David North's blog

AAO Downplays the Significance of Its Own Decisions

By David North, January 16, 2014

This is the text of the cover letter that accompanies decisions of the Administrative Appeals Office of USCIS; it goes to aliens who have been denied immigration benefits, at least twice (once at the staff level and once or more in the AAO review):

Enclosed please find the decision of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in your case.

This is a non-precedent decision. The AAO does not announce new constructions of law nor establish agency policy through non-precedent decisions. If you believe that the AAO incorrectly applied current law or policy to your case of if you seek to present new facts for consideration, you may file a motion to reconsider or a motion to re-open, respectively. (Emphasis added.)

Unfortunate H-1B Coincidence in Switch of Obamacare Website Firms

By David North, January 13, 2014

I am not sure what it means, but there has been an ironic coincidence to be seen in the change of consulting firms handling the troubled Obamacare website.

The new firm is to be Accenture.The firm that is being fired is CGI, according to the Washington Post. Read more...

Should DHS License an Institution Like This to Teach Foreign Students?
An un-retouched item from Herguan University's website

By David North, January 13, 2014
An un-retouched item from Herguan University's website

Herguan University, in Sunnyvale, Calif., was raided by ICE as a suspected visa mill on August 2, 2012. Its president and owner, Mr. Wang, (depicted in the picture below) is out on bail during his trial in federal court for visa fraud as we reported in a previous blog. Read more...

ICE Is Too Nice to the Dregs of the Dregs of F-1 Issuing Schools

By David North, January 10, 2014

If an immigration compliance matter is such an obvious problem that even our lackadaisical Congress does something about it, then it must be pretty serious. But you would not know it from the way a DHS agency acted the other day.

There is such a problem, and it deals with unaccredited schools of English and their ability to cause the issuance of F-1 visas for international students. The Government Accountability Office has determined that such schools are particularly likely to be used as pathways for illegal aliens. Read more...

A Supreme Court Immigration Ruling that's Not Worth Waiting For

By David North, January 8, 2014

There was a recent oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court on an immigration policy case.

The title of the case is Mayorkas v. Cuellar de Osario; a decision will be handed down this spring or early summer. Read more...

2 Different EB-5 Cases in Which Asians Apparently Conned other Asians

By David North, January 7, 2014

We suggested in an earlier blog that the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program keeps attracting a number of interesting and controversial people, because of the lure of apparently easy money.

This is the DHS-run program in which an alien can secure a family-size collection of green cards for placing either half a million dollars, or one million, into a government-approved (but not guaranteed) private-sector investment. Read more...

A Useful, if Neglected, Argument against Mass Immigration

By David North, December 31, 2013

A recent New York Times op-ed piece reminded me that there are three basic streams of arguments against massive and growing migration to the U.S.:

  1. It is hard on the U.S., its environment, and most of its residents. We restrictionists spend 99 percent of our time, understandably, on such themes.

Abuser of H-1B Program Here Is also Major Political Force in Turkey

By David North, December 29, 2013

A mid-level abuser of the H-1 B program in the U.S. is also a major political leader in Turkey, an odd combination.

In America, Fethullah Gulen is the head of a movement which creates tax-supported charter schools which have both an emphasis on teaching science and on using the H-1B program to displace U.S. teachers with Turkish ones. Thousands of Turkish teachers – many with no science credentials – have secured visas from these schools as we have reported in earlier blogs. Read more...

EB-5 Report by IG Short on Detail, Long on Program Criticism

By David North, December 28, 2013

The long-awaited report of the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General turned out to lack any specific charges against the man who runs the program, Alejandro Mayorkas, now DHS Deputy Secretary, but carried many serious criticisms of the immigrant investor (EB-5) program itself. Read more...

Senate Confirms Mayorkas as Deputy Secretary of DHS

By David North, December 23, 2013

Friday morning the U.S. Senate, by a party-line vote (54 to 41), confirmed USCIS's Director Alejandro Mayorkas' promotion to the Deputy Secretaryship of the Department of Homeland Security.

This came after protests by Republicans that it was unprecedented to confirm someone to a position while an investigation into that individual was ongoing. Read more...

Like Flies to Honey, EB-5 Investor Visas Keep Attracting Interesting People

By David North, December 20, 2013

The EB-5 immigrant investor program keeps attracting interesting (and controversial) people.

