David North's blog

Negative ICE Memo on EB-5 Surfaces; Iranian Operatives in the Program?

By David North, December 13, 2013

The latest news on the embattled immigrant investor (EB-5) program reveals that an arm of the Department of Homeland Security worries that Iranian operatives may have infiltrated the program.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), renewing a detailed attack on the program begun by Sen. Thomas Coburn (R-Okla.) and reported here earlier, dropped a bombshell on the controversial sale-of-visas program by releasing a hitherto secret memorandum on EB-5 written by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) unit of DHS. For the text of both the senator's letter to the department and the leaked memo, see here. Read more...

A Muted Welcome, Please, for the Newest Nonimmigrant Visa (T-6)

By David North, December 13, 2013

What the world needs now is not another immigration-expanding, nonimmigrant visa class, but that's what we have in the brand-new T-6 visa.

It's another one of those government-created, chain-migration systems in which an illegal alien with a plausible story ultimately can provide legal status for his or her alien nieces and nephews; grandparents and grandchildren; not to mention children, spouses, parents, and the like — whether or not he or she has actually seen them face-to-face. Read more...

Much EB-5 Action: Mayorkas Advances, Casino Deal Exposed, Lawyer Zapped

By David North, December 11, 2013

There was much activity today related to the EB-5 immigrant investor visa: EB-5 booster Alejandro Mayorkas's nomination moved forward in the Senate, an EB-5 deal in Las Vegas with political ramifications was exposed, and (to quote the Florida press) "one of the nation's biggest EB-5 lawyers" being barred from practicing immigration law. Read more...

More Wrinkles in the South Dakota Investor Visa Scandal

By David North, December 9, 2013

A couple of new elements have popped up in the ever-expanding EB-5 investor visa scandal in South Dakota.

In addition to the mysterious gunshot death of a local EB-5 middleman, the disappearance of tens of millions of dollars, the odd role in the scheme of a Russian railroad's subsidiary in Cyprus, thwarted investigations a la Watergate, and other variables reported in my recent blog, we have: Read more...

Immigration-Related Marriage Fraud Hits a New High and a New Low in the UK

By David North, December 9, 2013

Immigration-related marriage fraud, always a criminal, grubby activity, hit both a new, depraved low in Great Britain the other day, as well as a peak in chutzpah.

A 23-year-old male from Pakistan, in illegal status and wanting legal papers, conned a 19-year-old woman of very limited intelligence (an IQ of 49) into an Islamic marriage. Since she had legal status in the UK the marriage would convey the same status on the alien. Read more...

It's Beginning to Look Like Watergate in South Dakota EB-5 Case

By David North, December 4, 2013

It is starting to look like Watergate all over again, on a smaller scale, in the South Dakota EB-5 scandal.

The national EB-5 investor-visa program grants green cards to aliens (and their families) who have placed half a million dollars in certain USCIS-approved, but not guaranteed, investments; a lot of EB-5 money has disappeared in South Dakota.

Some of the well-connected lesser functionaries of the party in power in that state were bending if not breaking the law regarding these moneys, the investigative machinery of state government is somewhere between constipated and compromised, and the local press is having a field day. Read more...

Church Arsonist in Vermont Is an Illegal Alien

By David North, December 2, 2013

An earlier blog of mine asked the question: Did an illegal alien try to burn down a church in Sen. Leahy's Vermont?

The damage to the church's steeple was not in question, nor was the identity of the arsonist (Aliaksandr Bychkou); the only question left by media coverage was his legal status. Read more...

New DHS Inspector General to Face Two Nasty, Immediate Challenges

By David North, November 29, 2013

President Obama has nominated John Roth, a supervising investigator with the Food and Drug Administration, to fill the long-time vacancy as Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security. The IG's nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.

Roth faces two nasty challenges in his new job. Read more...

Prediction: Mighty Microsoft Will Triumph over a Lonely DoL Staffer

By David North, November 27, 2013

There's a battle going on between a lone Department of Labor staffer and mighty Microsoft over issuing green cards to the latter's employees, and I predict that an appellate body within DoL will favor Bill Gates over the nameless certifying officer. Read more...

A Tale of Two Migrant Populations: One Deserving, One Not

By David North, November 25, 2013

This is a tale of two populations, both seeking U.S. immigration benefits. Both from Asia.

