Immigration Blog

Helping the Able, Overlooking the Needy, in Virginia

By Dan Cadman, January 27, 2014

Virginia State Senator Adam Ebbin (D) has introduced a bill into the Virginia Senate that would fund, at the expense of Virginia taxpayers, "an Office of Immigrant Assistance to help Virginia's newcomers navigate the complex process of becoming naturalized citizens," according to the Virginian-Pilot newspaper.

The paper cites Sen. Ebbin as saying "It's an important population to keep here, with a larger percentage of immigrants having college degrees and owning businesses than natural-born citizens."

This seems wrong-headed to me for so many reasons. Read more...

Immigration Reform Principles Worth Considering

By James R. Edwards Jr., January 27, 2014

House Republican leaders seem hell-bent on forcing through amnesty for illegal aliens. They have been huddling with open-borders apologists — big-government liberal ethnic advocates masquerading as conservatives — to come up with "principles" that will supposedly inform their immigration legislative agenda. These principles are expected to be unveiled at the House Republican retreat later this week and begin the marketing campaign to sell their rank and file on going along with mass amnesty. Read more...

Fox News Publishes Push Poll, Pushes Amnesty

By Jon Feere, January 24, 2014

Nearly all of the polls allegedly showing public support for amnesty suffer from the same defect: they are designed to "push" respondents towards a certain answer. In other words, they are written in a way designed to elicit a pro-amnesty result with the use of tired pro-amnesty talking points that are meant to make the "pro-enforcement" option seem less attractive. Read more...

Intriguing Immigration Policies Launched in Island Jurisdictions

By David North, January 24, 2014

One of the attractions of paying attention to other nations' immigration policies is that there are a huge variety of them to examine; there are something like two hundred different jurisdictions that have their own sets of rules; from the likes of China (though few want to migrate there) to tiny island jurisdictions.

President Woodrow Wilson spoke of the American states as laboratories of democracy; some of the immigration policy labs run by island jurisdictions suggest that a mad scientist may be at work. Occasionally the island policies are worth replication, often not. Here are some examples: Read more...

Immigration Reform in the Public's Interest, Part 3: Legislative Principles

By Stanley Renshon, January 24, 2014

There is a tendency in immigration debates to begin with the specifics of proposed legislation. However the principles that cover the public interest purposes of any immigration reform bill, the processes by which they are debated and adapted, and the legislative principles that frame the effort are very important. They are the foundation on which the specifics of a viable immigration reform bill will have to rest.

Here in abbreviated form, to be further developed in a later CIS publication, is a proposed set of legislative principles. Read more...

Turkish H-1B Abuser Continues Tammany Hall Methods in the U.S.

By David North, January 23, 2014

I seen my opportunities and I took 'em.

The quote is from the late Tammany Hall leader, George Washington Plunkitt, as he wrote about graft early in the last century.

That attitude seems, in three recent disclosures, to be shared by the Gulen movement's charter high schools in the United States. Fethullah Gulen, as we noted in a prior blog is — in Turkey — a major religious and political figure, but in the United States (where he lives) he is the leader of a charter school movement that frequently uses the H-1B system to root out U.S. teachers in favor of those from Turkey. Read more...

On the Use and Misuse of Homeland Security Grant Programs

By Dan Cadman, January 23, 2014

I happened to be watching a CNN program the other day and, in between news items, a commercial came on advertising the pleasures of taking the Pinellas County (Fla.) transit system. It shows a couple of "active seniors" having a grand time at various Pinellas venues that the announcer's voice tells us are all reachable through Pinellas' safe and secure trolley system. Fine and good.

But what caught my attention was the final board that ends the commercial, which contains this legend, "Paid for in part by a grant from the Department of Homeland Security" (DHS). Read more...

Does Strong Border Enforcement Stimulate DACA Applications? I Think So

By David North, January 21, 2014

There has been a remarkable differential by nationality in the percentage of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) eligibles who have come forward.

