Monday, July 26, 2010



"I'm thankful that the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against Arizona's immigration law because it interferes with the federal government's constitutional authority to set and enforce immigration policy."

Coleman: Arizona law is creating born suspects
Garnet Coleman, Texas House of Representatives Coleman: Arizona law is creating born suspects
New patrol cameras needed
Pesek: Australia's Seinfeld election
More .Updated: 5:22 p.m. Monday, July 26, 2010

Published: 5:10 p.m. Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm thankful that the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against Arizona's immigration law because it interferes with the federal government's constitutional authority to set and enforce immigration policy. By declaring "reasonable suspicion" to be grounds for detainment, such laws not only overstep their boundary but they also ensure that people of a certain ethnicity are born a suspect.

As a result of Jim Crow and being born suspects, African Americans are all too familiar with the consequences of "reasonable suspicion."

My father and those of his generation dealt with the obstinacy of an elected class determined to keep discrimination enshrined in statute. Sadly, with the passage of this anti-Fourth Amendment legislation in Arizona, it appears a similar elected class is determined to pass that experience on to a new generation of Americans. After decades of progress, it is painful to see a state put discrimination back into place with a new twist on old laws — ushering us into the "José Crow" era.

Masquerading as a fix to our broken immigration system, Arizona's law, which goes into effect Thursday, sacrifices the liberties we have worked so hard to gain and protect. Under Arizona's stringent anti-immigrant law, a person's ethnicity and culture makes him or her "reasonably suspicious," thereby eroding the constitutional rights of certain U.S. citizens and legal residents.

Americans whose families have lived in Arizona for generations will have their citizenship questioned based on their "reasonably suspicious" physical appearance. Police will be taken away from their primary role of fighting crime as they are forced to spend more time inquiring about an individual's immigration status.

Profiling places an unnecessary wedge between law enforcement and communities. Placing "reasonable suspicion" into statute does nothing to bridge that trust gap and foster meaningful relationships between peace officers and the communities they protect.

While Americans are understandably frustrated with our nation's broken immigration system, the misguided, unconstitutional approach taken by Arizona is not the answer.

Although I'm hopeful that this lawsuit will dissuade other states from mirroring Arizona's ill-advised and unconstitutional law, the lawsuit is only the first step. President Barack Obama recently declared that the federal government "cannot kick the can down the road" and must finally solve our nation's broken immigration system.

That broken system in our country results in the conflicting message of "keep out" and "help wanted." It pits workers against each other, rewards bad-actor employers, puts honest businesses at a competitive disadvantage and leaves billions in uncollected taxes.

If done correctly, comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level can create a stronger economy for native born citizens and immigrants alike. Studies have found that a legalization program would generate $4.5 billion to $5.4 billion in additional net tax revenue in the first three years. The increased consumer spending from comprehensive immigration reform would be high enough to support 750,000 to 900,000 new jobs. Even the conservative Cato Institute noted that "legalization of low-skilled immigrant workers would yield significant income gains for American workers and households."

From a moral standpoint, comprehensive immigration reform would bring hard-working people out of the shadows — giving people a shot at the American dream and the opportunity to build a better life for their children.

Instead of letting Republicans who seek short-term political gain develop divisive legislation, we must come up with a workable solution that doesn't defy the values of our society. The sad, sorry legacy of Jim Crow laws, which were meant to divide and suppress a group of people, must not be allowed to resurface. Our country must not become a society where Americans, based on a "reasonable suspicion," will have to prove they have a lawful right to be here. No American should be born a suspect.

Coleman, a Houston Democrat, chairs the County Affairs Committee in the Texas House.

Obama soft on illegals enforcement

Arrests of illegal immigrant workers have dropped precipitously under President Obama, according to figures released Wednesday. Criminal arrests, administrative arrests, indictments and convictions of illegal immigrants at work sites all fell by more than 50 percent from fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2009.

The figures show that Mr. Obama has made good on his pledge to shift enforcement away from going after illegal immigrant workers themselves - but at the expense of Americans' jobs, said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the Republican who compiled the numbers from the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). Mr. Smith, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said a period of economic turmoil is the wrong time to be cutting enforcement and letting illegal immigrants take jobs that Americans otherwise would hold.
That's why, throughout 2009 FAIR has been tracking every move the administration and Congress has made to undermine our immigration laws, reward illegal aliens and burden taxpayers.
• Foot-dragging on proven methods of immigration law enforcement including border structures and E-Verify.
• Appointment of several illegal alien advocates to important administration posts.
• Watering down of the 287(g) program to limit local law in their own jurisdictions.
• Health care reform that mandates a “public option” for newly-arrived legal immigrants as well as illegal aliens.


Brewer seeks dismissal of feds' challenge to lawLatest PHOENIX — Attorneys for Gov. Jan Brewer has asked a judge to throw out the U.S. Justice Department's challenge to Arizona's new immigration law.

The governor's lawyers said Monday the federal government hasn't shown it has suffered actual harm from the law and instead bases its claim on speculation.

The federal government says the state law is trumped by federal law and that it has hurt U.S. relations with Mexico. It is scheduled to take effect Thursday.

Attorneys for Brewer say Mexico's disapproval of the law doesn't make it unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton is considering requests by the Justice Department, a Phoenix police officer and civil rights groups to put the law on hold.




Mexico sends human rights inspectors to borderThe Associated Press

Published: 7:20 p.m. Monday, July 26, 2010

Mexico's National Human Rights Commission said Monday it is sending inspectors to U.S. border crossings to monitor deportations that might result if Arizona's new immigration law goes into effect as planned Thursday.

The law is being challenged by the U.S. government in court, but the federal judge hearing the case hasn't indicated whether she might agree to the challenge's request that the measure be put on hold.

The government's rights commission said monitors will be stationed at border gates in Tijuana across from California, Nogales next to Arizona and Ciudad Juarez and Reynosa across from Texas to ensure migrants are treated properly.

"The implementation of the Arizona Law SB1070 represents a threat to migrants' full exercise of their human rights," the commission said in a statement. "The law violates the principles of nondiscrimination, equality before the law and freedom from arbitrary arrest."

Arizona officials say the law contains safeguards against discriminatory actions in getting tough with illegal immigrants.

The law requires police, while enforcing other laws, to check a person's immigration status if there is a reasonable suspicion the person is in the U.S. illegally. It also bans people from blocking traffic when they seek or offer day-labor services on streets and prohibits illegal immigrants from soliciting work in public places.

Opponents say the law will lead to racial profiling and trample on the rights of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in Arizona. Supporters contend the law is a necessary response to combat a litany of problems they blame on illegal immigration and the federal government's inability to secure the border.

Mexico's Interior Department said Interior Secretary Francisco Blake met with U.S. Ambassador Carlos Pascual on Monday to express his support for the Obama administration's challenge to the law.

On another matter involving migrants, Blake stressed that Mexico wants an adequate investigation of the deaths of two Mexican citizens in incidents involving U.S. Border Patrol officers in May and June. He asked that "cooperation on this issue be strengthened to prevent such incidents in the future," his office said.


July 26, 2010 08:20 PM EDT

Mexico police: Inmates were freed long enough to carry out revenge killings
Prison guards loaned their own weapons to the killers, who went on to slay 17 at a birthday party in Coahuila state, authorities say. Inmates from the same prison are suspected in other attacks.
By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times

4:55 PM PDT, July 25, 2010

Reporting from Mexico City


Prison inmates allowed to leave their cells with weapons borrowed from guards carried out last week's killing of 17 people in northern Mexico, federal authorities said Sunday.

Ricardo Najera, spokesman for the federal attorney general's office, said prison officials in the northern state of Durango lent the inmates weapons and official vehicles to carry out several tit-for-tat killings on behalf of organized crime.

The deadliest was the July 18 attack on a birthday party at an inn in Torreon, in neighboring Coahuila state. Gunmen sprayed gunfire at revelers who had been summoned by an invitation on Facebook.

Authorities have not specified a motive for the attack, which also left 18 people wounded.

Mexican prisons, overcrowded and poorly run, are hotbeds of violent criminal activity, including telephone extortion schemes and drug operations. Allowing inmates out to act as hit men would mark a new extreme.

Najera said inmates from the same prison, in the Durango city of Gomez Palacio, are suspected in shootings this year at a pair of bars in Torreon, which sits across the state line, that killed a total of 18 people.

Four prison officials, including the director, Margarita Rojas, and the security chief, were being held under a form of house arrest as the investigation continued.

"The criminals carried out the execution as part of a settling of accounts against members of rival gangs tied to organized crime," Najera said during a news conference. He said "innocent civilians" also were killed.

The inmates returned to their cells after the attacks, Najera said.

It was not immediately clear how many prisoners or guards might have been involved in the shootings.

Federal authorities said their investigation of guards at the Durango prison had turned up four AR-15 rifles that matched shells from the July 18 slayings.

The charges point to the staggering official corruption confronting Mexican President Felipe Calderon's war on drug cartels.

The anti-crime campaign, launched in late 2006, is already beset by widespread police graft, especially at the state and local levels, where many officers moonlight as enforcers for trafficking groups.

Mexico's new interior minister, Francisco Blake, said the episode was a reminder of the "state of deterioration" afflicting many local law-enforcement institutions.

Blake vowed to investigate who gave the orders for "these cowardly and condemnable acts."

