October 31, 2011
Sometimes the Department of Homeland Security does the right thing, and when that happens it is only fair to report it. Both of today's stories relate to the Border Patrol.
All too often when BP agents apprehend illegal entrants at the U.S.-Mexico border they simply process them (get their names and fingerprints) and then bus them back to the nearest port of entry, giving them the opportunity of trying again the next night.
Needless to say, this is not much of a set-back to the EWIs (those Entering Without Inspection). Read more...
October 28, 2011
Warning – Big Business is about to start screaming that there is a shortage of H-1B workers – and the annual ceiling must be lifted or there will be serious problems with the economy.
These alien workers have substantial educational credentials, usually in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields and often work in the electronic and computer sectors. Let's look at the numbers more broadly before we get to the alleged shortage. Read more...
October 28, 2011
Both are lawyers, both are women, both are very pro-immigration, both are heads of public sector organizations.
So who is paid more, Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, a former governor of her state and currently a member of the president's cabinet, or Crystal Williams, executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers' Association, a trade organization?
DHS has more than 200,000 employees; AILA has 57. Read more...
October 27, 2011
Suppose you and 30 other individuals in a similar situation had owed IRS a substantial amount of taxes since 1995. Suppose IRS knew all about it at the time.
Do you suppose IRS would give you, and the others, a 19-year-long grace period before doing anything about it?
Well, USCIS (and INS before it) has given a group of 31 would-be alien investors exactly that forgiving treatment.
Here's a (considerably shortened) history: Read more...
October 24, 2011
The United States seems to be doing nothing about a problem that Great Britain is dealing with: forced marriages leading to fraudulent visas.
As noted in an earlier blog, that nation has been taking steps, perhaps halting ones, for the last three years to combat forced-marriage-creating immigration visas. Read more...
October 21, 2011
Lithuanians and Letts do it
Let's do it, let's fall in love
– Cole Porter
While those wonderful old lyrics suggest the possibility of dreamy international marriages, some of the realities of such arrangements are less than attractive, as the current British discussion of forced marriages reminds us. Read more...
October 20, 2011
Here's a rare bit of genuine good news on the nonimmigrant worker front: the immigration inspectors at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport turned back 15 Russian engineers that Boeing had wanted to work full time on a visa (B-1) that prohibits such behavior.
With the exploitative H-1B program not as generous as some employers want, several have turned to the B-1 visa for business visitors as a substitute. B-1 visa holders can attend training sessions, go to conferences, and sell stuff but are not supposed to take full-time jobs in the American economy. Read more...
October 19, 2011
The press release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) caught my eye for two reasons: 1) because the bad guys had fraudulently filed an eye-popping 25,000 phony immigration documents, and because 2) Earl Seth David had such a memorable last name.
On deeper examination, however, this ICE- told tale "Head of New York law firm charged with immigration fraud" had some deeper and, for me, disturbing meanings. Read more...
October 18, 2011
We at CIS often write about immigration-related situations in which aliens benefit and citizens lose, such as in the nonimmigrant worker programs (H, J, L, etc.), where foreign workers often shoulder aside American ones.
Here's a switch, though a not very attractive one. Read more...
October 14, 2011
While Temporary Protected Status (TPS) seems to last forever, as those of us at CIS have pointed out several times in the past, the number of aliens using an instance of that status sometimes tends to shrink, as in the case of Sudan. Read more...
October 13, 2011
It was a clean sweep, if an obscure one.
While previous trade treaties, such as NAFTA, had included disastrous immigration articles, the three passed by the Congress yesterday had no such provisions.
I am not sure that free trade agreements are helpful to average Americans, while helping corporations and farmers. That aside, I was relieved to learn this morning that the treaties with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia were at least not dealing with immigration.
Each of the treaties contains these words: Read more...
October 11, 2011
If there is an elephant in the room, and that worries you, you might open the door and send him back to where he belongs.
That common-sense approach, however, does not enter the thinking of Human Rights First, an advocacy organization that has just published a comprehensive examination of the ICE detention system called "Jails and Jumpsuits". Read more...
October 10, 2011
The two industry arguments that we: 1) must have more of the "best and brightest" foreign workers, and 2) that employment-based green card visas can be backlogged for as much as 70 years, do not work well together, though both pitches are made all the time.
The reality is that our immigration screening process is a multi-tier operation, tilted appropriately to give faster access to America to the alien workers with the most skills. Some spokespeople for the nation's corporations are all too ready to blur that picture. Read more...
October 7, 2011
Not everyone benefiting from a currently proposed USCIS rule-change is an aging juvenile delinquent, but I suspect most of the people in the Special Immigrant Juvenile category fit that description. Most of the beneficiaries, if not all, are probably illegal aliens, as well.
The proposed USCIS regulation makes it easier for the applicants to get green cards, as explained subsequently. Read more...
October 6, 2011
Thanks in part to two strong performances by two strong women, the cause of more green cards for foreign students with advanced U.S. high-tech degrees seemed to advance at a House of Representatives hearing yesterday.
The pro-migration tone of the hearing of the House Subcommittee on Immigration had been set by the catchy title of the event: “STEM the Tide: Should America Try to Prevent an Exodus of Foreign Graduates of U.S. Universities with Advanced Science Degrees?” Read more...
October 3, 2011
"You might say I was a 'wet bottom'," he laughed.
My friend, whom I will call Juan, was articulate, brilliant, and a U.S. citizen. He had been born in Mexico and had risen to be the ranking Hispanic officer of a major American labor union. When I met him, some 40 years ago, we each had (separate) grants from the Ford Foundation on migration matters.
