Border Hawk News
Feb. 15, 2024
Mexico is our next-door neighbor but it seems many Americans are not well-informed about it
Wrong and outdated impressions of Mexico affect our policymakers as well. This is particularly true regarding border and immigration policy.
After all, we share a border of 1,954 miles with Mexico. That’s the border over which millions of Mexicans and non-Mexicans have invaded the U.S. over the past few years, facilitated by the Biden administration.
Consider a few relevant Mexico topics:
Wealth and Poverty
Americans think of Mexico as a poor country. And it is, compared to the United States.
But Mexico is wealthier and has a higher standard of living than most countries in Latin America and Africa.
There are, of course, many poor Mexicans. But doesn’t Mexico itself, with all its wealth, have a responsibility to help its own poor people?
It’s easy to fall into the “just let all the poor people in” trap when it comes to Mexico or any other Third World country. If we do that, though, we are enabling the ruling classes of these countries to dump their poor people on to the United States without solving the problems in their own countries.
We have heard about Russian meddling in recent years. I don’t doubt there is some of that.
But any meddling perpetrated by the Russians is dwarfed by the widespread interference carried on by the Mexican government and its agents in the United States.
Mexico operates 52 consulates on U.S. soil. It’s the biggest consular network in the world. Yet you hardly hear of it.
It’s as if Americans don’t see Mexico as a country with its own interests, which can be opposed to those of the United States.
Americans have a very romanticized view of immigration. When I resided in Mexico, I came to understand that Mexicans see immigration differently than Americans do.
Americans see immigration to our country as a great honor. Look at what a great country we are, everybody in the world wants to come here and become an American.
But not everybody in the world sees it that way.
Mexicans sometimes told me they wanted to emigrate to the United States. Not one of them, however, told me he wanted to go the U.S. for freedom or to become an American.
They come here for the money, for the benefits.
With the current prevalence of dual citizenship, promoted by our own State Department, it’s easy to be a citizen of both the U.S. and Mexico, which makes it easier to milk those benefits!
Mexican Racial Stratification
Many Americans are unaware of the racial stratification of Mexican society. There are exceptions, but the richer Mexicans are, the more likely they are to be white, and the poorer they are, the more likely they are to be Indian.
Most Mexicans are mestizos, with both European and Indian ancestors. Even the mestizo majority forms a spectrum, including mestizos who are mostly white with a little Indian at one end, and also those who are Indian with a little white at the other end.
You see Mexico’s racial stratification reflected among Mexican immigrants. Yet we’re not supposed to talk about it.
According to the polls I’ve seen, Mexicans are happier on average than Americans. That’s what they tell pollsters. So why bring them all here?
Conclusion… please see the rest of Alan’s column here.
Note: Allan Wall resided in Mexico for a decade and a half, where he worked as an English teacher in various schools and at various levels. Allan was able to meet and associate with Mexicans of various sectors and socioeconomic levels and to travel to different parts of the country.
While in Mexico, Allan married Lilia, a Mexican science teacher . Allan and Lilia now have two sons: David, (24) and Raphael (21).
While residing in Mexico, Allan was a member of the Texas Army National Guard, traveling to Texas for monthly drills. Allan spent most of 2005 on a tour of duty in Iraq, where he carried out various assignments.
Following the Iraq deployment, he returned to Mexico.
Several years later Allan and his family moved to the United States where they now reside.
FAIR Responds to the Wall Street Journal
Barely 24 hours after Senate negotiators released their “border security deal,” the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal published an editorial extolling its virtues. The piece, entitled “A Border Security Bill Worth Passing,” not only argues that the Senate should pass the legislation negotiated in secret by a handful of Senators, but that Republicans who vote against it will do so only because they want to preserve an effective election year issue.
Three days later, most Republicans did vote against the Senate border security deal. While it is impossible to know what was in the minds of each Republican who voted against it, we do know from the whirlwind of media coverage that many did so because they thought it was bad policy.
FAIR agrees: it is bad policy. Having spent 45 years focusing on nothing but immigration, we know President Biden could end the border crisis simply by enforcing existing immigration laws. But, because the President refuses to do so, we have urged Congress to act. Sadly, the package proposed by the Senate negotiators – and supported by the Wall Street Journal – is not only ineffective, it makes the situation worse.
To illustrate our point, we took the time to review and rebut the Wall Street Journal’s editorial. For those who appreciate a robust public dialogue, here is our response, presented as annotations to the original text.
