Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Automatic Citizenship for Children of Illegals; Global Trend Is Toward Tighter Policies

/PRNewswire/ -- Every year, 300,000 to 400,000 children are born to illegal immigrants in the United States, each one of them automatically a U.S. citizen despite the illegal status of their parents. This practice of automatic, or birthright, citizenship is not the result of any specific legislation, regulation, executive order, or judicial ruling, and yet has become de facto law of the land.

This has recently become an issue of political controversy, but has been debated for many years. Legislation aimed at narrowing the scope of birthright citizenship has been introduced in every Congress for many years, and the latest iteration has attracted nearly 100 sponsors in the current Congress. Likewise, some leading legal scholars and jurists have long questioned whether such a permissive citizenship policy is constitutionally mandated.

The international trend is clearly away from universal birthright citizenship. Those countries that have ended the practice in recent years include the United Kingdom (1983), Australia (1986), India (1987), Malta (1989), Ireland (2005), New Zealand (2006), and the Dominican Republic (2010). The overwhelming majority of the world's countries do not offer automatic citizenship to everyone born within their borders.

In a new report, "Birthright Citizenship in the United States: A Global Comparison," the Center for Immigration Studies' legal policy analyst Jon Feere reviews the history of the issue in American law and presents the most up-to-date research on birthright citizenship policies throughout the world. The global findings are the result of direct communication with foreign government officials and analysis of foreign law. The report concludes that Congress should promote a serious discussion about whether the United States should automatically confer the benefits and burdens of U.S. citizenship on the children of aliens whose presence is temporary or illegal.

The report is online at http://www.cis.org/birthright-citizenship. Among the findings:

-- Only 30 of the world's 194 countries grant automatic citizenship to
children born to illegal aliens.
-- Of advanced economies, Canada and the United States are the only
countries that grant automatic citizenship to children born to illegal
-- No European country grants automatic citizenship to children of
illegal aliens.
-- The global trend is moving away from automatic birthright citizenship
as many countries that once had such policies have ended them in
recent decades.
-- 14th Amendment history seems to indicate that the Citizenship Clause
was never intended to benefit illegal aliens nor legal foreign
visitors temporarily present in the United States.
-- The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the U.S.-born children of
permanent resident aliens are covered by the Citizenship Clause, but
the Court has never decided whether the same rule applies to the
children of aliens whose presence in the United States is temporary or
-- Eminent scholars and jurists, including Professor Peter Schuck of Yale
Law School and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner, have
concluded that it is within the power of Congress to define the scope
of the Citizenship Clause through legislation, and that birthright
citizenship for the children of temporary visitors and illegal aliens
could likely be abolished by statute without amending the

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan research institution that examines the impact of immigration on the United States.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Employment Picture Grim for Least-Educated

/PRNewswire/ -- Less-educated, younger, and minority American workers face the worst job market in decades, far worse than their more educated counterparts. However, the situation for these workers was very difficult even before the current recession. A report from the Center for Immigration Studies examines their employment situation in the second quarters of both 2007 (before the recession) and 2010. Younger and less-educated workers are the most likely to be in competition with immigrants - legal and illegal.

The report, "From Bad to Worse: Unemployment and Underemployment Among Less-Educated U.S.-Born Workers, 2007 to 2010," is at http://cis.org/bad-to-worse.

Among the findings:

-- Younger and less-educated natives often do the same jobs as
immigrants. During the second quarter of 2010, in the occupations
employing the most young and less-educated U.S.-born adults, one in
five workers was an immigrant.
-- In the second quarter of 2010, the unemployment rate for U.S.-born
adults who have not completed high school was 20.8 percent. But even
in the second quarter of 2007, before the recession, it was 11.1
-- Using the broader measure of unemployment that includes those who want
to work but have not looked recently, and those forced to work
part-time (the U-6 unemployment rate), the rate for those who haven't
completed high school was 29.3 percent in the second quarter of 2010
and 18.7 percent in the same quarter of 2007.
-- The unemployment rate for U.S.-born workers who have only a high
school education and are 18 to 29 was 20 percent in the second quarter
of 2010. But even before the recession in 2007 it was 9.6 percent in
-- The broader measure of unemployment for 18- to 29-year-old U.S.-born
workers with only a high school education was 29.2 percent in the
second quarter of 2010. It was still 16.6 percent in 2007.
-- The unemployment rate for U.S.-born black workers without a high
education is currently 29 percent. Using the broader measure of
unemployment it is an astonishing 39.8 percent.
-- The unemployment rate for U.S.-born black workers with only a high
school education who are 18 to 29 is currently 22.9 percent. It is
32.4 percent using the boarder measure of unemployment.
-- The unemployment rate for U.S.-born Hispanic workers without a high
education is currently 22.9 percent. It is 32.4 percent using the
boarder measure of unemployment.
-- The unemployment rate for U.S.-born Hispanic workers with only a high
education who are 18 to 29 is currently 23.3 percent. It is 33 percent
using the boarder measure of unemployment.
-- In the second quarter of 2010 the unemployment rate of U.S.-born teens
(16 and 17) was 31 percent. It was 38 percent using the boarder
-- The total number of young and less-educated U.S.-born workers
unemployed is enormous. If we look at the broad measure of
unemployment for all workers who lack a high school education or have
only a high school education and are young (18 to 29) or are teenagers
(16-17), 6.3 million were unemployed in the second quarter of 2010.
-- In addition to the 6.3 million unemployed or underemployed, there were
another 16 million of these younger and less-educated individuals who
were entirely out of the labor market. That is, they were not working,
nor were they looking for work, even using the broadest measure of
-- To place these numbers in the perspective, there are an estimated
seven to eight million illegal immigrants holding jobs.

Policy Discussion: One argument for amnesty and increased future immigration is that there are not enough Americans workers to do jobs that require relatively little education, such as construction labor, cleaning and maintenance, food service and preparation, delivery, and light manufacturing. However, the employment data analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies does not support these assertions. Unemployment is extremely high among the least-educated Americans who often do these kinds of jobs. In fact, the employment situation for such workers was very high even before the current recession began. Thus it is very difficult to find any evidence to support the contention that the country needs large-scale unskilled immigration. Since there is an abundance of such workers already in the country, employers who have difficulty finding workers may need to offer better pay and working conditions in order to attract Americans.

Methodology: All figures in this report are calculated from the public use files of the Current Population Survey, collected by the Census Bureau, for second quarters of 2007 and 2010. Figures are seasonally unadjusted. Figures for U.S.-born blacks are for those who chose only one race and are not Hispanic. Hispanics can be of any race and are not included in the figures for other races.

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan research institution that examines the impact of immigration on the United States.

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Firearms Industry Applauds Landslide Passage of Excise Tax Improvement Legislation in U.S. Senate

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, hailed yesterday's passage of the Firearms Excise Tax Improvement Act of 2010 (H.R. 5552) by unanimous consent in the Senate.

The bill passed the House of Representatives at the end of June by a vote of 412-6. The House bill was sponsored by Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wisc.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.). The Senate bill (S. 632) was sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and had 30 cosponsors, including lead co-sponsor Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) who co-chairs the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus.

This legislation corrects a longstanding inequity in the Internal Revenue Code by permitting firearm and ammunition manufacturers to pay the federal excise tax payment on a quarterly basis, just as other industries that support conservation through a federal excise tax do. Currently, firearms and ammunition manufacturers pay this tax on a bi-weekly schedule, forcing many manufacturers to borrow money to ensure on-time payment. Industry members spend thousands of staff-hours administering the necessary paperwork to successfully complete the bi-weekly tax payments--monies that are due to the federal government long before manufacturers are paid by their customers.

Importantly, HR 5552 pays for itself and does not add to the budget deficit. Nor does the bill lower the amount of conservation dollars collected by lowering the tax rate. It simply adjusts the payment schedule to a quarterly period.

