Friday, September 30, 2016

A Law Professor Explains Why You Should Never Talk to Police

Harry Cheadle
By Harry Cheadle,
Senior Editor
September 20, 2016

Police question three people detained in Santa Ana, California. Photo by Spencer Grant/Getty
James Duane doesn't think you should ever talk to the police. Not just, "Don't talk to the police if you're accused of a crime," or, "Don't talk to the police in an interrogation setting"—never talk to the cops, period. If you are found doing something suspicious by an officer (say, breaking into your own house because you locked yourself outside), you are legally obligated to tell the cop your name and what you're doing at that very moment.
Other than that, Duane says, you should fall back on four short words: "I want a lawyer."
In 2008, Duane, a professor at Virginia's Regent Law School, gave a lecture about the risks of talking to police that was filmed and posted to YouTube. It's since been viewed millions of times, enjoying a new viral boost after the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer spurred interest in false confessions. His argument, which he's since expanded into a new book called You Have the Right to Remain Innocent, is that even if you haven't committed a crime, it's dangerous to tell the police any information. You might make mistakes when explaining where you were at the time of a crime that the police interpret as lies; the officer talking to you could misremember what you say much later; you may be tricked into saying the wrong things by cops under no obligation to tell you the truth; and your statements to police could, in combination with faulty eyewitness accounts, shoddy "expert" testimony, and sheer bad luck, lead to you being convicted of a serious crime.
Duane's book details several outrageous incidents just like that around the country, clearly showing the many ways the system is stacked against suspects. These include a proliferation of poorly written laws that make nearly anything a potential crime, rules that allow prosecutors to cherry-pick only the most damning parts of police interrogations at trials, and a little-known 2013 Supreme Court ruling allowing prosecutors to tell juries that defendants had invoked the Fifth Amendment—in other words, telling an officer you are making use of your right to remain silent could wind up being used as evidence against you. For that reason, Duane thinks that you shouldn't even tell the police that you are refusing to talk. Your safest course, he says, is to ask in no uncertain terms for a lawyer, and keep on asking until the police stop talking to you.
Though Duane said in his lecture he would never speak to the police, he has no problem speaking to anyone else, and in advance of his book coming out Tuesday, VICE talked to him about that lousy Supreme Court ruling, ways to reduce false confessions, and why he's cool with his book helping guilty people go free.
VICE: How did you get into the business of telling people not to talk to the cops?
James Duane: I never planned or anticipated that this was going to become a specialty of mine. I taught a class at my law school in 2008 and decided to talk about the Fifth Amendment. The particular precipitating catalyst that prompted me to talk about that subject was I had seen some things in the paper quoting various individuals—knowledgeable folks, folks who ought to know better—who were basically suggesting, "Well, if somebody takes the Fifth Amendment, I guess that kind of proves that they're guilty." Which is monstrously false. I thought, Why don't I say something about that?That's what prompted me to do that original recording. When it went viral like that, I started getting phone calls and letters and emails from different people with lots more questions and feedback and many, many invitations to come and speak to different groups of lawyers, judges, law students, and college students—and I said yes to almost every one of them.
I had a lot to learn, too. The thing I didn't fully understand, because I had been in the business for so long, is how surprising and counterintuitive all of this is to the average guy on the street. I spoke to so many sophisticated audiences, college students, law students, and they said, "This was astonishing, we had no idea, we never heard any of this, we never knew any of this." And that was what reminded me, it's important to get this message out to as many people as possible.
In your book, you advise people not to even take the Fifth thanks to a Supreme Court ruling. Could you talk a little about why?Up until about five years ago, lawyers would give out business cards to their client and say, "Read this to the police," and it'd say, "At the advice of my attorney I decline to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me, I'm invoking the Fifth Amendment." And there wasn't a lot of soul-searching and agonizing that went into all of this, because as long as the jury never finds out that you took the Fifth, it's a perfectly sensible solution. But the tide turned three years ago in 2013 with this wretched, abominable decision by the Supreme Court in Salinas v. Texas that changed everything.
In the Salinas case, a young man was interrogated by the police, and when they asked him a bunch of questions that didn't seem to be very threatening, he took the bait and answered them all. Then all of the sudden, they [asked a question that made it] obvious they wanted information that might expose him to criminal prosecution, and he just got silent. He didn't say a word. And there's no doubt that he was exercising his Fifth Amendment privilege, but he didn't [formally] assert his Fifth Amendment privilege. So the five Republican [appointees] on the Supreme Court said, Because you didn't tell the police that you were using your Fifth Amendment privilege, your exercise of the privilege, or your decision to remain silent can be used against you as evidence of guilt. Which probably had a dozen Supreme Court justices rolling over in their grave.
