Immigration Blog

Ramos and Trump: Distorting the Big Story

By Jerry Kammer, September 2, 2015

There are two competing views of last week's confrontation in Dubuque between Univision anchorman Jorge Ramos and Donald Trump, two charismatic figures at the opposite poles of the immigration debate.

According to the vote-for-Jorge crowd, Ramos was a courageous journalist standing up to a bully who had insulted all Latinos with a rant about criminality among Mexican immigrants. The Donald-for-president team, meanwhile, sees Trump as a gutsy politician not afraid to say the unvarnished truth about illegal immigration and the federal government's failure to control it. Read more...

The Changing Immigration Labor Landscape

By Dan Cadman, September 2, 2015

When provisions were added to the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1986 that forbid the hiring (or referring for a fee) of an alien unauthorized to work in the United States, people thought it would be a game-changer. The prohibitions were accompanied by civil fines and even criminal penalties for repeat offenders.

The "employer sanctions" laws, as they are usually described, also included prohibitions on "use of labor through contract", reflecting legislators' awareness that without them, employers would try to skirt the law forbidding hiring of illegal aliens by claiming they were contract employees, or by conveniently using subcontractors to do a lot of their dirty work — sometimes literally, as in the case of janitors, window washers, etc. Read more...

Birthright Citizenship in Two Countries

By Kausha Luna, September 1, 2015

The United States is not the only country dealing with the issue of birthright citizenship. In 2010 The Dominican Republic adopted a new constitution which ended universal birthright citizenship.

In September 2013 a Constitutional Court applied the new standard retroactively to 1930. The court ruling limited Dominican citizenship to those with at least one Dominican parent. As a result thousands of people of Haitian origin born in the Dominican Republic, unable to prove the legal status of at least one parent, were retroactively stripped of their Dominican citizenship. This decision has received considerable criticism. Read more...

Jorge Ramos Misstates the Facts in Attempt to Counter Trump on Birthright Citizenship

By Ronald W. Mortensen, September 1, 2015

Since being thrown out of Donald Trump's press conference in Iowa last week, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos has undertaken a full-blown propaganda campaign designed to portray Trump's stated intention to end birthright citizenship as creating a situation where "terror would necessarily reign" in "Trumpland". According to Ramos, all current and future children born to aliens in the United States will be stateless with no passports and no home countries. However, what Ramos conveniently ignores is that the home countries of illegal alien children born in the United States, commonly referred to as "anchor babies", recognize them as citizens regardless of where the kids are born. Read more...

Obama Administration Pays $400,000 to Settle ICE Attorney Lawsuit

By Jan Ting, September 1, 2015

Career ICE attorney Patricia Vroom sued the Department of Homeland Security after reportedly being bullied and harassed by officials in Washington when she raised concerns about the application of the Obama administration's prosecutorial discretion policy. She said that Obama administration officials lowered her annual performance rating for moving too cautiously to authorize the release of illegal aliens with criminal records. Read more...

Circuit Court Overextends on Second Amendment

By Dan Cadman, August 31, 2015

In June of this year, a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the case of an illegal alien who had appealed his conviction on a federal firearms offense for possessing a bullet. (There is evidence he also had the gun itself in his possession earlier in the evening of his arrest, though it wasn't on him when taken into custody.) As a convicted aggravated felon, he was deported with a lifetime bar on reentry. The panel ruled his appeal of the conviction was not moot because, if overturned, the lifetime bar would no longer apply. Read more... Case Reveals Lack of Enforcement Priorities in ICE's Homeland Security Investigations Division

By Dan Cadman, August 27, 2015

As is my habit from time to time, I was browsing when my eye was caught by a photo of federal agents carrying boxes containing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seal, so I looked closer and, yep, the logo confirmed that they were evidence boxes used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Read more...

