Immigration Blog

TSA: Oregon's Proposed Driver's Licenses Would Allow Illegal Aliens to Board Airplanes

By Jon Feere, October 8, 2014

Voters in Oregon will soon be deciding whether to allow illegal aliens to receive driver's licenses, but a new statement from an official from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is creating confusion about how these cards will be used and raises the question of whether Oregon plans to violate federal law, thereby creating a national security threat to all Americans. Read more...

Recent Immigration Polls: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Pt. 1

By Stanley Renshon, October 8, 2014

Divining the views of the public on immigration is an exceedingly difficult task. There are always the technical questions about survey methods that need to be taken into account. Are the samples large enough? Representative enough? Are they Internet-only survey instruments or are they conducted by interviewers or are they mechanical calls?

These "technical" questions influence the reliability of the numbers we read and thus our confidence in the results. But these matters are only the proverbial tip of a very large iceberg whose major consequences are hidden in plain sight. Read more...

FBI Director Comey: U.S. Citizens Fighting with ISIS Entitled to Return

By Dan Cadman, October 8, 2014

A few days ago, FBI Director James Comey was interviewed on the CBS new program "60 Minutes", with many questions posed in relation to terrorism and the terror group ISIS ("Islamic State of Iraq and Syria") in particular.

The interview was so unsettling that I hardly know where to express my dismay. Read more...

H-1B News: Whistleblower Jack Palmer Goes After Infosys Again

By David North, October 7, 2014

Here are two bits of good news on the H-1B front, in which two prominent critics of that program, which steals jobs from Americans, enhance their game:

First, whistleblower Jack (Jay) Palmer sued Infosys, one of the largest of the Indian outsourcing firms and users (and abusers) of nonimmigrant programs, again. He already has one major, multi-million dollar victory against the large H-1B employer in his pocket, as the Wall Street Journal previously reported. Read more...

Bill on Transparency in Foreign Worker Programs Introduced in House

By David North, October 6, 2014

It is a small step in the right direction; it will not go far immediately (if ever), but a highly commendable effort is being made in the House of Representatives to shed some light on our murky nonimmigrant worker programs.

Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) has introduced H.R. 5197, the "Transparency in Reporting to Protect American Workers and Prevent Human Trafficking Act". Read more...

Revoking Citizenship of Terrorists and Traitors Is Assuredly the Right Thing to Do

By Dan Cadman, October 3, 2014

Andy Semotiuk recently wrote an opinion piece for Forbes magazine ("Immigration Law: Is Revoking the Citizenship of Terror Suspects Right or Wrong?"), arguing against a bill Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) recently attempted to move through the Senate under streamlined procedures.

That bill would have deemed joining the foreign terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as the Islamic State of the Levant, or ISIL) as an act of renunciation of citizenship on the part of any American, native-born or naturalized. Cruz's attempt was blocked by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii). Read more...

Immigration Lame-Duck Fantasies Redux, Pt. 2

By Stanley Renshon, October 3, 2014

The Obama administration is threatening the equivalent of immigration fire and brimstone if Republicans don't make a lame-duck session deal. Yet their idea of a deal seems to be: Give us what we want in an immigration bill or we'll do it ourselves by executive action.

It's a maximalist position that reflects no real interest in accommodation. And at this stage the administration clearly feels there doesn't have to be any. Read more...

Why Does Our Government Seek Charity for Our Ports of Entry?

By David North, October 3, 2014

Does a government ask for donations to maintain its parliamentary buildings? Its Air Force or FBI?

No, a self-respecting nation, particularly a prosperous one like the United States, uses public funds for important public purposes.

But the Obama administration has decided to pull out the begging cup for our somewhat tattered ports of entry, where an endless series of important immigration admission decisions are made all day, every day. The administration treats the ports like poor relatives that should be clothed and fed by recycling society's leftovers. Read more...

Could There Finally Be an Alternative to the Pro-Illegal Alien Facebook?

By Ronald W. Mortensen, October 3, 2014

Mark Zuckerberg is funding his anti-American escapades in Mexico, his attack on the middle-class through demands for more visas for foreign workers, and his pro-illegal alien and employer amnesty campaign with funds generated by exploiting Facebook users.

According to the manifesto of a new social network, Ello, today's social media magnates are buying and selling people through the data that they collect on users and then sell to advertisers. Ello believes that "collecting and selling your personal data, reading your posts to your friends, and mapping your social connections for profit is both creepy and unethical" since, under the guise of offering a "free" service, users pay a high price in intrusive advertising and lack of privacy. Read more...

In South Dakota EB-5 Case, More Thought to the Frills than the Turkey in the Oven

By David North, October 3, 2014

If the long-simmering EB-5 scandal in South Dakota were a Thanksgiving dinner, you would notice lots of activity regarding the table settings, the cranberry sauce, and the gravy, but no one would be paying much attention to the big turkey in the oven.

