GOP drafts legislative assault on illegal immigration

Congressional Republicans want more fencing, sensors, agents and drones to keep out all illegal migrants.

Immigration skirmishes seem to excite the Republican base, said Wayne Cornelius, a professor emeritus at UC San Diego who has spent more than 40 years studying cross-border migration.

“In the short-term, they calculate they can gain more votes with these hard-liner proposals,” he said, but some may have qualms about alienating Latinos.

Read Full Article»

Tougher Penalties For Undocumented Immigrants Caught At Sea (KPBS)

CCIS associate director David FitzGerald and director emeritus Wayne Cornelius were quoted recently in a KPBS radio story about undocumented immigrants crossing by sea.

Border researchers Wayne Cornelius and David Fitzgerald at the University of California-San Diego, who interviewed thousands of would-be migrants in Mexico, found that knowing someone who died crossing the border does not dissuade people from trying themselves. The researchers also discovered that tougher border enforcement does little to deter migrants.

Read full article »

Q&A: UCSD immigration expert Wayne Cornelius on why the Dream Act went down

MULTI-AMERICAN

The defeat in the Senate last Saturday of the Dream Act, which would have granted conditional legal status to qualifying undocumented college students, graduates and military hopefuls who arrived here before age 16, was just the most recent action on a proposal that has been circulating for nearly a decade. And each time it has come up for a vote, UC San Diego’s Wayne Cornelius has followed it, as he has every other federal immigration proposal that has come and gone since then.

Cornelius is one of the nation’s leading scholars on immigration and U.S.-Mexico border issues, a political scientist and director emeritus of UCSD’s Center for Comparative Immigration Studies. He is now associate director of the university’s Center of Expertise on Migration and Health.

After years of observing the politics of immigration, Cornelius has his own take on why the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act failed this time around, in spite of unprecedented student activism and a streamlining of the bill that allowed it to clear the House. He shares his opinion on the Obama administration’s strategy of pushing tough enforcement as a means to win support for broader immigration reform, a strategy he believes is doomed to fail.

View Full Interview

Fake CVs reveal discrimination against Muslims in French job market

Meet Khadija Diouf. She is 24 years old, she’s single, she lives in France and she has spent the last three years working in secretarial and accounting jobs. Her surname tells us that she’s descended from Senegalese immigrants, and her first name strongly suggests that she’s Muslim. Hundreds of employers across France will have seen Khadija’s name and none of them would have known the most important thing about her: she doesn’t exist.

Khadija is one of three fake women invented by Claire Adida from the University of California, San Diego, and CCIS Research Associate. They are all part of a clever experiment that reveals how the French job market is rife with discrimination against Muslims. Adida found that in at least two sectors, a Muslim candidate is around 2.5 times less likely to get a job interview than a Christian one, with all else being equal. These results were backed up by a large survey, which showed that among second-generation Senegalese immigrants, Muslim households earn far less than Christian equivalents.

Read Full Article »

Whose jobs are done by illegal immigrants?

The role of illegal immigrants has become even more critical because Americans are, on average, much more educated now than half a century ago. The economy needs immigrants to fill the low-skill jobs, some economists say.

In an ideal world, the United States would let in enough foreign workers to do the jobs unwanted by most U.S.-born workers, said Gordon Hanson, an economics professor at the University of California at San Diego and CCIS Research Associate, who grew up in Fresno.

But America’s restrictive immigration system doesn’t allow that. So illegal immigrants fill in the gaps by being the first to enter the country when there are jobs and the first to leave when jobs dry up.
Read Full Article»

Are taxpayers stuck paying the bill for illegal immigrants?

Illegal immigrants still help the economy because their cheap labor drives down the cost of products and services, an issue The Bee will examine Thursday. But those savings are canceled by the cost to government services, at least on a national level, some economists say.

In the Central Valley, their positive and negative impacts are amplified because of our dependence on them. Businesses benefit in a big way while taxpayers cover the costs.

“Residents have to pick up the tab, and employers get away with paying those workers less,” said Gordon Hanson, an economics professor at the University of California at San Diego and CCIS Research Associate.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Even though many are paid under the table for housecleaning, yard work and day labor, most work for companies that deduct taxes from their pay. Illegal immigrants also pay sales taxes and property taxes.

Several research organizations estimate that about 55 percent of illegal immigrants are paid on the books, with taxes withheld. The Center for Comparative Immigration Studies found that 75 percent of illegal immigrants in 2006 were taxed.

View Full Article »