Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

November 23, 2009

And in this corner…immigration reform

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Jessica Herrera-Flanigan on November 23, 2009

And in this corner, hoping to make a comeback after being knocked out in 2007… immigration reform.

A little over a week ago, HLSWatch provided a synopsis of Department of Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano’s speech at the Center for American Progress on immigration.   In response to the speech, there has been a good amount of chatter on immigration and the possibility that it is next up in the queue in policy priorities for the Administration and Congress.

Here is a quick summary of some of the lines that are being drawn on the issue:

  • On November 19th, House Judiciary Committee Republican Members, led by Ranking Member Lamar Smith and Immigration Subcommittee Chair Steve King, held a forum entitled”"American Jobs in Peril: The Impact of Uncontrolled Immigration.”   The forum focused on data from the Department of Homeland Security that the Members said demonstrated “dramatic drops in worksite enforcement.” Rep. Smith focused increased unemployment to the jobs issues, stating that “[t]here are 16 million Americans out of work.  And yet, the administration has chosen to ignore the fact that there are nearly eight million illegal immigrants in the workforce.  Those stolen jobs should be returned to out-of-work citizens and legal immigrants. The Obama administration should put citizens and legal immigrants first, especially when it comes to jobs.”   DHS responded to the forum by noting that the data presented at the Forum was outdated.
  • In response to the economic concerns that many are trying to link to immigration, The Hill reported this morning that House Democrats are making changes to their immigration legislation to take into account the high unemployment rate.  The paper quotes Rep. Luis Gutierrez, one of the biggest advocates for comprehensive immigration reform, as saying “Each bill is reflective of a time. And with unemployment over 10 percent I think we need to have language that is very carefully tailored.”
  • Secretary Napolitano and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Assistant Secretary John Morton announced on November 19th that DHS was launching the “I-E-Verify” program, a program that allows employers to go online to check the legal status of potential employees.  They also announced that DHS would begin a significant workplace  audit of more than 1,000 employers nationwide — mostly focused on businesses connected to public safety and national security.
  • On November 19, Secretary Napolitano also announced that the Global Entry program, a “U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) voluntary initiative that streamlines the international arrivals and admission process at airports for trusted travelers through biometric identification” would become permanent.

Expect more on the immigration front in the coming weeks as the sides prepare for the potential big bout of 2010.

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4 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 23, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

Okay back to basics. Given that we (the US) now knows that even the calculation of GDP is not accurate and has major glitches, how do we know the real facts on immigration legal and illegal. My bottom line is whoever is in the US legally or illegally must be considered as a factor in HOMELAND Security, both postive and negative. Many persons have resided illegally in the US for years from illegal entry, to overstayed tourist and student visas, or other expired forms of immigration approval. Many of the International apparatchiks that run the multinational groups like the World Bank, the IFC or others including the UN are usually admitted with spouses and families. The spouses and families are on G-4 visas and should the employed person be fired, die, or otherwise leave their position the families often stay behind in the US! Why often married or born here. But because of the complexity of the immigration law and the long long history of screwed up immigration by the Department of Justice, INS, long before part of DHS (which opened its doors in March 2003) they are left with residual problems. Hey and then there is Mexico. IMO current US policy towards Mexico is heading Mexico towards another basic revolution like that in 1917! Why? No jobs, no security, and US policy that has even increased maize prices out of sight for streetside vendors even in Mexico City. Okay the population of that country largely of one Christian sect has risen from 40 million in 1940 to well over 100 million. Yet the US views Mexico as a nothing but a vacation stop or much much worse–a source of its insatiable demand for drugs which is now corrupting even US authorities and that includes the judiciary. Hey long long ago a friend’s wife who worked for the FBI in Miami was offered $100,000 for a single sheet of paper with a few names on it to be smuggled out of that office. She reported it and bravely wore a wire and gathered evidence that led to convictions. Now with the cartels shooting first that kind of bravery from the average citizen or even trained officers is unlikely. What was on the sheet of paper? A list of jurors! They were to be intimidated or killed by the premier cartel in place at that time from the country of Columbia. This is truly a war and I hope we are giving aslyum to those who help from Mexico when their lives are continually threatened. This is not a game. Please note that Major Hassan’s weapons were precisely the favorites of the drug cartels. A number of publications including Homeland Security Today have linked the terrorists to the cartels. DEA should have been made part of DHS from the start. THE FBI since its inception has worried over its own gold badge agents being corrupted by drugs and the money that the drug runners can provide. This is why there is a DEA, because HOOVER refused to investigate illegal narcotics and related violations of federal law. Also organized crime in the US. There is a reason Elliott Ness, a Treasury agent took on Capone. Hey with up to several hundred million being offered for a vote on health care reform what will be the price for immigration reform. This is a very complicated issue and Secreary Chertoff gave his fullest attention to it and still failed to get reform. What makes anyone think that an administration largely given to speeches and show and little substance except to cave to the most influential lobbies will add immigration to their real priorities any time soon. Personally I doubt that will happen. Separate out Mexican relations and then reform of immigration, legal and illegal might have a chance. In fact, and many of course would disagree, we (Mexico and the US) are in fact one country, economically, socially, and demographically. Which of the current Secretaries and agency heads are fully fluent in Spanish? Our Ambassador to Mexico should be a long service professional, not a long-term contributor. We are losing Mexico just as we are about to lose (they never were ours but you get the point) Iraq and Afghanistan and probably Pakistan. All of these nations are worse off for US intervention. Are we the US safer who knows since all the really good intel is classified, still not shared with those who do need to know! And notice how there is no effort to listen to what a majority of citizens are telling the pollsters. And by the way how are all those illegals and those who employ them polled?