Arizona Immigration Law Comes After Years of Mounting Anger - THE MEX OCCUPATION

"And the annual costs? About $600 million for educating illegal immigrants at K-12 schools, more than $120 million for jailing illegal immigrants convicted of state crimes and as much as $50 million that hospitals have to eat for treating illegal border-crossers, according to figures provided by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, Gov. Jan Brewer's office and the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association."

Arizona immigration law comes after years of mounting angerBy Jacques Billeaud and Amanda Lee Myers

Published: 11:00 p.m. Sunday, July 25, 2010

As the days tick down until the Arizona immigration law takes effect, the state stands as a monument to the anger over illegal immigration that is present in so many places.

The anger has been simmering for years and erupted into a full-blown fury with the murder of a prominent rancher on the border earlier this year. The killing became a powerful rallying cry for immigration reform and the sweeping new law set to take effect Thursday, barring any last-minute legal action.

But it does not tell the whole story about how Arizona got to this point.

Turn on the evening news in Arizona, and some report reflecting the state's battle with illegal immigration will probably flash across the screen.

A drop house crammed with illegal border-crossers smack in the middle of a suburban neighborhood. Traffic patrols and workplace raids that net the arrest of dozens of illegal immigrants, often in heavily Hispanic communities. Politicians speaking venomously about border violence and the leech of immigration costs on the state treasury.

Along the streets, Arizonans see day laborers near Walmart and Home Depot parking lots, waiting for work. In some Phoenix-area neighborhoods, Spanish is so predominant in spoken word and signage that residents complain they feel like they're in a foreign country.

Then, rancher Robert Krentz was gunned down in March while checking water lines on his property near the border. Authorities think — but have never produced substantive proof — that an illegal immigrant, likely a scout for drug smugglers, was to blame.

Almost immediately, Krentz came to symbolize what's at stake with illegal immigration. Politicians quickly connected the dots, but everyday folks also spoke with anger and fear about the rancher's death.

"You can't ignore the damage and the costs to the taxpayers and the disrespect that comes with it and those who think they have a right to break our laws," said Russell Pearce, the state senator who wrote Arizona's new immigration law.

Pearce is the godfather of anti-illegal immigration sentiment in Arizona and author of many of the tough laws. He regularly depicts illegal immigration as an "invasion." He can tick off the names of police officers killed or wounded by criminals in the country illegally.

One is his son, Maricopa County sheriff's Deputy Sean Pearce, who survived a gunshot wound to the abdomen from an illegal immigrant in 2004 while serving a search warrant in a homicide case.

That might explain Pearce's indefatigable effort against those entering the country illegally, but he said he held tough views before his son was shot. He insists that his frustration centers more broadly on the crime that immigrant smugglers bring into the country and the financial stress that illegal border-crossers put on communities.

Forty to 50 percent of all immigrant arrests each year on the U.S.-Mexico border are made in Arizona, according to the U.S. Border Patrol.

And the annual costs? About $600 million for educating illegal immigrants at K-12 schools, more than $120 million for jailing illegal immigrants convicted of state crimes and as much as $50 million that hospitals have to eat for treating illegal border-crossers, according to figures provided by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, Gov. Jan Brewer's office and the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association.

The immigration anger has led the state to pass at least seven laws cracking down on illegal immigration in as many years. Those laws made English the state's official language, denied bail to illegal immigrants charged with serious crimes and prohibited them from being awarded punitive damages in civil cases.

The new law requires police who are enforcing other laws to check a person's immigration status if officers reasonably suspect the person is in the country illegally. It also requires that people carry and produce their immigration papers, while making it a crime for illegal immigrants to solicit work in a public place.


Immigrant groups criticize fingerprint initiative
By IVAN MORENO, Associated Press Writer Ivan Moreno, Associated Press Writer
22 mins ago

.DENVER – The federal government is rapidly expanding a program to identify illegal immigrants using fingerprints from arrests, drawing opposition from local authorities and advocates who argue the initiative amounts to an excessive dragnet.

The program has gotten less attention than Arizona's new immigration law, but it may end up having a bigger impact because of its potential to round up and deport so many immigrants nationwide.

The San Francisco sheriff wanted nothing to do with the program, and the City Council in Washington, D.C., blocked use of the fingerprint plan in the nation's capital. Colorado is the latest to debate the program, called Secure Communities, and immigrant groups have begun to speak up, telling the governor in a letter last week that the initiative will make crime victims reluctant to cooperate with police "due to fear of being drawn into the immigration regime."

Under the program, the fingerprints of everyone who is booked into jail for any crime are run against FBI criminal history records and Department of Homeland Security immigration records to determine who is in the country illegally and whether they've been arrested previously. Most jurisdictions are not included in the program, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been expanding the initiative.

Since 2007, 467 jurisdictions in 26 states have joined. ICE has said it plans to have it in every jail in the country by 2013. Secure Communities is currently being phased into the places where the government sees as having the greatest need for it based on population estimates of illegal immigrants and crime statistics.

Since everyone arrested would be screened, the program could easily deport more people than Arizona's new law, said Sunita Patel, an attorney who filed a lawsuit in New York against the federal government on behalf of a group worried about the program. Patel said that because illegal immigrants could be referred to ICE at the point of arrest, even before a conviction, the program can create an incentive for profiling and create a pipeline to deport more people.

"It has the potential to revolutionize immigration enforcement," said Patel.

Patel filed the lawsuit on behalf of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which is concerned the program could soon come to New York. The lawsuit seeks, among other things, statistical information about who has been deported as a result of the program and what they were arrested for.

Supporters of the program argue it is helping identify dangerous criminals that would otherwise go undetected. Since Oct. 27, 2008 through the end of May, almost 2.6 million people have been screened with Secure Communities. Of those, almost 35,000 were identified as illegal immigrants previously arrested or convicted for the most serious crimes, including murder and rape, ICE said Thursday. More than 205,000 who were identified as illegal immigrants had arrest records for less serious crimes.

In Ohio, Butler County Sheriff Rick Jones praised the program, which was implemented in his jurisdiction earlier this month.

"It's really a heaven-sent for us," Jones said. He said the program helps solve the problem police often have of not knowing whether someone they arrested has a criminal history and is in the country illegally.

"I don't want them in my community," Jones said. "I've got enough homegrown criminals here."

Carl Rusnok, an ICE spokesman, said Secure Communities is a way for law enforcement to identify illegal immigrants after their arrest at no additional cost to local jurisdictions. Jones agreed.

"We arrest these people anyway," he said. "All it does is help us deport people who shouldn't be here."

Rusnok said ICE created the program after Congress directed the agency to improve the way it identifies and deports illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds. ICE has gotten $550 million for the program since 2008, Rusnok said.

Rusnok said the only place he knows of that has requested not to be a part of Secure Communities is San Francisco, which began the program June 8. Eileen Hirst, the chief of staff for San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey, said it happened "without our input or approval."

Hirst said the sheriff thought Secure Communities cast too wide a net and worried that it would sweep up U.S. citizens and minor offenders, such as people who commit traffic infractions but miss their court hearings. Hirst also said the program goes against San Francisco's sanctuary city policy that calls for authorities to only report foreign-born suspects booked for felonies.

"Now, we're reporting every single individual who comes into our custody and gets fingerprinted," Hirst said.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown denied Hennessey's request to opt out. Brown said that prior to Secure Communities, illegal immigrants with criminal histories were often released before their status was discovered.

This month, Washington, D.C., police decided not to pursue the program because the City Council introduced a bill that would prohibit authorities from sharing arrest data with ICE out of concern for immigrants' civil rights. Matthew Bromeland, special assistant to the police chief, said police wanted the program and were talking with ICE about how address concerns from immigrant advocates before the bill forced them to halt negotiations.

Colorado officials became interested in the program after an illegal immigrant from Guatemala with a long criminal record was accused of causing a car crash at a suburban Denver ice-cream shop, killing two women in a truck and a 3-year-old inside the store. Authorities say the illegal immigrant, Francis M. Hernandez, stayed off ICE's radar because he conned police with 12 aliases and two different dates of birth.

A task-force assembled after the crash recommended Secure Communities as a solution.

Evan Dreyer, a spokesman for Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, said Ritter recognizes that other states have had issues with the program and he wants to take time to consider the concerns raised by immigrant rights groups before deciding "how or if to move forward."

The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition said in its letter to the governor that the Secure Communities is "inherently flawed and should not be implemented." CIRC said one of its main concerns is that in cases of domestic violence, where both parties may be taken into custody while authorities investigate a case, victims may feel reluctant to report a crime out of fear that their illegal status will be discovered.

ICE maintains that only suspects arrested for crimes — and not the people reporting them — will be screened for their legal status.


L.A to give people living in cars on Venice-area streets 'safe overnight parking'
By Martha Groves
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
2:06 PM PDT, July 26, 2010

In an effort to deal with the rising tide of people living in cars and campers on the streets of Venice and environs, the city of Los Angeles will soon begin seeking an agency to operate a "safe overnight parking" program aimed at linking the occupants to social services and, eventually, permanent housing.

The program would be similar to efforts in Santa Barbara and Eugene, Ore., where participants sleep in their vehicles in designated parking areas and gain access to counseling and other services, including help finding subsidized apartments.

In Los Angeles, bathrooms, showers and trash facilities would be made available for participants, who would sign a contract and agree to a strict code of conduct.

Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the city-county agency that would administer the program, has drafted a document that it plans to release formally in August to solicit bids from social service providers.

Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represents Venice, secured $750,000 in city funding for the program.

Venice residents have for years complained to Rosendahl about unpleasant and unsanitary conditions caused by some of the people living in recreational vehicles and autos. Many have clamored for overnight parking restrictions, but the California Coastal Commission has thwarted those requests, saying the city needed to deal with the larger social issue of homelessness in areas near the beach.

The Venice Neighborhood Council and others have called for creation of a safe parking program.

"This is a smart and cutting-edge program that builds on the successes of similar programs in other cities and improves and tailors them for our community," Rosendahl said in a statement about the proposed program.

LAHSA Executive Director Michael Arnold said his agency expected to select a provider by late September. The provider would then work with the community to identify several locations that could each accommodate three to five vehicles. A survey earlier this month identified more than 250 RVs and other vehicles that appeared to be occupied, Arnold said.

"It's going to focus on people living in their vehicles who have no other option available to them," Arnold said. "It's going to focus on those most at need and provide them a pathway from their vehicle back to stable housing."

Rosendahl said he hoped to launch the program by the end of the year, to coincide with implementation of a new oversize-vehicle ordinance. Last month, the Los Angeles City Council approved amendments to an ordinance to make it easier to restrict big RVs from parking at street curbs overnight.
County Spends $600 Mil On Welfare For Illegal Immigrants
Last Updated: Thu, 03/11/2010 - 3:14pm
For the second consecutive year taxpayers in a single U.S. county will dish out more than half a billion dollars just to cover the welfare and food-stamp costs of illegal immigrants.
Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous, may be in the midst of a dire financial crisis but somehow there are plenty of funds for illegal aliens. In January alone, anchor babies born to the county’s illegal immigrants collected more than $50 million in welfare benefits. At that rate the cash-strapped county will pay around $600 million this year to provide illegal aliens’ offspring with food stamps and other welfare perks.


The exorbitant figure, revealed this week by a county supervisor, doesn’t even include the enormous cost of educating, medically treating or incarcerating illegal aliens in the sprawling county of about 10 million residents. Los Angeles County annually spends more than $1 billion for those combined services, including $500 million for healthcare and $350 million for public safety.
About a quarter of the county’s welfare and food stamp issuances go to parents who reside in the United States illegally and collect benefits for their anchor babies, according to the figures from the county’s Department of Social Services. In 2009 the tab ran $570 million and this year’s figure is expected to increase by several million dollars.
Illegal immigration continues to have a “catastrophic impact on Los Angeles County taxpayers,” the veteran county supervisor (Michael Antonovich) who revealed the information has said. The former fifth-grade history teacher has repeatedly come under fire from his liberal counterparts for publicizing statistics that confirm the devastation illegal immigration has had on the region. Antonovich, who has served on the board for nearly three decades, represents a portion of the county that is roughly twice the size of Rhode Island and has about 2 million residents.
His district is simply a snippet of a larger crisis. Nationwide, Americans pay around $22 billion annually to provide illegal immigrants with welfare benefits that include food assistance programs such as free school lunches in public schools, food stamps and a nutritional program (known as WIC) for low-income women and their children. Tens of billions more are spent on other social services, medical care, public education and legal costs such as incarceration and public defenders.
Anchor Babies Grab One Quarter of Welfare Dollars in LA Co

The anchor baby scam has proven lucrative for illegal aliens in Los Angeles County, at considerable cost to our own poor and downtrodden legal citizenry.

The numbers show that more than $50 million in CalWORKS benefits and food stamps for January went to children born in the United States whose parents are in the country without documentation. This represents approximately 23 percent of the total benefits under the state welfare and food stamp programs, Antonovich said.

"When you add this to $350 million for public safety and nearly $500 million for health care, the total cost for illegal immigrants to county taxpayers far exceeds $1 billion a year -- not including the millions of dollars for education," Antonovich said.

I love children and I'm all for compassion -- smart, teach-them-to-fish compassion. But when laws, the Constitution, and enforcement allow illegal aliens (the operative word here being "illegal") to insinuate themselves into our nation and bleed us of our precious financial resources, then laws, the Constitution and enforcement need to be changed.


ACLU, MALDEF Sue Fremont, Nebraska over Immigration Ordinance
Last Wednesday, the ACLU and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) filed separate lawsuits in Omaha’s U.S. District Court seeking an immediate injunction of the city of Fremont’s new immigration ordinance. Both suits also seek to invalidate the ordinance on constitutional grounds, charging the law violates the Supremacy Clause “because it attempts to regulate matters that are exclusively reserved to the federal government.” (Fremont Tribune, July 21, 2010). In addition, the ACLU charged that the Fremont law would encourage “discrimination and racial profiling against Latinos and other who appear to be foreign born, including U.S. citizens.” (Washington Post, July 21, 2010).

The residents of Fremont, Nebraska passed the local immigration ordinance by ballot initiative on June 21 of this year. The law takes substantive steps in solving the city’s illegal immigration problem by requiring employers to use E-Verify and prohibiting landlords from renting apartments to illegal aliens. The ordinance is set to go into effect July 29.

Now, this small town of 25,000 is being targeted by two federal lawsuits. Supporters of the ordinance are defending this law as a grassroots effort on the part of local citizens to enforce federal immigration laws that have been neglected. State Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont, who supported the ordinance while he served on the Fremont City Council, declared unequivocally, “Let's make it clear that the unlawful parties here are the immigrants that chose to break federal and state laws by coming here illegally in the first place. The bottom line is that they are not ‘undocumented workers,’ they are illegal aliens.” (Fremont Tribune, July 21, 2010). Public opinion polls have consistently shown overwhelming support in Nebraska for cracking down on illegal aliens. A recent Rasmussen survey found that 73% of Nebraskans support the adoption of Arizona’s immigration law in Nebraska, the highest level of support from any state. (Rasmussen, July 19, 2010).

City officials and local supporters of the ordinance are gearing up for a pricey legal fight. The ACLU and other amnesty advocates have attempted in the past to dissuade other towns such as Hazelton, Pa. and Farmers Branch, Tex. from enforcing immigration laws with the threat of costly legal battles. Now City Attorney Dean Skokan warned that Fremont’s legal costs could accumulate to millions of dollars. Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for FAIR, described the lawsuits as an attempt to “intimidate local governments from taking action.” (Washington Post, July 21, 2010). Last week, Nebraska’s junior Republican Senator Mike Johanns introduced legislation that would require the federal government to pay legal costs incurred by local and state governments in the course of defending their immigration laws from federal government lawsuits. Johanns explained that he wanted to “level the playing field for states and communities that might otherwise be crushed financially by federal litigation.” (Lincoln Journal Star)



Senate Blocks DeMint’s Effort to Stop Arizona Lawsuit

The DeMint Amendment to de-fund the federal lawsuit against Arizona was defeated last week by a 55-43 procedural vote, with no debate or final vote on the amendment allowed. (Roll Call Vote #214, July 21, 2010). As FAIR reported last week, Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC) and David Vitter (R-LA) introduced the amendment to the small business bill (H.R.5297) that would deny the federal government funding to sue Arizona over its recently enacted immigration enforcement law, SB 1070. (See FAIR’s Legislative Update, July 19, 2010). Before the vote, DeMint defended SB 1070 and argued that the Obama administration is suing Arizona for enforcing laws the federal government has chosen to ignore. “This bill is very clear. Its intent is to support and enforce the federal law, to protect the citizens of Arizona. Our federal government should be doing its job to secure our borders rather than trying to bully and intimidate the people of Arizona. We should not be suing and really hassling the people of Arizona for doing what we should be doing here, and that is protecting the citizenry.” (C-SPAN, July 21, 2010).


Illegal immigrants drain the tax dollars
Ariz. Saves Millions Cutting Illegal Immigrant Perks
Last Updated: Mon, 08/10/2009 - 2:48pm

A U.S. border state that stopped giving illegal immigrants discounted public college tuition a few years ago reports saving millions of dollars after terminating the program that essentially subsidized illegal behavior with public money.
Fed up with the toll that illegal aliens were having on its state, Arizona voters overwhelmingly passed a law in late 2006 to deny them heavily discounted resident college tuition and other state-funded benefits draining the budget. Approved by more than 70% of voters, the measure also requires state agencies to verify the immigration status of applicants for public services such as child care and adult education as well as financial aide for college students.
Regardless, thousands of illegal aliens continue to annually apply for the costly perks which used to cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars each year. Since the law passed more than 3,400 community college students and nearly 300 university students paid the much higher nonresident tuition because they couldn't prove they were in the country legally.
This represented a savings of nearly $8 million for one of the state’s community college districts (Maricopa County Community College District) alone. Combined with Arizona’s other junior college districts and its three public universities the savings are estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars.
Arizona’s State Treasurer says the money is being appropriately used for programs that benefit legal residents rather than to subsidize the education of those who live in the state illegally. A handful of other states—including Texas, California, Utah, Maryland and Wisconsin—offer illegal immigrants discounted tuition at public colleges.
Earlier this month, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott ruled that allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition breaks federal law though the state annually grants the coveted benefit to thousands of undocumented students. The opinion was a no brainer considering that a 1996 immigration reform law forbids states from giving illegal aliens in-state tuition unless it provides the same for all students regardless of residency.
It was that law that led a group of out-of-state students to successfully challenge the practice in California. The students argued that California’s public university and community college system violated the law by charging them higher tuition and fees than undocumented immigrants. A state appellate court ruled in favor of the American students and the case is pending before the sate Supreme Court.
Apparently no one has told FEINSTEIN, BOXER, PELOSI, WAXMAN!

