Immigration Blog

On Refugee Standards and Mental Filters

By Dan Cadman, August 20, 2015

A few days ago, Raha Jorjani, an immigration attorney and sometime professor at the University of California-Davis Law School, wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post offering her view that African Americans could qualify as refugees given the level of violence against them by police. Read more...

District Court Vacates 2008 Regulations that Expanded OPT

By John Miano, August 20, 2015

I returned home from vacation with a cold to find that the D.C. District Court had issued an opinion in the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers [WashTech] v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security case. The court had vacated (i.e., invalidated) the 2008 regulations that created expansions for the Optional Practical Training Program (OPT) effective February 12, 2016. While the news has been completely ignored by the mainstream media, it has created a firestorm in the legal and trade press. Read more...

U.S. and Iran Reach Atomic Deal — DOJ and Iranian-American IJ Also Settle

By David North, August 20, 2015

The governments of the United States, Iran, and five other nations — amidst much public attention — have reached an agreement on atomic energy and sanctions.

Earlier this week, and very quietly, the Department of Justice and one of its immigration judges, an Iranian-American, have settled their differences out of court. For the PACER file on the case, see here. Read more...

The Backstory of the Vocabulary War

By Jerry Kammer, August 20, 2015

Part three of four.
Read Part 1: The Immigration Language Wars.
Read Part 2: A Linguistic Bridge over Troubled Waters.


Like many of the aspects of our immigration debate, the vocabulary war has an interesting backstory. It's the story of a long linguistic chain that started with the borderlands slang term mojados and continued with ilegales, illegal immigrants, undocumented immigrants, and unauthorized workers. The most recent addition is the contradictory and extremely politically correct "undocumented citizens". That awkward phrase has been invoked by the likes of Republican Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), who wants to "normalize the status of the 11 million undocumented citizens." Read more...

Farmers Who Want Workers Who Look Like Them Can Use H-2A Visas

By David North, August 19, 2015

Suppose you are a farmer in Belzoni, Miss., and you need eight farm workers.

If you look it up you will find that Mississippi is tied for 46th (with South Carolina) in the list of states' unemployment rates, with only Alaska, Nevada, and West Virginia having more joblessness. If you go a bit further, to county-by-county data, you will find that your county, Humphreys, ranks 79th out of 82 counties in your state, with an unemployment rate of 14.5 percent.

Since Belzoni is in the highly agricultural Delta area, and farm workers always have higher rates of unemployment than workers generally, you might think that it would be relatively easy to hire your eight workers locally. Read more...

Don't Rescind DACA Right Away, Mr. Trump
Give the courts a chance to strike it down

By Dan Cadman, August 19, 2015
Give the courts a chance to strike it down

Concurrent with releasing his immigration platform, presidential candidate Donald Trump was interviewed by Chuck Todd, NBC political analyst and host of "Meet the Press". Read more...

No Illegal Alien Left Behind

By Kausha Luna, August 19, 2015

Last year, the Obama administration reached a settlement that allows certain former illegal immigrants to return to the U.S. An agency in Mexico announced a campaign over the weekend to ensure that as many people as possible take advantage of it.

In 2013 the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the government of California filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of nine Mexican nationals and three immigrant advocacy groups. The complaint in Lopez-Venegas v Johnson alleged ''that as a matter of regular practice, Border Patrol agents and ICE officers pressure undocumented immigrants to sign what amount to their own expulsion documents,'' formally known as "administrative voluntary departure.'' This is commonly referred to as ''voluntary return" and is an alternative to appearing before a judge and being formally deported. Read more...

A Linguistic Bridge over Troubled Waters

By Jerry Kammer, August 19, 2015

Part two of four.
Read Part 1: The Immigration Language Wars.


In 2013, when the Associated Press prohibited the use of "illegal immigrant" to describe someone who was in the United States illegally and the New York Times gave its blessing to the use of less controversial terms, critics complained that they caved in to pressure and surrendered to political correctness. I was waiting for someone to wisecrack that the two powerhouses of American journalism had made the difficult decision to rise above their principles. Read more...

Each Skilled Immigrant Creates 2.5 Jobs for Natives?
Time to retire a faulty talking point

By Steven A. Camarota, August 18, 2015
Time to retire a faulty talking point

Immigrants with skill-based visas certainly bring some economic benefits, but one cost is the increased wage and employment competition faced by natives with similar skills. This is a not a trivial concern given that most "high-skill" H-1B immigrants are not exemplary — they're mostly run-of-the-mill college graduates who compete with middle-class natives. Read more...

Will the White House Shift Money Away from ICE?

By Dan Cadman, August 18, 2015

The Daily Caller recently reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was going to propose shifting $110 million away from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) into other DHS organizations and efforts such as the Secret Service and cybersecurity programs. The money targeted by the White House for "reprogramming", which would need congressional approval given the staggering amount, would come from ICE's immigration programs, not its customs programs. Read more...

