David North's blog

Here's a Switch — Preventing Immigration Fraud Before it Happens

By David North, November 14, 2012

All too often we read that immigration fraud has been detected years, even decades, after the event.

But our British colleagues have just reported the prevention of a case of immigration-related marriage fraud before it occurred.

Part of the story apparently relates to a heads-up marriage license clerk, and part to an underlying British immigration policy situation that is different from ours and which I will get to later. Read more...

Immigration Anomalies: Legals Who Would Rather Be Illegals

By David North, November 13, 2012

While my colleagues are (appropriately) doing the heavy lifting regarding the immigration policy implications of the recent elections, we might focus on some of the immigration policy anomalies that result from the hugely complicated rules and regulations on the subject. Some of those rules are in the federal sphere, some the states' sphere, and some in both. Read more...

ICE and DoL Correct Huge H-1B Errors Made by USCIS and DoL

By David North, November 9, 2012

Though the ICE press release does not acknowledge it, federal investigators from that agency and the Department of Labor (DoL) have uncovered and corrected a huge H-1 problem that had been missed by both USCIS and DoL — for a decade. Read more...

Adding Sex to Immigration/Marriage Fraud Does Not Negate the Crime

By David North, November 8, 2012

This is one of those cases where one has to give the immigration lawyer involved credit for creativity … even though his client lost in the end.

Here is the situation from the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Alabama: Andreas Andreason, Jr., a U.S. citizen, was on trial for immigration-related fraud in connection with his marriage to Katerina Petrasova, a Czech national, who was using the marriage to get a green card. (She was indicted, too.) Read more...

How the Elections Will Affect the Immigration Subcommittees

By David North, November 7, 2012

The elections — with one major exception — did little to change the composition of the immigration subcommittees in the House and Senate. Each subcommittee has, and probably will continue to have, 11 members. The leadership of each subcommittee will stay with the party that now holds it. Read more...

Today's First Election Result: Candidate Indirectly Linked to Abramoff Loses

By David North, November 6, 2012

A candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, indirectly linked to disgraced, mass-migration lobbyist Jack Abramoff apparently has lost; it is the first result of the day.

The returns (albeit partial) are available because the election took place on the other side of the International Date Line, in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), just north of Guam in the western Pacific. Read more...

Extreme Immigration Positions in the U.S. Island Territories

By David North, November 5, 2012

Count on the American island territories to do things to the extremes, including in immigration matters. Consider, for example:

  • The extreme proposed island constitution in the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • The extreme proposed sentencing for an immigration crime in Guam; and
  • The extreme power of employers and the extreme governor in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), just north of Guam.

The Imperfect Market in Services Facilitating Illegal Immigration

By David North, November 1, 2012

One of the reasons we do not have more illegal immigration than we have already is because it is expensive in terms of money, human time, and skills and sometimes, sadly, human lives. Read more...

Hopeless – Often Pointless – Cases Clog Immigration Courts

By David North, October 31, 2012

We often hear about the vast workloads and long delays in the various immigration court systems, but I have never heard a word about the large numbers of pointless, useless cases brought by the immigration bar that aggravate that problem.

Let me provide one stunning example — a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision — published earlier this year. Read more...

A Continuing Problem for Restrictionists: The Missing Allies

By David North, October 26, 2012

A continuing political problem for the restrictionist movement is the relative absence of what should be a logical set of allies: African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Native Americans, union members, the disabled, and perhaps gays.

Members of these groups — all to some extent discriminated against in the job market — benefit from tight labor markets, and perhaps the most important byproduct of restrictionism is the reduction of alien workers in the workplace, which would lead to a tighter labor market. Read more...

You Might Say that Immigration Marriage Fraud Runs in the Family

By David North, October 23, 2012

One might say that immigration marriage fraud runs in the family. Or one might say that here is a new (to me, at least) motivation for a phony marriage. You would be right on both counts in this newly concluded case from Virginia Beach, Va.

Several people are seriously at fault in this case, but the principal villain is neither the U.S. citizen groom in the case nor his (phony) Belorussian spouse.

