Archive for the 'Immigration' Category
Posted by Michael Kennedy on 30th June 2013 (All posts by Michael Kennedy)
Right now we have the immigration bill that has been passed by the Senate after being written by the “Gang of 8.” This bill, like so many major pieces of legislation lately, was written in secrecy and has not been through the usual committee process. “We have to pass it to see what is in it.”
As if Obamacare were not enough, here we have another opaque and mysterious bit of legislation that is thousands of pages of incomprehensible legalese.
Jennifer Rubin weighs in with a rather beltway-oriented view. Fair enough as she writes in the Washington Post.
The immigration battle, the debate over U.S. involvement in Syria and the flap over NSA surveillance have suggested two starkly different visions of the GOP as well as two potential paths for the GOP.
The question remains whether the GOP will become the party of: Sen. Rand Paul, Ky., or Sen. Kelly Ayotte, N.H., on national security; The Gang of Eight or the Gang of Three (Sens. Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions) on immigration; Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio, or Rick Santorum on gay marriage; Broad-based appeal (e.g. Govs. Chris Christie, Gov. Scott Walker) or losing ideologues (Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Michele Bachmann). I don’t know that Angle and O’Donnell were “ideologues.” Angle, at least was an amateur, somewhat like other candidates supported by the Tea Party.
I’m not sure I agree with her choices but let’s think about it.
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Posted in Big Government, Book Notes, Civil Society, Conservatism, Current Events, Economics & Finance, Elections, Immigration, Islam, Obama, Politics, Tea Party | 6 Comments »
Posted by Michael Kennedy on 27th May 2013 (All posts by Michael Kennedy)
The British seem to be discovering something about immigration that was obvious to many of us on this side of the Atlantic a long time ago.
The release of a previously unseen document suggested that Labour’s migration policy over the past decade had been aimed not just at meeting the country’s economic needs, but also the Government’s “social objectives”.
The paper said migration would “enhance economic growth” and made clear that trying to halt or reverse it could be “economically damaging”. But it also stated that immigration had general “benefits” and that a new policy framework was needed to “maximise” the contribution of migration to the Government’s wider social aims.
The Government has always denied that social engineering played a part in its migration policy.
However, the paper, which was written in 2000 at a time when immigration began to increase dramatically, said controls were contrary to its policy objectives and could lead to “social exclusion”.
Imagine that !
Last night, the Conservatives demanded an independent inquiry into the issue. It was alleged that the document showed that Labour had overseen a deliberate open-door policy on immigration to boost multi-culturalism.
Voting trends indicate that migrants and their descendants are much more likely to vote Labour.
The existence of the draft policy paper, which was drawn up by a Cabinet Office think tank and a Home Office research unit, was disclosed last year by Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett.
He alleged at the time that the sharp increase in immigration over the past 10 years was partly due to a “driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multi-cultural”.
Yet Marco Rubio assures us that the new immigrant citizen will vote for Republicans out of gratitude.
Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migrationwatch, said the document showed that Mr Neather, who claimed ministers wanted to radically change the country and “rub the Right’s nose in diversity”, had been correct in his account of Labour’s immigration policy.
It’s too late for the Brits, as we see.
What does our future hold ? Of course, our new immigrants don’t use meat cleavers.
Posted in Britain, Civil Society, Immigration, Latin America, Politics | 15 Comments »
Posted by Michael Kennedy on 20th April 2013 (All posts by Michael Kennedy)
Update #2: I have great deal of respect for Richard Fernandez and his opinions.
The second part of the response is that an outsourced, privatized jihad will probably be increasingly met by privatized security regime based on reputation. With the government unwilling to profile in a increasingly vulnerable public space some entrepreneurs may create members-only events where attendance is limited to pre-cleared individuals who pay to have themselves vetted.
I think this has merit.
UPDATE: There have been three more arrests of young people with heavy Russian accents near U Mass. They had a car, a BMW, with the license plate “terrorista #1. Photos at the link.
One jihadist is dead and the other is in custody. The younger bomber’s wounds have not been described so it is impossible to say if he will survive. The emergency is over and now it is time to think about why this happened. It now appears that both young men were long time residents of this country and, at least the younger was a citizen. Both had registered to vote, according to Nexis. The older brother was married with a child. His wife had converted to Islam and, according to reports yesterday, was wearing a full chador when she was taken from their home protesting about a male FBI agent handling a Muslim woman. She was lucky, as one commenter observed, that she was not strip searched as Chechen women have been prominent in terrorism cases in Russia, sometimes as suicide bombers wearing bomb belts.
The majority [of suicide bombers] are male, but a huge fraction — over 40 percent — are women. Although foreign suicide attackers are not unheard of in Chechnya, of the 42 for whom we can determine place of birth, 38 were from the Caucasus. Something is driving Chechen suicide bombers, but it is hardly global jihad.
