May 10, 2013
One of the sensible things that the Congress does from time to time is to create or extend a specific program on a short-term basis. It allows the system to operate, but gives it a "sunset" — a certain date that will end it unless Congress acts to extend it.
In this way, Congress can look at the program to see how well it is working and then make a decision as to whether or not to: 1) kill it; 2) make it permanent; or 3) give it another period to prove itself by giving it a later sunset. Read more...
May 8, 2013
While doing some research on the massive misuse of affidavits in the agricultural worker part of the IRCA amnesty – scores, perhaps hundreds of thousands of fraudulent applicants got legalized this way – I stumbled on this example of our immigration system at work.
Below is the cover page of the decision on this case made by the Office of Administrative Appeals (AAO), a unit within USCIS, which, in turn, if you believe the document, is within the "U.SiDepartmen! ef Homeland Seeuriry". Read more...
May 4, 2013
It strikes me that a highly successful congressional maneuver of the 1950s might be revived in effort to sink the proposed "comprehensive immigration reform" bill (S.744).
It was then called the Powell Amendment, and it was named for the flamboyant and controversial congressman from Harlem, Adam Clayton Powell (D-N.Y.). Read more...
May 3, 2013
It's amusing, as I have noted in connection with the rivalry among H-1B users, when there is internal competition among those using the immigration law both to expand migration and line their own pockets. Read more...
May 3, 2013
Suppose there is a tax incentive for employers to hire foreign workers rather than American ones (as there is in a special set of circumstances).
The routine assumption is that the foreign workers will know about it and that the favored employers will take advantage of it. We tend to think that no one is going to leave money on the table.
More broadly, too many of us (including this writer) often assume that a stated federal policy will, in fact, be routinely implemented in real life. Not so in this case. Read more...
May 1, 2013
While in the United States the two political parties seem to compete with other as to how far to expand foreign worker programs, the Canadian government seems to be moving — at least a bit — in the opposite direction.
The most recent controversy started when an H-1B-using outsourcing firm (in the States) spread its tentacles into Canada, and started replacing Canadian workers with foreign ones at the Royal Bank of Canada. That stirred many protests and a lot of media coverage. Read more...
April 30, 2013
It's fun watching those exploitative H-1B employers fight …
Not the government;
Not the workers; but
Normally, big business interests using foreign worker programs to lower wages and displace resident workers do so in harmony with each other; they unite to keep the workers in check and to fend off government regulations. And when they are all using the same program, they tend to move in lock-step with each other. Read more...
April 29, 2013
An illegal alien, with the right work history, would not even need to be in the United States when he applies for legal status under one provision of the Gang of Eight's big immigration bill, S.744.
The same alien could get legal status even though his entire life experience in the United States consisted of a single four-month visit.
Are these rules set up for Nobel Prize winners? It might make sense for them. Read more...
April 26, 2013
There are some tough-looking new rules in the Gang of Eight's proposed legislation seeking to discourage employers from becoming dependent on H-1B workers.
This is in S.744, the omnibus immigration "reform" bill, and the new H-1B rules are typical of the deceptive elements that are so common in that package. Read more...
April 18, 2013
The Gang of Eight in the U.S. Senate has advocated 10-year wait for a green card for most of those in the proposed amnesty followed by a three-year period before naturalization could begin.
How should we think about that?
My position is that any broad-brush amnesty is a bad idea because it would encourage more illegal immigration in the future. That certainly was the result of the IRCA legalization of the 1980s. Read more...
April 16, 2013
The breathtaking casualness of the Gang of Eight — and the media — as they deal with the exploding population of the United States was demonstrated in this morning's New York Times with this off-hand remark:
The legislation also aims to eliminate the backlog of 4.7 million immigrants who have applied to come here legally and have been languishing waiting for green cards.
April 16, 2013
These numbers are drawn from a recent CIS Backgrounder, "Immigration and the American Worker: A Review of the Academic Literature", by Harvard Professor George Borjas, who is generally recognized to be the nation's leading immigration economist. They show only the non-fiscal economic impacts of international migration. Were tax and welfare balances to be shown, since immigrants are, on average, a low-income population, the picture would be even more dramatic. Read more...
April 15, 2013
If the government's experts tell us that we are producing far more high-tech grads than the industry needs (as they do), why are the politicians thinking about importing even larger cohorts of alien tech workers? Are the pols, maybe, paying more attention to the lobbyists than to the facts? Read more...
April 12, 2013
Watching the on-going legislative scramble over "comprehensive immigration reform" I am reminded of:
IRCA's Gang of Three. Currently there are Gangs of Eight in both the Senate and the House trying to resolve the inevitable immigration policy conflicts by quiet negotiation among these self-selected, bipartisan groupings. Too many commentators regard these (conspiratorial?) gatherings as signs of progress. I beg to differ. Read more...
April 9, 2013
The year's supply of H-1B visas for inexpensive high-tech workers was exhausted the first week that the window was opened — to no one's surprise. Every year the visas become available to employers on April 1 — 65,000 in the general category and 20,000 in the advanced-degree-in-the-U.S. category.
