Where are migrants released currently?

There have been a bunch of articles about purported Trump Administration plans to release migrants into sanctuary cities.

Here’s a dumb question: Where are they released currently?

From a recent NYT article:

Entering the country at a rate of more than 5,000 each day, new arrivals from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are departing border towns by the busload. While President Trump has made a point of threatening to send migrants from the border to inland sanctuary cities that oppose his immigration policies, it is an empty threat: Migrants are already traveling by the thousands every day to cities across the country — to Atlanta, Chattanooga, Orlando, Richmond, as well as to sanctuary cities, like New York, Los Angeles and Seattle.

After an initial 72 hours or so at Customs and Border Protection processing centers along the border, the vast majority of those entering the country now are released to nonprofit respite centers, where they are fed and clothed. From there, they are booked on Greyhound buses to destinations where they may have friends, family or the hope of a job. They pay top dollar, often $250 to $300 each, usually advanced by family members in the United States.

So Greyhound is now a refugee/asylum-industry profiteer! The NYT article suggests that all of the profits go to the British owners of Greyhound.

The implication is that nearly all migrants are released into “border towns”. Does “nonprofit respite center” mean taxpayer-funded like most other segments of the immigration industry? If so, maybe border towns should actually be happy about keeping released migrants as a cash source.

Where are there good numbers on the states and towns into which migrants are currently released? It would be interesting to see a data visualization and then add Greyhound tickets sold out of those towns as well.

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With enough undocumented immigrants, we can reduce crime rate to zero

“Is There a Connection Between Undocumented Immigrants and Crime?” (NYT):

Areas with more unauthorized migration appeared to have larger drops in crime, although the difference was small and uncertain.

For undocumented immigrants, being arrested for any reason would mean facing eventual deportation — and for some a return to whatever danger or deprivation they’d sought to escape at home.

According to Mr. Adelman and his team, however, the impact of undocumented immigrants is probably similar to what the research indicates about immigrants over all: They tend to bring economic and cultural benefits to their communities.

In other words, a true flood of the undocumented should reduce crime to zero!

Why don’t other countries figure this out and outbid us for these valuable folks who “bring economic and cultural benefits”? Citizens of Canada are not as smart as the writers and editors at the New York Times, which is why there are no Airbus A380s picking up caravans in Central America and bringing them to clean up the grittiest neighborhoods of Toronto and Montreal? (does Vancouver have any grit?)

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Sample bias at our local public school

In our town that provides sanctuary to any undocumented immigrant who can afford a $1 million house on an $800,000 zoning minimum two-acre lot, the middle school teachers asked the students to write up “My Family’s Immigration Story”. These were then displayed in the hallway:

(Immigrants to Massachusetts killed or displaced nearly all of the natives, so 100 percent of the students in the school were able to come up with an immigration story.)

One of the above guys came here in 1853 with $12 and eventually owned a 440-acre farm. The latest batch of immigrants shouldn’t have any trouble doing that… as long as we can find another continent to steal from natives!

These are awesome examples of sample bias/selection bias. To get people to think that low-skill immigration will lead to economic growth, ask people who live in $2 million houses to write about their immigrant ancestors.

Separately, the teachers ran an event featuring five speakers talking about their immigration stories:

The majority of non-citizens were on welfare as of 2014. How many of the five folks invited talked about their use of means-tested subsidized housing, health insurance, food stamps, or Obamaphones? It turned out not to be a representative sample…

Why would unionized public school teachers have an incentive to promote immigration and, therefore, population growth? Although their compensation, including pension, is guaranteed, they are at risk of being laid off if the population of school-age children shrinks. They might be able to demand higher salaries if the population of school-age children grows.

Some other fun stuff from the visit. Profound philosophical questions raised by personal locker signage:

PRIDE march hampered by chainmail:

Art from the adjacent elementary school:


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Showing one’s deep humanity by comparing Mexicans to German Nazis

From a virtuous Facebook user:

The administration’s shameful all out war on refugees and asylum seekers continues. International refugee and asylum law – the right to cross a border if you have a legitimate fear of persecution – came about as a result of the holocaust. Imagine if in 1939 there was a policy called “Remain in Germany?”

(As the Facebooker’s paycheck is derived from the river of tax dollars devoted to settling refugees in the U.S., it is fortunate that Donald Trump’s “all out war on refugees and asylum seekers” does not include any interruption in the federal cash supply to the refugee and asylum-seeker
non-profit organization for which this guy works.)

The above posting sounds righteous, but if we think about it for another 15 seconds we have to notice that he is comparing Mexico today to Germany circa 1939, near the very height of Adolf Hitler’s popularity with German voters.