I doubt the Times’ insistence on the absence of Islamist motives although Chechens have been at war with Russians for centuries. The suicide bomb is a common weapon for jihadists. The Palestinian “Mother of Martyrs” comes to mind.
Mariam Farhat, who said she wished she had 100 sons to die while attacking Israelis, died in a Gaza city hospital of health complications including lung ailments and kidney failure, health official Ashraf Al-Kidra said. She was 64.
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Posted in Anti-Americanism, Britain, Civil Society, Immigration, Islam, Leftism, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Religion, Russia, Terrorism | 5 Comments »
Posted by Sgt. Mom on 17th October 2012 (All posts by Sgt. Mom)
(From the archives of the Daily Brief – a meditation on living in the borderlands. Business is suddenly jumping for the Tiny Publishing Bidness, and I suddenly have a lot of editing to do and a short time to do it in. I honestly don’t have anything else to say about the debate last night that the other guyz haven’t already said.)
It’s part of the tourist attraction for San Antonio, besides the Riverwalk and the Alamo. Even though this part of South Texas is still a good few hours drive from the actual physical border between Mexico and the United States, the River City is still closer to it than most of the rest of the continental states. It falls well within that ambiguous and fluid zone where people on both sides of it have shifted back and forth so many times that it would be hard to pin down a consistent attitude about it all. This is a place where a fourth or fifth-generation descendent of German Hill-Country immigrants may speak perfectly colloquial Spanish and collect Diego Riviera paintings…. And the grandson of a semi-literate Mexican handyman who came here in the early 1920ies looking for a bit of a break from the unrest south of the border, may have a doctoral degree and a fine series of fine academic initials after his name. And the fact that the original settlers of Hispanic San Antonio were from the Canary Islands, and all non-Hispanic whites are usually referred to as “Anglos”, no matter what their ethnic origin might be, just adds a certain surreality to the whole place. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Civil Society, Diversions, Immigration, North America, Personal Narrative, Society, Urban Issues, USA | 4 Comments »
Posted by Michael Kennedy on 16th October 2012 (All posts by Michael Kennedy)
Obama was much more animated and his supporters will be happier tonight.
I think Romney was more impressive but I am a partisan. What surprised me was a focus group collected by Frank Luntz that decided that Romney won overwhelmingly. These were Obama voters in 2008. Their comments were very interesting. One woman supported Obama because of his comments about contraception. She was pretty much alone.
Obama said some things that will be in RNC ads next week.
1. He said that oil and gas leases were increased on public land during his administration. That is not true and Romney called him on it. Chris Wallace checked the facts and Romney was correct.
2. He said that Romney would raise taxes on the middle class and he had cut them. I don’t think anyone believed him. Romney did a good job, better than the first debate, in explaining his proposals.
3. The was only one question on Libya and Obama lied about what he said the day after the attack. That was foolish and we will see the Rose Garden statement many times before the election. He mentioned terrorism but the connection with Benghazi was not made. For weeks after, Obama and his underlings, especially Susan Rice the first black UN ambassador, kept offering the story of the anti-Muslim video.
4. The concerns about Candy Crowley as moderator were well based. She cut off Romney multiple times and Obama talked right past the clock. He ended with 7 more minutes of time. In addition, contrary to the agreement, Candy Crowley inserted herself into the questioning and supported Obama in his assertion that he had described the attack on the Benghazi consulate as terrorism. She later, after the debate was over admitted her mistake. That will be a topic until the election.
5. There was a dumb question about an “assault weapons ban.” Romney did well to note that automatic weapons are already illegal, a detail that escapes most Democrats, like Diane Feinstein
All in all, I thought Romney did well and Obama improved his performance from last time, although at the cost of a number of falsehoods that will provide fodder for the large Romney ad budget in the next two weeks.
There were several exchanges on immigration policy and education but these were the highlights for me.
Posted in Economics & Finance, Elections, Health Care, Immigration, Middle East, Politics, Terrorism | 26 Comments »
Posted by Michael Kennedy on 16th June 2012 (All posts by Michael Kennedy)
On Friday, as is often the case, Obama announced a new executive policy to impose a two year moratorium on deportation of young illegals if they can show they were brought here as children and have finished high school with no encounters with the law. They must be under 30 and were brought here before age 16. He promised that citizenship was not included and did not mention if family members were affected. Janet Napolitano, head of Homeland Security announced that this was the new policy but there has been no confirmation of an executive order.
I don’t have a real problem with this policy but it avoids Congress and legislation, a problem that even Obama acknowledged last year. It is a transparent ploy to appeal for Latino votes. Everyone knows that.
It also will close an opening for compromise.
Obama’s decision probably reduces the likelihood that the scenarios of greatest concern to me will come to pass, especially if Obama is re-elected. Irate Republicans are even less likely than before to cooperate with the administration on this issue now that it has acted so high-handedly and in such a patently political manner. As Marco Rubio, who is planning to sponsor some sort of DREAM Act, said today, by imposing a new policy by executive order, Obama has made it harder in the long run to reach consensus on “comprehensive policy,” i.e., one that gives illegal immigrants additional benefits and a path to citizenship.
