1. Fox News debate with Steven Camarota

Fox News Channel, March 12, 2010

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2. Health Care and Immigration: The View from the White House

Excerpt: There was an interesting exchange yesterday between White House senior adviser David Axelrod and reporter Candy Crowley on CNN’s program, ‘State of the Union.’ (See it here, starting at 1:55.) It begins with a question from Crowley about a statement from Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois:

CROWLEY: A new thing has come up, at least a new old thing, from Congressman Gutierrez. I want to read it to you. ‘It’s no secret that I have been critical of proposals that would exclude our nation’s hard-working immigrants from the health care exchange, and I would find it extremely difficult if not impossible to vote for any measure that denies undocumented workers health care purchased with their own dollars.’ Again, Democrat Congressman Luis Gutierrez. Is the president OK with a provision in the Senate bill which refuses to allow undocumented workers to buy with their own money health care insurance?

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3. No Box Scores for the DHS Immigration Appeals Board

Excerpt: The in-house immigration appeals agency in the Department of Homeland Security, the Administrative Appeals Office, does not provide statistics on what it does. This is in complete contrast to the abundant set of statistics produced by the somewhat similar entity in the Justice Department, the Executive Office of Immigration Review, whose most recent annual report was described in a recent blog of mine.

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4. What Bill of Health?

Excerpt: The immigration issue could put health reform at risk once again, as it did last fall. Then, President Obama had to do some fancy footwork after an unceremonious challenge during his speech to a joint session of Congress. Rep. Joe Wilson was right, and the House bill held gaping loopholes that pretty much guaranteed illegal aliens would benefit under health reform. Ultimately, Speaker Nancy Pelosi added a modicum of eligibility verification to the House bill, and Majority Leader Harry Reid kept the relatively stronger verification provisions in his Senate version.

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5. Illegal Alien Gets Workers’ Comp – Is That the Right Call?

Excerpt: A Nebraska Appeals Court late last year decided that an illegal alien who was hurt while working in a meat plant should get workers’ compensation benefits, according to an article in the Lincoln Journal Star.

From the point of view of restrictionists, is that the right call? Why should a person working illegally get legally mandated benefits for his injuries and his lost time in the factory? Such a person is not legally entitled to unemployment insurance or to cash assistance of any kind. Why should it be different with workers’ comp?

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6. A Tale of Two Programs: Secure Communities vs. 287(g)

Excerpt: Statistics recently released by the Harris County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office provide an interesting point of comparison for two of ICE’s programs that identify and flag criminal aliens for removal – Secure Communities and 287(g).

Harris is the nation’s third most-populous county; it includes Houston and has one of the largest concentrations of illegal aliens. It has implemented both Secure Communities and 287(g). Both programs identify and place detainers on aliens who have been arrested by local officers and deputies, putting these offenders on the path to removal rather than allowing them to remain here to commit more crimes. Secure Communities is an automated screening system that runs the fingerprints of everyone booked into participating jails through immigration databases and then forwards the hits to ICE technicians, who select criminal aliens for removal processing. Under 287(g), specially trained local officers screen and process aliens who have been arrested in that jurisdiction.

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7. Visa Waiver Program for Tourists from Near-Bankrupt Greece – Really?

Excerpt: DHS Secretary Napolitano decided earlier this week to allow Greece to join the Visa Waiver program, so beloved by our tourist industry and other Open Borders types. As one consular official (who will remain unnamed) e-mailed: ‘Let me get this straight. In the middle of the biggest financial meltdown to hit a European country in decades, we have added them to visa waiver?’

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8. Mideast Counterfeit Bust Shows ICE Needs to Tighten Student Program

Excerpt: This past week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted a rather unusual bust using a new spin on visa fraud. This time it was not a fraudulent school masquerading as legitimate and siphoning money for student visas for a curriculum that did not exist, as was the March 4, 2010, bust of a Miami language school that resulted in arrests of 81 student violators and $2.4 million forfeited in illicit cash received. Nor was it referencing the three counterfeit document rings taken out in the last few days. These include a bust in Milwaukee on March 5, 2010, and two March 4 busts — one in Fresno and the other in Panama City, Fla.

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9. The Hidden Immigration Decision-Makers: ‘Black Dragons’ Within State Dept.

Excerpt: In addition to the prominent immigration policy decision-makers – the president, the chairs of the congressional committees and the presidential appointees in the Executive Branch – there are many other sets of less obvious policy players, located deep in the federal bureaucracy.

Today I learned of a group whose leanings were known to me, but for whom I had no name. They are the quietly Open Borders officials within the State Department, termed the ‘Black Dragons’ in a recent article.

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10. Missing the Elephant in the Room

Excerpt: Well, that much is obviously true. Unfortunately, he doesn’t even mention the one step that would cost nothing and use the market in ‘fighting crime, alleviating poverty and inculcating the habits essential to long-term success.’ Namely, tightening the labor market by reducing immigration, both permanent and ‘temporary,’ legal and illegal, something Congress can do any time it feels like. Despite the recession, the federal immigration program continues to legally import something like 100,000 working-age people from abroad each month, disproportionately less-skilled, who will compete directly with the very less-skilled Americans (and earlier immigrants) that Salam is rightly concerned about. Just since 2000, immigration (legal and illegal combined) has increased the supply of high school dropouts by something like 15 percent.

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.

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