One is numbered in the thousands, the members have risked their lives in wartime for the United States, and they have certifiable linguistic skills.

The other is numbered in the hundreds of thousands, their main "contribution" to the United States has been breaking its laws, and its skill levels are uneven but generally unremarkable.

Which one is more likely to secure the benefits they seek?

Sadly, it is the second.

EB-5 Middleman Benda's Death Ruled a Suicide by South Dakota AG

By David North, November 21, 2013

The shooting death of onetime EB-5 middleman, Richard Benda, described in a previous blog, was ruled a suicide Thursday by South Dakota's Attorney General, Marty Jackley.

According to the AG's Office, as reported by the Associated Press, an autopsy showed that the death was by a shotgun blast and Benda's own 12-gauge shotgun was the only weapon found at the death site. Read more...

DHS Staff Time Wasted as Agency Issues Regulations for Unlikely Alien Situations

By David North, November 21, 2013

This administration bends over backward to stretch the law to cover unlikely situations that might conceivably inconvenience some alien, some day, under some circumstances.

And it spends money hiring regulation writers to provide all the bureaucratic verbiage needed to take care of these obscure situations. Read more...

Much Internal Diversity within the Diversity Visa Program

By David North, November 21, 2013

There turns out to be a great deal of internal diversity of visa outcomes within the Diversity Visa (DV) program that grants green cards to a random assortment of up to 50,000 aliens a year.

This dawned on me as I examined, in an earlier blog, a report of the State Department's Inspector General on the extent of fraud (and detected fraud) within the DV program in Ukraine. Read more...

OECD Meeting Gives Clues on How to Manage (and Limit) Family Migration

By David North, November 20, 2013

Although I am sure it was not designed for this purpose, Monday's Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) conference on family migration showed that many progressive nations use a wide variety of techniques to discourage immigration-related marriage fraud — techniques routinely ignored in the United States. Read more...

Marriage Fraud Inside Diversity Visa Fraud, All Tucked into a Useless Program

By David North, November 19, 2013

It's a little like one of those sets of Russian nesting dolls, each one hiding and enclosing another slightly smaller one.

On the outside is America's useless (but legal) diversity visa program, which distributes 50,000 immigrant visas to aliens who have won a worldwide lottery.

On the inside of that is a well-organized program to steal the genuine visas from the legitimate winners of this silly program, particularly in Ukraine (once part of Russia). Read more...

H1-B Teachers May Be Coming to DC

By David North, November 14, 2013

There is a strong possibility that the controversial Gulen Turkish Charter Schools, together with their emphasis on hiring teachers from Turkey via the H-1B program, will arrive soon in the District of Columbia, the Washington Post reported this week. Read more...

A Happy EB-5 Correction in South Dakota

By David North, November 14, 2013

Writers hate to file corrections, as it means that they made a mistake. Witness Sunday's awkward moment on "60 Minutes" when the luminous Lara Logan had to admit that her program had been conned by a mercenary security guard regarding the raid on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Read more...

E-Verify for Government Contractors? Three Compliance Gaps Emerge

By David North, November 12, 2013

I think most people concerned with the issue assume that the E-Verify program to identify illegal-alien workers covers all firms with federal contracts. I know I did.

But a recent decision by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a contract dispute indicates that E-Verify coverage of federal contractors is, in fact, full of holes. Read more...

South Dakota Focuses on EB-5: Investigations Galore

By David North, November 11, 2013

A fairly obscure element of the current immigration law — the EB-5 investor program that lets an alien buy a family-size set of green cards for half a million dollars — is suddenly getting lots of unfriendly attention in South Dakota.

Why are the state's politicians, the media, and at least half a dozen groups of government investigators focusing on this program? Read more...

Gerrymandering the Investor Visa

By David North, November 11, 2013

"How come the EB-5 moneys, that are supposed to be used in depressed areas, all go to the glitziest parts of town?"

The puzzled voice at the other end of the phone was a Los Angeles reporter who was writing on the immigrant investor (EB-5) program, which was being used to fund a luxury hotel project. EB-5 (for employment-based, fifth class) gives alien investors and their families a full set of green cards in exchange for half-million-dollar investments in depressed areas of the United States if the money is used in so-called "targeted employment areas" (TEAs). Read more...

