David North's blog

Nuances on the "Path to Citizenship" Emerge in Protracted House Hearing

By David North, February 6, 2013

To what extent are the pro-amnesty people advocating what the illegal aliens want for themselves, and to what extent are they calling for, instead, what the advocates want to do to the illegal aliens?

That question was implied in yesterday's marathon immigration policy hearing of the House Judiciary Committee. Read more...

A Dilemma for Many Diligent Democratic Members of the Congress

By David North, February 5, 2013

If you are a Democratic member of the Congress, and are paying close attention to public policy issues, you may find yourself in this situation:

You support the massive "path to citizenship" for illegals backed by the president

You support the president's efforts to restrict gun rights (as do I).

You know that illegal aliens currently cannot legally own guns.

Thus, by backing the amnesty, you would be expanding — eventually — the number of people who may lawfully own guns by 11 million or so — and every one of the 11 million would have a record of breaking the law! Read more...

Obama to DACA's: You Can Have Dessert Without Eating Your Spinach

By David North, February 4, 2013

When I was growing up, the rule at the dinner table was that you had to eat your spinach (or worse, boiled Brussels sprouts) before you could have your dessert.

That's a good precedent, but one that the Obama administration has not applied to either the proposed mass amnesty program as I noted in an earlier blog, nor to the rules set forth for those who are currently applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Read more...

A Feast of Immigration Quirks in the Current Issue of Interpreter Releases

By David North, February 4, 2013

If you need a brief respite the from the gloomy news of a perhaps impending massive legalization program, here are some immigration oddities reaped from the January 14 issue of Interpreter Releases, the sober-sided, irony-free trade paper for immigration lawyers. Read more...

40 Million Illegal Aliens in 2038?

By David North, February 1, 2013

We have all been warned against making predictions about the future. But if the future reflects the past the figure below shows what could happen to the size of the illegal alien population in 2038, 25 years from now, if the current group of 11 million illegals becomes legalized under the Obama plan. Read more...

The Fine Print: The "Must Pay Their Taxes" Provision in the Obama Amnesty

By David North, January 31, 2013

You might have gotten the impression that the White House is proposing that the newly amnestied millions will have to pay their taxes in order to secure legal status.

You would be wrong. Read more...

Another Look at the Forces Behind Birth Tourism

By David North, January 30, 2013

Birth tourism — which recently has become a local controversy in Southern California — arises from a confluence of strong factors, illustrated in the diagram below.

Birth tourism is the planned birth of an infant in the United States by a visiting alien mother who seeks at-birth citizenship for the baby; typically she and the baby leave the country after the birth, but the child can return at any time in the future, and years later can set in motion the legal immigration of his or her parents and other family members. Read more...

Aliens Who Thumb Their Noses at the United States Get Green Cards Anyway

By David North, January 29, 2013

Two small classes of aliens who have, in effect, thumbed their noses at the United States, are now about to get their green cards — despite non-admirable behavior in the application process.

Neither group has done anything criminal, but they have (at least in my eyes) treated Uncle Sam with disdain. Despite this, USCIS has set in motion techniques for them to get admitted to the United States.

These are the careless brides and grooms, on one hand, and the overly casual, overseas relatives of people who have secured refugee or asylee status, on the other. Here are the stories: Read more...

Dreamy Enforcement Provisions vs. Genuine Steps Forward: A Checklist

By David North, January 28, 2013

Today's New York Times and Washington Post ran news articles about how a group of eight senators has cobbled together a "comprehensive immigration reform" plan that will introduce a massive amnesty program after some "tougher enforcement" strategies have been put in place.

The proposed enhancements of immigration enforcement are largely symbolic and are designed to sound good, rather than to actually reduce the populations of legal and illegal immigrants.

Here's a little checklist on some of the weakest of these proposals: Read more...

The Multiple Negatives in Immigration Speak

By David North, January 21, 2013

Two of the characteristics of the lingo of the immigration business are its often-convoluted nature and its double-negatives.

For example, cancellation or suspension of removal is good news for the alien — it means that he will not be deported — but voluntary departure is bad news, it means that he has to leave the country (but not in custody).

But the indoor gold medal in the field of awkward, multiple-negative, complex convolutions in immigration law terminology must go to this wonderful headline in the January 7 issue of Interpreter Releases: Read more...

