Illegal Immigration (US)
Illegal immigration (also referred to unauthorized or undocumented immigrants) refers to the migration of people across national borders in a way that violates the immigration laws of the destined country.
- 1 Immigration & Trade
- 2 Privatized: Secure Border Initiative Network (SBInet)
- 3 Double-Layered Fencing along U.S.-Mexico Border
- 4 Polling the Electorate on Illegal Immigration
- 5 Immigration Bureau
- 6 Related SourceWatch Resources
- 7 External links
Immigration & Trade
The argument over the impacts of U.S. immigration and the freedom or restriction thereof -- often framed as a matter of immigration vs. overconsumption, or the consequences of U.S. population vs. global population growing beyond any measure of sustainability -- generally results in an apparent dynamic that closely resembles the outline of race and class warfare, a fight for scarce resources engaged in by groups battling each other “with such vehemence and violence as to obscure their common position as sharers of leftovers in a very wealthy country.” 1
The primary difficulty has been the focus of the debate on U.S. immigration policy rather than on the nature of immigration itself. Developments of the last 20 years have made it clear that the issue of global migration is contained within a larger issue. The current model of the global industrial economy is “promoted and enforced by international institutions and agreements such as The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas,” and these same policies and institutions have resulted in lost local production for consumption, increased “instability of food supplies, hunger for millions of people, and devastating consequences for farmers, communities, and nature.” 2
The emerging consensus:
- that “At the turn of the millennium, we are witnessing intense new worldwide migration and refugee flows...largely structured by the intensification of globalization;” 3
- that “structural adjustment programs [of the International Monetary Fund], imposed as a condition of international loans, have undermined social programs and supports - contributing to out-migration flows from many countries;” 4
- that “The privileging of rich migrants over poor ones romanticizes globalization as corporate progress and ignores the immense human suffering it entails for the majority of the world's population...[and that] these waves of internal migration also result in the movement of peoples across national borders in order to survive” 5 -- findings affirmed by the “Alternatives for the Americas” statement issued at the Peoples' Summit of the Americas 6
- have underscored this point.
In 2001, the UN World Conference Against Racism condemned the “actions of transnational corporations, international development and financial institutions...[that] heighten inequality among and within states, increase pressure to migrate, and impede efforts to fight racism and racial discrimination" 7. Increasingly, the role of “free trade”-styled corporate globalization has been identified as causative in the increase in global migration.
1Howard Zinn, “A People’s History of the United States, 1492-Present,” Harper Perennial, 1995.
2Debi Barker, International Forum on Globalization, “Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture,” Island Press, 2002.
3Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco, “Global shifts: U.S. immigration and the cultural impact of demographic change,” Conference Series [Proceedings], 2001.
4Pat Taran, “Redefining Migration in the 21st Century,” Network News, Winter 2000.
5“Past and Present Acts of Exclusion: Immigration and Globalization,” M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, April 2001
6“International migration has increased over the last number of decades, accelerated by the process of globalization.... However, despite the demands of numerous nongovernmental organizations, officials have refused to address this issue in the negotiation of trade and investment liberalization agreements. Such agreements deal only with the free movement of capital, goods, and their agents, but exclude the mobility of workers. The forces driving people to migrate are many. After political violence, the leading reason is the problem of unemployment.”
— Peoples' Summit of the Americas, Santiago, Chile, April 15-18, 1998.
7Globalization Caucus for the NGO Forum of the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Sept. 2001.
- Marilyn Berlin Snell, "A Tale of Two Immigrants. One wants to build bridges, the other walls. What's the best way to deal with a growing world population?" Sierra Magazine/Sierra Club, November/December 2004.
- Andrew Christie, "The Debate You're Not Hearing: Immigration and Trade," Common Dreams, April 8, 2006.
- John Buell, "The Immigrants are Coming, The Immigrants are Coming," Common Dreams, April 18, 2006.
- Octavio Ruiz, "Immigrant Surge is Tied to the Failure of NAFTA," Minneapolis Star Tribune (Common Dreams), April 22, 2006.
- Roger Bybee and Carolyn Winter, "Immigration Flood Unleashed by NAFTA's Disastrous Impact on Mexican Economy," Common Dreams, April 25, 2006.
- Molly Ivins, "Mexico, NAFTA and the GOP," Boulder Daily Camera (Common Dreams), May 5, 2006.
- Jeff Faux, "South of the border: The impact of Mexico's economic woes," San Francisco Chronicle, May 18, 2006.
- George Lakoff and Sam Ferguson, "The Framing of Immigration," Common Dreams, May 20, 2006.
- David Bacon, "The Other Face of Globalization," truthout, November 21, 2006.
Privatized: Secure Border Initiative Network (SBInet)
On September 30, 2006, the Department of Homeland Security will award the Secure Border Initiative Network (SBInet), an "indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract, estimated at $2.5 billion, for the Secure Border Initiative Network (SBInet) ... to build a seamless web of new surveillance technology and sensors with real time communications systems for Customs and Border Protection (CBP)," Joseph Richey wrote July 15, 2006, for CorpWatch. Included in the plan are "funds for additional personnel, vehicles and physical infrastructure for fencing, and virtual fencing for U.S. borders."
