” … Just as in 2006, some Democrats are clamoring for immigration reforms, including easing pathways to citizenship, while Republicans are insisting that more security on the border must come first. Policy experts, meanwhile, say the outcome for immigration changes this year will likely be the same as back then: nothing. “I don’t see productive discussions on immigration this year,” said John Skrentny, director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego. … ”
” … A research team led by Wayne Cornelius, Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego, has found that while unauthorized migrants from Mexico may be caught on their first attempt at crossing the border, they have an almost 100 percent chance of eventual success—particularly if they enlist the services of a coyote, or people smuggler. Moreover, as border enforcement is tightened between ports of entry along the southwest border, more migrants are being smuggled through ports of entry (sealed in a compartment within a vehicle, or as a passenger with false or borrowed documents).
Research by Cornelius and his team have also found that undocumented migration from Mexico has diminished mainly because there are fewer jobs available in the United States. …”
UCSD professor emeritus Wayne Cornelius recently presented his survey results, facts and views regarding illegal immigration in the United States at a colloquium for the UCSD Chancellor’s Associates.
He observed that enforcement of existing immigration laws is extremely difficult, if not impossible, due to the conflicting interests of employers. That being the case, the resolution of the problem has to start with congressional action.
Cornelius’ topic for the associates event was “Toward a Smarter and More Just U.S. Immigration Policy: What Mexican Migrants Can Tell Us.”
CCIS Director Emeritus Wayne Cornelius told the Arizona Daily Star:
Calls for the military, which date to the Mexican Revolution, have become politically motivated, knee-jerk overreactions to incidents, said Wayne Cornelius, director emeritus of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at University of California-San Diego. It would be best to leave border work to the Border Patrol, he said.
“They are the trained professionals in immigration law enforcement, including tracking and apprehending people-smugglers,” Cornelius wrote in an e-mail. “We should leave it to the professionals.”
Former CCIS guest scholar Adam Sawyer has published an article titled In Mexico, Mother’s Education and Remittances Matter in School Outcomes for the Migration Policy Institute. In the article, Sawyer uses data collected as part of the Mexican Migration Field Research Program in 2007-2008.
CCIS Associate Director David FitzGerald was interviewed recently by the Council on Foreign Relations. Speaking about “The Immigration Economy” FitzGerald said:
“The overall influence of unauthorized immigration on the U.S. economy is quite small, though it is signficant in sectors like agriculture, construction, and the hospitality sector, which rely on low-skilled labor. While unauthorized migration has a slighly depressive effect on the wages of unskilled native workers, only 8 percent of the total hours worked in the U.S. in 2007 were performed by people with less than a high school education. In fact, unauthorized immigrant labor is generally complementary to native-born labor. Unemployed auto workers in Michigan are not migrating to California to pick fruit.”
UCLA sociology Ph.D. student Thomas Soehl, who gave a talked entitled “Inheriting the homeland?: Intergenerational transmission of cross-border ties in migrant families” at the March 12 University of California International Migration Conference, was quoted in La Opinión for an article about second generation immigrants.
Read full article » (Spanish)
CCIS Director Emeritus Wayne Cornelius was quoted recently in the Arizona Daily Star in an article about clandestine crossings by sea:
At least one expert predicted this development. In the fall of 2006 when I spoke to him, Wayne Cornelius, head of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California at San Diego, forecasted the shift to the seas.
Cornelius’ quote appears at the end of this excerpt below from a story published in the Arizona Daily Star on Sept. 27, 2006. The story ran on the final day of a multi-day series about the U.S. government’s efforts to seal the U.S.-Mexico border. (Sorry but I can’t post the full link to the story because it is temporarily down)
“The expansive waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean flank the nearly 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexican border.
Forty-three legal ports of entry line the southern border, where 5,049 U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers face the grueling task of finding illegal entrants hidden in the sea of 960,000 people who cross daily.
The Canadian border is twice as long, but patrolled by one-tenth as many U.S. Border Patrol agents.
The areas serve as sidelines in the match of vigor and wit that pits illegal entrants against agents. But if the federal government spends the billions of dollars and overcomes the bevy of logistical obstacles to sealing the border, all three would become important corridors, experts say.
As long as U.S. businesses offer better jobs than those available at home, illegal entrants will keep finding new ways into the country, a Star investigation found.
“The costs of a 2,000-mile seal of the land border are prohibitively high,” says Wayne Cornelius, head of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California at San Diego. “And the punchline is that it wouldn’t be effective because it would just divert crossings to the maritime border and the northern border, unless the jobs disappear within the U.S.”
CCIS associate director David FitzGerald was interviewed by Al Jazeera for a piece on the declining number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States.
“…The deaths of two immigrants after an overcrowded smuggling vessel capsized off Torrey Pines State Beach on Jan. 16 highlighted the area’s status as a maritime corridor for the illicit traffic of people and drugs. The two victims, a man from Mexico and a woman from Guatemala, are the first known maritime smuggling fatalities in San Diego County.
‘It was totally predictable,’ said Wayne Cornelius, director emeritus of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California San Diego. ‘People always underestimate the determination of the migrants themselves, and the creativity of the professional people smugglers.’”