David North's blog

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...

Fraud Acknowledged in Part of EB-5 (Immigrant Investor) Program

By David North, December 5, 2012

Substantial applicant fraud in part of the immigrant investor (EB-5) program was officially recognized by an unexpected source at a USCIS "stakeholders" meeting Monday in Washington. Read more...

Sloppy Reporting, Media Bias Downplay Very High Immigrant Birth Rates

By David North, November 30, 2012

If you are worried about the over-population of America, as I am, you might have been cheered by this headline: "Report: U.S. birth rates hit record lows, largest drop among immigrant Latinas".

And you might have been puzzled by this text:

The numbers tell the picture quite clearly. Between 1990 and 2010, for example, the birth rate among U.S.-born Hispanic women dropped from 82.4 percent to 65.4 percent.

Wow! One hundred of these women used to have 82.4 babies a year, and now, 100 of them have only 65.4 babies a year? Read more...

Does the Department of Defense Want the DACAs?

By David North, November 30, 2012

Does our military establishment want to recruit anyone from the new set of amnesty grantees, those granted short-term legal status by Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program?

Apparently not.

Given the White House's glowing description of this population of illegal aliens, those who arrived before the age of 16 and were under 31 on June 15 of this year, one might expect that the Department of Defense would look upon them as a useful addition to the pool of potential military recruits. Read more...

The Canadians Are Having a Healthy, Outspoken Foreign Worker Battle

By David North, November 29, 2012

The Canadians are having a delightful and totally appropriate battle over foreign workers — coal miners from China.

Here's the situation: Read more...

An Urgently Needed Amendment to Any DREAM Act

By David North, November 27, 2012

If there is any legislative move on a version of the DREAM Act, a possibility Mark Krikorian discussed in a recent blog, we should insist on at least this one minimal requirement: every applicant must be interviewed, in person, by a USCIS officer — not by a consultant or by contract staff.

While the officer's decision might be subject to supervisory review, the original recommendation should carry substantial weight in the overall determination of the case. Read more...

Worksite Immigration Enforcement is Minimal — CRS Study Confirms

By David North, November 26, 2012

If a report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) implies that immigration law enforcement on the job site is minimal, you know it must be true. Read more...

USCIS Sheds a Little Light on Denial Rates

By David North, November 21, 2012

Denial rates in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty are still being kept under wraps by USCIS, but some light was shed on related subjects recently; further, the agency earlier released some numbers on non-DACA denial rates.

As many have noticed, USCIS is much more likely to talk about case volume (receipts) or grants (approvals) than it is about denials of applications. This is in keeping with its self-image as a benefit-granting agency. Read more...

USCIS, a Judge, and the NY Times Put the Right Spin on a Ping Pong Case

By David North, November 18, 2012

All too often we hear about the heart-rending story of the individual alien, often illegal, who loses a battle with the immigration-management system. The tale is about the high school valedictorian who wants to become a priest or a physician (for instance) who is about to be deported. But we never hear about how many others would have to be granted legal status if this one case were to become a precedent.

In other words there is a journalistic focus on the attractive individual alien, with no thought of the larger picture. Read more...

Here's a Switch — Preventing Immigration Fraud Before it Happens

By David North, November 14, 2012

All too often we read that immigration fraud has been detected years, even decades, after the event.

But our British colleagues have just reported the prevention of a case of immigration-related marriage fraud before it occurred.

Part of the story apparently relates to a heads-up marriage license clerk, and part to an underlying British immigration policy situation that is different from ours and which I will get to later. Read more...

Immigration Anomalies: Legals Who Would Rather Be Illegals

By David North, November 13, 2012

While my colleagues are (appropriately) doing the heavy lifting regarding the immigration policy implications of the recent elections, we might focus on some of the immigration policy anomalies that result from the hugely complicated rules and regulations on the subject. Some of those rules are in the federal sphere, some the states' sphere, and some in both. Read more...

ICE and DoL Correct Huge H-1B Errors Made by USCIS and DoL

By David North, November 9, 2012

Though the ICE press release does not acknowledge it, federal investigators from that agency and the Department of Labor (DoL) have uncovered and corrected a huge H-1 problem that had been missed by both USCIS and DoL — for a decade. Read more...