Here's a Puzzler — Drenched in Irony — about Amnesties

By David North, January 16, 2013

Here's a puzzling, immigration-related, political and philosophical question, one that may call for the diagramming of the sentence below:

If we are going to have an amnesty for illegal aliens, which is not a good idea, should it be designed to make it relatively harder for more-useful potential residents of the United States to cheat the system than for less-useful potential residents to do so? Read more...

The Rest of the Story on Partial Federal Court Secrecy in Immigration Cases

By David North, January 15, 2013

Last month I reported on a case of puzzling, partial judicial secrecy about an immigration case in a blog entitled "It's a Sealed Court Document, But if You Cross My Palm with Silver ...". Read more...

Brilliant at Everything but Managing the Immigration Rules

By David North, January 11, 2013

It is a strange combination, but it keeps appearing.

Some alien, or sometimes a group of them, is absolutely brilliant at some kind of activity, but a total klutz at managing immigration regulation.

Sometimes this odd mix is used as an argument that we really should loosen our immigration laws on behalf of some partially-brilliant group, or an individual. Here are three examples of this mix of talent and ineptitude. Read more...

ICE Press Operation Concentrates on Everything but Immigration

By David North, January 9, 2013

A good – and very public – test of an agency's priorities is what its press people write about.

If you apply that test to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) you will see that while immigration is the agency's first name, its staff of publicists seem to prefer writing about just about everything else. Read more...

A Little Good Immigration Policy News from. . .Oklahoma

By David North, January 7, 2013

A small bit of immigration policy good news floated out of Oklahoma recently, one involving a highly useful tax idea that should be spread nationwide.

Though the foreign-born population there is a mere 5.1 percent, according to the U.S. Census, compared to 12.5 percent nationally (in 2009), Oklahoma has a state legislature that is interested in combating illegal immigration, and it is quietly showing the way for the rest of us. Read more...

Here’s a Sound, if Obscure, Congressional Precedent about Amnesties

By David North, January 4, 2013

One of the obvious troubles with amnesties is that they usually set in motion additional chain migrations – still more immigrant arrivals that would not have happened had the original amnesty not taken place.

Congress has recently acted in the case of one notable alien from Nigeria, to let him become a legal permanent resident, but, at the same time, to make sure that he does not start any unlimited chain migration. It makes an interesting precedent should the next Congress – despite the advice of the Center for Immigration Studies – contemplate an amnesty of any kind. Read more...

Foreign Students Can Still Attend Flight Schools Not Authorized by FAA

By David North, January 3, 2013

It is hard to believe, but foreign students are still being allowed to attend flight schools that are not authorized by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). They have up to February 11 to sign up to get their student visas. Read more...

Many EB-5 Investments are Marginal – Like that Hockey Team in Phoenix

By David North, December 31, 2012

We have suggested in this blog that many proposed EB-5 investments (for would-be immigrant investors) are pretty marginal, but here's one that is so bad that its marginality merits extensive coverage in a Canadian newspaper, Toronto's Globe and Mail.

An American businessman, Greg Jamison, tried and failed to get the financing he needed from rich aliens so that he could gain control of the Phoenix Coyotes, a professional hockey team in the middle of the desert, according to the paper. Read more...

"It's an Ill Wind . . . " Hurricane Sandy and TPS for Haitians

By David North, December 28, 2012

The administration continues to go out of its way to be nice to illegal aliens, and others from Haiti, who are now in the U.S. with Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS was granted to Haitians in the U.S. originally because of the earthquake of January 12, 2010. Read more...

As We Face a "Fiscal Cliff" Let's Close Immigration-Related Tax Loopholes

By David North, December 24, 2012

Memorandum to: President Obama and Speaker Boehner
From: David North, CIS
Re: There's $100 billion available from immigration sources to avoid the "Fiscal Cliff" Read more...

H-1B Victims Win Symbolic but Hollow Victory in U.S. District Court

By David North, December 23, 2012

A group of Filipino teachers here on H-1B visas won a court battle in California earlier last week against the Filipina-owned contracting company that had exploited them over the years.

The press headlines were misleading, however, trumpeting "Filipino Teachers in US win $4.5 million". Read more...