The attraction of the action taken by Obama may have been that it would trump a possible Republican compromise on this topic. Now, suspicion has grown that amnesty and voting rights are the next step. The use of executive order for such a change in policy has been attacked as illegal.
So what we have here is a president who is refusing to carry out federal law simply because he disagrees with Congress’s policy choices. That is an exercise of executive power that even the most stalwart defenders of an energetic executive — not to mention the Framers — cannot support.
Even Obama said the same a few months ago in explaining his then inaction. “I wish I could wave my magic wand,” Mr. Obama said. “Until Nancy Pelosi is speaker again… At the end of the day, I can’t do this all by myself. We’re going to have to get Congress to act. I know Nancy Pelosi’s ready to act. It’s time to stop playing politics.”
Well, playing politics is the order of the day and the Republicans should focus on the illegality of doing it by executive order and not on the policy, itself. With proper safeguards, the policy is a good idea although there may be backlash from semi-skilled unemployed who just got a million new competitors. Certainly the unemployment figures should now be adjusted for all the new legal job seekers.
The distraction of the Daily Caller reporter interrupting the president was an amusing sidelight. Had Obama demonstrated humor and a benign manner, it might have been a good moment for him. Instead, he showed anger and the incident will probably lead to more interruptions as it seems to be the only way to ask this president a question.
Posted in Big Government, Crime and Punishment, Cuba, Immigration, Law Enforcement, Politics, Speeches | 26 Comments »
Posted by L. C. Rees on 26th April 2012 (All posts by L. C. Rees)
On September 22, 1859, Edmund Rees, wife Margaret, and the five Rees children (ages 12-18 months) arrived in Great Salt Lake City, the twelve-year old capital of the nine-year old Utah Territory. Edmund and Margaret were natives of Monmouthshire in the southeastern corner of Wales. While they’d both joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the early 1850s, they didn’t gather to Zion and emigrate to Utah until Edmund developed asthma after years spent cutting coal in the Monmouthshire mines that fueled the early Industrial Revolution.
The Rees family started their journey with $500, the results of selling their home. $100 got them from Wales to Iowa: they left the old country on April 11, 1859, sailed across the Atlantic on the John Talbot, landed at New Orleans, and sailed up the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers to Council Bluffs, Iowa by steam boat. Another $100 got them two oxen, a covered wagon, a milk cow, and safely across the Plains to Utah.
Edmund was unfamiliar with handling livestock: the first time he put the yoke on the oxen, he put it on upside down.
So Margaret took over.
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Posted in History, Immigration | 19 Comments »
Posted by David Foster on 19th February 2012 (All posts by David Foster)
The millions of immigrants dumped on our shores after the Civil War underwent a tremendous change, and it was a highly irritating and painful experience. Not only were they transferred, almost overnight, to a wholly foreign world, but they were, for the most part, torn from the warm communal existence of a small town or village somewhere in Europe and exposed to the cold and dismal isolation of an individual existence. They were misfits in every sense of the world, and ideal material for a revolutionary explosion. But they had a vast continent at their disposal, and fabulous opportunities for self-advancement, and an environment which held self-reliance and individual enterprise in high esteem. And so these immigrants from stagnant small towns and villages in Europe plunged into a mad pursuit of action. They tamed and mastered a continent in an incredibly short time, and we are still in the backwash of that mad pursuit.
Things are different when people subjected to drastic change find only meager opportunities for action or when they cannot, or are not allowed to, attain self-confidence and self-esteem by individual pursuits. In this case, the hunger for confidence, for worth, and for balance directs itself toward the attainment of substitutes. The substitute for self-confidence is faith; the substitute for self-esteem is pride; and the substitute for individual balace is fusion with others into a compact group.
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Posted in Civil Society, History, Immigration, USA | 7 Comments »
Posted by Charles Cameron on 7th March 2011 (All posts by Charles Cameron)
I had occasion today to give myself a quick refresher course on honor killings, one form of which is already present in the Torah as of Leviticus 21.9:
And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.
and found myself once again noting that there is a substantial swathe of regions of the world where honor killings are found, and that where it is found (including in immigrant communities from those parts of the world) the practice is not confined to any one religious group.
Hence this DoubleQuote:
I think it is appropriate to consider honor killing a form of religious violence when the claim is made by those who do the killing that they are acting in the name of their religion — but that it is also important to distinguish such acts committed in a cultural context in which they are practiced across religions from acts that are the exclusive province of one religious tradition.
There are examples of honor killings which are performed in the name of Islam, and/or advocated by Islamic scholars — and the same could no doubt be said of other religious traditions — but honor killing as a genre is fundamentally more cultural than religious.
Sources: Brandeis study — BBC — Sydney Morning Herald
The analytic point:
From my point of view as an analyst, it is important to note and compare both religious and cultural drivers — neither avoiding mention of the one out of “correctness” — nor overlooking the other for lack of comparative data.
