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Posts Tagged ‘illegal immigration’

Study Shows that Immigrants Do NOT Steal Jobs from Americans

May 28th, 2010 No comments
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A coalition of groups that want to limit immigration, legal and illegal, has an ad claiming that illegal immigrants steal jobs from Americans. That’s a popular talking point among the build-the-fence, seal-the border types, but it’s just not so.

The truth is that immigrants don’t take American jobs, according to most economists and others who have studied the issue.

Policy analyst at the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, Madeleine Sumption, claims that Immigrant workers create almost as many jobs as they occupy. Additionally Sumption added that Immigrant workers often create the jobs they work in and they also buy things making the economy bigger.

As she and a co-author wrote in a report last year for a group created by the British government:

Somerville and Sumption: The impact of Immigration on a nation’s economy remains small, for several reasons. Immigrants are not competitive in many types of jobs, and hence are not direct substitutes for natives. Local employers increase demand for low-skilled labor in areas that receive low-skilled immigrant inflows. Immigrants contribute to demand for goods and services that they consume, in turn increasing the demand for labor. And immigrants contribute to labor market efficiency and long-term economic growth.

Of course, none of that matters to the folks who don’t live in the reality-based universe.

Is Immigration the New Rock ‘n’ Roll?

May 26th, 2010 No comments
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Forget sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll; immigration is a new generational fault line.

In the wake of the new Arizona law allowing the police to detain people they suspect of entering the country illegally, young people are largely displaying vehement opposition.
Meanwhile, baby boomers are siding with older Americans and supporting the Arizona law.

This emerging divide has appeared in a handful of surveys taken since the measure was signed into law. The generational conflict could complicate chances of a federal immigration overhaul any time soon.

Immigration, which census figures show declined sharply from the Depression through the 1960s, reached a historic low point the year after Woodstock. From 1860 through 1920, 13 percent to 15 percent of the country was foreign born — a rate similar to today’s, when immigrants make up about 12.5 percent of the country.

Boomers and their parents also spent their formative years away from the cities, where newer immigrants tended to gather — unlike today’s young people who have become more involved with immigrants, through college, or by moving to urban areas.

“It’s hard for them to share each others’ views on what’s going on,” said William H. Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution. “These older people grew up in largely white suburbs or largely segregated neighborhoods, while the young people have grown up in an interracial culture.”

In a new report based on census figures titled “The State of Metropolitan America,” Mr. Frey found that Arizona has the largest cultural generation gap, between older Americans who are 83 percent white and children under 18 who are increasingly 57 percent of minorities.

Florida ranks sixth on Mr. Frey’s cultural generation gap list, with a 29 percentage point difference between the percentage of white people among its older residents and the percentage that whites make up of its children.

Some young people agree just as many baby boomers support more open immigration policies. In the poll, a majority of Americans in all age groups described illegal immigration as a serious problem.

Still, divisions were pronounced by age: while 41 percent of Americans ages 45 to 64 and 36 percent of older Americans said immigration levels should be decreased, only 24 percent of those younger than 45 said so.

Still, in interviews across the nation, young people emphasized the benefits of immigrants. Andrea Bonvecchio, 17, the daughter of a naturalized citizen from Venezuela, said going to a high school that is approximately 98 percent Hispanic meant she could find friends who enjoyed both Latin music and her favorite movie, “The Parent Trap.”

Nicole Vespia, 18, of Selden, N.Y., said old people who were worried about immigrants stealing jobs were giving up on an American ideal: capitalist meritocracy.

“If someone works better than I do, they deserve to get the job,” Ms. Vespia said. “I work in a stockroom, and my best workers are people who don’t really speak English. It’s cool to get to know them.”

Her parents’ generation, she added, just needs to adapt.

Lakers’ Fans Outraged by Phil Jackson Remarks Regarding Arizona Immigration Law

May 20th, 2010 No comments
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Activists  outraged at comments made by Lakers’ Coach Phil Jackson to ESPN columnist J.A. Adande, that seem to back  Arizona’s controversial new immigration law plan to rally outside Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

“The way we look at it, Phil Jackson is supporting the Arizona law,” said Mario Gonzalez, a longtime Lakers fan and rally organizer. “That’s surprising. It caught us off guard. We want to find out where the team stands on the law.”

