Immigration Blog

CIS Fellow John Miano Gets Interim Court Victory in Foreign Student Case

By David North, November 24, 2014

John Miano, the New Jersey attorney and CIS Fellow, has just won a round in a federal court battle to prevent foreign college grads from taking jobs from qualified Americans.

The specific issue is the continuing Optional Training Program for recent alien college grads; it is run by the Department of Homeland Security, the defendant in the case. Read more...

Obama's Immigration Plan Isn't Worth the Paper It's Printed on

By Jon Feere, November 24, 2014

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

Though he didn't discuss the details during his speech, President Obama has issued a series of memos that reveal exactly why unilateral, lawless actions from him aren't worth the paper they're printed on. His planned changes to his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program illustrate exactly why the criteria illegal aliens must meet to obtain his amnesty are utterly meaningless and can change at any time. In making these changes, Obama highlights the deeply problematic nature of his lawless policymaking.

Obama Edict undercuts Social Security, US College Grads in a single blow

By David North, November 24, 2014

If you read the fine print of the detailed Obama administration's edict on immigration you will find hidden body blows to both the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, as well as to U.S. college grads looking for their first post-campus employment.

But you have to look hard, and read between the lines, because these twin bits of bad news are almost completely hidden, even in one of those detailed documents that are supposed to flesh out the president's generally vague statements in his speech. Read more...

Analysis of Obama's Executive Amnesty Scheme: Removal Priorities

By Dan Cadman, November 24, 2014

[Note: This is the second item analyzing the pieces of executive action authorized by the president.]

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary issued a series of memoranda outlining the various facets of the programs and policies which would constitute, in total, “executive action” relating to immigration matters, following direction and approval from the president, who announced them in a nationwide speech the evening of November 20.

The memoranda cover ten key areas in which executive action is being taken. Some of the subject areas that are outlined consist of more than one memorandum. In a prior blog, I examined the secretary’s memorandum relating to the first piece of executive action: “Strengthen Border Security.” This blog focuses on the second piece, “Revise Removal Priorities”. Read more...

'Just Because They Didn't Have the Right Papers' and Other Reasons Why Executive Amnesty Is Foolhardy

By David Seminara, November 21, 2014

OK, I admit it. I didn't make it through President Obama's entire immigration address last night. If you blog about immigration, you probably should sit through these things, no matter how painful they are. But after the president said, "I've seen the heartbreak and anxiety of children whose mothers might be taken away from them just because they didn't have the right papers," I turned off the TV, fearing that if I swallowed any more of what he was peddling, I might vomit all over my favorite couch.

I voted for the guy (twice!), despite the fact that I dislike his approach to the immigration issue, and I generally like him as a person. (As a president, not nearly as much.) But there's only so much hogwash any one person can swallow. There are so many things to dislike about the president's speech and his executive action, but here are a few points to consider: Read more...

Unilateral Amnesty Scheme Could Impact the Most Vulnerable Americans

By Steven A. Camarota, November 21, 2014

President Obama's executive amnesty announced this week may well come at the expense of the most vulnerable and poorest American workers. Once given work authorization, illegal immigrants are likely to compete with Americans for better-paying jobs that are now generally off-limits because they require background checks and valid Social Security numbers. Such jobs include: security guards, screeners, janitors, grounds keepers and clerks employed in the public sector, as well as most jobs associated with interstate transport and delivery. Read more...

Analysis of Obama's Executive Amnesty Scheme: Border Security

By Dan Cadman, November 21, 2014

[Note: This is the first of several items analyzing the pieces of executive action authorized by the president.]

Concurrent with the televised nationwide presidential address last night, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary issued a series of memoranda outlining the various facets of the programs and policies which would constitute, in total, "executive action" relating to immigration matters.

The administration has characterized them this way: Read more...

Laws Emanate from the White House Now

By Mark Krikorian, November 21, 2014

Obama's speech announcing his immigration diktat was the usual pabulum: "our immigration system is broken," can't let illegals "remain in the shadows," "commonsense middle-ground approach," blah, blah, blah. If I didn't have to go on TV right afterwards, I would have played a drinking game. Read more...

Ad Hominem Arguments and Non-Sequiturs Litter the President's Immigration Address

By Dan Cadman, November 20, 2014

I just finished watching the president speaking about the executive order he will sign tomorrow allowing millions of illegal aliens to live and work in the United States for the next couple of years. Read more...

What’s (Happily) Missing from the Obama Plan

By David North, November 20, 2014

It could have been worse.

In the weeks leading up to the president’s speech there was much speculation about what specifics would be offered; among them were three immigration policy changes that, fortunately, did not make the cut:

  1. Special, easy rules for illegal-alien farm workers;
  2. A blanket legalization program for the parents of the DACA beneficiaries, those who had arrived illegally before their 16th birthday; a tabloid headline writer might have written “Devious Daddies of the DACA Dreamers Denied”; and
  3. The admissions of lots more H-1B workers.

TPS For West African Nations Is a Needlessly Broad Amnesty

By David North, November 20, 2014

Don’t get me wrong – I am not for deporting anyone to Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone in the next few months.