Bargain-hunting employers, particularly the Indian body shops (i.e. placement agencies), poured in their applications, hoping to obtain nearly indentured college graduates on the cheap, most of whom will be assigned to routine technological jobs. Read more...
April 8, 2013
Many people think that the only way to buy your way into legal presence in the United States is through the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program. Not so.
There are three different ways that an alien can buy his or her way into legal status; each pathway has a different price, sometimes involving more than just money; and each pathway has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here is a summary, more or less in the style of Consumer Reports, for the three routes to buy legal status: Read more...
April 2, 2013
My immediate reaction in a blog about the EB-5 scandal in Chicago, involving investments of $145 million last month was off the mark.
Being all too accustomed to writing about fraudulent practices by promoters of this program, I was a bit blase about the news and emphasized the fact that the Securities and Exchange Commission had taken the lead in breaking this case, not USCIS. The court filings dealt with getting money under false pretenses, not with the multiple violations of the immigration law and regulations that also had occurred.
What I did not realize at the time was that this really was a very big deal, nationally and internationally. Read more...
April 1, 2013
There are two kinds of immigration-related marriage fraud, and one is much more difficult for the authorities to detect than the other.
In one scenario the alien sweet-talks the citizen into a real marriage, keeps the marriage alive for the needed two years after which the green card can be secured, and later breaks off the marriage and seeks a divorce. Let's call these the con cases.
In the other the alien (or his or her agent) simply pays a citizen to go through a sham marriage. These are the cash cases. Read more...
March 28, 2013
The terminology of the immigration policy debate is all wrong.
Those wanting to expand migration portray themselves in glowing colors as "reformers", out to fix a "broken system", who want to "liberate" the economy and shed inhibiting practices and laws. Even an "open borders" policy sounds more attractive than a "restrictive" one.
And since, by and large, the writers and editors in the mainstream media are in cahoots with the mas-migration people, these misleading terms are widely used in reporting immigration policy.
I propose a new term for those who want to massively increase migration: pushers. Read more...
March 26, 2013
The great immigration writer John Higham famously wrote long ago that the country-of-origin immigration quota system, adopted during the Harding administration, was the "triumph of bigotry over greed". Corporate greed for low-paid workers was trumped, in his eyes by the forces of nativism.
Things are a little more complex today, but if "comprehensive immigration reform" is enacted in the near future it will be because of the combined forces of: Read more...
March 25, 2013
Here's an example of selective truth-telling, from a story in Saturday's New York Times titled "Finding a Path to a U.S. Visa, Often by Luck":
[S]ome opponents of more lenient [amnesty] policies have contended that the deferred action and other immigration programs might tempt some illegal immigrants to commit fraud in order to qualify. [Emphasis added.]
March 22, 2013
Yes, it is true, if you look hard enough there will be a saint or two in the federal prison system. I suspect there will also be a Harvard Law graduate or two. But no news article on the prison population would dream of selecting the imprisoned Harvard grad as the poster child for the population of those jails.
An article in this morning's Washington Post, on the other hand, headlined "Betting the farm — for green cards", picks a highly atypical family that benefits from the immigrant investor (EB-5) program as its poster children. Read more...
March 22, 2013
There is a long, painful story in the March 22 New York Times, "Officials Still Seek Ways to Assess Border Security", about how to measure the effectiveness of immigration control, with the notion being that there is a political need to have some indication that we have illegal immigration in hand prior to any amnesty. Read more...
March 19, 2013
The United States is very much alone in granting immigration visas to siblings of citizens, as this table shows: Read more...
March 15, 2013
There were more births to Chinese tourists in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands last year than there were to the indigenous population, the Marianas Variety is reporting in its March 14 edition. Read more...
March 12, 2013
Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, was recently quoted in an ABC News story about the dangers of nonimmigrant worker schemes:
"Programs like the bracero program or temporary guest-worker programs where individuals were tied to an employer, they got exploited", he said. "They got cheated out of wages [and] they weren't given what was rightfully due to them. They were forced to work under unsafe conditions. They were forced to accept substandard wages. They couldn't say anything, because if they did, [the employer] would jerk their permit and deport them."
March 8, 2013
It is now apparent that an immigrant investor in the EB-5 program can secure at least some immigration benefits without actually investing any money. Read more...
March 8, 2013
Within our immigration system there are three negatives to avoid:
- Bad public policy;
- Fraud against the United States and its citizens; and
- Fraud against individual aliens.
One often encounters a single negative, such as someone seeking to enter the United States with bad documents; he would be in Class B. Read more...
March 7, 2013
When the government decides not to spend the needed amount of tax moneys on immigration enforcement, it can always argue that it is helping to reduce the national debt.
When the same government, presumably only lightly motivated to regulate migration, decides not to charge adequate fees for enforcement activities to immigration-related entities profiting by lax regulation, it has no such defense. There is no public sector savings, all the savings go to the private entities that use the program. Read more...