Congressional study shows illegal immigrants sap tax dollars
The Business Journal of Phoenix - by Ty Young Phoenix Business Journal

A study by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday backs up the view that undocumented immigrants sap more tax dollars than they provide, especially in education, health care and law enforcement.

The study pulled together reports from the past five years, using data from sources including the Pew Hispanic Center, the Rand Corp., the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and various universities. The Congressional study also incorporated facts from states, including Arizona, but its authors acknowledged there was no aggregate estimate that could be applied to the entire country.

The report says that in 1990, 90 percent of undocumented immigrants primarily were in six states: California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas.

By 2004, undocumented immigrants had increased tenfold in other states, most notably Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, according to statistics from the Pew Hispanic Center.

The report estimates there are 12 million undocumented immigrants nationwide. Of those, 60 percent are uninsured and 50 percent of the children are uninsured. Again using 2004 statistics from the Pew Hispanic Center the average income of undocumented immigrants was $27,400 while Americans earned $47,800. The difference puts undocumented immigrants in a lower tax bracket, thus reducing the amount of federal and state income taxes generated.

The study also showed that while undocumented workers represented just 5 percent of state and federal service costs, their tax revenue did not offset the amount spent by government. The authors of the study stated that, "the general consensus is that unauthorized immigrants impose a net cost on state and local budgets. However, no agreement exists as to the size of, or even the best way of measuring, that cost at a national level."

In education, which the study notes is the largest single expenditure in state and local budgets, multiple states reported 20 to 40 percent higher costs educating non-English speaking students, many of whom come from the homes of undocumented immigrant parents. Using New Mexico statistics from 2004 as a model, education spending on undocumented immigrants comprised $67 million of the state's $3 billion education budget.

The study estimates there are 53.3 million school-age children in the U.S., 2 million of whom are undocumented immigrants and another 3 million who are legal citizens, but whose parents are not.

Undocumented immigrants are more likely to access emergency rooms and urgent care facilities because most do not have health care, the study said. In Arizona and other border areas, states paid nearly $190 million in health care costs for undocumented immigrants in 2000, the study reported. The amount, which the study says likely has risen since then, represented one-quarter of all uncompensated health care costs in those states that year.

While the report found that undocumented immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than American natives, it said states still bear a large cost for the legal process. Based on a report from the U.S./Mexico Border Counties Coalition from 2001, counties from the four states that border Mexico spent more than $108 million on law enforcement activities involving undocumented immigrants. San Diego County in California spent nearly half of that, with more than $50 million going into law enforcement activities involving undocumented immigrants.


L.A.County's $48 Million Monthly Anchor Baby Tab
Last Updated: Wed, 08/12/2009 - 11:24am
Taxpayers in the nation’s most populous county dished out nearly $50 million in a single month to cover only the welfare costs of illegal immigrants, representing a whopping $10 million increase over the same one-month period two years ago.
In June 2009 alone Los Angeles County spent $48 million ($26 million in food stamps and $22 million in welfare) to provide just two of numerous free public services to the children of illegal aliens, which will translate into an annual tab of nearly $600 million for the cash-strapped county.
The figure doesn’t even include the exorbitant cost of educating, medically treating or incarcerating illegal aliens in the sprawling county of about 10 million residents. Los Angeles County annually spends more than $1 billion for those combined services, including $400 million for healthcare and $350 million for public safety.
The recent single-month welfare figure was obtained from the county’s Department of Social Services and made public by a county supervisor (Michael Antonovich) who assures illegal immigration continues to have a “catastrophic impact on Los Angeles County taxpayers.” The veteran lawmaker points out that 24% of the county’s total allotment of welfare and food stamp benefits goes directly to the children of illegal aliens—known as anchor babies—born in the United States.
A former fifth-grade history teacher who has served on the county’s board for nearly three decades, Antonovich has repeatedly come under fire for publicizing statistics that confirm the devastation illegal immigration has had on the region. Antonovich represents a portion of the county that is roughly twice the size of Rhode Island and has about 2 million residents.
Numerous other reports have documented the enormous cost of illegal immigration on a national level. Just last year a renowned economist, who has thoroughly researched the impact of illegal immigration, published a book breaking down the country’s $346 billion annual cost to educate, jail, medically treat and incarcerate illegal aliens throughout the U.S.






LaRaza Calls For Boycott Against Free Speech
No surprise here. Pulling the race/hate card again and using political correctness La Raza goes after cable shows reporting on illegal immigration.

"Murguía said she recognized that ultimately the power to change the debate lies with the Hispanic community itself. “Latinos buy products from the advertisers supporting these programs,” she said. “Latinos vote in primaries and in the general election. We have a significant role to play picking winners and losers in both arenas. We need to make it clear to those who embrace hate that they do so at their own economic and political peril.”


How many businesses can "we the people" boycott that support LaRaza and illegal immigration ?

Corporate Partners Program

The National Council of La Raza invites corporations large and small and Hispanic entrepreneurs to join in its mission to empower current and future generations of Hispanic Americans.

We encourage individual Hispanic entrepreneurs to become an NCLR partner as well. Partners like you have firsthand knowledge of the hard work and dedication it takes to achieve the American Dream. We would deeply appreciate your involvement in our institution and welcome your membership participation.

Allstate Insurance Company
American Airlines
American Express Company
Bank of America
Bridgestone Firestone Trust Fund
Cardinal Health
Caterpillar Foundation
Catholic Healthcare West
Chevron Corporation
The Coca-Cola Company
Comcast Corporation
ConAgra Foods, Inc.
Coors Brewing Company
Cox Communications
DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund
Darden Restaurants Foundation
Eastman Kodak Company
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Fannie Mae
FedEx Corporation
Ford Motor Company
General Mills, Inc.
General Motors Corporation
Hallmark Cards, Inc.
Harrah's Entertainment
Hess Foundation, Inc.
J.C. Penney Company, Inc.
Johnson & Johnson
Kraft Foods, Inc.
The Kroger Co.
McDonald's Corporation
The McGraw-Hill Companies
Mercedes Benz
MetLife Foundation
MGM Mirage
The Microsoft Corporation
Miller Brewing Company
Morgan Stanley
Northrop Grumman Corporation
PepsiCo, Inc.
Prudential Financial
Qwest Communications
Rockwell Automation
Schneider National
Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Southwest Airlines
State Farm Insurance Companies
Time Warner Inc.
United Parcel Service (UPS)
Verizon Communications
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Waste Management, Inc.
Wells Fargo
Wilmer Cutler Pickering, LLP
Xerox Corporation

Institutional Corporate Partners
The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) recognizes those corporations that have invested in NCLR’s long-term strategic efforts with multiyear, multimillion-dollar commitments, including NCLR’s Empowering An American Community Campaign.

The Allstate Corporation
Bank of America
The Coca-Cola Company
Fannie Mae
Freddie Mac
Ford Motor Company
General Motors Corporation
MBNA Corporation
PepsiCo Foundation
The PMI Group, Inc.
State Farm Insurance Companies
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Corporate Programmatic Supporters
NCLR depends on our corporate partners for a variety of programmatic support in areas such as Education, Community Development, Health, Youth Leadership Development, Civil Rights and Advocacy, Workforce Development, and Affiliate Member Services.

Chevron Corporation
Lockheed Martin
Lucent Technologies Foundation
Marathon Oil Corporation
Rockwell Automation
State Farm Insurance Companies
Toyota Motor Corporation
Verizon Communications, Inc.

Housing and Wealth Building
The Allstate Corporation
Chase Home Finance
Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.
E*TRADE Financial
Fannie Mae
Freddie Mac
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation
Wells Fargo & Company
Washington Mutual, Inc.

Belrex Inc.
Eli Lilly and Company
Metropolitan Life
Novo Nordisk
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals
PepsiCo Foundation

Workforce Development
American Express Company
Ford Motor Company
The Home Depot, Inc.
PepsiCo Foundation

Youth Leadership Development
The Allstate Corporation
Exxon Mobil Corporation
Marriott International, Inc.
MBNA Corporation
Sallie Mae
Sodexho, Inc.
Sprint Nextel Corporation
U.S. Marine Corps

Civil Rights and Advocacy
The Allstate Corporation
American Honda Finance Corporation
Bank of America
Chevron Corporation
Freddie Mac
The UPS Foundation
WFS Financial Inc.

Affiliate Member Services
Comcast Corporation
Ford Motor Company (NCLR Affiliate of the Year Award)
Microsoft Corporation
The Annie E. Casey Foundation

1126 16th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C.
202-785 1670
Get on La Raza’s email list to find out what this fascist party is doing to expand the Mexican occupation.
LA RAZA is the virulently racist political party for ILLEGALS (only Mexicans) and the corporations that benefit from illegals, and the employers of illegals. IT IS ILLEGAL TO HIRE AN ILLEGAL.
However LA RAZA does like the AMERICAN WELFARE SYSTEM. The welfare system in the country is so good that Mexico has dumped 38 million of their poor, illiterate , criminal and frequently pregnant over our border.
That's why, throughout 2009 FAIR has been tracking every move the administration and Congress has made to undermine our immigration laws, reward illegal aliens and burden taxpayers.
• Foot-dragging on proven methods of immigration law enforcement including border structures and E-Verify.
• Appointment of several illegal alien advocates to important administration posts.
• Watering down of the 287(g) program to limit local law in their own jurisdictions.
• Health care reform that mandates a “public option” for newly-arrived legal immigrants as well as illegal aliens.


