How Is Expanding the H1B Visa Program a Winning Issue for Marco Rubio?


Channel-7There’s a stinging  jab at Rubio at the end of this emotional report. (The video is at the link; no embedding option, unfortunately.) We’ve heard these stories before about quality workers being fired and forced to train their replacements but the Disney angle on this one seems to expand the outrage from many different directions.

Is this where Jeb steps in to differentiate himself?

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review highlight the important messages for young men to grow up and embrace responsibility in Jim’s new book, “Heavy Lifting.”  They also sigh as the Justice Department, to the surprise of no one, refuses to prosecute Lois Lerner over the IRS targeting of conservative groups.  And they marvel at just how terrible Jeb Bush has been at running for president.

Kathryn Steinle’s San Francisco


In addition to all of my work with political talk radio, and now, political/opinion writing, I’ve had an equally long career in sports radio. On weekends in the fall, I have a freelance gig, producing national radio broadcasts of NFL games. It’s an amazing side job, and I’ve been able to see most of this beautiful country many times over. Plus, I get paid to watch football. Unbeatable.

This past weekend, I was assigned the Green Bay Packers at the San Francisco 49ers. I was happy to get the assignment, as I had not seen Levi’s Stadium, the new home of the 49ers. I also love visiting San Francisco, as it’s one of the most beautiful cities in America, if not the world, but I stress “visiting.” I could never imagine living in such an anti-freedom, anti-conservative, radically progressive city. I need not detail how bad it is to fellow Ricochet readers. You know.

Does Giving Immigrants Citizenship Improve Assimilation and Civic Participation?


shutterstock_155168414_SwissPassportYou wouldn’t know it by listening to Donald Trump, but rounding up and deporting — humanely, according to Trump — some 11 million undocumented/unauthorized/illegal immigrants would be pretty pricey. Lots of different estimates, but maybe anywhere from $100 billion to $600 billion, if preventing future illegal entry is also included.

Legal status for many or most undocumented immigrants already in the US seems more likely. One potential compromise is legalization without citizenship. Immigration expert Peter Skerry has outlined a plan for “permanent non-citizen resident” status. These immigrants would be prohibited from ever becoming eligible for naturalization — unlike green card holders — but they would have full access to the labor market. And that may be enough for most of the undocumented. Skerry notes that a quarter century after the 1980s amnesty, only 41 percent of the nearly 2.7 million individuals who became legal permanent residents had gone on to exercise the option to naturalize. In other words, when offered the chance to become citizens, the overwhelming majority of the undocumented have settled for less.

So normalization without citizenship. And with normalization would hopefully come assimilation. Yet does citizenship itself spur greater assimilation and civic participation? Ars Technica highlights a natural experiment in Switzerland suggesting “immigrants who gain citizenship in their new countries go on to have improved integration into the fabric of that country.”

The Death of the Dream of a United Europe


End of EUOn Tuesday afternoon, EU Interior ministers forced through a plan, by majority vote, to relocate 120,000 refugees now in Greece, Italy, and Hungary among the rest of the EU nations. Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic voted against mandatory quotas, and Finland abstained. I say “forced,” because this deal was surrounded by an unusual amount of EU-infighting and controversy.

Earlier this month, Germany unexpectedly reintroduced temporary controls on its border with Austria, and suspended all train travel between the countries for a full day, citing the consistently high inflow of refugees into the country. The member states saw this as a clear signal from Germany that it would not stand alone in bearing the burden of the crisis. The decision followed widespread criticism of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s handling of the crisis from within her own ranks, with former ministers calling the Chancellor  “starry eyed,” and warning that opening the borders to uncontrolled and unregistered immigrants would have devastating long-term consequences. According to the German Press Agency, the German vice-chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, wrote to SPD party members announcing that Germany may now expect up to one million refugees instead of the 800,000 formerly forecasted by the Interior Ministry.

