Hispanic Programs

Crime is Down on the Border

Despite much hyperventilating from both sides of the political spectrum regarding violence coming from Mexico into the United States, crime is mostly down along the southern border. 

There are a number of stories which cite a drop in crime along the border.

The Los Angeles Times has a great article here, with excerpts below:

But in an equally eye-popping report, another Times staffer wrote recently that “by many measures, Arizona has become safer since illegal immigrants began pouring into the state in the 1990s.” Staff writer Nicholas Riccardi added:

Crime has dropped all across the country since then, but the decrease has been as fast or faster in Arizona. The rate of property crimes in the state, for example, has plummeted 43% since 1995, compared with 30% nationwide.

Then on Friday's front page (remember front pages?) Riccardi reports that crime has dropped along the entire U.S.-Mexico border. This isn’t to say crime doesn’t exist. But in many places it has hopscotched the border area itself, as Riccardi notes:

But a review of crime statistics for the largest communities and interviews with law enforcement officials from Texas to California show that, despite a widespread perception that the violence in Mexico has spread north, U.S. border communities are fairly secure. Some have even become safer.

"It's not spilling over to our side of the border," said William Lansdowne, police chief in San Diego, where violent crime has dropped 8% in the last three years. "We police it really well."

Which all goes to show that, as is so often the case with immigration and politics and crime, perception is a powerful thing.


The Atlanta Journal Constitution has some great quotes up on crime overall being down in Ariazon, full text here, quoted text below.

As the story notes, the drop includes Arizona:

In Phoenix, police spokesman Trent Crump said, “Despite all the hype, in every single reportable crime category, we’re significantly down.” Mr. Crump said Phoenix’s most recent data for 2010 indicated still lower crime. For the first quarter of 2010, violent crime was down 17% overall in the city, while homicides were down 38% and robberies 27%, compared with the same period in 2009.

Arizona’s major cities all registered declines. A perceived rise in crime is one reason often cited by proponents of a new law intended to crack down on illegal immigration. The number of kidnappings reported in Phoenix, which hit 368 in 2008, was also down, though police officials didn’t have exact figures.

And then there is this Washington Post story which says that crime may actually increase under the Arizona law.

Arizona's new crackdown on illegal immigration will increase crime in U.S. cities, not reduce it, by driving a wedge between police and immigrant communities, police chiefs from several of the state's and the nation's largest cities said Wednesday.

Arizona's law will intimidate crime victims and witnesses who are illegal immigrants and divert police from investigating more serious crimes, chiefs from Los Angeles, Houston and Philadelphia said before meeting with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to discuss the measure. Counterparts from Phoenix, Tucson, San Jose and Montgomery County, among others, joined them.


NDN'er Alicia Menendez on Financial Reform and the Economics of Immigration Reform

One more before the long weekend...

Alicia Menendez, NDN super star, was recently on the Dylan Ratigan show on MSNBC, talking up financial regulation reform with a dash of of the economics of immigration at the end. 

Alicia makes several excellent points in the segment, in particular I would like to highlight this factoid:

        Comprehensive immigration reform will save 180 billion dollars over just a few years

Britain's New Government Scraps National ID Card

There has been considerable talk about the possibility of utilizing a National ID card as a component of comprehensive immigration reform.

Something to consider: In Britain the coalition government has announced that they are going to revoke a law which requires all British citizens to use a National ID card.

The Los Angeles Times has a great article up here, as usual I have pulled out some highlights.

British government officials weigh in on the move:

"ID cards will be gone in a 100 days," Home Secretary Theresa May said at a news conference.

May said the government would save more than $1 billion in the next decade by canceling the cards and the corresponding national registry. The cards contain biometric data, photographs and fingerprints.

"But this isn't just about saving money," May said, "It's also about principle.... We did believe there was a liberties argument for not enforcing ID cards on the British people."

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats issued a statement supporting the bill: "Cancelling the scheme and abolishing the National Identity Register is a major step in dismantling the surveillance state. But ID cards are just the tip of the iceberg. Today marks the start of a series of radical reforms to restore hard-won British freedoms."


A little background information on Britains National ID card:

Identity cards were first proposed in 2002 by the then-ruling Labor Party as part of efforts to fight fraud, crime and illegal immigration. The plan drew heavy criticism from civil liberties groups as an intrusion into the privacy of citizens. It also came under fire for its initial costs, which were estimated at more than $6 billion.

After eight years of parliamentary debates, consultations, political arguments and public protests, ID cards became obligatory for foreign nationals in 2008 and optional for British citizens at an individual cost of $45 in November when it was introduced in Manchester.


