Immigration Blog

USCIS Ombudsman Wants to Help Incompetent Employers Hire Alien Workers

By David North, May 18, 2012

The policy tilt of the USCIS Ombudsman is perfectly clear: no matter what the rules are, No matter how many millions of unemployed residents of the United States there are, let's make sure that every possible alien worker is hired.

If an employer wants to hire a foreign worker rather than a resident one, there are certain basic requirements, like filling out some forms, and paying some fees.

It is sort of a low-level test: If you can't fill out the forms correctly you don't get the worker, and maybe, just maybe, you have to hire an American instead. Shocking, I know. Read more...

U.S. Sells Visas for Less Than the Net Worth of the Average U.S. Household

By David North, May 17, 2012

One of the bizarre elements of our immigrant investor (EB-5) program is that we sell visas for a sum that is less than the net worth of the average American household. Read more...

Libertarian for Open Borders

By James R. Edwards Jr., May 16, 2012

Sometimes you just have to let those who disagree with you on an issue like immigration argue themselves to extremes. That's what a recent piece in the Huffington Post does.

This item by an open-borders libertarian tries to justify amnesty. He embraces amnesty. He seems to view America as nothing more than a "market", a body economic, a place where a bunch of disparate people happen to live near one another.

You have to read the essay for yourself to get the full thrust of its surreal, utopian flavor. But let me make one observation. Read more...

Media Memes and the GOP's Immigration Stance in the 2012 Election: Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don't

By Stanley Renshon, May 16, 2012

There is no area more suffused with conventional "conventional wisdom" than the role of immigration in the 2012 presidential election.

Did you know that Hispanic voters are a "large and growing electoral bloc"? That's right, "The number of Hispanics eligible to vote increased from 16 million in 2004 to 19.5 million in 2008."

NOTE: Repeat as often as necessary to ensure that you don't have to deal with the actual decline of Hispanic voting. Read more...

Another Bit of (Hidden) Good Immigration News from the Government

By David North, May 15, 2012

Every so often the administration does something useful in the immigration field, but it never stresses the fact.

Last month, I reported how it had changed a government form (I-797C) in a highly useful way to prevent fraud, but USCIS described it as a money-saving operation. Read more...

Media Memes and the GOP's Immigration Stance in the 2012 Election: Narratives and Conventional Wisdom

By Stanley Renshon, May 15, 2012

As everyone who has followed politics at all in the last decade knows, the media's biggest buzzword for any political story is "narrative". Borrowed from cognitive psychology, that term literally means an assemblage of items (not necessarily facts) that are designed to convey a preferred impression. In the news media and political campaigns it is simply a storyline assembled for a purpose. Read more...

The Clichéd Sentimentality of Jon Meacham on PBS

By Jerry Kammer, May 14, 2012

When PBS asks someone like Jon Meacham — contributing editor to Time magazine, former editor of Newsweek, television pundit, and author of a Pulitzer-prize winning biography of Andrew Jackson — to write an essay on immigration, the result is likely to be a measure of elite media thinking on the topic.

And so it was with Meacham's commentary at the end of last Friday's "Need to Know" program. It was a call to welcome the world. It was also devoid of any recognition of how unconstrained immigration policy has become since passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. Read more...

USCIS Promises NOT to Correct Previous EB-5 Mistakes

By David North, May 14, 2012

USCIS promised last week not to correct prior errors if they produce more visas in this program. It did not say so in so many words, of course. The promise relates to a particular — and peculiar — economic scenario in the EB-5 immigrant investor program and was described in elegant legalese. Read more...

DOJ Guns for Sheriff Joe

By James R. Edwards Jr., May 14, 2012

The U.S. Department of Justice's lawsuit against Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio sets a new low for the politicization of DOJ.

Neither President Nixon's Justice Department during the Watergate era nor the Bill Clinton-Janet Reno abuses of DOJ's power (e.g., summary firing of all U.S. attorneys, the invasion at Waco, Bill Lann Lee's Civil Rights Division activism) quite compares with the lengths to which Attorney General Eric Holder, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Tom Perez, and President Obama have gone to pursue a political vendetta.

Foremost to keep in mind regarding this misconduct: It's all about immigration politics. Read more...

Michele Bachmann's Dual Citizenship: "Tea-Party Queen" Strikes an Ironic Blow Against Immigrant Assimilation

By Stanley Renshon, May 11, 2012

There is no doubt that Michele Bachmann made a big mistake and now realizes it. She now claims "it is a non-story" and that, "I have always pledged allegiance to our one nation under God, the United States of America. We live in the greatest nation humankind has ever known and I am proud to be an American."

