May 2, 2011
There's an interesting difference between U.S. government rules on the F-1 visa for foreign students and how those rules are described by the visa middlemen in India.
According to USCIS, "you must be enrolled as a full-time student" at the institution. Read more...
April 29, 2011
Throughout our lives we are told that "that the early bird gets the worm," that it is a good idea to be "early to bed and early to rise," and that a "stitch in time saves nine," but USCIS has now overruled those mottos in the H-1B program.
It now is about to impose a set of rules in that foreign high-tech worker program to, in effect, make life easier for the late birds, the late risers, and the non-stitchers among the greedy employers who use the H-1B program to lower their labor costs, and deny jobs to American workers. Read more...
April 28, 2011
I suppose it is progress when one of the State Department's alien worker programs decides that foreign college students can no longer be used as rickshaw operators, or in their words: "as pedicab or rolling chair drivers".
It certainly is a refreshing bit of transparency when the department admits that its Summer Work Travel program had sometimes been used to staff "money laundering, money mule schemes and Medicare fraud", though no details are provided. Read more...
April 27, 2011
While all the talk was, subtly, in favor of mass immigration, there were some conflicting views regarding the recent Utah developments at the 8th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference in Washington on April 26.
The event, at the Georgetown University Law School, was co-sponsored by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network. It is a continuation of a series of such events that, with somewhat different sponsorships but with an identical policy orientation, have been happening every spring since at least 1969. Read more...
April 26, 2011
Sometimes it is downright embarrassing to find tiny Third World nations handling immigration challenges better than the mighty U.S. does.
For example, The Bahamas has just decided to triple the investment needed if you want to get permanent residence there; the bar used to be $500,000 (often used to buy a house) and now it is $1,500,000. These are Bahamas dollars, but they are worth, depending on the mood of the market, a hair more or a hair less than the U.S. dollar. Read more...
April 24, 2011
For advocates of the illegal alien population the headline seemed to be a winner. It said:
Study estimates that illegal immigrants paid $11.2 B in taxes last year, unlike GE, which paid zero
The news story was by Albor Ruiz and appeared in the New York Daily News on April 20. Read more...
April 23, 2011
Sometimes it is useful to look at a single deportation case to get a sense of how the immigration law is, in fact, enforced.
In the Middle Ages theologians used to debate how many angels could dance on the head of a pin; nowadays, immigration lawyers and judges often argue about the meaning of a "crime of moral turpitude" in deportation cases.
It's not that the alien in the dock is not deportable – that he's deportable is usually conceded by all parties. Nor is there a question of whether or not the alien has committed a crime; again, that is pretty clear. Read more...
April 22, 2011
Global Horizons, a Beverly Hills-based farm labor contractor, listed in a recent CIS publication, "Taking Names", as one of the few misbehaving employers of aliens to be penalized by the government, is now in trouble with a different government agency.
This time it is the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and this time the charge is that it discriminated against the 200 or so Thai nonimmigrant farm workers, brought to this country through the temporary farm worker (H-2A) program. Read more...
April 21, 2011
There was a spirited debate on variations of the Dream Act at the venerable Brookings Institution in Washington on April 20.
By Washington standards it was a "fair and balanced" session, with both presenters being mass migration sympathizers, as were two of the four panelists. But one of the two restrictionists present was CIS's Mark Krikorian, who suggested that a Dream Act with four major changes could be acceptable public policy, as outlined later. Read more...
April 19, 2011
You might think that if an alien obtains legal status in the U.S. through a marriage-related visa that the government would want the marriage to last for a while, say, two years. Right?
Well, you would be, sometimes, wrong. Or so the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has ruled. (The BIA, an arm of the Justice Department, plays the role of U.S. District Courts in cases appealed from Immigration Judge rulings.) Read more...
April 16, 2011
As a recovering government press agent (Department of Interior, 1997-1999) I read a recent ICE press release with a specialized pair of eyes.
The lead was, shall we say, arresting:
A fugitive wanted in Mexico for beating a young boy to death with a hammer in 2001 was deported Thursday to Mexico where he faces aggravated homicide charges . . .
April 13, 2011
A single Border Patrol agent, dealing with, say, a five-mile stretch of the southern border, may not have a good understanding of the nation's immigration enforcement policy, but he certainly knows how it plays in his own turf.
Similarly, I do not have a good grasp of IRS policies, generally, regarding the collection of taxes from aliens, but I do have a pretty comprehensive knowledge of how they work vis-a-vis foreign graduate students. This is the case because I have been running, for 12 years now, a volunteer program to help graduate students at a major D.C.-area university with their income tax filings. Most of our clients are from overseas. Read more...
April 9, 2011
The Board of Immigration Appeals did the right thing on April 8 – and I hope governmental publicists let the Muslim world know about it.
They probably won't, partially because the Congress may be shutting down the government, and partially because foreign policy writers rarely pay attention to immigration issues, both unfortunate situations. Read more...
April 8, 2011
Usually foreign worker programs are viewed from a distance by observers, as useful or destructive activities, or by employers as good ways to cut wage costs. Sometimes they are seen through the eyes of U.S. workers displaced by the program. Sometimes, when abuses are severe, one sees the program from the point of view of the exploited worker.
