Argument that Violence Driving Surge in Illegal Immigration Unconvincing

According to internal memos and news reports, the main driver of illegal immigration continues to be economic motivations.  The recent surge in illegal immigration, including the increase in illegal alien minors, by the admissions of the aliens themselves, is the result of Obama Administration policies, and the continuing promises of amnesty from leaders of both parties in Congress, which has been noted by media outlets in Central America.

Increased violence, notably a rise in homicides in the sending countries, has been touted as the cause of the unprecedented influx of illegal aliens across the U.S. southern border.  However, data from the United Nations shows that homicide rates in El Salvador and Guatemala are at a much lower level than in past years, and the homicide rate in Honduras is beginning to abate after a sharp rise that took place between 2006 and 2011. If murderous violence were the primary motivating factor spurring illegal immigration from these countries, the influx would have occurred much earlier. In contrast, Mexico, which has seen a sharp rise in its homicide rate in recent years, has sent many fewer illegal immigrants into the U.S. since 2009.


Aprehensions of Unaccompanied Alien Minors in U.S.

The United Nations data do not go beyond 2012, but there are no indications that that the conditions in Central American have changed to such an extent to account for the massive surge in illegal border crossers. In fact, a brief prepared by the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), created by the federal government to focus on U.S.-Mexico border issues, found that “violence is not likely the principal factor driving the increase in UAC migration.” Relying on information from the U.S. Border Patrol, EPIC stated that:

Of the 230 total migrants interviewed, 219 [95%] cited the primary reason for migrating to
the United States was the perception of U.S. immigration laws granting free passes or permisosa
to UAC and adult female OTMs [Other Than Mexican] traveling with minors.

EPIC also found that:

…a large number of migrants interviewed claimed family members in the United States encouraged
their travel because the U.S. government would cease issuing permisos after June 2014. Migrants
cited Univision, Primer Impacto, Al Rojo Vivo and several Honduran television news outlets for
helping shape their perception of U.S. immigration policy.

Honduras, which by far has the highest murder rate among Central American countries, as well as the highest in the world, has seen its murder rate decrease prior to the surge of illegal aliens from that country into the United States. Official statistics from the Honduran government, which records homicides up until June 2014, reveal that the murder rate in Honduras has dropped, yet apprehensions recorded by the U.S. Border Patrol of illegal alien minors from Honduras have greatly increased.

Data from July 2014 to Dec 2014 projected based on Jan 2014 to Jun 2014 statistics.

As FAIR pointed out last week, most of the information about the illegal aliens comes from the aliens themselves. What we do know is that many who are coming are not children, are not unaccompanied, are not trafficked, and are not coming because they are fleeing a sudden increase in violence in their home countries.*

* In testimony to the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee,  none of the three witnesses who claimed that violence was driving the surge in illegal immigration could point to a single precipitating violent event in Central America that could explain the sudden spike in number of illegal aliens from that region.

American Kids are People Too

kidsThe White House and the much of the media have talked endlessly about “the kids” who are pouring over our borders. No doubt there has been a tremendous surge in the number of children crossing illegally into the United States, lured by the Obama administration’s lack of border and interior enforcement, DACA, and the perpetual promise of future amnesties. But many, and by reliable accounts, most who are now coming illegally are not children, and that detail has been virtually ignored in the conversations about what must be done to secure the border and repatriate those illegally in the United States. So, too, is the fact that the information about the age (average age of fourteen), country of origin, and intent of the unaccompanied minors comes from the aliens themselves.

The “humanitarian crisis” is man-made, and it is not just the fault of President Obama. The entire Democratic and Republican leadership share responsibility for what is occurring, and for failing to take immediate steps to remedy the situation. It is clear that the President is intent on politicizing the ongoing immigration crisis in order to use it against Republicans in the mid-term elections. This is a grave miscalculation by the White House, as signaled by comments made by Steny Hoyer and other top Democrats, who have spoken out against the President’s failure to act in the national interest.

On the other side of the aisle, the Republican leadership has been backed into a corner and can no longer ignore the concerns of the American public. They are still reeling from the Eric Cantor primary loss and are trying to avoid the defection of their base over immigration. House Speaker Boehner has said that he might add the executive amnesties to the lawsuit he is preparing against the President, though Boehner has done nothing the past six years to ensure that the border was secure and our immigration laws were being enforced.

