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Real ID – secure driver’s licenses edging closer to reality new study shows

Despite the Obama Administration’s lagging demeanor, the implementation of the REAL ID Act of 2005 is gaining momentum. The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) just released its second comprehensive assessment for securing driver’s license standards and ensuring REAL ID becomes a reality in all 50 states.

The report concludes, by January 2013, at least 36 states will be in full compliance of REAL ID. So far, the remaining states have not announced when they would be in compliance with REAL ID.

“While the Department of Homeland Security lets REAL ID languish with a looming compliance deadline of Jan. 15, 2013, the states are pushing on with securing driver license issuance standards not because the feds or Congress seems to give a hoot, but because they realize that the DMV counter can be a defense against identity theft and fraud, the kind that terrorists, illegal aliens and criminals use to switch their identities to that of an unsuspecting American,” said Janice Kephart, a former 9/11 Commission counsel and National Security Policy Director at CIS.


“REAL ID is becoming a success because of the benefits it provides to protecting identity, catching fraud, improving customer service and supporting law enforcement. The law, despite the browbeating it has taken for years, is becoming a reality. But without DHS stepping up to the plate to support the states, and Congress ignoring next year’s deadline, the states will only feel a greater divide between themselves and Washington as political campaigns heat up this year– an issue already exacerbated by an administration willing to sue any state whose policies or laws it disagrees with,” she said.

The data compiled in this report notes that states see a real value in pursuing REAL ID standards because the improvements reduce identity theft and fraud, increase efficiencies, improve customer service, and support law enforcement. As a result, CIS found states are moving forward and paying for the improvements with their state tax dollars.

Specifics contained in this report include; overall compliance, 53 states and territories are embracing REAL ID or the technical tenets of REAL ID; 5 states have submitted REAL ID compliance packages to DHS with a total of 36 materially or substantially materially compliant now or likely will be by the REAL ID deadline of January 15, 2013. 

At least 43 jurisdictions are issuing tamper-resistant cards; 
51 are checking Social Security numbers and the remaining five are currently getting online; 47 are registered with DHS to check legal presence through the SAVE database.

Kephart also pointed out that the states contacted for the CIS study said they no longer have guidance or support from DHS when it comes to implementing REAL ID Act.

However, a recent trip to the border by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano highlighted the positive trends undertaken by DHS to shore up national security along the nation’s borders.

“The men and women of CBP work hard every day to keep our borders safe while facilitating the trade and travel that are so essential to the economy of the Southwest region and the United States,” she said. “This administration has deployed unprecedented resources along the Southwest border and we continue to work closely with our partners at all levels—including other federal agencies, state, local, tribal and territorial law enforcement, the private sector, and the government of Mexico—to secure our border.”

With the political climate heating up for the 2012 elections, the REAL ID legislation will certainly find a place on the national landscape.

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© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserve

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New Secure Communities immigration report shows Warren Institute liberal bias

Now that the GOP presidential candidates opened the proverbial immigration can of worms, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) decided to reexamine a Warren Institute study that is being touted on both sides of the political aisle.

Looking at ICE’s Secure Communities program, CIS found the Warren Institute report (located at the University of California, Berkeley Law School) is misleading. CIS released its first in a three-part series report using the identical database that the Warren Institute’s analyzed.

After obtaining the documents from a Freedom of Information Act request, CIS concluded the Institute report contained factual flaws.

CIS contends that the Warren Institute obtained the ICE records and those documents reveal a disturbing pattern of abuse of authority by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE). The Warren Institute further claims ICE participated in numerous unlawful actions including; wrongful arrests of thousands of U.S. citizens, a pattern of racial profiling against Latinos, and denial of due process for aliens in removal proceedings.

The allegations made by the Warren Institute has since made main-stream media headlines as well as captured many Congressional members attention.

While the Center for Immigration Studies agrees “the ICE database does provide an interesting and relatively rare snapshot of the actual Secure Communities caseload,” they found that the records they reexamined didn’t support any allegations that ICE abused their authority.

Some of the results from the CIS study include;

* The database contains no records of U.S. citizens who were detained by or for ICE. It is impossible to assert based on this data, as the critics have, that thousands of U.S. citizens, or any number of U.S. citizens, have been arrested by ICE through Secure Communities.
* The Warren Institute report contains serious methodological and interpretive errors that lead its authors to unsubstantiated conclusions and cast doubt on the credibility of the entire analysis. For example, the authors analyzed only 23 percent of the original random sample requested from ICE.
* ICE’s failure to counter the report’s misleading statements is contributing to the spread of misconceptions about Secure Communities among the media, state and local leaders, and the public. This raises doubts as to the agency leaders’ commitment to full and effective implementation of the program.
* We agree with the Warren Institute authors on the issue of the need for improved transparency at ICE and its parent Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The first set of findings can be found online at

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Got a teenager? Getting a summer job is harder than ever

While the number of teenagers looking for summertime employment has decreased over the past years, finding a job in the 2010 recession is nearly impossible.