The Immigration Language Wars

By Jerry Kammer, August 18, 2015

The first of four parts.

Public policy debates often feature clever terminology intended to frame the issue and thereby influence the way we think about it. We have negative framing with "death tax" instead of "estate tax" and "government takeover" instead of "national health insurance". And we have positive framing with "gaming" instead of "gambling" and "right to choose" instead of "abortion rights". If you change the name, you can change the frame, and that can change how the public responds.

The immigration debate has produced some important linguistic battles. The mother of all of them has been waged over the term "illegal immigrant". Read more...

Univision's Biased Reporting, Maryland Edition

By Kausha Luna, August 17, 2015

In January, soon after taking office, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan decided to participate in the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Priority Enforcement Program (PEP). Gov. Hogan's move is appropriate but very limited, merely cancelling former Governor Martin O'Malley's policy of non-cooperation with ICE; the state continues to give illegal immigrants in-state tuition and driver licenses, with some restrictions. Read more...

Senate Begins to Analyze Links Between Immigration and Terror

By Dan Cadman, August 17, 2015

Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the chairmen, respectively, of the Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest and the subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights, and Federal Courts, have penned a rather remarkable letter to the attorney general and the secretaries of State and Homeland Security. Read more...

Trump's Illegal Alien Policy Has Welcome Details Discussed by No One Else

By David North, August 17, 2015

Don't get me wrong, as a liberal Democrat I think Donald Trump would be a disaster as president.

On the other hand, I must say that I was impressed by the level of detail in his recently released immigration policy paper.

As Mark Krikorian has written, Trump's position "clearly has advanced the immigration debate." Read more...

Immigration Trump Card

By Mark Krikorian, August 17, 2015

Maybe what is most remarkable about Trump's new immigration paper is that none of the other candidates beat him to it.

I mean no disrespect to his policy people, but anyone could have written it in a few days, a week maybe. The material is easily found online and unlike, say, health care policy, it's really not that complicated.

Which suggests that the campaigns of most of the other leading candidates hoped they could avoid offering an actual plan, finessing the issue instead by mouthing platitudes for the yahoos without specifics that might upset donors. Trump's paper takes direct aim at this strategy when it states "Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first – not wealthy globetrotting donors." Read more...

John Stossel's Immigration Factoids

By CIS, August 14, 2015

Anyone who debates an open-borders advocate can expect to be hit with a barrage of "factoids" — pro-immigration claims that contain some element of truth, but that obscure the broader picture. That's exactly what columnist Ann Coulter encountered when she debated immigration with John Stossel, a libertarian talk-show host. One of Stossel's factoids was particularly misleading. Here's part of his own summary of the debate:

Coulter says that the new immigrants don't assimilate the way Europeans did. Maybe that's true, but I pointed out that immigrants from Nigeria, Jamaica, and Ghana are more likely to be employed than native-born Americans and twice as likely to get a college degree. "I don't believe it," answered Coulter. (Emphasis added.)

Court Victory for American Workers but No Immediate Relief in Sight

By Dan Cadman, August 14, 2015

My CIS colleague David North has documented the existence of a suspect program begun in 2008 and broadened to disturbing lengths in 2012. The program, initiated and expanded by federal regulations, permits foreign students who have graduated (and thus fulfilled the basis for being granted a visa) to remain in the United States for extended periods of time to engage in "optional practical training" (OPT), which is in fact designed to allow them to enter the workforce and compete directly against struggling American workers in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Read more...

A Grim Suggestion about the Young Central American Illegals Now in the U.S.

By David North, August 14, 2015

These are tough decisions to make and we, as a nation, have got them wrong.

I am talking about the unconscious series of decisions that we have been making about the political situation in Central America, notably in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Read more...

Semantics, Political Correctness, and Bizarre Priorities Obscure Honesty in the Immigration Dialogue

By Dan Cadman, August 14, 2015

The Center for immigration Studies has published a series of blogs by Jerry Kammer on some of the recent writings by Jeffrey Toobin in the New Yorker magazine. They are an interesting microcosm of the way many liberal journalists and authors of otherwise bright intellect abandon their capacity for neutrality or dispassionate analysis when the subject of immigration arises. This lack of capacity for critical examination is especially disturbing for an attorney and "senior legal analyst" (at CNN) like Toobin. Read more...

GAO Report on EB-5 Is a Mixed Bag: Some Zingers, Some Major Gaps

By David North, August 13, 2015

Wednesday's GAO report on the EB-5 program, "Immigrant Investor Program: Additional Actions Needed to Better Assess Fraud Risks and Economic Benefits", contained some useful elements — such as the finding that USCIS is not trying hard enough to identify fraud and threats to national security — but there were major gaps in what it should have, and could have, covered. Read more...