"If you're kind of clumsy about the way you assert the Fifth Amendment, you're running a lot of different risks."
The game has changed now that your choice to use the Fifth Amendment privilege can be used against you at trial depending exactly how and where you do it. As I explain in the book, now the problem is, if you're kind of clumsy about the way you assert the Fifth Amendment, you're running a lot of different risks.
What are some reforms to the interrogation process that could reduce the number of innocent people who wind up in prison?
I don't think there's any objective observer who would deny we really ought to be recording, with high-quality audio equipment, every step of every phase of all interaction between the police and the accused. In this day and age, where video and audio surveillance is practically ubiquitous wherever you go, it ought to be a national scandal that police officers and government agents are not generally required to record the entire interview.
"The reality is that over time police officers inevitably come to see themselves as part of the prosecutor's team."
Another thing is that I think police officers should be precluded from sharing information that they acquire in their investigations with witnesses. The Supreme Court has handed down this huge body of case law saying if police obtained evidence in violation of the Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth amendments, it's inadmissible in trial. It's a naïve solution, because right now our law poses no restriction of any kind on the ability of the police to take information that they've acquired illegally and tell their witnesses about it. You've got a victim who says she saw the defendant's picture—"Oh, I think that's the guy, but I'm not sure." You tell her one month later that he confessed that he says he did it, but the judge says we can't use it because of a technicality. As soon as this woman hears that the guy confessed, trust me, she's gonna show up at trial, and she's going to say to the judge or the jury, "There's no doubt about it in my mind, I'm absolutely certain."
Perhaps the most basic or the most radical suggestion of all is the whole business of conducting criminal investigation should not be placed in the hands of partisans who are assigned the job of putting together the prosecutor's case. Any police officer will tell you, "We're here to get to the truth." But the reality is that over time police officers inevitably come to see themselves as part of the prosecutor's team. They work with the prosecutors, they testify for the prosecutors, they meet with the prosecutors. There are other Western democracies that have legal systems mostly like ours but place significant parts of the criminal investigation in the hands and under the direct supervision of judges and magistrates who really are neutral.
What has the response of law enforcement been to your speeches and your work?
Believe it or not, the numerous responses that I have received from police officers and even more often from former police officers has been overwhelmingly positive. I've received a great number of emails, and I've spoken privately and publicly to many police officers about the whole subject, and almost without exception, they all say, "It's true. What you say is true."
If everyone buys your book and follows your advice, would that make it harder for cops to investigate crimes?
Oh yes, and that's inevitable. It would be at least a little bit more difficult for the police officers to put together successful criminal prosecutions against some people who are now being convicted. Some of them are guilty, some of them are innocent. But that's my objective. I'm trying to make it more difficult for the police to obtain convictions of innocent people.
That would likely mean that some guilty people would go free. Would you be OK with that?I would definitely take that tradeoff—no doubt about it at all. The Supreme Court has said it's much better for guilty people to go free from time to time if that's the price we're going to pay for innocent people not being convicted, because one innocent man unjustly convicted is much worse than one guilty man going free.
But I must add, it's far from clear that if everybody read my book that the number of guilty people getting off would necessarily increase to any significant extent. This book is going to have the most powerful effect on shaping the conduct of people who right now are talking to the police. And who's talking to the police right now? Generally the least sophisticated people: People who have never been arrested before, people who are innocent. Those are the ones who are most likely to say, "Of course I'll talk, how could this go wrong, I've got nothing to lose, nothing to hide." Many of them regret it and many of them regret it as the biggest mistake they've ever made in their life.
The guiltiest people, the worst criminals in our society—by and large, most of them have been arrested and prosecuted a couple of times already, and they've been through the system, and they've talked to a lawyer and already learned what the book says. So I'm not worried too much that this book is gonna put some helpful information in the hands of criminals that they don't already have, because the truth is most of them understand very well how the system works.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Why I’m a Miss USA competitor supporting and inspired by Donald Trump