The EU’s interior ministers have been meeting for the past weeks in an attempt to break the deadlock, with Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia against the proposed mandatory burden-sharing. European Council President Donald Tusk said that if a consensus couldn’t be reached, countries that support the Commission’s proposals ought to force those who oppose to comply through qualified majority voting and by withholding funds and benefits.

The Libertarian Podcast, with Richard Epstein: “US Global Leadership and the Refugee Crisis”


How much of the responsibility for the refugee crisis currently roiling Europe falls on the United States? What kind of legal and moral obligations do we have to international populations that have suffered as a result of decisions we have (or haven’t) made? And what lessons ought we to take for American foreign policy from the present chaos in the Middle East? Those are some of the questions I take up with Professor Epstein on this week’s installment of The Libertarian, which you can listen to below or by subscribing to the series via iTunes.

The Shortcomings of Obama’s Foreign Policy


ObamaPodiumAs refugees from the Middle East continue to pour into Europe, it’s worth taking a moment to remember that this is all a predictable consequence of President Obama’s foreign policy (or lack thereof). As I note in my new column for Defining Ideas:

Though few predicted the rapidity with which the situation would degenerate, it was easy to see that some disaster would soon strike. Why? Because the President does not believe in Pax Americana, the foreign policy approach that states that world peace can only be obtained if the United States is prepared to use force to crush—not just degrade—those that pose a threat to the lives of millions of people across the globe. Make the United States a bystander, and evil nations will wreak havoc on the international scene.

It does not really matter how or why the President came to think that he could secure world peace on the cheap. But the key point is that whenever he is faced with major foreign policy problems, his first move is to take a pot shot at the United States in particular and Western civilization in general. It was not just a verbal slip, but a planned speech, when the President at the National Prayer Meeting breakfast in February 2015 uttered this flip but fatal remark: “Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

Remembering 9/11: Our Unaccountable Bureaucracies


Fourteen years ago today, 19 Egyptians and Saudis on expired student visas hijacked airplanes and turned them into weapons. Our government’s response has been to ensure that planes are never again turned into weapons. So we shuffle through long security lines, remove our belts and shoes and hats and coats, and then choose between being photographed nude or getting felt up by government bureaucrats. We can’t bring a bottle of water or shampoo or a pocketknife with us. Our luggage is never truly locked, and government bureaucrats routinely steal from it.

Meanwhile, 14 years later, we still have no idea how many Egyptians and Saudis might be here on expired student visas.

Republican Suicide


shutterstock_180961979Nine years ago, aboard a National Review cruise, I debated immigration policy with my colleagues and the cruisers. It was a good discussion that touched all the familiar bases. Are there really jobs Americans won’t do? Are big business and big agriculture enmeshed in a corrupt bargain with liberal Democrats whereby business gets cheap labor and Democrats get new voters?

I argued then, as I do today, that there are many serious immigration reforms we ought to be undertaking. We have a valuable commodity – the right to live and work in the USA (and in some cases to become a citizen) – and we should not be handing it out to just anyone. We should swiftly deport criminals even as we should be more welcoming to those who earn PhDs or bring other skills. But I also argue that illegal immigration, particularly from Mexico, is steeply declining and likely to continue to; that even most Republicans, to say nothing of the larger electorate, are moderate on immigration, and that immigrants tend to work hard.

I respect the restrictionist position, but there is one argument they advance that I do not understand. They say that unless we stop immigration – legal and illegal – there is no chance for conservative governance or for the Republican Party. I say, unless Republicans refrain from causing a stampede to the Democrats by denigrating Mexicans as “rapists” and urging “deportation” (even of American citizens!), we will not win another national election.

The Libertarian Podcast: Birthright Citizenship and Immigration


You’ve heard the Yoo-Coulter debate. Now it’s time for Professor Epstein to weigh in. On this week’s episode of The Libertarian podcast, Richard takes up the issue of whether the Fourteenth Amendment really does guarantee citizenship for children born in America to illegal immigrants, explores the broader development of the law around what it means to be an American citizen, and explains why this issue is forcing conservatives and liberals alike to embrace methods of constitutional interpretation they usually abhor.

