Mark Krikorian's blog

Even Kinder, Gentler Enforcement Is Too Much

By Mark Krikorian, September 30, 2009

The Obama administration has adopted a Clinton-era immigration enforcement tactic that is starting to bear fruit. As the NYT describes today, instead of factory raids, the feds are auditing the personnel records of hundreds of companies and the people with bogus documents are starting to be fired, 1,800 of them at one L.A. garment factory. Since Obama isn't going to allow raids, audits like this are better than nothing — a lot better, in fact. Read more...

Overstaying Their Welcome

By Mark Krikorian, September 28, 2009

I'm all for border fencing and the like; it's an essential tool of national sovereignty.

But for too many politicians, and even ordinary folks, support for border security is a cop out, a substitute for thinking about the overall immigration problem, only part of which has anything to do with our border with Mexico.

One vital issue that is neglected because of this tunnel-vision on border fences is visa overstays. The Dallas jihadist shows how important this is; I suspected he was an overstayer, and the Dallas Morning News confirmed: Read more...

Citizen? What's That?

By Mark Krikorian, September 25, 2009

The head of the Census Bureau said this week that trying to identify the illegal aliens in the upcoming census would not be practical. And he's right — it's not just that the forms have already been printed, but who's going to honestly answer that they're illegal? Read more...

Another Warning on Amnesty

By Mark Krikorian, September 25, 2009

There was an important vote on a minor procedural matter Wednesday on the floor of the House. Arizona's Rep. Raul Grijalva, a leftist open-borders guy (and I don't mean liberal — MEChA member, 100% rating from the ACLU, etc.) sponsored a bill to create new national-park area along the border. Read more...

Not Much of a Debate

By Mark Krikorian, September 9, 2009

The Economist's website is hosting a "debate" on the following proposition: "This house believes there is too much international migration." Arguing against the proposition is one Dr. Danny Sriskandarajah, Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society, saying all the usual tranzi stuff. Read more...

We're Taking Refugees from Where?

By Mark Krikorian, September 9, 2009

Ann Corcoran over at Refugee Resettlement Watch points out that Refugees from Bhutan are the third-largest group of refugees resettled so far this year in the U.S. The perversity of this policy is clear when you learn that they're ethnic Nepalese kicked out by the Bhutanese government and living in refugee camps in — Nepal! Read more...

And the Farmers Are Demanding Even More Foreign Labor?!

By Mark Krikorian, September 2, 2009

In today's Wall Street Journal:

Food Aid Grows in California's Agricultural Heart

SELMA, Calif. — The combined punch of drought, water restrictions and recession has created an ironic situation in California's Central Valley: Officials are handing out tons of food in the heart of one of the nation's most productive agricultural regions. ...

A Modified Limited Hangout

By Mark Krikorian, September 1, 2009

From a reader:

Interesting thing…the White House dedicated a whole website to debunking healthcare myths. They must finally realize that their claims that illegal immigrants won't be covered are untrue…because I can't find a single word about illegal immigrants on their page.

Is the Congressional Research Service Making 'False Claims' Too?

By Mark Krikorian, August 26, 2009

Rep. Lamar Smith quotes from a new report by the Congressional Research Service to debunk President Obama's "willful misrepresentations," "outright distortions," and "outrageous myths" on immigration and health care.* Given the political importance of the illegal-alien question, it's worth quoting Smith's press release at length, especially since CRS reports aren't usually released to the public: Read more...

Politicians Do It Comprehensively

By Mark Krikorian, August 19, 2009

Kathleen Parker's column today has a great paragraph that could apply to any number of policy areas:

"Comprehensive" may be the scariest word in the English language when it tumbles from the lips of a politician. Instead of trying to revamp every aspect of the *********** system, Congress should follow Mackey's lead and tackle a few fixable problems with consensus and support from Americans, who, though frustrated with the status quo, aren't quite ready to surrender self-determination.

Amnesty's a Year Away, and Always Will Be

By Mark Krikorian, August 14, 2009

In between Quebecois meals bathed in gravy, or meat pies, or meat pies bathed in gravy, I missed something from a story this week on Obama's latest signal that amnesty's not happening any time soon: Read more...