Ex-Vermont State EB-5 Director Stirs Controversy When Hired by EB-5 Project

By David North, August 27, 2015

There are now three states that play, or have played, a role in the federal EB-5 immigrant investor program, and every single one of them has been mired in controversy. (Most EB-5 regional centers are not affiliated with state governments.)

Late last month, Vermont joined the troubled list, along with the deeply flawed program in South Dakota and the one in Michigan, which had lesser problems. Read more...

French Train Attack Again Raises Questions About Security of the Visa Waiver Program

By Dan Cadman, August 27, 2015

I may be in a minority on this point, but I'm uncomfortable with the visa waiver program. It seems all too easy for something to go horribly wrong and result in the admission of one person, perhaps a group of people, not on anyone's list (despite the proliferation of such lists since 9/11) who could wreak terrible havoc in a very short period of time. Read more...

UN Rep: Mexico May Become the Final Destination for Central Americans

By Kausha Luna, August 26, 2015

Mexico's southern border is an increasing concern for that country's government as more Central Americans enter the country illegally. A UN official has warned Mexico that it may become the new destination for Central American migrants, rather than merely a stop on the way to the United States. Read more...

Birth Tourists Come from Around the Globe

By Jon Feere, August 26, 2015

Presidential candidate Jeb Bush recently got tripped up on use of the phrase "anchor babies" and explained to media the following: "What I was talking about was the specific case of fraud being committed where there's organized efforts — and frankly it's more related to Asian people coming into our country, having children in that organized effort, taking advantage of a noble concept with birthright citizenship." Read more...

Interpreting Logic Out of the 14th Amendment Where Birthright Citizenship Is Concerned

By Dan Cadman, August 26, 2015

Within a span of days, National Review Online has published two interesting pieces on birthright citizenship with diametrically opposing views, though each speaks to the centrality of the 14th Amendment in framing the current debate.

It is the first sentence in Section 1 of the 14th Amendment that is at issue: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside." Read more...

Another EB-5 Scam: The Dalai Lama's Revenge?

By David North, August 25, 2015

You might call it the Dalai Lama's Revenge; it certainly is yet another one of those EB-5 scandals that pop up every few weeks.

This time the main ingredients are Lobsang Dargey, 41, who calls himself a former Tibetan monk turned real estate tycoon; 252 Chinese nationals who have invested in his EB-5 scams in the state of Washington; and real estate projects bearing the name of Potala — the palace that the Dalai Lama used to live in before being evicted by the Chinese government. Read more...

Sounds Like a Step or Two Backward on E-Filings for USCIS

By David North, August 25, 2015

In the great leap forward to an all-electronic application and decision system, USCIS has just announced that five key applications, currently available for e-filing, must be filed on a paper form starting September 20.

I am not a high-tech person, but this sounds like a retreat to me. Their explanation is: Read more...

Could Trump's Immigration Plan Work?

By Ronald W. Mortensen, August 25, 2015

The consensus of establishment Republicans, the media, political pundits, and other elites appears to be that Trump cannot implement his immigration proposals. If anyone other than Trump were proposing it, they would likely be right. However, a closer look at the Trump plan shows that it could work if Trump uses his warrior personality and deal-making ability to push it forward. Read more...

Activist Judge Tries to Thwart Criminal Alien's Deportation

By Dan Cadman, August 25, 2015

A senior federal judge in the Eastern District of New York (which encompasses New York City) has laid out the basis by which "judicial recommendations against deportation" (JRADs) will be issued. He did so via an opinion and order in a criminal case for which he was presiding judge.

Everything about the order — its context, the crime, the defendant, even its content — is strange, not to say skewed. It's the judicial equivalent of staring at an M.C. Escher print and trying to figure out of which side is up. Read more...

Facebook Blocks Job Reports Related to Immigration

By CIS, August 24, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: Facebook has lifted the ban on the Center's job reports pages. The Center has not heard from Facebook directly, but they did make a statement to Breitbart News:

When asked what happened—and for a response to CIS—a Facebook spokesperson told Breitbart News that it was just a simple error in their system, not a malicious attempt by the social media giant to use censorship to push its founder’s political agenda.

