Summary

In early January the Biden administration, without the approval of Congress, announced a new immigration program, granting parole to 360,000 foreign nationals from Haiti, Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. This week’s Parsing Immigration Policy episode puts this Biden expansion of parole authority in context citing the creation of the parole authority, later congressional limitations, and historical use by the executive.

The Biden administration continues to abuse parole authority at an ever increasing rate. Parole was established by Congress to provide authorization for the executive – in very narrow circumstances – to allow foreign nationals into the country who are inadmissible by law. Over the last two years, a Democratic-controlled Congress limited the amount of detention space for illegal aliens at the request of the Biden administration, which then used the lack of space as an excuse to release illegal migrants into the country who are mandated by law to be detained.

Summary

To bring greater attention to the issue of human trafficking, Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s Director of Policy Studies, joins our podcast this week to highlight border-related human trafficking. Current immigration policies are responsible for an out-of-control southern border and for lax guest worker programs, both of which are major contributors to the human trafficking industry in the United States. How do we end this criminal exploitation of the vulnerable?

Vaughan clarifies the important distinction between human trafficking and human smuggling, and describes how smuggling operations can develop into trafficking, which is on the rise. Forced labor trafficking is the most common form of trafficking at our Southern border, and Biden’s border policies create incentives for both smuggling and trafficking.

Summary

The primary reason illegal immigrants come to the United States is jobs, and the best solution for shutting off the magnet of jobs is E-Verify. This free online system, created by Congress as a pilot program in 1986, enables employers to check whether new hires are authorized to work in the United States by submitting the same information that job applicants provide on the mandatory paper I-9 form. The program then validates applicant details by comparing them against millions of federal and state government identification records.

E-Verify processed 42.5 million cases in FY 2021 with a 99.87 percent accuracy rate. A simple DHS regulatory change or an act by Congress could mandate E-Verify for all states.

Summary

There’s an immigration crisis at the U.S. southern border, but that border could be all but erased if Title 42 were to end without the administration implementing equally effective enforcement policies.

Title 42 is the public-health order that directs the Border Patrol to expel border-jumpers without a hearing. Whether the U.S. can continue to rely on this public-health order to deal with the immigration crisis remains a question for the courts. In response to an application filed by a coalition of states, the Supreme Court has ordered that Title 42 stay in place until the Court considers whether those states should be allowed to appeal an order terminating Title 42.

Summary

The Center’s Senior National Security Fellow, Todd Bensman, traveled to Mexico to investigate rumors about a shelter in Tijuana serving only Muslim migrants and about thousands of illegal immigrants being funneled into the United States through ports of entry under a questionable program that makes border crossing legal. His trip took him to Tijuana and Mexicali.

Given the large number of “special interest aliens” (SIAs), U.S.-bound immigrants from countries where Islamic terrorist groups operate, on the FBI terrorism watch list, Bensman wondered about the national security implications of Mexico’s first Muslim immigrant shelter, which shelters mostly SIAs. He visited the shelter and conducted the first interview of its director, who has never been contacted by American officials, about the sensitive national security issues the operation raises for the United States.

Summary

In this year-end episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Center for Immigration Studies experts discuss key Biden administration immigration policies and their impacts.

The roundtable discussion includes Jessica Vaughan, Andrew Arthur, and Jon Feere, moderated by the Center’s executive director (and podcast host) Mark Krikorian. The group looks at 2022 developments in border security, interior enforcement, and legal immigration, including DACA, detention, the decline in deportations, human trafficking, and the unlawful abuse of parole. The participants also draw attention to the topics the public should be following in 2023.

Summary

As the nation’s largest minority, Hispanics have been a point of focus in recent elections, especially given the rising importance of immigration as a policy issue. The majority of immigrants to the United States are Hispanic, so it has long been assumed that Hispanics will be most loyal to candidates that make immigration to the U.S. easier.

On this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Jim Robb of NumbersUSA joins host and executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, Mark Krikorian, to discuss voting and public opinion trends among Hispanics, particularly regarding immigration, and to debunk the longstanding myth that Hispanics want open borders.

Summary

Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) was featured in an Immigration Newsmaker conversation hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies. A leader in the U.S. Congress on immigration and national security issues, Senator Cotton’s committees include the Judiciary Committee, where he serves as the Ranking Member for the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice and Counterterrorism, the Intelligence Committee, and the Armed Services Committee.