Given that Mexican taxpayers are shouldering a substantial burden caring for the caravans of Central Americans drawn to the magnet of the U.S. welfare state, is it fair to compare Mexicans and Mexico to Nazis and 1930s Germany?

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New Yorkers figure out the best place to park millions of immigrants…

… and it turns out that the answer is not “New York.”

From the virtuous Editorial Board of the New York Times, “California Has a Housing Crisis. The Answer Is More Housing.”:

California finally is beginning to consider solutions to its housing crisis that are on the same scale as the problem.

The state is desperately in need of more housing. Home prices are the highest in the continental United States, and population growth continues to outstrip construction.

The city of Los Angeles calculates that 43 percent of its developable land would be opened to higher-density development. For wealthy cities like Palo Alto, the Silicon Valley community that abuts Stanford University, the legislation could increase permissible density virtually everywhere. Palo Alto has two commuter rail stations, but like much of suburban California, it has long resisted construction of anything but detached, single-family homes.

The state’s population continues to grow; the question confronting policymakers is where to put those people.

Did they forget about quality of life? That a resident of Los Angeles might spend five hours per day commuting through traffic jams? That California city-dwellers might have to travel for 30 minutes or more to find a green park? The existing Blade Runner-type crowding is acknowledged, but it turns out to be a good thing for Mother Earth:

The bill also is a necessary piece of the response to another crisis: climate change. Cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles — landscapes of tall buildings, concrete and traffic-clogged streets — are the most environmentally friendly places for human life on earth. The Harvard economist Edward Glaeser has calculated that the residents of California’s core cities use about one-fourth less carbon per year than the residents of the surrounding suburbs. Better yet, the residents of California’s cities use less carbon than the residents of any other large American cities because the temperate climate limits the use of air-conditioning and heating.

It is time to rewrite the rules: The solution to California’s housing crisis is more housing.

(Do we believe this? These “are the most environmentally friendly places for human life on earth”? A resident of Los Angeles generates less CO2 than someone who lives in Ethiopia or Madagascar? (Wikipedia per-capita CO2 emissions) Or maybe they are saving the planet by sending healing vibes?)

Readers: Does it show a lack of self-awareness to publish something like this? Saying that people on the other side of the country need to suck it up and wait a few more hours in traffic every week for the good of Planet Earth?

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We don’t want immigrant criminals until they’ve ripened a bit?

“Mass. Judge, Retired Court Officer Face Federal Charges For Allegedly Helping Defendant Evade ICE” (WBUR):

A Middlesex County judge and former court officer are facing federal charges for allegedly helping a defendant in a Newton courtroom avoid arrest by an immigration officer last year.

Judge Shelley Richmond Joseph and now-retired court officer Wesley MacGregor are accused of helping the defendant, an undocumented immigrant, slip out the back door of Newton District Court while an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent waited to arrest him on a federal detainer in April 2018.

Susan Church, a Cambridge immigration attorney, said the case would worsen fears about the court system for undocumented immigrants.

“We have witnesses who won’t come to court. We have defendants who don’t get tried. We have people who can’t get divorced — women who can’t seek restraining orders because they are terrified by ICE interference,” she said.

The defendant isn’t named in the indictment, but has been previously identified as Jose Medina-Perez, 38, from the Dominican Republic. In April 2018, he was facing drug charges and a fugitive warrant out of Pennsylvania for drunken driving. Immigration officials say the defendant’s real name is Oscar Manuel Peguero. According to Lelling’s office, Peguero has been deported from the U.S. twice — in 2003 and 2007 — and a federal order had been issued prohibiting him for re-entering until 2027.

It is the last bit that fascinates me. This guy, whatever his name might happen to be, seems to be a frequent flyer in our criminal court system. We say that want him out of the U.S. But we also say that want him back starting in 2027 after he has matured a bit. That’s because we need more Dominicans in the U.S. and don’t think that in 2027 we’ll be able to find any who lack a criminal record?


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The politicians who lowered Stop & Shop workers’ market-clearing wages now support their strike

One of our local supermarkets is now crippled: “New England Stop & Shop strike enters ninth day, as stores sit empty and unstocked; With support from Warren, Biden and Buttigieg, 31,000 striking workers say the grocery giant’s proposals would mean more expensive health care and worse retirement benefits.” (NBC):

Stop & Shop’s parent company, Ahold Delhaize, reported profits in the billions but is asking workers to pay more for their insurance and cutting their retirement benefits, according to Erikka Knuti, spokesperson for United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which represents the striking workers.

Knuti said 75 percent of workers at Stop & Shop are part time, working multiple jobs and barely “cobbling together” a living wage.

On April 12, Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren visited her striking constituents.

“Do not cross the picket line,” Warren said, addressing potential shoppers. “Understand people on the picket line are not just fighting for their families. They’re fighting for all our families. They’re fighting for basic fairness and equality in this country.”