"At each checkpoint along the path to citizenship or deportation—from desert wilderness to urban labyrinth—private contractors are expected to be hired to detect, apprehend, vet, detain, process, and potentially incarcerate or deport people seeking economic and human rights asylum in the U.S.," Richey wrote. "Five major military contractors are competing to design a system to tackle up to two million undocumented immigrants a year in the United States."
Boeing, Ericsson Inc., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon "are working on proposals that focus on high technology rather than high fences, but ignoring some of the fundamental problems of immigration," Richey wrote.
For detailed information on the prospective contractors, see the SBINEt Large Business Directory (June 28, 2006 (112-page pdf)).
- Haney Dan, "SBInet Team Build up!" Washington Network Group, May 26, 2006.
- Robert Weisman, "Raytheon to submit bid for border-security contract," Boston Globe, May 30, 2006.
- Alice Lipowicz, "SBI Net bids move forward," Washington Technology, May 31, 2006.
- Alice Lipowicz, "Boeing fields SBINet team," Washington Technology, June 1, 2006.
- Alice Lipowicz, "Ericsson joins race for SBINet," Washington Technology, June 2, 2006.
- Alice Lipowicz, "Teams vie for SBINet," Washington Technology, June 12, 2006.
- Alice Lipowicz, "Ericsson SBI-Net vision stresses analytics," Washington Technology, June 23, 2006.
- Joseph Richey, "Border for Sale. Privatization of immigration control means a bonanza for connected firms," CorpWatch, July 5, 2006.
- Judd Legum, "Rep. King Designs Electrified Fence For Southern Border: 'We Do This With Livestock All The Time'," Think Progress, July 13, 2006.
Double-Layered Fencing along U.S.-Mexico Border
On September 14, 2006, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill "calling for construction of lengthy sections of double-layered fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico." The legislation goes to the U.S. Senate "that appears inclined to approve it and other security measures," Nicole Gaouette reported in the September 15, 2006, Los Angeles Times.
"The bill—which includes 700 miles of double-layered fencing—mandates the construction of fencing around Tecate and Calexico, and in heavily populated areas of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The nearly 2,000-mile border now has about 75 miles of fencing.
"The bill requires the Department of Homeland Security to prevent 'all unlawful entries into the United States' within 18 months after the bill is enacted, urges the department to allow Border Patrol agents to use greater force against smuggler vehicles and orders a study on security at the northern border with Canada.
"House leaders said they were working with the Senate to determine how to put the measures before President Bush as quickly as possible. House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Congress should finish considering all of them by the end of September," Gaouette wrote.
- "House GOP Seeks Stand-Alone Border Fence Bill," Associated Press (Fox News), September 13, 2006.
- Nicole Gaouette, "House approves bill to put fence on border. Senate on Board Despite Absence of Reform Measures," Los Angeles Times (Mercury News), September 15, 2006.
- William Neikirk, "Republicans rally around border wall," Chicago Tribune, September 15, 2006.
- Alice Lipowicz, "Congress picks up homeland security work," Washington Technology, September 15, 2006.
- Sheldon Alberts, "U.S. lawmakers order agency to study fencing along Canada-U.S. border," CanWest News Service (Canada.com), September 15, 2006.
- "Republicans aim to fence off America," American Visa Bureau (UK), September 15, 2006.
- Lou Dobbs, "Border fence will leave Texas-size hole," CNN, October 25, 2006.
- David Stout, "Bush, unsatisfied, signs bill for fence at border," New York Times/International Herald Tribune, October 27, 2006. re Secure Fence Act of 2006
- Editorial: "Fences and ladders," The Register-Guard, October 27, 2006.
- "Mexico anger over US border fence," BBC, October 27, 2006.
- "Mexico's Calderon: Border Fence a 'Grave Mistake'," NewsMax, October 27, 2006.
Polling the Electorate on Illegal Immigration
A TIME poll of 1,004 adults, aged 18 and older from across America and conducted March 29-30, 2006, revealed that:
- 56% disapprove of President George W. Bush's handling of illegal immigration
- in a head to head question, 72% of agreed that allowing "allow illegal immigrants to get temporary work visas" most closely matched their views; only 25% agreed with the alternative statement that "make illegal immigration a crime and not allow anyone who entered the country illegaly to work or stay in the U.S." most closely matched their views;
- 68% say illegal immigration is "an extremely/very serious problem in the United States"
- 82% "believe the U.S. is not doing enough to secure its borders"
- 56% "favor building a security fence along the U.S.-Mexican border"
- 71% "support major penalties for employers who hire illegals"
Also see Bush administration approval ratings for more polling data.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services  (USCIS) is new "within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It also provides information about various administrative and management functions and responsibilities now within the DHS that were once in the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)."
Related SourceWatch Resources
- American concentration camps
- Border Research and Technology Center
- Clinton administration anti-terrorism law
- Free And Secure Trade (FAST)
- Homeland defense
- homeland detention
- Homeland security
- illegal alien
- Illegal immigration
- Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996
- immigration raids (U.S.)