Posted in Afghanistan/Pakistan, Britain, Christianity, Human Behavior, Immigration, India, International Affairs, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Judaism, Middle East, Morality and Philosphy, Religion, Society | 36 Comments »
Posted by James R. Rummel on 15th February 2011 (All posts by James R. Rummel)
There has been some activity on the news channels about how the head of an anti-illegal immigrant group was convicted of murder.
It appears that a few of her followers dressed as police officers in order to kill and rob a family involved with drug dealing. The motive was money and drugs that might have been in the home, and these ill-gotten profits would then be used to fund “border operations”.
Of course, the convicted was kicked out of a better established group before deciding to start her own. To all indications, she was oen of those strange and disturbed characters that one always finds on the fringes.
I expect that advocates of “immigration reform” will find this incident to have a great deal of value to them. Anyone who suggests that border enforcement comes first will probably be tarred as a murderous vigilante.
Posted in Crime and Punishment, Immigration | Comments Off
Posted by Michael Kennedy on 13th January 2011 (All posts by Michael Kennedy)
The shooter in Tucson is an obvious paranoid schizophrenic, uninterested in and ignorant of political rhetoric.
Ashleigh Banfield said that Loughner “disliked the news. He didn’t listen to political radio. He didn’t take sides. He wasn’t on the left. He wasn’t on the right,” according to an interview on “Good Morning America.” Loughner wasn’t shooting at people, “he was shooting at the world,” Banfield said, according to the report.
The next shooter will probably be very interested in the hate-filled rhetoric coming from the left and directed at talk radio and Fox New, plus of course, Sarah Palin.
I fear that the torrent of hate and slander that has poured from the left, including the “paper of record” the New York Times, will agitate some leftist radical and we will have an ugly incident. Libertarian (and gay) Dutch politician (and professor), Pim Fortuyn was assassinated in 2002, three weeks before the next election, by a Green and “animal rights” activist.
However, words have power and if someone is called a racist often enough, an impressionable mind may decide that saving the world from the latest Hitler will require that person’s murder.
Some version of that scenario appears to have taken place in the Netherlands on May 6, 2002, with the political assassination of Pim Fortuyn, a rising star in Dutch politics who could possibly have become the next Prime Minister. A man identified only as an “animal rights activist” shot him down in the street near a radio station.
Certainly Professor Fortuyn’s notoriety played a part in his being targeted. Both the media and Dutch politicians in the ruling party attacked him mercilessly in the most disparaging language. Prime Minister Wim Kok called him a fascist, as did the European press. Anyone who objects to massive Muslim immigration is branded automatically as a racist, xenophobe and fascist. Mr. Fortuyn was regularly compared with real right-winger Jean Le Pen, although aside from the immigration issue, the men had nothing in common.
The assassin was a typical leftist activist.
A vegan animal rights activist accused of the murder of the controversial Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn has confessed, public prosecutors said on Saturday. Volkert van der Graaf is reported as saying he saw Mr Fortuyn’s far-right views as a threat to vulnerable sections of society.
Note that Fortuyn’s speeches were principally concerned about Muslim immigration. For that position, he was called “far right” and a fascist. This person who did the killing that was obviously being called for by leftist politicians and the media, had nothing to do with Muslims. He was responding to the rhetoric from the political left.
I fear we may see a similar attempt this year as the next election begins to raise the temperature of political speech. I hope Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin have good security. She is probably the most vulnerable and I really worry about her safety.
Posted in Civil Society, Conservatism, Europe, Human Behavior, Immigration, Leftism, Media, Politics | 17 Comments »
Posted by Michael Kennedy on 9th January 2011 (All posts by Michael Kennedy)
I have had a house in Tucson for the past five or six years. It is in Gabriel Gifford’s Congressional district. I know the corner of Ina Road and Oracle Road where the shooting occurred. I know and like Tucson and Arizona. I would rather be living there than here because I have serious fears about California’s future while I think Arizona is now in pretty good hands. They had a housing bubble but they have more sensible people in that state government.
Gabriel Gifford’s district includes some of the most affluent areas of Tucson. To be re-elected, she had to be a “blue dog” Democrat. She has an appealing personal story. Her father is a sheriff of a neighboring county and her husband is an astronaut. I would not have voted for her because she had a very attractive opponent but there was very little of the animosity in that election that there was in other district races. Some of her constituents were unhappy about her healthcare vote. She had gotten the message and voted against Nancy Pelosi for minority leader of the Democrats, one of 17 Democrats to do so.
The press conference by the Pima County sheriff yesterday was disgraceful. I watched the whole thing. He went over and over his theories that harsh political discourse was somehow a cause of the shooting. He repeated the whole mantra three times by my count. Other than that, he provided very little information, for example, declining to give the suspect’s name when everyone with an internet connection knew what it was. I think he may have been reacting to personal distress as he probably knows Ms Gifford’s father and has known her for a long time. I also suspect he is a Democrat as Tucson is a rather left wing city being the site of the University of Arizona. The City Council has been very left wing and several members were defeated in the previous election as they had spent far too much money on frivolous projects, some of which had never been completed.