Over and above alleged secret operatives from foreign powers, Chicago con men, an illegal alien engaged in congressional fund-raising on Staten Island, a suicidal South Dakota EB-5 middleman, and the Iranian who wanted to use hot money to fix the old Watergate Hotel (citations below) we now have a couple of West Coast people who run an EB-5 regional center charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with managing a Ponzi scheme. Read more...

Doubly Grubby Marriage Fraud, in Slow Motion, Eventually Noticed by DHS

By David North, December 20, 2013

Marriage fraud is always a grubby affair, and our government is often slow to recognize it, but yesterday a doubly grubby bit of sequential marriage fraud, played out in slow-motion, led to an immigration fraud conviction in federal district court in Maine.

The principals are Margaret Mwihaki Kimani, an illegal alien from Kenya and a persistent seeker of legal status, and DH, an unidentified U.S. citizen from Lewiston, Maine. Read more...

Complicated Inner Workings in the Amnesty Program for Crime Victims

By David North, December 19, 2013

In an earlier blog I sketched the main elements of the U visa program for illegal aliens who have become crime victims in the United States and for their relatives. There are both nonimmigrant and green card stages of the program, there are time limits for applying, and there are some numerical ceilings.

This is one of the many specialized amnesty programs that are ongoing. This one brings us far more of the huddled masses than of the best and the brightest. Anyone can be a crime victim, but violent crime happens more often in the slums than on college campuses. In the late Nancy Mitford's terminology, those with U visas are a distinctly non-U population. Read more...

Crime, Generally, in the U.S. Is Down, But Visa-Creating Crime Soars

By David North, December 18, 2013

Crime in America, generally, declined between 2009 and 2012 by about 10 percent.

But the kind of crime that creates visas (usually for illegal aliens) quadrupled in the same time period. Many Americans are not aware that some crimes create green cards for their victims.

Here are the numbers: Read more...

That Whisking Sound – It's EB-5 Investigations Being Swept Under the Rug

By David North, December 18, 2013

That whisking sound you hear, that's the quiet little noise being made as at least three EB-5 (immigrant investor) investigations are being swept under three different rugs.

Whisk One. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced yesterday that Charles K. Edwards, long the deputy and acting inspector general of the department, had (apparently at his request) taken a different job in the technology section of that giant department. The AP story on the subject is here. Read more...

Randy Grandfathers Abuse Our Immigration and Divorce Laws

By David North, December 17, 2013

An obscure federal government report has just revealed a hitherto largely neglected set of immigration/rule-of-law problems in one of the nation's larger refugee communities, that of the Hmong tribesmen from Laos, who were our allies in the Vietnam War.

The pattern is a grim one, and one not confined to the Hmong: old men get tired of their old wives, dump them, and, in these cases, fly to Laos (or to nearby China or Thailand) to get new, teenaged wives, often apparently in violation of one or more of our marriage, divorce, bigamy, child support, and/or immigration laws. Read more...

Negative ICE Memo on EB-5 Surfaces; Iranian Operatives in the Program?

By David North, December 13, 2013

The latest news on the embattled immigrant investor (EB-5) program reveals that an arm of the Department of Homeland Security worries that Iranian operatives may have infiltrated the program.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), renewing a detailed attack on the program begun by Sen. Thomas Coburn (R-Okla.) and reported here earlier, dropped a bombshell on the controversial sale-of-visas program by releasing a hitherto secret memorandum on EB-5 written by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) unit of DHS. For the text of both the senator's letter to the department and the leaked memo, see here. Read more...

A Muted Welcome, Please, for the Newest Nonimmigrant Visa (T-6)

By David North, December 13, 2013

What the world needs now is not another immigration-expanding, nonimmigrant visa class, but that's what we have in the brand-new T-6 visa.

It's another one of those government-created, chain-migration systems in which an illegal alien with a plausible story ultimately can provide legal status for his or her alien nieces and nephews; grandparents and grandchildren; not to mention children, spouses, parents, and the like — whether or not he or she has actually seen them face-to-face. Read more...

Much EB-5 Action: Mayorkas Advances, Casino Deal Exposed, Lawyer Zapped

By David North, December 11, 2013

There was much activity today related to the EB-5 immigrant investor visa: EB-5 booster Alejandro Mayorkas's nomination moved forward in the Senate, an EB-5 deal in Las Vegas with political ramifications was exposed, and (to quote the Florida press) "one of the nation's biggest EB-5 lawyers" being barred from practicing immigration law. Read more...

More Wrinkles in the South Dakota Investor Visa Scandal

By David North, December 9, 2013

A couple of new elements have popped up in the ever-expanding EB-5 investor visa scandal in South Dakota.