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 24, 2009 @ 2:30 am

Driver’s Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants?
Only three states — Illinois, New Mexico and Washington — allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. Other states have recently implemented practices aimed at banning immigrants who enter the U.S. illegally from operating motor vehicles. As part of the NPR series, “On The Road to Safety,” Tell Me More explores the risks of road safety posed by unlicensed and uninsured drivers. Guest host Jennifer Ludden will speak with Loretta Worters, of the Insurance Information Institute! Worters is joined by Ira Melman, of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, and Kevin Johnson, professor of law and Chicana-Chicano Studies at the University of California, Davis.

Comment by christopher tingus

November 24, 2009 @ 7:51 am

Thank you Mr. William Cumming.

Thank you for your much respected perceptions which should be read by you Mr. President and by every White House staffer, key officials and particularly every member of Congress.

Mexico City’s population has grown exponentially since my last visit in the 70′s and so have the challenges with every administration since turning its cheek to addressing serious issues. Issues affecting our population.

War on drugs. A battle pertaining to immigration, you bet! Losing on both, you bet!

Those involved in drug trade/business are well versed and intelligent businessmen/individuals. They see the hoax in the half-hearted efforts of policy makers and implementation of efforts to thwart such business as they go to the bank quite happily despite the anguish they have offered to those choosing their preferred addiction….

Let’s admit that global corruption is rampant and until US laws are made much more stringent for offenders of any law and immigration requirements are given the respect that required European immigrants at the turn of the 20th century to adhere to, well, the War on Drugs, the AfPak and other efforts are only half-hearted….

It’s all about politics (power) and money. Power and money!

No consciousness of integrity and compassion. Indifference to fellow man -

No consideration for the laws that our Creator kindly shared with us and asked that we not deviate from the truth!

The future is dubious at best.

From the partisanship portrayed by Congress, yes, you fellas and gals who get dressed in the morning and get your shoes on just like anyone else w/few of you even knowing what a gallon of milk costs these days, we can see how quickly you can print billions of fiat dollars to bail out your Wall Street buddies and continue this Federal Reserve scheme, while drugs, politics and the uneducated Somalis w/high powered rifles and grenade launchers in their hands can captivate good people….The UN should be helping the Spanish government for instance in safeguarding their fishing fleets…..Madrid has numerous problems and as a starting point, the EU, the US, NATO and the UN can help Madrid become more coordinated and effective….Some suggest that the largest shipping owners sit down with these agencies and country representatives at a Madrid Summit to let the Somalis and any other 21st century pirates know their actions will be met with strong response from the international community….

Before our dollar loses any more value which is obvious by the lack of political leadership for many administrations, print up some more billions of “fiat” dollars and with transparency – a word that local school committees and their Superintendants don’t like never mind anyone higher up the food chain, Congressional members, begin to address your responsibilities and instead of trying to redo the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, adhere to the responsibilities of the elected office you have promised by pledge to uphold and get over yourselves and get the job done! Thus far, you have failed to the extent that our great Republic is in serious peril!

Christopher Tingus
Harwich (Cape Cod), MA USA
chris.tingus@gmail.com

Comment by econobiker

November 30, 2009 @ 1:29 pm

Is being an illegal immigrant all that bad?

I too want to work under the table for cash and not pay taxes, drive a car without insurance and walk away from accidents by giving a fake name, get my US born and US citizen anchor children free welfare and social assistance benefits because my immigration status cannot be questioned (plus working under the table shows no income), be able to stiff landlords, autodealers, etc out of money owed and not have judgements follow me, use a tax id number for my credit history, use fake ID to work and sign contracts, give the police a fake name for traffic tickets and never have to pay a fine nor show up in court, name my US citizen children after myself and/or my wife so we can use the children’s social security number to get legitimate work, etc, etc, etc

Not a bad deal if you can get it…

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