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A CIS Weekly and CIS Announce update on publications, blogs, and other information from the Center for Immigration Studies.

New from the Center for Immigration Studies, 10/5/15


What's Happening at the Center
We marked the 50-year anniversary of the transformative 1965 immigration act with the publication of a paper by Senior Research Fellow Jerry Kammer on the political maneuvering that led to the law's passage and the resulting unintended consequences. Mr. Kammer joined labor economist Philip Martin and Peggy Orchowski of Hispanic Outlook, author of a new book on the 1965 law, in a panel discussion at the National Press Club in Washington. Mark Krikorian moderated the discussion and published his own analysis on the consequences of the act. 

Recent Activities
Publications
1. The Hart-Celler Immigration Act of 1965: Political figures and historic circumstances produced dramatic, unintended consequences
2. Nonimmigrants Surge Under Obama Administration

Commentary
3. 50 Years of Immigration’s Unintended Consequences
4. On Immigration, Fighting the Last War

Blogs
5. Four Immigration Programs Extended to Dec. 11 by Continuing Resolution
6. RFK, Theodore White, and the Great Debate over Immigration
7. To Be Called Migrants or Refugees? That Is the Question
8. Honduras' Central Bank: Emigration to U.S. Is a Cause for Concern
9. EB-5 Debacle in Vermont Offers Schadenfreude for All
10. Murder of a Libyan Smuggling Boss Will Change Nothing
11. Oklahoma Again Reports an Increase in Taxes on Wired Remittances
12. On Ombudsmen, Sinecures, and Phony Enforcement
13. Integrating Immigration Controls into Daily Life
14. Secretive Alien Millionaires File EB-5 Class Action Case

Television
15. Mark Krikorian Discusses Increase of Immigrant Population
16. Jon Feere Debates Birthright Citizenship Policy


1.
The Hart-Celler Immigration Act of 1965: Political figures and historic circumstances produced dramatic, unintended consequences
By Jerry Kammer
CIS Backgrounder, September 2015
http://cis.org/Hart-Celler-Immigration-Act-1965

Panel Video: http://cis.org/Videos/1965-Immigration-Act-Panel

Panel Transcript: http://cis.org/PanelTranscripts/1965-Immigration-Act-Panel

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2.
Nonimmigrants Surge Under Obama Administration
By David North
CIS Backgrounder, September 2015
http://cis.org/Nonimmigrants-surge-obama-administration

Excerpt: While there has been much useful discussion recently on the vulnerability of our southern border, on sanctuary cities that let alien criminals loose, and even on anchor babies, there has been no similar conversation on the remarkable surge in the number of nonimmigrants arriving in the United States during the Obama administration.

This was caused by a large increase in the number of visas issued to tourists, students, temporary workers, and others there were 5.8 million of these visas granted in FY 2009 and 9.9 million of them in FY 2014. Although visa overstayers account for 40 to 45 percent of the illegal alien population, it became easier during those years to secure these visas the percentage of visa denials to all visa decisions dropped from 18.6 percent in FY 2009 to 15.3 percent in FY 2014, according to State Department data. Figure 1 illustrates these trends, with 2009 as the baseline.

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3.
50 Years of Immigration’s Unintended Consequences
Were backers of the 1965 immigration law lying or just blinded by good intentions?
By Mark Krikorian
National Review Online, October 3, 2015
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/425034/1965-immigration-law-50th-anniversary-failed-policy

Excerpt: In my more uncharitable moods, I think they were simply lying — in Senator Kennedy’s case, it would hardly be the first or last time. But that’s not usually the way people work. The bill’s sponsors must really have believed their own press releases.

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4.
On Immigration, Fighting the Last War
By Mark Krikorian
National Review Online, October 1, 2015
http://cis.org/opedsandArticles/Krikorian-Visa-Overstays-Are-Todays-Immigration-Crisis

Excerpt: Donald Trump's call for a wall along the whole 2,000-mile border with Mexico has gotten a lot of immigration hawks excited. I understand the emotional appeal of his proposal, but it addresses what is actually the least serious vulnerability in our immigration system.

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5.
Four Immigration Programs Extended to Dec. 11 by Continuing Resolution
By David North
CIS Blog, October 1, 2015
http://www.cis.org/north/four-immigration-programs-extended-dec-11-continuing-resolution

Excerpt: Both houses of Congress passed and the president signed into law a continuing resolution (CR) yesterday which will avoid a government shutdown caused by a lack of funds, and, in the small print, will keep four specialized immigration programs alive for the duration of the CR, which will end on December 11.