In the case of the H-1B program – which I think should be reduced drastically and reformed – I have had an opportunity to see the program through eyes of the willing participants, people who are either in the program or who are headed towards it. Read more...
April 7, 2011
As noted here in the past, USCIS desperately wants to "streamline" its application processes.
Even if eligibility rules are not changed a bit, modifying an application process to make it faster, or less expensive, or more convenient to the applicant, inevitably makes that process more attractive, and thus it is used more often, and that creates more migration.
A clumsy process, however, tends to discourage marginal applicants. Read more...
April 6, 2011
One of the nation's major educational users of the H-1B program has been cited as a "willful violator" of that program by the U.S. Department of Labor. Read more...
April 5, 2011
The ICE press release headline read:
"Upstate New York dairy farmer charged with harboring illegal aliens"
I had two reactions: first, why should this be news – shouldn't ICE being doing this all the time? My sense is that many farms hire and harbor illegals, and that few are fined, much less charged with a criminal offense.
Secondly, why was this farmer sorted out for this treatment? The full text of the press release, which follows, spoke to neither of those concerns: Read more...
April 4, 2011
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, understandably, is funded largely by fees levied on corporations and individuals seeking immigration benefits.
It also can waive some of these fees when it decides that the applicant has a sufficiently low income, and it has just released some data that seems to indicate that it is losing at least $44 million a year in those fees. Read more...
March 31, 2011
The House of Representatives Immigration Subcommittee held a different kind of H-1B hearing this morning – no employers were speaking and no one asked to increase the various ceilings on new admissions.
This despite the fact that the two numerical ceilings for new admissions this fiscal year (65,000 and 20,000) were filled months ago, both well before the September 30 deadline. Read more...
March 24, 2011
At the moment the cloud at the southern border is no larger than a man's hand, but it has prospects for seriously complicating the nation's immigration control programs.
Observers have long known that if there were a massive number of asylum applications by Mexican nationals, legal and illegal, the entire immigration apparatus would be seriously challenged, if not totally swamped. Read more...
March 21, 2011
That was the repeated call, if I remember correctly, of the guys selling scorecards at the big league ballparks of my youth.
What they offered was the crucial recording system that they said you really needed to understand the game.
Well, that's often my reaction to Immigration Daily, a publication written for immigration lawyers and other more-migration advocates.
Sometimes a governmental announcement does not make any sense – at least not to me – until you hear what the immigration lawyers, writing for ID, have to say about it. Read more...
March 21, 2011
While I am fond of Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Richard Lugar (R-IN), and Mark Udall (D-CO), all valuable members of the Senate, there is an air of unreality about the immigrant entrepreneur bill that they have introduced. Read more...
March 18, 2011
Professor Norm Matloff (from the University of California at Davis) quietly demolished the industry-cultivated notion that because H-1B workers are the "best and the brightest" more of them should be admitted to work in America's high-tech industries.
He did so this morning a few blocks from Capitol Hill, at the Georgetown University Law School building at a meeting sponsored by the GU Institute for the Study of International Migration. Read more...
March 14, 2011
The ever-creative, nicely-funded advocates of more migration have announced a new set of strategies for federal action.
In a nutshell: if congressionally-enacted "comprehensive immigration reform" is off the table for two years, their emphasis will be on narrow administration actions that can be implemented without congressional approval. Each of the actions will be focused on the rights of some groups of aliens – not numbers – and all of them in totality will encourage more migration directly or indirectly, though that is not mentioned. Read more...
March 13, 2011
It is one of the world's tiniest navies, yet it is doing an effective job of preventing illegal entries to the U.S.
And, no, it does not carry the U.S. flag, and it may not even get any U.S. government funds.
The entity is the Royal Bahamas Defense Force (BDF), which is the army, navy, and air force of the Bahamas, all wrapped into a single organization.
If everyone's press releases are to be believed, it is much, much more likely to stop illegal immigrants from Haiti than all of America's migration cops put together. Read more...
March 10, 2011
I am not an English language zealot.
I do not mind the occasional translation of a government document that deals with a limited-English population being translated into another tongue. Emergency signs, for example, in two languages are probably useful to both English speakers and speakers of the other language.
But if a U.S. government agency is going to print something in two languages, should not the English version appear first? Above, rather than below; and on the left side of the page, rather than the right? (We read from left to right.) Read more...
March 9, 2011
This is a question that has puzzled me for decades.
It is generally agreed that the people hurt most, economically, by both illegal immigration and massive legal immigration are those at the bottom of the labor market; and many in that part of the labor market are blacks. Read more...
March 8, 2011
The U.S. State Department has quietly made it legal for some Americans to migrate their alien same-sex partners to the U.S. – but it has done so only for diplomats.
Run-of-the-mill citizens can get visas for alien spouses only in male-female marriages, but the ever-creative State Department has figured a way around that law, but only for its own diplomats. Earlier it made roughly comparable arrangements for diplomats from other nations. Read more...
March 2, 2011
The USCIS involved the White House in its announcement at five this afternoon of a proposed rule that would save H-1B-using corporations millions of dollars a year.
The proposed rule, which would not go into effect for 12 months, will not affect the basic rules of the program nor the various ceilings set by Congress, but it would potentially cut costs for employers, presumably making it even more attractive to corporations than it is now. Read more...