Wait, Gingrich is the humane one?

I scanned the results of the latest GOP debate and while it didn’t turn up anything earth shattering, it speaks volumes that in the current GOP, Newt Gingrich is the humane voice. I’m not sure if he was ever an anti-imigration partisan, or if he’s genuinely not a nice, likeable person. But when he led the Republican house in the 90s, I recall a lot of anit-immigrant sentinement too. In fact, its what finally motivated my family to get our U.S. Citizenship. For additional weirdness, lets create a “red card”, which to most non-Americans, means you’re getting expelled from a soccer game.

At Tuesday’s Republican debate, Gingrich didn’t call for making all illegal immigrants citizens, or even allowing all 11 million or so to stay in America, but for some who’ve been here for decades to get “red cards,” establishing a special new class of non-citizens.

Gingrich Is Brave for Calling for the Humane Treatment of Humans

Illegal Immigration Has Declined: Why?

The labor market has to be the overwhelming factor, I have to think.  Another way to reduce illegal immigration would be to make it faster, easier to migrate legally. Despite what anti-immigrantion activists want us to believe, there's no "back-of-the-line" to get your papers, so until we reform that process, people will be forced to take dangerous, risky journeys to come to the States.

A new study from the Pew Hispanic Center finds that illegal immigration is down. Annual inflow between 2007 and 2009 was roughly two-thirds less than between 2000 and 2005, report Pew authors Jeffrey Passel and D'Vera Cohn. Furthermore, "the most marked decline in the population of unauthorized immigrants has been among those who come from Latin American countries other than Mexico."

Illegal Immigration Has Declined: Why?

Lies in Arizona.

Wow!  Arizona politicians are using outright lies and exageration to justify their crackdown on border security.  I'm glad I've never visited Arizona, and at this rate I never will.

Brewer's mindlessness about headlessness is just one of the immigration falsehoods being spread by Arizona politicians. Border violence on the rise? Phoenix becoming the world's No. 2 kidnapping capital? Illegal immigrants responsible for most police killings? The majority of those crossing the border are drug mules? All wrong.

Dana Milbank – Headless bodies and other immigration tall tales in Arizona

Immigration and the American Underclass

I’m hoping that immigration reform happens sooner rather than later.  In the meantime, some positive news about the effects of immigration on the “underclass” was released today by the Cato Institute.

Free Trade Bulletin no. 38: As Immigrants Move In, Americans Move Up | Cato’s Center for Trade Policy Studies

As plausible as the argument sounds, it is not supported by the social and economic trends of the past 15 years. Even though the number of legal and illegal immigrants in the United States has risen strongly since the early 1990s, the size of the economic underclass has not. In fact, by several measures the number of Americans living on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder has been in a long-term decline, even as the number of immigrants continues to climb. Other indicators associated with the underclass, such as the crime rate, have also shown improvement. The inflow of low-skilled immigrants may even be playing a positive role in pushing nativeborn Americans up the skills and income ladder.

Most children of unauthorized immigrants are U.S. citizens

This poses an interesting dilemma for people who want to deport unauthorized immigrants to their home countries. Do you break up the families? What happens when they grow up and they can vote? I know in my family, we don’t forget the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the early-mid 90s that spurred us to become citizens.

Pew Hispanic Center Publication: A Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States

In addition, a growing share of the children of unauthorized immigrant parents–73%–were born in this country and are U.S. citizens.

A surge in citizenship

The anti-immigrant sentiment of the mid 90s, as the Republicans were in ascension, motivated our family to stop procrastinating and become U.S. citizens. History is repeating itself again. Number of Mexicans gaining citizenship soars in 2007 – Los Angeles Times

The number of Mexican-born immigrants who became U.S. citizens swelled by nearly 50% last year amid a massive campaign by Spanish-language media and immigrant advocacy groups to help eligible residents apply for citizenship, according to a government report released Thursday.

Stopping Immigrants more important than the Environment, Diplomacy

From The Price Tag for Immigration Enforcement, the crackdown on immigrants is only going to get more expensive next year. The Department of Homeland Security is asking for a 19% increase for “immigratin enforcement and border control for 2009”. Just this year, the budgets for Customs and Border Protection (CBP)and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were 80% larger than the EPA budget and $4 billion more than the State Department. The FY2008 State Department budget was a little over $10 billion. The whole mess is detailed in Paying the Price of the Immigration Crackdown. Wouldn’t it be less expensive to reform the broken immigration system we have now?

The immigration enforcement and border security programs of Homeland Security, Justice, and Defense are only marginally related to enhancing the safety and security of Americans. Our immigration policy today responds to the forces of fear and hate unleashed by the Bush administration with its ill-begotten war on terrorism.

The cost of Illegal immigration

The Congressional Budget office released a report on the costs of illegal immigration for state and local governments [HT: Marginal Revolution]  Unfortunately, the report is only available as a PDF file, but its not overyly long, approximately 13 pages in length.  It estmiates the spending by state and local governments due to undocumented immigrants in 3 key ares: Education, Health Care, and Law Enforcement.  Unlike the key paragraph highlighted by MR, the actual document is a lot less clear in its conclusions about related spending.  And in fact, state under the Revnues Versus Spending section:

Most of the studies that include both revenues and costs for multiple programs show that state and local governments spend more on unauthorized immigrants than they collect in revenues from that population

Thanks to Sandy for leading me to realize that Marginal Revolution had fallen off of my feed reader.

US Citizen Deported to Mexico

It’s a scary thought, and something only a few years ago I thought I’d only read in the Onion, but I just read an article about a US Citizen, born in California, that had been wrongly deported to Mexico.  Think it can’t happen to you?   Short of always carrying your Passport, or Citizenship Certficate, if you don’t look or sound ‘merican, how can you prove your a citizen?

On Tuesday, the renewed questions flew from a packed room of journalists: Did ICE cross-reference Pedro’s statements with whatever documents exist related to a prior arrest and conviction? Were any efforts made to establish whether he suffers from a mental disability? Did he knowingly sign a voluntary deportation order, or was he somehow coerced? How can this scenario be prevented in the future?

Best line from the Hit and Run discussion: "Finally, the chilling predictions put forth in Cheech Marin’s Born in East LA are coming to pass."