1. Fixing Flores: Assuring Adequate Penalties for Identity Theft and Fraud

Excerpt: This Backgrounder proposes statutory language fixes to federal identity theft and aggravated felony language in 18 U.S.C. §§ 1028 and 1028A to reverse the practical implications of the May 2009 Supreme Court ruling in Flores-Figueroa v. United States.1 Flores crippled prosecutors’ longstanding practice of using the aggravated identity theft statute by requiring that prosecutors now also prove that a defendant knew he was using a real person’s identity information, as opposed to counterfeit information not connected to an actual person. The statute is an important tool for immigration enforcement. Proving a defendant’s knowledge about his crime is always difficult, and impossible in some cases, even where there is substantial harm and clear victims. This is especially the situation with illegal aliens who buy identity information from third parties. The inevitable result of the Flores decision is to enable perpetrators an easy defense and to tie prosecutors’ hands. The defendant in the case was an illegal alien working at a steel plant in Illinois.

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2. Failure to Uphold Immigration Laws Leads to the Death of a Deputy Sheriff

Excerpt: During the past several months, I have commented on the failure of law enforcement officials to enforce the nation’s immigration laws, thereby giving illegal alien criminals an advantage that they should not have. Law enforcement officials argue that they have to give illegal aliens a pass for violating immigration laws in order to gain their confidence and support. While this may work in some cases, it also leaves violent, criminal illegal aliens free to go about their business.

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3. The Answer to the World’s Problems — Immigration to America

Excerpt: For the second time to three days, the Washington Post has an op-ed calling on us to help Haiti by reducing the number of Haitians living there. Elliott Abrams’ piece, which I critiqued here on Friday, was wrongheaded in calling for substantial increases in Haitian immigration but at least it didn’t reject American sovereignty. On the other hand, this most recent piece, by tranzi economist Michael Clemens at the Center for Global Development, is remarkable as an example of forthright post-Americanism. For instance

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4. ICE Speaks Up for State and Local Immigration Enforcement

Excerpt: A funny thing happened on the way to the coliseum, where open-borders advocates and other strident ethnic activists thought the lions would deal a final blow to state and local immigration enforcement. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement official — from the Obama administration, no less — actually defended the program. ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton praised the 287(g) program in comments reported by the Arizona Republic.

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5. Help Haitians — in Haiti

Excerpt: Elliott Abrams has a piece in today’s Washington Post calling on the United States to substantially increase Haitian immigration, so as to reduce the population of Haiti and increase the amount of remittances sent there from abroad. It’s so wrong-headed I’m not sure where to start.

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6. Illegal Use of Welfare Can Justify Fee Waivers for Haitian TPS Applicants

Excerpt: One of the ironies of the new Temporary Protected Status program for Haitians illegally in the country on the date of the earthquake is that they can use illegally obtained welfare benefits to support an application to waive the $470 application fee for the TPS program.

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7. Making Sure H-1Bs Actually Work for Their ‘Employers’

Excerpt: A couple of news items have converged with research. Recently, I have been reading the legislative history of the H-1B program. It is interesting to see how some things have changed and other things keep repeating. The H-1B visa was created in the Immigration Act of 1990. From the House Judiciary Committee we have the findings that:

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8. Use TPS Fees Paid by Haitian Illegals to Help Haiti

Excerpt: The Miami Herald tells us that something like 200,000 Haitians, now in the U.S., illegally, are going to be given temporary legal status in the U.S. through grants of Temporary Protected Status. The number is much larger than earlier estimates issued by the government, and might be an over statement.

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9. Mixed Reports from the Immigration Reform Front

Excerpt: Under the pressure of constant questioning from the Spanish-language media, the White House continues to insist that it wants to move quickly on ‘comprehensive immigration reform,’ even as congressional Democrats indicate that they have no desire to deal with the issue this year. ‘This is something we take very seriously,’ Obama aide Cecilia Munoz told Univision newsman Jorge Ramos on Sunday’s Al Punto program. ‘His commitment is there.’

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10. Spreading the Inevitable Flood of Haitian Refugees Around the Region

Excerpt: It is highly likely that there will be a flood of Haitian refugees in the next few months, no matter how heroic the Administration‘s efforts are to meet the short- and long-term needs of the people in Haiti. It is time to make some hard-nosed suggestions about the distribution of those refugees. I heard on the news last night a reporter say that Haiti is ‘on America’s doorstep.’ Compared to Afghanistan, well, yes, but a look at the map would be helpful.

The above is a press release dated January 25, 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.

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