The four immigration programs are extended in their current form, and will need another extension to keep them going past December 11.

The four are: E-Verify, which provides worker eligibility data for employers; the heart of EB-5, the controversial immigrant investor program; the non-ministerial religious workers program; and Conrad-30, a program that brings alien doctors to medically under-served areas of the nation.

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6.
RFK, Theodore White, and the Great Debate over Immigration
By Jerry Kammer
CIS Blog, September 30, 2015
http://cis.org/kammer/rfk-theodore-white-and-great-debate-immigration

Excerpt: The Hart-Celler Act is a historic example of American leaders who saw injustice in our national civic life and took action eliminate it. But its legacy illustrates the unintended consequences that reforms can produce when they are shaped by other, less noble agendas and driven by a sense of urgency that renders advocates unable or unwilling to look beyond anticipated benefits and to probe potential costs.

Convinced of their good intentions and driven by idealism and political interest, the Congress that passed the Hart-Celler Act and the president who signed it failed to anticipate how it would create a system of mass immigration that continues to transform the country a half century later.

In his 1964 letter to the Times, Kennedy insisted that the legislation "would increase the amount of authorized immigration by only a fraction." Meanwhile, his brother, Sen. Edward Kennedy, who skillfully managed the bill to passage, told his colleagues, "It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society."

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7.
To Be Called Migrants or Refugees? That Is the Question
By Nayla Rush
CIS Blog, September 30, 2015
http://cis.org/rush/be-called-migrants-or-refugees-question

Excerpt: Migration push factors are complex and often overlapping. A person may have fled a country of war, but the decision to continue one's journey may be linked to other factors, such as job opportunities or benefits, welcoming family members or networks, a change in the host country's immigration policy, etc. In the words of Carling, "motivations can be blurred and overlapping, defying neat categorization."

Even the common and seemingly clear-cut distinction between migrants and refugees, which stipulates that the former choose to move while the latter have to move, is not as obvious. Again, what part is pressure and part personal choice? In the midst of wars, and under the same circumstances, some stay while others leave. Some flee immediate life-threatening circumstances while others, like Syrians in Jordan or Lebanon, might feel propelled to continue on to Europe if only because of constraining camp-life conditions that were supposed to be temporary but now appear everlasting.

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8.
Honduras' Central Bank: Emigration to U.S. Is a Cause for Concern
By Kausha Luna
CIS Blog, September 30, 2015
http://www.cis.org/luna/honduras-central-bank-emigration-us-cause-concern

Excerpt: The United Nations' new development agenda presents migration and remittances as a contribution to development. However, the vice president of Honduras' Central Bank (BCH), Manuel Bautista, said in a recent interview that emigration and remittances are a source of concern for Honduras.

Bautista's comments need to be understood in the context of a 2007 report by the BCH on family remittances and a profile of remittance senders. The report shows emigration to the U.S. from Honduras has had a negative impact on the productivity of the work force. The data shows labor inactivity increased by 9.1 percent in 2006. The emigrant population (estimated at more than 1 million out of the country's current population of 8.6 million) is a significant portion of Honduras' labor force because almost all (92.5 percent) are between 15 and 49 years old. Furthermore, the able workers receiving remittances often stop looking for jobs and others use remittances as early retirement funds.

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9.
EB-5 Debacle in Vermont Offers Schadenfreude for All
By David North
CIs Blog, September 30, 2015
http://www.cis.org/north/eb-5-debacle-vermont-offers-schadenfreude-all

Excerpt: There's a failed EB-5 venture in Vermont that offers schadenfreude for all comers.

According to VT Digger, an online alternative publication, Seldon Technologies, a small scientific firm in Windsor, Vt., went out of business on Monday, laying off 32 workers in the process.

If you are a critic of EB-5, as I am, this is sad news for the little town, but good news on the national stage since the heart of the immigrant investor program will expire tonight unless Congress acts remarkably swiftly.

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10.
Murder of a Libyan Smuggling Boss Will Change Nothing
By Dan Cadman
CIS Blog, September 30, 2015
http://www.cis.org/cadman/murder-libyan-smuggling-boss-will-change-nothing

Excerpt: I'm not one to automatically reject theories just because they skew heavily on the dark-and-sinister scale, but on the other hand probabilities must be weighed, and they mitigate against this notion. Surely the Italians are smart enough to know that such a hit is like cutting off the Hydra's head: Two more will spring up to replace the one lost.