One reason for the summertime job blues points directly to the immigrants who have come to the country, both illegally and legally. Many are taking jobs traditionally obtained by teens in years past.

The scarcity of jobs for the 16-19 year-olds has prompted many teenagers in America to stop looking for employment altogether. In 1994 approximately two-thirds of American teenagers joined the summertime work force; however the number has dropped to less than 50 percent.

During the same time, the number of legal and illegal immigrants holding a job has doubled.

The Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington D.C. think tank, found evidence that indicates “immigration accounts for a significant share of the decline in teen labor force participation. The decline in teen work is worrisome because research shows that those who do not hold jobs as teenagers often fail to develop the work habits necessary to function in the labor market, creating significant negative consequences for them later in life.”

The CIS report uncovered a number of summertime employment facts;

• The summer of 2009 was the worst summer ever experienced by U.S.-born teenagers (16-19) since citizenship data was first collected in 1994. Just 45 percent were in the labor force, which means they worked or were looking for work. Only one-third actually held a job.

• Even before the current recession, the summer labor force participation of U.S.-born teenagers was deteriorating. Between the summers of 1994 and 2000, a period of significant economic expansion, the labor force participation of U.S.-born teens actually declined from 64 percent to 61 percent.

• After 2000, the summer labor force participation of U.S.-born teenagers declined from 61 percent to 48 percent by 2007. Thus even before the current recession fewer teens were in the labor force.

• Teen unemployment — the share looking for a job — has also tended to rise somewhat over time. But the big decline has been in the share of teenagers who are looking for work.

• The number of U.S.-born teenagers not in the labor force increased from 4.7 million in 1994 to 8.1 million in 2007. In the summer of 2009 it stood at 8.8 million.

• The severity of the decline is similar for U.S.-born black, Hispanic, and white teens. Between 1994 and 2007 the summer labor force participation of black teens declined from 50 to 35 percent; for Hispanic teens from 52 to 37 percent; and for whites it declined 69 to 55 percent.

• The fall-off is also similar for U.S.-born teenagers from both high- and low-income households.

• Immigrants and teenagers often do the same kind of work. In the summer of 2007, in the 10 occupations employing the most U.S.-born teenagers, one in five workers was an immigrant.

• Between 1994 and 2007, in occupations where teenage employment declined the most, immigrants made significant job gains.

• Comparisons across states in 2007 show that in the 10 states where immigrants are the largest share of workers, just 45 percent of U.S.-born teens were in the summer labor force, compared to 58 percent in the 10 states where immigrants are the smallest share of workers.

• Looking at change over time shows that in the 10 states where immigrants increased the most as a share of workers, labor force participation of U.S.-born teenagers declined 17 percentage points. In the 10 states where immigrants increased the least, teen labor force participation declined 9 percent.

• We also find that, on average, a 10 percentage-point increase in the immigrant share of a state’s work force from 1994 to 2007 reduced the labor force participation rate of U.S.-born teenagers by 7.9 percentage points.

• The most likely reason immigrants displace U.S.-born teenagers is that the vast majority of immigrants are fully developed adults — relatively few people migrate before age 20. This gives immigrants a significant advantage over U.S.-born teenagers who typically have much less work experience.

• The labor force participation of immigrant teenagers has also declined, though it was low even in the early 1990s. This along with the similar decline for U.S.-born teens from all racial and income backgrounds supports the idea that the arrival of so many adult immigrants, who work at the kinds of jobs traditionally done by teenagers, crowds all teenagers out of the labor force, both U.S.-born and foreign-born.

• Summer is the focus of this report; however, the decline in the employment of U.S.-born teenagers is year-round, including a decline during the other peak period of seasonal employment at Christmas.

• Although there is good evidence that immigration is reducing teenage labor market participation, other factors have likely also contributed to this problem.

• One factor that does not explain the decline is an increase in unpaid internships among U.S.-born teenagers.

• First, 19-year-old high school dropouts show a similar decline as 19-year-olds who attend college — dropouts are very unlikely to be in unpaid internships.

• Second, 16- and 17-year-olds show the same decline as 18- and 19-year-olds, even though younger teens are much less likely to be in internships.

• Third, teenagers who come from low-income families show the same decline as teenagers from high-income families. But research shows that unpaid internships are much more common for higher-income teenagers.

• Fourth, according to Princeton Review’s Internship Bible, there are only about 100,000 internships (paid and unpaid) in the country. The increase in U.S.-born teenagers not in the labor force was 3.4 million between 1994 and 2007.

For more details in the report click here;

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