ALIEN NATION: Secrets of the Invasion

Date: 2007-01-03, 9:46AM

May 2006 – ALIEN NATION: Secrets of the Invasion – Why America's government invites rampant illegal immigration

It's widely regarded as America's biggest problem: Between 12 and 20 million aliens (MOST SOURCES SUGGEST THERE ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY NEARLY 40 MILLION ILLEGALS HERE NOW) – including large numbers of criminals, gang members and even terrorists – have entered this nation illegally, with countless more streaming across our scandalously unguarded borders daily.

The issue polarizes the nation, robs citizens of jobs, bleeds taxpayers, threatens America's national security and dangerously balkanizes the country into unassimilated ethnic groups with little loyalty or love for America's founding values. Indeed, the de facto invasion is rapidly transforming America into a totally different country than the one past generations have known and loved.

And yet – most Americans have almost no idea what is really going on, or why it is happening.

While news reports depict demonstrations and debates, and while politicians promise "comprehensive border security programs," no real answers ever seem to emerge.

But there are answers. Truthful answers. Shocking answers.

In its groundbreaking May edition, WND's acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine reveals the astounding hidden agendas, plans and people behind America's immigration nightmare.

Titled "ALIEN NATION," the issue is subtitled "SECRETS OF THE INVASION: Why government invites rampant illegal immigration." Indeed, it reveals pivotal secrets very few Americans know. For example:

Did you know that the powerfully influential Council on Foreign Relations – often described as a “shadow government" – issued a comprehensive report last year laying out a five-year plan for the "establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security community" with a common "outer security perimeter"?
Roughly translated: In the next few years, according to the 59-page report titled "Building a North American Community," the U.S. must be integrated with the socialism, corruption, poverty and population of Mexico and Canada. "Common perimeter" means wide-open U.S. borders between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. As Phyllis Schlafly reveals in this issue of Whistleblower: "This CFR document asserts that President Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin 'committed their governments' to this goal when they met at Bush's ranch and at Waco, Texas, on March 23, 2005. The three adopted the 'Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America' and assigned 'working groups' to fill in the details. It was at this same meeting, grandly called the North American Summit, that President Bush pinned the epithet 'vigilantes' on the volunteers guarding our border in Arizona."

The CFR report – important excerpts of which are published in Whistleblower – also suggests North American elitists begin getting together regularly, and presumably secretly, "to buttress North American relationships, along the lines of the Bilderberg or Wehrkunde conferences, organized to support transatlantic relations." The Bilderberg and Wehrkunde conferences are highly secret conclaves of the powerful. For decades, there have been suspicions that such meetings were used for plotting the course of world events and especially the centralization of global decision-making.

Did you know that radical immigrant groups – including the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA) and the National Council of La Raza (La Raza) – not only share a revolutionary agenda of conquering America's southwest, but they also share common funding sources, notably the Ford and Rockefeller foundations?
''California is going to be a Hispanic state," said Mario Obeldo, former head of MALDEF. "Anyone who does not like it should leave." And MEChA's goal is even more radical: an independent ''Aztlan,'' the collective name this organization gives to the seven states of the U.S. Southwest – Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. So why would the Rockefeller and Ford foundations support such groups? Joseph Farah tells the story in this issue of Whistleblower.

Why have America's politicians – of both major parties – allowed the illegal alien invasion of this nation to continue for the last 30 years unabated? With al-Qaida and allied terrorists promising to annihilate major U.S. cities with nuclear weapons, with some big-city hospital emergency rooms near closure due to the crush of so many illegals, with the rapid spread throughout the U.S. of MS-13, the super-violent illegal alien gang – with all this and more, why do U.S. officials choose to ignore the laws of the land and the will of the people to pursue, instead, policies of open borders and lax immigration enforcement?

The answers to all this and much more are in Whistleblower's "ALIEN NATION" issue.

Is there hope? Or is America lost to a demographic invasion destined to annihilate its traditional Judeo-Christian culture, and to the ever-growing likelihood that nuclear-armed jihadists will cross our porous borders and wreak unthinkable destruction here?

There most definitely is hope, according to this issue of Whistleblower. Although most politicians of both major political parties have long since abdicated their responsibility for securing America's borders and dealing effectively with the millions already here illegally, there are a few exceptions – most notably Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo.

May's Whistleblower includes an exclusive sneak preview of Tancredo's forthcoming blockbuster book, "In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America’s Border and Security." In an extended excerpt, Whistleblower presents Tencredo's expert and inspired analysis of exactly how to solve the nation's most vexing problem.

SLAVERY! The Root of Illegal Immigration?

This article is permanently archived at:

Slavery in Our Time
For the first time, the U.S. government acknowledges modern-day slavery in the United States.
By Michelle Chen July 21, 2010

One-hundred-and-fifty years after the abolition of slavery, the State Department has acknowledged that people in the United States continue to be bought and sold as property.

The department's 2010 "Trafficking in Persons" (TIP) report, a global review of human trafficking and civic and legal responses to it, lists the United States for the first time among the nations that harbor modern-day slavery.

The report was a long time in coming. In 2001, when Washington was rolling out landmark anti-trafficking legislation, Maria, a Mexican woman, testified before the House Committee on International Relations on her experience with sex slavery in Florida. "If any of the girls refused to be with a customer, we were beaten. If we adamantly refused, the bosses would show us a lesson by raping us brutally. We worked six days a week, twelve hours a day. Our bodies were sore and swollen. If anyone became pregnant we were forced to have abortions. The cost of the abortion was added to the smuggling debt," she said.

The report gives the United States high marks for its efforts to combat trafficking, but victims remain scattered throughout the workforce, hidden from view: the captive migrant tomato picker, the prostitute bonded by a smuggling debt, the domestic servant working without pay.

The media often focus on stories of young girls lured into prostitution rings. But government data suggest that "more foreign victims are found in labor trafficking than sex trafficking," particularly in "above ground" sectors like hotel work and home healthcare. Estimates vary, but the number of victims worldwide could be more than 12 million children and adults.

Today's slave trade capitalizes on vast inequalities, sharpened by economic globalization, that spur migration across national borders. Many governments have instituted anti-trafficking policies, but with uneven success. The TIP report states that 23 countries got an "upgrade" in the ranking of their anti-trafficking programs. But 19 countries were "downgraded" due to "sparse victim protections, desultory implementation, or inadequate legal structures."

Despite the country's relative wealth and sophisticated legal system, slavery trickles into the United States through deep cracks in labor and immigration laws.

Victims often remain hidden because they depend on their bosses not only for their livelihoods but for protection from immigration authorities. Even for documented workers, legal status is not a safeguard, and precarious temporary worker visas may even facilitate trafficking.

Stephanie Richard, director of policy with the Los Angeles-based Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), told In These Times: "We're actually seeing an increase in the number of cases of people coming in on lawful visas, and then ending up in human trafficking ... because people are using those visas as one of the forms of coercion for keeping people working for them against their will."

To its credit, the State Department's report stresses that anti-trafficking measures should not just emphasize cracking down on trafficking crimes, and that a comprehensive "victim-centered" approach should "focus on all victims, offering them the opportunity to access shelter, comprehensive services, and in certain cases, immigration relief."

To qualify for special immigration relief­-the T visa­-trafficking survivors must cooperate with law enforcement investigations--a process advocates say can be humiliating and traumatic. That may be why the number of T visas granted each year is far smaller than the estimated number of survivors. And despite pressure to bring survivors into the criminal process, the Department of Justice's Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit reported only 47 convictions in 43 human trafficking prosecutions in fiscal year 2009.

This year's report glosses over the systemic failures that fuel the thirst for cheap labor--or even free labor. Sienna Baskin, an attorney with the Sex Workers Project--which campaigns for legislation to protect the rights of trafficked sex workers in New York--sees a correlation between the trafficking epidemic and immigration and law enforcement policies that criminalize victims. Baskin told In These Times, "The growing problem of labor exploitation could be lessened by comprehensive immigration reform that provides visas and fair wages to all workers."

The Florida-based Coalition of Immokalee Workers merges anti-trafficking, immigration reform and labor activism in its campaigns for farm workers' rights. The group was recently honored by the White House for its Campaign for Fair Food, which has successfully pressured corporations to adjust their labor policies across the supply chain, from the tomato farms all the way up to restaurants like Taco Bell.

At the D.C. event announcing the new TIP report, Laura Germino, coordinator of the Coalition's Anti-Slavery Campaign, said that 20 years ago the United States refused to acknowledge "that the unbroken threat of slavery that has so tragically woven through our history ... was a constant." She added, "But here's the good part. There was nowhere to go but up."

This article originally appeared in different form on In These Times' workers' rights blog, Working In These Times.


wayneblin at 9:49 PM July 25, 2010
If you cross the North Korean border illegally you get 12 years hard

If you cross the Iranian border illegally you are detained indefinitely.

