Tucker Carlson and Gaetz endorse Replacement Theory

Tucker Carlson endorsed replacement theory on Sept. 23:

What Joe Biden is doing now will change this country forever….An unrelenting stream of immigration. But why? Well, Joe Biden just said it, to change the racial mix of the country. That’s the reason, to reduce the political power of people whose ancestors lived here, and dramatically increase the proportion of Americans newly-arrived from the third world….

In political terms, this policy is called “the great replacement,” the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from far-away countries. They brag about it all the time, but if you dare to say it’s happening they will scream at you with maximum hysteria.

Salon reports on Gaetz:

In 2019, the theory inspired a mass shooting in El Paso, as well as the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand that same year, Insider noted. During the “Unite the Right Rally” in 2017, hundreds of white supremacist protesters gathered in Charlottsville, Virgnia chanting slogans like “You will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us,” alluding to fears around America’s changing ethnic landscape.

On Saturday, Gaetz appeared to formally back this theory, tweeting that Carlson “is CORRECT about Replacement Theory as he explains what is happening to America.”

Gaetz also added that the ADL – a Jewish non-governmental organization dedicated to combating anti-Semitism and led by Jonathan Greenblatt, a former Obama administration official – is a “a racist organization.”

Big decline in green cards FY 2021 vs. FY 2019

Fiscal Year 2021 ends today, September 30, 2021. In the years just before the pandemic, a little over one million green cards were issued each year. The total figure for FY 2021 will be much less, perhaps 800,000. If the immigration provisions in the budget reconciliation bill pass, that will add many millions of green cards to be awarded over the next few years.

Here is a summary of the three largest categories. I compare with the last pre-pandemic year, FY 2019.

Family-related green cards: In FY 2019 about 650,000 family-related green cards were issued, and 748,000 were eventually admitted. Because of the Trump administration’s COVID-19 immigrant visa ban and the close of U.S. embassies and consulates abroad last spring, about 122,000 family-based visas for FY 2020 went unused. About 50% of all existing green card holders are immediate family members and about 20% are family relatives; they total about 9.4 million of all 13.4 million existing green card holders

Employment-related green cards: The overall numerical limit for permanent employment-based immigrants is 140,000 per year. In FY 2019, 138,000 such visas were issued. This number includes the immigrants plus their eligible spouses and minor unmarried children, meaning the actual number of employment-based immigrants is less than 140,000 each year. About 12% of all existing green card holders are here due to employment; they are about 1.6 million.

The unused 122,000 family-related visas for FY 2020 have been added to the cap on employment-based immigration could have allowed the Biden administration to reduce the backlog of employment-based immigrant visa applications. But it seems likely that the administration will waste this opportunity by letting 100,000 employment-based visa numbers go unused.

Refugees: In FT 2019, 146,000 persons were admitted on refugee status. For FY 2021, the Trump administration set a cap of 15,000. The Biden administration initially continued the cap, but was pressured to revise it upwards to 62,500, and to 125,000 in FT 2022.  About 12% of all existing green card holders are refugees; they number about 1.6 million.

Sources: American Immigration Council here and here. Government figures for FY 2019 and other recent years here. Data on distribution of all green card holders are as of 2016, here

Registry approach to immigration law changes

A registry approach has been one of several ways to legalize the status of unauthorized persons. It is one of four ways Congress faces this year to normalize the status of a large number of persons.  If Congress deems that anyone in the U.S. before January 1, 2010 is now legally here, that will affect 6.8 million or about 60% of the roughly 11 million unauthorized persons in the U.S. And (per the table below) 60% of the 6.8 million reside in five states: CA, TX, FL, NY and IL. As I have posted before, The percentage of undocumented immigrants that has lived in the United States for 15 years or more increased from 25% to 43% between 2010 and 2019. According to American Progress:

Registry is among the oldest legalization provisions in U.S. immigration law and one with a long and bipartisan history of recognizing long-established residents of the United States. In 1929, Congress passed the Registry Act, allowing certain noncitizens who were long-term residents of the United States to register for lawful permanent resident status.

Immigrants—both undocumented immigrants and immigrants with other temporary statuses—could qualify for the registry provisions if they met the registry’s arrival date, had lived in the United States continuously since then, and were of “good moral character.” That original date was June 3, 1921.

Since then, Congress has updated the registry by advancing the arrival date multiple times in a bipartisan fashion. The most recent update to these provisions came in 1986—the last time the United States saw meaningful immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship—advancing the arrival date to cover anyone who had been in the country since before January 1, 1972.