"This bill strengthens wildlife conservation funding in America," said NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane. "By enabling manufacturers to grow their businesses, excise tax receipts will actually grow. We are thankful for the tremendous support and leadership of Senators Max Baucus and Mike Crapo. Clearly, their vision in championing this bipartisan, pro-conservation, pro-business legislation allowed for smooth passage of the bill."

Keane added, "We also want to thank Majority Leader Harry Reid for expediting the legislative process by allowing the Senate to vote on the House-passed version of the bill. Senator Reid has long supported and fought for issues important to our industry and for hunters and gun owners both in Nevada and across the United States."

The firearm and ammunition excise tax is the major revenue source for funding the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund (also known as the Pittman-Robertson Trust Fund). Last year, firearm and ammunition manufacturers contributed approximately $450 million to wildlife conservation through excise tax payments.

Passage of HR 5552 would not have been possible without the hard work of many organizations, including a broad coalition of more than 35 conservation groups that are members of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners. This coalition includes the National Rifle Association, Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club International and the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, which made passage of this bill a priority.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies also supported this legislation as did the Internal Revenue Service-Tax and Trade Bureau, which collects the excise tax. There is no organized opposition to this legislation.

"With passage of excise tax improvement in the House and Senate, it is our hope that President Obama will act fast to sign this legislation into law," said Keane.

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Passage of Medicaid FMAP Extension Will Preserve Quality Care, Key Frontline Jobs

/PRNewswire/ -- With the Senate approval today to extend emergency Medicaid relief (FMAP) until June 30, 2011, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care praised the vote and urged the House of Representatives to follow suit, saying the additional $16.1 billion in federal funding will help the nation's most vulnerable seniors retain access to quality care, while protecting key frontline health jobs.

"We applaud the Senate for taking action to pass this vital Medicaid relief, and urge the House to follow in the same manner. Every day that passes without an extension of this funding, seniors' care is placed in jeopardy, facility staffing stability is compromised, and good, local health jobs are put at risk," said Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of AHCA. "The time to act is now. Our governors have repeatedly expressed the desperate need for relief, and we ask Congress to act on this critical health care policy matter."

"Senate passage of this legislation brings us one step closer to providing the vital funding needed to protect every senior's access to the skilled nursing and rehabilitative care they require and deserve," said Alan G. Rosenbloom, President of the Alliance. "We thank those Senators who took this stand for seniors and urge the House to follow with swift passage as well."

Yarwood and Rosenbloom pointed out that adequate Medicaid funding is directly linked with skilled nursing care and local caregiver job stability throughout America. Without the extension of emergency Medicaid relief, pressure mounts on governors to further reduce Medicaid-financed care and services.

A strong bipartisan majority of governors are adamant about the need for immediate action, as the National Governors' Association (NGA) recently noted, "Funding for FMAP is a particularly effective tool because it immediately allows Governors to eliminate planned budget cuts required to meet balanced budget requirements and continue services for those with the greatest need."

"We urge state legislatures and governors to use this increased funding to ensure our nation's seniors receive the funding necessary to provide high quality care as well as job stability for frontline caregivers," concluded Yarwood and Rosenbloom.

This measure will now return to the House of Representatives, where it could be considered as early as September when Members return from the August work period.

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Study of Tea Party Activists Reveals Movement's Level of Momentum

/PRNewswire -- An extensive new study of the Tea Party movement released today finds that the activists involved grew in number and enthusiasm in recent months. The Sam Adams Alliance report, The Next Wave: A Surf Report, also found that among new activists, a smaller number identify themselves as Republicans, with 50 percent choosing a different label for their political affiliation. The results of the full report can be found at www.activistinsightsreport.com.

The Next Wave report, announced at the American Legislative Exchange Council's annual conference, is the first of three reports studying Tea Party activists that will be released by Sam Adams Alliance before the November elections. Among newcomers to the movement, which the study identifies as "Next Wave" activists, 74 percent said the movement is "gaining active supporters," and 66 percent indicated that the movement is "more enthusiastic" than it was before the passage of health care reform.