I believe her. Others aren't so sure.

Blurring the Line Between Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visas

By David North, May 10, 2012

This may sound a little specialized, but the lines between immigrant and nonimmigrant visas have blurred a bit over the years — and sometimes that is not a bad thing.

There are three different variations on this theme:

Michele Bachmann: Presidential Candidate, Swiss Citizen

By Stanley Renshon, May 10, 2012

I have to admit that I was startled to read the Politico headline: "Bachmann claims Swiss citizenship". Could this be the very same Michele Bachmann that the Weekly Standard dubbed "Queen of the Tea Party"?

It couldn't be. But it was.

What was she thinking? She had just finished making a determined, if unsuccessful, run for the United States presidency. And she had done so as a champion of conservative causes and principals.

Do those now include dual citizenship?

Making Significant Decisions About Aliens Without Interviewing Them

By David North, May 9, 2012

Do you suppose you could gain permanent legal entry to the United States without actually talking to a federal official? Could that decision be made solely on a written application?

Sounds unlikely. But it happens much more often than you would think.

Aren't all would-be legal visitors to the United States first interviewed by a State Department official overseas, and then, at least briefly, by another government official at the airport? No. Read more...

House Appropriators Nix Obama Request for Less Enforcement Funding

By Janice Kephart, May 8, 2012

On Wednesday, May 9, House appropriators mark up their FY 2013 Subcommittee Draft Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The budget refuses the Obama administration requests to lower funding for enforcement activity on and inside the border, and denies a reorganization that would have destroyed the independence of arguably the most important border program that checks biometrics at the border to assure that people are who they say they are.

Here are the breakdowns:

Obamacare Loopholes May Benefit Illegals at Taxpayer Expense

By James R. Edwards Jr., May 8, 2012

The Los Angeles Times recently reported on program known as ROC-MD in Southern California that provides a form of health coverage designed for illegal aliens.

The program was started by the Restaurant Opportunities Center of L.A. and St. John's Well Child and Family Center. Uninsured illegals are charged $25 a month and can seek medical services at one of the St. John's clinics.

This program targets illegal aliens because they ostensibly don't qualify for coverage through Obamacare. However, the law already had some loopholes through which illegal aliens could tap taxpayer-funded health care. Read more...

Obama's Catch-and-Release Policies Blunt Secure Communities

By Jessica Vaughan, May 8, 2012

Desperately seeking to acquire some credibility with the vast majority of American voters who want to see immigration laws enforced, the Obama administration is on a steady pace to complete implementation of the Secure Communities (SC) program in every state, perhaps even ahead of the 2013 target date. With Louisiana and Nevada most recently completed, the map is nearly all colored in. Rumor has it New England, possibly including the sanctuary states of Vermont and Massachusetts, could be finished next.

Will the full activation of Secure Communities nationwide mean the end of sanctuaries for criminal aliens as we know them? Not quite. Read more...

Maps Show 330 Illegal Aliens Crossing Ariz. Border in One Night in March, Including Ultralight Incursion

By Janice Kephart, May 8, 2012

During the night of March 23, 2012, illegal activity was significant along 12-mile stretch of border in the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation in Arizona and extending into the United States northwest about 80 miles to the Sonoran Desert National Monument's Vekol Valley on I-8 and about another 20 miles north of the interstate. None of this area is privately owned; it is all owned and operated by the federal government with the exception of the Tohono O'odham Nation's border property. Read more...

These Aren't the Illegal Aliens You're Looking For

By Mark Krikorian, May 8, 2012

News from the After-my-reelection-I'll-have-more-flexibility department: I was recently on a panel discussion with Frank Sharry, the nation's leading leading open-borders lobbyist, and he said something that perked up my ears. As background, Utah passed a state-specific amnesty bill through which illegal aliens would be given state-generated work cards. Read more...

Political Muscle Curtails Effort to Reform Program that Displaces American Workers in the Name of Cultural Exchange

By Jerry Kammer, May 7, 2012

As I gathered information for the investigative report that CIS published last year on the State Department's Summer Work Travel Program (SWT), I found a YouTube video that provided remarkable evidence of how far the program had strayed from its announced purpose of cultural exchange Read more...

