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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

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  1. Nowrasteh on Trump Immigration Plans

    by , 11-10-2016 at 10:14 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Trump’s victory in the Presidential election is a tremendous political upset. The biggest issue raised by Trump was immigration—and he didn’t waiver from his restrictionist position. Although the polling data doesn’t show support for Trump’s position and the election was not a blowout, depending on whether he wins the popular vote (unclear at this time) he and other restrictionist Republicans will take this as a mandate to follow through on his immigration promises.

    Trump’s stump speeches were superficial but his immigration position paper was detailed and specific. Simply, it calls for a 20 percent to 60 percent cut in green cards and a huge increase in immigration enforcement. Here are the details from his immigration position paper fleshed out:

    1. Border wall. The completion of a border wall or at least 1000 miles of it (there are about 700 miles of walls and barriers currently). This wall could be virtual but he sold it as a physical barrier. His border wall is meant to address illegal border crossings that began subsiding a decade ago and are now near their post-1970 historical low point. There is a perception of chaos on the border that doesn’t reflect reality, but perception is all that matters in politics. The best way to further reduce unlawful immigration would be to create a low-skilled guest worker visa program or expand the existing ones, but Trump’s position paper precludes such a policy option.

    2. Nationwide E-Verify. Mandated nationwide E-Verify for all new hires in the United States as a means to exclude illegal immigrants from employment. E-Verify is an electronic eligibility for employment verification that checks a new hire’s identity information against government databases to approve or deny them employment. My colleague Jim Harper and I published a policy paper last year detailing all of the problems this system poses from economic, privacy, civil liberties, and effectiveness standpoints. E-Verify will add to the more than 13.48 man-hours spent by employers annually dealing with the I-9 form, unintentionally deny and delay many American workers legal employment due to inaccuracies, boost the black market in identity documents, and cost billions in taxpayer and economic costs to implement. E-Verfiy is also unenforced and ineffective at dimming the wage magnet in states where it is already mandated. E-Verify will fail to live up to its expectations and will be followed by calls for a national biometric identity card to seal gaps in the system.

    3. End birthright citizenship. This would most likely require a constitutional amendment although Judge Richard Posner, noted legal scholar, thinks it can be changed by statute. Birthright citizenship is a lot older than the Fourteenth Amendment and has aided in the assimilation of generations of immigrants, in contrast to the experiences of assimilation in European nations without birthright citizenship. If implemented, jus sanguinis (citizenship through blood relations) would replace jus soli as the most important citizenship law of the land—an embrace of Carthaginian over Roman values.

    4. End DACA. President Obama’s executive action for unlawful immigrants brought here as children gave temporary work permits and relief from potential deportation (not a path to citizenship) to about 665,000 people. The continuation of this program depends on the actions of the President. Although this is not spelled out in his immigration position paper, it’s likely that Trump will decline to continue the program by stopping the periodic renewals required by law, thus opening up this population to deportation. Trump’s administration will also now have access to the identities of all the beneficiaries of DACA who had to submit their personal information to benefit, a source of information that could be used to more efficiently deport them. This has the potential to be a heart-wrenching humanitarian disaster for the DACA beneficiaries, their families, and those of us who count some of them as friends.

    5. Mandatory detention. Detain all illegal immigrants apprehended while entering the United States. This policy is already partially implemented but could be greatly expanded. It would require new detention facilities similar to those used to detain Unauthorized Alien Children from Central America at serious economic and humanitarian cost.

    6. Immigration moderation. Trump’s paper calls for a “pause” on the issuance of new green cards to workers abroad so that “employers will have to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed immigrant and native workers.” There were 151,596 employment-based green cards issued in 2014. 86 percent of them went to workers already in the United States on other visas. The other 14 percent went to workers abroad. The government also issued 645,560 family-based green cards in 2014, all of which allow recipients to work in the United States. 61 percent of these family-based green cards went to immigrants who were not in the country on another visa. Depending on how you dice it, this provision could cut between about 140,000 and 540,000 green cards annually.