With the British government completely scrapping their National ID card, lets hope that their American counterparts are monitoring the situation closely before making any decisions on similar programs here.


New NPI Report - The Impact of Immigration and Immigration Reform on the Wages of American Workers

Yesterday the New Policy Institute (NPI) released a new report on the impact of immigration and comprehensive immigration reform on the wages of the American worker. The report written by NPI Fellow and Former Under Secretary of Commerce Dr. Robert J. Shapiro, accomplishes five important things.

1. It gives an accurate portrait of America's Immigrant Population.

2. It dispels many misconceptions regarding undocumented immigrants.

3. It provides economic analysis on the impact of immigration on wages.

4. It examines the wage impact of reforms to provide a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants.

5. It also examines the other economic effects of immigration

What is most impressive about this report is its comprehensiveness. Quite simply there is alot of data to wade into. Which is why NPI has also included an appendices which highlights some of the important data within the report.  Finally to get another view on the paper, Dr. Shapiro has written a blog post, The Economics of Immigration Are Not What You Think, discussing what he considers the most important aspects of the paper. 

All are must reads, the links to all three, are below:

The Impact of Immigration and Immigration Reform on the Wages of American Workers, May 27, 2010, Robert Shapiro and Jiwon Vellucci: NPI's new report provides a much needed look at the intersection of America's economy and immigration system.

Appendices to the Impact of Immigration Report, May 27,2010, Robert Shapiro and Jiwon Velluci: Provides a visual representation of the data presented in the NPI report The Impact of Immigration and Immigration Reform on the Wages of American Workers.

The Economics of Immigration Are Not What You Think, May 27,2010, Robert Shapiro: Blog post which highlights important data points to look for in the larger NPI report.

From The White House: Declaration on 21st Century Border Management

In anticipation of our Monday, May 24th event featuring Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan and U.S. Commissioner Customs and Border Protection Alan Bersin which will be webcast live starting at 12:15 p.m., you may want to read the following Memorandum of Agreement between the United States and Mexico, which was signed today, May 20th, by President Obama and President Calderon. 

The event will be taking a deeper look at this idea of a "21st Century Border."  We hope you will join us live on the web for this important conversation about this exciting new initiative.

Declaration by The Government Of The United States Of America and The Government Of The United Mexican States Concerning Twenty-First Century Border Management

The Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Mexican States, hereinafter referred to collectively as the “Participants,”

Acknowledging their shared interest in creating a border that promotes their economic competitiveness and enhances their security through the secure, efficient, rapid, and lawful movement of goods and people;

Expressing a desire to fundamentally restructure the way in which the shared border between Mexico and the United States is managed to enhance public safety, welcome lawful visitors, encourage trade, strengthen cultural ties, and reduce the cost of doing business in North America;

Recognizing the importance of securing and facilitating the lawful flow of goods, services, and people between their countries;

Understanding that joint and collaborative administration of their common border is critical to transforming management of the border to enhance security and efficiency;

Recognizing the potential value, both in terms of enhancing security and reducing congestion, of shifting certain screening and inspection activities, traditionally performed at the immediate border, to geographic departure and transit zones away from the border and of considering other non-traditional border crossing concepts;

Appreciating that enhancing the flow of information needed for effective shared border management requires professionalism in law enforcement, strong institutional capacity, and effective interagency coordination in and between both countries;

Recognizing that transnational criminal organizations threaten the economies and security of both the United States and Mexico and that both countries share responsibility for the conditions that give rise to these criminal organizations and that allow them to endure, as well as shared responsibility for remedying those conditions;

Understanding that law enforcement coordination between the Participants is essential to preventing crime and to disrupting and dismantling transnational criminal organizations;

Sharing an interest in ensuring a legal, orderly system for managing migration between their countries and developing coordinated procedures for managing repatriation and ensuring that it remains safe and humane;

Hereby express their commitment to strengthen cooperation in:

  • Enhancing economic competitiveness by expediting lawful trade, while preventing the transit of illegal merchandise between their two countries,
  • Facilitating lawful travel in a manner that also prevents the illegal movement of people between their two countries,
  • Sharing information that enhances secure flows of goods and people, and
  • Disrupting and dismantling transnational criminal organizations and punishing their members and supporters.