Madison Gesiotto, Miss Ohio 2014, also writes the 'Millennial Mindset' column for The Washington Times.
Madison Gesiotto, Miss Ohio 2014, also writes the ‘Millennial Mindset’ column for The Washington Times. more >
 - - Thursday, September 29, 2016, Washington Times
The stage lights burned brightly. An audience of thousands stretched out into the dark recesses of the arena. I was standing on the Miss USA stage, a dream come true for so many young women and an incredible memory that I will treasure for years to come.  But, an even greater experience that stemmed from my time at Miss USA was my time with Donald Trump.
I briefly met Mr. Trump for the first time the night before the Miss USA telecast. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I had always looked up to Mr. Trump for his business acumen and career successes. I had read his books when I was in college preparing to apply to law school and found him to be a fascinating leader.
Mr. Trump was very gracious. He shook my hand and we briefly discussed the Miss USA pageant and the upcoming 2014 elections. Of course, he smiled when I mentioned the failures of Obamacare. Before we could finish our conversation, I was rushed backstage to continue rehearsals.
A day later, Miss USA ended and I went on with my life. Little did I know, Mr. Trump and I would cross paths again, this time in a very different setting; CPAC 2015. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Conservative Political Action Conference (popularly known as CPAC), it is put on by The American Conservative Union each year and is an event where conservatives from all over the country come together for education, leadership and advancement.
In 2015, I was attending CPAC as a guest of The Washington Times, the wonderful newspaper where I now write a weekly opinion column. During my time at CPAC that year, I tagged along with one of the reporters for some interviews. From Senator Ted Cruz to Dr. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, the reporter had a jam-packed day and I was thrilled to be along for the ride.
The last interview she had that day was with Mr. Trump. I was excited to hear what he had to say (and secretly had hoped he would admit that he was getting ready for a Presidential run, which he hinted at but did not say). To my pleasant surprise, Mr. Trump remembered me from Miss USA.  
Mr. Trump was a complete gentleman. He took the time to talk to me about law school. I was close to finishing my first year at the time. He also asked me about my plans and goals after graduation, wishing me the best of luck in my future and complimenting me on my accomplishments up to that time. He even offered to let me interview him, despite the fact that his schedule was packed and he was already running behind.
I found Mr. Trump’s respectful behavior and sincere interest in what I had to say to be very refreshing, considering the ‘better than the little people’ mentality that many others in his position have been known to exhibit. He was respectful, kind and encouraging. Before leaving that day, we snapped a photo and he told me to “think big and never give up,” which is the same thing my parents had always told me.
Inspired by these words, my journey did not stop there. Following CPAC 2015, my desire start my own small business was reignited. Just over a year later, I officially opened my doors to pageant contestants nationwide with Pageant Precision, a company dedicated to helping young women ace their interviews, expand their knowledge of current events and prepare for their future careers. In less than 6 months, I have already had multiple local, state and national winners. On top of running Pageant Precision, I am preparing to graduate from law school in May and am busy providing political commentary in my weekly Washington Times column as well as on Fox News, TheBlaze and other television and radio networks.
I am proud to have had the opportunity to have met and been inspired by such an incredible leader following my time at Miss USA. Of course, I do not speak for everyone and can only speak from my own personal experiences. But, as a young conservative and a woman of God, I feel that our country needs Mr. Trump. I am confident that he will bring us back to economic prosperity and defend us from the evils that our nation continues to face.
I believe that Mr. Trump has the courage, integrity and respect that we have been missing in the oval office. I hope you will consider Mr. Trump’s policies and plans along with my personal testament to his character. Avoid listening to the rhetoric used against him for ratings. Join me in voting for Mr. Trump. It is time to Make America Great Again!
Madison Gesiotto is a conservative writer and commentator who appears on Fox News Channel. She is currently in the final year of pursuing her J.D. at The Michael E. Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University. You can reach her by email at or follow her on Twitter: @madisongesiotto.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Ranking Every U.S. President By Net Worth

By Alex Greer on June 25, 2015, USA Today [paragraphing changed below due to posting issues].
There’s no doubt about it: being the U.S. president is a hard and often thankless job. Richard Nixon famously said, “Scrubbing floors and emptying bedpans has as much dignity as the Presidency.”

