Mark Krikorian's blog

All the Illegals Get to Stay

By Mark Krikorian, July 23, 2015

The Migration Policy Institute, CIS's opposite number on the high-immigration side, has released a report estimating that fully 87 percent of the illegal population is exempt from immigration law following President Obama's November amnesty decrees. This is a change from the 2010-2011 decrees, under which only 73 percent of illegals enjoyed de facto amnesty. Read more...

Knowing What We Know Now, Mrs. Clinton, Would You Still Support Sanctuary Cities?

By Mark Krikorian, July 6, 2015

In the wake of the murder of Kate Steinle by a five-times-deported illegal-alien felon, news organizations worthy of the name would be all over the Democratic candidates asking if they regret their past, repeated, emphatic support for sanctuary cities. Read more...

Clinton Cash Flashback, Immigration Edition

By Mark Krikorian, June 30, 2015

I can't let this month expire without noting that it's the 20th anniversary of Barbara Jordan's bipartisan Commission on Immigration Reform recommending a reduction in legal immigration to about 500,000 per year (it's twice that level today). After their release, President Clinton said the recommendations were "consistent with my own views," while White House press secretary Mike McCurry said: "the President indicated to Barbara Jordan today that he will support such reductions."

By March he'd flipped, opposing especially the cuts in family chain migration. Read more...

Would You Put Up with This from a House Guest?

By Mark Krikorian, June 9, 2015

The Washington Times reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement has flagged Darron Wint for deportation, should he ever be released from prison. That’s unlikely, since he murdered four people, including a 10-year-old boy who was tortured first, in the Washington, D.C., “Mansion Murders.” Read more...

So Illegal Immigration Isn’t Inevitable After All? Who Knew?

By Mark Krikorian, May 29, 2015

[This is the start of a piece by me posted today at National Review.]

Thursday's Washington Post front page featured a story on the decline in illegal immigration. The story itself isn't news (my colleagues did their first report on this phenomenon seven years ago), but the story's dead-tree subhead explains the timing: "Trend alters dynamics of immigration reform, a likely topic for 2016." Read more...

DHS Trumpets Its Own Immigration Failure

By Mark Krikorian, May 22, 2015

A press release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement this week boasts that "ICE removes man wanted by Romanian authorities for attempted murder." Sounds good, right?

Tomescu was apprehended near Douglas, Ariz., in July 2010 when he tried to enter the United States without inspection. U.S. Border Patrol officers served him a notice to appear in immigration court and placed him in custody.

So far, so good. The Board Patrol is on top of things.

He was later released on an order of recognizance.

Wait, what? We let him go? Read more...

Zombie Immigration Programs

By Mark Krikorian, May 20, 2015

No, not the immigration of zombies – I mean programs, in this case "temporary" amnesties, that never die.

Today was the last day for illegal aliens and legal visitors from Liberia to register for Temporary Protected Status. Congress created TPS in 1990 to allow the executive to suspend deportations of (and grant work permits to) illegal aliens from countries where there's been a natural disaster or civil strife. I've written frequently about the bogus nature of TPS (here and here, for instance), but always regarding the fact that while the status isn't technically permanent, like a green card, it's nonetheless renewed indefinitely, long after the home-country emergency has passed. An earlier crop of Liberian illegals, for instance, was granted a "temporary" amnesty in 1991 – and they're still here. Read more...

Don't Look Now, but the Amnesty-First Crowd Has Blinked

By Mark Krikorian, May 20, 2015

Prof. Robert George's group, American Principles in Action, has released an "immigration reform" plan calling for enforcement followed by amnesty and increased guestworker admissions. Read more...

Silicon Valley to Americans: Drop Dead

By Mark Krikorian, May 13, 2015

Silicon Valley oligarchs come to the immigration debate with considerable advantages. Aside from the obvious giant bags of money, there’s the perception (often correct) that they're wizards responsible for breathtaking innovation and economic growth. So when they say they need ever-greater numbers of indentured code-jockeys from abroad because there aren't not enough Americans available, they're taken seriously (even though the real motivation is simply cheap labor). This gullibility is all the more prevalent in Congress, many of whose members don’t even know how to turn their computers on (let alone send e-mail). Read more...

Walker vs. Cruz on Immigration: The Debate We Need

By Mark Krikorian, April 30, 2015

There's been a lot of commentary about the politics of Scott Walker's observation that the well-being of American workers must be considered when making immigration policy. John Fonte's fine piece on National Review's home page today puts it in the context of a growing conservative populist movement. Read more...

The Expansionist Right Also Goes After Scott Walker

By Mark Krikorian, April 21, 2015

Rich Lowry over at National Review applauds Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's recent comments on immigration, pointing to attacks on him from liberal sites.

But it's not just the Huffington Post and MSNBC that are attacking the possible presidential candidate for his tentative and wholly commonsensical observations that the well-being of American workers needs to be taken into account when crafting immigration policy. Heck, he didn't even actually call for reductions in future immigration (though he did name-drop Jeff Sessions), but the expansionists on the right have piled on in response to the mere possibility of future cuts. Read more...

