David North's blog

Let's Create American Workers' Desks in Federal Agencies

By David North, April 19, 2012

Here's an old idea — left over from the Kennedy years — that should be revived: Let's create top-level American Workers' Desks in each of the federal agencies extending big subsidies and big contracts to big business.

The (admittedly negative) inspiration for this thought came from a CBS News story titled "Unions say foreign workers get stimulus jobs". This bit of investigative journalism revealed that while federal stimulus money had been poured into Michigan factories owned by two Korean firms, LG Chem and Dow Kokam, many of the jobs created went to newly arrived Korean migrant workers. Read more...

Dear Reader: Please Encourage USCIS Do the Right Thing!

By David North, April 17, 2012

This is a suggestion to my readers on how you can help USCIS do the right thing with a document that is absolutely vital to the employer sanctions program.

The agency is in the middle of revising Form I-9, the form used about 70 million times a year by newly hired workers. Its purpose, though you might not know it from reading the form, is to keep illegal aliens (unauthorized workers) away from U.S. jobs. Read more...

A Little Bit of Nationalism, Please: Or Which of Those Are U.S. Firms?

By David North, April 17, 2012

We all know that the presence of too many nonimmigrant workers results in serious economic harm for resident workers, both citizens and green card holders.

Whether the alien workers are toiling in the fields or designing software, they take jobs at lower wages than residents and are usually more docile than Americans, so they get the jobs and our countrymen do not. People within the 99 percent are the ones who get hurt.

But how might temporary foreign workers adversely effect American stockholders? People who may well be in the 1 percent. Read more...

EB-5's Institutional Allies Give the Program a Hard Time

By David North, April 16, 2012

It's bad enough when the critics attack, but when your allies go after you, as they have on the immigrant investor (EB-5) program recently, look out!

The controversial, selling-batches-of-visas-for-half-million-a-pop program took it on the chin recently from such normally pro-migration forces as the op-ed page of the New York Times and a privately owned website for EB-5 news that routinely favors the program. Read more...

K-12 Education Systems May Be Losing Interest in H-1B

By David North, April 16, 2012

Recently, various types of evidence have emerged that show K-12 education is losing interest in hiring foreign teachers through the H-1B nonimmigrant worker program.

The inherent disadvantages of the program from the points of view of both students and unemployed U.S. teachers were described in two fairly recent CIS reports: "K-12 + H-1B = ? A First look at the Implications of Foreign Teacher Recruitment" and "The Grim World of Some H-1B Teachers". Read more...

More on the Innards of H1-B Program: Indenture Starts in OPT Period

By David North, April 13, 2012

It is well known that many H-1B workers are, in effect, indentured by employers who have filed to obtain green cards for them — they are nominally free to leave, but it can be hard to keep your resident alien application alive after leaving the employer who set it in motion.

But, as I have learned recently in conversations with would-be H-1B workers at a major D.C.-area university this spring, the feeling of indenture starts even earlier. Read more...

H-1B Program, with a Couple of Deserved Black Eyes, Opens Filing Season

By David North, April 12, 2012

The H-1B nonimmigrant program for high-tech and other professional workers bears a couple of prominent bruises as the FY 2013 filing season opens.

While network TV routinely ignores abuses in the immigration system, today's full-throated "CBS This Morning" treatment of the misuse of H-1B and B-1 visas was a welcome exception to the rule. Read more...

Canada Shows the Way: Closes Files on Backlogged Immigrant Applications

By David North, April 9, 2012

What do you do with a backlogged set of immigrant-worker applications at a time of high unemployment? In the United States such queues just keep growing, but not in Canada. Read more...

Case History: Judge Shrouds H-1B Case with Secrecy

By David North, April 9, 2012

While supporters of the H1-B program say it brings us the "best and the brightest", a careful examination of a recent federal court case in Ohio – strangely masked in secrecy by the judge – shows us how shabby the program can be.

The case involves: a young alien man with a mysterious legal status, probably an illegal alien, who has a bachelor's degree from a marginal educational institution, a private one that accepts all applicants, and his employer, a mortgage finance company in trouble in two different states. Read more...

Indian H-1B Body Shop Called Sexist, Too

By David North, April 6, 2012

By now we are all familiar with the charge that many major users of the H-1B program for high-tech and other professionals, including at least some of the India-based "body shops" or out-placement organizations, are biased against American workers, especially older (i.e., 35-plus) ones.