In light of these mutual understandings, the Participants expect to work in a collaborative and coordinated fashion across a wide-range of border-related activities, including:

  • Programs focused on reducing congestion and delays in cross-border traffic entering both Mexico and the United States, building a foundation for efficient border and expanded economic growth, improving community safety and quality of life, and reducing unhealthy emissions from idling vehicles;
  • The creation, expansion, or mutual recognition of “trusted shipper” programs such as FAST and C-TPAT and “trusted traveler” programs such as SENTRI and Global Entry, allowing enforcement authorities to concentrate their efforts where they are most needed to stop illicit border flows; 
  • Pre-screening, pre-clearance, and pre-inspection of people, goods, and products, particularly where such activities increase the Participants’ abilities to intercept dangerous individuals, hazardous goods, and contraband before they cause harm and to alleviate congestion at ports of entry;
  • The enhancement of the repatriation processes through the exchange of information and close bilateral cooperation, with special attention to vulnerable people such as unaccompanied minors, pregnant women, and the sick and elderly.
  • The improvement of bilateral mechanisms to share information related to aviation security and border security.
  • The development of complementary risk management strategies aimed at separating high-risk and low-risk shipments, as well as high-risk and low-risk individuals, including specific procedures for repatriation of individuals with criminal records;
  • The standardized collection and single entry of trade data, so that importers and exporters are asked for a given piece of information only once, reducing the administrative burden of compliance and therefore the cost of trade;
  • Improved bi-national coordination in planning, financing, permitting, designing, building, and operating ports of entry, as well as optimal staffing of ports of entry;
  • Promotion of a closer partnership with the private sector, the trade community, and international partners to secure supply chains;
  • Development of shared priorities for public investments in ports of entry along the border, planned in coordination with the infrastructure feeding into them, as well as funding mechanisms for such projects, including private sector participation;
  • Joint assessments of threats, development of a common understanding of the operating environment, and joint identification of geographic areas of focus for law enforcement operations;
  • Augmentation of their collection, analysis, and sharing of information from interdictions, investigations, and prosecutions to disrupt “criminal flows” and enhance public safety; and
  • Bringing together border communities and relevant stakeholders as partners in efforts to, protect public safety by integrating law enforcement efforts with other government functions including social assistance, community outreach, and responsiveness to citizen concerns.


To coordinate and facilitate work aimed at furthering the goals noted in this Declaration, the Participants intend to establish a Twenty-First Century Border Bilateral Executive Steering Committee (ESC) composed of representatives from the appropriate federal government departments and offices.  For the United States, this includes representatives from the Departments of State, Homeland Security, Justice, Transportation, Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, Defense, and the Office of the United State Trade Representative, and for Mexico includes representatives from the Secretariats of Foreign Relations, Interior, Finance and Public Credit, Economy, Public Security, Communications and Transportation, Agriculture, and the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic.  Each Participant should integrate its own section of the ESC section into the relevant interagency processes to achieve better bilateral coordination.

It is expected that the inaugural meeting of the ESC, to be convened no later than August 19, 2010, will develop a mutually accepted action plan to realize the goals of this Declaration and identify working groups, drawing, wheere appropriate, upon existing bilateral, border-related groups, to implement the action plan.


This Declaration represents an understanding between the Participants and does not constitute a legally binding agreement.  The Participants understand that activities in support of the goals mentioned in this Declaration are to be carried out in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Participants’ countries, and applicable international agreements to which the Participants’ countries are parties.  The Participants are expected to bear their own costs in engaging in any such activities.  All such activities are subject to the availability of funds and human resources. 


Political Ramificatons of SB1070

Michael Gerson's op-ed in the Washington Post today is chock full of all sorts of goodness. I have pulled out some highlights below, the full op-ed can be seen here:

He starts with this:

Has the Republican Party become, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently charged, the "anti-immigrant party"?

Then moves on to this:

.....it would be absurd to deny that the Republican ideological coalition includes elements that are anti-immigrant -- those who believe that Hispanics, particularly Mexicans, are a threat to American culture and identity. When Arizona Republican Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth calls for a moratorium on legal immigration from Mexico, when then-Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) refers to Miami as a "Third World country," when state Rep. Russell Pearce (R), one of the authors of the Arizona immigration law, says Mexicans' and Central Americans' "way of doing business" is different, Latinos can reasonably assume that they are unwelcome in certain Republican circles.

Then this which, I personally quite enjoyed:

Sen. John McCain, a long-term supporter of humane, comprehensive immigration reform, has run a commercial feeding fears of "drug and human smuggling, home invasions, murder" by illegal immigrants.

Never mind that the level of illegal immigration is down in Arizona or that skyrocketing crime rates along the border are a myth. McCain's tag line -- "Complete the danged fence" -- will rank as one of the most humiliating capitulations in modern political history.