The kitchen, to continue the metaphor a bit, is heating up, however, as the sometimes sleepy Democratic Party in the state is trying to make a major public issue of the repeated, convoluted, and often clever local misuse of the immigrant investor program. The GOP governor when the multiple EB-5 disasters began was Michael Rounds and he is running this fall for the U.S. Senate, so he is the target for much of the criticism. Read more...

Immigration Lame-Duck Fantasies Redux, Pt. 1

By Stanley Renshon, October 2, 2014

It's lame-duck immigration amnesty fantasy time at the White House again, though this year's version starts with a threat. The threat came from Vice President Joe Biden who, "challenged Republicans to 'see the Lord' or the 'lightning' in regard to immigration reform during a speech he made at a reception for Hispanic Heritage month." Read more...

Dallas Ebola Patient Was Another Visa Mistake

By Jessica Vaughan, October 1, 2014

Look up "likely visa overstay" in the dictionary, and you should find a picture of Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who is the first Ebola case diagnosed within the United States, and who is now being treated in a Dallas hospital.

This looks like another good case for the consular officers training manual of a non-immigrant visa that never should have been issued, but which could have serious public health consequences, not to mention monetary costs. Read more...

Responding to the President's Immigration Fiat, Pt. 5

By Stanley Renshon, September 30, 2014

The president's forthcoming executive amnesty and enforcement actions are likely to be an immigration Rubicon for the Republican Party — for its supporters, its elected officials, and its 2016 presidential candidates.

Let me start with Republican supporters and their elected officials. A recent Pew poll tells all in its title: "Neither Party Gets Good Marks from Its Base for Handling Illegal Immigration". According to the poll, 56 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaners feel that the Republican Party is not doing a good job on illegal immigration. Read more...

Would You Buy a Used Car from This EB-5 Applicant?

By David North, September 29, 2014

Every so often one part of the immigration system does the right thing, while another does not.

In this case USCIS gets the credit and the State Department gets none.

Our protagonist today is an alien used car dealer; he's a Mexican millionaire who tried, without the needed qualifications, to convert his E-2 (nonimmigrant investor) visa and his collection of formerly owned vehicles into a green card via the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program. Read more...

Responding to the President's Immigration Fiat, Pt. 4

By Stanley Renshon, September 27, 2014

In taking his immigration executive actions – especially if, as expected, they are expansive – the president will have thrown down a monumental, even radical, challenge to the American tradition of governance as well as to the American public and, not incidentally, to the Republican Party.

He and his allies can be expected justify his actions by all the means at his disposal, and they will be considerable. They are, however, by no means insurmountable. Read more...

70 Percent of Illegals Released by ICE Don’t Appear for Follow-up Appointments

By Mark Krikorian, September 26, 2014

Immigration and Customs Enforcement released thousands of illegal-alien families from this summer’s border surge – the large majority of those who were apprehended – with instructions to report to the particular ICE office at their final destination. DHS has repeatedly refused to say how many of them actually show up as directed.

Well, the AP secured a recording of "a confidential meeting at its [ICE's] Washington headquarters with immigration advocates" where ICE acknowledged that 70 percent of those released "never showed up weeks later for follow-up appointments." Read more...

Uncle Sam Wants Illegal Aliens for the U.S. Army

By Mark Krikorian, September 26, 2014

The Pentagon announced yesterday that certain illegal aliens would be permitted to join the military. Specifically, people with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) "temporary" amnesty can apply for the MAVNI program (Military Accessions in the National Interest). The program is for legal foreigners who don't have green cards (mainly foreign students or workers) who speak certain rare languages or have specialized medical training. Read more...

Responding to the President's Immigration Fiat, Pt. 3

By Stanley Renshon, September 25, 2014

The Obama administration will field a formidable array of political resources to rationalize and legitimize the president's forthcoming executive immigration amnesty. Those who oppose his executive order will have nowhere near the president's resources and thus will begin with a decided disadvantage.

In that sense it will be round two of another immigration "David vs. Goliath" fight, the first one having been won by House Republican Davids who managed to stop the "comprehensive reform" juggernaut that reached its culmination with the passage of the massive 2013 Senate Democratic immigration legislation.

That fight was fought on different grounds than the executive actions fight will be fought. Broadly speaking, the difference will be a fight that was won by doing nothing versus a fight that can only be won by doing something. Read more...

Maryland's Governor, His Eye on a 2016 Presidential Bid, Goes All-In for Immigration

By Jerry Kammer, September 25, 2014

El Tiempo Latino, the Spanish-language weekly owned by the Washington Post, was so impressed by a recent speech by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley that it ran a story about it twice in its September 19 issue.

There it was on the front page, under the banner headline that translates as "Solidarity with children immigrants". And there it was on page 6, under the headline: "O'Malley asks attorneys to help migrant kids". For some reason, both times the story itself was published in English. Read more...

Immigration, Criminal Creativity, and Some Speculation

By David North, September 24, 2014

A reader of mine, someone I had never met before, knew that I had written about schools that served as "visa mills" for foreign students and wanted to talk with me about a specific one that we both had visited. We set up a lunch date at a bar and grill in the suburbs.