- immigration reform
- Julie L. Myers
- Minuteman Project
- National defense links
- North American Union (numerous related topics)
- Operation FALCON
- Patriot Act I
- Patriot Act II
- qualified alien
- REAL ID Act of 2005
- Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America
- Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE)
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
- U.S.-Canada Smart Borders Accord
- U.S.-Mexico Border Partnership Declaration
- U.S. National Guard Troops along the U.S.-Mexico border
- visa overstay
- Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)
- "You Don't Speak for Me!"
- Immigration in the Wikipedia.
- Illegal Immigration, Center for Immigration Studies/Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). Article links 1996 to Present.
- Illegal Aliens US.com Articles.
- NPR, Voices in the Immigration Debate
Articles & Commentary
- William Branigan, "Illegal Immigrant Population Grows to 5 Million," The Washington Post, February 8, 1997.
- John Perazzo, "Illegal Immigration and Terrorism," FrontPageMagazine.com, December 18, 2002.
- Tamara Audi, "Federal agents escalate deportation attempts," Detroit Free Press, April 8, 2003: "New teams of federal agents with orders to hunt and expel some illegal immigrants are producing large numbers of deportations, according to federal officials, government documents and immigrant advocates."
- Tim Henderson, "Highest immigration rate belongs to Dade," The Miami Herald, May 21, 2003.
- Steven Chase, "U.S. seeks improved passport security. Canada, other 'visa-waiver' nations asked to add biometric data to cut terrorist fraud," The Globe and Mail, May 21, 2003.
- Editorial: "Illegal immigration. Surely, the House isn't serious about the issue," San Diego Union-Tribune, May 21, 2003: "Rival amendments introduced in the House committee dealing with immigration compete with each other in their wrongheadedness."
- Jesse J. Holland, "Ridge: Unmanned Drones May Patrol Borders," Associated Press, May 22, 2003. (expired link).
- Kevin Johnson, "Private spy plane patrols border," USA Today, May 22, 2003.
- Lynn Brezosky, "Two More Arrests in Texas Smuggling Case," Associated Press, May 22, 2003. (expired link).
- Nurith C. Aizenman and George Lardner, Jr., "Immigrant Advocates Say Fight Isn't Over. Tuition Measure A Polarizing Issue," The Washington Post, May 22, 2003
- "Illegal Sears Tower Workers Arrested," Associated Press, May 23, 2003 (expired link): "Immigrants working illegally at Sears Tower have been arrested by federal authorities who said security concerns prompted the crackdown."
- Eric Lichtblau, "Ashcroft Defends Detentions as Immigrants Recount Toll," New York Times, June 5, 2003: "...at a forum on Capitol Hill, one immigrant after another told of the toll that they said the fight against terrorism had taken on them. After Sept. 11, 2001, the authorities questioned, jailed or deported hundreds of people who had no known ties to terrorism."
- Elisabeth Bumiller, "Bush Would Give Illegal Workers Broad New Rights," New York Times, January 7, 2004.
- Rachel L. Swarns and John Holusha, "Immigration Compromise Stalls in Senate," New York Times, April 7, 2006.
- Brad Knickerbocker, "Illegal immigrants in the US: How many are there?", Christan Science Monitor, May 16, 2006.
- Arthur H. Rotstein, "New Border Chief: Walls Are Not the Answer," Associated Press (BreitBart.com), June 20, 2006. re W. Ralph Basham
- Massimo Calibresi, "Playing the Spoiler on Immigration. House Republicans want to barnstorm the country to pick apart the moderate Senate plan that Bush supports," TIME Magazine, June 20, 2006.
- David Espo, "GOP Leaders: No Immigration Bill This Year," Associated Press (ABC News), June 20, 2006.
- Lynn Sweet, "GOP House leaders stall immigration bill. Death by hearings. Hastert slap to Bush," Chicago Sun-Times/Sweet Column Blog, June 21, 2006.
- Editorial: "The GOP's immigration shame. Republicans choose divisive campaign politics over urgently needed policy," Los Angeles Times, June 21, 2006.
- Rick Klein, "Hastert calls for forums on immigration bills. Summer hearings called delay tactic," Boston Globe, June 21, 2006.
- "House hearings threaten Senate immigration bill. Keeping debate alive could energize Republican base before elections," CNN, June 21, 2006.
- "US plan for immigration hearings. Republican leaders in the US House of Representatives have announced unusual plans to hold hearings around the country on the issue of immigration," BBC, June 21, 2006.
- "US politician would have immigrants build border wall," Notimex (QuePasa.com), June 21, 2006.
- Jennifer Talhelm "GOP Candidate's Call for Labor Camp Rebuked," Associated Press (1010 WINS), June 23, 2006.
- Daniel Scarpinato, "Goldwater lambasted for 'tent city' plan. Candidate's call for entrant camp draws ire of top state Republicans," Arizona Daily Star, June 24, 2006.
- Sheryl Gay Stolberg, "Bush Signaling Shift in Stance on Immigration," New York Times, July 5, 2006.