If you cross the Afghan border illegally, you get shot.

If you cross the Chinese border illegally you may never be heard from

If you cross the Venezuelan border illegally you will be branded a spy
and your fate will be sealed.

If you cross the Mexican borders illegally you will jailed for two years.

If you cross the Cuban border illegally you will be thrown into political
prison to rot.

If you cross the United States border illegally you get:
4 - Welfare
5 - Food stamps
6 - Credit cards
7 - Subsidized rent or a loan to buy a house
8 - Free education
9 - Free health care
10 - A lobbyist in Washington
11 - Billions of dollars in public documents printed in your language
12 - servicemen and women who are willing to - and do - die
for your right to the ways and means of our constitution
13 - And the right to carry the flag of your country - the one you walked
out on - while you call America racist and protest that you don't get
enough respect


nounsyndrome at 8:22 AM July 26, 2010
Sorry Kaitlin, they arn't immigrants. They're criminal tresapassers that illegally and purposely crossed an international border. They work under the table (outside the law) using stolen or forged documents and send every penny they make back to their home countries - which is commonly known as money laundering. Your buddies are the ones that made the decisions to expose their children to human smugglers, foreign police and deportation.

They also decided to march in U.S. streets, demanding rights they don't deserve rather than marching in their own countries' streets to demand justice, decent wages and better education and living conditions; it's easier to march here than risk getting shot or thrown into their third-world prisons.

Kaitlin, perhaps you should have helped them plan their next revolution, one which is so badly needed. After all, you obviously speak their language.

Putting A Human Face On Illegal Immigration. WHAT IS THE FACE OF THE AMERICAN POOR?

Putting a human face on illegal immigration
Time spent teaching immigrants English taught her some real-life lessons.
By Kaitlin Manry
July 23, 2010

I became an English tutor by accident.

A few months out of college and feeling lonely and bored in a new town 3,000 miles from my family and friends, I volunteered to teach illiterate adults to read. It was something to do, somewhere to go other than my moldy attic apartment after work in a windowless office in Aberdeen, Wash., a foggy mill town of 16,000 people best known as the hometown Kurt Cobain slammed in his songs.

To my dismay, the volunteer coordinator at Grays Harbor Community College declined my offer. But she offered another option.

"What about the ESL classes?" she asked. "They're full and not many people want to tutor immigrants."

The only immigrants I knew well were college classmates who'd come on student visas. I was ambivalent about the idea of tutoring people who might be in the U.S. illegally.

Yet with nothing else to do in the evening, I agreed to try it. I quickly discovered that I had much in common with my new students. Like me, they were new to Aberdeen, new to Washington, still trying to figure out how to stay dry in one of the wettest places in the United States.

Aberdeen's immigrants do backbreaking work tearing salal from the rainforest floor and selling the vines ($50 for a day's work) to dealers, who send them to florist shops around the country. They pound Dungeness crabs with mallets and pluck their tender meat, or shuck oysters, or slice fish. Some man ocean-bound fishing boats with names like Tricia Rae and Crystal Marie.

By the time I arrived in Aberdeen in 2002, thousands of immigrants were sleeping stacked in apartments and trailers throughout Grays Harbor County. And there were tensions.

Immigrant children crowded local schools, and their parents did not understand letters sent home in English and missed parent-teacher conferences and back-to-school nights. Many out-of-work loggers resented their taxes going to pay for the kids to learn English.

The immigrants, many of them Catholic, wanted places to worship, but churches were reluctant to offer services in Spanish. Hiring bilingual preachers and paying to keep chapels open for extra services would cost money, and it was assumed these immigrants would not be dropping much in the collection basket.

In loud voices and on the opinion pages of the Daily World, the local paper, residents railed against the newcomers for not learning English. But as I soon found out, they were certainly trying.

Every evening, exhausted after a day of work, men and women came to a baby blue schoolhouse in Aberdeen to learn.

I met them on the bottom floor: Level 1 English.

While the teacher taught salutations and vocabulary for clothing and food, I sat with the newest students and tried to help them sound out the letters to form the words in the language of their new home.

In my halting Spanish, I pointed out what I could: "Autobús. Tienda para comida. La escuela para tus niños."

Sometimes they brought in documents — job applications, bills, report cards — and I tried to make sense of them. They laughed when my Rs fell flat and refused to roll, and I teased them about the "hobs" they were applying for.

We drew maps of grocery store aisles and took a field trip to Safeway. We studied bus routes and U.S. currency. For Thanksgiving, we baked a pumpkin pie.

They entertained me with stories of Mexico and introduced me to pan de dulce, and sent me messages from their new Hotmail accounts. I soon felt less alone, more rooted.

I usually walked the half-mile from class to my apartment, but on rainy nights, a beat-up van full of Mexican men never failed to stop on the road beside me. The backdoor would clang open and I would climb in, grateful.

After volunteering at the school for a couple of years, I arrived one evening to find the room nearly empty.

Immigration officers had stormed a fish processing plant that day, blocking doors and trapping scores of people with fish entrails on their hands and clothes. Some escaped. I don't know how. Others were loaded into trucks and taken away.

In class that day, a man with pointy cowboy boots and a torn Nike windbreaker clacked over to me. I knew he had kids, two girls.

"Cat-lean," he said, searching my brown eyes. "How we know they no come here?"

I looked at the man, at all he had to lose. I had no words.

I could not promise him that our school would not be raided. I thought it was safe, but how could I really know? He would not be back to class, I assumed, but I knew he would be around, hunched over a bag of salal in the rainforest or dropping nets into the icy ocean in exchange for wages teenagers would turn up their noses at.

Although immigration raids and laws such as Arizona's SB 1070 push illegal immigrants underground, away from hospitals and banks and English classes, they do not force them out of the country. As long as there is hope — jobs, education, a future for the children — illegal immigrants, my students included, will stay.

An hour after arriving to a nearly empty class, I left school and stepped into the rain. I walked slowly, searching the darkened streets for a rusty van with a busted headlight.

I arrived home, soaked.

Kaitlin Manry, a freelance writer, now lives in Riverside.

EXPORTING POVERTY... we take MEXICO'S 38 million poor, illiterate, criminal and frequently pregnant

........ where can we send AMERICA'S poor?

The Mexican Invasion................................................
Mexico prefers to export its poor, not uplift them

March 30, 2006 edition

Mexico prefers to export its poor, not uplift them
At this week's summit, failed reforms under Fox should be the issue, not US actions.

By George W. Grayson WILLIAMSBURG, VA.

At the parleys this week with his US and Canadian counterparts in Cancún, Mexican President Vicente Fox will press for more opportunities for his countrymen north of the Rio Grande. Specifically, he will argue for additional visas for Mexicans to enter the United States and Canada, the expansion of guest-worker schemes, and the "regularization" of illegal immigrants who reside throughout the continent. In a recent interview with CNN, the Mexican chief executive excoriated as "undemocratic" the extension of a wall on the US-Mexico border and called for the "orderly, safe, and legal" northbound flow of Mexicans, many of whom come from his home state of Guanajuato. Mexican legislators share Mr. Fox's goals. Silvia Hernández Enriquez, head of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations for North America, recently emphasized that the solution to the "structural phenomenon" of unlawful migration lies not with "walls or militarization" but with "understanding, cooperation, and joint responsibility." Such rhetoric would be more convincing if Mexican officials were making a good faith effort to uplift the 50 percent of their 106 million people who live in poverty. To his credit, Fox's "Opportunities" initiative has improved slightly the plight of the poorest of the poor. Still, neither he nor Mexico's lawmakers have advanced measures that would spur sustained growth, improve the quality of the workforce, curb unemployment, and obviate the flight of Mexicans abroad. Indeed, Mexico's leaders have turned hypocrisy from an art form into an exact science as they shirk their obligations to fellow citizens, while decrying efforts by the US senators and representatives to crack down on illegal immigration at the border and the workplace. What are some examples of this failure of responsibility? • When oil revenues are excluded, Mexico raises the equivalent of only 9 percent of its gross domestic product in taxes - a figure roughly equivalent to that of Haiti and far below the level of major Latin American nations. Not only is Mexico's collection rate ridiculously low, its fiscal regime is riddled with loopholes and exemptions, giving rise to widespread evasion. Congress has rebuffed efforts to reform the system. Insufficient revenues mean that Mexico spends relatively little on two key elements of social mobility: Education commands just 5.3 percent of its GDP and healthcare only 6.10 percent, according to the World Bank's last comparative study. • A venal, "come-back-tomorrow" bureaucracy explains the 58 days it takes to open a business in Mexico compared with three days in Canada, five days in the US, nine days in Jamaica, and 27 days in Chile. Mexico's private sector estimates that 34 percent of the firms in the country made "extra official" payments to functionaries and legislators in 2004. These bribes totaled $11.2 billion and equaled 12 percent of GDP. • Transparency International, a nongovernmental organization, placed Mexico in a tie with Ghana, Panama, Peru, and Turkey for 65th among 158 countries surveyed for corruption. • Economic competition is constrained by the presence of inefficient, overstaffed state oil and electricity monopolies, as well as a small number of private corporations - closely linked to government big shots - that control telecommunications, television, food processing, transportation, construction, and cement. Politicians who talk about, much less propose, trust-busting measures are as rare as a snowfall in the Sonoran Desert. Geography, self-interests, and humanitarian concerns require North America's neighbors to cooperate on myriad issues, not the least of which is immigration. However, Mexico's power brokers have failed to make the difficult decisions necessary to use their nation's bountiful wealth to benefit the masses. Washington and Ottawa have every right to insist that Mexico's pampered elite act responsibly, rather than expecting US and Canadian taxpayers to shoulder burdens Mexico should assume.

