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Immigration Daily January 27, 2003
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Editor's Comments

The Gallup Organization released a poll on the State of the Union with intriguing information on public attitudes to immigration.

The Gallup Poll says when asked about "the level of immigration into the country today," Americans responded as follows:
Total Satisfied         Total Dissatisfied         "Net Satisfied"
27%                           65%                           -38%
In other words, according to this poll, 65% of Americans are dissatisfied with the level of immigration into the country today.

When compared with Gallup surveys in previous years, the "Net Satisifed" numbers, i.e. (% Satisfied) - (% Dissatisfied) are as follows:
2003         2002         2001
-38%         -37%         -23%
In other words, Americans are getting progressively more dissatisfied with the level of immigration, according to the Gallup Polls.

At first glance, these numbers can be, and no doubt will be, taken to mean that Americans think there is too much immigration, and that immigration numbers need to be reduced. Think again.

Lets look at the fine print in the Gallup Organization's survey. Buried in a footnote for this poll is this statement: " ... areas marked by a partisan gulf in attitudes (with Republicans registering higher satisfaction than Democrats) include the economy, energy, access to affordable healthcare, the perceived state of race relations, the quality of medical care, poverty and homelessness, and immigration." Lets read the previous statement closely: Republicans are more satisfied than Democrats about [the level of] immigration. If Republicans are more satisifed than Democrats about the level of immigration today, and if Americans as a whole are Dissatisfied about the level of immigration, Democrats must be dissatisfied with the level of immigration. In recent years, Democratic voters have generally wanted higher levels of immigration than Republican voters (speaking generally, and by-and-large). The logical conclusion is that at least according to this Gallup survey, Americans today want the level of immigration to be raised.

We realize that this conclusion may sound counter-intuitive, but we are not making up either the numbers or the fine print. All we have done is put two-and-two together as above.

There is even more reason for cheer in this Gallup Poll - it says "Attitudes toward immigration differ by age: 40% of 18- to 29-year-olds are satisfied with the level of immigration today, but this drops to about 25% among the middle-aged groups, and to 18% among those 65 and older." In other words, younger Americans are more supportive of our current levels of immigration, older Americans apparently are not. It is not entirely clear to us whether this means that older Americans want more immigration or less, but presumably, most will argue that older Americans want lower immigration. This makes sense. Younger Americans realize that the Social Security system towards which their taxes are being withheld will probably not exist when they retire unless immigration continues.

The prelude to the State of the Union will no doubt feature spin-meisters trying to paint this Gallup Poll as pointing to the need for reduced levels of immigration. Don't believe it folks. Look at the poll, read the fine print, and decide for yourself.


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Featured Article

The H-1B Series: Part 2 of 6 (Encore)
George N. Lester IV offers Part 2 of his comprehensive look of the H-1B program.

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Immigration Law News

INS Changes Fees
The INS promulgaged an interim final rule adjusting "the immigration benefit application fee schedule."

Sens. Corzine And Clinton Support Preventing INS From Deporting 9/11 Victims
During the continued fiscal appropriations debate, Sen. Corzine (D - NJ) said, "I rise today to introduce an amendment along with Sen. Clinton (D - NY) that would prevent the INS from deporting the spouses of children of the victims of the September 11 attacks. This simple legislation would allow some 300 people who are still grieving the loss of their loved ones to remain in the US to sort out their affairs."

INS To Allow Life Act Individuals To Adjust To Permanent Resident Status
INS Commissioner Michael Garcia will hold a news conference to announce a public outreach campaign to encourage eligible individuals to file for Life Legalization benefits that could adjust their status to that of permanent resident.

National Institute Of Justice On Integrated Border Enforcement Team
The National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center of the National Institute of Justice released a TechBeat issue featuring a piece on the first Integrated Border Enforcement Team to combat smuggling and illegal immigration on the US/Canadian border.

Secretary Powell Talks With Mexican Foreign Secretary On Migration
The Department Of State Spokesman Boucher said, "... when Secretary [Powell] talked to [Mexican] Foreign Secretary Derbez, they talked about migration and security issues."

Petition For Review Found To Be Without Merit
In Wawa v. INS, No. 02-1636 (4th Cir. Jan. 24, 2003), the court said that Petitioner's petition for review an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals was without merit.

