David North's blog

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...

Corporate Founders, Apples and Oranges – Revisited

By David North, October 18, 2013

Big business advocates of more immigration love to say that 52 percent of the Silicon Valley startups were associated with immigrants, as mentioned in an earlier blog "Start-up Founders, Patents, Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics and Migration Policy".

As I pointed out then, the 52 percent is not the percentage of Silicon Valley startup founders; it is the percentage of such firms that had one or more immigrants among their founders, and each firm can have one to multiple founders. Such studies never calculate the percentage of founders who are immigrants, a percentage sure to be substantially less than 52 percent. Read more...

Immigration Problems Through the Looking Glass – US and Belize

By David North, October 17, 2013

Here's the astoundingly modest claim of the Immigration Minister from the Central American nation of Belize:

And we do have some honest people in the Immigration Department.

Pakistani Brits Open up on Deceptive Alien-Citizen Marriages

By David North, October 15, 2013

There is relatively little written in the U.S. about deception-based immigration/marriage fraud.

That occurs when the alien persuades the citizen (or, less often, the green card holder) that the alien is in love with the citizen and wants to marry that person for his or her charms – when the real attraction is a green card for the alien. Read more...

Start-up Founders, Patents, Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics, and Migration Policy

By David North, October 14, 2013

How often do you encounter a phrase like this (from the current issue of the Economist)?

Immigrants are responsible for launching about half the country’s most successful start-ups and producing a striking number of its patents.

Hearts, Flowers, and Violins for an Illegal Alien’s Sturdy Father

By David North, October 11, 2013

This is a story about a reasonably healthy, 65-year-old man. Born in China, he works full time in the United States, owns a restaurant and (assuming that he has paid his social security taxes) is covered right now by Medicare and is about to start receiving social security benefits.

He is thus in better financial shape than many other Americans of his age. Further, he is legally present in the United States and has been here for 24 years. He could become a citizen if he wanted. Read more...

It's Diversity Visa Month — Again; Ironies Abound

By David North, October 9, 2013

It's Diversity Visa Lottery time again!

No other nation in the world runs a lottery for immigrant visas, only the United States. Read more...

Forced Weddings are the Worst Kind of Immigration/Marriage Fraud

By David North, October 8, 2013

The worst kind of immigration-related marriage fraud is that involving forced marriages.

Routinely, the unwilling member of the wedding is a young U.S. citizen woman who belongs to a deeply conservative immigrant family; the usual groom is an alien of similar ethnic background, but he is older and at least a bit richer than his spouse and, though it is probably politically incorrect to say so, usually everyone involved is a Muslim. Read more...

USCIS Warns of EB-5 Immigrant Investor Fraud

By David North, October 4, 2013

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has, belatedly, taken a useful step regarding the immigrant investor (EB-5) program.

Together with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the agency this week issued a warning against middle-man fraud in the program. Read more...

Immigration Policy Decision-Making by Insulated Decision-Makers

By David North, October 2, 2013

The elite establishmentarians who make immigration policy — senators, foundation heads, ranking federal officials, corporate CEOs, and their ilk — are totally out of touch with the mass of Americans who are impacted by those policy decisions. And the former's mas-migration decisions reflect this.

The policymakers' kids and grandkids, of course, do not compete with international migrants for jobs at the bottom of the labor market. Likewise, the policymakers typically do not experience first-hand the impacts of over-population by, say, riding the New York subways. Read more...

An Employer, Known to IRS, has Close to 40k Illegals on Its Payroll

By David North, October 1, 2013

Somewhere in America there is a huge employer who had, on average, about 40,000 workers a year on its payroll, most of whom probably are and were illegal aliens.

The government knows the employer's name (and does not share it) but has apparently taken no steps to correct the situation. Read more...

O Brother, Where Art Thou? The Immigration Case

By David North, September 26, 2013

The answer to the headline's question in a recent immigration case is: "Right here, boss." I will get to the specifics in a minute.

This is another instance of an obscure appeals agency, in keeping with the administration's policy tilt, reversing a sensible staff decision on an immigration matter. Read more...

Using Financial Controls to Limit the Adverse Impact of Illegal Migration

By David North, September 23, 2013

"No — no fences, no drones, no more agents; you do not need them; if you want to limit the impact of unauthorized immigrants make it difficult for them to send money home; we have the technology to do that right now."

The source of this advice was an unexpected one; a Hispanic income tax consultant in a small, rural town on the Delmarva Peninsula; he was not terribly upset by the presence of lots of illegals in the workplace — "we need their labor," he said, but he was concerned about the financial ramifications of the illegals' presence in the country.