For example, according to a recent American Immigration Council article, while about 65 percent of eligible Mexican nationals have filed for DACA, only 34 percent of Korean and 17 percent of Filipino eligibles have applied. Read more...

Worship Politicized, Again

By Marguerite Telford, January 21, 2014

In the early 13th century, Catholics in Europe began celebrating a special mass for the Bench and Bar. The liturgy is referred to as the "Red Mass" in recognition of the celebrant's red vestments symbolizing the Holy Spirit and the red robes worn by the judges of the High Court in England. This month in many larger cities, lawyers, judges, and legislators attend the annual Red Mass to ask for the Holy Spirit's guidance in their work of service to the people. Read more...

Wells Fargo Official Links Lending to Immigration Reform

By Ronald W. Mortensen, January 21, 2014

According to a Utah Policy report, during a pre-legislative CEO briefing at the Salt Lake Chamber, Dave Golden, the head of Wells Fargo Bank's western commercial lending division and an influential member of the Salt Lake Chamber, said that bankers won't start lending until they see stability and certainty in tax policy, immigration reform, health care, and debt management.

Including immigration reform among the conditions for banks to start lending is consistent with Wells Fargo's long-standing emphasis on gaining the business of individuals who are unlawfully in the United States and who rely on the Mexican "matricula" card for identification to open bank accounts. Read more...

Immigration Reform in the Public's Interest, Part 2: Purposes and Processes

By Stanley Renshon, January 20, 2014

It seems customary to begin any proposal for immigration reform with a framework that lays out the guiding principles for the proposed reform. The Senate bill began with such a statement that contained many laudable intentions. Regretfully, they were not well implemented in the actual bill.

For example, the principles stated that "We will ensure that this is a successful permanent reform to our immigration system that will not need to be repeated." (p.1) They didn't. Read more...

Amnesty in American Samoa: Register First, Write the Law Later

By David North, January 20, 2014

They are going to have an amnesty for illegal aliens in American Samoa and it will be interesting to watch.

The first thing to know is that this is outside the mainland's immigration law; Washington will have nothing to do with it and it probably will not create any new U.S. citizens (though details are murky in the usual islands way). Read more...

Will Boehner Lose the House by Shifting the Focus from Obamacare to Amnesty for Illegal Aliens?

By Ronald W. Mortensen, January 17, 2014

Many House Republicans put politics ahead of principle when they voted for the budget deal that funds the government through FY2015. They reportedly did this in order to keep the focus on Obamacare, which many Republicans believe is the key to success in the 2014 mid-term elections.

However, Speaker Boehner (R-Ohio) and other key members of the House leadership now appear to be getting ready to switch the focus from Obamacare to immigration reform. Read more...

Postscript to BBC Documentary
The Lasting Influence of Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine

By Jerry Kammer, January 17, 2014
The Lasting Influence of Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine

This week we have published two items about the provocative new BBC documentary "The Truth About Immigration". Since the documentary reports on the attitudes and sensibilities of people on opposite sides of the immigration debate in Britain, it may be appropriate to cite a work about two historic political thinkers whose world views, as American author Yuval Levin writes, "still describe two broad and fundamental dispositions toward political life and political change in our liberal age." Read more...

Immigration Reform in the Public's Interest, Pt. 1: A Proposal

By Stanley Renshon, January 17, 2014

In spite of the seeming lull in the effort to enact a new immigration bill because the House has not yet publically acted, there is a great deal of movement behind the scenes. Both House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), have said "they want to overhaul the immigration system in 2014." And to further that effort, "The House Speaker, John A. Boehner, and his Republican leadership team are preparing to release their principles for an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws later this month." (What those principles are and how, exactly, they correspond to any legislation the House produces is unclear, though there have been some leaks.) Read more...

AAO Downplays the Significance of Its Own Decisions

By David North, January 16, 2014

This is the text of the cover letter that accompanies decisions of the Administrative Appeals Office of USCIS; it goes to aliens who have been denied immigration benefits, at least twice (once at the staff level and once or more in the AAO review):

Enclosed please find the decision of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in your case.

This is a non-precedent decision. The AAO does not announce new constructions of law nor establish agency policy through non-precedent decisions. If you believe that the AAO incorrectly applied current law or policy to your case of if you seek to present new facts for consideration, you may file a motion to reconsider or a motion to re-open, respectively. (Emphasis added.)

Out of the Mouths of Babes
"The Asylumist" Suggests Camps

By Dan Cadman, January 16, 2014
"The Asylumist" Suggests Camps

I spend a certain amount of time reading publications, writings, and blogs of groups, think tanks, and individuals whose ideas and philosophies are not well attuned to mine, at least where immigration is concerned. It's good to know what others are thinking.

Sometimes, to my surprise, I even find things on which I can agree, although I admit to a feeling of dissonance and nearly overwhelming vertigo at such moments, as if the ground had dropped out from under me. Read more...

BBC Documentary, "The Truth about Immigration", Part 2
Elites vs. Ordinary Brits. Growth Uber Alles

By Jerry Kammer, January 15, 2014
Elites vs. Ordinary Brits. Growth Uber Alles

Read Part 1

In the new BBC documentary "The Truth About Immigration", journalist Nick Robinson interviews an economist who, during the economic boom years at the start of the millennium, was instrumental in Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision to adopt an expansive immigration policy.

The economist, Jonathan Portes, tells Robinson that the idea was to bring in new workers who would fill skill gaps and allow "growth to carry on at a faster clip than it otherwise would have." Read more...

Organization Says Era of Mass Immigration Is Over, Seeks to Harness Migrants' Talents for Economic Development in Mexico

By Jerry Kammer, January 15, 2014

The executive director of an organization that is seeking to tap the energies of Mexicans returning to their homeland after living in the United States said Tuesday that mass movement from Mexico to the United States has come to an end.

"We can confidently declare the end of that era, and we recognize a new era of return migration, with record numbers returning and fewer coming to the United States," said Aracely Garcia Granados at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Read more...

On Syrian Refugees

By Dan Cadman, January 15, 2014

In a recent UPI article, senior legal writer Michael Kirkland poses the question, "Is the U.S. turning its back on Syrian refugees?"

Sen. Dick Durban (D-Ill.) thinks so. According to the article, "Durbin said 'overly broad immigration bars' in the United States are preventing legitimate Syrian refugees from reaching the United States but President Obama has the power to do something about it." Read more...

Time to Celebrate Migration

By John Rhodes, January 14, 2014

Last week, it was once again, in Roman Catholic circles, time to celebrate migration. National Migration Week 2014 was upon us. The annual event, which typically takes place every second week in January, is largely a celebration of migration. There is more than celebration, of course. There is religious reflection and there is political agenda. But all of this occurs with celebration as the backdrop. I say celebration because, in the end, the Roman Catholic Church considers migration — all migration, regardless of numbers — a good thing. And good things are celebrated. Read more...

Free at Last? BBC Documentary Seeks to Tear Down the BBC's Own Wall of Poor Reporting

By Jerry Kammer, January 14, 2014

There has been an apparent breakthrough in the discussion of immigration in Britain. BBC political editor Nick Robinson has acknowledged that for many years the organization made "a terrible mistake" by muzzling its immigration coverage because of concern that it might stir racist unrest. Read more...

The Curious and Troubling Case of Mozzafar Khazaee

By Dan Cadman, January 14, 2014

The Center for Immigration Studies has published a number of articles concerning the lack of a system to weed out candidates for permanent residence who ultimately prove to be national security threats through acts of terror or spying on behalf of foreign powers. (See, for instance, "Brushbacks, Proxies, and Connecting the Dots: Our Immigration Policies Still Put Us at Risk in a Post-9/11 World", and "Upholding the Value of Our Citizenship: National Security Threats Should Be Denaturalized".)

Well, once again a naturalized citizen has been found with his hand in the defense secrets cookie jar. And once again his discovery appears to have been mere happenstance, rather than any rigor in the government's homeland and national security programs. Read more...

Unfortunate H-1B Coincidence in Switch of Obamacare Website Firms

By David North, January 13, 2014

I am not sure what it means, but there has been an ironic coincidence to be seen in the change of consulting firms handling the troubled Obamacare website.

The new firm is to be Accenture.The firm that is being fired is CGI, according to the Washington Post. Read more...

Immigration and the Press: Four Stories from the First Week of January

By Jerry Kammer, January 13, 2014

As a former reporter, I'm interested in how immigration is covered in the press. As this blog has shown, I think much coverage is marred by political correctness, timidity, superficiality, and outright bias in the face of complex and emotional issues. Many reporters have such a strong desire to show sensitivity toward immigrants that they ignore and deprecate those who believe immigration should be regulated and limited. Read more...

Should DHS License an Institution Like This to Teach Foreign Students?
An un-retouched item from Herguan University's website

By David North, January 13, 2014
An un-retouched item from Herguan University's website

Herguan University, in Sunnyvale, Calif., was raided by ICE as a suspected visa mill on August 2, 2012. Its president and owner, Mr. Wang, (depicted in the picture below) is out on bail during his trial in federal court for visa fraud as we reported in a previous blog. Read more...

Gaming the System: Illegal Aliens - 1, Unemployed Americans - 0

By Dan Cadman, January 12, 2014

Most readers are probably aware that one of the budget battles consuming the Senate is whether to pass an act extending now-lapsed unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. The majority of Republicans have indicated a willingness to consider any substantive bill only if it is considered in combination with other measures to offset costs. Read more...

ICE Is Too Nice to the Dregs of the Dregs of F-1 Issuing Schools

By David North, January 10, 2014

If an immigration compliance matter is such an obvious problem that even our lackadaisical Congress does something about it, then it must be pretty serious. But you would not know it from the way a DHS agency acted the other day.

There is such a problem, and it deals with unaccredited schools of English and their ability to cause the issuance of F-1 visas for international students. The Government Accountability Office has determined that such schools are particularly likely to be used as pathways for illegal aliens. Read more...

NIF's Shurtleff Caught Up in Criminal Investigation
May involve activities related to immigration enforcement

By Ronald W. Mortensen, January 9, 2014
May involve activities related to immigration enforcement

Two senior Republican Utah state senators, Lyle Hillyard and John Valentine, have raised concerns about the competency, disarray, big losses, and missteps of the Utah Attorney General's Office. However, during the 12 years that Republican Mark Shurtleff served as Attorney General, these same legislators, along with their Republican and Democrat counterparts, said nothing in spite of red flags popping up everywhere.

Interestingly, Utah legislators are not the only ones who were willing to overlook Shurtleff's questionable activities. The National Immigration Forum (NIF) worked closely with Shurtleff to promote amnesty for illegal aliens during the time that he was still serving as Utah's Attorney General. Once Shurtleff left office, the NIF appointed Shurtleff to its board of directors, where he continues to serve as of this writing. And the NIF continues to use Shurtleff as a high-profile "conservative" spokesperson for amnesty. Read more...

Why Conservatives Should Consider Agreeing to a Real Immigration Reform Bill, Pt. 3

By Stanley Renshon, January 9, 2014

Should House Republicans accede to the demands of immigration activists, the Democratic Party, the president, and those members of their own party who firmly believe that almost any deal is better than none, they will have done the country a great disservice.

At the same time, those who care deeply about this country, must be willing to take difficult steps to right the country's immigration impasse without allowing it to be set up for another deeply divisive immigration debate that mirrors the present one. Read more...