David North's blog

Mayorkas Has Easy Confirmation Hearing — The GOP Boycotts It

By David North, July 26, 2013

Alejandro Mayorkas, the USCIS Director who has been nominated to be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, had an easy confirmation hearing before the Senate Homeland Security Committee Thursday — but only because the Republican senators boycotted it. Read more...

Further Examination of the Consequences of "Stapling" Provisions

By David North, July 25, 2013

It is time to take a closer look at the impact of the clauses in the currently pending immigration bills that would, in effect, staple a green card to the advanced STEM diploma of all aliens completing those degrees in the United States. Read more...

A Clash Between Two DHS Officials Is Likely to Cast Some Light on EB-5

By David North, July 23, 2013

The Associated Press headline and lede are ominous:

Homeland Security Official Probed

President Obama's choice to be the No. 2 official at the Homeland Security Department [Alejandro Mayorkas] is under investigation for his role in helping a company secure an international investor visa for a Chinese executive, The Associated Press has learned.

Let's Pay Some Attention to Mexico's Southern Border and the OTMs

By David North, July 23, 2013

Here's an idea. Instead of adding 20,000 Border Patrol agents at our southern border, let's make that 18,000, and use the money saved for 2,000 of them to fund, say, 4,000 Mexican Border Patrolmen (or better, Mexican Marines) at their southern border. Read more...

A "What if..." Scenario about Congress and Immigration

By David North, July 22, 2013

What if Congress decided to give a potential free immigration pass to a group of about 250,000 aliens with limited educations?

And then Congress guessed that most of the resulting migrants would settle in four specific American jurisdictions?

And then agreed to pay for some of the financial impacts of the new migrants, but only in those four jurisdictions?

How would the four jurisdictions handle and measure the impact of the newcomers, and what else would happen? Read more...

Government Defines Video Gamers as Athletes for Immigration Purposes

By David North, July 21, 2013

USCIS has defined alien video gamers as athletes for immigration purposes in response to the pressure from lobbyists.

As humorist Dave Barry would say, "I am not making this up."

The July 16 Time headline is: "Pro Gamers Get U.S. Work Visas, Thanks to Industry Lobbyists". Read more...

Surprise! Few "Dreamers" Use In-State Tuition Breaks

By David North, July 19, 2013

A recent bit of investigative journalism by Politico showed that few illegal aliens are taking advantage of the in-state tuition breaks offered by many state universities.

This news should, but probably will not, shoot some holes in the endless propaganda about how a whole generation of future leaders are losing their prospects because of a nasty insistence on the enforcement of the immigration law — about all those illegal aliens who are high school valedictorians who want to go to medical school so they can serve the people, etc. Read more...

Virginia, Not ICE, Closes Suspect University of Northern Virginia

By David North, July 18, 2013

The University of Northern Virginia (UNVA) — a very marginal institution that relied heavily on foreign students, notably those from India, and that was raided two years ago by Immigration and Customs Enforcement — was closed Wednesday, July 17, by the State of Virginia, not by ICE.

As is all too often the case, an institution outside the immigration business has stepped in and done the work that should have been done by the Department of Homeland Security, as the Securities and Exchange Commission did recently in a $145 million immigrant investor (EB-5) fraud case I described in an earlier blog. Read more...

Interior Repatriation in Mexico: Baby Steps in the Right Direction

By David North, July 15, 2013

The Obama administration and the new Mexican regime are taking some useful — if tiny — steps in the right direction regarding sending Mexican illegals back to the middle of that nation.

For decades the pattern has been to ship illegal aliens captured by our government back to our southern border, send them to the other side; then, all too often, the illegals try to cross again, frequently successfully. Read more...

Time for an Illegal Alien Amendment to the Farm Bill

By David North, July 10, 2013

The Farm Bill, which also authorizes the food stamp program, is being re-considered by the House of Representatives after that legislation failed to pass recently. Given the power of the farm lobby, the bill is certain to become law later this year.

While the bill is in limbo, the House should add a modest amendment that would see to it that families including illegal aliens (gently termed "undocumented non-citizens" in Department of Agriculture regulations) are not more eligible for food stamps than all-citizen families, which is now the case in most states. Read more...

Match #3 in Internal H-1B Squabble Goes to the Body Shops: Microsoft et al. Lose

By David North, July 8, 2013

The only joy — and it is a minor one — in the ongoing immigration policy conflict in Congress is to watch two sets of worker-exploiters battle each other over H-1B slots.

The most recent round between the Indian out-placement firms (or body shops) and the IT giants (Microsoft, Intel, IBM, et al.), also called product companies, was won by the former. Had it been a football game, the score would have been:

Placement firms: 35
Product firms: 0

That encounter was played out in the House Judiciary Committee. More on that later. Read more...

Uncle Sam Unwittingly Helps Fund Immigration-Related Marriage Fraud

By David North, July 2, 2013

It's bad enough that USCIS is not as active as it should be in rooting out immigration-related marriage fraud. It is worse when the American military, albeit unwittingly, helps fund it, as a recent article in Military Times indicates.

All too often citizens — both civilians and members of the military — agree to loveless marriages with aliens so that the citizens get some money and the aliens get green cards. If the marriage is a sham, that's a violation of the federal law and if caught all concerned can go to jail and the alien is likely to be deported.

What I realized recently is that frequently it is not the alien who is paying for the lawless marriage, it is Uncle Sam, or more specifically our armed services. Read more...

House Committee Votes to Admit More STEM Workers than the Supply of Them

By David North, July 1, 2013

The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted last week to admit more high-tech foreign workers in some categories than the annual supply of them.

In its eagerness to meet the wishes of the high tech industry — and steal jobs from qualified American workers — the Republican majority on the committee, with the single, commendable exception of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), voted to allow as many as 55,000 green cards to be issued annually to aliens with advanced science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees from American universities. Read more...

NY Times Photographer Grasps What NY Times Text Denies

By David North, June 28, 2013

Shown below is an older, unemployed American engineer (white hair, no jacket, apparently kneeling, perhaps pleading, on the outside of the circle) and a younger Asian, presumably a high-tech executive (dark hair, jacket, sitting at the table, presumably listening) at a Silicon Valley gathering. The photo, from today's New York Times, was taken by Noah Berger, and was used to illustrate an article headlined (in the paper version) "The Idled of Silicon Valley: A Bill Allowing More Foreign Workers Stirs a Tech Debate". It is on the first page of today's business section, page B1. Read more...

Drama vs. Demographics in the S.744 Debate

By David North, June 27, 2013

I have been both fascinated with, and appalled by, the over-emphasis on border security in the current debates about the legalization of some 11 million illegal aliens.

It is as if the minds of Congress have slipped into reverse historical gear, and are dealing with the high drama of the wars between the U.S. Cavalry and the Indians on the western frontier during the 1800s. Read more...

Some Thoughts on the Immigration Side Effects of the DOMA Decision

By David North, June 26, 2013

Setting aside the policy question of recognizing same-sex marriages – it does not bother me but it certainly bothers others – what will the impact of the Supreme Court's Defense of Marriage Act decision be on the extent of legal immigration to the U.S.? Read more...

The IT Industry Should Learn an H-1B Lesson from America's Schools

By David North, June 26, 2013

Amidst all the talk on Capitol Hill about the alleged "need" for more alien workers, here is a bit of contrary news: Read more...

UK to Try Reverse Twist on Our Visa Waiver Program – The Bonded Visa

By David North, June 25, 2013

The United Kingdom is about to experiment with an interesting reverse twist on our visa waiver program – a technique that should be considered by our Congress.

Visa waivers are offered by the United States to would-be visitors from a carefully constructed list of nations that do not produce many visa over-stays, such as Japan and Great Britain. It eases travel for these aliens, pleases the lobbyists from the American travel industry, and does not produce much of a headache for the United States. Read more...

Labor Department H-1B Enforcement: A Paper Tiger

By David North, June 21, 2013

One of the problems with the H-1B program, which brings low-paid, high-tech workers to the United States in the hundreds of thousands (and that would be dramatically expanded by the Schumer-Rubio bill now being debated in the Senate), is that there is a broad streak of fraud within it.

It should be noted that even when the program runs as it is supposed to, it takes multitudinous jobs away from American workers and it reduces wages for all in its ambit. Read more...

That Big Raid on the 7-Eleven Stores – Some Comments

By David North, June 20, 2013

ICE and other law enforcement organizations mounted a big, two-state raid earlier this week on a collection of 7-Eleven stores that had been employing – and cheating – dozens of illegal aliens; there was extensive reporting by the New York Times and the Associated Press.

This was a bonanza, financially, for the employers. The various 7-Eleven interests had made $182 million in profits from these stores, according to the AP.

Was it a whopping success for the good guys? Were the raids staged to support the administration's immigration policies? Did it reveal a long series of corporate, governmental, and community failings? Read more...

The Inevitable? — More TPS Eligibility for Syrians

By David North, June 17, 2013

I suppose it was inevitable.

DHS announced today that Syrians who arrived in the United States before today and those who will arrive in the United States in the next few hours (before midnight) are to be granted Temporary Protected Status and allowed to work — no matter how they got here or what their visa status. Read more...

Glowing Portraits of Illegals vs. the Categorical Imperative

By David North, June 14, 2013

The New York Times did it again Friday morning, on the front page, as it did on the op-ed page Thursday.

It trotted out glowing portraits of specific illegal aliens as part of its campaign to pass the Gang of Eight's comprehensive immigration law. Friday's heroes were people granted temporary legal status under the administration's fiat Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Read more...

Yahoo Lobbyists Should Read Yahoo Education on Tech Skills "Shortages"

By David North, June 14, 2013

This is one of those "the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing" stories.

It shows that Yahoo as a corporation is lobbying for more H-1Bs on the grounds of an alleged "skills shortage" in the high-tech fields, while another part of Yahoo says, in effect, Americans should not bother to study information systems in college because it will not help them get a job.

Here are the facts in the case: Read more...

Two More EB-5 Projects, in Vermont and Virginia, Are in Trouble

By David North, June 12, 2013

Hard on the heels of the news of the huge EB-5 fraud scandal in Chicago, two other EB-5 projects, one in Vermont and the other headquartered in Virginia, were reported to be in trouble recently.

The Vermont case involved plans for building retirement centers, while the one in Virginia related to the production of small automobiles at a planned plant in Mississippi. Unlike the Chicago case — in which two developers were indicted on criminal charges — the two new cases do not involve any indictments. Read more...

Here's a Checklist of the GOP Senators Who Voted to Advance S.744

By David North, June 12, 2013

The Senate voted Tuesday to consider S.744 by 82-15, with three abstentions.

All 54 Democrats voted to move the bill to the floor, as did 28 of the Republicans. Fifteen GOP members, including Sens. Grassley (Iowa) and Sessions (Ala.) voted to keep it off the agenda.

Three Republicans did not vote on the issue: McCain (Ariz., a likely supporter of the massive comprehensive immigration reform bill), Murkowski (Alaska), and Coburn (Okla.). Read more...

It's Quite Indirect, but Every Bit Helps

By David North, June 11, 2013

One way to discourage the use of nonimmigrant workers (aka guest workers) is to make sure that these workers can sue employers that abuse them. That runs up the costs of the workers to the employers, and thus makes them think twice about hiring them in the future.

One of the problems with getting economic justice for nonimmigrant workers is that they are not — quite appropriately — in the United States all the time; they may well be back in their homeland when they become aware that there are ways that they can seek justice from their U.S.-based employers, but there they are in Mexico or Central America, and the employer is in the United States. Read more...

Looking at the Mavericks in the House Voting on DACA

By David North, June 10, 2013

The big picture on the House of Representatives vote on DACA last week — 224 to 201 in favor of its repeal — is that party lines largely held as the restrictionists won with a substantial but not overpowering majority.

A more detailed look shows nine members voted against their party, six Republicans who voted against repeal and three Democrats who voted for; plus nine non-voters. That's a total of 18 House members to watch more closely as the summer progresses.

So, who are they and why did they vote (or not vote) as they did? Read more...

How Independent is the DHS Inspector General?

By David North, June 6, 2013

Inspector Generals (IGs) of government agencies are supposed to be junk-yard dogs in their fierceness and independence. They investigate things and report to the public. It is a useful institution, generally.

But something came over the Internet yesterday morning that puts the independence of the Department of Homeland Security's IG in question. Read more...

Gang of Eight Offers Two New Ways to Buy U.S. Visas

By David North, June 4, 2013

This blog has previously reported the existence of three different ways that aliens could legitimately buy legal status in the United States.

Now, the ever-generous Gang of Eight has proposed two additional ways to convert money into visas. Read more...

NY Times Prints Apples vs. Oranges Study on Medicare Costs and Income

By David North, May 30, 2013

This morning's New York Times carries another one of those stories on biased academic studies that suggest that immigrants financially help support federal programs, in this case Medicare.

It is one of those studies where the numbers quoted are probably accurate, but they are totally misleading. Read more...