There is a lot of wild talk on left wing web sites, some of which is being rolled back as Daily Kos and the DNC scrub web sites of similar images and rhetoric as conservative sites and people they are attacking. A lot of it has been scrubbed but some people have found Google caches.
Like this DLC “targeting map.”
There has been a lot of talk about how “angry” Arizona people are. Well, maybe they have reason to be angry. The Obama administration has sued the state to try to stop an Arizona law that merely enforces a federal law that Obama seems disinterested in enforcing. Arizona is overrun with illegals immigrants, drug violence is 60 miles away in Mexico and auto insurance rates are sky high because of car theft. Someone I know had a LoJack system installed in his car. When he realized the car was stolen, the police activated the locator and the car was already 60 miles into Mexico.
Some of the angry rhetoric comes from a sense that the people have lost control of the government since Obama was elected. The health care bill was opposed in every poll of public opinion. The Republican minority was completely opposed. Yet, the bill was passed by procedural maneuvers never before used to pass legislation of this magnitude. As the people have learned more about the bill, they like it less. Nancy Pelosi told us they have to pass it so we can find out what is in it. Yes, the people of Arizona are angry. But it had nothing to do with yesterday’s shooting.
The young man is obviously a paranoid schizophrenic. His ramblings on a You Tube video contain the typical delusions of schizophrenics. He goes on about the government controlling minds through grammar. He appears to be obsessed with grammar and goes on about introducing a new currency for which he will be the Treasurer. These are the delusional ravings of a psychotic. There appears to be some level of disappointment that he is not associated with a political ideology, especially the tea party. There are already think pieces about “violence”, by which they mean talk radio and Fox News, just as Clinton did after the McVeigh bombing in Oklahoma.
By day’s end, the argument that the political right—fueled by anti-government, and anti-immigrant passions that run especially strong in Arizona—is culpable for the Tucson massacre, even if by indirect association, seemed to be validated by the top local law enforcement official investigating the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D).
This refers to that disgusting press conference by the Pima County sheriff. They even have a video of his rant.
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, an elected Democrat, at a news conference Saturday evening.
Yup, I guessed right.
One veteran Democratic operative, who blames overheated rhetoric for the shooting, said President Barack Obama should carefully but forcefully do what his predecessor did.
“They need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers,” said the Democrat. “Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.”
Another Democratic strategist said the similarity is that Tucson and Oklahoma City both “take place in a climate of bitter and virulent rhetoric against the government and Democrats.”
Isn’t it odd that movies about the assassination of George Bush are not considered too extreme ?
I think Representative Gifford will recover as the gunshot wound track passed from her temple out her forehead, probably missing her brain. A family friend said she is now in induced coma, no doubt to minimize cerebral edema from the contusion to the brain from the shock wave. I don’t know if the Democratic party will recover from its disinterest in debate and its tendency to try to demonize its opponents instead of argue with them.
Posted in Big Government, Conservatism, Crime and Punishment, Elections, Health Care, Immigration, Law Enforcement, Media, Politics, Terrorism, The Press | 18 Comments »
Posted by Bruno Behrend on 19th October 2010 (All posts by Bruno Behrend)
Miller cites Communist East Germany as effective in dealing with border security
The scuffle between the editor of Alaska Dispatch and Joe Miller’s security guards at a public forum in Anchorage late Sunday is getting much national attention today. Getting lesser but growing attention is Miller’s answer at the forum to a question from the audience about how he would deal with illegal immigration. Anchorage blogger Steve Aufrecht was there and is among those today who are criticizing Miller’s response that Communist East Germany is a good example of a nation achieving border security. He quotes Miller as saying: “The first thing that has to be done is secure the border. … East Germany was very, very able to reduce the flow. Now, obviously, other things were involved. We have the capacity to, as a great nation, secure the border. If East Germany could do it, we could do it.”
What a blithering idiot!
These apparently are the only choices for Rs these days. A class of in-bred crooks who serve the functional equivalent of perverted uncles molesting American principles, or a class of pseudo articulate ass-clowns.
Oh well, the upside is that I’ll likely get my wish that Rs don’t get the senate. That’s a nice silver lining.
Posted in Germany, Immigration | 32 Comments »
Posted by Jonathan on 23rd May 2010 (All posts by Jonathan)
The other night on Fox one of the heads characterized Rand Paul’s principled libertarian criticism of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as a political “own goal”.
Meanwhile, President Obama not only did not take issue when President Calderon of Mexico, a guest at the White House, used a joint press conference to criticize his hosts because of the State of Arizona’s new anti-illegal immigration law, Obama actually spoke in support of Calderon’s argument and against the government of Arizona and, implicitly, against his own country.