WSJ: Do Republicans want to better secure the U.S. border, or do they want to keep what has become an open sore festering for another year as an election issue? That’s the choice presented to Congress this week with the rollout of the Senate’s bipartisan border security bill, and we’ll soon learn what the GOP really wants.
By any honest reckoning, this is the most restrictive migrant legislation in decades. Previous immigration talks have involved trading security measures for legalizing more immigration. There is little of the latter in this bill—nothing for nearly all of the Dreamers who were brought here illegally as children, no general pathway to citizenship or green cards for most illegal immigrants already in the U.S.
FAIR: The toughest legislation in decades is H.R. 2, which the House passed in May. That did not have any legalization provisions either. Senator Schumer refuses to take up that legislation, but Senate Republicans have already voted in favor of that bill as an amendment to the debt ceiling agreement. Senate Democrats, of course, voted it down.
- The argument that we should pass a bill because it does not have amnesty in it, regardless of whether the provisions on the bill are good for the future of our country, is short-sighted. The ultimate factor in whether Congress passes immigration legislation should be whether it serves the national interest. If it does not, Congress should reject it. That is not to say no compromises can ever be made. But once something is codified into law, it is harder to repeal it than it was to actually pass it. The time to ensure legislation is sound is before it becomes law.
- The Senate bill should be rejected because it will not fix the border crisis. Not only does it fail to stop asylum abuse, it encourages it. It does not end catch-and-release, but instead condones it and does nothing to stop the abuse of humanitarian parole.
- Just to note, there is one amnesty provision in here. The Senate deal does include a pathway to citizenship for tens of thousands of Afghan nationals who were illegally paroled into the United States. We strongly oppose this: (1) because they were illegally paroled into the U.S. and that action should not be ratified by subsequent legalization; (2) multiple government reports detail how these parolees were not adequately vetted; (3) the legislation allows the Secretary to waive crimes committed by these parolees when applying for legalization.
WSJ: This is almost entirely a border security bill, and its provisions include long-time GOP priorities that the party’s restrictionists could never have passed only a few months ago. Republicans demanded border measures last year as the price for passing military aid for Ukraine, Israel and Pacific allies. Democrats resisted at first but later agreed to negotiate and have made concessions that are infuriating the open-borders left. Will Republicans now abandon what they claimed to want?
FAIR: Republicans (and FAIR) demanded meaningful policy changes, not money. The Senate bill offers billions in appropriations, but it already did that when it was first introduced last year. Throwing money at the problem will not solve it, and this has been our argument all along.
- This bill does NOT contain meaningful policy changes, and in fact, does more damage. Meanwhile, billions of dollars are still given to CBP and ICE to process and release illegal aliens. For example, over $1.4 billion goes to FEMA’s Shelter and Services programs which funnels that money through nonprofits to provide illegal aliens social services.
WSJ: The bill’s details are worth describing because they’re crucial to reducing the current incentives for migrants to come to the U.S. border. Most important, the bill rewrites the standard and process for granting asylum in the U.S.
FAIR: The Senate bill doesn’t re-write the asylum process, it just creates a new one. It dramatically increases the incentive for asylum fraud, encouraging aliens to claim fear in order to be released and obtain a work permit faster. Further, more are likely to claim asylum if they know they may obtain it within days by an asylum officer rather than going before an immigration judge.
WSJ: Under current law and practice, migrants cross the border, turn themselves in to border patrol agents, and claim asylum. If they pass the deliberately low bar for claiming “credible fear” of persecution, they are given a date for a future asylum hearing and released into the U.S. The wait can take years, and many never show up. This is the policy that has become known as “catch and release.”
FAIR: The Senate bill actually codifies this practice—except that under the new process, the aliens must be released before they are ever interviewed by an officer.
- Section 3141 of the Senate bill creates a new asylum process called “Provisional Noncustodial Removal Proceedings.” This asylum procedure can apply to virtually anyone who crosses the southern border and claims asylum. The only real limitation is that aliens must be encountered within 14 days of crossing the border and within 100 miles of the border. These are the same requirements for applying expedited removal and generally covers most illegal border crossers.
- Aside from this time and distance requirement, the Secretary of Homeland Security has complete discretion to divert any alien – and every alien – who claims asylum into this new asylum process.
- Once placed into this process, the aliens “shall be released from custody.” DHS has no discretion. Thus, the new asylum process codifies a new catch-and-release process, or what I would call a “claim-and-release” policy.
- Regarding the years-long wait to conduct proceedings, the Senate bill does say that under this new process DHS must conduct initial protection screenings within 90 days after the alien is determined inadmissible. However, that language has a huge caveat: “to the maximum extent practicable.”