[JB -  see link to this article.]
But being president also has amazing perks (Air Force One!), and most presidents have been financially well-off. In fact, the average net worth of a U.S. president ($62 million) is more than 200 times the average net worth of a U.S. adult ($301,000). It pays to be president.
Using the most recent data from 24/7 Wall St., InsideGov ranked every U.S. president
by net worth, from lowest to highest. 24/7 Wall St. relied primarily on historical records
to value each president’s assets and adjusted all numbers for inflation.

They included factors such as land and property, income, inheritance, and book royalties
in  their calculation.

Overall, presidential wealth has gone through several notable trends. Many of the earlier 
presidents made their fortunes before entering the White House, largely through land 

In contrast, many of the modern presidents came into office modestly wealthy, but
significantly boosted their finances through subsequent book deals and public speaking.
*Note: the rankings are 1-43 because Grover Cleveland was president twice. All values are expressed in 2010 dollars and adjusted for inflation. 

The wrong immigration debate - Note for a discussion, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United"

The conversation — or argument — we’ve been having on immigration has been remarkably skewed. It’s been all about the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants, otherwise known as the “undocumented.” Actually, what counts far more are the estimated 31 million immigrants who are here legally and the roughly 1 million who gain legal entry every year.
Of course, the question of undocumented immigrants is important. As a society, it’s intolerable to have so many people living in a legal twilight zone, often despite years of responsible and law-abiding behavior (two-thirds of illegal immigrants have been in the United States for 10 years or more, reports the Pew Research Center). Still, one powerful reason for settling this issue — to legalize most of those already here and to suppress new illegal flows, even with a wall — is to move on to larger subjects.
We need an immigration system that gives priority to skilled over unskilled workers, rather than today’s policy that favors family preferences for green cards. This sort of system would promote assimilation (because skilled workers have an easier time integrating into the workforce and society), increase economic growth (because skilled workers have higher “value added” than unskilled labor) and reduce poverty (because many unskilled immigrants have incomes below the government’s poverty line).
Although we can’t easily quantify these benefits, they would promote the greater good for an aging society with a sputtering economy. Anyone who doubts immigration’s pervasive influence should examine a massive report issued last week by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. It’s titled “The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration.” Here are some highlights.
Immigration is no longer a side issue. From 1995 to 2014, the number of immigrants increased from 24.5 million (9 percent of the population) to 42.3 million (13 percent). When the children of immigrants are added to the total, nearly 1 in 4 Americans is of immigrant stock. Immigrants are increasingly shifting from traditional “gateway” states (California, New York, Florida) into nontraditional states (North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Nevada).
● The number of illegal immigrants has stabilized at about 11 million since 2009. The number of Mexicans illegally in the United States declined from 6.4 million in 2009 to 5.8 million in 2014. Others have taken their place. All these figures represent “net changes” — illegal immigrants entering the United States minus those leaving. Although these flows now roughly balance, they’re still huge, averaging about 300,000 to 400,000 annually.
● Poor immigrants — heavily from Latin America — have increased U.S. poverty. In 2011, the poverty rate (the share of the people below the government’s poverty line) was 35 percent for Mexican immigrants and their children and 22 percent for El Salvadoran immigrants; by contrast, the poverty rate was 11.1 percent for Korean immigrants and their children and 6.2 percent for Indian immigrants. The poverty rate for all native-born Americans was 13.5 percent.
● Immigrants and their children impose costs on government, mainly for local schooling, which the Supreme Court has decreed must be provided for all immigrant children. By contrast, Congress has barred even legal immigrants from receiving some federal benefits. In 2013, the study estimated, immigrants’ costs to government exceeded their taxes by $388 billion, slightly more than 2 percent of gross domestic product.
What justifies immigration if it generates more in government costs than in taxes? The answer is that the benefits of immigration can — and, in this case, do — go beyond taxes. By one estimate, immigrants (including their entrepreneurial activity) have increased the size of the U.S. economy by 11 percent or about $2 trillion. With baby boomers retiring, all the projected growth in the U.S. labor force from 2020 to 2030 stems from immigrants and their children, the study reported. 
The gains from immigration would be magnified if we emphasize high-skilled workers. Productivity would be higher, poverty lower. Interestingly, this also would help low-skilled Americans, both natives and recent immigrants. They wouldn’t have to compete against new low-skilled immigrants, who would vie for their jobs and depress wages.
Whether we have the political competence and courage to face these issues candidly is an open question. The study deliberately steered away from policy prescriptions; it was mainly a fact-finding exercise, reflecting (presumably) the subject’s controversial nature.
The presidential campaign offers little ground for optimism. Donald Trump has used immigration as a wedge issue and shows little understanding of the underlying substance. Hillary Clinton seems intent on placating her Hispanic supporters, many of whom surely support family preferences for immigrating legally to the United States.
But the underlying realities will not retreat no matter how much we wish they would. If we cannot maneuver immigration to our advantage, it will almost certainly work to our disadvantage.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Thunderclap: Sharing Messages That Matter