Not knowing the location, I gave myself plenty of time to drive to the place and found myself ultra-early. As I waited at the bar I started reading the September 8 issue of Interpreter Releases, the immigration lawyers' staid trade paper. Read more...

Are There Any Consequences for Violating Immigration Law?

By David Seminara, September 23, 2014

Francisco Aguirre isn't the first illegal immigrant to be given sanctuary by a church, but he might be the most egregious scofflaw to secure such protection. His two-decade-long migration saga tells us just about everything we need to know about our Keystone Cops system of immigration enforcement and how scofflaws gain a sense of entitlement thanks to misguided persons and institutions who don't care about the rule of law or the message that a no-consequences and no-penalties immigration system sends to aspiring migrants around the world. Read more...

An EB-5 Success Story, Turkish Charter Schools Zapped, and the Samoan Amnesty

By David North, September 23, 2014

Today we have a menu of migration miscellany: an honest-to-God, if anonymous, EB-5 success story; some more negative news about those H-1B-program-abusing Turkish charter high schools; and the latest word on American Samoa's non-DHS amnesty. Read more...

Responding to the President's Immigration Fiat, Pt. 1

By Stanley Renshon, September 23, 2014

Responding to the President's Immigration Fiat, Pt. 2
Responding to the President's Immigration Fiat, Pt. 3

The president is very likely to take executive action "before the end of the holiday season" that grants administrative amnesty to large groups of illegal aliens and may contain other provisions that reward his corporate and political supporters. The administration has not disclosed the exact provisions and it is likely that at this stage there are several drafts, each with somewhat different elements. It's likely that the final version will be dependent in part on the midterm election results as well as domestic and foreign circumstances.

However extensive the provisions are, responding to the president's immigration legislation-by-executive-order will not be easy. Read more...

Obama's Lawless Immigration Plan Is a Gift to the 1%

By Jon Feere, September 22, 2014

The start of my op-ed posted today at TheHill.com:

Unlike most political issues, immigration is not really a right vs. left or Republican vs. Democrat issue. Instead, immigration is better understood as an elite vs. public issue where the elite in our society tends to support higher levels of immigration and where the general public tends to support lower levels of immigration. For politicians of all political stripes, the question on immigration is whether they will side with the elite or the public.

DHS Chooses Convenience for Aliens over Sound Decision-Making in L-1 Move

By David North, September 22, 2014

While the process in question does not deal with many aliens, a recent announcement by DHS about the L-1 and TN visas at the northern border revealed a clear-cut choice on the part of the administration.

Should we opt for alien convenience? Or for a framework for sound decision-making regarding individual applications for temporary legal status in the United States?

The department came down heavily for alien convenience. Read more...

Many Are Called, but Few Are Chosen in the EB-5 Program

By David North, September 19, 2014

America is trying to improve the high school graduation rate, which is a ratio between those entering as freshmen and those leaving with a diploma. The national average in 2010, according to Department of Education statistics, was 78.2 percent.

The roughly comparable figure for the immigrant investor (EB-5) program is about 50 percent for the most recent time period. Whereas high school runs for four years, the waiting period in EB-5 is only two years, but the "graduation rate" is much lower. Here is how it works: Read more...

The Executive Immigration Order That Breaks the Obama Presidency? Pt. 2

By Stanley Renshon, September 19, 2014

When a president's major policy initiative, like President Obama's healthcare initiative, never gains public support, he is in trouble. When, in addition, the public no longer supports many of the president's other major domestic or foreign policies, the trouble is far more serious. And when both of the preceding are true and the public views the president as "weak", ineffective", or "dishonest", it is appropriate to use the word "collapse" to describe that presidency.

That is the current state of the Obama presidency. Read more...

Want to Lower the Average Educational Level of the Legal U.S. Workforce? Expand DACA!

By David North, September 18, 2014

We keep hearing from the Obama administration, prominent employers, and educators that in order to compete in the world economy we must have a better-educated workforce.

This makes sense. Brains are rapidly replacing brawn in the newer parts of the economy. Jobs demanding computer-related and other high skills are increasing just as the number of low-skilled factory (and farm) jobs are diminishing.

Yet in terms of the average educational level of the legal workforce in the United States, the Obama administration is already moving in the opposite direction with its support of the DACA amnesty program — the two-year-old amnesty-by-decree laid on by the administration for aliens who say they came here illicitly before the age of 16. DACA beneficiaries now range in age from the teens to the early 30s. Read more...

How About Just Paying Them More?

By Mark Krikorian, September 17, 2014

Maria Shriver is helping Marriott hotels avoid raising the pay for its housekeepers.

Perhaps fearing that the minimum-wage campaign directed at fast-food restaurants will turn its red and fiery eye toward hotels, Marriott has teamed up with Shriver and her group A Woman's Nation, to launch a campaign dubbed "The Envelope Please." It will "put envelopes in hotel rooms to encourage tipping" at Marriott's various brands, including Courtyard, Residence Inn, J.W. Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Renaissance hotels. The hotel chain is even suggesting how much to tip: "Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson says $1 to $5 per night, depending on room rate, with more for a high-priced suite." Read more...