Most Drug Smugglers Arrested by Border Patrol are U.S. Citizens

SAN DIEGO — Immigration advocates say a new report showing the vast majority of people caught smuggling drugs into the country are U.S. citizens starkly contrasts with public perception.

The study by the Center for Investigative Reporting shows three out of four people caught with drugs by the U.S. Border Patrol are U.S. citizens. Looked at another way, four out of five drug busts by the agency involve at least one American.

“Immigrants are the scapegoats,” said Andrea

Watch the news report.

Watch the news report.

Guerrero of Alliance San Diego, a group that focuses on border issues and immigration.

“The public perception is that drug runners are immigrants, but this report shows us very clearly that drug runners are American. American citizens,” she said.

Drop the I-Word: Debunking the Racist “Anchor Baby” Myth

by Mónica Novoa

Like every iteration of the i-word, the skillfully packaged and highly destructive “anchor baby” meme has helped anti-immigrant proponents dodge facts and promote harmful ideas under the guise that they are protecting the Constitution. While the fervor has recently picked up around denying birthright citizenship to children of undocumented immigrants, the racially charged and baseless arguments have been around for a few years. Here, for instance, is a hateful rant preserved forever in the Congressional Record by Iowa Rep. Steve King from March 5th, 2007:

If this becomes amnesty for 12 million or 15 million or for 20 million or more, and they bring in their extended families at the tune of maybe as many as 273 for every anchor baby that comes into the United States, we won’t just have 12 or 15 or 20 or more million who have no respect and, in fact, contempt for the rule of law; we will have 100 or more million that will have contempt for the rule of law.

That then would utterly destroy the rule of law in America. We would go back to a Third World kind of country where the rule of law doesn’t work down South in places like Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia. It is the rule of who has the power and who has the guns.

Immigration report: No rush across border to give birth

By Alan Gomez, USA TODAY

Republican lawmakers in Congress and in more than a dozen state legislatures are trying to alter the interpretation of the 14th Amendment so that the children of illegal immigrants born in the USA are no longer granted citizenship.

When announcing a plan for state legislation, a group led by Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe claimed “hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens are crossing U.S. borders to give birth and exploit their child” to obtain citizenship.

Facts about immigration belie common perceptions

During the renewed debate over the DREAM Act in the lame-duck Congress, we mostly got the same Democratic platitudes and Republican demagoguery we have come to expect on the immigration issue. Once again, members of Congress elected to put the politics of immigration ahead of solving this divisive issue and opted to endlessly repeat their talking points and buzzwords — as if those were going to change someone’s mind about the issue at this point.

Since our elected officials (and their cable TV surrogates) are not discussing the facts about immigration, I thought I would take this space to share some of them with you. I think that you will find some of this information surprising and to have some obvious policy implications.

The illegal immigrant population is declining. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates that the total number of foreign nationals living in the U.S. without a valid visa topped out in 2007 at about 11.7 million. Since then, DHS believes that the population has been gradually declining and by January 2009 had fallen by about a million to 10.8 million. Other sources concur with these estimates. The hawkish Center for Immigration Studies estimates that the illegal immigrant population reached 12.5 million in 2007 but agreed with DHS’s estimate of 10.8 million in the first quarter of 2009. Most authorities agree that the number has continued to decline since 2009 because of tougher border and employment enforcement and the poor job market, especially in the construction sector.

Special Report: Immigrants and Crime in California

Barry Krisberg, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley Law School
With the assistance of Veronica Smith
Berkeley Center on Criminal Justice

Download the Full Report Here

In a recent May 2010 survey, 9% of Californians identified immigration as the most important issue facing the state today.2 In an identical poll conducted two months prior only 3% of Californians identified immigration as the top priority.3 What explains the 6% jump over the course of a few weeks? Notably, Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer signed its restrictive law targeting noncitizens, SB 1070, on April 23, 2010 in the time period between the two surveys. The Arizona law prompted a public debate over immigration enforcement and the proper role of state and local governments that continues today. One of the basic underlying assumptions of the Arizona law is that there is a nexus between immigration and crime.4 The rationale is that noncitizens are responsible for increasing crime and therefore states need to step in and enforce immigration laws.