John Black, the Lakers’ vice president for public relations, did not respond to telephone messages seeking comment.

Jackson, indicated he had no problem with the controversial Arizona law. Additionally Jackson mentioned, “Am I crazy, or am I the only one that heard [the legislature] say, ‘We just took the United States immigration law and adopted it to our state?’” Jackson said of the Arizona statute.

The Lakers coach then disputed the columnist’s assertion that Arizona legislatures had “usurped” federal immigration law — an allegation widely made by critics who say the law could lead to racial profiling.

“It’s not usurping” federal law, Jackson replied, adding that the Arizona lawmakers “gave it some teeth to be able to enforce it.”

Jackson, long known as a free spirit who in Adande’s words “has showed lefty leanings in the past,” also seems to chastise the Suns’ management for its criticism of the Arizona law.
The Suns’ owner and several players have publicly criticized the statute.

“I don’t think teams should get involved in the political stuff,” Jackson told the ESPN.com columnist and then said that if he heard it right, “the American people are really for stronger immigration laws, where they stand as basketball teams, they should let that kind of play out and let the political end of that go where it’s going to go.”

Gonzalez, the protest organizer, said Monday’s rally was not meant as a call to boycott the Lakers or root against the L.A. squad in its push to repeat as league champions. Rather, he said, the action is aimed at condemning Jackson’s apparent support for the Arizona law and clarifying Lakers management’s opinion on the matter.

Supporters of the rally said they wanted to give Jackson and the Lakers the opportunity to clarify their position on the Arizona law. Activists voiced the hope that both the Lakers and Jackson would follow the Suns’ example and come out against Arizona’s plan.

“We want to give Phil Jackson the benefit of the doubt,” said Nativo Lopez, head of the Mexican American Political Assn. Then Lopez added that there are nuances here that Phil Jackson perhaps is not familiar with, he’s an expert at basketball but not at immigration law.

New Chief of U.S. Border Patrol – Michael J. Fisher

May 13th, 2010 No comments
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin announced today that Michael J. Fisher will take the role as Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol. In his new position, Michael Fisher is the nation’s highest-ranking Border Patrol agent, and directs the enforcement efforts of more than 20,000 Border Patrol agents responsible for patrolling our nation’s borders and the designated ports-of-entry.

The Border Patrol’s primary mission is keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. It also has the responsibility of protecting the country from all-threats while enforcing U.S. regulations, including immigration and drug laws.

Michael Fisher started his duty along the Southwest Border in 1987 in Arizona. In 2007, he was selected as Chief Patrol agent of the San Diego Sector, and in March of 2003, he was promoted to be the Deputy Director for U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Anti-Terrorism in Washington D.C. In this capacity, he staffed and directed the office during periods of increased threat and was CBP’s liaison to the inter-agency intelligence community for anti-terrorist planning and operations coordination.

*U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

President Obama Calls for Comprehensive Immigration Reform at Cinco De Mayo Party

May 6th, 2010 No comments
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During the Cinco de Mayo celebration at the White House, President Obama again slammed the new Arizona law targeting illegal immigrants. Obama said the new Arizona law requiring police to demand identification from those they suspect are undocumented immigrants undermines American principles and will be closely monitored by the federal government.

Additionally, President Obama promised a push for immigration reform law on Capitol Hill stating that the way to fix the broken immigration system is by common sense and comprehensive reform. He also spelled out elements he wants in the legislation: continued emphasis on securing U.S. borders; going after businesses that knowingly hire undocumented immigrant workers; and requirements that people who enter the US illegally admit they broke the law, pay a fine and taxes, and learn English before applying for American citizenship.

After praising a Democrat-sponsored bill unveiled in the Senate last week, Obama added a nuance suggesting he still thinks winning final passage in 2010 for immigration reform will be difficult.  However, Obama questioned whether Congress had the political will to get the job finished this year, claiming he wants to solve the immigration issue in 2010 with Democrats and Republicans.

Phoenix Suns Will Wear “Los Suns” Jerseys to Protest New Arizona Anti-Immigrant Law

May 5th, 2010 No comments
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The Phoenix Suns will wear “Los Suns” jerseys Wednesday for Game 2 of their second-round match-up with the Spurs in protest of Arizona’s new immigration law. The Suns called the new law “flawed.”

