Thursday, August 27, 2015

Donald Trump’s immigration tab: $166 billion

[This is an interesting article, but the author significantly underestimates the price tag. For example, the total cost of deportating one person, including detention expenses, has been estimated at $25,000. But of course Trump's "plan" is just political rhetoric meant to move the discussion to the right. --TPOI editors]

By Seung Min Kim,
August 19, 2015

Donald Trump’s immigration plan is huge in every aspect — including its price tag.

Think $166 billion. And that’s on the low end.

The Republican business mogul is turbocharging his tough-on-illegal-immigration reputation that he’s used to ride to the top of the GOP presidential polls by pushing to deport everyone here illegally, ramping up immigration enforcement and even calling for an end to birthright citizenship. He’s managed in the process to pull the GOP field to the right on an issue that could be critical in the general election — and cause plenty of heartburn for party bosses still experiencing flashbacks from Mitt Romney damaging call for “self-deportation” in 2012.

“As far as immigration’s concerned, we need the wall,” Trump said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, the same day he unveiled his proposal on his website. “We want people to come in. I want people to come in. They have to be wonderful people. They have to come in legally.”

But Trump has said little about how much his plan would cost or how he’d pay for it, other than a dubious assurance he’d make Mexico foot the bill for the wall.[...]

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Border Enforcement Policies Are Backfiring

Kate Wheeling, Pacific Standard
August 19, 2015

Not so long ago, migration between Mexico and the United States followed a circular pattern, whereby migrants moved regularly between the two countries, chasing seasonal jobs. But recent research published in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies finds that immigration policies—and the militarization of our Southern border—have disrupted this pattern, effectively caging in undocumented immigrants rather than keeping them out as intended.

Throughout much of the 20th century, scores of laborers would arrived with six-month work visas in hand as part of the Bracero Program, working in the U.S. for half the year before returning home to Mexico. When the program ended in 1964, migrants continued to circulate between the two countries undocumented. Then in 1986, the U.S. Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which cracked down on undocumented hiring and increased the number of border patrol officers.

For every million-dollar increase in budget, the odds a migrant would return home to Mexico in any given year dropped by 89 percent.[...]

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Courts Dismiss Claim That Amnesties Trigger Migration

"Just as we do not infer that the rooster's crow triggers the sunrise, we cannot infer based on chronology alone that DACA triggered the migrations that occurred two years later."--Judge Pillard

By David L. Wilson, MRZine
August 25, 2015

On August 14 a federal appeals court dismissed as "speculation" one of the most persistent of the anti-immigrant right's many fantasies: the claim that any sort of humane treatment of undocumented immigrants by the U.S. government will lead inevitably to a "flood" of foreigners pouring over our borders.

At issue was a suit in which Joe Arpaio, the rightwing sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County, is seeking to block President Barack Obama's November 2014 plan for giving a temporary reprieve from deportation for as many as half the country's more than 11 million unauthorized residents. The plan includes the new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and an expansion of the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Both programs would protect qualifying immigrants from deportation for three years and would grant them a work permit for the period.

The suit, Arpaio v. United States, isn't so important in itself; it's basically just the latest of the sheriff's notorious publicity stunts. The more significant DAPA-DACA case is Texas v. United States, with which 26 states have managed to win a February injunction putting a hold on the programs. But Arpaio's suit accomplished one thing worth noting: it provided a test in court of an old anti-immigrant favorite: the notion that giving some undocumented immigrants legal status -- or even a temporary deferral of deportation, as in DAPA and DACA -- creates a "magnet" drawing more unauthorized immigrants into the country in the hope of getting legal status themselves.[...]

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Immigration: Trump trumps the truth

This is not serious stuff. Surely Mr. Trump knows that his proposals are completely impractical. So why does he say these things?

By Emile Schepers, People's World
August 18, 2015

On Sunday, Donald Trump released, or unleashed, his "plan" to deal with immigration to the United States. It is hard to know where to start with this awful document, which is a compendium of unachievable, cruel proposals based on utterly false premises.