Then makes this excellent point:

Republicans have now sent three clear signals to Hispanic voters:

California's Proposition 187, which was passed in 1994 and attempted to deny illegal immigrants health care and public education before being struck down in court; the immigration debate of 2006, dominated by strident Republican opponents of reform; and now the Arizona immigration law. According to a 2008 study by the Pew Hispanic Center, 49 percent of Hispanics said that Democrats had more concern for people of their background; 7 percent believed this was true of Republicans. Since the Arizona controversy, this gap can only have grown. In a matter of months, Hispanic voters in Arizona have gone from being among the most pro-GOP in the nation to being among the most hostile.

And ends with some good demographic information which  really contextualizes the political ramifications of SB1070. Also it allows me to work in a shameless plug for the New Politics Institute report Hispanics Rising 2010 which also highlights the Republican parties move further and further to the right on the immigration issue:

Immigration issues are emotional and complex. But this must be recognized for what it is: political suicide. Consider that Hispanics make up 40 percent of the K-12 students in Arizona, 44 percent in Texas, 47 percent in California, 54 percent in New Mexico. Whatever temporary gains Republicans might make feeding resentment of this demographic shift, the party identified with that resentment will eventually be voted into singularity. In a matter of decades, the Republican Party could cease to be a national party.

Finally, in case you missed it, Sen. John McCain is a big old flip flopper on immigration. The two videos below show  Sen. McCain's before and after transformation on the issue. Wait till the end of the first video to see him speak eloquently on immigration:

If you believe that the only answer to our immigration problems is to build a bigger wall then i would argue that you are not truly aware of the conditions of the human heart.

Fast forward to now and we see in the second video, that his once principled stance has been reduced to this trite soundbite:

Complete the danged fence.

Another Ridiculous Arizona Law:

Not to be outdone by the Arizona state Senate, the state House recently passed HB-2281, legislation that outlaws public and charter schools from teaching ethnic studies programs. Text from HB-2281 is below; the full legislation can be read here:

15-112.  Prohibited Courses and Classes: Enforcement







Reaction to the law is below:

The Nation: Sees this as another reason to boycott the D-Backs, and move the MLB All Star game out of Arizona.

The Los Angeles Times: Has a piece up that gives a fairly detailed outline of what is in the legislation.

KGUN 9 ABC AZ Affiliate: Condemnation of SB-1070 and HB-2281 has gone international. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a statement expressing serious concern over laws recently enacted by Arizona.

Fox 11 AZ Affiliate: Has video up of students from the Tucson Unified School Districts protesting the enactment of HB-2281.

Arizona Republic: Despite being openly critical of the ethnic studies programs taught in Tucson the Arizona Republic has an op-ed up condemning HB-2281.

The Washington Post: Is not a fan of the legislation, and does a good job of outlining the  political ramifications of the passage of the bill.


Immigration Roundup


Hello all, I am just starting up here at NDN, I do research on immigration and Hispanic demographics. I am a native Arizonan and am passionate about all things immigration related.  Please check back here for news and commentary on immigration and Hispanic demographics.

Immigration Roundup:

University of Arizona Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy: Arizona currently facing a $3 billion state budget deficit, stands to lose an addional $29 billion in economic output.

AP: Phoenix alone is projected to lose close to $ 90 million on SB1070.

ABC KGUN-9: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials note that with or without SB1070 giving local law enforcement officials the authority to arrest immigrants because they are in the country illegally, Undocumented Immigrants have always had to be turned over to federal authorities.

Arizona Republic: While the Arizona State Legislature has focused on allowing local law enforcement officials to arrest undocumented immigrants, the ability to track immigration visa overstays continues to be a failure.  As many as 5.5 million immigrants enter the country legally but do not leave after their visa's expire.

New York Times: A little background information on Russell Pearce, the Arizona state Senator who sponsored SB1070.

AP: And some information on the man who actually wrote the legislation, Washington D.C. Republican Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR) lobbyist Kris Kobach.

Seattle Times: Senator Robert Menendez has called on Major League Baseball players to boycott the 2011 All Star Game as long as it is held in Arizona.

CBS News: Calfornia Governor Arnold Schwarzenager has a sense of humor.

Opposing Views: Chuck D, of the rap group Public Enemy on SB1070. He is not a fan.

Los Angeles Times: The Obama administration continues to tip toe around legislative action on immigration reform...

Derechos Humanos: And in Arizona, as the summer heat begins to pick up, 86 immigrants have died in the desert as they attempt to enter the country.

McCain on Immigration

McCain continues to be pulled further and further right of where he once was on immigration.  This ad speaks for itself.

NDN's Alicia Menendez on Arizona's Immigration Law-Fox News' "America's Newsroom"

Alicia appeared on Fox News yesterday discussing Arizona's Immigration law, and what it could mean for the rest of the country.  Watch this clip below if you missed it.

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