We Need Some Yes/No Answers from Rubio on Immigration

By Mark Krikorian, April 20, 2015

Like Patrick Brennan over at National Review, I too am encouraged by Rubio's seeming commitment to Enforcement First. But whether it's the real thing or just a con hinges on one question: Is he proposing to fully implement universal E-Verify and visa-tracking before asking Congress to grant amnesty to today's illegals, or just pass legislation calling for enforcement. Read more...

Why Resettle Any Syrian Refugees at All?

By Mark Krikorian, April 14, 2015

The International Rescue Committee, a refugee advocacy group headed by former U.K. foreign secretary David Miliband, has urged the United States to resettle 65,000 refugees from Syria by the end of next year. The head of the State Department bureau in charge of carrying out the U.N.'s instructions on refugees (the U.N. decides who gets to move to the U.S.) said last week, in the AP's words, "that between 1,000 and 2,000 Syrian refugees will be brought to the U.S. by the end of September and several thousand more in 2016." Miliband welcomed this but said "it certainly needs to improve." Read more...

The Need for Border Controls

By Mark Krikorian, April 8, 2015

The New York Times ran a story this week on Bulgaria's fence on its border with Turkey, designed to keep Middle Eastern illegal aliens from sneaking into the EU (of which Bulgaria is now a member). Mildly interesting but not that unusual in itself, since Greece already has fenced its land border with Turkey.

What makes this barrier notable is that it replaces the one the Bulgarians dismantled in the late 1990s, a remnant of the Iron Curtain designed to keep people in. The story quotes the former government minister who had overseen the dismantling: "The theory then was that it was antidemocratic to have these kind of devices along the border." Read more...

Words vs. Deeds on Amnesty

By Mark Krikorian, April 7, 2015

Democratic amnesty-pushers, and their Republican collaborators, keep telling us how popular "comprehensive immigration reform" is. But the actions of those same politicians suggest they don't believe their own press releases. Read more...

Immigration: Up vs. Down, Not Republican vs. Democrat

By Mark Krikorian, February 19, 2015

CIS Legal Policy Analyst Jon Feere appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal this morning opposite Crystal Williams of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and what struck me was the callers.

C-SPAN offers three call-in numbers, for Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, and I'd guess on issues like taxes or guns or abortion that yields a variety of views. But whatever you might think from watching the Senate battle over funding of Obama's lawless amnesty decrees — where every Democrat has been voting for amnesty and against enforcement — out in the real world support for enforcing our immigration laws is not a partisan issue. So whatever phone line people use to call in to C-SPAN, my experience from being on the show has been that most callers are pro-enforcement.

On today's show every caller was pro-enforcement (except one who was off-topic and another who was unintelligible). Some samples: Read more...

The Peasants Are Revolting, So Let's Get New Ones

By Mark Krikorian, February 9, 2015

In the Morning Jolt yesterday (you should subscribe), Brother Geraghty asked whether Jeb is too enthusiastic about immigration. Read more...

Border Bill — Boob Bait for Bubba
An E-Verify mandate, on the other hand, might actually work

By Mark Krikorian, January 28, 2015
An E-Verify mandate, on the other hand, might actually work

A recent poll that found wide opposition to Obama's lawless amnesty decrees and support for defunding efforts also asked a third question: "Would you support or oppose Congress passing new legislation that strengthen the rules making it illegal for businesses in the U.S. to hire illegal immigrants?" Support for this was overwhelming, 71–21, far greater than the other questions (strongly support/oppose was 45 percent to 9 percent). The crosstabs show that every demographic group, without exception, supported making it harder to hire illegal aliens — liberal and conservative; Republican and Democrat; black, white, and Hispanic; Protestant, Catholic, and Jew; rich and poor; blue-collar and white-collar; urban and rural; old and young — everybody. Read more...

The Dog that Didn't Bark

By Mark Krikorian, January 21, 2015

In "Silver Blaze" Sherlock Holmes concluded from the fact that a guard dog didn't bark that the dog was friendly with the intruder.

Last night the Republican leadership didn't bark on immigration, because they're friendly with the intruder. Read more...

Handcuffed Cops Have Low Morale

By Mark Krikorian, December 10, 2014

Guess which agency's employees have the lowest job satisfaction in the government. Here's a hint: It's the one whose employees are prohibited from doing their jobs. Read more...

Amnesty Requires Immigration Cuts

By Mark Krikorian, December 9, 2014

I sincerely hope the next Congress will succeed in stopping Obama's lawless amnesty (though it's far from clear the GOP leadership is fully invested in doing so). Apart from the blatant Caesarism of Obama's decrees, we shouldn't even be considering amnesty until the tools are fully in place to prevent another wave of illegal settlement. Instead, Obama is actually dismantling enforcement. Read more...