More likely, this was the act of a ruthless competitor or ambitious underling. Libya is a lawless, failed state akin to Somalia, rife with extremists and out of control militias thanks to the intervention of Western powers who aided in the overthrow of strongman Muamar Qaddafi during the glorious Arab Spring you know, the one that brought so many flowering democracies to countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. (Don't you bet the Europeans wish they could put that herd of cats back in the bag.)

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11.
Oklahoma Again Reports an Increase in Taxes on Wired Remittances
By David North
CIS Blog, September 29, 2015
http://www.cis.org/north/oklahoma-again-reports-increase-taxes-wired-remittances

Excerpt: With the U.S. Congress apparently poised to reduce fees on employers who hire massive numbers of foreign workers, a loss to the government of between $100 million and $250 million, it is a pleasure to note that Oklahoma continues to collect increasing amounts of money from its tax on wire transfers of money made by individuals (many of whom are illegal aliens.)

Oklahoma, as we report every year at about this time, collects 1 percent from all out-going, out-of-state, person-to-person wire transfers of money; many of these transfers are remittances from illegal aliens in Oklahoma to their relatives in their homelands. It is the only state to do so.

The money is not, strictly speaking, a tax; it is a deduction, much like what most Americans find in their regular pay stubs. If you pay your state income taxes, you can use these 1 percent deductions as a tax credit. In that case the whole procedure is a wash.


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12.
On Ombudsmen,Sinecures, and Phony Enforcement
By Dan Cadman
CIS Blog, September 29, 2015
http://www.cis.org/cadman/ombudsmen-sinecures-and-phony-enforcement

Excerpt: The exclusive focus of each of these ombudsman offices is complaints filed by aliens and/or their attorneys. Complaints about agency practices or biases in favor of illegal aliens and beneficiary applicants over citizens or lawful residents have been uniformly ignored. This should not be a surprise given that the individuals were hand-picked for the jobs by White House and DHS leaders whose own focus is skewed in favor of applicants and illegal aliens.

The lopsidedness at ICE was particularly outrageous. Agency practices involving the release of criminal aliens, or acceptance of sanctuary practices by states and local governments also involving release of criminal aliens, resulted in recidivists hitting the streets and committing horrific crimes. The ICE ombudsman, Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, while oozing sympathy for aliens in detention or facing removal proceedings, turned a blind eye to the pain of victims and survivors of the alien recidivists.

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13.
Integrating Immigration Controls into Daily Life: Not every country is as feckless as the United States.
By Dan Cadman
CIS Blog, September 28, 2015
http://www.cis.org/cadman/integrating-immigration-controls-daily-life-namibia

Excerpt: Contrary to the usual obliqueness toward visas and permits exhibited by the show, the work visa was mentioned repeatedly during this episode, and for an interesting reason: In Namibia foreigners need to attach physical evidence of their legal status with their sale or rental documents to purchase or rent a home. In fact, you can't apply for a job, open a bank account, or obtain a mobile phone without providing proof of your legal status.

Banish the thought that Namibia may be one of those despotic little places that populate much of the third world, including Africa, where every facet of life is controlled not only for foreigners but its citizenry. Not so. It is a left-leaning democratic republic with vast mineral deposits ranging from diamonds to uranium and, although there are wealth disparities in the population, the CIA World Factbook describes Namibia as "an upper middle income country".

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14.
Secretive Alien Millionaires File EB-5 Class Action Case
By David North
CIS Blog, September 28, 2015
http://www.cis.org/north/secretive-alien-millionaires-file-eb-5-class-action-case

Excerpt:Usually when you think of a class action suit it's a bunch of little guys, like individual stockholders or workers suing big corporations. (Disclosure: my stepdaughter lawyer files such cases for disabled people.)

It is usually a segment of the 99 percent suing a segment of the 1 percent, often in an attempt to make matters more transparent and to strip away secrecy.

Ah, but then there is Zhang v. USCIS, which is totally different from the usual class action case in that the fat cats are doing the suing and they want less, not more transparency.

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15.
Mark Krikorian Discusses Immigration Policy
Fox Business, September 28, 2015
http://cis.org/TVInterviews/Krikorian-Dobbs-092815

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16.
Jon Feere Debates Birthright Citizenship Policy
ABC Affiliate WJLA 7, September 2, 2015
http://cis.org/TVInterviews/Feere-WJLA-090215

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The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization founded in 1985. It is the nation's only think tank devoted exclusively to research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States.