Category Archives: Immigration

Dueling Studies on Immigration and Texas Jobs Numbers

In September, the Center for Immigration Studies published a report claiming that immigrants, both legal and illegal, got the lion’s share — 81 percent — of the new jobs created in Texas from 2007 to 2011. Yesterday Chuck DeVore, a former California Republican legislator who is now at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, published a piece challenging this assertion.

“Put simply, CIS used faulty methodology to make its main point,” DeVore wrote. It compared a net increase in jobs in Texas over a four-year period with a gross increase in employed newly arrived immigrants in Texas.” He also pointed to the job churn in the labor market that makes it difficult to establish who the Texas jobs went to.

In response, CIS research director Steven Camorta argues that they did a net-to-net comparison and still found immigrants gained disproportionately over the native-born. Camorta also wrote:

Here are the facts: Government data shows there were about 280,000 more people working in Texas in the second quarter of 2011 than in the same quarter of 2007. In the second quarter of 2011 there were 225,000 immigrants (legal and illegal) working in the state who indicated that they arrived in our country between the second quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2011. Thus the employment gains of newly arrived immigrants (225,000) equaled 81 percent of total employment growth (280,000). Over the same time period, the employment situation for native-born workers deteriorated significantly.

The DeVore-Camorta debate has taken on significance because of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential candidacy. Some conservative critics have argued that Perry’s immigration record undermines his record of presiding over substantial job growth in Texas.

via The American Spectator : The Spectacle Blog : Dueling Studies on Immigration and Texas Jobs Numbers.

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Crackdown on illegals begins here; 4 arrested – Decaturdaily.com

Four people charged during the weekend under Alabama’s new immigration law pleaded guilty Monday in Decatur Municipal Court.

The four would have been released after pleading to willful failure to procure alien registration documents, a Class C misdemeanor under Section 10 of the law, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials had placed holds on them earlier Monday.

Each agreed to a fine of $100, $196 in court costs, and a 30-day suspended sentence with 12 months of probation.

It was unclear whether anyone at the arraignment was aware ICE had already placed detainers on the defendants.

“I wasn’t aware of an ICE hold. I had no idea if they were going to be detained by ICE at the time,” said City Prosecutor Emily Prater. “… I rarely deal with ICE unless they contact me directly about a particular charge on somebody.”

Paula Soto Navarro, 29, expressed to the judge, through a translator, that she was eager to get the case over with and get out of jail.

Judge Bill Cook told Navarro there would be a mandatory call to federal authorities before anyone could be processed out of the jail.

“I don’t know what position the federal government will take,” Cook said.

Navarro and Rubi Alejandra Vazquez, 22, were arraigned during the same hearing. Alexis Oscar Lopez, 22, and Juan Zetino Lorenzo, 19, were arraigned earlier in the afternoon, according to attorney Christy Miller, who represented all four.

“I understand this is difficult,” Cook told Vazquez. “This is the law of the state of Alabama. The federal courts are reviewing this, but until such time as we have further instruction, this is the law.”

via Crackdown on illegals begins here; 4 arrested – Decaturdaily.com.

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Deportation policy changes prompt concerns of scams, immigration, amnesty, immigrants – News – YumaSun

The Obama administration’s plan to reprioritize the nation’s deportation efforts is prompting warnings to immigrants to avoid scammers who approach them with fraudulent offers to help them apply for amnesty.

In August, the Department of Homeland Security announced plans to review the cases of 300,000 illegal immigrants to focus deportation efforts on those aliens who are convicted felons. Those who have not committed serious crimes could be allowed to stay in the United States, and critics have said the refocus amounts to amnesty for large groups of immigrants.

But in an advertising campaign launched in Yuma County and around the nation, the American Immigration Lawyers Association is stating emphatically that the change in policy is not the same as amnesty.

The campaign is aimed at aliens it fears will pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in what they think are fees to scammers offering to help them apply for legal residency under an amnesty program.

Sharing those concerns is Fernando Quiroz, director of American Beginnings, a Yuma nonprofit organization accredited by the federal government to prepare applications for legal residency and naturalization.