You can subscribe to The Libertarian podcast via iTunes or your favorite podcast app or you can listen in below after the jump.

Anchor Babies Showdown: Yoo v. Coulter


Last week, Ricochet conanchor_babytributor and podcast host John Yoo posted Trump No Conservative in Opposing Birthright Citizenship, making the case that Trump’s proposal to end birthright citizenship is unconstitutional. The post generated hundreds of comments, both on and off the site, including this one from our old friend and avid Trump supporter Ann Coulter:

Responding to Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan


GovDear Grand Old Party — particularly all candidates, consultants, and media:

I know how you want to respond to this. Don’t do it. You’re outraged — it’s crazy, unworkable, and a political disaster. I agree. I don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye with you on everything, but you’re right about that.

But here’s what you should have learned by now: When you furiously attack Trump, even on policy, you make his fans ever more defensive and ever more loyal. Moreover, to debate policy with Trump is to wrestle Proteus. Lay hand on him and he changes shape. Two blinks ago he supported complete amnesty. On air today he said he’d round up and deport everyone, including children born here. (He can’t, by the way.) But he also says he’ll let most of them right back in. The actual written plan says only that he’ll deport all aliens with criminal convictions. What’s real? Don’t bother trying to figure it out; it’ll be different tomorrow.

Why are We Only Speaking of Illegal Immigrants?


In her newest weekly column, La Diva Ann Coulter challenges a verbal tic afflicting conservatives. When they discuss the dangers and problems resulting from our 35-year experiment with massive legal immigration, they imply that the problem is confined to illegal immigrants:

It’s getting to the point where we’re going to need cattle prods and shock collars to break people of the neurotic compulsion to slip “ILLEGAL” in front of the word “immigrant.” The reality of legal immigration cannot make a dent in the elite’s make-believe world, where legal immigrants are only hot Swedish models, Rupert Murdoch and Sergey Brin.

My Informed Commentary about Donald Trump and Mexico


mexico_immigr_ap_imgListening to Donald Trump verbally assault Mexico disgusts me to the point of illness. There are problems with and in Mexico, but his characterization of it is a grotesque parody of the real situation. His rants are nonsense, and he is a vile man.

My comments are informed because I am a retired Foreign Service Consular officer who spent two tours — four years — at our Embassy in Mexico City. Unlike Trump, I have first-hand knowledge of Mexico, its immigration patterns and economics, and have travelled extensively through the country.

I am in no way in favor of illegal immigration (most consular officers aren’t) and do not turn a blind eye to the problems that mass immigration brings.  But I understand why Jeb Bush says that these people are motivated by love. They are in a difficult position in Mexico and want to improve themselves by working in the United States. Leaving to work in another country is difficult. (But that doesn’t mean that we should let them; we have no need for more unskilled laborers, and Scott Walker is spot-on on this point.)

Member Post


When I first posted this last year, the only response was someone who graciously followed me just to unfollow me which was great fun.  At the risk of repeating myself (and possibly also repeating myself), below is an outline of a plan that uses market principles that: (1) Jointly handles the “enforcement” vs. “amnesty” issues; and […]

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The Classicist Podcast, with Victor Davis Hanson: “Illegal Immigration and Sanctuary Cities”


In this installment of The Classicist podcast from the Hoover Institution, VDH uses the recent murder of Kate Steinle in the sanctuary city of San Francisco to discuss the issues faced by Californians dealing with illegal immigration, address whether ‘compassion’ ought to be the driving factor behind immigration policy, take issue with the idea that rates of criminal behavior are lower amongst those here illegally, explore the popular/elitist divide on the issue, and speculate on whether we’ve reached an inflection point in the public debate.

As ever, you can subscribe to The Classicist via iTunes or your favorite podcast app — or you can listen in below, right after the jump.