On Saturday, April 6th, Simon Rosenberg, participated in a high level panel on immigration reform at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers 50th Annual Spring Conference. Joining him in a spirited debate were Tamar Jacoby of ImmigrationWorks and Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies.
At the event Simon noted that the demographic situation has changed drastically in Mexico over the past fifty years.
Average birth rates falling from over seven per family in 1960 to current levels of 2.4 per family, much closer to levels of the United States.
He also highlighted the economic growth rate of Mexico as a factor that will deter demand for migration to the United States going forward.
“Mexico is currently a majority middle class country and should be treated with the importance of one of the largest trading partners of the United States,” said Rosenberg.
He concluded by saying that the proposed legislation is likely to include: measures for increased immigration enforcement, a better legal immigration system and a path to legal immigration for undocumented workers currently in the United States.
For background on the work NDN/NPI has done on immigration be sure to read Simon’s recent Huffington Post Op-ed, “The Border is Safer, Our Immigration System is Better;” Kristian's just released op-ed "Want To Make The Border Safer? Pass Gun Violence Legislation." see our round-up of our most important work on these issues; and stay in touch with us via our website 21border.com.
Following the tragedy at Newtown Elementary this past December, gun violence has undergone increased scrutiny in America. As the Senate introduces legislation in an attempt to curb this violence, many have decried or blamed what they coin as America's "culture of violence," and castigate this culture as responsible for Newtown, and other recent mass shootings including Columbine and Aurora. Neglected in the current debate is the reality that in two decades, the rate of violent crime in America has been halved. In many cities across America, the rate has fallen by more than sixty or seventy percent. There are many explanations for this decline, and it is certainly multi-dimensional or multi-causal. However, it also deserves commendation and consideration in the current debate.
To help explain and understand this decline in crime rates, as well as the various cultural inputs that are often mentioned as the perpetrators of cultural violence, NDN will host a web briefing with Dr. John Roman and Dr. Douglas Gentile. Dr. Roman is currently a senior fellow at the Urban Institute where he studies crime policy and justice programs. He is additionally the executive director of the District of Columbia Crime Policy Institute. Dr. Gentile is currently a Psychology professor at Iowa State University, and is a world-renowned expert on the effect of video games and media. He has spoken at the White House and in many other policy-oriented briefings on this subject.
The decline of violent crime in America is multi-causal and complex, and requires analysis through multiple disciplines. This web video briefing is uniquely suited to help explain this decline, and what can be done in the future to further decrease violence in America.
We at NDN recently published this op-ed in the Hill titled "America the Violent? No More" that discusses the fall of the rate of violent crime in America.
This event has been temporarily postponed. We will revise this post when the event is rescheduled.
With the President announcing a May trip to Mexico, members of the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” taking a constructive trip to the border, and the labor and business communities agreeing on work visas, the Senate is closer than ever to releasing bi-partisan immigration legislation
It is no secret that the Senate immigration bill seeks to make improving safety in the US-Mexico border region one of its highest priorities, yet that is only half of the story.Our immigration system is better, the border is safer, mexico is growing and modernizing. To discuss these issues and much more NPI’s 21st Century Border Initiative has brought together a terrific group of experts:
Key Note Address: Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza, Mexican Ambassador to the United States
Respondents: Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director of the US Immigration Policy Program, Migration Policy Institute, and Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, The Council of Foreign Relations
The discussion will take place at NDN's event space, just a block from the White House, at 729 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC from 12:30-2:00 p.m. Please RSVP here, and we look forward to seeing you on April 15th. If you are unable to attend the event in person, we will also be streaming the event here.
This is just the latest in a series of events we are putting on ahead of the release of Congressional immigration legislation. Simon delivered his new presentation titled "Immigration Reform: How The Landscape Has Changed" This original work tells how immigration, the safety along the border, and the complex economic relationship between the U.S. and Mexico have improved since 2004. Check out the power point here.
Also be sure to check out this web video presentation which took a deep look at how Mexico is modernizing and growing. NPI Policy Director Kristian Ramos hosted this live web video briefing, “Understanding Modern Mexico,” with former Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan and noted Mexican economist and author, Jorge Suarez-Velez. To watch this video briefing please click here.
For background on the event be sure to read Simon’s recent Huffington Post Op-ed, “The Border is Safer, Our Immigration System is Better;” Kristian's just released op-ed "Want To Make The Border Safer? Pass Gun Violence Legislation." see our round-up of our most important work on these issues; and stay in touch with us via our website 21border.com.
The jobs report for March was underwhelming at best. Former Chairman of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisors Austan Goolsbee called it a 'punch to the gut.'
Most models predicted job growth between 160,000 - 180,000 for March. The just announced jobs number for March is only 88,000. Despite this low number, the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 7.6%.
So what happened? This is the first post-sequester jobs report. It appears that the sequester is having more of an impact on job creation than most assumed. Government job losses - a trend for the last few years - appear to be accelerating.
The coming week could be significant in breaking through the Congressional log jam. Congress returns from their two week recess. On Wednesday, President Obama will release his budget. According to a senior White House official, the President's budget will 'show how we can invest in the things we need to grow our economy, create jobs and strengthen the middle class while further reducing the deficit in a balanced way.'
Recent opinion research from Marist shows that Americans believe the top priority for the President and Congress should be job creation - favored over deficit reduction by a 2-1 margin.
What exactly can be done to create jobs? Investing in the jobs ecosystem would be a great first step - infrastructure, rebuilding our ancient electricity grid, and accelerating advanced manufacturing.