*********************************************************************** Unfettered Immigration = Poverty

By. Robert Rector | May 16, 2006

This paper focuses on the net fiscal effects of immigration with particular emphasis on the fiscal effects of low skill immigration. The fiscal effects of immigration are only one aspect of the impact of immigration. Immigration also has social, political, and economic effects. In particular, the economic effects of immigration have been heavily researched with differing results. These economic effects lie beyond the scope of this paper. Overall, immigration is a net fiscal positive to the government’s budget in the long run: the taxes immigrants pay exceed the costs of the services they receive. However, the fiscal impact of immigrants varies strongly according to immigrants’ education level. College-educated immigrants are likely to be strong contributors to the government’s finances, with their taxes exceeding the government’s costs. By contrast, immigrants with low education levels are likely to be a fiscal drain on other taxpayers. This is important because half of all adult illegal immigrants in the U.S. have less than a high school education. In addition, recent immigrants have high levels of out-of-wedlock childbearing, which increases welfare costs and poverty. An immigration plan proposed by Senators Mel Martinez (R-FL) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE) would provide amnesty to 9 to 10 million illegal immigrants and put them on a path to citizenship. Once these individuals become citizens, the net additional cost to the federal government of benefits for these individuals will be around $16 billion per year. Further, once an illegal immigrant becomes a citizen, he has the right to bring his parents to live in the U.S. The parents, in turn, may become citizens. The long-term cost of government benefits to the parents of 10 million recipients of amnesty could be $30 billion per year or more. In the long run, the Hagel/Martinez bill, if enacted, would be the largest expansion of the welfare state in 35 years. Current Trends in Immigration Over the last 40 years, immigration into the United States has surged. Our nation is now experiencing a second “great migration” similar to the great waves of immigrants that transformed America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 2004, an estimated 35.7 million foreign-born persons lived in the U.S. While in 1970 one person in twenty was foreign born, by 2004 the number had risen to one in eight. About one-third of all foreign-born persons in the U.S. are illegal aliens. There are between 10 and 12 million illegal aliens currently living in the U.S.[1] Illegal aliens now comprise 3 to 4 percent of the total U.S. population. Each year approximately 1.3 million new immigrants enter the U.S.[2] Some 700,000 of these entrants are illegal.[3] One third of all foreign-born persons in the U.S. are Mexican. Overall, the number of Mexicans in the U.S. has increased from 760,000 in 1970 to 10.6 million in 2004. Nine percent of all Mexicans now reside in the U.S.[4] Over half of all Mexicans in the U.S. are illegal immigrants,[5] and in the last decade 80 to 85 percent of the inflow of Mexicans into the U.S. has been illegal.[6] The public generally perceives illegals to be unattached single men. This is, in fact, not the case. Some 44 percent of adult illegals are women. While illegal men work slightly more than native-born men; illegal women work less. Among female illegals, some 56 percent work, compared to 73 percent among native-born women of comparable age.[7] As well, Mexican women emigrating to the U.S. have a considerably higher fertility rate than women remaining in Mexico.[8] Decline in Immigrant Wages Over the last 40 years the education level of new immigrants has fallen relative to the native population. As the relative education levels of immigrants have declined, so has their earning capacity compared to the general U.S. population. Immigrants arriving in the U.S. around 1960 had wages, at the time of entry, that were just 13 percent less than natives’. In 1965, the nation’s immigration law was dramatically changed, and from 1990 on, illegal immigration surged. The result was a decline in the relative skill levels of new immigrants. By 1998, new immigrants had an average entry wage that was 34 percent less than natives.’[12] Because of their lower education levels, illegal immigrants’ wages would have been even lower. The low-wage status of recent illegal immigrants can be illustrated by the wages of recent immigrants from Mexico, a majority of whom have entered the U.S. illegally. In 2000, the median weekly wage of a first-generation Mexican immigrant was $323. This was 54 percent of the corresponding wage for non-Hispanic whites in the general population.[13] Historically, the relative wages of recent immigrants have risen after entry as immigrants gained experience in the labor market. For example, immigrants who arrived in the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s saw their relative wages rise by 10 percentage points compared to natives’ wages during their first 20 years in the country. But in recent years, this modest catch up effect has diminished. Immigrants who arrived in the late 1980s actually saw their relative wages shrink in the 1990s.[14] Immigration and Welfare Dependence Welfare may be defined as means-tested aid programs: these programs provide cash, non-cash, and social service assistance that is limited to low-income households. The major means-tested programs include Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, public housing, the earned income credit, and Medicaid. Historically, recent immigrants were less likely to receive welfare than native-born Americans. But over the last thirty years, this historic pattern has reversed. As the relative education levels of immigrants fell, their tendency to receive welfare benefits increased. By the late 1990s immigrant households were fifty percent more likely to receive means-tested aid than native-born households.[15] Moreover, immigrants appear to assimilate into welfare use. The longer immigrants live in the U.S., the more likely they are to use welfare.[16] A large part, but not all, of immigrants’ higher welfare use is explained by their low education levels. Welfare use also varies by immigrants’ national origin. For example, in the late 1990s, 5.6 percent of immigrants from India received means-tested benefits; among Mexican immigrants the figure was 34.1 percent; and for immigrants from the Dominican Republic the figure was 54.9 percent.[17] Ethnic differences in the propensity to receive welfare that appear among first-generation immigrants persist strongly in the second generation.[18] The relatively high use of welfare among Mexicans has significant implications for current proposals to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants. Some 80 percent of illegal immigrants come from Mexico and Latin America.[19] (See Chart 1) Historically, Hispanics in America have had very high levels of welfare use. Chart 2 shows receipt of aid from major welfare programs by different ethnic groups in 1999; the programs covered are Medicaid, Food Stamps, public housing, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, General Assistance, and Supplemental Security Income.[20] As the chart shows, Hispanics were almost three times more likely to receive welfare than non-Hispanic whites. In addition, among families that received aid, the cost of the aid received was 40 percent higher for Hispanics than for non-Hispanic whites.[21] Putting together the greater probability of receiving welfare with the greater cost of welfare per family means that, on average, Hispanic families received four times more welfare per family than white non-Hispanics. 1. Part, but not all, of this high level of welfare use by Hispanics can be explained by background factors such as family structure.[22] It seems likely that, if Hispanic illegal immigrants are given permanent residence and citizenship, they and their children will likely assimilate into the culture of high welfare use that characterizes Hispanics in the U.S. This would impose significant costs on taxpayers and society as a whole. Welfare use can also be measured by immigration status. In general, immigrant households are about fifty percent more likely to use welfare than native-born households.[23] Immigrants with less education are more likely to use welfare. (See Chart 3) 1. The potential welfare costs of low-skill immigration and amnesty for current illegal immigrants can be assessed by looking at the welfare utilization rates for current low-skill immigrants. As Chart 4 shows, immigrants without a high school degree (both lawful and unlawful) are two-and-a-half times more likely to use welfare than native-born individuals.[24] This underscores the high potential welfare costs of giving amnesty to illegal immigrants. 1. All categories of high school dropouts have a high utilization of welfare. Immigrants who have less than a high school degree are slightly more likely to use welfare than native-born dropouts. Legal immigrants who are high school dropouts are slightly more likely to use welfare than native-born dropouts.[25] Illegal immigrant dropouts, however, are less likely to use welfare than native-born dropouts mainly because they are ineligible for many welfare programs. With amnesty, current illegal immigrants’ welfare use would likely rise to the level of lawful immigrants with similar education levels. Illegal Immigration and Poverty 1. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, 4.7 million children of illegal immigrant parents currently live in the U.S.[26] Some 37 percent of these children are poor.[27] While children of illegal immigrant parents comprise around 6 percent of all children in the U.S., they are 11.8 percent of all poor children.[28] This high level of child poverty among illegal immigrants in the U.S. is, in part, due to low education levels and low wages. It is also linked to the decline in marriage among Hispanics in the U.S. Within this group, 45 percent of children are born out-of-wedlock.[29] (See Table 1.) Among foreign-born Hispanics the rate is 42.3 percent.[30] By contrast, the out-of-wedlock birth rate for non-Hispanic whites is 23.4 percent.[31] The birth rate for Hispanic teens is higher than for black teens.[32] While the out-of-wedlock birth rate for blacks has remained flat for the last decade, it has risen steadily for Hispanics.[33] These figures are important because, as noted, some 80 percent of illegal aliens come from Mexico and Latin America.[34] In general, children born and raised outside of marriage are seven times more likely to live in poverty than children born and raised by married couples. Children born out-of-wedlock are also more likely to be on welfare, to have lower educational achievement, to have emotional problems, to abuse drugs and alcohol, and to become involved in crime.[35] 5. Poverty is also more common among adult illegal immigrants, who are twice as likely to be poor as are native-born adults. Some 27 percent of all adult illegal immigrants are poor, compared to 13 percent of native-born adults.[36] Economic and Social Assimilation of Illegal Immigrant Offspring One important question is the future economic status of the children and grandchildren of current illegal immigrants, assuming those offspring remain in the U.S. While we obviously do not have data on future economic status, we may obtain a strong indication of future outcomes by examining the educational attainment of offspring of recent Mexican immigrants. Some 57 percent of current illegal immigrants come from Mexico, and about half of Mexicans currently in the U.S. are here illegally.