawyer uses the legal system to try to bring policy change,’ based on the reporter’s observation that Kobach’s activism represents his ‘re-thinking the conservative tenet that the courts should not be a forum for policy change.’ It’s the Left that uses the courts that way, seeking to overturn laws duly enacted by the elected representatives of the people. Kobach’s fight is precisely the opposite, and precisely what conservatives have been doing for years — defending laws passed by communities against legal assaults from the Left.

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11. No Green Cards for Grads

Excerpt: The U.S. currently has the very sensible policy of not allowing student visas to be the gateway to immigration. Currently the law requires that those seeking student visas must prove they intend only to come to the U.S. to study and will return home at the completion of their studies. There are, however, mechanisms for some students to remain in the U.S. after graduation. Still, as a general policy, the immigration system expects that one comes to the U.S. on a student visa only to be a student.

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12. Think Globally? On the Whole, I’d Rather Not: Interviewing on Al Jazeera

Excerpt: Recently I gave an interview to Al Jazeera English to be aired on a TV show about ‘Unemployed Day Laborers in New York City.’ When the host called to invite me, the topic initially struck me as oddly narrow and provincial, arguably even a tad esoteric for an audience Al Jazeera claims spans several continents. (I was told the service is ‘hip,’ multicultural, and has a broad range of viewers.) Nor was it immediately clear to me what my role was to be considering my professional focus. But I was starting out with several mistaken assumptions. I was thinking too abstractly and disinterestedly; the image in my head was an audience curious about American national affairs, the impact of the recession, its social fallout (the show would provide the ‘worm’s eye view’), and public policy per se. That snap judgment couldn’t have been more erroneous. Whenever the show is aired, thousands of viewers will be watching with intense personal interest about a subject that couldn’t be more concrete and immediate for them. It will directly address their own lives, and they’ll be watching because their economic interests are at stake.

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. For more information, contact Steven Camarota at (202) 466-8185 or sac@cis.org.

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