"We found that Tea Party activists, above all, view themselves as both "restoring? and "forward- thinking,' which is an interesting tension as they continue to make their mark on the political landscape," said Anne Sorock, the study's research director. "They must find a way to preserve the best of what their America means while making their movement relevant to today's challenges."

The report also reveals that both Next Wave and Early Adopters are dropping their affiliation with the Republican label. Among the Next Wave activists polled, there was a near 30-point drop in their affiliation with the Republican party since becoming involved in the Tea Party movement.

Sam Adams Alliance's research shows that 47 percent changed their political affiliation to

"Independent/Unaffiliated," 20 percent changed to "Other," 20 percent to "Tea Party," and 13

percent to "Libertarian."

The report also revealed that 63.6 percent of Next Wave activists were recruited by friends, compared to only 37.5 percent of Early Adopters, who were more likely to be recruited by media personalities.

Other findings of the study include:

-- 89 percent of Tea Party activists have been recruiting new people into
the movement.
-- 44 percent of Next Wave activists said they were uninvolved or rarely
involved with politics prior to their Tea Party involvement.
-- 22 percent of Next Wave Activists identified as Independents, 10
percent as "Tea
-- Party."
-- Prior to becoming active in the movement, 74 percent of Next Wave
activists identified as Republican, 20 percent as Independent.
-- Sarah Palin was the leading choice for the 2012 presidential elections
with 23 percent, though 19 other choices were mentioned.
-- Tea Partiers have a more favorable view of the state-level Republican
party (38.7 percent unfavorable/very unfavorable) than the national
(49.2 percent unfavorable/very unfavorable)

For the full report findings, survey questions, methodology, and a preview video visit www.activistinsightsreport.com, or www.samadamsalliance.org.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

U.S. Voters to Congress: Reject New Energy Taxes

/PRNewswire/ -- The Center for Individual Freedom ("CFIF") today announced that activists from across the country have sent more than 21,000 letters to Congress urging opposition to federal legislation that slaps U.S. oil and gas companies with a massive new tax bill and consumers with increased energy costs.

The letters were sent over a two-week span in response to an alert sent out by CFIF educating activists about the negative consequences of legislation, proposed by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), that seeks to re-write the "dual capacity" taxpayer rules for American oil and gas companies. The change to the tax code would eliminate the tax credit afforded to domestic energy companies which currently permits them to offset taxes already paid to foreign governments on income made overseas. The Senate Finance Committee - in accordance with the president's budget proposal for next year - also is aiming to scrap the domestic manufacturing income deduction for U.S. energy firms.

"The thousands of voters who have called on Congress to oppose new energy taxes know what's at stake," said CFIF President Jeffrey Mazzella. "While Congress is away for August recess, we hope they will listen to the concerns of their constituents. If they don't and move forward with plans to pass legislation that burdens domestic energy producers with massive and unfair new tax liabilities, thousands of jobs will be lost, investments in new exploration and production projects will be cut and millions of dollars that could further stimulate our economic recovery will disappear."

Perhaps most troubling is the detrimental effect these new taxes would have on American competitiveness and energy security. "If Congress succeeds in raising taxes on U.S. energy producers this fall, it will effectively be subsidizing foreign competitors such as BP, Russia's LUKOIL and Venezuela's CITGO, all of which would not be subject to the added taxes," Mazzella explained. "Congress would literally be handing foreign-owned corporations a competitive advantage over American employers, harming the U.S. economy and increasing our nation's reliance on foreign sources of energy from places that are all too often hostile to American interests and values."

This large groundswell of citizen activism illustrates just how important domestic energy producers are to the health of the nation's economy as a whole. The U.S. oil and natural gas industry generates more than one trillion dollars in economic activity annually and employs more than nine million workers throughout the country.

These 21,000-plus letters send a clear message to Congress: It's past time you stand up for American interests and reject calls to give a leg-up to foreign-based corporations at the expense of our nation's workers and businesses.

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