"Thunderclap: Sharing Messages That Matter," uscpublicdiplomacy

uncaptioned image from entry

Sep 22, 2016
Thunderclap is an online "crowdspeaking" platform that helps individuals and organizations get their messages heard. The platform amplifies a message in “flash-mob” style by engaging and leveraging the social reach of their followers, allowing one post to reach millions of people. Thunderclap's main focus is to spread messages that matter to raise awareness and create change. A variety of non-profits, organizations and corporations have used the platform to ignite change, including AmeriCorps, the United Nations, Univision, L'Oreal and The White House. Some of its supporters include President Obama, Arianna Huffington, and former Prime Minister David Cameron.
Click here for more PD Digital stories.

Sound familiar?

Trump image from

From: [A] version of a review by Alec Walter George Randall of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, The Times Literary Supplement (September 16, 2016), p. 38
The fact is that ... after the War there were several vague and ill-defined antipathies. ... The party that could exploit all these in turn would have a good opportunity of crystallizing the all-prevailing disillusionment and discontent to its own advantage. It is not suggested that this was deliberately undertaken ... [W]hile there were a small number of constant factors in the ... [party's] campaign, there were several secondary demands, sometimes hardly reconcilable with one another, whose prominence in the party's public agitation was made dependent on circumstances. Thus the campaign ... seemed to postulate benevolence towards Moscow . ...
In domestic politics there were examples of the same adaptability. ... It is clear that, however forcibly several of the [party's] tenets are stated, definition is rarely allowed to approach an embarrasing point. ... The originality and driving power of the ... Party clearly do not lie in its ill-assorted political, racial, and economic dogmas, but in the personality of its leader.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

No Easy Way Out

Eternal life might be unbearable, allowing for the crushing accumulation of bitter memories of slights, failures and betrayals

Given the absence of an afterlife, we need to be consoled about death—unlike animals that are spared our lifelong anticipation of it. We need a story about our mortality that makes it look like less of a tragedy. In his chipper and charming “The Consolations of Mortality: Making Sense of Death,” Andrew Stark, a professor of management and political science at the University of Toronto, considers four stories about why death might not be as bad as we tend to suppose.
First, death is actually quite benign. Second, immortality would give us no more goods than mortality can provide. Third, immortality itself would be intolerable. Fourth, life already contains all the bad things that death entails.
The first and third options are the most promising with the other two open to obvious objection. The second option insists that if we have done something worthwhile in life we have lived enough life, but that doesn’t take into account other precious aspects of life, such as love, pleasure and fascination. The fourth option points out that life is full of loss, so that death gives us more of the same, but that ignores that in death we also lose ourselves. So let’s concentrate on the other two. 


