David North's blog

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...

What Should Be Done with Those Granted DACA Amnesty?

By David North, September 14, 2012

While the preferred end-story for the administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty program should be its termination and an end of deferred action status for those granted it at the close of their two years, this probably will not happen.

Perhaps we should think about alternative end games. We know what the administration wants: It would grant full green card status to all the DACA beneficiaries and it would continue all the current admissions policies. Read more...

Many Are Called, Few Are Chosen — Or, Early Returns for the DACA Amnesty

By David North, September 14, 2012

USCIS has given us the first numerical count of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and they follow: Read more...

U.S. Further Softens Its Position on Birth Tourism — But a Remedy Lurks

By David North, September 11, 2012

Apparently, the nation's already soft policy on "birth tourism" has been softened further.

A few weeks ago I wrote about an almost accidental ICE move against a birth tourism promoter in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), a U.S. territory just north of Guam. The criminal was in the business of bringing pregnant Chinese mothers to the CNMI and was charged with harboring an illegal alien, rather than for promoting birth tourism. Read more...

Mixed Reviews as ICE Breaks Up a Mass Marriage Fraud Ring in Florida

By David North, September 10, 2012

If enforcement targeting immigration marriage fraud is sometimes dramatic, as it often is, then perhaps there is a role for a drama critic.

With than in mind here's a mixed review of the latest big ICE marriage fraud bust, as seen in both an ICE press release and in underlying documents in the federal court system. Read more...

Straws in the Wind Suggest Immigrants Marry More than Natives

By David North, September 7, 2012

We have long known that immigrants have higher birth rates than natives of the United States, as my colleague Steve Camarota documented in a CIS Backgrounder a few years ago, but now there are some straws in the wind suggesting that they may also be more likely to marry than natives of the United States. Read more...

Open-Borders Democrats Use Republican Thinking on Family Migration

By David North, September 5, 2012

If the only people who could vote in November were members of the immigration bar and other open-borders enthusiasts, Obama would win in a walk.

Yet when you examine their posture on family immigration (and non-deportation of family members) you will find that the more-migration people are thinking in deeply Republican terms, though they probably do not realize it. Read more...

Computer Literacy, Not English Language, Pushed by Immigration System

By David North, September 4, 2012

It would be politically incorrect for Congress to demand any knowledge of the English language on the part of arriving migrants, but apparently it is perfectly OK for the immigration system to force computer literacy on would-be arrivals.

I am not a zealot on the language issue, but I find the current posture of our government on these subjects to be a peculiar one.

Unlike some other English-speaking nations, there does not appear to be a U.S. demand for English for any applying immigrant group; there are U.S. requirements for some knowledge of English by some, in fact most, candidates for citizenship, and for some nonimmigrants (e.g., some students), but never for legal immigrants.

On the other hand, the government is making it progressively harder for the non-computer literate to seek migration benefits. Read more...

Good News: Government Nibbles Away, a Bit, at Chain Migration

By David North, August 30, 2012

In two totally unrelated actions, the government has limited two different elements of chain migration. One is birth tourism and the other is an attempt to stretch a green card by marriage into two green cards. Read more...

Need Help Cheating on That DACA Application? Check the Web

By David North, August 27, 2012

I suppose I should not have been surprised, but it still was a bit of a jolt when I discovered at least two Internet sites where people were asking how to cheat on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications, and getting advice on how to do so.

What, asks one (presumably illegal) alien, "should I put for annual income?"

Another writer, probably not an alien, asks a more sophisticated version of the same question: Read more...

Puzzling Press Coverage of Marriage Fraud Case

By David North, August 24, 2012

There is something puzzling about the press coverage of a marriage fraud case that recently ended in a Kansas courtroom. But, first let's look at the case itself.

Usually visa-creating marriage fraud involves:

  • An alien seeking a visa by paying a citizen for a phony marriage; and
  • About as much sex as a dispute between two accountants.

On August 23 a jury in Federal District Court in Wichita convicted a Jamaican woman of marriage fraud in a trial that turned both of those generalizations on their heads. Here's a quick summary of the immigration aspects: Read more...

AAO Records Show that Amnesty Is Forever — or at Least 29 Years

By David North, August 23, 2012

A close look at the records of an obscure immigration-control agency suggest that the current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty created (seemingly out of whole cloth) by the White House will be neither relatively brief nor without appeals, as currently promised. Read more...

One Victory, but Two Big Losses in Three Unrelated Federal Court Cases

By David North, August 21, 2012

There were three unrelated federal court cases in the news August 20, with two of the three being losses for the limited-immigration people. Read more...