[37] First-generation Mexican immigrants are individuals born in Mexico who have entered the U.S. In 2000, some 70 percent of first-generation Mexican immigrants (both legal and illegal) lacked a high school degree. Second-generation Mexicans may be defined as individuals born in the U.S. who have at least one parent born in Mexico. Second-generation Mexican immigrants (individuals born in the U.S. who have at least one parent born in Mexico) have greatly improved educational outcomes but still fall well short of the general U.S. population. Some 25 percent of second-generation Mexicans in the U.S. fail to complete high school. By contrast, the high school drop out rate is 8.6 percent among non-Hispanic whites and 17.2 percent among blacks. Critically, the educational attainment of third-generation Mexicans (those of Mexican ancestry with both parents born in the U.S.) improves little relative to the second generation. Some 21 percent of third-generation Mexicans are high school drop outs.[38] Similarly, the rate of college attendance among second-generation Mexicans is lower than for black Americans and about two-thirds of the level for non-Hispanic whites; moreover, college attendance does not improve in the third generation.[39] These data indicate that the offspring of illegal Hispanic immigrants are likely to have lower rates of educational attainment and higher rates of school failure compared to the non-Hispanic U.S. population. High rates of school failure coupled with high rates of out-of-wedlock childbearing are strong predictors of future poverty and welfare dependence. Immigration and Crime Historically, immigrant populations have had lower crime rates than native-born populations. For example, in 1991, the overall crime and incarceration rate for non-citizens was slightly lower than for citizens.[40] On the other hand, the crime rate among Hispanics in the U.S. is high. Age-specific incarceration rates (prisoners per 100,000 residents in the same age group in the general population) among Hispanics in federal and state prisons are two to two-and-a-half times higher than among non-Hispanic whites.[41] Relatively little of this difference appears to be due to immigration violations.[42] Illegal immigrants are overwhelmingly Hispanic. It is possible that, over time, Hispanic immigrants and their children may assimilate the higher crime rates that characterize the low-income Hispanic population in the U.S. as a whole.[43] If this were to occur, then policies that would give illegal immigrants permanent residence through amnesty, as well as policies which would permit a continuing influx of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants each year, would increase crime in the long term. The Fiscal Impact of Immigration One important question is the fiscal impact of immigration (both legal and illegal). Policymakers must ensure that the interaction of welfare and immigration policy does not expand the welfare-dependent popula_?tion, which would hinder rather than help immi_?grants and impose large costs on American society. This means that immigrants should be net contributors to government: the taxes they pay should exceed the cost of the benefits they receive. In calculating the fiscal impact of an individual or family, it is necessary to distinguish between public goods and private goods. Public goods do not require additional spending to accommodate new residents.[44] The clearest examples of government public goods are national defense and medical and scientific research. The entry of millions of immigrants will not raise costs or diminish the value of these public goods to the general population. Other government services are private goods; use of these by one person precludes or limits use by another. Government private goods include direct personal benefits such as welfare, Social Security benefits, Medicare, and education. Other government private goods are “congestible” goods.[45] These are services that must be expanded in proportion to the population. Government congestible goods include police and fire protection, roads and sewers, parks, libraries, and courts. If these services do not expand as the population expands, there will be a decrease in the quality of service. An individual makes a positive fiscal contribution when his total taxes paid exceed the direct benefits and congestible goods received by himself and his family.[46] The Fiscal Impact of Low Skill Immigration The 1997 New Americans study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) examined the fiscal impact of immigration.[47] It found that, within in a single year, the fiscal impact of foreign-born households was negative in the two states studied, New Jersey and California.[48] Measured over the course of a lifetime, the fiscal impact of first-generation immigrants nationwide was also slightly negative.[49] However, when the future earnings and taxes paid by the offspring of the immigrant were counted, the long-term fiscal impact was positive. One commonly cited figure from the report is that the net present value (NPV) of the fiscal impact of the average recent immigrant and his descendents is $83,000.[50] There are five important caveats about the NAS longitudinal study and its conclusion that in the long term the fiscal impact of immigration is positive. First, the study applies to all recent immigration, not just illegal immigration. Second, the finding that the long-term fiscal impact of immigration is positive applies to the population of immigrants as a whole, not to low-skill immigrants alone. Third, the $83,000 figure is based on the predicted earnings, tax payments, and benefits of an immigrant’s descendents over the next 300 years.[51] Fourth, the study does not take into account the growth in out-of-wedlock childbearing among the foreign-born population, which will increase future welfare costs and limit the upward mobility of future generations. Fifth, the assumed educational attainment of the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of immigrants who are high school dropouts or high school graduates seems unreasonably high given the actual attainment of the offspring of recent Mexican and Hispanic immigrants.[52] The NAS study’s 300-year time horizon is highly problematic. Three hundred years ago, the United States did not even exist and British colonists had barely reached the Appalachian Mountains. We cannot reasonably estimate what taxes and benefits will be even 30 years from now, let alone 300. The NAS study assumes that most people’s descendents will eventually regress to the social and economic mean, and thus may make a positive fiscal contribution, if the time horizon is long enough. With similar methods, it seems likely that out-of-wedlock childbearing could be found to have a net positive fiscal value as long as assumed future earnings are projected out 500 or 600 years. Slight variations to NAS’s assumptions used by NAS greatly affect the projected outcomes. For example, limiting the time horizon to 50 years and raising the assumed interest rate from 3 percent to 4 percent drops the NPV of the average immigrant from around $80,000 to $8,000.[53] Critically, the NAS projections assumed very large tax increases and benefits cuts would begin in 2016 to prevent the federal deficit from rising further relative to GDP. This assumption makes it far easier for future generations to be scored as fiscal contributors. If these large tax hikes and benefit cuts do not occur, then the long-term positive fiscal value of immigration evaporates.[54] Moreover, if future tax hikes and benefit cuts do occur, the exact nature of those changes would likely have a large impact on the findings; this issue is not explored in the NAS study. Critically, the estimated net fiscal impact of the whole immigrant population has little bearing on the fiscal impact of illegal immigrants, who are primarily low-skilled. As noted, at least 50 percent of illegal immigrants do not have a high school degree. As the NAS report states, “[S]ome groups of immigrants bring net fiscal benefits to natives and others impose net fiscal costs [I]mmigrants with certain characteristics, such as the elderly and those with little education, may be quite costly.”[55] The NAS report shows that the long-term fiscal impact of immigrants varies dramatically according to the education level of the immigrant. The fiscal impact of immigrants with some college education is positive. The fiscal impact of immigrants with a high school degree varies according to the time horizon used. The fiscal impact of immigrants without a high school degree is negative: benefits received will exceed taxes paid. The net present value of the future fiscal impact of immigrants without a high school degree is negative even when the assumed earnings and taxes of descendents over the next 300 years are included in the calculation.[56] A final point is that the NAS study’s estimates assume that low skill immigration does not reduce the wages of native-born low-skill workers. If low-skill immigration does, in fact, reduce the wages of native-born labor, this would reduce taxes paid and increase welfare expenditures for that group. The fiscal, social, and political implications could be quite large. The Cost of Amnesty Federal and state governments currently spend over $500 billion per year on means-tested welfare benefits.[57] Illegal aliens are ineligible for most federal welfare benefits but can receive some assistance through programs such as Medicaid, In addition, native-born children of illegal immigrant parents are citizens and are eligible for all relevant federal welfare benefits. Granting amnesty to illegal aliens would have two opposing fiscal effects. On the one hand, it may raise wages and taxes paid by broadening the labor market individuals compete in; it would also increase tax compliance and tax receipts as more work would be performed “on the books,”[58] On the other hand, amnesty would greatly increase the receipt of welfare, government benefits, and social services. Because illegal immigrant households tend to be low-skill and low-wage, the cost to government could be considerable. The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has performed a thorough study of the federal fiscal impacts of amnesty.[59] This study found that illegal immigrant households have low education levels and low wages and currently pay little in taxes. Illegal immigrant households also receive lower levels of federal government benefits. Nonetheless, the study also found that, on average, illegal immigrant families received more in federal benefits than they paid in taxes.[60] Granting amnesty would render illegal immigrants eligible for federal benefit programs. The CIS study estimated the additional taxes that would be paid and the additional government costs that would occur as a result of amnesty. It assumed that welfare utilization and tax payment among current illegal immigrants would rise to equal the levels among legally-admitted immigrants of similar national, educational, and demographic backgrounds. If all illegal immigrants were granted amnesty, federal tax payments would increase by some $3,000 per household, but federal benefits and social services would increase by $8,000 per household. Total federal welfare benefits would reach around $9,500 per household, or $35 billion per year total. The study estimates that the net cost to the federal government of granting amnesty to some 3.8 million illegal alien households would be around $5,000 per household, for a total federal fiscal cost of $19 billion per year.[61] preference for entry visas. The current visa allotments for family members (other than spouses and minor children) should be eliminated, and quotas for employment- and skill-based entry increased proportionately.