That distinction belongs to Danil Lyapin who, among many other things, is the son of the bride (Natallia Liapina) and same-sex lover of the groom, Armondo Figueroa, who married the bride to please his male lover (an unusual motivation for marriage fraud). Danil wound up arranging his mother's phony marriage, thus becoming the lover of his own stepfather. Read more...

The Placid Response of DHS to its Enigma Challenge — the Border Tunnels

By David North, October 22, 2012

Here are a couple of problems: in each case a hostile force is using a secret device to advance its nefarious cause. In each case an English-speaking government wants to do something about it.

These are the challenges:

  • During World War II the Germans had (for the time) a high-tech way to mask its military messages; they did so through the Enigma Code.
  • Right now the Mexican drug cartels are using tunnels under the border to mask its delivery of illegal drugs, as well as some illegal aliens, into the United States.

The results of the two governments' efforts:

USCIS Does Right Thing on EB-5 Issue — and Wins a Round in Court

By David North, October 17, 2012

As we reported in an earlier blog, the staff of USCIS rejected a questionable set of immigrant investor applications, revoking some earlier decisions in the process, and brought down on the agency a court case filed by some of the biggest guns in the EB-5 business. Read more...

How USCIS Has Tilted DACA Decision-Making

By David North, October 15, 2012

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the ranking GOP member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, respectively, have uncovered an outrageous, but not entirely surprising, feature of the way in which the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty program is being carried out. Read more...

Grand Old Man of Immigration Bar Weighs In vs. New H-1B Forms

By David North, October 12, 2012

It's the immigration policy version of the Royal Navy steaming out of Portsmouth Harbor on its way to the Falklands War; it means that an establishment is facing a serious challenge.

That's the image I had when I read the front-page, signed article in the September 24 issue of the immigration bar's trade paper Interpreter Releases by the grand old man of the immigration bar, Austin Fragomen, Jr. It is highly critical of a proposed set of procedures and forms for the H-1B program announced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL). The article is not available online, and it is one of the rare such treatments of a policy issue by IR. Read more...

The Caption Should Have Read: "EB-5 Investor Ducks Courthouse Camera"

By David North, October 10, 2012

We rarely see news photos of EB-5 investors, legitimate or illegitimate, but we almost did in yesterday's New York Times. EB-5 is the immigrant investor program. Read more...

We Should Open Our Eyes to a Wider Set of Migration Issues

By David North, October 9, 2012

One of the troubles with those of us who focus on immigration policy in the United States is that we think almost exclusively about migration to this country, and forced migration (deportation) out of it. I must admit to being guilty of those narrow thought processes most of the time.

There are two other subjects, however, that should get more consideration than they get:

  • Voluntary departures from the United States of both citizens and aliens, the subject of today's blog, and
  • Immigration control techniques used by other democracies, to be dealt with later.

New Zealand Offers Bright Idea on Identifying Sham Universities

By David North, October 8, 2012

As three U.S. senators (and several of my blogs) have pointed out repeatedly, the Department of Homeland Security is not very assertive about closing down sham universities that operate as immigration visa mills.

There's another approach, as an article from New Zealand's leading daily, The New Zealand Herald, indicates: Let the rival, for-profit schools run stings on the visa mills, and take the evidence to court. Read more...

Why Give Aid to a Nation that Doesn't Accept Its Own Criminal Deportees?

By David North, October 5, 2012

It is a typical sob-sister report on a deportation matter, but it includes a reference to a rarely discussed law enforcement/diplomatic issue: What do we do about nations that accept hundreds of millions of dollars in grants, but will not take back their citizens as deportees?

The answer, sadly, is very little.

The story was in Thursday's Washington Post and its headline tells the paper's pitch: "After run-in with law, Cambodian immigrant's permanent residency is at risk". Read more...

MPI & Catholic Church Put on Dignified Pep Rally for More Migration

By David North, October 2, 2012

Everyone was well-dressed, well-spoken, and quite polite, and there were no cheerleaders or brass bands in sight, but Monday's event at the Georgetown University Law School was clearly a pep rally for the more-migration forces. Read more...

DHS Data Suggest You Are Safer If You Marry a Citizen, Not an Alien

By David North, October 1, 2012

If you are a single alien with no claims to a green card, and you are thinking about marrying a resident of this nation, your best bet is a U.S. citizen, rather than a legal permanent resident (LPR), because you are much less likely to become an abused spouse. Read more...

