Immigration Blog

The Bedrock of Ordinary Americans' Immigration Views: How Many is Too Much?

By Stanley Renshon, August 19, 2014

Researchers asking if providing "accurate" information about the percentage of foreign-born persons and illegal immigrants in the population of the United States would lead survey respondents to feel less of a "threat" from, and be more welcoming to, ethnic "others" (immigrants), were surprised to find accurate numbers (i.e., the estimates that researchers provided) didn't make much difference (p. 15). Americans were not happy with the figures, even when they were given the "correct" (i.e. estimated) numbers.

The researchers wondered why and speculated as follows (p. 15): Read more...

USCIS: No Green Card for Jello Shots

By David North, August 18, 2014

Often in these blogs, we write about USCIS abusing its discretionary powers, about alien investors getting cheated in EB-5 (immigrant investor) cases, and about those investments being in real estate deals.

Late last month a decision made by an arm of USCIS put a reverse spin on all three of those patterns:

  • USCIS decided the case exactly as it should;
  • It was the alien, not some American middleman, who was at fault; and
  • Instead of a proposed real estate investment, we have one in a bizarre food (?) product.

CNN Publishes Error-Filled, Pro-Amnesty "News" Article

By Jon Feere, August 15, 2014

On Monday, CNN.com published an article by CNN's Senior Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh titled "Republicans ignoring their own advice on immigration". Though it is apparently meant to be a news article, it comes across as an editorial written by a pro-amnesty activist who is upset that the American people were able to stop Congress from passing a bill that would allow millions of foreigners to get away with violating U.S. sovereignty. On top of that, the article contains a number of factual errors, as detailed below. I have sent inquires to both the article's author and CNN.com about the errors, and should they be corrected, this post will be updated.

Here are the obvious factual errors: Read more...

The Bedrock of Ordinary Americans' Immigration Views

By Stanley Renshon, August 15, 2014

Americans do have some bedrock views on immigration, but how legitimate are they given the lack of specific information that ordinarily accompanies them?

The criticism of ordinary Americans' lack of specific information about immigration and other public matters often masks a conceit and several false premises. It also provides an opening to manipulate the public that many advocates and pundits feel no qualms about taking advantage of if it suits their policy preferences, for example by arguing that legalizing illegal immigrants will require them to pay their back taxes when that is patently untrue and misleading. Read more...

Report on ICE's Criminal Alien Releases Leaves Much to Be Desired

By Dan Cadman, August 15, 2014

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a report entitled "ICE's Release of Immigration Detainees". Read more...

Illegal Migrants: A Silent Invasion No More, Pt. 2

By Stanley Renshon, August 14, 2014

The hidden tsunami of new immigrants, both legal and illegal, have been operating under the public's attention radar for many decades. In part this reflects the fact that immigration is not, ordinarily, a high-attention issue for most Americans. As a result, ordinary Americans don't have a great deal of factual information about the substantive foundations of the many complex elements that make up immigration policy. Read more...

Pardon Me? Executive Clemency as a Vehicle for Amnesty Isn't a Good Bet

By Dan Cadman, August 14, 2014

I have been pondering the Guy Benson Townhall.com article on the possibility of the president using his pardon power to amnesty the 10 to 12 million aliens illegally in the United States.

I'm not sure who came up with this notion, or how, but it goes without saying that it's a bad idea — and, more to the point, unlikely to gain enough legal traction to be successful. Read more...

Amnesty Would Make Border Crisis Worse

By Jon Feere, August 14, 2014

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

Any legalization of illegal immigrants — either through legislation or executive fiat — would undoubtedly encourage more illegal immigration, making the current crisis look almost insignificant by comparison. This should be well-understood by former La Raza Vice President Cecilia Muñoz, who currently serves in the White House as assistant to President Obama and director of the Domestic Policy Council.

Only four years after the comprehensive amnesty of 1986 was signed into law, Muñoz authored a report for La Raza in which she noted that the amnesty did not stop illegal immigration. ...

Read the rest here.

Read more...

High-Tech H-1B Employers Take Two Indirect Hits

By David North, August 13, 2014

The big H-1B employers in Silicon Valley took two unrelated and indirect hits recently.

The biggest damage came last week from a federal judge's decision in which H-1B was not even mentioned, but which cast dark shadows on the software industry's image as an employer.

The lesser blow came from a Department of Homeland Security move earlier that will decrease the number of H-1B slots available for computer programmers. In this action, the computer industry was not mentioned, but it will be hurt in any case. Read more...

Accusations of Caesarism Should Not Be Dismissed Lightly

By Dan Cadman, August 12, 2014

The Economic Policy Institute's Daniel Costa has written a defense, even before it has happened, of the president's ability to expand deferred action to additional as-yet-undefined categories of illegal aliens, beyond the current DACA program for about half million youth and young adults.