Who Comes First, the Inventor or the Casino Investor?

By David North, December 21, 2012

In terms of limited green card visas, who comes first?

  • The brilliant, young inventor with a PhD from a distinguished American university or
  • The otherwise undistinguished alien who made at least half a million dollars by, for instance, running a casino?

Do we want the best and the brightest or do we want someone with half a million he is willing to invest in the U.S., assuming both are from the same country, such as China? Read more...

It's a Sealed Court Document, But if You Cross My Palm with Silver ...

By David North, December 19, 2012

This is not a story about bribery, but another report on the odd mix of secrecy and openness that marks immigration cases in America's courts and semi-courts.

There is a specific employment-based, green-card immigration case, which happens to be in U.S. District Court in Eastern Michigan. The judge's decision intrigued me on PACER, the federal courts' electronic data system, so I read the full text of the judgment.

In any court case, that's the end of the story (the substance of which will be reported in a subsequent blog), but I wanted to know how it started. Read more...

DHS to Create a Class of *Undocumented* Permanent Resident Aliens in 2013

By David North, December 17, 2012

Starting on February 1, 2013, America will have a new legal class of aliens — they will be undocumented permanent resident aliens.

This bizarre new category of immigrant was created by a notice in the December 14 Federal Register by order of United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), a part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Read more...

Administration Pushes for Both Floods and Tiny Flows of Migrants

By David North, December 17, 2012

While most immigration policy attention is focused on a possible "comprehensive reform" bill and on the ongoing White House-created amnesty for "childhood arrivals", both involving massive numbers, the administration continues to press forward to also bring in small flows of additional migrants (and workers) by tweaking the existing system.

Today's examples of proposed small flows — neither one curtailed in any way by numerical limits — relate to two extremes of the migrant population:

  • The spouses of some of the best-paid H-1B workers (professionals); and
  • Teenage and young adult children of crime victims (probably a poverty-stricken group).

Government Seems to Juggle Financing of Appeals Process to Increase Migration

By David North, December 13, 2012

Maybe I am cynical, or perhaps paranoid, or both, but I sense that the administration may be juggling the financing of two immigration-related appeals systems in such a way as to encourage more immigration.

What follows is convoluted, a D.C.-based version of inside baseball; it may or may not reflect a deliberate bias. I have no evidence that it does, but it certainly looks that way.

One appeals system, if funded fully, would increase the outflow of deportees; another, if fully funded, would bring in additional immigrants, and bring them in more quickly. Read more...

Great — if Tentative — News at the Border

By David North, December 12, 2012

One of the signal, continuing failures of U.S. immigration policy has been the practice of returning illegal aliens to just the other side of the U.S.-Mexican border when they are forced to leave the United States, rather than sending them deep into Mexico where most of them live.

Finding themselves thousands of miles from home, and probably broke, many of the once-captured illegals decide to try to enter the United States again and, of course, many succeed. Read more...

More Foreign Workers = More Patents Argument is Disputed at DC Session

By David North, December 10, 2012

Those arguing for more immigration of high-skilled workers often trot out an argument that ties 1) securing patents with productivity, and then 2) ties the number of patents to the incidence of foreign workers.

In other words, the more foreign workers, the more patents, the more production, and hence more general prosperity for America. It sounds superficially plausible. Read more...

Class Action Case May Shed Light on a Dark Portion of the H-1B Program

By David North, December 7, 2012

A hearing in a Los Angeles federal courtroom that started this week may cast some light on two quite different, but related, immigration-policy matters:

  • A squalid program to exploit Filipino H-1B teachers and deny jobs to citizen teachers, run by a good-sized Louisiana school district; and
  • The potential utility of using a class action lawsuit to correct the resulting abuses.

New USCIS Data Show How DACA Delays Decisions in Other Programs

By David North, December 6, 2012

USCIS statistics released Wednesday reveal how seriously the new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty has slowed work on all other agency programs.

That analysis does not come from the agency, but a simple review of the numbers shows the negative impact of the new caseload on the continuing work of USCIS. Apparently the agency has not added enough additional staff to cope with all the young people, primarily from Mexico, who entered the nation illegally before the age of 16, and who now want the short-term legal status offered by that program. Read more...