Summary

The passage of landmark immigration legislation in 1965 marked the beginning of the largest sustained wave of immigration in America’s history. This immigration surge, however, was not the first. Immigration surged in the decades leading up to the American Civil War and again starting in the 1880s before being curtailed by war and then by restrictive legislation in the 1920s. Large-scale immigration such as this has important implications for the social, political, and economic conditions in the United States. One widely overlooked implication is the economic harm imposed on Black Americans.

In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, discusses the connection between immigration policy, the labor market, and the economic progress of Black Americans. Beck highlights some of the key points made in his new book, “Back of the Hiring Line: A 200-year history of immigration surges, employer bias, and depression of Black wealth”.

Summary

More than a million migrants entered Europe in 2015 triggering changes in national immigration policies and in public support for the securing of border and the limiting of migration. Fast forward six years, the United States has just set an all-time annual record for the number of illegal migrants apprehended at the Southwest border, with two migrant caravans presently en route. How similar were domestic reactions to the migrant surges? What can the U.S. learn from Europe, where many countries are building walls?

Inspired by a trip to the U.S. southern border, Kristof Gyorgy Veres, researcher at the Migration Research Institute in Budapest and visiting fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, discusses the immigration challenges faced by the U.S. and Europe, the impact of increased numbers on public opinion, and various policies employed on both sides of the Atlantic. Veres highlights America’s effective Remain in Mexico Program (MPP), which was terminated by the Biden administration and has now been ordered restarted by the courts. The European Union and the United Kingdom are now considering similar policies, requiring asylum seekers to wait abroad while their claims are processed.

Summary

Americans have watched the videos of the migrant caravans comprised of thousands of migrants from all over the world coming to the southern border. Americans have read the numbers – agents apprehended 1,659,206 illegal migrants in FY2021, an all-time record for apprehensions at the southwest border, and tens of thousands of ‘gotaways’ entered the country monthly. But most Americans have never heard the details of how the lack of operational control of the border impacts their fellow taxpaying countrymen, who live and work near the border.

Russell Johnson, a fourth generation cattle rancher who lives and works along eight miles of the border, joins Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, to discuss how illegal immigration effects his business and family and the impact of various policies adopted over the last 15 years. He describes the cost and time required to protect himself, his family and his property from a constant flow of trespassers.

Summary

The U.S.-Mexico relationship has a direct impact on American security and prosperity, and immigration, both legal and illegal, plays a key role. In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Christopher Landau, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico (2019-2021), discusses Mexican immigration laws, cooperation with the United States, and Mexican attitudes toward migration.

Landau touches on the changing attitudes of Mexicans towards migration due in part to the changes that have occurred. Migrants from all over the world are entering Mexico on their way to the U.S. southern border. Mexicans are no longer the dominant population entering the United States illegally; “other than Mexican” nationals (OTMs) accounted for well over 60 percent of the apprehensions at the border and all of these individuals had to cross through Mexico, in violation of Mexican laws. It is more than just a threat to Mexican national sovereignty; criminal networks, which control the historic levels of third-country migration through Mexico, are being enriched, with long-term implications for Mexico.

Summary

Hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals, primarily from India and China, are working in the United States via the controversial Optical Practical Training program (OPT). This program allows individuals who entered on student visas to obtain work authorization for up to three years after graduation. OPT was not enacted by Congress – the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) developed the program at the request of Silicon Valley tech moguls who sought a means to overcome annual caps in the H-1B foreign worker program.

In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Jon Feere, the Center’s Director of Investigations and former ICE Chief of Staff, discusses the national security and labor issues stemming from the size and lack of sufficient oversight of the OPT program. He describes the fraud and lack of transparency in the program, including the large number of fake companies listed as OPT employers.

Summary

One of the most frequently cited justifications for sanctuary policies is the claim that immigrants are less willing to report victimization to authorities. A report was released by the Center for Immigration Studies casts doubt on this claim, using the latest data from the National Crime Victimization Survey.

Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, moderates a rebroadcast of the Center’s recent panel discussing the report. Two of the study’s co-authors participated in the panel, Center researchers Jessica Vaughan and Steven Camarota. They were joined by Capt. Keith Harmon of the Collier County, Fla. Sheriff’s Department, which has long experience with ICE’s 287(g) program.

Summary

The National Border Patrol Museum captures the history and mission of the U.S. Border Patrol dating back to the creation of the agency in 1924. Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, recently visited the unique museum, located in El Paso, Texas, and spoke with its president.