Here are a couple of questions:
-Did Obama and Calderon coordinate their remarks ahead of time?
-Who really made an own goal here?
Posted in Immigration, Obama, Politics | 9 Comments »
Posted by Mitch Townsend on 27th April 2010 (All posts by Mitch Townsend)
The president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, does not like the immigration law recently enacted in Arizona. He thinks it “doesn’t adequately guarantee respect for people’s fundamental rights.” Whether there exists a right to enter and remain in a foreign country without permission is certainly a proposition open to debate, and not often said to exist in other circumstances.
The US border has long served as a safety valve for Mexico. When there are no jobs available there, unemployed Mexicans have often come north for better prospects. Not only does this situation permit Mexicans to make their living here and support the families they left behind, but it also takes pressure off the Mexican establishment. From the point of view of the Mexican authorities, the poor and unemployed are better off working in the US than staying home causing trouble. The prospect of violence and insurrection is a real one. A porous border protects Mexico from some of the effects of its statist policies. The remittances from abroad, even with the US in recession, are still second only to oil as a legal source of foreign income.
The US has an official policy of excluding illegal immigrants from Mexico, a business policy of employing them cheaply, and a political policy of appealing to whatever side of the question brings in votes and money. What we have not done is address the Mexican government’s policies. The current Mexican policy is to encourage illegal emigration to the US in sufficient numbers to compensate for the lack of economic opportunity within Mexico’s borders. Mexico makes little or no effort to restrict the northward flow, and has no incentive to do so.
Leaving Mexico out of this discussion makes it completely useless to deal with the subject at all. Any immigration reform in the US that is not acceptable to Mexico will be subverted.
Physical barriers can make it more difficult to cross into the US, but no barrier is impenetrable. Past efforts have affected the immigration flow only marginally. Now people cross the desert in Arizona instead of California. It is more dangerous and expensive now, which makes the smuggling gangs more important and prosperous. Short of erecting a Soviet-style border defense, with barbed wire, minefields, and machine gun posts, this is an approach that has not worked and will not work.
The single largest factor that reduced illegal immigration from Mexico was the US recession. We should take a hint from that. Think of the border as a semi-permeable membrane. If the border is impermeable to investment, but permeable to people, people will flow across toward where there is investment (and jobs) until an equilibrium point is reached. To reduce this osmotic pressure, and reach an equilibrium point involving less movement across the border, it is necessary to increase investment in Mexico.
Under the Mexican constitution (Article 27), all mineral rights belong to the government. Oil is extracted and processed by a state monopoly, Pemex. With the state desperate for money, Pemex has deferred maintenance and exploration, and is considered to be in a run-off mode as existing petroleum reserves are used up and newer extraction techniques are ignored. Nevertheless, Mexico has for many years issued licenses to foreign mining companies, and is the world’s second largest producer of silver. Under the same article, foreigners cannot own land within 100 km of a border or 50 km of the sea. Various restrictions also apply to foreign ownership in communications, transportation, and financial services.
The Mexican state uses its power over the economy to reward political allies, punish enemies, and extract benefits for the politicians themselves. Nothing about this should seem unfamiliar to residents of any large American city, but the scope given by Mexican law for self-serving politicians is something even big city mayors could only dream of.
We are going to have to accommodate a certain large number of Mexicans coming to the US. The circumstances of their coming and remaining should be debated, but so should the conditions that drive them. We should not let it happen without getting economic concessions from Mexico.
Update: Fausta has much more about the Mexican government’s cynical policy on immigration.
Posted in Americas, Economics & Finance, Immigration, North America | 13 Comments »
Posted by Zenpundit on 28th December 2009 (All posts by Zenpundit)
“In the wake of the latest failed terrorist incident, the TSA announced a new round of security procedures designed to greatly inconvenience millions of air passengers without doing anything to increase their security…”
Here’s an idea. Let’s start using basic counterintelligence principles to screen prospective travelers to the United States and bar those young, unmarried, Muslim men having affiliations with radical mosques, madrassas, imams, extremist Islamist political groups or a history of mental illness and erratic behavior from receiving visas to enter the United States. This clown should never have been able to get a visa. His own father, a senior government official of a foreign nation, was trying to red-flag him as a potential al Qaida terrorist for us(!).
Would such a policy catch every prospective terrorist? No. Nothing will.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Americas, Civil Society, Immigration, Law Enforcement, Leftism, National Security, Terrorism | 10 Comments »
Posted by Ginny on 24th April 2009 (All posts by Ginny)
As my family converged this week, Alena got used to being called Sarah and Sarah Tessie. Their mother doesn’t really confuse them – well, I hope I don’t. And Bush, well, he had trouble with words. Still, does anyone feel a little worried that Napolitano’s problems are not “misspeaks” but “misthinks.” That is, does she believe terrorism doesn’t exist? That we should be more worried about returning vets than those who would have destroyed, say, Brooklyn Bridge? Is she capable (and I would think for someone in her position it would be important to do so) of distinguishing between actions covered in civil and criminal courts, between actions that enforce laws on the books and political actions? Lemuel Shaw (father-in-law to Melville) was hung in effigy after the Sims trial. He knew politics, he knew his beliefs – he was an abolitionist; but he also recognized the law. I’d just as soon we didn’t have good people enforcing bad laws. But laws can be adjusted; precedence can’t – laws should be seen as, well, laws.
