Society

Tolerated Stay, Open Borders and National Security

Simbol EUWhen the current incarnation of the European Union (EU) was formed, a number of member states agreed to eliminate their internal borders, creating a region called the Schengen Zone (named after the town in Luxembourg where the agreement was signed). Anyone admitted to any Schengen country is admitted to all of the nations within the zone. For example, travelers fly from New York to Paris and are admitted to France – they are then free to cross the Border from France to Belgium and Belgium to Germany without any further inspection by immigration officials.

Ironically, most of Europe is now wondering how Anis Amri was able to move so easily throughout Europe. Amri is the Tunisian national suspected of stealing a tractor-trailer and mowing down shoppers at Berlin’s Christmas Market. He left his native country fleeing an armed robbery warrant and entered the Schengen Zone through Italy by claiming to be a refugee.

Despite being inadmissible under EU immigration law, he was granted “tolerated stay” status. Theoretically temporary, this category is used for aliens who are inadmissible, but who can’t immediately be expelled, due to administrative or political (often political correctness) concerns. In some cases, “tolerated stay” recipients are given cash benefits and housing, at taxpayer expense.

The combination of “tolerated stay” status and open borders agreements allows known public safety and national security threats to move freely throughout Europe. Meanwhile, police and security officials must still operate under national laws. So while terrorists exploit the Schengen Zone to evade law enforcement, police are forced to negotiate bureaucratic obstacles and coordinate investigations across multiple jurisdictions.

The formation of the Schengen Zone was an expression of the member states’ belief they shared a common identity that made borders unnecessary. That borderless zone is now serving as a magnet for refugees and economic migrants from cultures that are drastically different from those in Europe. And they are arriving so rapidly and in such large numbers, Europe lacks the resources to effectively assimilate them.  It remains to be seen whether the Schengen Zone will collapse of its own weight. But recent history has clearly disproven the foolish notion that Europe doesn’t need borders.

The United States should learn from Europe’s experiences and phase out programs that reduce or remove immigration controls, like the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and the Visa Waiver Program. It should also eliminate the American equivalents of “tolerated stay” – immigration parole, deferred action, and temporary protected status. America has already had far too many Anis Amris of its own.

Arkansas Senator Proposes Immigration Reform That Helps the American People

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It’s clear that the American public is fed up with the current immigration system, and there have been a lot of ideas and proposals floated around that attempt to fix the issue. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) penned an op-ed in the New York Times with a perfect response to all of those who appear content with the current immigration crisis.

Cheap immigrant labor pads the pockets of the wealthy while ensuring the American dream is “just out of reach.” Critics say that closing the border and ending cheap foreign labor will “force employers to add benefits and improve workplace conditions to attract workers already here.” And according to Senator Cotton, that is exactly what should happen.

He states that higher wages, better benefits, and more security for American workers are the reason immigration reform is so important. Immigration policy should focus “less on the most powerful and more on everyone else.”

In his piece, he talks about wages and the law of supply and demand. With such vast numbers of workers, including an estimated 12 million illegal aliens currently residing in the U.S. and the one million legal immigrants the U.S. accepts annually, already low wages are continuing to plummet. Real wages for American citizens with and without high school diplomas have been declining since the 1970s, which Senator Cotton says is exacerbated by mass immigration and a surplus of labor.

To fix this problem, Cotton says the country needs secure borders, and the U.S. must decide who and how many can cross that border, keeping the American citizens’ best interests in mind. Today, these best interests would entail a large reduction in legal immigration and a focus on “ultra-high-skill immigrants,” though tomorrow it could be something else. A major flaw in our immigration policy is that it doesn’t evolve to fit the needs of the American people; the last time Congress substantially reformed the immigration system was a half-century ago.

Cotton proposes a policy that gives priority to language skills, education, and work experience which would allow immigrants like doctors to work in rural areas and not push down the working-class wages. He goes on to note that some critics call this “nativism” or “xenophobia,” but it actually gives immigrants who recently arrived to the U.S. a better chance at assimilation, finding a stable job, and achieving the American Dream.

 

Immigration and Rapid Population Growth

Stewart-rally-crowd-photoThe Census Bureau has come up with a new population clock on its website that provides access to new population estimates. The population clock shows the U.S. population currently growing by one person every 13 seconds. That is the net growth after subtracting deaths and residents moving out of the country.

How many new residents is that a year? It works out to be about 2.43 million population increase a year.

So, how much of that increase is due to immigration? The population clock shows that net immigration causes the population to grow by one person every 29 seconds. That works out to 1.09 million persons per year. And, if the rate of increase from immigration is compared to the overall increase, immigration accounts for 45 percent of the increase.

But that share is misleading. Immigration accounts or a much larger share: more than three quarters of the increase.

How is that? It is because the immigrants’ contribution to population growth also comes from the children born to them after they arrive. The immigrant population has a higher rate of births than the general population because they are more likely to be of child-bearing age and also because the immigrant population in general comes from regions where larger families are the norm.