Brown Administration Does the Right Thing for Exploited Chinese Workers

By David North, November 7, 2013

While Governor Jerry Brown's administration in California is routinely misguided in its illegal alien policies, it did the right thing late last month regarding the exploitation of some nonimmigrant workers from China.

The state labor department fined BYD, a Chinese electric car company, about $100,000 for exploiting a small group of workers brought in from China to work in its modest LA factory, one that had received $2 million in tax breaks from the City of Los Angeles. Read more...

Clean Sweep: None of Top Three at DHS Has Immigration Experience

By David North, November 5, 2013

Yesterday's DHS press release announcing the appointment of Stevan E. Bunnell as the department's general counsel, confirms it.

Not one of the top three positions at the Department of Homeland Security is filled by a person with any substantial immigration experience.

Here's the line-up at the moment:

Administration Gives Itself a Needless Libya/Immigration Problem

By David North, November 4, 2013

The Obama administration — true to its mission of expanding all flows of immigration at all times — apparently has given itself a totally needless political headache.

It is reportedly opening long-closed doors that have kept a group of would-be Arab pilots out of our flight schools. This time the students would be from Libya. Read more...

Indian Outsourcing Firm Fined $34 million for NOT Using H-1Bs

By David North, October 31, 2013

Usually the massive Indian outsourcing firms get in trouble for using too many H-1Bs when they should be hiring American workers.

But this time Infosys, the second largest of them all, had to pay the feds a record-breaking $34 million in fines for not using H-1Bs; the firm used still-cheaper foreign workers on short-term business visas (B-1s) in order to cut costs and to boost its $2.8 billion annual profit. Read more...

They Shoot Horses in South Dakota – but EB-5 Promoters, Too?

By David North, October 30, 2013

A major middleman in the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program has been found dead, with a bullet hole in his side, on a farm in South Dakota.

Was his death an accident, or a murder?

And if the latter, did it relate to a whole series of EB-5 investments he had guided going sour, or perhaps to a feud between an in-law of his and the neighboring Sioux (the in-law is on trial for allegedly shooting five of the Indian's horses), or perhaps to something entirely different? Read more...

The Problems of Legislative Bundling when Writing Immigration Legislation

By David North, October 28, 2013

The kind of bundling I am referring to here is not that of the lobbyists-legislators' relationships, another interesting topic, but the placing of disparate groups of would-be immigrants under a single heading, with the heading usually chosen for its curb appeal, not its accuracy.

All too often Congress lumps together quite different groups of would-be immigrants and puts an attractive label on them. There are under the current law "special immigrants," a category that includes both credentialed ministers of religion and juvenile aliens under the thumb of American courts; in immigration speak, both are EB-4 migrants, with the initials standing for Employment-Based. Read more...

Did an Illegal Alien Try to Burn Down a Church in Sen. Leahy’s Vermont?

By David North, October 28, 2013

We have noted in the past how few illegal aliens seem to live in the home state of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a sturdy supporter of amnesty.

Has one of those rare illegals just tried to burn down a big old Congregational Church in Vermont's largest city, Burlington? This is a church where the late first lady Grace Coolidge worshiped more than 100 years ago. Read more...

Do the "Best and Brightest" Foreign Students Actually Have to Finish Their Homework?

By David North, October 23, 2013

The administration and the mas migration people are always hectoring us that we must open our doors still wider to foreign graduates of U.S. universities, "given the nation's interest in attracting and retaining the world's best and brightest individuals", as this USCIS document argues.

Ah, but do the B&Bs also have to finish their homework before they can qualify for a U.S. job that might otherwise be filled by a citizen or a green-card holder?

No, of course, not!

Fire Americans First

By David North, October 21, 2013

From Marianas Variety, one of the dailies in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, just north of Guam:

Just after Columbus Day, around 151 workers received a one-day notice of termination from Guam Industrial Services Inc. (dba Guam Shipyard). The termination came in the wake of the company losing an award contract to provide ship repair service for the Military Sealift Command at the former U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility.

Infosys Sees Losses from its Hiring Policy

By David North, October 18, 2013

A tiny bit of news appeared in an unlikely source recently – a corporate financial statement.

The news was that IT giant Infosys, one of the biggest of the Indian body shops, or outsourcing firms, has felt it necessary to set aside $35 million to meet costs stemming from investigations and court cases related to its nonimmigrant hiring policies, and to let stockholders know about that in a quarterly report. Read more...