May 29, 2014
Immigration management is a broad field, involving many moving parts. Here are a few thoughts on some recent developments.
SEVP Finally Gets a Field Staff. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a segment of ICE in DHS, oversees more than a million foreign students spread over thousands of educational institutions in the United States. You would think that to handle this assignment effectively SEVP would have had an extensive network of field offices in place for generations.
You would have been wrong. Read more...
May 28, 2014
The U.S. could likely collect between one and two billion dollars a year in revenues from illegal aliens if it just copies a tax practice Oklahoma adopted a couple of years ago.
Two quite different data sources suggest that this can be done: the World Bank and the Oklahoma tax authorities. Read more...
May 27, 2014
As we noted a few weeks ago, one in six new green cards goes to someone who is a victim of some kind.
These are not people being admitted because we think that they will help the U.S. (which some of them, in fact, will do); they are being admitted because we feel sorry for them. Read more...
May 21, 2014
Remember the story of the heroic little Dutch boy who stuck his finger in a hole in the dike, thus saving his nation from a flood?
Sometimes I think our visa system is a reverse of that metaphor; there are a lot of grown-up, well-dressed, imposing adult males standing around the dike making sure that no one intrudes on the status quo by fixing the existing leaks.
An old friend, a U.S. Senate staffer who is not in the immigration business, called me the other day to say that he had heard that there was a leak in the visa-issuance system that, he said, could easily be fixed by regulation and did not need legislation. Read more...
May 20, 2014
Once upon a time illegal aliens could vote in some local elections in my town, Arlington, Va., across the Potomac from Washington, D.C.
Whether they actually did so is doubtful, but they could have done so, but only every other year.
They can't any more, and the story of why that is true is characteristic of the odd, and not necessarily rational, way public policy sometimes develops. It also reflects the decentralized way American elections are run and a peculiar local political situation of about 25 years ago. Read more...
May 19, 2014
If you were a bank manager and the same masked bandit held up your cashiers, in exactly the same way, in the same place, on hundreds of occasions, you (and the police) would probably do something about it.
The Anaheim (Calif.) USCIS asylum office was not quite as alert or careful, according to court documents that I recently saw.
They show that the office had been granting asylum to many hundreds of Chinese asylum applicants based on mass-produced and totally false applications over a period of more than 10 years. Read more...
May 19, 2014
Yet another nation reminds us how badly our Department of Homeland Security handles schools that teach English to foreign students. (Such schools produce a high proportion of visa abusers.)
This time the nation is Ireland. Read more...
May 16, 2014
Infosys, the Indian outsourcing company, one of the worst exploiters in the H-1B program, has lost two big battles – but, I am sorry to say, not over immigration issues.
Two of its former leaders, including its billionaire co-founder, Nandan Nilekani, lost races for seats in the Indian parliament it was announced earlier today. They had allied themselves with the ruling Congress Party (of the Nehru/Gandhi family), which lost heavily to the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. Read more...
May 14, 2014
Let's turn our attention away, for the moment, from the Harvards and the Yales, the MITs and the Stanfords, and think about other end of the academic spectrum — four "academic" institutions in the United States that have violated the immigration law repeatedly.
In only one of the four cases did the federal government move swiftly to end the violations. Read more...
May 13, 2014
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) took the right immigration enforcement action recently, but, in my view, it should have done so quietly so as not to alert the bad guys.
I was genuinely pleased at first to learn that DHS had decided to take a long-needed step in enforcing the law regarding the extensions of L-1A visas in one of the nation's many temporary nonimmigrant worker programs. Read more...
May 12, 2014
We all have started hearing about same-sex divorces, so I suspect we will soon hear of a case of same-sex marriage/immigration fraud.
It will involve a citizen and an alien, married to each other in one of the states that currently permits it, followed by an effort to secure a conditional green card for the alien spouse, and then the discovery that the marriage was phony to begin with.
The headline writers will have a field day. Read more...
May 7, 2014
Do we really need hundreds of thousands of new high-tech foreign workers like H-1Bs each year as industry and political leaders keep telling us?
Or are these massive inflows of aliens, most with only a bachelor's degree, just another way of reducing wage bills for already prosperous corporations?
If you are interested in serious, well-documented answers to those questions Michael Teitelbaum's new book Falling Behind? Boom, Bust & the Global Race for Scientific Talent is a must read. Read more...
May 6, 2014
Earlier today, the administration, presumably bowing to employer demands, proposed to give permission to work in the United States to perhaps 100,000 additional foreign workers, none being admitted because of their skills.
The DHS press release was headlined, misleadingly:
DHS Announces Proposal to Attract and Retain Highly Skilled Immigrants
May 5, 2014
Here's a different way of judging the energy the United States uses in enforcing employer sanctions: Ellen K. Thomas.
Judge Thomas, a civil servant, is neither the hero nor the villain of this piece. But she is a living measure of the level of seriousness of immigration enforcement in the labor market. ("Employer sanctions" is shorthand for the law that private employers cannot hire illegal alien workers.)
You see, she is the only administrative law judge handling appeals when employers are fined for either having illegal alien workers, or having inadequate records on the civil status of their workers, or both. The only one in the entire country. Read more...
May 4, 2014
You have to feel sorry for USCIS and the Obama administration.
They are, yet again, in a situation in which they are offering legal status to some illegal aliens, and the response is apparently well below expectations — probably because of the near-total lack of interior enforcement of immigration law. Why pay fees and fill out papers when there is no real danger of deportation? Read more...
May 1, 2014
The Attorney General of Virginia, Mark Herring, has issued an opinion that Virginia state colleges and universities may accept one group of illegal-alien resident students in their institutions and let them pay at in-state tuition rates.
The subject of the opinion is the set of aliens who have secured temporary legal status through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama administration's amnesty-by-fiat. DACAs are supposed to have arrived illegally in the States prior to their 16th birthday. Read more...
April 29, 2014
About a month ago, I wrote a blog regarding the ongoing amnesty in American Samoa with the headline "Could we have 13,276,000 Legalization Applicants?"
The big number was based on the not-necessarily-valid assumption that the percentage of illegal aliens in the South Pacific territory and in the United States would be about the same, and that American Samoa's amnesty had enrolled 2,400 applicants in its program by that point. American Samoa, alone of the territories, runs its own immigration system. Read more...
April 28, 2014
I am personally not a big supporter of the controversial Keystone Pipeline, which will run from the oil sands of Canada to our southern states, but I must say that the project's operators have excellent taste in one thing: they flatly rejected the prospect of EB-5 funding.
It was going to be funneled to them through the much-investigated South Dakota Regional Center (SDRC), a USCIS-licensed entity. Read more...
April 27, 2014
There is yet another visa class that is being used to mistreat alien workers and to take jobs from Americans — this time it is the Treaty Investors (E-2) category.
How can an alien granted treaty investor status by our diplomats — that sounds pretty prosperous — be exploited in a blue-collar job? We will get to that bit of black magic in a moment. Read more...
April 25, 2014
A Senate committee has just released a damning, but not very satisfying, bipartisan report on the former Deputy and Acting Inspector-General of the Department of Homeland Security, Charles K. Edwards.
The once-over-lightly Washington Post article on the subject can be seen here and the full text of the report can be seen here. Read more...
April 24, 2014
Most new immigrants are simply relatives of earlier immigrants.
Many others are admitted because they, under our employer-tilted laws, are considered "needed workers" or are their relatives.
A growing number of migrants, however, fit into neither category; they manage to secure legal status in the United States because they fall into one of the many classes of victims that a generous Uncle Sam says qualifies them to be acceptable migrants to the United States. Read more...
April 21, 2014
That should have been the New York Times headline for today's article about how the major IT employers have been sued "on claims of conspiring to keep their employees down".
Instead, the Times headline predicted the outcome of a class action suit by U.S. workers against Google, Apple, Intel, and Adobe with these words: "In Silicon Valley Thriller, a Settlement May Preclude the Finale". Read more...
April 18, 2014
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has recently ruled that an admitted alien smuggler, who worked in upstate New York, should not be deported because he did not actually cross the border with the assisted illegals, thus blowing another hole in the already faltering efforts to enforce the immigration law.
The case also reminds us that illegal aliens don't sneak across the southern border only and that Indian reservations along either border complicate law enforcement there. Read more...
April 16, 2014
The huge giveaway to H-1B employers previously described does major damage to the budget of USCIS.
Earlier we had reported that the agency was refunding H-1B employers something like one-third of a billion dollars a year in connection with fees previously paid for failed applications for H-1B slots, while not making similar repayments to ordinary naturalization applicants who had failed their citizenship tests. Read more...
April 15, 2014
A low-income alien, wanting to become a citizen, has to scrape up $680 for his naturalization fees. Then he fails the test, twice.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the economic power spectrum, a major fat-cat user of the controversial H-1B program, in order to increase his profits, has applied for more new H-1Bs (at $4,325 apiece) than he can obtain, because of the ceiling on the program. His efforts have failed, in part, too.
So what happens to the poor man's $680? The government keeps it.
What happens to the corporation's fees for those non-approved petitions? The company gets all its money back! Read more...
April 14, 2014
USCIS has announced that 172,500 petitions have been filed for 85,000 H-1B slots in this hiring season. That's a major increase from the 124,000 filed last year, and the new number is sure to be used by the H-1B employers as they seek still higher ceilings from Congress.
But the news also raises what may be a new question: "To what extent is the number of petitions artificially increased – at little cost to the industry – to game the system?" Read more...
April 8, 2014
In the Third World it takes days, maybe weeks, to count ballots – witness the Afghan elections – something advanced democracies can do in a matter of hours for nationwide contests.
This is not to put down Afghan election officials who, after all, have not had much practice.
But it does remind me that sometimes U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seems like a Third World institution. Read more...
April 7, 2014
There is so much wrong with a recent decision of an obscure Department of Labor appeals body regarding a foreign worker that I do not know where to begin.
It involves a rancher refusing to hire a female U.S. citizen to clean his stables because he wanted to hire an alien — and DOL agreed.
Many thoughts come to mind: Read more...
April 4, 2014
There's a strange little corner of our immigration policy that simultaneously permits the admission of a group of alien graduate students in high-tech fields, while there is another federal policy that all but denies those grad students private-sector jobs in their field. Read more...