Why should you care about the rate of population increase? There are many reasons such as traffic congestion and urban sprawl. But the most important reason is because there are finite resources that we extract from the earth. Some of those are energy resources (fossil fuels). Others are precious metals. Some are food resources, and probably the most critical are water resources that we pump out of aquifers. All of those extractions tend to be proportional to population size. So, faster growth means faster approaching scarcity. And the fact that the resources are finite means that they will not last forever.

So, what can we do conserve those resources? Besides adopting policies to conserve and recycle those finite resources, we can reduce the rate of population increase by reducing the share of that growth that comes from immigration. If immigration were scaled back from a net increase of more than a million persons a year to about a third of a million persons, the projected population increase would level off to about zero. That would be an enormous contribution to resource conservation.

Noncitizen Voting: the Biggest Threat to the 2016 Elections?

vote_here_signThroughout the current presidential campaign, a number of questions have arisen about the about the number of noncitizens voting in U.S. elections and the relative ease with which they seem to be able to register. J. Christian Adams of the Election Law Center has called illegal alien voting “the biggest threat to the 2016 elections.”

The problem isn’t limited to illegal aliens, though. At any given time, there are 10-20 million noncitizens lawfully present in the United States with very few safeguards in place to prevent or deter any of them from voting. There is evidence that these foreigners are voting. And in close races around the country, even a small number of fraudulently cast votes can swing an election. Aliens were recently discovered on the rolls in both Virginia and Pennsylvania.

What is the government doing about it? Alien voter prosecutions are rare. The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York recently charged a Canadian woman with making a false claim to U.S. citizenship in order to vote. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website lists a 2011 arrest of an illegal alien charged with voter fraud. And diligent search of the Internet will produce several accounts of state arrests for egregious instances of illegal voting but this is clearly not a prominent issue for state prosecutors.

Meanwhile, the federal courts keep striking down voter ID laws, robbing electoral authorities of the most reasonable means for ensuring the integrity of the balloting process. Measures in Kansas, North Carolina, North Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin have all been nullified on the grounds that they would have a discriminatory impact on minority voters. This argument doesn’t make sense, since the vast majority of adults in America hold some form of photo identification and states with voter ID laws offer qualifying documentation at minimal or no cost.

Although dismissed by many as a “witch hunt” or a myth, with the 2016 election fast approaching, the possibility exists that voting by noncitizens could significantly influence the results. And, given the rate at which both the legal and illegal alien populations have been allowed to grow, the United States should be concerned with ensuring that the electoral power of U.S. citizens is not undermined by individuals and entities whose interests may not coincide with those of the American people.

 

From the Folks Who Brought You Double Digit Increases in Your Health Care Premiums…

obamacare-rotator-720x480Heading into the final two weeks of the 2016 elections, the bombshell news is that health insurance premiums are set to spike next year. For those covered under the federally managed HealthCare.gov, the average increase will be 25 percent, with a ripple effect that is likely to affect everyone in the United States who has health insurance.

That’s not what was supposed to happen. The legislation that created this system was, after all, called the Affordable Care Act. The promise was that it would deliver quality health care to everyone at premiums people could afford. Very few people can afford a 25 percent increase, much less the 116 percent rate hike projected for some people who live in Arizona.

The next big government program that promises big benefits for everyone is the Gang of Eight immigration “reform” bill, version 2.0 (G8 2.0). That’s the one that promises to deliver amnesty for millions of “rigorously vetted” illegal aliens, millions more legal immigrants and guest workers, more prosperity for everyone, huge boosts to GDP, endless streams of revenue flowing into the Treasury, airtight borders, and every other good thing you can conjure up.

Many of the same members of Congress who were instrumental in getting the Affordable Care Act enacted, and who are still around, are gearing up for a big G8 2.0 push in 2017. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) who, depending on what happens in the elections could be Senate Majority Leader come January, told CNBC that passing a massive amnesty bill would be the first item on his agenda.

Unlike the battle over Obamacare, Schumer is counting on the support of a significant number of Republicans to seal the deal on so-called immigration reform. Four of the original members of the Gang of Eight were Republicans and the bill cleared the Senate with a 68-32 majority.

The possibility of another serious effort to pass an immigration bill that allows Congress to claim credit for action now while sticking the American public with massive unintended consequences a few years down the road, falls squarely within parameters of what New York Times columnist Ross Douthat described as “the dangers of elite groupthink” that grips most major policy debates. “Almost every crisis that has come upon the West in the last 15 years has its roots in this establishmentarian type of folly,” he observed.

An almost unblemished record of being wrong about pretty much everything will in no way deter the ruling classes in Congress, the media, and in corporate board rooms from pushing full speed ahead with the next great folly: mass amnesty and unchecked immigration packaged as “reform” and “compromise.”

As was the case in 2013 and 2014, it will be up to the American public to push back.