DHS OIG Finds USCIS Didn't Intentionally Violate Injunction

By Dan Cadman, August 13, 2015

Followers of the court action in Texas know that 26 states sued the federal government over its immigration "executive actions" that proposed to give over half a million aliens "lawful status" and work permits despite absence of a statute, and proposed to do the same for approximately five million more. To the delight of those outraged by the executive branch's overreach, the presiding judge issued an injunction, restraining the government from undertaking the new expanded program, and halting the old one. Read more...

Administration's Chaotic Immigration Policies Bring Trouble on Two Horizons

By Dan Cadman, August 13, 2015

The Obama White House is finally beginning to feel the consequences of cause and effect where its immigration policies are concerned. Like a paralysis-inducing spider wasp laying its eggs into its prey, it has pretty much cowed our congressional leaders into crippling inactivity in the face of its onslaught of legally dubious "executive actions". But the third branch of our tripartite federal system, the judiciary, has taken action in two different directions and begun to clamp down on the administration's policies. Read more...

Quality of DACA Applications Apparently Falls: Now One in Six Is Denied

By David North, August 13, 2015

According to the latest statistics from USCIS, the denial rate in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has risen.

Compared to the early months of the program, when disapproved cases were shown as zero, now about one out of six decided cases results in a denial.

Here are the numbers for approved cases, denials, the totals for both categories combined, and the percentage of denials to the total. Data are for initial fillings, excluding renewals. Read more...

Guatemala's New Migrant Campaign: Don't Do It, But if You Do, Here's a 'How-To'

By Kausha Luna, August 12, 2015

Yesterday, a U.S. Border Patrol delegation from Arizona visited Guatemala to discuss the dangers of illegal immigration and measures to protect migrants. During this visit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), presented a new campaign titled "¿Qué pasa, Qué hago?" or "What Happens? What do I do?" The campaign, also supported by the local Catholic bishops' conference, is an initiative to "inform child migrants and their families on the steps to be taken if they are detained at the U.S. border." The campaign consists of comics, videos, and other materials to be distributed in schools, and via radios social media, and national consulates. Read more...

Recommended Immigration Reading on H-2Bs, H-1Bs, and Border Tunnels

By David North, August 12, 2015

I see a lot of writing on immigration subjects every day, and while much of it is repetitive or grossly misleading (e.g., "there is a shortage of skilled workers in the United States so we need more foreign workers"), there is the occasional gem. Here are three examples. Read more...

Jeffrey Toobin's Declaration of Allegiance

By Jerry Kammer, August 12, 2015

When I was a young reporter, I learned that journalists have a responsibility to two groups of people. The first group is the subjects of our stories. The second group is the readers.

That came to mind as I was thinking about Jeffrey Toobin's essay in the New Yorker, which he wrote in response to readers who disliked his decision in an earlier story to describe his central characters as "illegal immigrants". Read more...

CBP Warns Central Americans Against Immigrating Illegally
'Immediate deportation of those trying to cross the border without documents'

By Kausha Luna, August 11, 2015
'Immediate deportation of those trying to cross the border without documents'

On Monday U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched a media campaign in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The 30-second radio and TV public service announcements are titled "Conozca los hechos" or "Know the Facts". The commercials address the dangers faced by prospective illegal immigrants intending to cross the border into the United States. Watch the Spanish-language ads here. Read more...

Kin of Crooked Korean Kingpin Caught Up in EB-5 Case

By David North, August 11, 2015

Drip, drip, drip, drip.

They keep emerging: additional indications that the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program is a honey-pot attracting fraud of various kinds, as I reported recently.

While many of these immigrant investor cases relate to citizen and alien middlemen conning rich aliens, this item, which is both investor-centric and one I have not discussed before, is different because it involves the son and daughter-in-law of a corrupt Korean politician and their use (or attempted use) of daddy's funds in the EB-5 program. Read more...

Several More Victims of Alien Criminals and Nothing Has Been Done

By Dan Cadman, August 10, 2015

The July 5 San Francisco murder of Kate Steinle at the hands of a multiply deported alien felon brought cries of outrage from the public, followed shortly thereafter by the predictable cacophony of a hopelessly divided country.

Some members of Congress vowed to put a spotlight on the problem and to end illegal alien sanctuaries, while others committed unpardonable gaffes by referring to the murder as "a little thing" or disrespecting the family members of citizens who died at the hands of alien criminals by leaving during their testimony at hearings held by Senate committees on which they sit. Read more...

Jeffrey Toobin Swears Off "Illegal Immigrant"

By Jerry Kammer, August 10, 2015

Jeffrey Toobin last month wrote an article in the New Yorker that called attention to the plight of illegal immigrants who anxiously await action from Washington that would pass judicial review and grant them legal status. "The point of my article was to show the human cost of the lengthy political standoff over immigration policy," he writes in a new essay, which was prompted by objections from readers that he shouldn't have used the term "illegal immigrant". Read more...