- In government-speak, that means there is no deadline. Given the volume of illegal aliens, the lack of facilities to undergo a screening (as required in the bill), the insufficient number of asylum officers, and the time and money it will take to hire and train enough asylum officers, this deadline will never be met. [It generally takes a full year for USCIS to hire and train an asylum officer and the fail rate is roughly 25%. USCIS will need hundreds of new asylum officers to pull this off.]
- The authors of the bill know this full-well, which is why they also provide that if DHS does not conduct the initial asylum screening within 90 days, the alien “shall be granted” work authorization. Mandatory release plus work permits equals a massive incentive for asylum abuse.
- So in reality, this provision codifies mandatory release, but the backlogs continue. It just moves the backlog from the immigration judges, who currently conduct asylum hearings for border crossers, to asylum officers. It turns asylum officers into judges, but the government attorneys are not allowed in to make their case.
WSJ: The new bill raises the bar for that initial border screening for credible fear to a “reasonable possibility” of persecution. Toughening the asylum standard was a priority of the Trump Administration, but a statutory change is needed to make it permanent. Migrants will have to show they couldn’t have moved elsewhere in their own country to avoid persecution before seeking refuge in the U.S.
FAIR: The Senate deal does increase the evidentiary standard for credible fear. However, the change in this bill is one grade up and still constitutes less than 50 percent likelihood of success of establishing a valid case on the merits. In contrast, H.R. 2 would have implemented a higher, “more likely than not” standard, which is equal to “preponderance of the evidence.” (See chart below published by USCIS). The change is an improvement, but it’s still a low bar… there is more from FAIR here.
- Rep. Jesse Petrea is a pro-enforcement legislator.
The below column was originally posted on the subscription news and opinion outlet James Magazine Online, Feb. 1, 2024
By state Rep. Jesse Petrea
At a time when the Biden administration refuses to enforce federal immigration law and has allowed an estimated 10 million illegal aliens into our country in three short years, it is imperative that states stand strong on this crisis. Last week, I introduced HB 1105, “The Georgia Criminal Alien Track and Report Act.” This bill will add real penalties to our longstanding Georgia laws against “sanctuary” policies. These laws are currently being ignored by certain Georgia sheriffs and other defiant officials sworn to honor and enforce state laws.
OCGA 42-4-14 defines “illegal alien” as “a person who is verified by the federal government to be present in the United States in violation of federal immigration law.” Further, it requires that when foreign nationals are confined in Georgia jails a reasonable effort shall be made to verify that a foreign national “has been lawfully admitted to the United States” or not. If the confined individual is an illegal alien, he must be reported to federal immigration authorities.
The problem is that this law, already in statute, has no penalty for noncompliance.
Unfortunately, several Georgia sheriffs are currently refusing to report to federal immigration authorities. Indeed, in 2021, Gwinnett County Sheriff Kebo Taylor stated at his swearing in ceremony, “…what we will not be doing is notifying ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) of anybody’s immigration status in the jail or any of our facilities.” He also explained that he would not honor ICE detainers for wanted illegals.
OCGA 36-80-23, defines sanctuary policy as “any regulation, rule, policy, or practice adopted by a local governing body which prohibits or restricts local officials or employees from communicating or cooperating with federal officials or law enforcement officers with regard to reporting immigration status information while such local official or employee is acting within the scope of his or her official duties.”
There are currently 1,579 criminal illegals in Georgia state prisons with ICE detainers alone. Many of these are for extremely violent crimes to include murder (182), child molestation (241), rape (179), aggravated child molestation (116), etc. This number does not include local jails.
The goal of HB 1105 is simple. It creates a criminal penalty, a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature, for sheriffs who refuse to follow our Georgia laws on sanctuary policies.
It is unconscionable to think that any county sheriff, a constitutional law enforcement officer, would think it appropriate to flagrantly disregard state law while holding others accountable for violation of law. HB 1105 would remedy this by ensuring that all sheriffs are following our current state laws regarding illegal aliens in Georgia jails.
State Rep. Jesse Petrea, R-Savannah, represents part of Chatham and Bryan counties and is a member of the state House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
We note the below list is not a complete picture of the number of “criminal illegals” in Georgia’s prisons. Illegal aliens for whom the Biden administration has not issued a detainer are not included here. Dependable estimates from experienced experts say the actual number of illegal aliens confined in the prison system could be as much as thirty percent higher.