That would put a couple dozen Africans at some avoidable risk, and would give the deportation program – generally – a black eye. (That's an angle few discuss.)

But that does not excuse what the Obama administration has announced – at a sneaky time – regarding the creation of Temporary Protected Status for all nationals of those three countries. It is much more sweeping than it needs to be. If a kid in costume comes to the door on Halloween you give him a candy bar, you do not empty a bushel basket full of bonbons over his head.

Let me elaborate. Read more...

Blue Light Special on Naturalization to Help Fund Obama's Amnesty

By Jessica Vaughan, November 20, 2014

11/21/14 Update: In one of a series of memos released Thursday night providing the details on the president's executive amnesty plan, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson stated that the plan to offer discounted naturalization to low-income applicants would not be implemented at this time, apparently because USCIS leaders said that the agency couldn't afford it. The memo is available here. Read more...

Fox News Interviews CIS's Jon Feere on Driver's Licenses for Illegal Aliens

By Jon Feere, November 19, 2014

Early this morning I was interviewed by Fox News' Elisabeth Hasselbeck on California's plan to grant driver's licenses to illegal aliens. It is part of a state-level attempt at amnesty that many states are engaging in. California wants to blur the line between legal residents and illegal aliens while creating an environment that is very welcoming to foreigners who believe they are above the law. Read more...

Bush Precedent for Obama Amnesty? Not Even Close

By Mark Krikorian, November 19, 2014

Thursday night the president will announce more details about his long-promised unilateral immigration decrees. Supporters of the president have been claiming that an executive action by President George H.W. Bush in 1990 is a precedent for Obama's sweeping measures. I argued yesterday at National Review Online , that the 1990 grant of the equivalent of deferred action to spouses and minor children of certain IRCA amnesty beneficiaries was not a precedent because – among other reasons – it was so much smaller. (It was called "voluntary departure" – only in the immigration business can "departure" mean that you get to stay.) Read more...

Jonathan Gruber, Voter 'Stupidity', and Immigration

By John Miano, November 17, 2014

The story of Jonathan Gruber's videotaped commentary on Obamacare sheds light on the immigration debate.

Gruber is an MIT professor of economics who collected $400,000 of taxpayer dollars to come up with the plan for Obamacare. Gruber later appeared in a video in which he described the deception used to mislead the American people on the legislation. Gruber describes the how the bill was intentionally written in a tortured way to mislead the public, how "a lack of transparency is a huge political advantage", and refers to the "stupidity of the American voter". Read more...

Bits of News About DHS Checkpoints at the Edges of America

By David North, November 17, 2014

One of the useful things that the Department of Homeland Security does is to operate checkpoints at the edges of the nation.

By definition, these locations monitor traffic within the United States, but near our borders. Their main purpose is to intercept illegals and wanted people who have managed to get over our borders and who now want access to the middle of the country. Read more...

Jorge Ramos and Brooke Gladstone Need to Look at Oregon Driver's License Vote

By Jerry Kammer, November 17, 2014

My weekend reading brought up two very different statements about illegal immigration that I think say a great deal about the dimensions of the national debate. I found the first in the transcript of a recent NPR interview with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, a passionate advocate of illegal immigrants. The second was the resounding vote in Oregon that rejected legislation to issue driver's licenses to people not authorized to be in the United States. Read more...

Who Might Benefit from Executive Amnesty?

By Jessica Vaughan, November 17, 2014

The marquee item in the president's planned executive amnesty reportedly will be legalization and work permits for several million illegal aliens who are the parents of U.S. citizen or legally resident children. Pro-amnesty advocates obviously are calculating that the public will find this group sympathetic and appropriate beneficiaries who should not be a target for deportation – but are they really?

Let's take a look at some cases of illegal aliens who would qualify. Read more...

Growing "Hall of Shame" of Resident Aliens and Naturalized Citizens Involved in Terrorism

By Dan Cadman, November 14, 2014

This is a good news/bad news kind of blog. We'll get to both in a moment, but first the news, and just the news. Two recent, but completely separate, stories reported on terrorists who have gamed the immigration system in order to reside in the United States. Read more...

A Vote for a Long-Term Budget Is a Vote for Amnesty

By Mark Krikorian, November 13, 2014

Fox News reported last night possible details of the president’s lawless immigration plans. The ten-point plan, which could be announced as early as next Friday, includes work permits for up to 4.5 million illegal aliens, an expansion of the earlier lawless DACA amnesty (covering perhaps another 300,000 illegals), and pulling the plug on the Secure Communities program (which runs the fingerprints of arrested suspects through DHS databases at the same time they’re checked by the FBI). These are all demands of Obama’s leftist and ethnic-chauvinist constituencies; what the corporate interests get is a unilateral increase in job-related green cards, by illegally exempting dependents from the numerical caps. The plan would also give a raise to ICE officers to “increase morale,” as though that’s the reason for the despair among law-enforcement officers prohibited by their political superiors from enforcing the law. Read more...