Given that the average undocumented immigrant has lived in the country for 16 years, updating the registry date to January 1, 2010—which could be as simple as just swapping out “1972” for “2010” in 8 U.S.C. 1259—would open the door for an estimated 6.8 million undocumented immigrants to become green card holders.

Arizonans want legalization

From The Arizona Mirror:

Majorities of Trump supporters and self-described conservatives backed a pathway to citizenship. Among Trump voters, 61% support a pathway to citizenship for dreamers, 58% for farmworkers and 50% for essential workers who are undocumented. Those polled who identified as conservatives support citizenship by 66% for dreamers, 59% for farmworkers and 56% for essential workers. Overall, nearly 4 out of 5 Arizona voters supported this pathway.

Democratic pollster Matt Barreto, a principal at BSP Research, said Arizona voters have changed significantly from the late 2000s, when anti-immigrant sentiment was at its height in the state. Barreto said the poll showed a majority of Arizona voters don’t want to see the removal of undocumented immigrants and they understand that undocumented immigrants contribute to the economy.

“They can relate to the immigrants they work with in their communities,” he said.

“Simply put, Arizona voters are tired of inaction and are ready for reforms they believe will benefit small businesses and the economy as a whole,” the pollsters concluded in their analysis of the results.

The poll found over 60% of Arizona voters say immigrant laws and regulations are not working.

National Immigration Forum and Noorani’s Notes

I read the daily weekday newsletter of the National Immigration Forum, Noorani’s Notes which you can subscribe to here. The Notes give me insights into what is happening around the United States in immigration.

“Founded in 1982, the National Immigration Forum advocates for the value of immigrants and immigration to our nation. In service to this mission, the Forum promotes responsible federal immigration policies, addressing today’s economic and national security needs while honoring the ideals of our Founding Fathers, who created America as a land of opportunity.”

Half of Americans under 16 are nonwhite

In 2019, for the first time, more than half of the nation’s population under age 16 identified as a racial or ethnic minority. Among this group, Latino or Hispanic and Black residents together comprise nearly 40% of the population. Given the greater projected growth of all nonwhite racial minority groups compared to whites—along with their younger age structure—the racial diversity of the nation that was already forecasted to flow upward from the younger to older age groups looks to be accelerating.

In 2019, the white median age was 43.7, compared to 29.8 for Latinos or Hispanics, 34.6 for Black residents, 37.5 for Asian Americans, and 20.9 for persons identifying as two or more races.

By William Frey at the Brookings Institution

Washington Post editorial on Del Rio

Many of the failings in the U.S. immigration system are reflected in the mess in Del Rio: the absence of any workable channel by which migrants could apply for asylum south of the border; the massive backlog and shortage of judges in migration courts, which means asylum applicants, once admitted, may wait two or three years for their cases to be heard; and the misalignment of high domestic demand for cheap immigrant labor with an inadequate legal supply of it.

From here.

Del Rio described and explained

“Mexico’s decision [triggering the migration across the Rio Grande to Del Rio, Texas] presents a clear diplomatic affront to the Biden administration, transferring a significant threat management and humanitarian challenge to America, not to mention a potential political problem for the Biden administration.” – Todd Bensman, Ctr for Immigration Studies.

A long posting about the situation in Del Rio. First, a DHS statement on steps it is taking: 400 personnel are being sent to the Del Rio sector. The Del Rio Port of Entry has temporarily closed. Moving migrants to other processing locations “in order to ensure that irregular migrants are swiftly taken into custody, processed, and removed from the United States consistent with our laws and policy.” DHS will secure additional transportation to accelerate the pace and increase the capacity of removal flights to Haiti and other destinations. The Administration is working with source and transit countries in the region to accept individuals who previously resided in those countries. “DHS is undertaking urgent humanitarian actions with other relevant federal, state, and local partners to reduce crowding and improve conditions for migrants on U.S. soil.”

Next, an 2020 article reports that a large share of Haitian migrants at the border started off in South America to reach the Mexican – American border and are part of a long term Haitian diaspora. They may have been residing in South America for years, leaving Haiti in 2010, and settling precariously in Brazil or other South American countries, until and their economic conditions worsened.

Next, Todd Bensman’s report dated Sept 18 published by the Center for Immigration Studies:
on Sunday, September 12, the Mexican government effectively sent a mass of migrants it had bottled up for months in its southern states up to the American border. This move, which appears to have been done under the cover of Mexico’s independence week of celebration known as El Grito, essentially foisted a humanitarian problem onto the Americans in a single week.