The United Nations recently released a study that shows that currently, there are 60 million refugees and displaced persons in the world. This number, which is rising rapidly, does not include economic migrants, though of course the two categories overlap. Huge numbers of refugees have gone to Europe fleeing instability in North Africa and the Middle East, with many drowning when their rickety boats founder. The war in Ukraine has created its own refugee crisis. In East Asia the problem of "boat people" has exploded.[...]

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Europe shouldn’t worry about migrants. It should worry about creeping fascism

The greatest threat to our “way of life” is not migration. It is that we will swallow the lie that some human lives matter less than others.

By Laurie Penny, New Statesman
August 14, 2015

There is an urban legend about boiling frogs, and it goes like this. If you put a frog in a pan of cold water and slowly, slowly turn up the heat, the frog will sit there quite calmly until it boils to death. Creeping cultural change is like that. It’s hard to spot when you’re living inside it. You can stay very still while the mood of a society becomes harder and meaner and uglier by stages, telling yourself that everything is going to be fine as all around you, the water begins to bubble.

This week I had coffee with a friend who has also just come back from a year away – teaching in Spain for her, studying in America for me. For both of us, coming home has been hard. There are some things I missed that simply aren’t there anymore. A particular shade of lipstick at Boots. My favourite zombie show on the BBC. And most of all, a sense of basic tolerance, however pretended-at, a feeling that there are some ways of talking in public about people who are not white, or not British, or in any way “other2, which are the province of far-right hate groups, the Duke of Edinburgh and no one else.

“Is it me,” said my friend, “Or is it just...okay to say things that are violently racist now? Has that always been okay, and I just didn’t notice till now?”[...]

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Judge’s Rebuke of Immigration Detention

Editorial, New York Times
August 5, 2015

Children do not belong in prison. The mass detention of families offends American values, a lesson this country learned long ago at Manzanar, Tule Lake, Heart Mountain and the other Japanese-American internment camps of World War II.

Learned, but apparently forgotten by the Obama administration, which has just been ordered by a federal judge to release several hundred women and children locked up in its immigration detention centers in southern Texas. The centers, in Dilley and Karnes City, were thrown up hastily last year to contain a surge of families and unaccompanied children from Central America, many desperately seeking refuge from gang and drug and political violence at home.

In a sharply critical ruling on July 24, Judge Dolly Gee of the Federal District Court in Los Angeles found that the administration was violating a 1997 court settlement of a lawsuit involving the care and treatment of children in immigration detention. That settlement, Flores v. Reno, requires the government to hold children in the least-restrictive settings appropriate to their ages and needs, in places licensed to care for children, and to release them without needless delay to their parents or other adult relatives whenever possible.[...]

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Bernie Sanders explodes a right-wing myth: ‘Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal’

[Press spokespeople for the Sanders campaign failed to respond to three emails asking for clarification of some of the senator's more questionable statements on immigration.--TPOI editors]

By Travis Gettys, The Raw Story
July 28, 2015

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said the immigration debate is framed exactly wrong.

Republicans vilify President Barack Obama for supposedly opening the border to ever-increasing multitudes of immigrants, legally or otherwise, but the Democratic presidential candidate said blame is cast in the wrong direction, reported Vox.

“Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal,” Sanders said in a wide-ranging interview with the website. “That’s a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States.”

Sanders frequently targets the libertarian industrialists Charles and David Koch as unhealthy influences on American democracy — but he’s not the first to notice their support for an open borders policy.

The conservative Breitbart and the white supremacist VDARE website each blasted the Koch brothers for sponsoring a “pro-amnesty Buzzfeed event” in 2013, and two writers for the Koch-sponsored Reason — former contributing editor David Weigel and current editor-in-chief Nick Gillespie — have always been supportive of immigration reform.

That’s at odds with what many Republicans believe, and Sanders told Vox that an open border would be disastrous to the American economy.

“It would make everybody in America poorer — you’re doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don’t think there’s any country in the world that believes in that,” Sanders said.[..]

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