Who Counts?

By Mark Krikorian, August 11, 2009

While reflecting on a recent Quebec meal of french fries bathed in cheese and gravy (who thought that up, anyway?), I read the Wall Street Journal piece linked in the web briefing about the harmful effects of counting illegal aliens in next year's decennial census for the purposes of congressional (and state legislative) apportionment. Read more...

He's Just Not That Into You

By Mark Krikorian, July 30, 2009

Schadenfreude alert: "Obama loses immigration allies; Activists picket, feel betrayed by administration policies." Actually, though, I'm sure Rahm Emanuel chuckles appreciatively anytime the lefties accuse the White House of being too tough on immigration — if I didn't know better, I'd think he put them up to it just to make Obama (falsely) look tough on enforcement.

The Cosmic Race

By Mark Krikorian, July 29, 2009

The National Council of La Raza has just wrapped up its annual conference in Chicago. While I think Tom Tancredo was engaging in hyperbole when he described La Raza as "a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses" (that describes instead MEChA and the Brown Berets), there's more to the comparison than people might realize. Read more...

'The Basic Goal Is to Promote the Free Flow of Labor into the USA'

By Mark Krikorian, July 28, 2009

Jim Robb of Numbers USA has some fun with the notes (taken by a participant who grew a conscience) of a closed-door meeting of open-borders lobbyists. It was organized by amnesty czarina Tamar Jacoby, who's the source of the title of this post. None of it's all that surprising — rope-selling businessmen complaining that even in this econony they need more cheap labor. One thing that was notable was that right after lefty wonk Simon Rosenberg said "Passing CIR [amnesty and increased immigration] will help Democrats lock in the Hispanic vote," Grover Norquist chimed in to agree that we need amnesty and more immigration. Who's side is he on? Read more...

More Slaves, Please

By Mark Krikorian, July 22, 2009

An op-ed in yesterday's Post is titled "Immigration Pitfall: Why 'Legalization Only' Won't Fly" and I thought to myself it'd be worth a look to see what pro-enforcement arguments might have made it into the paper. Then I saw the authors and figured out what was up. Read more...

Court Crusader Against Illegal Immigration

By Mark Krikorian, July 21, 2009

There's a fair, even-handed profile in the Times today of Kris Kobach, the law professor who's taken the lead role in legal advocacy for local communities seeking to implement their own immigration-related ordinances. (See his CIS report). Read more...

On a Roll

By Mark Krikorian, July 10, 2009

Wednesday and Thursday saw Senate approval of four good immigration amendments to the Homeland Security appropriations bill — not silver bullets that will solve everything, but real steps in the right direction nonetheless. A measure sponsored by Sen. Jeff Sessions would permanently reauthorize E-Verify and require federal contractors to use it (the similar contractor rule hyped by the administration is much narrower and riddled with loopholes). This amendment had failed in March by a vote of 47–50, but passed this week 53–44, with eight Democrats switching from no to yes votes (and two switching the other way). Every single Republican voted for it. A measure to require completion of the border fencing passed 54–44, and two other amnedments passed by voice vote — i.e., unanimously: one requires implementation of the Social Security No-Match Rule (overturning the administration announcement Wednesday to rescind the rule), while the other would permit employers to screen their existing workforce with the E-Verify system, which now may be used only for new hires. Read more...

One Step Forward, Three Steps Back

By Mark Krikorian, July 9, 2009

The administration has announced that it's abandoning an important immigration initative that would have identified large numbers of illegal immigrants in the workforce. To camouflage this capitulation, the same press release reiterates a promise to finally implement a different, much smaller initative. Read more...

Saddam's BFFs Coming to a Town Near You

By Mark Krikorian, July 8, 2009

From the Christian Science Monitor:

The State Department confirmed today that as many as 1,350 Iraqi Palestinians – once the well-treated guests of Saddam Hussein and now at outs with much of Iraqi society – will be resettled in the US, mostly in southern California, starting this fall.