President Will Ignore Democratic Process and Amnesty 5 Million

By Jessica Vaughan, November 13, 2014

The executive actions reportedly planned by President Obama, as outlined by Fox News, are shocking in their scope and disregard for the well-being of Americans, not to mention their contempt for the democratic process and the wishes of the public. It is not an overhaul of immigration policy, or a set of reforms, but a dismemberment of immigration law. Read more...

Nepotism: Wrong in Immigration Court Hiring but Fine for Immigrant Admissions?

By David North, November 12, 2014

A bit of irony has just surfaced, totally unnoticed by the government, regarding the ethics of nepotism.

The Justice Department's Inspector General has just zapped three high-ranking officials in the immigration court system for causing the temporary employment of their relatives by their agency. At the same time, Congress enthusiastically supports the permanent admissions of relatives by the immigration system itself.

The first issue is, of course, important and visible; the second is far more important but virtually invisible. Read more...

Lawsuit by Career ICE Attorney Exposes Obama Anti-Enforcement Campaign

By Jessica Vaughan, November 11, 2014

Last week Patricia Vroom, an attorney with an exemplary 26-year career at ICE filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Arizona that depicts in shocking detail how a tightly-knit band of her superiors apparently bullied her and other career lawyers to force compliance with the Obama administration's immigration enforcement suppression scheme. In addition to describing a hostile work environment spoiled by sexual harassment, threats, insults, and other deplorable behavior of these top managers, Vroom's complaint provides alarming examples of how personnel were told to ignore the law and routinely release and dismiss charges on entire categories of criminal aliens, including certain convicted felons, drunk drivers, DACA applicants, and illegal juveniles from the border surge. Read more...

Journalistic Pablum and Faux Human Interest
Convicted Jamaican cocaine distributor granted derived citizenship via his absentee father

By Dan Cadman, November 11, 2014
Convicted Jamaican cocaine distributor granted derived citizenship via his absentee father

The poor quality of news reporting in an immigration case was recently brought to my attention, and I have to say that, even in a sea of mediocrity, this one sinks right to the bottom.

The article, by Mica Rosenberg of Reuters, is entitled "U.S. man held in detention for more than three years". Shocking, isn't it? Rosenberg goes on to tell us the plight of one Davino Watson, who "languished" in an immigration detention center for years after being convicted of selling cocaine. Watson was born in Jamaica, but claimed derivative citizenship through his father, which claim the article would have us believe was simply ignored by authorities. Of course, Watson is now suing the U.S. government. After all, why would the government not take the word of a convicted cocaine trafficker born in Jamaica that he had derived citizenship? Read more...

State Department's Presentation of Diversity Visa Data Is Misleading

By David North, November 11, 2014

There is a bit of statistical sleight-of-hand present in one of the more bizarre features of our immigration policy — the diversity visa lottery in which about 50,000 visas are distributed annually to some of the millions of aliens who apply for these tickets of admission.

One must be a resident of a nation that does not send us lots of migrants, and one must be a high school graduate. The winner and his or her family members get green cards. Read more...

Federal Judge Strikes Down Arizona Smuggling Law

By Dan Cadman, November 10, 2014

A federal judge has struck down one of the several Arizona statutes intended to get a handle on illegal immigration; this one specifically dealing with the crime of alien smuggling. As usual, the presiding judge, Susan Bolton, held that it was an infringement on the federal government's unique prerogative where immigration laws are concerned.

According to USA Today, "Bolton ruled the state law deprives federal authorities of their exclusive right to prosecute smuggling crimes". That came as quite a surprise to me. Read more...

Note to the DCCC on Obstructionism
A master of the craft is the president's top immigration advisor

By Jerry Kammer, November 10, 2014
A master of the craft is the president's top immigration advisor

Over the weekend, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out an email to boost partisan spirits with this explanation of last week's election debacle: "[T]he Republicans broke Washington. Then, they spent millions of dollars of secret money running against a broken Washington."

The email included an observation by Paul Krugman that "the biggest secret of the Republican triumph surely lies in the discovery that obstructionism bordering on sabotage is a winning political strategy." Read more...

DHS' Johnson Underdog to New AG Lynch

By David North, November 10, 2014

The Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security each handle different parts of the immigration system and conflict (perhaps restrained) between the two cabinet secretaries is almost inevitable.

The AG, who used to have the old Immigration and Naturalization Service, retains control of the immigration judges, the immigration prosecutors in Washington, and the U.S. attorneysin the field, while most immigration benefit and enforcement decisions are made by DHS officials. In other democracies' more rational systems these activities all report to a single minister of immigration. Read more...

Amnesty Tailored for Parents of U.S. Citizens Is Not a Good Idea

By David North, November 10, 2014

Some of my best friends are U.S. citizens, but designing an executive amnesty around granting legal status to their parents is a particularly bad idea.

I was reminded of this when reading one of the many speculative media musings about the possible shape of a post-election executive amnesty. Read more...

Pundits Spin Election Results to Bolster Amnesty Case

By David Seminara, November 7, 2014

The fun thing about elections is that whether your side wins or loses, you can find ways to spin the results to bolster your worldview. The immigration issue and the mid-term elections are a perfect example of this dynamic. I'm a left-leaning independent, but even I have to laugh while watching the pundits break down what went wrong for the Democrats on Tuesday. Read more...