Senator Cotton argues that the United States is in the middle of a strategic competition with China and recommends an expansion of the American talent pool in advanced scientific and technological fields. The Newsmaker event covered the immigration policies impacting the American talent pool and enabling China to direct espionage efforts at American universities. Conversation included a discussion of needed reforms of our immigration system, as well as oversight and possible legislation in the upcoming 118th Congress.

Summary

Before the 118th Congress is sworn in on January 3, the current Congress will likely consider several immigration measures in the “lame duck” session with the backdrop of a historic meltdown at the border. In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, experts at the Center join Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of the podcast, discuss the issues to watch for in the closing weeks of the 117th Congress.

George Fishman, a senior legal fellow, and Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s director of policy, focus on three specific measures. First, the “Equal Access to Green cards for Legal Employment” (Eagle) Act, supported by Big Tech, which would dispense with per-country caps for employment-based green cards and offer permanent work permits to many ostensibly temporary workers on green-card waiting lists.

Summary

Recalcitrant countries, those which fail to accept the return of their nationals who are under removal orders from the United States, are back in the news. In the wake of Speaker Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, Communist China announced it was “suspending China-U.S. cooperation on the repatriation of illegal immigrants”. In addition, Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wisc.) has introduced the Alien Criminal Expulsion Act ( “ACE Act”), that mandates and strengthens the sanctions used by the United States to encourage foreign governments to comply with their international obligation to accept the return of their citizens.

China is one of the worst offenders, but there is a lengthy list of recalcitrant countries, including Laos, Sierra Leone, Cuba, Vietnam, and Iran. The refusal to issue travel documents and accept a deportable citizen’s return results in detention costs and, most importantly, reduced public safety – a 2001 Supreme Court decision prohibits the government from detaining a deportable foreigner for more than six months in most cases. After six months, the Department of Homeland Security is forced to release them onto America’s streets, despite often having significant criminal histories.

Summary

The signing of the Hart-Celler immigration bill in 1965 launched a new era of mass immigration, contrary to policymakers’ promises. Today on Parsing Immigration Policy, Peter Nunez, chairman of the Center for Immigration Studies board reflects on the impact that bill and other major policy changes have had on the flow of immigration, both legal and illegal.

Nunez, a former U.S. Attorney for San Diego and a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Enforcement, speaks to the historical link between massive immigration and the level of drugs coming into the country. He emphasizes the difference between the way the media covers the topics today versus several decades ago, when, for example, President Jimmy Carter was forced to feign concern for the impact of immigration and appoint the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy, chaired by Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, President of Notre Dame. The Hesburgh Commission recommended that Congress enact legal sanctions on employers of illegal workers, which eventually shaped the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act. Later, a 1997 report from the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, led by civil rights icon Rep. Barbara Jordan, would recommend a reduction in legal immigration, a rejection of guestworker programs, and further steps to address to illegal immigration.

Summary

The foreign-born are set to become a larger share of the population than at any time in U.S. history. It is time for a national conversation on what this means for our schools, infrastructure, natural environment, healthcare system, and labor market.

Steven Camarota, the Center’s director of research sits down with John Wahala, the Center’s assistant director, to talk about his recent analysis of government data that shows that the total immigrant population (legal and illegal) is almost 48 million, a record high in American history and an estimated 2.9 increase since President Biden was sworn into office. About one-quarter of the foreign-born population are in the country illegally. What exactly does the data reveal?

Summary

Cartels trafficking drugs into the United States rely on individuals using stolen identities to transport and distribute their illegal product. Identity theft, the criminal act of assuming another person’s name, address, social security number, and date of birth in order to perpetrate fraud, allows illegal aliens to fraudulently obtain valid state driver’s licenses. But more police are being trained to identify these “identity imposters.”

This week, James Scott, a retired Massachusetts’ police officer, joins Parsing Immigration Policy to talk about a highly successful program he has developed to detect certain types of ID theft, about which he trains law enforcement officers around the country. He notes that driver’s licenses should not automatically be accepted at face value, and has developed protocols and indicators to help law enforcement officers pick up on likely imposters involved in crime.

Summary

A series of recent missile strikes by Russia against Ukrainian cities, including Lviv, the western city that has been housing a large number of the internally displaced Ukrainians, has increased the likelihood of a new wave of Ukrainian refugees. But other factors – including potential energy disruptions in Ukraine this winter and in food and fertilizer exports leading to famine in Africa – are also expected to impact the number of migrants from Ukraine and Africa.