This museum, funded entirely by private donations, displays border surveillance and transportation equipment and other tools used on both the northern and southern borders by agents and by those attempting to illegally enter or smuggle people or drugs across the border. The museum also houses an extensive archival collection of Border Patrol documents, including a memo from WWII regarding the potential of entry of Axis agents through the southern border.

Summary

The historic surge of illegal immigration at the U.S. border has overwhelmed the U.S. Border Patrol, the agency charged with detecting and preventing illegal traffic between ports of entry.

In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of the podcast, discusses this with border security expert Dr. Victor Manjarrez Jr.

Summary

The Center for Immigration has been following the polling of the immigration issue closely since the election of President Biden. The 2020 presidential campaign was largely devoid of any debate on immigration policy, meaning that very few Americans voted for Joe Biden because of his immigration positions. But polling shows that there has been consistent, and growing, opposition to the Biden administration’s immigration policies and actions. Will public opinion eventually force a change in current immigration policies, and how might Biden’s immigration policies influence the next election?

On this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Andrew Arthur, the Center’s resident fellow in law and policy, discusses immigration polls and their influence on the Biden administration’s policies. Arthur said, “Polling shows that Biden’s immigration policies are plainly unpopular with a large swath of the electorate. We have seen the public’s response to the monthly apprehension numbers at the border and Biden’s push for an amnesty, and we certainly saw a public reaction to the images of large numbers of migrants crossing the Rio Grande and the encampments in Del Rio, Texas. Immigration has jumped in importance to the public, but whether it remains a key issue will depend on how bad the border disaster becomes.”

Summary

Thousands of illegal aliens poured into Del Rio, Texas last week forming an encampment that eventually peaked with an estimated 15,000 migrants. Thousands of mostly Haitians, but also Cubans and other nationalities, waited for processing to enter the country as an overwhelmed Biden administration struggled to control the growing camp, and Texas moved to stop the numbers from going even higher.

After several days of watching the numbers multiply, the Biden administration moved to control the political damage of the shantytown, and began deporting some Haitians to their native country; however, most of them had been living and working in Brazil and Chile for years, and fled to Mexico instead of risking deportation.

Summary

The “public charge” doctrine – meaning that a person likely to have to be supported by taxpayers (a public charge) should not be permitted to immigrate – is one of the oldest elements of American immigration policy. Colonial Massachusetts enacted the earliest public charge law in 1645, while the first immigration law at the federal level, in 1882, likewise excluded immigrants who were likely to become a burden on taxpayers.

But then as now, the main question is how to define public charge.

Summary

There is no more important tool for preventing future attacks on U.S. soil than the nation’s immigration system. The 20th anniversary of the attacks that claimed thousands of American lives is an appropriate occasion to reflect on the role immigration failures played in the 9/11 attacks and the progress made in limiting opportunities for future terrorism. Americans may disagree on the level of immigration, and its costs and benefits, but few would argue against the importance of keeping foreign-born terrorists out of the country and apprehending terrorists who have entered the U.S.

In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Todd Bensman, the Center’s senior national security fellow, discusses the role of immigration law in protecting the American people. He highlights the importance of the National Vetting Center and the national security implications of an open southern border. What further policy changes are needed to keep us safe?

Summary

Every year the United States welcomes more than one million legal immigrants; two-thirds of this population are family members brought in through chain migration. With an average immigrant sponsoring 3.45 family members, the U.S. immigration flow is always impacted by chain migration.

The thousands of Afghans being resettled in the U.S. will be able to eventually petition for more relatives, just as all illegal immigrants granted amnesty would be able to bring in family members. On this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s director of policy studies, joins host Mark Krikorian to discuss chain migration, its impact, and possible policy changes. Should immigrants be entitled to bring in their adult siblings and their families? Adult children and their families? Parents? The larger question is whether we should continue to allow yesterday’s immigrants to select tomorrow’s immigrants.

Summary

With the fall of the U.S.-backed government in Kabul, large numbers of Afghans are fleeing the country. In particular, the United States has sought to evacuate those Afghans who would be in danger of Taliban reprisals for their cooperation with American authorities.

To discuss this urgent issue, this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy features two analysts at the Center for Immigration Studies. Dr. Nayla Rush, a senior researcher at the Center, explains the potential size of the flow of people to the United States from Afghanistan and the various programs (like Special Immigrant Visas and the Priority 2 refugee program) that Afghans will use to move here.