Another Bad Sign for the Amnesty Crowd

By Mark Krikorian, July 7, 2009

From Politico: "Labor declares war on Chamber", as in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This story doesn't touch on immigration, but the two big union federations already gave business the finger in agreeing to oppose any guest-worker plan as part of an amnesty bill. And amnesty just isn't making it through Congress unless business and labor are swapping spit in the shower.

Bad Poetry Makes for Bad Policy

By Mark Krikorian, July 6, 2009

Roberto Suro, a former WaPo reporter turned professor at USC, is no restrictionist but he is a contrarian on immigration. His 1998 book Strangers Among Us is anathema to the open-borders crowd, with its assertion that stopping illegal immigration is necessary to improve the lives of low-skilled immigrants already here and its confidence that enforcement is actually feasible. Read more...

What's the Rush?

By Mark Krikorian, June 26, 2009

Yesterday's twice-delayed White House pep rally for amnesty offered no surprises, other than the exclusion of Steve King, who's just, you know, the ranking Republican on the House immigration subcommittee. In fact, despite the meeting's billing as broadly inclusive, only three of the 30 members of Congress there were opposed to amnesty: Sen. Jeff Sessions and Reps. Lamar Smith and Heath Shuler.

But a couple things were notable:

Touchback Redux?

By Mark Krikorian, June 19, 2009

The president this morning spoke at a Hispanic prayer breakfast and reiterated his support for amnesty, but again offered no timeline. One interesting twist is that he endorsed the bogus "touchback" gimmick that was floated during the last round of the amnesty debate, wherein illegal aliens would go home to apply for amnesty, have lunch, then come back legally, thus "rebooting" their status. As the L.A. Times writes: Read more...

A Whole New Meaning to 'Cheap Labor'

By Mark Krikorian, June 17, 2009

From a Washington Post story on foreign workers in Iraq:

Jasim al-Dulaimy, another tribal leader in Anbar who brought in Bangladeshis, said the workers had adapted well to desert life, adding that he had made them adopt the long, loose dishdashas traditionally worn in the province.

First Virtual Fencing, Now a Virtual Raid

By Mark Krikorian, June 12, 2009

From the LA Times:

No immigration agents descended on Overhill Farms, a major food-processing plant in Vernon. No one was arrested or deported. There were no frantic scenes of desperate workers fleeing la migra through the gritty streets of the industrial suburb southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Welcome to America!

By Mark Krikorian, June 10, 2009

Address by Mark Krikorian to 972 new citizens on Wednesday, June 3, 2009, at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, Calif.

Welcome to America!

That may sound a little funny, since you all have lived here for many years already; you can't become a citizen until living here for at least five years, and for most of you, it’s probably been longer than that.

But until two minutes ago, you were in America, but not of America – that's what changed with the oath you've just taken. Read more...

An End to Immigration?

By Mark Krikorian, June 9, 2009

Michael Barone has a posting at the Examiner site mulling over the implications of the drop in immigration from Mexico:

Both advocates and opponents of comprehensive bills have based their arguments on the assumption that large-scale immigration from Latin America and parts of Asia will continue indefinitely. But what if that assumption is false? Yes, our current recession is presumably temporary. But there is at least one other reason to assume that immigration from Latin America may not resume at previous levels: birth rates in Mexico and other Latin countries fell sharply around 1990.

Can We Retire 'Jobs Americans Won't Do?'

By Mark Krikorian, June 9, 2009

You mean Americans will do farm work?:

Colorado farmers have applied for 13 percent fewer foreign worker visas this year and state labor officials believe the cause is the lagging U.S. economy and the thousands of Coloradans looking for work.

The Sea Within Which the Fish Swim

By Mark Krikorian, June 8, 2009

One of the reasons ongoing mass immigration is a security problem for a modern society is that it creates and constantly refreshes unassimilated immigrant communities that serve as cover for bad guys, whether transnational terrorists or transnational criminals, whose access to modern technologies of communications, transportation, and weaponry makes the threat different in kind from anything we faced in earlier eras.

An illustration from Sunday's Washington Times: