Immigration Blog

Why Does DHS Perpetuate a Business where Most Will Lose Their Shirts?

By David North, November 19, 2015

Why would a federal agency keep expanding a specific type of immigration-related business even though most participants will surely lose their shirts?

Is it because the agency does not know what it is doing?

Or, as I have come to believe, is it a cynical plot by some Democrats to sacrifice a bunch of small-town entrepreneurs so that the underlying immigrant investor (EB-5) program will continue, even though most of the American players will go out of business?

I kick myself for not figuring this out earlier. Read more...

On Establishing Migrant Safe Zones

By Dan Cadman, November 18, 2015

For the last several months, we at the Center for Immigration Studies have been examining the issue of Syrian refugee admissions with a skeptical eye, believing that vetting would be inadequate to protect public safety — notwithstanding administration assurances to the contrary (see here, here, and here). Read more...

Immigration Trivia: What do Andorra and Vanuatu Have that Moldova Lacks

By David North, November 18, 2015

Here's a U.S. immigration trivia question based on today's Federal Register:

What do Andorra and Vanuatu have in common that Moldova lacks?

Geography mavens would, of course, answer that Andorra and Vanuatu both have half-French connections and Moldova does not, and they would be right. Read more...

Secrecy Shrouds Case that Pitted Iranian-American IJ Against Her Bosses

By David North, November 17, 2015

Perhaps it is a fantasy, but it would be nice if more immigration-related civil law suits went to trial and we could all hear the evidence and the judge's decision.

Instead they often get settled, and the settlement is kept secret.

That's what happened earlier this month in an odd case in which an Iranian-American immigration judge sued her bosses in the U.S. Department of Justice. As we reported in an earlier posting, Judge Ashley Tabbador of the Los Angeles immigration court sued the attorney general (her ultimate boss) when intermediary bosses decided that she should not hear cases involving Iranians. Read more...

Refugee Resettlement Is Immoral

By Mark Krikorian, November 16, 2015

From my article today at National Review Online:

Sure, welcoming refugees here makes us feel good. Newspapers run heart-warming stories of overcoming adversity; churches embrace the objects of their charity; politicians can wax nostalgic about their grandparents.

Vermonters Are Clever When It Comes to Immigration Rules

By David North, November 16, 2015

When it comes to working with, or perhaps manipulating, the immigration rules, Vermonters are clever, and/or lucky. This is the home state, after all, of the current ranking member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.); that's the committee that handles immigration matters.

We know that over the years Vermont has gotten quite substantial inputs of alien capital from the EB-5 immigrant investor program for its ski resorts, with a bare minimum of the scandals that beset that program elsewhere, such as in South Dakota. Read more...

Nicaragua Closes Border to U.S.-Bound Cubans

By Kausha Luna, November 16, 2015

On Sunday, Nicaragua closed its border with Costa Rica, responding to a flood of Cuban illegal aliens en route to the United States.

Costa Rica granted safe-passage permits to 1,600 Cuban migrants who had crossed from Panama, so that they could proceed to Nicaragua on their way north. Central America has witnessed an explosive increase of Cuban migrants trying to reach the United States by land through Mexico, rather than heading to Florida by sea. Read more...

After the Paris Attacks, What Next for U.S. Refugee Admissions?

By Dan Cadman, November 16, 2015

On November 12, the Center published a blog posting I wrote about airport security in which I said, "My fear is that we will unthinkingly and unnecessarily make many of the same bad choices the French have made, admitting large numbers of people who, once here, will likely rebel heart and soul against the permissive nature of the society that they see around them, sometimes leading to tragic consequences."

The very next day a series of coordinated terrorist attacks took place in Paris, claiming more than 120 lives so far, with many more wounded and in critical condition. The Islamic State (ISIS) has taken responsibility. Some of the attackers and accomplices have already been identified as Frenchmen of Arabic origin. I'm not prescient; I don't prognosticate well; I'm not even particularly good at connecting the dots. It's just that sometimes things take on such a painfully self-evident nature that they can't be ignored. Read more...

Cruz Immigration Plan: Imperfect, but Big Step in the Right Direction

By Mark Krikorian, November 15, 2015

Ted Cruz released a new, detailed immigration plan today. It's not everything I would want, in that he doesn't call for an actual reduction in overall legal immigration levels; he merely opposes any further increases in the current economic environment.

But considering that he was, until recently, in favor of increased legal immigration, his plan is a huge improvement, and an important development. Read more...

Mexico Considers What to Do about Central American Migration

By Kausha Luna, November 13, 2015

Scholars and government officials gathered recently at a conference in Mexico City to address Mexico’s migration policy towards Central America. (Video of the two-day event, in Spanish, is here and here.)

The overall tone of the conference was similar to what you might expect from the political and intellectual elite of the United States: "let everyone through!" Read more...

Much Press Coverage for a Single ALJ in the Immigration Field

By David North, November 13, 2015

There's a remarkable bit of press coverage currently available (behind a pay wall) regarding a relatively new administrative law judge working in the immigration field for the Department of Justice, and her first five decisions in a year on the bench.

She is Judge Stacy Paddack, one of two ALJs on the staff of the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO), and her work has been dissected (in a friendly way) by Law360, a press service that focuses on legal matters. Read more...

On Airports, Refugees, and Security Vetting

By Dan Cadman, November 12, 2015

It sometimes seems to me that political correctness will be the death of us all; if not literally, then certainly as a cohesive society and an identifiable nation.

My colleague David North highlighted that most recently when he blogged about former CIA director James Woolsey publicly observing that poorly vetted Somali refugees were working as baggage handlers at U.S. airports, including Phoenix. Read more...

New York Times Finally Gets It Partially Right on the H-1B Program

By David North, November 12, 2015

You know it's going to be a good day when the New York Times, on the front page and above the fold, runs an article that is critical of the H-1B program, as it did Wednesday.

Then the sun shines and you find lots of even more damning material, and excellent graphics, on the jump page (with a full page devoted to this story.) Read more...

5th Circuit Upholds Injunction on Obama's Amnesty

By Jon Feere, November 10, 2015

President Obama's controversial and lawless amnesty agenda was dealt another setback as the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to remove an injunction put in place by a district court earlier this year. Texas and 25 other states sued to block the Obama administration's plan to extend Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to more illegal aliens and to grant similar benefits to illegal aliens who have a U.S. citizen or legal resident child through a program called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). The full decision is available online. Read more...

Ex-CIA Director Says "Unvetted" Foreign Workers Are Baggage Handlers

By David North, November 10, 2015

In the wake of a probable smuggled-on bomb causing the latest airplane disaster (over the Sinai), former CIA Director James Woolsey has pointed out the problem of using lightly screened foreign workers as baggage handlers at airports.

Further, it was noted by others that an airport contractor with the unfortunate initials ISS has hired Somali refugees to work on planes at the Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix. Read more...

You Might Regard This Bill as a Compliment to the Labor Department

By David North, November 10, 2015

The let's-exploit-foreign-workers-even-more bunch on Capitol Hill has just introduced a piece of legislation that might be regarded as a compliment to the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL). (Disclosure: I worked there more than three decades ago.)

Three Republican congressmen have introduced what they call the SEASON Act to ease the minimal existing regulations on the H-2B program for unskilled, non-agricultural foreign workers, and to expand the numbers of be admitted each year, without actually saying so.

The SEASON Act would also make it possible for these "seasonal" workers to stay in the country for up to three years at a time if their employers so desire. That's a long season! Read more...

Adventures in Immigration Non-Enforcement

By Mark Krikorian, November 6, 2015

The Obama administration may not give a fig about the real Bill of Rights, but it seems determined to adhere to every emanation and penumbra of a new "bill of rights" for illegal aliens – or, as the promoters would have it, for "undocumented Americans." It's basically just planks from next year's Democratic platform – illegals must not be deported because they have the right to be here, they all deserve citizenship, in the meantime they should all be given work permits and access to taxpayer-funded health care. Read more...

Generous Obama Administration Gives H-2A Shepherds a Raise to $5.80 an Hour

By David North, November 6, 2015

The Obama administration, supposedly the friend of both migrants and the working man, has just given the nonimmigrant shepherds of the American West their first raise in about 20 years — they are to get $5.80 an hour plus housing (often a tent) and the materials for their meals (which the shepherds must cook for themselves), effective November 16.

In return, the shepherds watch their sheep by night, to use an old phrase, or, to use a newer one, are on duty 24/7. Read more...

One-Sided Marriage Fraud: Who Looks Out for the Citizen Victims?

By Dan Cadman, November 6, 2015

My colleague David North recently wrote a thought-provoking blog about American citizens who become victimized by what might fairly be called one-sided marriage frauds — marriages where they wed for love and don't realize that, from the alien spouse's point of view, it's a loveless marriage conceived of for the sole purpose of obtaining a green card.

There is a tendency on the part of the public, when they think about immigration marriages of convenience at all (which is almost never), to think of them in cutesy Hollywood terms, where it's innocent and victimless — think Gérard Depardieu and Andie MacDowell in the comedy "Green Card". As North has pointed out, the reality is often much darker. What's more, marriage fraud is a crime — a federal felony. Read more...

Yet Another EB-5 Promoter Swindles Alien Investors, This Time in Florida

By David North, November 6, 2015

It is getting to be a formula.

Yet another EB-5 promoter has swindled millions from alien investors, presumably her fellow Chinese, and used the money to buy a yacht and a $100,000 Mercedes among other things, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (not DHS) has broken the case. Read more...

IRS Policy Labels Illegal-Alien ID Thieves as "Borrowers"

By Bryan Griffith, November 5, 2015

Bob Segall, investigative reporter for WTHR Indianapolis, has released a new two-part report on illegal immigration and the Internal Revenue Service. View the reports in the embedded video below.

Segall won the Center's Katz Award in 2013 for his 11-part series exposing fraud and mismanagement within the IRS that allowed illegal aliens to receive billions of dollars in improper tax credits and refunds. Read more...

Feds Lose Track of Most Border-Surge Teens After Release

By Jessica Vaughan, November 5, 2015

New information from a variety of sources further demonstrates that the Obama administration's handling of the continuing influx of illegal Central American family and youth border-crossers has been nothing short of a disaster. Government agencies and NGO contractors have lost track of most of the youth who have been released (or escaped) from shelters. Immigration court records show that about half of the "unaccompanied" alien children (UACs) do not appear for immigration court hearings. A recent murder of one UAC in Virginia by three others is a reminder that some of the kids are involved in gangs. And, because we let them, they keep coming; the number of new arrivals spiked again at the end of the summer, with twice as many Central American youth and families arriving in September 2015 as arrived in September 2014. Read more...

Will Released Alien Convicts Be Deported? Can Senate Bill 2123 Be Defeated?

By Dan Cadman, November 5, 2015

It's been about two weeks since the media caught hold of a little-remarked change in U.S. sentencing guidelines that occurred in 2014, making many federal prisoners eligible for earlier-than-expected releases, which began to take effect Halloween weekend when the first of an eventual flood of 40,000-plus drug and "minor" offenders, were released. "Trick or Treat!" (Well, maybe the American public just gets the trick; there's no treat that I can see here.) Estimates are that between 11,500 and 13,200 of those released will be alien convicts. Read more...

Sen. Feinstein Announces She Is Opposed to the EB-5 Program

By David North, November 4, 2015

Those of us opposed to the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program got a piece of good news today: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced that she is opposed to its renewal. The heart of it is due to expire on December 11, unless Congress acts before then.

The senator is in a key position to argue against the renewal; she is a senior member of the Senate immigration subcommittee and the second ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which handles immigration legislation. Read more...

It's Hard for Schools to Fix the Problems Caused by Mass Immigration

By CIS, November 4, 2015

Low-skill immigration presents a major challenge to the nation's education system. How much can our schools help first- and second-generation immigrant children who have limited English proficiency and live in poverty because their parents have few years of schooling? The release of the latest scores on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) reaffirm that as much as we want to reduce social inequalities related to immigration, our schools' capacity to do so is limited. Read more...

Little Dominica as a Laboratory for Immigrant Investor Rules

By David North, November 3, 2015

The American states, as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said, are laboratories for democracy. One can say that same thing about nations, even small ones, and immigration laws. Read more...

Update on H-1B and OPT Court Cases

By John Miano, November 3, 2015

In May, DHS put in place regulations allowing certain spouses of H-1B workers to work in the United States as well. There is no authorization for the agency to allow such work, but DHS just did it anyway.

Americans who were replaced by H-1B workers at Southern California Edison filed a lawsuit to have the regulations vacated. In court, DHS made the astounding claim that it has the authority to allow any alien to work in the United States unless Congress explicitly prohibits it. Most constitutional scholars say the opposite: that an agency has only the authority that Congress gives it. Read more...

Catholic Bishops ❤ Paul Ryan on Immigration

By Mark Krikorian, November 2, 2015

Last week, the Center for Migration Studies hosted a day-long symposium in New York addressing a wide variety of immigration and refugee issues. (CMS is a Catholic think tank that generally promotes higher levels of immigration and looser enforcement.) The final speaker at the event was Kevin Appleby, the Catholic bishops' longtime point man on immigration policy. His comments to the largely like-minded crowd on Paul Ryan reinforce concerns about the immigration views of the new Speaker of the House. Here are some excerpts (emphasis added): Read more...

The Strange Tale of a Flaky, Failing EB-5 Firm

By David North, November 2, 2015

We have previously reported that Seldon Technologies, Inc., an EB-5-funded firm in Vermont that briefly made water filters for Mexico-based Bebederos, went out of business abruptly, laying off all of its 32 employees.

In June, Seldon had a grand ceremony with Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) present to announce that it had been awarded a $20 million contract to make the filters for Bebederos. A few months later the contract was cancelled with minimal explanation.

CIS recently has learned more about Seldon, an odd and ill-fated corporation that was able to secure EB-5 funding anyway. Read more...

Out of Many, Many

By John Wahala, November 2, 2015

Democrat pollster Cornell Belcher recently discussed racial division in America as part of his Harvard study group on the fractured electorate:

How do we win the future when we are so segregated and continue to be increasingly segregated in our politics and voting patterns and are becoming more tribal at the level of voting? ... If we don't fix this and our politics continue to be even more segregated and more polarized as the demographics of our country continue to change ... I think you will see our politics, our legislative bodies come to a complete halt, more so than they already have, if we don't solve for this problem, if we can't solve for the tribalism in our politics and be one big tribe and not several separate, smaller tribes.