Tag Archives: Illegal Immigrants

Chris Christie: The U.S. Should Track Immigrants Like FedEx Tracks Packages

During a campaign rally on Saturday, former New Jersey Gov. and GOP Presidential candidate Chris Christie said that if he were elected, he would track immigrants with visas in the United States in the same way that FedEx tracks its packages.

Christie said that he plans on having the founder of FedEx come to work for the government because currently when the U.S. issues visas, “the minute they come in, we lose track of them.”

“I’m going to have Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, come work for the government for three months,” Christie said. “Just come for three months to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and show these people.”

Striving for a system similar to the one used by the independent shipping company, Christie said he used it as an example, because while FedEx can track packages, the U.S. can’t track immigrants.

[pull_quote_center]We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in and then when your time is up, however long your visa is, then we go get you and tap you on the shoulder and say, ‘Excuse me, it’s time to go,'[/pull_quote_center]

[RELATED: Chris Christie Condemns ‘Civil Liberties Extremists’, Argues To Maintain NSA Surveillance In NH Speech]

Along with the topic of immigration, the conversation about “anchor babies” has also been popular among GOP candidates, and Christie referred to it as a “distraction” that reflects poorly on the Republican party.

“The entire conversation about ‘anchor babies’ is a distraction that makes us sound like we’re anti-immigrant, and we’re not,” Christie said. “Our party is not that way. We want people to do it legally. Do it the right way.”

[RELATED: Reality Check: ‘Anchor Babies’ and Trump’s U.S. Citizenship Claims]

Christie’s comments were criticized by immigrant advocates such as Dawn Le, spokeswoman for the Alliance for Citizenship, who told Reuters that she doesn’t see Christies’s proposal as all that different from Donald Trump’s immigration plans.

“Basically, he put a stamp on everyone’s wrist without providing a solution for the people who are here,” Le said. “How is his proposal any different than Donald Trump’s? Would he deport all 11 million people? He didn’t say.”

Christie doubled down on his comments on Sunday, during an interview with Fox News. He insisted that he was not comparing people to packages, and he called any criticism of his prior comments “ridiculous.”

“I don’t mean people are packages, so let’s not be ridiculous,” Christie said. “This is once again a situation where the private sector laps us in the government with the use of technology. We should bring in the folks from FedEx to use the technology to be able to do it. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

For more election coverage, click here.

This story has been updated to clarify the type of immigrant Christie intends to track.

FEE: 5 Charts that Show Trump’s Immigration Paper Is Nonsense

By David Bier – Donald Trump dropped his long-awaited immigration position paper this week. To no one’s surprise, it is a long list of restrictionist clichés about immigrants taking jobs, abusing welfare, and lowering wages for Americans.

Here are the five biggest inaccuracies:

Inaccuracy #1: America is experiencing “record immigration levels.”

This claim is not remotely true. As I showed in a recent Niskanen report, today’s immigration rate — new permanent residents as a percentage of the U.S. population — is half the historical average and a quarter of its record highs in the early 20th century. While the immigrant population already here is growing as a share of the population, this is not due to unprecedented immigration, but to Americans’ unprecedented low birthrates.

Immigration Average

Inaccuracy #2: “The influx of foreign workers holds down salaries.”

Trump’s claim here is that increasing the supply of workers increases competition for jobs, which results in lower wages. Trump wants to focus on new foreign workers, but to evaluate whether there is more or less competition for jobs today, we need to look at all new workers, immigrant and native.

As I show in a recent Niskanen report, incomes rose at a much higher rate when the rate of new workers entering the labor force each year was much higher. The 33 years since 1981 saw much lower levels of labor-force growth and much lower levels of income growth than the 33 before it, due to the baby boom and the dramatic increase in female labor force participation. It just isn’t true that when the labor force grows wages fall.

Median Income Growth

Inaccuracy #3: “We need to control the admission of new low-earning workers in order to help wages grow [and] get teenagers back to work.”

Trump’s argument is again that new immigrants without a high school degree have increased competition for low-skilled jobs, stagnating incomes and displacing high school-age workers. This time Trump just forgets to add the word “foreign” before “workers” entirely.

Again, as I show in another Niskanen report, the number of new noncollege-educated workers entering the labor force has been falling, and the number of high school dropouts — immigrant and native — has actually declined. In absolute terms, there are fewer workers without a high school degree today than 30 years ago.


Inaccuracy #4: H-1Bs increase unemployment.