    7. Increase prevailing wage for H-1Bs. This policy proposal will reduce the number of legal skilled temporary migrant workers. Just over 124,000 H-1Bs were approved in 2014 for initial employment in the United States, with 85,000 of them for employment in firms and the rest in non-profit research institutions. These workers have an average salary of $75,000 so they do not compete with low-skilled America workers. If the minimum salary for H-1B visas was bumped up to $100,000 then the number of H-1Bs hired by private firms would decrease while they’d also shrink for research institutions. The 75th percentile for wage compensation for H-1B workers is $81,000. Even including all of the petitions for high wage workers that are rejected each year, this reform would significantly shrink the number of H-1B visas issued at an enormous economic cost. The H-1B system is also the feeder to the employment-based green card so any change here could disrupt future flows there even if no other changes are made.

    8. Requirement to hire American workers first. This policy would increase the regulatory cost for American firms hiring skilled foreign workers in specialty occupations. Congress considered this policy for the H-1B visa in 1990 and rejected it because the regulatory costs would be so high. If Trump is the anti-regulation candidate he claims to be then he’ll reject this provision.

    9. Refugee program for American children. This policy would raise the standards for refugees and asylum seekers to cut down on supposed abuse and fraud. Assuming the worst case scenario, Trump’s policy proposal would decrease humanitarian immigration by 70 percent if trumped up fraud statistics are to be believed. That policy, if in place in 2016, would have cut the number of refugees by about 60,000 under the worst case scenario.

    The taxpayer cost of enforcing America’s immigration laws to the point where all illegal immigrants are removed and future flows stopped would be $419 to $619 billion over 20 years, according to estimates by the American Action Forum. These estimates do not include negative economic effects and lost tax revenue from a subsequently smaller economy. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimates that an attrition through enforcement policy would increase projected deficits by about $800 billion over the next 20 years. Those estimates don’t include the cost to the economy and government finances of slashing legal immigration.

    ________________

    Alex Nowrasteh is the immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. His popular publications have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, the Houston Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post, and elsewhere. His academic publications have appeared in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, the Fletcher Security Review, and Public Choice. Alex has appeared on Fox News, Bloomberg, and numerous television and radio stations across the United States. He is the coauthor, with Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, of the booklet Open Immigration: Yea and Nay (Encounter Broadsides, 2014).

    He is a native of Southern California and received a BA in economics from George Mason University and a Master of Science in economic history from the London School of Economics.

    Updated 11-10-2016 at 10:23 AM by MKolken

  2. Prominent Immigrant Rights Advocate Recanting Hillary Clinton Endorsement

    by , 11-04-2016 at 11:15 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Prominent immigrant rights advocate César Vargas has recanted his previous endorsement of Hillary Clinton. He writes:

    It took me a long time to write this. I had to dig deep into my being to come up with these words. I’m recanting my endorsement of Hillary Clinton for the presidency...

    I’ve seen how our heroes, activists, journalists, and celebrities have completely sold their souls to support something no person with an iota of morality would do. I’ve seen them say and do things to derail candidates who would have been a million times better for those less fortunate around us. It’s unfortunate most pretend to fight the establishment, to act like they love the people more than they love the struggle and the relevance that it brings them. I am not one of those and I won’t continue to be until the good Lord takes me.

    Yes, I am heartbroken, I am angry, I am defeated, but I will rise and continue to advocate for you, for my people, for those that don’t have a voice. But I refuse to be a pawn, a conduit of their oppression, of their disenfranchisement, of their brutalization, of their exploitation, of their lives and deaths. That’s what a Hillary Clinton endorsement means to me.

    César Vargas is a writer, director, strategist, and advocate. He founded UPLIFTT and was named one of 40 under 40: Latinos in American Politics. His op-eds and quotes can be found on the Huffington Post, Latino Rebels, Okayafrica, Okayplayer, NBC, Latino Magazine, Fox News, Sky News, NBC, Salon, The Hill, and the Guardian.