Perhaps I simply haven’t enough context or knowledge; perhaps she isn’t as bad as this seems. I’m not always impressed by the level of CNN’s interviews. Nonetheless, although I’m less critical than some on this blog of illegal immigration, I fear this hints at further, deeper troubles ahead.
Here is a CNN interview; transcript from Hot Air.
KING: A lot of Democrats in Congress want to you investigate [Joe Arpaio]. They think he is over the line. He says he is just enforcing the law and the problem is the federal government.
NAPOLITANO: Well, you know, Sheriff Joe, he is being very political in that statement, because he knows that there aren’t enough law enforcement officers, courtrooms or jail cells in the world to do what he is saying.
What we have to do is target the real evil-doers in this business, the employers who consistently hire illegal labor, the human traffickers who are exploiting human misery.
And yes, when we find illegal workers, yes, appropriate action, some of which is criminal, most of that is civil, because crossing the border is not a crime per se. It is civil. But anyway, going after those as well.
Posted in Immigration, Politics | 6 Comments »
Posted by Helen on 15th February 2009 (All posts by Helen)
After all, I am becoming involved in this discussion and a posting might be preferable to responses on the discussion forum. This is cross-posted from the BrugesGroupBlog, which I run in parallel to my work on EUReferendum. As I explain elsewhere on it, the intention had been to make this blog a part of a structured research programme but that is not going to happen. So, it continues as a more or less personal political blog until I set up another one as part of a network Richard North and I envisage.
On EUReferendum my colleague, Richard North (often referred to by me as the boss) and I have expended a very large number of words on the Geert Wilders affair. It would, therefore, be seemly to call a halt to the flood and so I shall (albeit temporarily) as soon as I have discussed a couple of related issues.
My colleague has already written about the Conservative Party’s ridiculous reaction but there have been some developments there as chronicled by ToryBoyBlog, a.k.a. Conservative Home.
At first the Conservatives, laughably known as Her Majesty’s Opposition, kept quiet on the matter of a Dutch parliamentarian being stopped from taking up an invitation by two members of the House of Lords to explain his political views because another member of the House of Lords, who is waiting to be sentenced for dangerous driving that resulted in a death, was threatening violence. The threats were unlikely to have turned into reality but that is a separate issue. They were made. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Britain, Civil Liberties, Immigration, Islam, Terrorism | 9 Comments »
Posted by James R. Rummel on 14th January 2009 (All posts by James R. Rummel)
I have been writing for years about the illegal immigration situation in the United States.
It seems that drug gangs based in the north of Mexico have grown enormously wealthy and powerful by using the same routes illegal aliens use to enter the US to smuggle their product. They were so flush with cash, in fact, that they were even able to bribe troops in the Mexican Army to act as bodyguards for some of the smugglers.
The government in Mexico decided to do something about this situation, and they went to war with the drug cartels two years ago. So far, things have not been going very well for the good guys. Assassinations and murder on a scale that boggles the mind.
Now, it would seem, things have taken a turn for the worse. The headline reads “US Military Report Warns ‘Sudden Collapse’ of Mexico Possible”. (Hat tip to Glenn.)
I’m wondering if the US is going to finally do something to help the democratically elected government of our southern neighbor. A good start would be to reduce the profits the drug gangs use to kill all those innocent people. We could do that simply by enforcing our own laws and secure our borders.
Something tells me that won’t happen.
(Cross posted at Hell in a Handbasket.)
Posted in Crime and Punishment, Immigration, International Affairs, Law Enforcement, Military Affairs | 2 Comments »
Posted by Ginny on 26th October 2008 (All posts by Ginny)
Mrs. Davis thoughtfully comments on James’s post :
In case you missed it, the housing market started to crash about a year ago. But unemployment never rose. Why? They all went back to Mexico. They may have a hard time getting a job there, but they’ve saved a lot of dollars and they’re still the richest guys in the village. They’ll hang out till we need them again and then they’ll be back. Even in those midwestern meat and poultry packing plants.
James, Ohio must be really different from other parts of flyover country. I don’t think anyone would mistake Lexington, Nebraska for Marin County. But guys stand around there as they do all over Texas – waiting for a job on week-ends. Put in a meat packing plant and suddenly the Somalis and Mexicans join the cowboys at Wal-Mart.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Blogging, Immigration | 9 Comments »
Posted by James R. Rummel on 26th October 2008 (All posts by James R. Rummel)
Back in 1976, New Yorker magazine ran what is perhaps one of their most recognized covers. It shows how people from The Big Apple view the rest of the world, with an oversized Manhattan dominating. Every other feature of the world, from the rest of America to entire foreign countries, fade in importance and detail the further the distance from New York. Not, of course, that they were very important when compared to New York in the first place.