“Our players and organization felt that wearing our ‘Los Suns’ jerseys on Cinco de Mayo was a way for our team and our organization to honor our Latino community and the diversity of our league, the State of Arizona, and our nation,” said managing partner Robert Sarver.

Arizona’s new SB 1070 law requires Arizona police officers to use “reasonable suspicion” to question and detain possible undocumented aliens. The law has been labeled as racist and opened the door to charges of racial profiling from critics.

Five Myths About Immigration

May 5th, 2010 1 comment
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Despite the fact that we are a nation of immigrants, immigration continues to be one of America’s most contentious topics. The new law in Arizona, where police are now ordered to arrest illegal immigrants, has set off a bitter debate across the United States. However, as in the past, much of the debate is founded on mythology. Here are 5 myths that have clouded the immigration debate taken from the Washington Post:

1.    Immigrants take jobs from American workers.

Although immigrants account for 12.5% of the U.S. population, they make up about 15% of the workforce. The reason they are overrepresented largely among workers, is because the rest of our population is aging. Additionally, low U.S. fertility rates and the upcoming retirement of the baby boomers; mean that immigration is likely to be the only source of growth in the workforce in the decades ahead. As record numbers of retirees begin drawing Social Security checks, younger immigrant workers will be paying taxes, somewhat easing the financial pressures on the system.

Moreover, immigrants tend to be concentrated in high- and low-skilled occupations that complement — rather than compete with — jobs held by native workers. And the foreign-born workers who fill lower-paying jobs are typically first-hired/first-fired employees, allowing employers to expand and contract their workforces rapidly. As a result, immigrants experience higher employment than natives during booms — but they suffer higher job losses during downturns, including the current one.

Immigration also stimulates growth by creating new consumers, entrepreneurs and investors. As a result of this growth, economists estimate that wages for the vast majority of American workers are slightly higher than they would be without immigration. U.S. workers without a high school degree experience wage declines as a result of competition from immigrants, but these losses are modest, at just over 1%. Economists also estimate that for each job an immigrant fills, an additional job is created.

2.     Immigration is at an all-time high, and most new immigrants came illegally.

Today, about two-thirds of immigrants are here legally, either as naturalized citizens or as lawful permanent residents, more commonly known as green card holders. And of the approximately 10.8 million immigrants who are in the country illegally, about 40% arrived legally but overstayed their visas.

Mexicans are also the largest group of lawful immigrants. As for the flow of illegal immigrants, apprehensions along the U.S.-Mexico border have declined by more than 50% over the past four years, while increases in the size of the illegal population, which had been growing by about 500,000 a year for more than a decade, have stopped. This decline is largely due to the recession, but stepped-up border enforcement is playing a part.

3.        Today’s immigrants are not integrating into American life like past waves did.

Today, as before, immigrant integration takes a generation or two. Learning English is one key driver of this process; the education and upward mobility of immigrants’ children is the other. On the first count, today’s immigrants consistently seek English instruction in such large numbers that adult-education programs cannot meet the demand, especially in places such as California. On the second count, the No Child Left Behind Act has played a critical role in helping educate immigrant children because it holds schools newly accountable for teaching them English.

However, the unauthorized status of millions of foreign-born immigrants can slow integration in crucial ways. For example, illegal immigrants are ineligible for in-state tuition at most public colleges and universities, putting higher education effectively out of their reach. And laws prohibiting unauthorized immigrants from getting driver’s licenses or various professional credentials can leave them stuck in jobs with a high density of other immigrants and unable to advance.

4.    Cracking down on illegal border crossings will make us safer.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, we have dramatically strengthened our borders through the use of biometrics at ports of entry, secure cargo-shipment systems, intelligence gathering, integrated databases and increased international cooperation. The Border Patrol has nearly doubled in size in the past five years, to more than 20,000 agents. The Department of Homeland Security says it is on schedule to meet congressional mandates for southwestern border enforcement, including fence-building. And cooperation with the Mexican government has improved significantly.

5.       Immigration reform cannot happen in an election year.

All the significant immigration bills enacted in recent decades were passed in election years, often at the last minute and after fractious debates.