In addition to the mysterious gunshot death of a local EB-5 middleman, the disappearance of tens of millions of dollars, the odd role in the scheme of a Russian railroad's subsidiary in Cyprus, thwarted investigations a la Watergate, and other variables reported in my recent blog, we have: Read more...

Immigration-Related Marriage Fraud Hits a New High and a New Low in the UK

By David North, December 9, 2013

Immigration-related marriage fraud, always a criminal, grubby activity, hit both a new, depraved low in Great Britain the other day, as well as a peak in chutzpah.

A 23-year-old male from Pakistan, in illegal status and wanting legal papers, conned a 19-year-old woman of very limited intelligence (an IQ of 49) into an Islamic marriage. Since she had legal status in the UK the marriage would convey the same status on the alien. Read more...

It's Beginning to Look Like Watergate in South Dakota EB-5 Case

By David North, December 4, 2013

It is starting to look like Watergate all over again, on a smaller scale, in the South Dakota EB-5 scandal.

The national EB-5 investor-visa program grants green cards to aliens (and their families) who have placed half a million dollars in certain USCIS-approved, but not guaranteed, investments; a lot of EB-5 money has disappeared in South Dakota.

Some of the well-connected lesser functionaries of the party in power in that state were bending if not breaking the law regarding these moneys, the investigative machinery of state government is somewhere between constipated and compromised, and the local press is having a field day. Read more...

Church Arsonist in Vermont Is an Illegal Alien

By David North, December 2, 2013

An earlier blog of mine asked the question: Did an illegal alien try to burn down a church in Sen. Leahy's Vermont?

The damage to the church's steeple was not in question, nor was the identity of the arsonist (Aliaksandr Bychkou); the only question left by media coverage was his legal status. Read more...

New DHS Inspector General to Face Two Nasty, Immediate Challenges

By David North, November 29, 2013

President Obama has nominated John Roth, a supervising investigator with the Food and Drug Administration, to fill the long-time vacancy as Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security. The IG's nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.

Roth faces two nasty challenges in his new job. Read more...

Prediction: Mighty Microsoft Will Triumph over a Lonely DoL Staffer

By David North, November 27, 2013

There's a battle going on between a lone Department of Labor staffer and mighty Microsoft over issuing green cards to the latter's employees, and I predict that an appellate body within DoL will favor Bill Gates over the nameless certifying officer. Read more...

A Tale of Two Migrant Populations: One Deserving, One Not

By David North, November 25, 2013

This is a tale of two populations, both seeking U.S. immigration benefits. Both from Asia.

One is numbered in the thousands, the members have risked their lives in wartime for the United States, and they have certifiable linguistic skills.

The other is numbered in the hundreds of thousands, their main "contribution" to the United States has been breaking its laws, and its skill levels are uneven but generally unremarkable.

Which one is more likely to secure the benefits they seek?

Sadly, it is the second. Read more...

EB-5 Middleman Benda's Death Ruled a Suicide by South Dakota AG

By David North, November 21, 2013

The shooting death of onetime EB-5 middleman, Richard Benda, described in a previous blog, was ruled a suicide Thursday by South Dakota's Attorney General, Marty Jackley.

According to the AG's Office, as reported by the Associated Press, an autopsy showed that the death was by a shotgun blast and Benda's own 12-gauge shotgun was the only weapon found at the death site. Read more...

DHS Staff Time Wasted as Agency Issues Regulations for Unlikely Alien Situations

By David North, November 21, 2013

This administration bends over backward to stretch the law to cover unlikely situations that might conceivably inconvenience some alien, some day, under some circumstances.

And it spends money hiring regulation writers to provide all the bureaucratic verbiage needed to take care of these obscure situations. Read more...

Much Internal Diversity within the Diversity Visa Program

By David North, November 21, 2013

There turns out to be a great deal of internal diversity of visa outcomes within the Diversity Visa (DV) program that grants green cards to a random assortment of up to 50,000 aliens a year.

This dawned on me as I examined, in an earlier blog, a report of the State Department's Inspector General on the extent of fraud (and detected fraud) within the DV program in Ukraine. Read more...

OECD Meeting Gives Clues on How to Manage (and Limit) Family Migration

By David North, November 20, 2013

Although I am sure it was not designed for this purpose, Monday's Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) conference on family migration showed that many progressive nations use a wide variety of techniques to discourage immigration-related marriage fraud — techniques routinely ignored in the United States. Read more...