And now one has been charged in court with being sexist, too — by a woman with an Indian name. Read more...

USCIS Seems to Predict 88% Failure Rate in the EB-5 Investor Program

By David North, April 4, 2012

If you compare its numbers in two different governmental publications, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seems to be predicting that 88 percent of the applicants for EB-5 investor visas will not, in fact, get the green cards that they had been promised for their half-million-dollar investments.

There is also a possibility that this is not a prediction of program demise so much as a case of the front-office promoters of this highly controversial program not talking to the green-eyeshade types in their own agency who deal with the Federal Register. Read more...

USCIS Modifies Key Form — But the PR Department Blurs the Achievement

By David North, April 2, 2012

USCIS has done exactly the right thing to one of its forms — a form frequently misused by aliens — but its press people have totally blurred this fraud-fighting accomplishment.

I know that a discussion of a government form is sure to glaze the eyes, but this time it is significant.

The form is the I-797C — the Notice of Action — which formally confirms that something is happening to an alien's desire for legal status, but does not indicate that anything has happened yet. Some aliens have used it to fool the gullible into believing that the alien has full legal status. Read more...

Here's the Kind of PR Pitch DHS Should Be Pushing All over Mexico

By David North, March 31, 2012

Here's the story: Eight hapless Mexican would-be illegals got hopelessly trapped in the mud on a near-freezing day and needed three fire departments, two units of the Border Patrol, and the El Paso County Sheriff's Office to rescue them. Read more...

Problems with Letting Someone Else Make a Nation's Migration Decisions

By David North, March 30, 2012

One of the favorite, sneaky ploys of the more-migration people is to arrange — they usually say "just in this one special case" — for someone else to make a nation's immigration decisions.

In the news lately, though not quite labeled this way, are knotty immigration questions in Canada and the UK; questions that arose, or may arise, because of this someone-else-decides mechanism. Read more...

EB-5 Numbers Do Not Compute on Big Hotel Project in L.A.

By David North, March 29, 2012

Marriott is building a 492-room hotel in downtown Los Angeles with the help of the EB-5 immigrant investor program. The job-creation numbers for it simply do not add up. Read more...

Inner Workings of the H-1B Program Parallel Those of Marital Relations

By David North, March 27, 2012

Many think the H-1B temporary worker program is overused and does harm to many skilled Americans who might otherwise hold these high-tech and other professional jobs. This examination may be helpful to those of us who study the program .

Critics of the program notice, appropriately, how it has lowered wages for both U.S. residents and foreign workers in high-tech industries, how it has discouraged Americans from doing graduate work in these fields, and how it puts foreign workers into a virtual indentured worker status. Read more...

Rethinking TPS for the Syrians: Let's Make It a Freeze, Not a Bonanza

By David North, March 26, 2012

The Department of Homeland Security is about to create Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Syrians in this country, legally and illegally, because of the near-civil war in that nation.

Now is the time to re-think our reaction to such situations. Read more...

Medieval Farm Labor Practice OK'd by USCIS

By David North, March 23, 2012

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
— Luke 2:8.

The worker has been, literally, out in the wild and living in a trailer or tent seven days a week, 365 days a year. He does it in all kinds of weather.

He's been guarding a valuable herd of sheep, helping with their births, tending their every need, and fighting off varmints. Sometimes, for months on end, he rarely sees another human being. Read more...

Unfortunate Precedent — the Uruguayan ID Card for Its Illegals

By David North, March 20, 2012

Uruguay is copying what the Mexican government has done for years — issuing consular cards to identify a group of its citizens here — who are, incidentally, largely in illegal status.

It is an unfortunate move, and there are no indications that our government is doing anything about it, although it could. The cards, matricula consular in Spanish, give a sheen of plausibility to the people carrying them and, while not an indication of legal presence in the United States, the cards do help the illegals with such activities as opening a bank account. Read more...

An Unintended Burst of Governmental Honesty?

By David North, March 19, 2012

One worries that government agencies, in their formal reports, gild their lilies and hide their failures.

But a glance at the USCIS Ombudsman's most recent report shows a different story.

To summarize, the Ombudsman has made 16 formal recommendations to the head office of USCIS since December 5, 2008, and only three of them have been implemented. The following table from the report shows first part of its summary: Read more...