These and other issues were addressed in a panel discussion, sponsored jointly by the Center for Immigration Studies and the Hungarian Migration Research Institute. Experts from the United States and Europe examined the refugee and internally displaced person (IDP) challenges produced by the war and faced by Ukraine, Europe, Africa, and the United States.

Summary

Academics and activists have been misusing data from the Texas Department of Public Safety to claim that illegal immigrants have lower rates of crime than the native-born or legal immigrants. On this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Jason Richwine, and co-author of the recent report, Misuse of Texas Data Understates Illegal Immigrant Criminality, discusses the flawed research, which has been relied upon by activists, media, and even litigators to claim lower rates of crime among illegal immigrants and to support unlimited illegal immigration.

The Center’s report reveals that while strong claims about the overall criminality of illegal immigrants are not possible with current data, prior research has understated it substantially by ignoring or downplaying that the immigration status of many arrestees and convicts is unknown at the time of arrest, resulting in an undercount in the data. Over time, illegal immigrants move from the “other/unknown” category to the “illegal” category as their status is determined. However, in cases where they are in custody for only a short period of time, illegal immigrants may not be identified at all.

Summary

The midterm congressional elections that will determine control of the House and the Senate are less than a month away. Once again, immigration is a key issue for voters and many of the candidates have made promises about their immigration agendas. What can we expect from Congress during the last half of a President Biden administration?

This week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy is a conversation from a recent panel discussion between several seasoned immigration experts with extensive experience on Capitol Hill: George Fishman, the Center’s Senior Legal Fellow; Rosemary Jenks, Director of Government Relations at NumbersUSA; and RJ Hauman, Director of Government Relations and Communications at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

Summary

The extensive criminal and political power of Mexican cartels is a topic largely ignored by the American media and thus unknown to most Americans. Strengthened and enriched by the Biden administration’s border crisis, the cartels have evolved into global criminal enterprises impacting America through epidemic levels of drug overdoses, human smuggling and trafficking, and increased risks to public safety and national security.

Parsing Immigration Policy brings together two terrorism and border authorities to discuss the powerful Mexican cartels and their new business model, which has made them a clear national security threat to the United States. Todd Bensman, the Center’s senior national security fellow, is joined by Jaeson Jones, an expert on Mexican cartels and a retired Captain from the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division.

Summary

This week Jeff Sessions, former senator from Alabama and U.S. Attorney General, joins Parsing Immigration Policy, where his voice is heard every week on the podcast’s intro montage saying, “Those Masters of the Universe are at it again.” Sessions shares his views on the Biden administration’s immigration policies, the present immigration crisis at the southern border, and actions Republicans need to take during the 118th Congress. Immigration was one of the key issues that defined his career as a public servant, and without his leadership, major amnesties and immigration increases may well have passed during both the Bush and Obama presidencies.

Sessions points out that policies make a difference and that the U.S. is capable of stopping the massive flow across the southern border. Conditions in the sending countries haven’t changed since President Trump left office, but the number crossing the border has ballooned.

Summary

Images of thousands of illegal aliens, mostly from Haiti, camped under the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas, last September created a serious political problem for the Biden administration, which feared it would harm Democratic prospects in the 2022 midterm elections.

Despite the administration’s hostility to border enforcement, the need to make the problem go away caused the White House to decide to deport some of the illegal aliens back to Haiti. To secure Haiti’s approval, it made a deal with Dr. Ariel Henry, Haiti’s acting prime minister and acting president: Haiti would accept the deportees in exchange for the Biden administration allowing the acting president to cancel the upcoming elections and remain in power.

Summary

On this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Todd Rokita, the 44th Attorney General of the state of Indiana, discusses legal actions his state has taken to combat illegal immigration. Attorney General Rokita has taken on a leadership role in challenging the Biden administration’s lack of immigration enforcement.

AG Rokita says, “The foundational part of our ‘American Exceptionalism’ is the rule of law and we’re nothing if we’re not going to follow the law… and we’re not all under it.” Due to a lack of enforcement of immigration laws, there are over 124,000 illegal immigrants in the state of Indiana, putting a strain on Indiana’s social services and driving up crime and fentanyl overdose numbers in the state.