    Click here to read the entire article.
  3. Deported Mothers Fight to Reunite with Their Children

    by , 11-03-2016 at 09:42 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Al Jazeera:

    "Filmmaker John Dickie traces the journey of "Dreamer Moms", a group of women separated from their families in the US."

    "There is surely no greater pain than that of a mother being separated against her will from her children. This pain was what united all the deported mothers I met in Tijuana. But, as Yolanda says, "it is the love for our children that drives us on."

    Thanks to her tireless work as leader of the Dreamer Moms, Yolanda has managed to open not only a door in the border fence, but also a legal window for deported parents to be able to return to the US and reunite with their children."

    Click here to view the full documentary.
  4. Stop the Deportation of the Workers in the Buffalo Restaurant Raids

    by , 10-27-2016 at 10:31 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Change.org:

    On Tuesday, October 18, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) raided several Mexican restaurants in and around the City of Buffalo, detaining at least 25 people connected to the restaurants. This petition requests that DHS exercise discretion in terminating their deportation proceedings.

    Sixteen of the twenty-five individuals arrested have not been charged with any crime. At least four of these workers have been placed in deportation proceedings despite appearing to be the victims – not the perpetrators – of their employer’s criminal scheme. The criminal complaint states that these workers were working 16 hours per day, 6 days per week and being paid as little as $500. This amounts to far less than the minimum wage and no overtime pay.


    DHS claims that it raided these restaurants in part to protect workers from exploitation. In addition, DHS has recognized that effective “enforcement of labor law is essential to ensure proper wages and working conditions for all covered workers regardless of immigration status.” Revised Memorandum of Understanding between the Dept. of Homeland Sec. and Labor Concerning Enforcement Activities at Worksites (Dec. 7, 2011).


    Consequently, we request that DHS exercise discretion and terminate the deportation proceedings against the workers who were not criminally charged in the raids. DHS has broad prosecutorial discretion to enforce immigration law, and to exercise discretion to terminate deportation proceedings. According to DHS guidance, this is an appropriate circumstance to do so - and as early in deportation proceedings as possible. DHS has ruled that termination of deportation proceedings is appropriate when individuals are victims of certain crimes, or are victims of civil rights and labor violations. Memorandum, Prosecutorial Discretion: Certain Victims, Witnesses, and Plaintiffs (June 17, 2011). ICE has made clear that it is generally preferable to exercise such discretion as early in the case or proceeding as possible to preserve government resources.


    The arrest and deportation of these low-wage workers is both out of line with the clear enforcement priorities of DHS and a gross misuse of government resources. The individuals arrested during the raids are hardworking members of the community. Their families have been severely impacted by the raids; some of the children of those arrested have been placed into the custody of Child Protective Services. DHS should not target contributing members of the community and their families when they have committed no crimes and are, in fact, the victims of unfair labor practices. Justice can be carried out in this case by terminating these workers' deportation proceedings and allowing the Department of Labor to investigate the allegations of abusive labor practices. We ask that DHS take these steps immediately.

    Click here to sign the petition.
  5. Justice Department to announce significant law enforcement action

    by , 10-27-2016 at 08:49 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    WASHINGTON – Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas and other law enforcement officials will hold a press conference TODAY, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. EDT, to announce a significant enforcement action.

    WHO:
    Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Criminal Division
    Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Executive Associate Director Peter T. Edge
    U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George
    Department of Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth


    WHAT:
    Press conference announcing a significant law enforcement action.


    WHEN:
    TODAY, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2016
    11:00 a.m. EDT

    WHERE:
    Department of Justice

    7th Floor Press Conference Room
    950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20530


    OPEN PRESS

    LIVESTREAMED ON
    WWW.JUSTICE.GOV/LIVE


    NOTE: All media must present government-issued photo I.D. (such as driver’s license) as well as valid media credentials.
    Media must enter the department at the visitor’s entrance on Constitution Avenue NW between 9th and 10th Streets. Media may begin arriving at 10:00 a.m. EDT and cameras must be pre-set by 10:45 a.m. EDT. Press inquiries regarding logistics should be directed to the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 514-2007 or press@usdoj.gov.
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