“All the government said was that it is going to review about 300,000 deportation cases that are in the courts to see if they qualify to stay in the country. But it is not an amnesty, and that’s where there’s a risk of people being deceived.”

He said the most serious risk is posed by unscrupulous notary publics who misrepresent themselves as attorneys or as individuals accredited to help immigrants apply for legal residency.

“There are more of them all the time all around the county,” said Quiroz. “We estimate that 50 percent of the people who are helped by them in applying for immigration documents are rejected, and they are charged thousands of dollars for the paperwork.

“We are asking people not to let themselves be deceived, that they seek the advice of an attorney or an accredited immigration attorney, and that they do nothing based on that (DHS) announcement.”

In Arizona, it is a Class 6 felony for a nonaccredited attorney to prepare immigration applications or to provide immigration counseling, but Quiroz said victims of unscrupulous notaries rarely step forward to report them to the authorities.

Quiroz added that part of the problem stems from immigrants’ lack of knowledge about the difference between notaries in this country and Mexico.

“Here any person who is registered with the state can be a notary, while in Mexico to be a notary, you have to be an attorney. So people think that here all notaries are also attorneys.”

via Deportation policy changes prompt concerns of scams, immigration, amnesty, immigrants – News – YumaSun.

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Immigration law may dent Alabama economy

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama’s strict new immigration law may be backfiring. Intended to force illegal workers out of jobs, it is also driving away many construction workers, roofers and field hands here legally who do backbreaking jobs that Americans generally won’t.

The vacancies have created a void that will surely deal a blow to the state’s economy and could slow the rebuilding of Tuscaloosa and other tornado-damaged cities.

Employers believe they can carry on because of the dismal economy, but when things do turn around, they worry there won’t be anyone around to hire.

Many legal Hispanic workers are fleeing the state because their family and friends don’t have the proper papers and they fear they will be jailed.

Rick Pate, the owner of a commercial-landscaping company in Montgomery, lost two of his most experienced workers, who were in the country legally. He spent thousands of dollars training them to install irrigation systems at places like the Hyundai plant.

“They just feel like there is a negative atmosphere for them here. They don’t feel welcome. I don’t begrudge them. I’d feel nervous, too,” Pate said.

One of the bill’s authors, Republican Sen. Scott Beason, said he expected short-term problems, but he has received “thank you” calls from two people who replaced illegal immigrants who fled their jobs. Beason predicts that trickle will become a rush.

On Chandler Mountain in North Alabama, tomato farmer Lana Boatwright said only eight of the 48 Hispanic workers she needed for harvest showed up after the law took effect. Those who did were frightened.

“My husband and I take them to the grocery store at night and shop for them because they are afraid they will be arrested,” she said.

Farmer Chad Smith said his family farm stands to lose up to $150,000 because there are not enough workers to pick tomatoes spoiling in the fields.

“We will be lucky to be in business next year,” he said.

The law targets employers by forbidding drivers from stopping along a road to hire temporary workers. It also bars businesses from taking tax deductions for wages paid to illegal workers and makes it a crime for an illegal immigrant to solicit work. Cristian Gonzalez, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, is a stay-at-home mother of four who lives in a mobile home in suburban Birmingham with her husband. They sneaked across the border in 2009 and planned to save money and eventually return to Mexico.

“We’re afraid to go to Walmart. I’m afraid to walk the kids up there to get the bus. I am afraid to drive,” Gonzalez said.

Her husband worked as a brick mason and cook, but was recently unemployed. Now they have decided they probably will return to Mexico.

“We’re just trying to be here one more year, but with this law … ” she said, her voice trailing off as she shook her head.

In Tuscaloosa, there is still a lot of rebuilding to be done after Alabama’s killer tornadoes in April. Without the Hispanic workers to help out, it will take even longer for neighborhoods to be fixed up.

Blake Corder, the president of the Home Builders Association of Tuscaloosa, noted that the workers had left the area and he even lost a few renters in the past week.

Builders have complained they can’t find replacement workers, and delays in projects are expected. Once the economy picks up and construction returns to normal, the impact will increase, said Russell Davis, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Alabama.

“There is going to be a void. No question,” Davis said.

via Nation & World | Immigration law may dent Alabama economy | Seattle Times Newspaper.

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