On Tuesday the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement held a meeting that purported to explore the effects of undocumented workers on the labor market. “Making Immigration Work for American Minorities” included prepared statements from the President of the San Antonio Tea Party and a professor representing the abjectly titled—and thoroughly unprogressive—Progressives For Immigration Reform (PRIF), among other specialists.
There were few surprises during the hearing—the subcommittee chair, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) began with a statement that read, in part, “Virtually all credible studies show that competition from cheap foreign labor displaces American workers, including legal immigrants, or depresses their wages.”
His references include a Pew Hispanic Survey that shows seven million undocumented immigrants have jobs in the U.S. and a study conducted by the risibly partisan The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) that determined undocumented workers depress wages for all low-skilled workers by $1,800 a year. Rep. Smith then cites a Harvard research paper by George Borjas that found undocumented workers reduce the wages of low-skilled American workers by 7.4 percent.
I’ll get to the findings in a moment, but I think it’s bedeviling Rep. Smith relies on two studies that view undocumented immigrants in a negative light, and stops right there. Doing more to cement anti-immigrant advocates as purveyors of hyperbole and anecdote, Smith says:
“But research is not the only proof. After illegal workers are arrested and detained during Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) worksite enforcement actions, many businesses replace them with American minorities.”
A footnote? A statistic? He doesn’t even offer a number pulled from the firmament. Instead, he entreats lawmakers to fix an immigration system that hurts “American workers” and particularly “African Americans.”Read more...
If you don't think that image is right for our state, you might want to check out a new group in town called the Real Arizona Coalition. It includes some high-profile members from business, community and faith organizations who are ready to say, "Enough, already" - although they would probably say it more diplomatically.
This group is not about being in your face. It is about trying to get to your heart. Arizona's heart.
It's about remembering what made Arizona a destination. (Hint: It wasn't just the weather.) It's about honoring all the people who helped build the state and tapping that diversity to solve some big, big problems. Together.
This is a courageous concept. Despite all the talk of a new era of civility, wedges remain a powerful political tool to separate people and build alliances based on fear and dislike of the other guy.
Illegal immigration is one of those wedges. Two-thirds of Americans say the current system is broken. But the desperate, radical efforts to solve this national problem in Arizona's Legislature are largely responsible for Arizona's bad image.
Senate Bill 1070 made Arizona a punch line for political satirists. Reckless talk about headless bodies in the desert didn't help the state's image, either.
Once lauded for its friendliness and famous for its growth and tourism, Arizona saddled itself with a heavy load of bad publicity just as it was beginning the long, hard climb out of the Great Recession.
It matters to visitors.
"Bad news travels faster than good news," says Marc Garcia of the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau.
In 1995, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) introduced the use of video hearing equipment in immigration courts across the country. As a result, noncitizens facing removal are frequently deprived of the opportunity to appear in person before an immigration judge. Video hearings are more common where a noncitizen is detained, though many non-detained individuals are subjected to video hearings as well. EOIR uses video hearings for both preliminary hearings (“master calendar hearings”) and merits hearings (“individual hearings”).
In February 2012, the American Immigration Council submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to EOIR asking for records related to video teleconferencing (VTC). EOIR produced two sets of records.
U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Harry Reid, D-Nev., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., John Kerry, D-Mass., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., reintroduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill on Wednesday.
Menendez’s office said in press release that the bill is “aimed at addressing the broken immigration system with tough, smart, and fair measures.”
The Immigration Policy Center explains that Menendez’s proposal includes the creation of Lawful Prospective Immigration (LPI) status. Applicants for LPI status would be required to submit biometric data, go through security checks and pay a fine. After six to eight years of LPI status, undocumented immigrants could transition to Legal Permanent Resident status only after they pay taxes and additional fines, learn English and U.S. civics, and undergo additional background checks. And even then, LPIs would have to wait behind those already in line for LPR status.
The Policy Center also says the bill includes improvements to regulate the future flow of legal immigrants by creating a standing commission that would study labor market and economic conditions to determine the number of employment-based visas needed. The bill also supports programs that better facilitate immigrant integration, such as enhanced policies to help immigrants learn English and grants for states that successfully integrate newcomers.
The release issued by Menendez adds that the
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011 includes both a mandatory employment verification system and a program to require undocumented immigrants in the U.S. as of June 1, 2011 to register with the government, learn English, and pay fines and taxes on their way to becoming Americans.Read more...
On Tuesday February 20, 2007, the Court denied Haroon Rashid’s petition for certiorari. The Tenth Circuit had upheld a finding that Rashid was removable because his misdemeanor assault conviction constituted an "aggravated felony." On December 6, 2006, Justice Breyer had stayed the deportation pending the Supreme Court's ruling on his petition for certiorari.
The International Exchange Center is proud to announce Bronwyn Cambridge as this month’s Exchange Visitor of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American culture.