Almendarez-Torres Forecloses Apprendi Argument
In US v. Sanchez-Garcia, No. 02-40827 (5th Cir. Jan. 24, 2003), the court found that previous circuit court precedent did not apply when using a sentencing factor to enhance a sentence for being found in the US after a prior deportation even though the sentencing factor was not an element of the offense.

US Navy Too Needs Undocumented Labor
The Jacksonville Times-Union of Jacksonville, FL reports "Immigration officials have discovered dozens of illegal aliens working on the USS John F. Kennedy as the aircraft carrier undergoes renovations at Mayport Naval Station."

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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:
I've put together the attached table on Special Registration. It serves as a handy one-page reference for me, as I get several calls a day about the subject and don't have things memorized. I offer it for publication.

Hans Christian Linnartz

Dear Editor:
Regarding the statements made by Richard E. Baer, I must agree with his statements on allowing married partners the opportunity to be together instead of having to wait for 10 years of paperwork and red tape. I would also like to point out to the many reading ILW.COM that the US immigration policies do not apply to anyone that is of the same sex. Because marriage between same-sex partners does not fit the bill of the Religious right, and apparently the US government, these families are torn apart at a much greater rate than those of male/female unions. Regardless of the views of any person, when one is torn from those they love - because of outdated policy and small minds in government - it causes great strain on a great many people. If indeed the new immigration system were to include a points system like the Canadian model, they could also include something that resembles fairness and dignity for gays and lesbians as the Canadian system does. Although this is a liberal policy, many same-sex couples have managed to immigrate to Canada and have been re-united by a country that is more accepting and willing to take into consideration that not all families have a "Mom and Dad". Canada and 9 other countries have managed to make it into the new millenium, now the world waits for the US to catch up and acknowledge that same-sex couples are just as valid as opposite sex couples.

G. A. Wilson

Dear Editor:
Dr. Baer suggests that "matching a willing worker with a willing employer" should solely be at the discretion of these parties. This would be fine, if legal residency and eventually citizenship weren't part of the package that the employer can use to negotiate with. We've already seen with the H1-B program that even skilled employees will work for less than Americans will, and will tolerate conditions approaching slavery in their search for a legal foothold in the US. Imagine what unskilled and uneducated workers, who have far more competition for jobs, will trade away in their search for citizenship here. Some have even ended up in real slavery, as prostitutes or domestics. Until countries such as Mexico have wages on a par with those offered in the US, and provide social services such as a public education to all their citizens, any system allowing the free importation of labor will use the benefits US citizens pay for as part of the "compensation package" offered to prospective workers--to the detriment of US citizens.

Ali Alexander

Dear Editor:
I believe many of the opponents of the Mexican government's action are simply unaware of the function of a consular office. They are in the US to protect their nationals. Using a matricula for more than identification is dicey, but the Mexican government is as entitled to issue them as they are to issue passports -- or, for that matter, as US consulates are entitles to issue FS-558 identity cards or passports.

Benjamin Lowe
Jacksonville, FL

Dear Editor:
I am glad that I logged on today to see a member of FAIR post something on ILW.COM. This gives me the opportunity to ask a few questions about some of FAIRís viewpoints and activities. I would like to know if anyone can elaborate on FAIRís connection to the Social Contract Press. Or perhaps shed light on Rick Oltmanís work with the Council of Conservative Citizens. Maybe someone can explain Garrett Hardinís comment that aiding starving African countries is counter-productive as it would only encourage population growth. These seem to be activities and ideas that are more like those of a "hate-group" than activities of a legitimate organization. That is, unless you think hate groups are legitimate organizations. Personally, I do not. So, before immigration practitioners who spend many hours a day learning what must be one of the most complicated areas of the law, point out the flaws in FAIRís arguments, think twice. Are these really the people you want to help?

Chicago, IL

An Important disclaimer! The information provided on this page is not legal advice. Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt by you does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers must not act upon any information without first seeking advice from a qualified attorney. Send Correspondence and articles to Letters and articles may be edited and may be published and otherwise used in any medium. Opinions expressed in letters and articles do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

Editorial Advisory Board
Marc Ellis, Gary Endelman

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