Trump spends several paragraphs arguing for this theory. But as I show in another Niskanen paper, higher H-1B employment is associated with lower unemployment in the top field for H-1Bs: computer and tech jobs. This means tech companies expand employment for all workers when they hire H-1Bs; companies do not replace Americans with H-1B workers. If they did that, overall unemployment would increase as new H-1Bs entered.

h1b computer unemployment

Inaccuracy #5: H-1Bs force American STEM [science, technology, engineering, math] graduates out of STEM fields.

Trump claims “we graduate two times more Americans with STEM degrees than find STEM jobs.” But his source indicates that the real number is two times more graduates — immigrant and native — not simply Americans.

In reality, 40 percent of STEM doctoral grads are foreign-born, many of whom are required to leave. More importantly, when you include fields like academia, finance, and health care, 61 percent of STEM undergraduates in the United States are directly using their degrees, and 80 percent are working in professional fields that require bachelor’s degrees.

Overall, STEM grads have much lower levels of unemployment than the general public and are more likely to be using their degrees.

Collage Graduates

This post first appeared at the Niskanen Center.


Reprinted from FEE with permission under Creative Commons Attribution License


Do you agree with Foundation for Economic Education’s break down of Donald Trump‘s immigration plan? Let us know in the comments.


40 Mothers Launch Hunger Strike As They Await Immigration Hearings

Forty mothers who came to the United States from Central America, seeking asylum, launched a hunger strike on Monday to protest their detainment. The mothers and their children are being held at an immigration detention center in Karnes City, Texas, while they await their immigration hearings.

McClatchy DC reported that while more than 80 women had initially signed a petition to take part in the strike, several dropped out after two women were placed in isolation.

Johana De Leon, a legal assistant with the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, told McClatchy DC that some of the mothers were warned they could “lose custody of their children” if they participated in the strike.

Part of the letter, which was obtained and translated by Colorlines, says:

During this time, no mother will work in the detention center, nor will we send our children to school, nor will we use any services here, until we are heard and approved: we want our FREEDOM.”

Colorlines reported that the mothers who signed the letter have all been interviewed by immigration officials, and have established a “credible fear of persecution or torture if they were to be deported.”  While some have not been given the opportunity to post bond for release, others have a bond set too high for them to pay.

Colorlines’ Aura Bogado reported that when she contacted the facility, she spoke with an anonymous immigration officer who laughed at the strike, calling it something the women’s attorneys had convinced them to do.

Kenia Galeano, a 26-year-old mother who came from Honduras with her 2-year-old son, told McClatchy DC that instead of finding the shelter they were seeking when they came to the US, she and the other mothers are being treated like prisoners. She said that while she has been held at the center for five months, some of the other mothers have been there for 10 months.

Galeano said that the mothers participating in the strike have not been influenced by any outside sources, and that they will not eat, work, or send their children to the center’s school until the detainees are released.

Colorlines noted that the Karnes facility, which is run the private GEO group, has a mostly-male staff of guards who have access to the women and children’s rooms at all times, and as a result, the Karnes facility has been the site of repeated allegations of sexual abuse.

According to Colorlines, while illegal immigrants are not authorized to work in the United States, undocumented detainees at Karnes help run the facility, and receive a paycheck of $3 a day. Their work includes cleaning and running the laundry facility for the 532-bed detention center.

Karnes City, Texas, has a population of about 3,500, and is home to several major fracking operations. These operations have led to complaints about contaminated water, which means that the city’s residents rely on bottled water. For residents at the Karnes facility, $3 is both a day’s salary and the price of a bottle of water, according to Colorlines.

Nina Pruneda, a spokeswoman for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), released a statement saying that the agency is carefully monitoring the situation for potential health and safety risks.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion without interference, and all detainees, including those in family residential facilities such as Karnes, are permitted to do so,” Pruneda said.

McClatchy DC reported that the Karnes center is one of three immigration detention facilities set up specifically for women and children in the US. More than 2,500 illegal immigrants have been detained at these centers since July.

U.S. Opens Largest Immigration Detention Center, Claims It Will Be a Deterrent to Border Crossings

On Monday, the largest immigration detention center in the United States was opened in South Texas, as a provision of President Obama’s recent executive order on immigration.

The New York Times reported that the center, which is part of Obama’s effort to “reinforce the southwest border to prevent a new surge of illegal immigration,” covers 50 acres of land in the town of Dilley, and will “hold up to 2,400 migrants who have illegally crossed the border.

The facility, which has been named the South Texas Family Residential Center, will house families, mainly women and children, while their deportation cases go through the courts.