The real question: Is the March jobs report a blip or an ominous sign of things to come?
On Thursday, April 4th, Simon debated noted restrictionist Mark Krikorian on in an extended segment on Betty Liu's morning show on Bloomberg TV. He argued: "the politics of this are not impossible... I'm very optimistic we're going to get something done this year." He then continued to defend the progress on the border, explaining "Crime is way down along the entire US side of the border... There's been tremendous progress made... and to disregard that is just lying," largely crediting the Adminsitration for this success. It is a spirited segment, well worth a watch.
Your Daily Border Bulletin is up! Today's stories include:
Homeland Security Today: No furloughs for CBP. Continuing Resolution to Provide CBP Boosts to Maintain Staffing: President Barack Obama is set to sign a continuing resolution (HR 933) to fund the federal government for the rest of fiscal year 2013, ostensibly increasing funding for border security efforts for the year. The appropriations bill allocated $39.6 billion to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), detailing DHS spending while keeping the overall budget within the caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011 — at $984 billion overall for FY 2013. The White House has not yet announced if Obama will sign the consolidated appropriations bill Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
Politico – Business balks at immigration deal A deal between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and labor groups on visas for low-skilled workers was supposed to clear a path for an immigration reform package in the Senate. Instead, some business groups are grumbling about the deal and they’re gearing up for a lobbying battle on Capitol Hill — where powerful interests helped doom immigration reform over the same issue before.
New York Times Op-Ed: Priced Out of Citizenship by Rahm Emanuel and Rep. Luis V. Guttierez AS Congress debates creating a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, it must at the same time remove one of the biggest obstacles on that path: the cost of applying for citizenship. Citizenship and Immigration Services, part of the Department of Homeland Security, charges $680 (including a mandatory $85 “biometric fee” to cover fingerprinting) to apply for naturalization. This steep fee, which can amount to more than two weeks’ wages for some immigrants, is so high that it effectively denies legal permanent residents a chance to become citizens.
This article, by Kristian Ramos, ran in NBC Latino earlier this week. You can find that version here.
According to press reports, the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” immigration bill will make improving safety in the U.S.-Mexico border region one of its highest priorities. For those looking to increase the security of the border region, there will be another bill coming up in the Senate that can also do a great deal to make the border region safer: an anticipated bill to curb gun violence in the United States. The legislation contains provisions which will slow the illegal flow of guns from the U.S. to Mexico. These guns provide lethal, cheap and accessible firepower to violent organized crime organizations south of our border. Taking steps to prevent guns from illegally crossing into the Mexican side of the border will help reduce the violence there and make an increasingly safe region even safer.
Sadly, arming cartels is big business for thousands of gun shops in the U.S. A new study reports that on average about 250,000 guns are illegally smuggled from the U.S. to Mexico each year, netting U.S. gun sellers close to $127 million annually. Shockingly, these gun sales represent over 2 percent of all gun sales in the U.S. today. U.S. officials have long reported that the majority of weapons found at organized crime scenes can be traced back to the U.S. Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon repeatedly asked the U.S. Congress to slow the flow of guns to Mexico, saying it was his highest bi-lateral priority with the United States. It is hard to overstate how important slowing the illegal gun flow is to our Mexican neighbors, and more can and should be done.
The Senate gun violence bill will strengthen two areas of American law which can do a great deal to slow the flow of guns into Mexico: background checks and anti-trafficking and straw purchaser provisions. At an event the think tank NDN conducted with Rep. Adam Schiff and then-Mexican-Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, both pointed out that there simply aren’t sufficient penalties in current American law for knowingly selling a gun to a criminal or a person with criminal intent. The trade of guns into Mexico is fueled by these straw purchasers; Americans legally buying guns in the U.S. and then knowingly selling those guns to representatives of Mexican organized crime. Experienced prosecutors believe that making that intermediary act a much more serious crime will do a great deal to interrupt this illegal flow of guns. And then of course, a more universal background check system will ensure that these convicted straw purchasers have a much harder time ever plying their trade again.
A modest program by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) started in 2011 shows how powerful this approach can be. The Multiple Sales Reporting (MSR) program requires gun shops in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas to submit reports of multiple sales of semi-automatic weapons to unlicensed individuals within five consecutive business days. Since the program’s inception the ATF has opened more than 120 criminal investigations based on multiple sales reports. More than 25 cases have been recommended for prosecution, representing more than 100 defendants with various firearms-related charges. The provisions in the Senate gun violence bill would enhance the already existing work that ATF is doing and could very well make a real dent in the southbound flow of illegal guns without doing anything to infringe on the Second Amendment rights of U.S. gun owners.
In recent years, with unprecedented cooperation, more resources and a far better strategy, the U.S. and Mexico have made the U.S. side of the border far safer and significantly slowed the flow of undocumented immigrants into the U.S. while dramatically expanding trade and legal tourism with Mexico. Mexico also has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, and limiting the flow of guns from our country into theirs would do a great deal to bring further stability to the region.
Passing a common-sense gun violence bill with background checks, straw purchaser and anti-trafficking provisions would address the one area that remains a real black spot on the U.S. Mexico region: violence on the Mexican side of the border. Proponents of doing more for border security should be enthusiastic backers of these provisions of the Senate gun violence bill when it is introduced later this month, and work to secure its passage. The legislation will complement what appears to be a strong and thoughtful Senate bipartisan immigration bill which seeks to build upon the success already made in the region.
For more on our thinking about gun violence, be sure to read this Hill op-ed, "America The Violent? No More," by Simon Rosenberg and Chris Bowman.