USCIS Again Focus Resources on a Tiny Alien Population — Wandering Ministers

By David North, March 16, 2012

Instead of spending its limited resources on important issues — like who should and who should not come to the United States — USCIS has, yet again, spent executive energy and federal money on a population so tiny that one would need a microscope to find it. Read more...

USCIS Annual Report Lacks Editorial Punch of the Phone Book

By David North, March 15, 2012

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Fiscal Year 2011 Highlights Report has just been released.

I expected it to be self-congratulatory, larded with bureaucratic language, and sprinkled with some half-truths, but also to be a slick, well-written, well-presented document. Read more...

The Hairsplitters Are at It Again, This Time with L-1B Alien Workers

By David North, March 13, 2012

We recently reported that the judicial branch has decided that sleeping with an illegal, and sharing your house with him, is not "harboring" an illegal entrant. In that case, as noted in a recent blog, the more-migration people used a very tight (and I think out-of-date) definition of harboring, which, in turn, may lead to still laxer interior enforcement.

Harboring an illegal alien is against the law, unless you define "harboring" away. Read more...

Immigration Marriage Fraud and Murder, a Recurring Combination

By David North, March 12, 2012

I have been collecting news stories that combine immigration marriage fraud and murder.

Too often marriage fraud is treated lightly by the press, which uses soft terms like "marriage of convenience" or "sham marriage" to describe this crime.

When murder is also involved, the press gets a little more serious, but it often still misses the point. Read more...

Two New Immigration Bills Illustrate the Slow Growth of Migrants' Power

By David North, March 8, 2012

It's not exactly front-page news, but some powerful members of Congress are seeking special deals for two almost forgotten groups of immigrants, those from Ireland and Israel.

It sounds like the politics of New York City 50-60 years ago. You might call it quaint, like a Broadway revival of Abie's Irish Rose.

But it serves to remind us of the slow growth of the political power of newcomers, which swells decades, even generations, after the maturing of the underlying demographic and cultural trends. Read more...

USCIS Gets an Easy $100 million from TPS Roll-Over for Salvadorans

By David North, March 7, 2012

Suppose you have an absolute and un-regulated monopoly on a product that your customers simply must have — like insulin for diabetics in the old days before other remedies became available.

Isn't that a license to print money?

Canada Reminds: There Are Two Kinds of Marriage Fraud

By David North, March 6, 2012

A recent article in a Canadian daily reminded me that there are two kinds of immigration marriage fraud.

The most common one is what I call the bilateral model, in which two consenting adults enter a marriage created to give a visa to one partner, and cash to the other, the citizen.

The other, more unusual one might be called the unilateral model, in which the alien cons the unwitting citizen into marriage, with a visa in mind, and then abandons the spouse when the papers arrive. Read more...

The More-Migration People Add Old Dictionaries to Their List of Weapons

By David North, March 5, 2012

The effort to weaken interior immigration enforcement is, of course, waged all the time on many fronts, executive, legislative, and judicial.

One of the oddest weapons used by the other side in this battle has just popped up. It is the suggestion that the government should be using 1917 dictionaries as it defines "harboring" when applied to those who help illegal aliens stay in this country. It comes from a distinguished, conservative judge, Richard Posner of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Read more...

Small Nations Show U.S. How Immigration Policies Should Work

By David North, March 2, 2012

All nations, great and small, have immigration policies. Lately it appears that some of the smaller ones could give some lessons to the big one we live in.

The Bahamas, for instance, is, by Caribbean standards, rather prosperous; 50 years ago its unemployed came to the United States to help with the Virginia/West Virginia apple harvest, but now it is receiving temporary foreign workers to do farm and other low-paid work.

But that little nation has its priorities right and has reduced by 2,299 the number of alien work permits issued in 2011 compared to 2010. Read more...

H-1B Question: What Is the Real Demand for High School Turkish Teachers?

By David North, February 29, 2012

The H-1B program damages America in a number of ways, directly and indirectly, discouraging young American from following high-tech careers and shunting aside skilled U.S. citizens and green-card holders because of their "advanced age", i.e., anything over 35.

This has been widely reported by many, including my CIS colleague John Miano, and Professor Norm Matloff at UC/Davis. Read more...