A quick background is necessary to understand what the migrants were saying. In short, when it was newly installed in January, the Biden administration began to pressure Mexico to maintain and use its National Guard and immigration bureaucracy to slow the flow of expected caravans and of tens of thousands of Haitians and other migrants coming in from all over the world. This was a fairly quiet diplomatic campaign, and it coincided with billions in promised U.S. aid and other benefits such as covid vaccines. It was a different approach from the Trump style of threatening to damage the Mexican economy with tariffs unless the leadership slowed U.S.-bound illegal immigration coming through Guatemala.

In response to Biden’s softer approach with gifts, Mexico apparently responded with a lighter version of a Trump-era tactic, which was to require that migrants entering from Guatemala be held in the southern state of Chiapas, in the border city of Tapachula, until they applied for and obtained temporary legal permits. National Guard roadblocks reinforced the policy.

Another Haitian said he and his family were forced to wait in Tapachula for months, applying for what he termed “passports” to the rest of Mexico. He said every day he would go to immigration to check on the status of his application.

Then, all of a sudden one day last week when he went to check, “They [Mexican immigration officials in Tapachula] said, ‘okay, you can cross for three days because of the days of festivities.’”
Why Del Rio and not other, more trammeled parts of the Texas-Mexico border?

The reason, according to the migrants CIS interviewed, the Mexican cartels in this city do not involve themselves in human smuggling as they do in other parts of northern Mexico. Migrants who get to Acuna are free to cross themselves over the river without paying a tax or smuggling fee to ruthless Mexican cartels, with no fear of violent retribution for doing so on their own.

These accounts square with prior CIS reporting from the area in the spring of 2021, which found that immigrants who were increasingly arriving in Del Rio had already probed other areas from California to Texas but that fear and price-sensitivity led them to Del Rio. Word obviously has spread.

The migrants CIS spoke to all said they had heard from friends, relatives, and acquaintances on social media and by word of mouth that they didn’t have to pay anything to cross the Rio Grande here.
Some may be deported. But most likely will spend a day or two until they get temporary resident permits and a date to appear at an American immigration office in the city of their choice. Then under current Biden policies for families and unaccompanied minors, a great many will be released to travel anywhere in America, boarding yet more buses to those cities and towns.

Parliamentarian nixes immigration changes in reconciliation bill

The Parliamentarian of the Senate said this afternoon that the immigration provisions are not permitted in the reconciliation bill. The Washington Post has exerpted from her decision, which appears to me to say that immigration reform is so overwhelming in its impact of affected people that the budgetary implications are trivial. The decision in full is here.

Senate vote on a 2007 reform package is detailed here, in which the reform bill was defeated 53 – 46.

In 2013, the Senate voted 68 – 32 for immigration reform; the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, refused to bring it up. In 2017 there was a flurry of Senate activity which went nowhere.

In 2001, with the Senate split 50-50, Republican Majority Leader Trent Lott fired the parliamentarian who ruled against a provision in an reconciliation bill.

Farmworker provisions in the reconciliation bill

I have not seen the farmworker provisions in the reconciliation bill but I understand they are similar to the farmworker provision in the Agricultural Workers Adjustment Act of 2019  (also here) and also in Biden’s U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021. The 2019 was passed by the House with 35 Republicans voting for it. (The bill had 24 Dem and 20 Rep sponsors.) Bills to normalize the legal status of farmworkers have been proposed since at least the 2000s.

One approach to farm labor is to create a large, long term guest worker category. California farmers have opposed that option.

Here is the pork industry behind the farmworker provisions in the reconciliation bill, and here is another industry advocate.

The U.S. Citizenship Act provisions for farmworkers in summarized here:

The farmworker provision of the bill is the largest worker legalization program and is outlined under Title I Sec. 1105 of the bill: The Agricultural Workers Adjustment Act. The act, which echoes portions of the bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act that passed the House in 2019, would allow agricultural workers who have performed agricultural labor or services for at least 2,300 work hours (or 400 work days) in the five-year period before filing to get a green card. The act would also provide that the spouse and children of an eligible noncitizen agricultural worker may also adjust to permanent residence status, provided they also meet eligibility criteria. In addition, while another provision of the bill reduces the residence requirement for naturalization from five years to three years for legal permanent residents who, for at least three years before becoming a permanent resident, were both lawfully present and eligible for employment authorization, this would likely not apply to undocumented agricultural workers. However, they would be eligible to apply for citizenship after the normal five-year period if they pass additional background checks and demonstrate knowledge of English and U.S. civics.