“An error in our system that helps block bad links on Facebook incorrectly marked some URLs as malicious,” the Facebook spokesperson said in an email. “We’ve resolved the issue and apologize for the inconvenience this caused.”

Although the Facebook spokesperson states that the pages were banned due to an error marking them as "malicious", the automated response from Facebook while the ban was in place specifically stated that they were blocked for "abuse". Read more...

Two Threads of the Immigration Debate Come Together on C-SPAN

By Jerry Kammer, August 24, 2015

Two threads of the national immigration debate came together Saturday morning on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" program. Read more...

An Audacious Would-Be Immigration Double Play

By David North, August 24, 2015

There's a would-be restaurateur out there who has dreamed up an immigration double play that would cause the senior partners at the Tinker, Evers, and Chance law firm to be green with envy.

I won't use his location, but he has placed the following ad on Craigslist:

Seeking an EB-5 Foreign Investor/Partner

Looking to open a large restaurant concept. ... Need a foreign investor with $5M in funds and ability to bring in labor with him for visas.

Latin American Reaction to Trump's Immigration Proposals

By Kausha Luna, August 23, 2015

Donald Trump's position paper on immigration released last week, as well as his spoken comments about immigration (the two are not necessarily the same), sparked much commentary in Latin American media. Read more...

Is It Really "an Invasion"?

By Jerry Kammer, August 21, 2015

Part four of four.
Read Part 1: The Immigration Language Wars.
Read Part 2: A Linguistic Bridge over Troubled Waters.
Read Part 3: The Backstory of the Vocabulary War.

In this final installment, we'll look at the use of "invasion" to describe the illegal influx across the southern border. Read more...

Chutzpah Squared in the Immigration Courts

By David North, August 21, 2015

The classic example of chutzpah is that of the killer of his parents throwing himself on the mercy of the court because he's an orphan.

I don't know if that ever actually happened, but an almost comparable case can be found in recent federal court records.

In this case it is an illegal alien whose marriage (or maybe "marriage") to a citizen was ruled by USCIS to be fraudulent later claiming that he should be given legal status because he had been abused by his wife. Read more...

How Trump could change birthright citizenship

By Jon Feere, August 21, 2015

From the start of my op-ed posted today at

One of the proposals listed in Donald Trump's immigration policy outline includes ending birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants, and presumably children of birth tourists who game the system in order to add a U.S. passport holder to their families. We estimate there are up to 400,000 children born to illegal immigrants every year and perhaps as many as 36,000 birth tourists annually. ...

There are two ways a president could attempt to narrow the scope of the Citizenship Clause: Get Congress to write legislation or take executive action.

Read the rest here.


Should We Be Importing More Farm Workers?

By Steven A. Camarota, August 21, 2015

As happens every few years, there is a renewed push to bring more farm workers to the United States. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reads like a press release from the agriculture lobby. But real wages for farm workers show very modest increases in recent years — even open borders advocates agree it's less than 1 percent a year adjusted for inflation — and this is strong evidence there is no shortage. Plus, even if there is a shortage one can reasonably ask why that would be bad. A tight labor market would exert upward pressure on wages for what is very difficult, low-paying work done in the hot sun. Read more...

Hondurans, Listen to the Children!

By Kausha Luna, August 20, 2015

The surge of Central American minors and families immigrating to the United States continues. Nevertheless, this influx is accompanied by a hopeful protest. The Honduran youth has spoken – they do not want to migrate to the United States.

Or, at least, that's the message the government is trying to send.

As part of Honduras's "No Migrant Month", an initiative by the Ministry of Education and the Office of the First Lady, a series of interscholastic debates were held in the cities of San Pedro Sula and Santa Rosa de Copan to discuss the topic of migration. Read more...

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...