USCIS Does the Right Thing and Overrules Its Own Ombudsman

By David North, September 28, 2012

USCIS sometimes does the right thing, and when that happens, this blog, often critical of the agency, should acknowledge such decisions.

In this case, USCIS decided to reject a proposal by the USCIS Ombudsman's Office that USCIS ride to the rescue of incompetent employers seeking quick decisions to hire foreign workers, which was discussed in a prior blog. Read more...

ICE Offers Social Work Services to Foreign Students

By David North, September 27, 2012

You probably think of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as a law enforcement agency — and it is — but recently it started providing social work services to foreign college students. Read more...

Should a U.S. University President Need an Interpreter at a Criminal Trial?

By David North, September 26, 2012

Should the president of a university authorized by the Department of Homeland Security to accept foreign students in the United States be fluent enough in English to appear in a federal criminal court without an interpreter? You would think so.

Most U.S. university presidents are fluent in English.

Most university presidents are not charged with fraud in a federal court.

Most university presidents are high-ranked employees of their universities, not also the owners thereof.

Most university presidents do not run visa mills.

And then there's Jerry Wang, the owner and president of Herguan University in Silicon Valley's Sunnyvale, who does not fit any of those four generalizations. Read more...

The Huddled Masses vs. the Best & the Brightest

By David North, September 25, 2012

You might say that there are two streams of potential migrants to the United States that are often in at least partial conflict with each other for visa slots — the "huddled masses" and the "best and the brightest" — and the more-migration people are always busy trying to blur or hide that conflict.

This contest takes place within a 90-year-old American consensus that says that most immigration should be numerically controlled — so unlimited admissions of both the huddled and of the bright is not the answer, either. Read more...

Marriage Fraud in a "He Did It" or, Maybe, "She Did It" Case

By David North, September 24, 2012

I have suggested previously that everyone involved in immigration-related marriage fraud, both citizens and aliens, are bad actors, but the case last year of Police Sergeant Lynn Benton takes the cake.

You see, Benton:

  1. As a woman in 1992, engaged in marriage fraud with a male Brazilian illegal alien;

  2. As a man, nearly 20 years later, was fired from a suburban Portland police force for the marriage fraud and for watching pornography on the police computer; and

  3. As a man, was accused of murdering Debbie Higbee Denton, his estranged wife.

Could It Happen Here? Probably Not, but It Did in Canada!

By David North, September 20, 2012

Could you imagine Eric Holder announcing that he was depriving a group of 300 Arabs of their naturalization papers because they all gave the same phony residential address, that of "Palestine House"?

With the Arab Street, at about the same time, reacting in almost medieval fury to a clumsy and vicious anti-Muslim home movie created by some obscure bigots from southern California?

I would say "no" but that is exactly what has just happened in Canada. Read more...

USCIS Does Right Thing on EB-5 Issue — and Gets Sued

By David North, September 19, 2012

USCIS has rejected a set of petitions filed by alien investors in the EB-5 program and has, as a result, been sued in federal court by some of the major players in this controversial buy-a-set-of-visas scheme.

Aliens who are otherwise ineligible for green cards can secure them for themselves and their families by investing as little as $500,000 in business programs approved by the government; each investment is supposed to create 10 jobs, directly or indirectly. Read more...

USCIS Annual Fee Waiver Loss Soars to $198 Million

By David North, September 18, 2012

In 2009, when the Obama administration arrived, the losses in USCIS fees due to approved fee waivers were at a modest $27 million a year, then it went to $87 million in FY 2011, and currently it is projected to soar to $198 million a year. Read more...

ICE Does Exactly the Right Thing to a Pair of Third-Rate Hotels

By David North, September 17, 2012

Here's an immigration-enforcement story out of Kansas City that produces two useful insights:

  1. ICE can still do a bang-up enforcement job, if allowed to do so; and

  2. Some businesses kept afloat by low wages paid to illegals should be allowed to sink.

The story involves two hotels owned by the same couple, Munir Ahman Chaudary and Rhonda R. Bridge: a Clarion Hotel in Overland Park, Kan., and a Clarion Hotel at the Kansas City, Mo., airport. Read more...