A Hierarchy of Immigration Policy Problems

By David North, May 7, 2012

One of the knee-jerk reactions of restrictionists — and I am one of them — is to view any loosening of immigration policy and/or enforcement with equal vehemence, seeing each bit and piece as a more or less equal part of a disturbing picture. Instead, since we have limited energy and (sadly) limited influence, we should allocate and calibrate our outrage in order to accomplish something. Read more...

Arizona Border Incursion in Camouflage, Non-Tracking Gear

By Janice Kephart, May 4, 2012

As the President argues against Arizona's efforts to enforce immigration laws that the federal government has either ignored or overwritten, he remains silent on illegal immigration flows on the border. Recently Arizona residents reported a growing phenomenon: Asians, often Chinese nationals, illegally crossing into Arizona. Read more...

In Defense of Arizona's Immigration Law SB1070

By Jan Ting, May 4, 2012

The Obama administration's challenge to the Arizona immigration statute SB1070 is not about its popularity, or whether the statute is wise or unwise policy. Legislatures are permitted to enact laws thought unpopular or unwise by others. And as Chief Justice Roberts observed, and the administration's lawyer agreed, the challenge is also not in any way about civil rights or racial profiling. Read more...

No Pay, No Stay: Mitt Romney's Real Immigration Position Vindicated

By Stanley Renshon, May 3, 2012

Critics of the Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his views on legal and illegal immigration are busy perfecting novel methods with which to impugn his character and positions. Consider Dana Milbank's "bad by association" argument. Read more...

Administration Moves Ahead on Three More Little Amnesties

By David North, May 3, 2012

The Obama administration has moved ahead on three more little amnesties in the last few weeks, all largely under the radar and all linked with the concept of victimhood. Read more...

Video: Immigrant Workers and the Buckle of the Raisin Belt

By Philip Martin, May 3, 2012

Migration Dialogue, which provides timely, factual and nonpartisan information and analysis of international migration issues, has released a new video. In it, I explain the relationship between farm workers and raisins in Parlier, CA, the buckle of the raisin belt. More information on the subject can be found in Migration Dialogue's "Rural Migration News". Read more...

Former Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce's Q&A with Sen. Chuck Schumer: Caricature and Reality

By Stanley Renshon, May 2, 2012

I did not know very much about Russell Pearce before I read Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank's tendentious characterization of him in his column. I knew that he was the former President of the Arizona Senate, had been instrumental in passing Arizona's controversial immigration law that is now before the Supreme Court, and that he had been defeated in a recall election, much to the pleasure of his enemies. Read more...

Meet Larry Dever – An Arizona Sheriff Who's No Joe Arpaio

By Jerry Kammer, May 2, 2012

Arizona borderlands sheriff Larry Dever is the subject of a fascinating article in the current edition of the Phoenix New Times newspaper. Written by Paul Rubin, one of the state's most highly regarded newsmen, the piece portrays Dever as a thoughtful, nuanced hardliner on illegal immigration and contrasts him favorably with two of the state's other sheriffs — Joe Arpaio and Paul Babeu. Read more...

USCIS Leans over Backwards to Facilitate the H-1B Program

By David North, May 1, 2012

Supposing an alien who has studied in the United States wants to get an H-1B visa, to which he is potentially entitled, but stumbles in the process. Maybe he got started late or maybe he could not find an employer willing to file an H-1B petition for him.

Will USCIS just shrug, and let the market and the law take their normal course? You know, somebody else (maybe a citizen or green card holder) will get the job and the alien will have to return to his homeland, at least for a bit.

Heavens, no!

The Washington Post's Insult Artist, Part 2: Dana Milbank on Russell Pearce's Immigration Views

By Stanley Renshon, May 1, 2012

Critics of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his views on legal and illegal immigration, like the Washington Post's Dana Milbank, are busy perfecting novel methods with which to impugn his character and positions. Consider Milbank's reverse double character smear, aided by a mischaracterized policy parallelism, and topped by a determined, and successful, effort at caricature. Read more...

Cheap Shot Alert: CIS Gets the "Colbert Thump"

By Jerry Kammer, April 30, 2012

You may have heard of the "Colbert Bump", that euphoric surge of popularity and prestige that — at least according to the man for whom it was named — follows anyone's appearance with that television tower of tendentious truthiness, Stephen Colbert.

Well, last week, we at the Center for Immigration Studies were introduced to a phenomenon at the opposite end of the pleasure-pain spectrum. It's a dysphoric dose of devilish denigration that I call the "Colbert Thump". Read more...