The piece, entitled "American Caesar? Not Even Close: The president has the statutory authority he needs to expand deferred action", is well-written, but fails a critical examination of logic. (Its title refers to a New York Times column and subsequent blog post by Ross Douthat.) Here is why it doesn't ring true. Read more...

A Refreshing Aspect of EB-5 – No Bowing to the Alien Rich

By David North, August 12, 2014

If you step back a metaphorical 100 yards and put your mind in neutral, you might notice that the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program is refreshing and different in one strange way: It is the only government program that I know of that routinely treats the rich as powerless riffraff.

It's not that the government puts workers first, or even taxpayers; the tilt is toward another set of "haves", the middlemen who profit from the money invested by the aliens. (There may be some indirect benefits to others, but the middlemen are the most likely to get something out of this program.) Read more...

Guatemalan Police Reportedly Shaking Down Northbound Central Americans

By Jerry Kammer, August 11, 2014

Stories of predatory Mexican police, soldiers, and immigration authorities are common among Central Americans who pass through Mexico on their way to an illegal border crossing into the United States. When I was in the Rio Grande Valley in June, a Salvadoran man told he had been shaken down "maybe 15 times" on his way to the U.S. border and the friendly arms of the Border Patrol. I met him at the bus station in McAllen, where the Border Patrol had just dropped him and his son off with an order to appear in immigration court in Los Angeles, where they hoped to settle. Read more...

Could Obama Amnesty Illegal Aliens via the Pardon Power?

By Jon Feere, August 8, 2014

Townhall.com's Guy Benson has raised some interesting questions about the extent to which President Obama might use his pardon power to initiate a mass amnesty of illegal aliens. The article is worth reading and thinking about as the nation awaits the Obama administration's controversial plans to decree an amnesty despite its failure to get an amnesty by constitutional means.

Benson reasons that Obama might use his presidential pardon power to legalize a sizeable number of illegal aliens, explaining that an "immigration pardon-o-rama could be a particularly devious method of achieving most of what Obama wants on this issue, and doing so with a patina of legality." Read more...

Murder of Agent Points to Importance of Arresting Prior Deports

By Dan Cadman, August 8, 2014

Even as White House operatives such as Cecilia Munoz plan the next steps in dismantling immigration law enforcement – including ways to "de-prioritize" efforts to arrest aliens who reenter the United States after having been previously deported – other plans were being made: funeral plans for murdered Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega, Jr., Read more...

Border Patrol Press Release Has Boat Helping with Desert Rescue

By David North, August 8, 2014

Fond as I am of the Border Patrol, and sympathetic as I am to government press agents (I used to be one myself), I can 't let this go.

It seems that five illegals were "lost in the desert without food or water" and the Patrol sent its search and rescue team in action "along with Air and Marine assets" in an effort to "search the area". (My emphasis; quotes from their press release.) Read more...

At Conference of Latino Officials, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown Hailed the Rise of Brown Power

By Jerry Kammer, August 7, 2014

Earlier in the week, this blog noted that 2014 is the 20th anniversary of California's Proposition 187, a controversial effort to curtail illegal immigration. That anniversary was cited at the recent conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), part of which was shown on C-SPAN Thursday morning.

NALEO President Alex Padilla referred to pro-Proposition 187 television ads that showed illegal immigrants streaming across the Texas border as a narrator sounded the alarm: "They keep coming!" Read more...

Too Many See Immigration Policy as a Good-vs-Bad Morality Play

By David North, August 7, 2014

Too many Americans (and too many in the media) see the surge of Central Americans as a simplistic morality play, that runs about like this:

  • Arriving Central Americans (although illegals) are good.
  • They are fleeing from violence, and from other Central Americans who are bad.
  • If our immigration system sends them home, that would be bad.

Illegal Migrants: A Silent Invasion No More

By Stanley Renshon, August 7, 2014

According to Gallup, immigration has ranked near the bottom of Americans' concerns for many years. No more.

In 1994, the number of Americans who said immigration was "America's biggest problem" reached a highpoint of 2 percent. In 1996, the highpoint was 6 percent. In 1997, it was 4 percent. In 1998, it was 2 percent. In 1999 it was 1 percent. In 2000 it was 2 percent, and in 2001 it was 3 percent.

Fast forward to now, the summer of 2014 and Gallup reports, "With thousands of undocumented immigrant minors crossing the nation's southern border in recent months, the percentage of Americans citing immigration as the top problem has surged to 17 percent this month, up from 5 percent in June, and the highest seen since 2006." Read more...

Other English-Speaking Nations Move to Reduce International Migration

By David North, August 7, 2014

In the years since 2012, other English-speaking nations have taken a variety of approaches to reducing international migration, and/or to making it more selective, a CIS survey has shown.

The nations taking these steps are Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom and, to a lesser extent, Australia. Read more...

Have a Third-Rate Business Model? Call in the Aliens

By David North, August 6, 2014

If your business model isn't working, the answer is: bring in the aliens.

And since it will help you out of whatever trap you are in, you can label it a matter of national necessity. You can always say "America Needs Aliens" for whatever ails your business. Read more...