Since Warren’s remarks, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, and former Vice President Joe Biden have also joined workers on the picket line.

As a proud former union worker myself, I can sympathize with these folks who work all day on their feet for low wages. (With proper planning, there are a lot of easier ways to make money in Massachusetts!)

But I’m wondering if the workers’ primary enemies aren’t the very politicians who are showing up to “support” them. What better way to lower the market-clearing wage for a low-skill supermarket worker than to open the floodgates of low-skill immigration? Forming a union and striking might bump the paycheck slightly, but it can’t undo the reduction caused by tens of millions of immigrants and their children competing for the same jobs.

My neighbors’ Facebook feeds are lit up with the virtuous recounting their heroic tales of driving to Whole Foods, for example, instead. Yet Whole Foods has fought unionization for decades and the founder compared unionization to herpes.

Given that Stop & Shop regularly hires and trains new workers, I don’t know why the stores are running on such a barebones level. What stops the company from hiring and training replacement workers? (this Obama Administration ruling?) How much training does a person who stocks shelves get?


  • “Labor Board Tells Boeing New Factory Breaks Law” (nytimes, 2011), in which central planners in Washington, D.C. determined whether or not a company could build a new factory in order to escape a union: “In what may be the strongest signal yet of the new pro-labor orientation of the National Labor Relations Board under President Obama, the agency filed a complaint Wednesday seeking to force Boeing to bring an airplane production line back to its unionized facilities in Washington State instead of moving the work to a nonunion plant in South Carolina. In its complaint, the labor board said that Boeing’s decision to transfer a second production line for its new 787 Dreamliner passenger plane to South Carolina was motivated by an unlawful desire to retaliate against union workers for their past strikes in Washington and to discourage future strikes.” (see also Licence Raj)
  • “20 women slept with me to get promotion” (life in an English supermarket)
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Asylum-seekers’ stories point to a labor shortage in Central America?

A core feature of the tales told by many asylum-seekers is that criminal gangs tried to force them to join. The sought-after gang member thus fled from Honduras, for example, and couldn’t find safety in Guatemala, Belize, or Mexico (since the gangs are multinational and sufficiently organized to hunt down potential labor across borders?). Thus the former Honduran finds him or herself, along with some children, living in Texas (maybe soon in San Francisco or Oakland?), collecting welfare, and going through a multi-year asylum process.

I wonder if this shows that there is a labor shortage in Honduras. The population has grown from 1.5 million in 1950 to over 9 million today (Wikipedia). Yet criminal gangs cannot find volunteers to join in the activities and share in the profits. They are forced to recruit new members, whom they will be responsible for paying enough to afford housing, food, clothing, etc., at gunpoint. American criminal enterprises, on the other hand, get their employees by voluntary processes.

It seems reasonable to assume that a gang seeks only the minimum number of required members for its criminal goals (just as non-criminal employers try to avoid hiring surplus staff). A $1 million profit from dealing drugs, for example, isn’t so exciting if it has to be split among 1,000 members.

Can we infer from the above stories and assumptions that there is an acute labor shortage in Honduras compared to the U.S.? If not, why would gangs recruit members by force?

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Wouldn’t sending migrants to sanctuary cities enrich them?

“Trump claimed Oakland’s mayor doesn’t want released immigrants. Her response: We welcome all.” (Washington Post):

President Trump threw more fuel on the flames of the immigration debate Saturday night in a series of tweets that singled out Democrats and news outlets that had reported on his administration’s plan to relocate migrants to so-called “sanctuary cities.”

Trump specifically singled out the mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaaf (D), who had criticized a proposed policy to relocate detained immigrants to sanctuary cities as an “abuse of power and public resources.”

Then the president claimed that the mayor does not actually want the detained immigrants to be released into her city. In fact, Schaaf’s administration strengthened Oakland’s sanctuary policy in 2018 and had warned residents last year of an upcoming raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

On Saturday night, she responded to Trump’s attack with a clear message: “Oakland welcomes all.”

In a federally funded welfare state such as the U.S., aren’t poor people an asset for a lot of the politically influential folks within a city? Migrants should be entitled to Medicaid, right? That helps the local health care industry. Migrants should be entitled to food stamps. That is a boost to local supermarket owners. Migrants should be entitled to housing subsidies and/or will have to do some work to pay rent. That’s a boon to anyone who owns an apartment building.

California funds schools centrally. Every migrant child who shows up for a day in an Oakland school, for example, will result in a transfer of funds from Sacramento to Oakland. There should also be federal funds for every new student from a low-income or no-income family.

Might it be an economically rational strategy for political and economic elites in Oakland to pursue a leadership position in the hosting of migrants?


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