While the Obama Administration is trying to manage the unfolding public relations crisis, top Republicans in Congress are still trying to find a way to pass amnesty and massive increases in the admission of immigrants and guest workers to placate their corporate financiers. Their recent tough talk is a welcome change, but they need to do more than hold a blustery press conference to effect change.

The non-stop hand wringing over “the kids” is being used to deflect attention away from the larger problem of mass illegal immigration that resumed in 2009 after a short downtick following the 2007 recession. Americans don’t oppose treating illegal alien children humanely, or adult illegal aliens for that matter. But assuring the safety and welfare of illegal aliens before they are sent back to their home countries does not equate with failing to protect the safety and welfare of the American people by turning federal agents into traffickers who transport illegal aliens to the interior of the country –where they most likely will remain permanently. The actions (and inaction) of the Obama administration on immigration policy for the past five and half years have been reprehensible, and the response (or lack thereof) by top Republicans has been indefensible.

There are about 70 million native-born children in the United States. Their future hangs in the balance here, yet the President of the United States is unconcerned about “doing right by them.”

As Senator Jeff Sessions so poignantly asked: “When did we forget that a nation owes its first allegiance to her own citizens?”

A New Resource for Understanding our Foreign Worker Problem

chamber_commerce_hqNorman Matloff, a computer science professor at the University of California, Davis, has long been recognized as a leading authority on the H-1B guest worker program, and has highlighted the abuses of that program by many leading U.S. tech companies. Professor Matloff has just launched a new blog, which will deal with, among other things “STEM education issues” and “the tech industry labor market, especially regarding the H-1B work visa and age discrimination (starting at age 35!).”

The blog is entitled Upon Closer Inspection and will no doubt prove to be a valuable resource for countering the false claim of Mark Zuckerberg and his Silicon Valley cronies.

The link to Professor Matloff’s blog can be found on FAIR’s Related Resources page, along with links to all things immigration-related.

Rand Paul “Trapped” by His Own Willful Ignorance

Official PortraitRand Paul, who the day after Eric Cantor’s stunning defeat to anti-amnesty candidate Dave Brat, appeared with open-borders acolyte Grover Norquist to promote both amnesty and major increases in legal immigration, said:

[Republicans have] been somewhat trapped by rhetoric and words and amnesty is a word that’s trapped us….We’re trapped in a word that means different things to different people. … I really think that some of it is we’re trapped in this rhetoric and we have to get beyond that.

Paul is right in that amnesty means one thing to those in D.C. who are trying to disguise their intentions to enact a blanket amnesty for illegal aliens and something else to the rest of the literate public. The illegal aliens who are surging over the southern U.S. border certainly understand the unambiguous meaning of the term.

“Amnesty has “trapped” Paul and his colleagues because they fail to grasp the meaning of other words, such as structural unemployment, corporate welfare, and vanishing middle class. “Rule of law” also is a term that seems to give them trouble. So says Paul:

To some “rule of law” conservatives, [amnesty] is a swear word. To other conservatives, putting millions of illegal immigrants on the road to legal status and eventually to citizenship is realistic politically and fair for people who flee warlords, drug lords and dysfunctional economies abroad to find work in the U.S.

If Rand Paul thinks it’s a good idea to pass an amnesty to legalize the status of 12 million or so illegal aliens, why won’t he make his case on its merits instead of indulging in obfuscation and subterfuge?

Paul Ryan, among others (including soon-to-be former House Majority leader Eric Cantor), has tried this shtick before. No matter how Paul, Ryan, et. al., try to redefine the meaning of amnesty, they can’t convince the American people that rewarding illegal aliens by passing legislation that allows them to remain in the United States is anything other than amnesty. You see, Americans, unlike Rand Paul apparently, understand that if they want to learn what a word means they can open a dictionary and find out.

The (Il)logic of Open-Border Libertarians

libertarianchartAs more and more Americans, especially younger Americans, reject the politics of the two dominant parties, libertarianism is attracting more adherents. Concurrently, there is a movement by D.C. special interest groups to co-opt libertarianism to advance their narrow political agenda. This is amply demonstrated by the false claim by self-proclaimed libertarians that support for open borders is an essential part of the movement. That is simply untrue.

A new essay by FAIR debunks these claims, exposes the fallacious reasoning in support of open borders, and examines in detail why the arguments of open-border libertarians fail to comport with reality.

Read the new publication here: