Immigration Blog

Within DHS, ICE Pressies Ignore USCIS Accomplishment

By David North, July 5, 2012

A couple of months ago, one arm of the Department of Homeland Security did the right thing — it re-designed a form it had been using for decades to make it less useful to fraudsters. This was done by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and was covered in an earlier blog of mine. Read more...

States Can Address the Negative Impacts of Illegal Immigration Using Tools They Already Have

By Ronald W. Mortensen, July 5, 2012

While some see the recent Supreme Court ruling on Arizona's S.B.1070 as "The beginning of the end of the anti-immigrant state law movement", my colleague John Feere, points out that "As a result of rulings from the Supreme Court and lower courts, the message is clear that even though a line must be drawn somewhere, states do have a role to play when it comes to immigration." Read more...

How to Break the Immigration Policy Impasse (5): The Supreme Court Speaks … but in Tongues

By Stanley Renshon, July 5, 2012

Many Americans think of the Supreme Court as the final arbiter of the constitutionality, and therefore political legitimacy, of legislative and executive policy and behavior. That, however, is the 8th grade civics class version of a much more complex reality.

When considering the court's decisions, Americans are used to thinking in broad summary strokes and striking finality. Court strikes down! Court affirms! Read more...

The Forgotten Americans

By Marguerite Telford, July 3, 2012

The media immediately responded to the Supreme Court's decision on SB1070 with the expected winner-loser political statements we have all come to expect. Now, not only can the Democrats and Republicans not work together, the states and the feds can't either. Lost in the multitude of news reports and opinion articles is the sad situation that brought about the drafting of Arizona's "Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act" in the first place. Read more...

USCIS Quietly and Slowly Closed a Small Loophole in the Immigration System

By David North, July 3, 2012

This blog often criticizes USCIS for bending over backward to accommodate tiny to small classes of would-be migrants to the United States, such as the abused step-parents of U.S. citizens and "investors" in the Mariana Islands who were considered both rich enough to be investors, but too poor to pay USCIS fees, as can be seen here and here. Read more...

Here's a Switch – Marriage Fraud in Which the Alien is the Victim

By David North, July 3, 2012

Usually the alien comes out ahead (unless caught) in fraudulent marriage schemes, but an exception appeared in Upstate New York recently.

In the most common type of immigration-related marriage fraud, he (it is usually a male) bribes a citizen or a green card holder to enter into a phony marriage and the alien winds up with a green card for himself. The resulting divorce is mutually accepted. Read more...

How to Break the Immigration Policy Impasse (4): Court of Last Resort?

By Stanley Renshon, July 2, 2012

Those on both sides of the immigration divide have had some legislative success with their initiatives at the state level. Those hoping to further legalization for the country's 10-12 million illegal aliens have been successful in getting several states to allow some of them to gain the benefit of in-state tuition at state colleges. With that successful legislation comes a form of de facto regularization of their immigration status. Read more...

Una Poca de Gracia — A Little Grace — for the Immigration Debate

By Jerry Kammer, June 29, 2012

"La Bamba", a Mexican folk song that in 1958 was turned into a pop hit by Richie Valens, observes that in order to climb to heaven you need "a big ladder, and another smaller one". It adds that to dance "La Bamba" you need "a little grace". This week, I received a message from Cornell law professor Stephen Yale-Loehr that provided a measure of both of those wondrous tools. They will be necessary if there is to be compromise in the national battle over immigration policy.

Let me explain.

Quinnipiac: Public Responds to S.B. 1070 and Dream Decree

By Jon Feere, June 29, 2012

A pollster for the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute explains that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on Arizona's S.B. 1070 will make immigration a central issue during the presidential election this November. The pollster points to some recent surveys not widely reported by the media: Read more...

How to Break the Immigration Policy Impasse (3): State Wars of Attrition

By Stanley Renshon, June 28, 2012

America's 50 states have famously been called "laboratories of democracy", an idea first formulated in 1932 by Justice Louis Brandeis. He wrote "that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country." Read more...

How to Break the Immigration Policy Impasse (2): Federal Wars of Attrition

By Stanley Renshon, June 27, 2012

When political leaders and activists both have deeply felt views about a policy issue, when the general public has conflicted views about the same issue, and when no consensus exists or can be developed, policy wars of attrition are likely to be the result. That succinctly describes the state of American immigration policy today. Read more...

USCIS Holds Pep Rally in a Glorious Building

By David North, June 27, 2012

Had the session been on a college campus you might call it a combination pep rally/bestowal of an honorary degree/lecture series/question-and-answer period.

But yesterday's event was off-campus, it was the USCIS session at the U.S. Institute of Peace, just off the Mall in Washington, DC, carrying the resounding title of "Partnering for Excellence: USCIS's First National Stakeholder Symposium". Read more...

C-SPAN Callers and Justice Kennedy's Call for "Rational Civic Discourse"

By Jerry Kammer, June 27, 2012

As someone who lived in Arizona for much of my adult life and covered immigration for many years as a reporter, I have closely followed the controversy involving S.B. 1070. Yesterday's "Washington Journal" program on C-SPAN included comments that were striking from two distinct points of view. Read more...

It's STILL the Economy, Stupid

By W.D. Reasoner, June 26, 2012

The first-term president begins to put a wrap on his four years in office and shifts into campaign mode with all the benefits and advantages of incumbency, the trappings of office: travel on Air Force One to ostensibly official events that can be used to amplify his accomplishments; the power of the bully pulpit to command a substantial portion of media attention and send his messages to the American people. Read more...

Supreme Court Gives Some Support to Arizona’s S.B. 1070

By Jon Feere, June 25, 2012

The federal government estimates that Arizona has one of the fastest growing illegal immigrant populations in the country, increasing from 330,000 in 2000 to 560,000 by 2008. In an effort to alleviate some of the problems associated with illegal immigration, Arizona passed S.B. 1070, the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act,” which is designed to “discourage and deter” illegal immigration. The Obama administration filed suit against Arizona, arguing that the state did not have the authority to enforce the act. Four provisions of S.B. Read more...

Senator Marco Rubio Takes on Jorge Ramos, and Wins

By Jerry Kammer, June 25, 2012

Jorge Ramos, the popular Univision news anchor, makes no pretense of objectivity about illegal immigration. He fills his newscasts with human interest stories about the plight of illegal immigrants, scorning the fundamental journalistic responsibility to report the experiences of those who resent the influx and feel overwhelmed by it. He has declared that those who oppose it are xenophobes. Read more...

BREAKING: Supreme Court Rules on S.B. 1070

By Jon Feere, June 25, 2012

Read about the possible implications of the S.B. 1070 Supreme Court decision.

  • The U.S. Supreme Court has rendered a decision on the four provisions of Arizona's S.B. 1070 questioned in Arizona v. United States.

  • The Ninth Circuit has been reversed in part affirmed in part.

  • Section 2 upheld, which allows local police to question status.

Economists, Lawyers Tussle at USCIS EB-5 Meeting

By David North, June 25, 2012

It was one of those inconclusive, awkward Washington meetings that left everyone feeling frustrated.

To add to the tension, it was also a session in which government economists, with an unpleasant message for their audience, were speaking to a crowd of private-sector lawyers. The lawyers wanted both a more generous immigrant investor (EB-5) program and more precision in the procedures, and they seemed to feel that they got neither. Read more...

4.6 Million Waiting for Green Cards Displaced by Dreamers

By Jessica Vaughan, June 22, 2012

4.6 million individuals world-wide who have been approved to be sponsored for green cards by U.S. citizens, current green card holders, and U.S. employers through the established legal immigration process will now have to step aside for a while in order for USCIS to process the deferred action applications of people hoping to qualify under the Obama administration's Dream Scheme. Read more...

Terrorist Travel Remains a Priority for al Qaeda; Obama Policies Support Easy Entry, Embedding

By Janice Kephart, June 22, 2012

Terrorist travel may not still be at the top of the agenda for politicians on Capitol Hill, but travel remains a top priority for terrorists. The world was given a glimpse of how al Qaeda top leadership conducted reconnaissance in a recent trial in the United Kingdom of a British Airways employee now serving 30 years for his participation in an airline plot with Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric killed by a drone in Yemen last September. Read more...

'The Same Priority as Citizens'?

By Mark Krikorian, June 22, 2012

One item in Romney's immigration platform that I hadn't seen before was this: "Mitt Romney will work with Congress to give legal permanent residents the same priority as citizens when applying to bring husbands, wives, and minor children to the United States." That means they would be admitted without numerical limit. Read more...

Obama Administration's DREAM Decree – Compassion or Child Abuse?

By Ronald W. Mortensen, June 21, 2012

The Obama administration has taken a large step in doing what many of America's religious, political, and business elite have demanded for years by providing amnesty and work authorizations to over one million adult illegal aliens. At the same time, the administration has callously sacrificed countless numbers of American children who are the victims of illegal alien-driven identity theft and other job-related felonies.

The fact that amnesty was provided by extra-legal means is of no consequence to the elites. After all, they routinely twist and ignore laws as they work to achieve their goals of more church members, more political power, and more economic riches. Read more...

The Permanence of a 'Temporary' Amnesty

By Mark Krikorian, June 21, 2012

In my piece at National Review Online today, I discuss what other amnesties the White House might try to enact administratively if it gets away with this one, and I make the point in passing that there’s nothing temporary about the "temporary" status the DREAM beneficiaries will receive. The administration and its supporters have constantly emphasized how provisional the new status will be, that it can be revoked in the future, etc. Bunk. Read more...

USCIS Hotline Gives Conflicting Answers on a Dream Scheme Question

By David North, June 21, 2012

It's a new program, so it's not surprising that I got a whole collection of different answers when I asked the USCIS hotline a specific question regarding eligibility for the new Dream Scheme program, the one offering deferred action to relatively young people currently in illegal status.

Not surprising, but not reassuring either.

America's Asian Population Is on the Rise

By W.D. Reasoner, June 21, 2012

The Pew Research Center has just released a very interesting report indicating that the Asian population has surpassed the Hispanic population as the most rapidly growing demographic segment in the United States. Read more...

How to Break the Immigration Impasse (1): Winner Take All

By Stanley Renshon, June 21, 2012

How do you resolve a fundamental national impasse that embodies policy, conflicting visions of fairness, and deep but mixed feelings about the available options? That is the question that confronts this country regarding immigration.

There are really only a limited number of options available. Read more...

Shouldn't We Drop Greece from the Visa Waiver Program?

By David North, June 20, 2012

It is not exactly a friendly gesture, but should not the United States drop Greece from our Visa Waiver Program?

VWP is for people from 36 prosperous countries who can come to the United States with their nation's passport and no screening by any American embassy. The notion is that they will spend money as tourists and only a sliver of them will stay illegally.

It makes sense for Brits, Germans, Japanese, and others, but should we give the same rights to the hard-pressed people of Greece, whose economy has collapsed and threatens to collapse further. Read more...

Some Senators Grow a Spine on DREAM Decree

By Mark Krikorian, June 20, 2012

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's Tuesday comment to reporters that the Senate GOP would wait to see what Gov. Romney had to say about Obama's unconstitutional DREAM decree was apparently superseded yesterday. Sen. Chuck Grassley and 19 other Republican senators, including McConnell, sent a strongly worded letter to the president Wednesday belatedly making the points that need to be made. Some excerpts: Read more...

Beneath America's Immigration Stalemate: Conflicted Emotions

By Stanley Renshon, June 20, 2012

The numerous issues that arise from the fact that the United States now has between 11 and 12 million people living here with no legal basis for doing so has created strong currents of conflicting emotions in the American public. On one hand, Americans sympathize with those who want a better life for themselves and their children. On the other hand, they have little sympathy for those who break the rules for their own advantage. Furthermore, they are upset with their government's inability or disinclination to control the nation's borders. Read more...

H-1B Visas Flood U.S. Labor Markets with Bush-League Workers

By John Miano, June 20, 2012

Tim Hernholtz has an interesting blog post on Reuters titled "The NBA has America's model migrant worker program".

Mr. Hernholtz notes the number of foreign players in the NBA and notes that allowing the best players from around the world play in America improves the sport.

To that there is little disagreement.