"Many of them come to America to send money back home; if you limited their ability to do that, a lot of them would not come. Make it mandatory that they can send money home only with an electronic card of some kind, set a limit on those payments, and punish the wire transfer companies if any individual sends too much," he continued. Read more...

Tiny, Virtually Unknown Agency Dilutes Penalties for I-9 Violations

By David North, September 16, 2013

If Immigration policy-making in the United States were a huge mosaic — with large colorful splotches being the White House and Congress, with USCIS and the Border Patrol occupying major, but less prominent positions, OCAHO would be a little grey blur near the edge of the big picture.

If a falling leaf stuck to it, you would not see it at all. Read more...

Tiny Bit of Good News – More Migrants Retiring Overseas, Not Here

By David North, September 12, 2013

The United States is financially better off when people who would probably be eligible for various social benefits — such as Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, SSI, etc. — leave the country. You might call it the emigration of the elderly, something we rarely discuss.

The good news is that the outward movements of such persons have been increasing, albeit slowly, over the last six years. Most of these are foreign-born.

How do we know this?

Who's on First at Homeland Security?

By David North, September 11, 2013

The DHS press release headline says it all:

Statement by Deputy Press Secretary Marsha Catron on Acting Secretary Beers' Upcoming Trip to New York and Italy

Not only is there an acting secretary, there's a deputy press secretary presumably acting for the real press secretary.

But that's not all. Rand Beers, whose continuing title is that of one of the under secretaries of DHS, where he is the ranking anti-terrorism person, is the acting deputy secretary, and, it is because of that role that he — now that Janet Napolitano has left town — is also the acting secretary. Read more...

Statistical Trends that Should Slow Immigration, Don't

By David North, September 10, 2013

There are some significant statistical trends that should indicate a slowing of immigration, but it has not worked that way, certainly not yet.

I am thinking about the birth rate in Mexico — the country that supplies us with the most migrants, legal and illegal; the incidence of marriage in the United States, which supplies a huge percentage of our legal immigration; and finally crime, because under the right circumstances crime, like marriages, can create visas.

Speaking broadly, birth rates in Mexico, the marriage rate in the United States, and crime rates here have all been declining for a number of years. All of those trends should lower migration pressures, but they have not. Let's look at these three variables in turn. Read more...

High Likelihood of Amnesty Fraud Discussed at Scholars' Meeting

By David North, September 6, 2013

"Eligibility is not an issue."

The question was the extent to which unqualified illegal aliens were applying for DACA benefits.

The chilling answer came from an immigration researcher who had been studying the reaction of a group of illegal aliens to current and proposed legalization laws.

That person said Wednesday that the attitude in "the community" — an all-encompassing, warm, supportive term often used by immigration academics — was that the benefits were "out there" and there was no down side to applying and losing, but much to be gained if you were found qualified. Hence, the implication was, that everyone was applying — eligible or not. Read more...

DHS Terrorist Grant Goes to Obscure Island in Alaska

By David North, September 5, 2013

Every year the Department of Homeland Security distributes funds to local government entities to help prevent terrorism and every year it makes some outlandish (but politically correct) grants to locations that are unlikely to attract any right-minded terrorist.

Clearly New York, Boston, and Washington have been targets of terrorist attacks and the local defenses need to be shored up, but the grant-makers also have other, and more exotic, ideas. Read more...

L-1 Nonimmigrant Worker Program Gets Some Well Deserved Attention

By David North, September 4, 2013

The L-1 is a massive, often exploitative non-immigrant worker program that is even more lightly regulated than the more prominent H-1B program. But in recent weeks it has secured a little badly needed official attention. Read more...

Pro-Immigration Cato Snubs EB-5 Program in Investment Study

By David North, September 3, 2013

The libertarian Cato Institute is deeply, vehemently for more immigration; it wants some form of amnesty; it wants more legal immigrants; and it particularly wants more non-immigrant workers, as this page shows.

Immigrants will help the economy grow, they say; we will all prosper if there are lots of additional, willing workers. Read more...

Here's a Switch — Australia Hires Other Nations to Take Its Boat People

By David North, August 28, 2013

Woodrow Wilson spoke of the American states as "Laboratories for Democracy".

The general idea was that other entities could watch as one or more American states tried out innovative governmental techniques and programs.

Such experimentation is going on all the time in the immigration field, but it is done by other nations. Some of it is admirable, some of it is scary, and some of it is somewhere in between. Read more...