It was a private conversation, and I had asked him how he had first come to the U.S. Read more...
September 28, 2011
Those of us on the Left find it all too easy to generalize about Obama bowing to the fat cats of America.
You know, perpetuating the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, being overly nice to Wall Street, etc.
One might be tempted to extend that litany of criticisms to the attempts of the administration to increase the flow of immigrant investors to the U.S. through various means, and there has been a lot of that recently, as illustrated by this USCIS announcement. Read more...
September 26, 2011
One of the largely hidden problems with current U.S. immigration policy is that if we let in an immigrant, refugee, or asylee we set in motion, over time, the admission of that person's (often numerous) relatives.
His or her siblings, parents, nieces and nephews, and ultimately, their siblings, parents, spouses, nieces and nephews, and so on, generation after generation. Chain migration is the cause of much of the expansion of the U.S. population. Read more...
September 25, 2011
If you had an unruly and obese child in the house would you tell him: "You cannot have more than 15 banana splits today"?
Would you follow that with this order: "Further, you cannot have more than fourteen banana splits tomorrow"?
Probably not, but that is approximately what happened when the Obama administration, apparently caving to the ghosts of ex-Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) and once-jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff, issued new migration rules for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the little U.S. colony just north of Guam, in the western Pacific. Read more...
September 23, 2011
When ICE investigators raided two fringe "universities" earlier this year, places with primarily Indian students, the U.S. media tended to regard the students as victims.
You get a different view from India.
The two institutions are Tri-Valley University in California and Northern Virginia University in the Washington, D.C., suburbs. In both instances ICE was concerned about illegal issuances of visa-creating documents, closing down TVU, apparently for good, and suspending some activities at NVU while leaving the "campus" open for classes. Read more...
September 21, 2011
While this blog is often critical of governmental actions – and inactions – in immigration matters, sometimes the government does exactly the right thing. Here are three recent examples, from three different agencies:
- ICE breaks up a wholesale immigration fraud ring of bogus Christians;
- USCIS reminds employers not to collect illegal fees from H-class guestworkers; and
- State warns against fraud in the diversity lottery program.
September 20, 2011
It's a perfect storm at the nexus of immigration and investment – a proposal to use the EB-5 (buying-green-cards-with-investments) program to start up a huge casino near Washington.
According to today's Washington Post, investors in China are lapping it up. Each family would put up half a million dollars. None of the families would have any other way to get to the U.S. on a permanent basis. Read more...
September 16, 2011
The immigration law and practices of the U.S. include many quirks, some that simply chew up valuable staff time, and some that are down-right dangerous; here is one of the latter.
Suppose you are a thoroughly documented illegal alien, now in the U.S., and you want to leave the country and come back legally.
Two questions: Is there a way to do that? And if so, what are your chances of success?
You might think that a rational nation would say to such an illegal: Good riddance, we never want to see you again. But that's not the U.S. policy. Read more...
September 15, 2011
What does the Obama administration do when a quasi-independent immigration appeals board repeatedly says "no" to alien admission requests?
Well, that presents a problem, because the decision-makers are all civil servants, and perhaps union members, too. The administration really cannot fire them, and it certainly cannot tell them to start ignoring their own opinions and rubberstamp "yes" every time they see an appeal. Read more...
September 14, 2011
Here's the (admittedly odd) scenario:
1. An American citizen takes a trip overseas to beat up or otherwise abuse his alien step-parent or step-parents, or maybe his alien biological parent or parents. (Let's call it a totally regrettable and very, very specialized form of tourism.)
2. The abused alien step-parent or parent survives the abuse and then consults a U.S. immigration lawyer, and learns that because of the abuse, or maybe alleged abuse, the abusee, if that is a word, can file for immigration to the United States and receive a quick (but lifelong) green card as an "immediate relative of a U.S. citizen." Read more...
September 13, 2011
In a recent blog I wrote that USCIS had reported losses from fee waivers of $27 million in FY 2009 and a projected $87 million in FY 2011. Fee waivers are granted to low-income applicants who want something from USCIS but who argue successfully that they are too poor to pay the related fees.
The statement above might imply that the two numbers – $27 million and the much larger $87 million – both were published, as such, by the agency. Read more...
September 10, 2011
Here's a thought about what the Obama administration might do with Uncle Omar, who is America's most prominent illegal alien this month.
As my colleague Jon Feere noted yesterday, the president's half-uncle, Onyango Obama, the illegal alien with the drunk driving citation, has been released from jail, and no official will tell us what the government plans to do with him – despite the outstanding deportation order of some years ago. Read more...
September 9, 2011
USCIS has revealed – if one applies some math to an obscure government document – that it is now experiencing fee-waiver-caused losses at the rate of $87 million a year for FY 2011, sharply up from $27 million a year for FY 2009.
A USCIS press officer gave me the $27 million figure a year or so ago.
The government has long had a program allowing certain very low-income persons – mostly aliens – to seek waivers of immigration and naturalization fees; the basic policy is appropriate but what USCIS has done in the last year was to make it much, much easier for applicants to file for fee waivers. Read more...
September 8, 2011
Open-borders advocates often argue that changes in the immigration law, and/or added enforcement, cannot change the size of the legal and illegal alien populations. No mere governmental activity can resist the human tide of would-be migrants, is their view. They say, in effect, "Why try?"
The totally neutral U.S. Census Bureau offers a stunning rebuttal of that position in its latest report on the shrinking population of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). These islands, north of Guam in the western Pacific, are the newest additions to the U.S. territorial family, having been conquered by the U.S. late in World War II. Read more...