By Andrew Stark
Yale, 275 pages, $30
Epicurus famously said that, so long as we are alive death is not with us and in death, there is no self to endure deprivation—so we have nothing to worry about. The logical point is correct but, as Mr. Stark observes, this is not much help psychologically, because we still have to face the fact that this thing we love—life—will some day be snuffed out. It is the fact that I will be no more that bothers me, not the confused fear that I will be unhappy when dead.
The existentialists try to make a virtue of necessity by claiming that death is the great motivator: It galvanizes us by its presence, forcing us to make something of our life—to become a real authentic self. One sees the point of this reflection—imagine the procrastinations of immortality!—but it is surely not true that only death can motivate us to achievement and selfhood (what about vanity and rivalry, or the desire to do good?).
Then we have the Buddhists: once we come to see that the self is unreal we will recognize that there is no self to die—no real entity goes out of existence when death overtakes us. In Western philosophy we have the views of David Humeand Derek Parfit, to the effect that persons are collections of connected mental states with no underlying ego; so long as mental states continue in other people, nothing substantial has been lost when a particular individual dies. Again, the logic sounds reasonable, but how about our actual psychology—isn’t this view a lot like saying that I never existed to begin with, so why worry about my impending nonexistence? And why is it wrong to want my mental states to continue? That is what the fear of death is.
So we get to the perils of immortality, and whether they might be as harrowing as those of death, and here reach a point of at least partial comfort. I found this part of “The Consolations of Mortality” the most rewarding, building as it does on the important work of the late Bernard Williams. Williams’s argument takes the form of a dilemma: Either immortality would lead inevitably to excruciating boredom, or it would lead to the perpetual reinvention of the self, in which case it is tantamount to repeated death. It would seem to inevitably lead to boredom because eternity is an awfully long time to keep repeating the same old pleasures and passions. In a tiny fraction of eternity, everything of the world will have been learned with nothing new to pique one’s interest. Even a delicious plate of oysters will pall after the billionth dozen. Won’t one’s own self come to seem as dull as ditchwater? 
There is also the point, mentioned by Mr. Stark, that as one ages one will be prone to painful nostalgia for the time of one’s youth, a million years ago; and how will one relate to people much younger? I would add that immortality allows for a crushing accumulation of bitter memories of slights, failures and betrayals. Memory is already cruel enough in our limited lifespans, but it would be more cruel if it could store up pain and grievance over endless aeons.
True, we might well feel that a few hundred extra years of life would be nice—we don’t live long enough given our psychology—but to live forever is a very big commitment. We could avoid such pitfalls by creating new selves every thousand years or so—selves without the baggage of memory to weigh them down—but then we have traded immortality for something that looks like mortality. Maybe the ideal would be to live as long as one felt like living and then put an end to the tedium when it became too much.
So there is some consolation to be found, Mr. Stark shows us, but it is of a distressingly indirect kind: Yes, death is bad, very bad, but it is not as bad as the impossibility of death. We may prefer mortality to immortality, if we follow Bernard Williams’s argument, but that is like preferring to be whipped than electrocuted—neither is remotely acceptable. From the fact that A is worse than B it doesn’t follow that B is any less bad than we supposed.
My own view is that consolation is more available from reflections about the nature of personal identity, particularly the impermanence of the self over the course of a single biological life. Isn’t it true that my childhood self no longer exists, having been replaced by my very different adult self? And wasn’t that earlier death not as terrible as I suppose my adult death to be? Maybe we can be consoled by the thought that an ordinary human life consists of a series of deaths of successive selves, the last death merely being the one that puts an end to the series.
Mr. McGinn is a philosopher. His books include “Philosophy of Language: The Classics Explained” and “Prehension: The Hand and the Emergence of Humanity.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Number of illegals holds steady at 11.1 million - Note for discussion, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United."

By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Length of time rises, making deportation tougher

Image from article, with caption: In this Aug. 9, 2012, file photo, people are detained for being in the country illegally and are transferred out of the holding area after being processed at the Tucson Sector of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters in Tucson, Ariz. The number of immigrants in the U.S. illegally has changed little since the Great Recession began, dropping to 11.1 million in 2014 from 11.2 million in 2012 and 11.3 million in 2009, according to a study released Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, by the Pew Research Center.

Illegal immigration is holding steady at about 11.1 million unauthorized people in the U.S. as of 2014, according to the latest numbers from the Pew Research Center Tuesday that signaled Mexicans continue to drop, while Central Americans and Indians make up a greater percentage.