This list dates back to the Refugee Act of 1980, which established our system for humanitarian protection and refugee and asylum admissions. Next came the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which made it illegal to hire unauthorized immigrants and provided amnesty for 2.7 million illegal immigrants. The Immigration Act of 1990 increased the number of visas allotted to highly skilled workers. And the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act charged immigration agencies with implementing significant new law enforcement mandates.

Ruling out immigration reform, whether because Congress has other priorities or because it’s an election year, would be a mistake. The outline for immigration legislation that Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and his Democratic colleagues unveiled last week, together with the uproar over the Arizona law, may help convince lawmakers that there’s no time like the present.

If you support comprehensive immigration reform, contact your congressperson and make your voice heard. Click here to find out which member of the House of Representatives serves you.

Attorney General Eric Holder Might Challenge New Arizona Anti-Immigrant Law

May 4th, 2010 No comments
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Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano were critical Tuesday of Arizona’s new immigration law, which requires police to question anyone about their immigration status if they have reason to suspect they are in the country illegally. Additionally, SB 1070 would make it a state crime if anyone is in the country illegally.

Attorney General Holder said the federal government may challenge it.

The critical comments came four days after Arizona’s governor signed a law designed to crack down on illegal aliens.

The Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security are reviewing the state law, and are considering the possibility of a court challenge as one of the options.

Napolitano stated that they have deep concerns with the new immigrant law since it could drain federal money and staff from hunting down immigrants, concentrating on those who are in the country illegally, instead of those who have committed the most serious crimes.

If you are in the US illegally and want to know more about your rights and immigration situation, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a free consultation. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will discuss your situation with you during a confidential consultation and help you better understand the options available to you.

President Obama Admits Comprehensive Immigration Reform will be Difficult

May 2nd, 2010 No comments
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President Obama conceded Wednesday that Congress may not have the appetite to deal with the hot-button immigration issue this year, but he vowed to continue to press lawmakers to at least begin work soon on a comprehensive bill to overhaul the country’s immigration system.

Moreover, Mr. Obama said it was vital that Congress address the immigration issue, lest more state measures like the new law in Arizona.  He claims that Congress might not have the stomach for another tough battle after the bruising fight over health care and the prospect of another battle over a climate change bill.
The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, a Democrat who is locked in a bruising re-election campaign in Nevada, has promised Hispanic voters in his state that he will take up immigration legislation this year, addressing both border security and citizenship. But on Wednesday, he told reporters that the climate change bill would probably come before immigration since that legislation had already been drafted.

However, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, had an outline of an immigration bill that could soon be completed.

Mr. Obama stated he understands the frustrations of the Border States, but said that is why the country needs to carefully examine the immigration issue.

Meanwhile, former President Bill Clinton said that he doesn’t think there’s any alternative than for us to increase immigration, both to help the economy grow and fix the long- term finances of Medicare and Social Security. This is a sentiment that Robert Reich, professor at UC Berkeley has already raised.

Representative Duncan Hunter Wants to Start Deporting American Citizens

May 1st, 2010 1 comment
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Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) wants to start deporting American citizens that are the children of illegal immigrants.

At a tea party rally in Ramona in San Diego County over the weekend, Hunter answered a man in the audience a question about the issue:

“We just can’t afford it anymore,” Hunter said. “That’s it. And we’re not being mean. We’re just saying it takes more than walking across the border to become an American citizen. It’s within our souls.”

Hunter also said he thinks Arizona’s controversial new immigration law “is a fantastic starting point.”

After Hunter’s statements, his spokesperson  Joe Kasper, didn’t really back down from the basics of Hunter’s statement, but did offer some more context: What he does want, Kasper said, is to do away with the citizenship rights for children of illegal immigrants who are born in the United States. In fact, Hunter is one of more than 90 House Republicans who are cosponsoring a bill that would do just that.

Mr. Hunter might want to read the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, because it clearly states that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States . . . are citizens of the United States.” Unless Mr. Hunter wants to redefine the term “person,” he might have a tough time accomplishing his goals. Mr. Hunter might want to retake some law classes as well, because you cannot amend the Constitution by merely passing a Congressional bill. Jus Sanguinis is the law of the land. If you don’t like it, consider moving to France.

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