Malleable Privacy Policies and Media Manipulation of Minors

By Dan Cadman, August 6, 2014

One of my readers and occasional correspondents is a retired Border Patrol agent. I can't say we are former colleagues; to my knowledge our paths didn't cross while serving in the now-defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service. Still, we share a certain commonality of experience and outlook, so I'm always interested in what he has to say.

Recently, he forwarded me a link to a Time article by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson about his recent trip to the border to take a first-hand look at what's going on with the surge of aliens crossing illegally into the Rio Grande Valley. Read more...

Presumptive Duplicity with Obamacare

By James R. Edwards Jr., August 5, 2014

Have you heard about President Obama's illegal immigration scandal?

Not the one where Central Americans are surging over the border with the administration's tacit approval. The scandal I'm referring to is the wholesale enrollment of illegal aliens in Obamacare. You may recall the president averring before a joint meeting of Congress in 2009 that this would never happen. Read more...

Barbara Jordan Made 1994 a High-Water Mark in the Effort to Stop Illegal Immigration

By Jerry Kammer, August 5, 2014

Read part 1: "20 Years after Fighting Barbara Jordan's Reforms, Cecilia Munoz Writes Script for Obama Executive Action"


In a 1994 speech at the National Press Club to discuss her plans for a worksite identification program pivotal to efforts to stop illegal immigration at the worksite, Barbara Jordan claimed the moral high ground for that effort. "If we are to preserve our immigration tradition and our ability to say yes to so many of those who seek entry, we must also have the strength to say no when we must," she said. Read more...

Should a School with a Financial Statement Like This Be Authorized to Teach Accounting to Foreign Students?

By David North, August 5, 2014

This is one of an occasional series of reports on some of the extremely marginal educational institutions licensed by the Department of Homeland Security to cause the admission of foreign students to the United States.

For an earlier example, regarding Herguan University in California, see here. Both are for-profit institutions.

Regarding the text below, how often does one see, in a document prepared for the public by an educational institution, four different ways of spelling a single word, in this case "interest," in five lines of type? Read more...

20 Years after Fighting Barbara Jordan's Reforms, Cecilia Munoz Writes Script for Obama Executive Action

By Jerry Kammer, August 4, 2014

In her position as director of the Domestic Policy Council at the White House, Cecilia Munoz is a key figure in the planning for President Obama to decree major changes in U.S. immigration policy that could benefit millions of illegal immigrants.

As the Associated Press noted last week, Munoz, along with other top officials in the Obama administration, is "working to chart a plan on executive actions Obama could take, hosting frequent meetings with interest groups." Read more...

Carter-Aderholt: A Better House Border Surge Bill

By Dan Cadman, August 1, 2014

Yesterday, Speaker John Boehner canceled a vote in the House of Representatives on a bill aimed at providing supplemental funding to replenish funds for agencies dealing with the surge of tens of thousands of aliens across the border into Texas; and to amend various substantive provisions of law affecting how those aliens, particularly minors, will be handled. Read more...

Gangs and Migration: The Long Chain of Cause and Effect

By Jerry Kammer, July 31, 2014

Immigration policy isn't rocket science. It's far more complex.

Rocket science, after all, is about precision in the application of mathematic and scientific principles. Immigration policy is about the behavior of millions of human beings and the politics of entire nations. It is shaped by considerations of politics, economics, culture, history, and ethics.

Consider, for example, the relationship between immigration and Central American gangs. Read more...

A Glimpse of Immigration Judges at Work

By David North, July 31, 2014

Several of us from the Center spent a recent morning watching our immigration judges at work: we do not envy them.

We traipsed a couple of miles across the Potomac to the new set of IJ courtrooms in Arlington, Va., to see how the five judges there were coping with a new part of their case load — Central Americans who had just crossed another river, the Rio Grande, some 1,500 miles away. Read more...

Territorial Integrity, the Rule of Law, and Immigration Enforcement

By Stanley Renshon, July 30, 2014

Americans are accustomed to taking the territorial integrity of their country for granted. They do not sit directly astride a former empire that wants to regain its former glory and territory. The United States is not surrounded by countries that wish to destroy us. Nor are our territorial boundaries subject to international dispute, debate, or forceful efforts to change them. Read more...

Schools Experiencing Years-Long Border Surge

By John Wahala, July 30, 2014

The influx of tens of thousands of Central Americans across the southern border has seized the attention of the American people. Gallup recently found immigration to be the top policy concern of those polled. An Economist/YouGov poll reported that 77 percent of the public supported returning the illegal aliens to their home countries.

Cities and towns where the illegal crossers are being resettled are struggling to handle the influx. Judith Flanagan Kennedy, the mayor of Lynn, Mass., recently expressed her frustration: "It's gotten to the point where the school system is overwhelmed, our Health Department is overwhelmed, the city's budget is being sustainably [sic] altered in order to accommodate all of these admissions in the School Department." Read more...