About the same number of new illegal immigrants arrive each year as return home, die, or gain legal status — a trend that’s held steady since 2009, when the unauthorized population stood at 11.3 million.

And those illegal immigrants who are already here, usually living without fear of deportation, are becoming ever more deeply entrenched. Pew said the median length of time in the U.S. is now nearly 14 years, while just a decade before it was eight years.

That could make it even tougher for a future president to oust them, since they’ve put down deeper roots — the kind of situation that even GOP nominee Donald Trump has said could earn some form of legal status.

For his part President Obama has set out rules that make longer-term illegal immigrants generally safe from deportation, saying he wants to instead focus on new arrivals.

“Unauthorized immigrants increasingly are likely to have been in the U.S. for 10 years or more,” Pew said in the new report.

image from

Will We Build a Wall Against Chinese Immigrants, Too? - Note for a discussion, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United."

Nick Gillespie,; via LH on Facebook

America has never been a "white" country.
Economic and cultural nativism is on the rise - and the most un-American idea of all.

Georgetown Book ShopGeorgetown Book ShopCan you guess who the victims were of the largest mass-lynching in American history and where it took place? Most people would, I think, guess blacks first, then maybe Mexicans or Native Americans. And we'd assume it was somewhere in the old Confederate states. Writing in the Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby notes that the 18 men and boys killed on October 24, 1871 were chosen dragged out of their houses and beaten and hanged because they were Chinese. The locale wasn't Alabama or Mississippi, either. It was Los Angeles, California.
They were Chinese, and they were murdered by a mob, nearly 500 strong, that included some of the city's leading citizens.
"Their first victim was an elderly, inoffensive Chinaman, whom they seized and dragged headlong through the streets, beating and abusing him at every step," the Los Angeles Daily Mirror later recounted. At the corner of Temple and New High streets, the lynch party tied a noose around the old man's neck and hauled him up. "The rope broke and the unfortunate wretch, innocent of any wrong, asked for mercy from his cruel tormentors. This was denied with jeers, and he was again hung up; this time successfully."
As readers of Reason know, the first mass exclusions on the basis of country of origin (then as now a proxy for protean categories of race) covered the Chinese in a law titled with unabashed descriptiveness: The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. (Read Erika Lee's recent history The Making of Asian America for more.)
Jacoby notes that Chinese now comprise the single-largest group emigrating to the United States:
In 2013, according to the Census Bureau, China was the country of origin for 147,000 US immigrants, compared to just 125,000 who came from Mexico. Over the previous 10 years, immigration from China and other Asian countries had been rising, while immigration from Mexico decreased. Since at least 2009, reported demographer Eric Jensen, more immigrants to America have been Asian than Hispanic. By 2013, the disparity was unmistakable: Asians accounted for 40.2 percent of the total immigration flow. Hispanics made up only 25.5 percent.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal crunched even more recent numbers. "In 2014, there were 31 states where more immigrants arrived from China than from Mexico. . . . Even in California, a top destination for Latinos, Chinese immigrants outnumbered Mexican immigrants." (The data include all immigrants, legal and illegal.)
Wikimedia, public domainWikimedia, public domainIf Mexicans are the enemy within—all this talk of deporting millions of undocumented immigrants is mostly aimed at them—China has mostly replaced Russia or Japan as our major enemy without. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, virtually all of the failed GOP candidates for president, and especially Donald Trump mince no words in saying they will hold China accountable for flexing its regional military might, "manipulating" its currency (something all national central banks do simply by existing), and especially "stealing" American jobs. And of course, Chinese immigrants in America threaten "us" in a way that is less like low-skilled Mexicans and more like the fears stoked by Jews back in the early 20th century: Chinese kids are so super-smart, especially in math and engineering, right, that they aren't taking manual-labor gigs away from low-income, low-skilled natives? They're taking away all the slots at the University of California system and maybe even the Ivy League! They're not human, they work too hard!
Jacoby closes his piece with a trenchant observation about how "we" (real Americans, who can trace at least two generations in the U.S. of A.!, but not inlcuding blacks) always eventually do the right thing after exhausting all other options:
We look back today at the demonization of Chinese immigrants in the 1870s and 1880s and are aghast that so many Americans could have spouted such ludicrous, ugly stuff. We have come a long way from the Chinese Exclusion Act to today's robust Asian immigration flows. A generation or two hence, Americans will look back at the harsh and unworthy immigration politics of our time, and be equally aghast that Mexicans were so reviled, and US citizens so willing to be deluded.
He's right about that. We eventually accept most ethnicities as A-OK (again, except for blacks and maybe American Indians). When my maternal grandparents (and as many of their relatives who could scrape together the money for a steerage-class ticket) showed up in America in the 1910s from god-forsaken southern Italy (a very distinct place than practically Austrian/French/Swiss and hence semi-legitimate northern Italy), they weren't white. No, they and their dusky skin, short bodies, and (obvious!) lack of intellectual capacity and impulse control were a big part of The Passing of the Great Race, or the pollution of the Nordic blood that defined true Americans, in Madison Grant's influential, idiotic thought. One of the great achievements of the 20th century (for my family, at least) was that my parents, born of Italian parents on side and Irish immigrants on the other, emerged as fully white and American within 40 or 50 years of being born. It only took suffering through the Depression, really, and supplying infantry members in World War II and Korea. Certainly, by the early 1970s (when the foreign-born population was at a historic low), nobody was questioning whether micks and wops didn't belong; the same went for Jews, whether they came originally from Germany, Poland, Russia, or wherever. In an era of rising crime rates, street violence, and economic empowerment of often-ethnic sports and movie stars who weren't interested in taking a back seat, traditional white America had bigger problems and needed more troops to fight off the onslaught of Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in the Northeast, Mexicans in the Southwest, and blacks and American Indians everywhere (the numbers of these latter two groups weren't increasing, but they were increasingly restive). Japanese went from being interned during World War II to being honorary whites and the same was kinda-sorta true for Chinese, Koreans, and Vietnamese refugees (once they learned unaccented English, at least).
What counts as "white" has always been fluid and fraudulent, but it often (always?) comes at the expense of some new out-group. Hell, in the days after the 9/11 attacks, even blacks were "white" for a while, because we were all united against Arabs or Muslims (and maybe Sikhs, because they seemed like kind of the same thing and people still aren't making clear distinctions between nationalities and religion). Jacoby is sanguine that anti-Chinese animus is deeply buried in the past, like coolies in a mountain landslide during the building of the transcontinental railroad. I'm not so sure, especially if economic growth continues to snail-pace along at less than 2 percent a year. That sort of anemic expansion—a product of all sorts of things, including out-of-control government spending, ever-increasing regulatory dicta, and forcibly misallocated dollars into everything from defense spending to insurance premiums to ineffective safey rules—makes us all crabs in a pot that seems to be getting smaller all the time. The water gets hotter and well, you start fighting like nobody's business to kick out everyone you can. If Chinese immgrants keep coming over in relatively large numbers, Chinese Americans keep doing well here, and China continues coming into focus as our major economic and military adversary on the world stage, we could easily see a resurgence of the worst sort of populist racism and discrimination.
In an exchange related to his column, the Globe's Jacoby tweeted this out:

America's not a 'white, European' country. It's a nation built on ideas, not race & soil. Nativists don't grasp 

I think that's just about exactly right. Certainly, it helps explain that amazing and largely unremarked upon fact of assimilation and acculturation that my parents, especially on my mother's side, as Italians were more "foreign" than Irish, managed in less than a lifetime. My mother's parents never spoke English their entire lives, yet before they died, the Italian-American immigrant experience, as cartoonishly but powerfully expressed in The Godfather novel and movies, had become the American experience. When my folks got married in 1950, it was considered a species of mixed marriage (made possible only by the fact that they were both Catholic, itself a centuries-old marker for being less-than-fully "American"). The idea of America as a place where anyone from anywhere can come and express their potential through radical economic, cultural, and political freedom is what's exceptional about this country. At its best, America is always something new and constantly changing, becoming, one hopes, ever-more inclusive and expansive. There's always room for more of everything in a country that has barely gotten started.
Nick Gillespie is the editor in chief of and Reason TV and the co-author, with Matt Welch, of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America (2011/2012). He is also a columnist for The Daily Beast.