Reuters reported that the center “has several dozen small cottages where families can live,” and it “includes medical facilities, a school and recreational facilities.”

According to The Dallas Morning News, Republicans “have assailed Obama’s measures, saying he overstepped his constitutional authority with a sweeping program of deportation reprieves,” and they are predicting that it will “attract another wave of migrants like the one in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas last summer.”

The New York Times reported that the Corrections Corporation of America, which will be in charge of running the center, “estimates the cost at $296 a day for each detainee.”

Jeh C. Johnson, the Secretary of Homeland Security, attended the grand opening of the detention center, and stated that the United States’ borders are “not open to illegal migration,” and that with the new detention center, it will now be more likely that future immigrants “will be detained and sent back.”

If Congress is interested with me in supporting the border security measure we are outlining here today, it should act immediately on our budget request for fiscal 2015,” said Johnson. “Everyone agrees that border security is important. Now it’s time to step up and partner with this department to help support that.

The opening of the detention center in Texas comes less than two weeks after Texas led a coalition of 17 states suing Obama on the claim that his executive order to grant amnesty to up to nearly 5 million illegal immigrants violated constitutional limits on presidential power.

Texas Leads Coalition of 17 States Suing Obama on Immigration

On Wednesday, Texas led a coalition of 17 states suing the Obama administration, on the claim that it acted illegally last month when initiating an executive order that would grant amnesty to up to nearly 5 million illegal immigrants.

USA Today reported that Texas is being joined by Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

According to the New York Times, although Republicans in the House of Representatives are preparing to vote on a bill on Thursday that would “dismantle the president’s programs,” the lawsuit from the states is the “first major legal challenge” to Obama’s executive order.

Reuters reported that the case was “filed at the Federal Court in the Southern District of Texas,” stating that Obama’s executive order should be declared illegal, due to the fact that it “violated constitutional limits on presidential powers.”

The coalition is being led by Greg Abbott, the Attorney General and Governor-elect of Texas. Abbott stated that Texas was “uniquely qualified to challenge the president’s executive order,” due to the fact that the state has received he majority of the impact from illegal immigration.

The President is abdicating his responsibility to faithfully enforce laws that were duly enacted by Congress and attempting to rewrite immigration laws, which he has no authority to do,” Abbott said.

According to USA Today, Obama claimed that he was “forced to act because Congress failed to pass a comprehensive immigration bill,” and he defended his actions, saying that although his immigration steps are “incomplete,” they are “good for the economy.”

The Huffington Post reported that the lawsuit “could make things awkward come Friday, when Abbott travels to Washington to meet with Obama as part of a group of newly elected governors.”

The Governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, said his state is involved in the lawsuit, because they believe the President “has exceeded the balance of power provisions clearly laid out in the U.S. Constitution.”

Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia Attorney General, released a similar statement, saying that the lawsuit was a way for the states to stand up to the Obama administration.

We joined this lawsuit to stand up once again with other state attorneys general and governors against an out-of-control executive branch,” Morrisey said.

US government acknowledges it “crossed the line” on torture

For many years, the US government has said it respects, protects, and promotes human rights here at home and all over the world.  However, the US admitted to the UN Committee on Torture that after 9/11, abuses had occurred during the “War on Terror.”

The US legal adviser Mary McLeod spoke to the ten member committee saying, according to the Raw Story, “In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, we regrettably did not always live up to our own values… we crossed the line and we take responsibility for that.”

After this, the committee began to ask the 30 top US officials present for the hearing, various questions regarding how the US planned to amend and atone for these acknowledged abuses.

Some of these questions revolved around Guantanamo Bay.  The committee asked the US delegates why the prison was still open after saying it would be closed and when the US government plans on shutting down the prison for good.

The delegates were also questioned on the Abu Ghraib prison incident and the lack of redress for the victims.

McLeod responded by saying, according to ABC News, “As President Obama has acknowledged, we crossed the line and we take responsibility for that… The United States has taken important steps to ensure adherence to its legal obligations.”

Amnesty International previously submitted evidence of human rights abuses to the UN Committee on Torture, outlining various violations US personnel are responsible for.  The method of water-boarding and secret detention of captives were two methods mentioned on this list.

From here, the UN questions moved from international torture to torture at home.

They questioned the delegates how the government justifies the detention of non-violent, non-criminal illegal immigrants, specifically children.  The disproportionate levels of police brutality in cases involving minorities were also brought into question.

The committee plans to publish its conclusions concerning torture and the US government on November 28.