I was reminded of that image while reading this essay at American Digest, an op-ed that I really can’t take seriously. In the very first paragraph the author tries to set the scene, as many good wordsmiths do, by evoking commonly recognized themes and images. The only problem is that the themes and images he is using as a common touchstone between the reader and himself are not very common.
“Last June I was visiting an old friend in San Rafael, California. He lives the classic Marin county life high on a brindle California hillside. His house is reached by driving the blind curves of one of those thin hill roads. He’s got open land and long views next to his house. And a beautiful and extensive garden. A Sunset Magazine garden.”
“…the classic Marin county life…”? I had no idea what that is. “A Sunset Magazine garden.”? I didn’t know what that is, either. Probably because I had never heard of Sunset Magazine before now, let alone any gardens they may have cultivated. I can figure out what he means pretty easily through context, however. He might be referring to subjects that I have never experienced, nor want to, but it isn’t like he is incomprehensible.
Just so you know, I’m from the Midwest. Flyover country. It isn’t surprising that someone who reads Sunset Magazine and hangs out in Marin county would have a different view of the world than some guy from Columbus, Ohio. This is a pretty easy observation to make, actually.
But even though this Ohio boy can appreciate and understand the point of view of someone who lives in California, I really don’t think he can conceive of conditions that exist elsewhere in the country. Proof came a few paragraphs into his piece.
“Home Depots are, among other big-box construction hardware stores, the default shape-up spot of pick-up Mexican labor in the US. We all know that. When you need something done you just drive out to the nearest Home Depot, get your materials, and then pick up your emergency Mexicans as you exit. Everybody knows this. Everybody sees this. Everybody does this.”
Um, actually, no. At least it isn’t done that way in central Ohio.
The author mentions that there were about 300 illegals hanging around the parking lot of a Home Depot near Marin county, a greatly reduced number from the early morning when contractors culled the herd looking for day labor. He seems to think that this is something that occurs all over since it occurs outside of every big hardware store in California.
Not up here, buddy. That isn’t to say that there aren’t any illegal aliens in Ohio, just that they run the risk of getting arrested. The police might not actively pursue illegals, but they will turn them over to INS if they happen to become aware of them. A couple of hundred unemployed guys hanging around outside of a business, hanging around so they could be illegally employed, would be tough to miss. Better put the call out to see if any adjoining departments can spare their paddy wagons, it’s going to be a busy day!
Earlier I mentioned that I couldn’t take the op-ed under discussion very seriously. This isn’t because the author has no clue about conditions outside of California (at least not totally), but because of the alarm he is trying to raise through his article.
You see, he is worried about what will happen if the economy gets worse. What happens if this enormous illegal population is suddenly metaphorically starved of the tax free dollars they now earn because unemployed American citizens start to compete for the “jobs Americans won’t do”? There is nothing for them back home in their native country, and he doesn’t see them quietly and meekly allowing themselves to starve for real. He seems to think that the consequences will be dire.
“Perhaps we’ll discover that we’ll have to pay a very large bill for our indolence. And that the bill will not be paid with cash. It will be paid, not for the first time, with the last thing we want to see – the Army in our cities. I don’t think we are prepared for that. I don’t think we want to find out. I pray we never have to.”
Once again, it won’t happen up here. I also don’t see it happening in states that value rugged individualism, like New Mexico or Texas or Arizona. But I can definitely see martial law declared in California because their population of illegal immigrants decides to act up.
I mean, how else would those poor Sunset-Magazine-reading dears cope?
(Hat tip to Glenn.)
Posted in Crime and Punishment, Immigration | 12 Comments »
Posted by Ginny on 25th February 2008 (All posts by Ginny)
Megan McArdle at Instapundit describes another case of Lancet’s preaching that probably deserves the Shannon approach: apparently it is a “crime” to “poach” third world health professionals. While there is much to be said for a sense of duty and a sense of loyalty to one’s home turf, most of us consider the importance of those ties as the business of each doctor.
It does, however, make me curious about a phenomenon I’ve noticed locally but have no idea of its breadth. Some of our readers may have a context.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Immigration | 11 Comments »
Posted by Lexington Green on 19th December 2007 (All posts by Lexington Green)
He is a nice guy, but a Lefty who always thinks the dark night of fascism is about to descend on America.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in History, Immigration, Politics, Society, USA | 5 Comments »
Posted by Jonathan on 28th August 2007 (All posts by Jonathan)
The USA sent Canada its draft dodgers. In exchange, Canada sends us physicians, successful entrepreneurs and other highly productive people. I’d say we have gotten the better of this exchange.
Posted in Anti-Americanism, Entrepreneurship, Immigration, Leftism, North America, Political Philosophy, Society, USA, Vietnam | 16 Comments »