Much academic work has been published on U.S. employer preference for hiring foreign low-skill labor over American workers, particularly black American workers. In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Amy Wax, the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, highlights reasons why employers might seek to hire foreign nationals and the implications for American workers and society. Wax and Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies and host of the podcast, explore the impact of the government permitting a constant flow of low-skill immigration, especially the harm done to low-skill American workers, who are less able to develop skills or support a family and may drop out of the workforce all together.

What would be the long-term implications for our country if immigration of unskilled foreign workers were reduced and policies putting Americans back to work were prioritized?


Few individuals can boast immigration research experience spanning more than six decades. David North, a Senior Fellow at the Center, is one of them.

North was introduced to immigration policy during the Eisenhower administration, when he first encountered the migrant farmworker issue as an employee of the state of New Jersey. He expanded that involvement as a political appointee in the Kennedy administration Labor Department and has continued working on the issue through to present day.


The nation’s two largest cash assistance programs for low income workers redistribute taxpayer funds from legal workers to illegal immigrants. This week, Dr. Steven Camarota, the Center’s director of research, and Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, discuss the billions of dollars of cash payments from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) sent to illegal immigrants who have no income tax liability and the impact the policies allowing this has on immigration law. Sending cash payments to illegal immigrants through the tax system shows just how unserious the government is about controlling immigration.

In his Concluding Commentary, Mark Krikorian highlighted the anachronistic nature of our immigration system, as “an artifact of post-World War II, early Cold-War politics”, that was incorporated into U.S. law in 1980 in the Refugee Act. He concludes that, in the 21st century, “it’s long past time to reassess the way we do refugee resettlement”, beginning with a withdrawal from the United Nations refugee treaty to permit


The 287(g) program, created by Congress to enable trained local officers to work in partnership with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), serves as a force multiplier by taking illegal aliens who have been arrested for state or local crimes off the street. Lacking the personnel to address the large population of deportable criminal aliens in the country, ICE has developed 287(g) agreements with 146 law enforcement agencies across 25 states.

Former ICE Chief of Staff Jon Feere, now Director of Investigations at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and Mark Krikorian, the CIS executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, discuss the Biden administration’s hostility towards 287(g) and its problematic decision to cancel a 287(g) partnership between ICE and the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office in Massachusetts.


The State of Texas is the epicenter of the illegal immigration crisis and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been setting the example for how states can challenge the illegality of Biden administration immigration policies. In this week’s episode, Paxton describes how his office has so far filed five lawsuits challenging Biden immigration policies and says more are likely. He also describes what he has seen and heard from law enforcement and local officials during several recent trips to the border.

In his Closing Commentary, Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, addresses Vice President Harris’s plea to potential migrants in Central America not to make the journey to the U.S. border, claiming that they will be turned back. But the country’s actions matter more than Harris’s words. The message has already gotten back to Central America and beyond that her rhetoric is not true – the U.S. is not, in fact, enforcing its laws or securing its border.


Todd Bensman, the Center’s Senior National Security Fellow, traveled to the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas to investigate how the Border Patrol, Texas National Guard, and Texas Department of Public Safety are handling the influx of illegal immigrants. Having viewed this area – ground zero for illegal immigration crossings – by water, air, and land, Bensman shares his observations on enforcement at the border, where federal law enforcement has been ordered by the Biden administration to stand down, and now spends more time processing and welcoming illegal immigrants than apprehending them. Bensman and the host of Parsing Immigration Policy, CIS executive director Mark Krikorian, share their views on the normalization of federal agents passively observing and even facilitating mass illegal entry. Is the federal government in effect running an enterprise jointly with the Mexican smugglers?

Krikorian concludes this episode by highlighting a recent push by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, possibly the most powerful lobby group in the nation, to expand the U.S. workforce through immigration at a time when millions of adult Americans are looking for work or not even in the job market at all. Just a reminder that the lobbying forces behind the push for high immigration do not advocate for American workers.


The Biden administration recently granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to all Haitian illegal and legal aliens in the United States. TPS prevents the deportation of illegal aliens, but more importantly, it rewards them with work permits, drivers’ licenses, Social Security numbers, and the ability to travel abroad and return. Under the law, countries should only be designated for TPS due to (1) ongoing armed conflict; (2) an environmental disaster; or (3) extraordinary and temporary conditions, and it only applies if these conditions prevent the safe return of nationals.

Robert Law, the Center’s Director of Regulatory Affairs and Policy, discusses the abuse of this statutory authority that has grown the TPS population to well over half a million illegal alien beneficiaries from 12 countries, whose “temporary” status is routinely renewed, sometimes for decades. Law also offers several recommendations on how, by regulation or by statute, limits can be placed on executive authority to provide amnesty-lite to aliens.


Over the last decade, the flow of migrants coming to the U.S.- Mexican border has done more than just grow, it has shifted from predominantly single males to include a large percentage of families and unaccompanied minors. Andrew Arthur, the Center’s resident fellow in law and policy and a former immigration judge, explains how these phenomena result from specific loopholes in U.S. immigration law and how Congress can address these “pull factors.”

Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of the podcast, concludes episode four of Parsing Immigration Policy by highlighting that migrants encountered at the border no longer come from just Mexico and the Northern Triangle of Central America – recent migrants represent 160 countries, reflecting a major change from past migrant flows. He discusses how this change shows that push factors are not the main driver of the border crisis.


The Biden administration recently increased the H-2B visa cap, allowing more low-skilled, non-agricultural seasonal workers into the country to compete with American workers and to be exploited by employers. Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s director of policy studies, discusses this guestworker visa program, which creates the false impression of “jobs Americans won’t do” by incentivizing employers to use a business model that is reliant on temporary worker programs instead of reaching out to American workers. Vaughan also offers recommendations to improve this controversial immigration program.

Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of the podcast, wraps up this episode of Parsing Immigration Policy with an assessment of the Biden administration’s plans for handling the border crisis, as laid out in his recent article in RealClearPolicy.


During his recent trips to both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, Todd Bensman, the senior national security fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, spoke with human smugglers and their migrant customers, as well as border agents and local residents. Bensman shares their stories about the consequences of U.S. policies that have caused the surge of illegal crossings at the border. They range from the smuggling cartels’ sales pitches to potential migrants in Central America to persuade them to spend thousands of dollars on a risky journey to the U.S., to the dispersal of these illegal migrants across the country through Biden’s “catch-and-bus” policy of releasing these lawbreakers on the honor system.

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Inside a Cartel Smuggling Operation Into West Texas

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, kicks off a new podcast with a conversation about the immigration policy changes enacted by President Biden during his first 100 days in office. Krikorian and his guest, a former Chief of the Office of Policy and Strategy at USCIS, discuss the southern border, interior enforcement, welfare, and the travel ban. What a difference 100 days make!

Related Article: President Biden’s First 100 Days: Swift Action to Change Immigration Policy

From the Center for Immigration Studies, hosted by Mark Krikorian, a weekly discussion of immigration policy matters, both immediate and long-term, with researchers from the Center and guests. Mark Krikorian is a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues and has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies since 1995.