Summary

Today’s immigration policy debate focuses on many of the same issues as it did decades ago, including numbers, amnesties, labor impact, fiscal costs, and legislative strategy. In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, George Fishman, former Department of Homeland Security

Deputy General Counsel and Republican Counsel on the House Immigration Subcommittee for over two decades, shares his institutional knowledge on immigration and legislative strategy and its application to today’s debates. Fishman became part of the immigration policy debate in the mid-1990s at the time of the bipartisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, the “Barbara Jordan Commission.” He discusses his participation in the three important immigration legislative battles that followed – in 1995-96, 2005-07, and 2013-14 – and what that experience can teach us today.

Summary

Congress passed the “Magna Carta” of environmental law, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), more than 50 years ago. NEPA mandates that all federal agencies consider the environmental implications of actions before they are undertaken; the environmental impact statements are then required to be made public, so that individuals have the opportunity to comment on government actions that will affect their communities. The law begins with a “Congressional Declaration of National Environmental Policy” which identifies the impact of population growth as one of the law’s chief concerns. Despite this, no environmental analysis has been performed on any immigration action in the decades since NEPA’s passage, even though the federal government’s main influence on U.S. population numbers comes through its immigration policies.

Julie Axelrod, the director of litigation for the Center for Immigration Studies, pioneered using NEPA to sue government agencies for not conducting environmental analysis on immigration actions. On this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Axelrod discusses the NEPA lawsuits filed against the Department of Homeland Security for ignoring immigration actions in its NEPA procedures.

Summary

Few politicians have studied United States immigration and immigration policies as comprehensively as the late civil-rights icon, the first African American congresswoman to come from the Deep South, and chairwoman of President Clinton’s Commission on Immigration Reform, U.S. Representative Barbara Jordan (TX). The bi-partisan commission produced guiding principles for American immigration policies as well as specific recommendations – all but one recommendation was unanimous.

This week Parsing Immigration Policy features Eric Ruark, director of research at NumbersUSA, an immigration advocacy organization that has become the unofficial steward of the Jordan Commission’s reports and research. Ruark discusses the Jordan Commission’s report, how the Commission defined the purpose of immigration laws and the key recommendations, including a reduction in legal immigration and ending illegal immigration. Jordan advocated for a system that was in the best interest of the American people and protected the most vulnerable U.S. workers as opposed to employers.

Summary

The ever-expanding Central American Minors Refugee/Parole program (CAM), launched in 2014 (and expanded in 2016) by the Obama administration, and terminated in 2017 by the Trump administration, has expanded further under the Biden administration. In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Dr. Nayla Rush, a senior researcher at the Center for Immigration Studies, explains how an in-country processing family unification program for those who came to the United States illegally has expanded under the Biden administration to include adults unrelated to the petitioner, married adult children, and even the relatives of U-visa applicants – illegal immigrants claiming to be victims of certain crimes.

Will expansion of those eligible to apply for the CAM program solve the border crisis? Rush explains why the program will not discourage unaccompanied minors and other migrants/asylum seekers from showing up at our border.

Summary

Immigration has dominated headlines over the past week, and this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy brings together Center for Immigration Studies experts to analyze these issues. The roundtable discussion covers the recent federal court ruling on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the newly released border apprehension numbers for June, and the possibility of Senate passage of an amnesty via a budget “reconciliation” rule.

Robert Law, the Center’s director of regulatory affairs and policy, weighs-in on the federal court ruling on DACA, which created President Obama’s executive amnesty program that awarded work permits and Social Security numbers to illegal aliens. Although the judge found the program to be an “illegally implemented program,” he ruled that DACA recipients, along with their employers, states, and loved ones, have come to rely on the DACA program, and his decision does not revoke work permits from the current DACA population. What are the implications of this decision? Will it be appealed?

Summary

Despite attempts by advocates to downplay the evidence that immigration hurts U.S. workers, the empirical evidence is overwhelming. In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Jason Richwine, a Resident Scholar at the Center, highlights Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) cases in which a clear pattern of discrimination against U.S. workers emerges. Dr. Richwine and Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of the podcast, discuss how this qualitative evidence complements the quantitative studies that have found similar impacts. They lament that D.C. journalists – and even some activist academics – seem more interested in pro-immigration talking points than they are in fair summaries of the literature.

In his Closing Commentary, Krikorian notes that the old “wet foot/dry foot” policy for Cuban illegal immigrants may be making a comeback in a different form. DHS Secretary Mayorkas announced this week that migrants fleeing unrest in Cuba and Haiti will be turned away – but only if they are caught at sea. Mayorkas neglected to mention that many migrants at the southern border – including thousands of Haitians and Cubans – are already being admitted, particularly if they bring a child with them, so long as they step foot on the north bank of the Rio Grande.