Laws Emanate from the White House Now

By Mark Krikorian, November 21, 2014

Obama's speech announcing his immigration diktat was the usual pabulum: "our immigration system is broken," can't let illegals "remain in the shadows," "commonsense middle-ground approach," blah, blah, blah. If I didn't have to go on TV right afterwards, I would have played a drinking game. Read more...

Bush Precedent for Obama Amnesty? Not Even Close

By Mark Krikorian, November 19, 2014

Thursday night the president will announce more details about his long-promised unilateral immigration decrees. Supporters of the president have been claiming that an executive action by President George H.W. Bush in 1990 is a precedent for Obama's sweeping measures. I argued yesterday at National Review Online , that the 1990 grant of the equivalent of deferred action to spouses and minor children of certain IRCA amnesty beneficiaries was not a precedent because – among other reasons – it was so much smaller. (It was called "voluntary departure" – only in the immigration business can "departure" mean that you get to stay.) Read more...

A Vote for a Long-Term Budget Is a Vote for Amnesty

By Mark Krikorian, November 13, 2014

Fox News reported last night possible details of the president’s lawless immigration plans. The ten-point plan, which could be announced as early as next Friday, includes work permits for up to 4.5 million illegal aliens, an expansion of the earlier lawless DACA amnesty (covering perhaps another 300,000 illegals), and pulling the plug on the Secure Communities program (which runs the fingerprints of arrested suspects through DHS databases at the same time they’re checked by the FBI). These are all demands of Obama’s leftist and ethnic-chauvinist constituencies; what the corporate interests get is a unilateral increase in job-related green cards, by illegally exempting dependents from the numerical caps. The plan would also give a raise to ICE officers to “increase morale,” as though that’s the reason for the despair among law-enforcement officers prohibited by their political superiors from enforcing the law. Read more...

70 Percent of Illegals Released by ICE Don’t Appear for Follow-up Appointments

By Mark Krikorian, September 26, 2014

Immigration and Customs Enforcement released thousands of illegal-alien families from this summer’s border surge – the large majority of those who were apprehended – with instructions to report to the particular ICE office at their final destination. DHS has repeatedly refused to say how many of them actually show up as directed.

Well, the AP secured a recording of "a confidential meeting at its [ICE's] Washington headquarters with immigration advocates" where ICE acknowledged that 70 percent of those released "never showed up weeks later for follow-up appointments." Read more...

Uncle Sam Wants Illegal Aliens for the U.S. Army

By Mark Krikorian, September 26, 2014

The Pentagon announced yesterday that certain illegal aliens would be permitted to join the military. Specifically, people with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) "temporary" amnesty can apply for the MAVNI program (Military Accessions in the National Interest). The program is for legal foreigners who don't have green cards (mainly foreign students or workers) who speak certain rare languages or have specialized medical training. Read more...

How About Just Paying Them More?

By Mark Krikorian, September 17, 2014

Maria Shriver is helping Marriott hotels avoid raising the pay for its housekeepers.

Perhaps fearing that the minimum-wage campaign directed at fast-food restaurants will turn its red and fiery eye toward hotels, Marriott has teamed up with Shriver and her group A Woman's Nation, to launch a campaign dubbed "The Envelope Please." It will "put envelopes in hotel rooms to encourage tipping" at Marriott's various brands, including Courtyard, Residence Inn, J.W. Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Renaissance hotels. The hotel chain is even suggesting how much to tip: "Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson says $1 to $5 per night, depending on room rate, with more for a high-priced suite." Read more...

How Big Is 'Real Big' for Lawless Amnesty?

By Mark Krikorian, September 9, 2014

Harry Reid is urging President Obama to "go real big" when he decrees his lawless amnesty after the election. This echoes a comment made to BuzzFeed over the weekend by Angela Kelley, head of immigration policy at the Center for American Progress: Read more...

What If They WERE Refugees?

By Mark Krikorian, July 22, 2014

The party line of the anti-borders Left regarding the "unaccompanied" minors surging across the border into South Texas is that they're "refugees" fleeing violence and persecution, like Syrians in Turkey or Somalis in Kenya. (This description is extended to the rest of the flow, as well, since the ostensibly unaccompanied make up well under half of the surge.) This is why they describe it as primarily a humanitarian issue not amenable to a law-enforcement response.

While Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador are indeed unsavory places, there's no honest disputing at this point that the flow was generated by Obama's five-year record of gutting immigration law. But let's take the anti-borders crowd at its word and accept for the sake of argument that the Central Americans represent a refugee flow.

They still should be turned away. Read more...

Locked in Immigration Limbo

By Mark Krikorian, July 18, 2014

Fred Bauer has a thoughtful piece at National Review Online that's worth reading. He describes the dangers of today's condition of "bad-faith open borders," where "illegal immigrants are de jure rejected but de facto accepted."

One issue he didn't address was why we're in that situation. The reason for it is the same reason we have so much trouble achieving "sustainable harmony" (as he put it) on immigration: Each side sees the current stalemate as preferable to letting the other side prevail. Read more...