Obama Administration Prepares for Creation of 34 Million Green Cards Following Midterm Elections

Following the midterm elections in November, the Obama administration is privately preparing to initiate a process that would result in the printing of work permits and green cards for up to 34 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

The contract plan, which was issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service on October 6, stated that the agency would be “posting a solicitation for the requirement of Card Stock,” with the objective to provide “card consumables for the Document Management Division that will be used to produce Permanent Resident Cards and Employment Authorization Documentation Cards.

The requirement is for an estimated 4 million cards annually with the potential to buy as many as 34 million cards total,” stated the plan. “The ordering periods for this requirement shall be for a total of five years.”

The Daily Caller reported that this plan would give President Obama “the technical ability to hand out more than nine million work permits in one year, or 13 million in two years,” despite the nation’s current state of “high unemployment, stalled wages and increasing automation.”

According to Breitbart.com, just one year ago, “such a plan might have been attributed to a forthcoming immigration bill.” However, given the U.S. border crisis over the summer, the chances of such a new law are very low, which gives “additional credence to the possibility the move is in preparation for an executive amnesty by Obama.”

A spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, Bob Dane, told Watchdog.com that Obama appears “to be getting his ducks in a row,” and that his plan is “another petulant display of contempt for Congress.”

There aren’t enough federal employees from here to Pluto to do adequate background checks on 34 million,” Dane said.

According to The Daily Caller, Obama “promised progressives and advocates for immigrants that he will take major action on immigration by the end of the year.” However, he made that promise after Democratic lawmakers “pleaded with him to delay the executive action until after the election.”

A Policy Analyst for the Center for Immigration Studies, David North, addressed the procedure the Obama administration was going through in order to provide amnesty for illegal immigrants in the United States.

It is ironic that the lesser details of this operation, the purchase of ID documents via public announcements and competitive bidding, are all done strictly by the book,” said North. “But the substance – the proposed legalization of millions of people without congressional authorization – is handled in a dubious, if not down-right illegal manner.”

Obama sneaks 760 illegal immigrants into Tennessee: “It’s unacceptable. No one was told,” says Governor

NASHVILLE, July 25, 2014– On Friday, the Obama administration quietly sneaked more than 760 illegal immigrants into the state. State Rep. Sheila Butt (R- Columbia) says she has requested more information about the illegal immigrants from Governor Bill Haslam (R), House Speaker Harwell (R), and Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R).

In the below to President Obama, Haslam appears displeased that the state was not informed of the arrival.

July 25, 2014

The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Obama:
I write to you to express my concern about the number of unaccompanied immigrant children entering this country and the failure of the federal government to notify states in which children are being released.

On July 13, the nation’s governors met with Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell during the annual National Governors Association meeting, which I hosted in Nashville this year. We spent a significant amount of time in that meeting discussing the issue of unaccompanied immigrant children. Although this is a complex issue and one that ultimately must be solved at the federal government level, governors are rightly concerned about the impact on states. We emphasized to Secretary Burwell the need to be informed of any children being relocated to our states.

It is unacceptable that we became aware via a posting on the HHS website that 760 unaccompanied children have been released by the Office of Refugee Resettlement to sponsors in Tennessee without my administration’s knowledge. Not only was our state not informed prior to any of the children being brought here, I still have not been contacted and have no information about these individuals or their sponsors other than what was posted on the HHS website and subsequently reported by media.

Although solving the border crisis is a federal responsibility, this influx of immigrant children could have a significant impact on state and local governments. Therefore, we strongly believe that the state needs to be informed prior to any additional unaccompanied immigrant children being released in Tennessee, and we also need immediate answers to the following questions:

1. What was the process for determining that these children should be released to sponsors in Tennessee?
2. How did you locate and evaluate the fitness of their sponsors?
3. What medical screenings were the children given prior to their release in Tennessee?
4. What is the official immigration status of these children and their sponsors?
5. In what localities are these children now residing?
6. What are the legal requirements concerning the provision of services for these children while
they are in the state?
7. What additional information is available on these children, such as age and health status?
8. How long will these children be in Tennessee?

Tennessee is a diverse and welcoming state, and we also understand that this is a complicated issue. However, an influx of unaccompanied immigrant children to the state, with little information being made available to the public or to state leaders, creates confusion and could be very problematic. The start of school is approaching for many districts across the state, and the federal government’s actions have caused great uncertainty around this issue.

I appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to receiving a response to these urgent questions.

Bill Haslam
cc: The Honorable Sylvia Burwell, Secretary, HHS

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