Immigration Blog

Obama's Rule of Lawlessness

By James R. Edwards Jr., May 8, 2011

The Obama administration seems married to an ideology of willful lawlessness. Attorney General Eric Holder has vacated a ruling of the Board of Immigration Appeals concerning a deportable alien on account of sexual orientation. The next day, a similar deportation was held up on the same grounds.

This is the same administration and Justice Department and attorney general that filed suit against the state of Arizona last year over the state's duly enacted S.B. 1070, which closely paralleled federal laws concerning immigrants. Read more...

Holder Sends Signal Supporting Marriages of Gay Immigrants

By David North, May 8, 2011

Attorney General Eric Holder sent a signal earlier this week, opening the possibility that the Justice Department might view marriages involving gay migrants as comparable to traditional (i.e., one man-one woman) marriages.

The signal came when he – and this is rare – overruled a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA); it had decided that a gay illegal alien could be deported despite the fact that he was in a civil union with a U.S. citizen. Had the alien in question been in a traditional marriage the deportation, presumably, would not have happened. Read more...

Just Another Mafia

By James R. Edwards Jr., May 7, 2011

The Washington Post ran a front-page story Saturday about a Mexican ID forgery ring that had operated in eleven states, from Rhode Island to North Carolina to Arkansas. Read more...

An Intriguing (but Probably Flawed) Idea - the Sacrifice Bunt Visa

By David North, May 6, 2011

I am not at all sure it is a good idea, but it certainly is an intriguing one.

The reference is to the proposed "Sacrifice Bunt Visa." An illegal alien in the U.S. would agree to leave the nation, and in return, he or she would nominate one other illegal alien to be legalized. Thus at a single stroke, the total population of the country would shrink by one, and the population of the illegals in the country would drop by two. Read more...

Illinois Governor Moves to Protect Illegal Alien Criminals

By Jessica Vaughan, May 6, 2011

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has announced his intention to cancel the state's agreement with ICE to allow law enforcement agencies in his state to share arrest information with ICE under the Secure Communities Program, saying he was "not satisfied" with the results. Quinn expressed concern that ICE has removed a large number of illegal aliens who committed minor crimes in addition to dozens of criminal aliens with convictions for serious felonies. Read more...

Republicans and Immigration

By Mark Krikorian, May 5, 2011

The standard line among the high-immigration right (earnestly, if insincerely, seconded by their fellow-travelers on the left) is that Republican opposition to open immigration is driving otherwise-conservative immigrant (and/or Hispanic) voters into the arms of the Democratic Party. Some new research suggests it's actually the other way around. Far from Republican anti-immigration views pushing immigrants further toward the Democrats, it's immigrant anti-Republican views that pushes Republicans further toward restriction. Read more...

U.S. Islands' Immigration Policies Overruled by Mainland Standards

By David North, May 4, 2011

The underlying immigration policy of some U.S. island territories might be characterized as: "Let 'em in, deny 'em political rights, and exploit 'em."

Exploit them, in different ways, but to such an extreme that – eventually – Mainland norms override the islands' policy tendencies.

A decision of the Ninth Circuit on a Northern Marianas immigration issue yesterday reminded me of these island/Mainland tensions, which I once watched from my perch inside the U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs. Read more...

USCIS Spends Too Much Time on Tiny Populations, Including Dead Ones

By David North, May 3, 2011

USCIS, thanks to its own inclinations and congressional thoughtlessness, spends too much executive time on tiny populations, including dead ones.

Recently that agency's busy Office of Public Engagement, unwittingly exposed this tiny- population focus when it, usefully, reminded all and sundry of some form revision notices in the Federal Register. Read more...

'You must . . . study for at least part of your time in the USA' for an F-1 Visa

By David North, May 2, 2011

There's an interesting difference between U.S. government rules on the F-1 visa for foreign students and how those rules are described by the visa middlemen in India.

According to USCIS, "you must be enrolled as a full-time student" at the institution. Read more...

An Unusual Voice on Univision

By Jerry Kammer, May 2, 2011

Univision's Sunday Spanish-language news program "Al Punto" gave voice to the sort of Latino not often heard on the network: a conservative Republican who does not favor amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Host Jorge Ramos spoke with Adryana Boyne, an immigrant from Mexico who has long been active in Republican politics. In 2008 Boyne was a delegate to the Republican National Convention and was active in the Mike Huckabee presidential campaign. Read more...

Does Parroting Lobbyists Constitute 'News analysis'?

By John Miano, May 2, 2011

This week provided a wonderful example of why public funding for NPR should be cut off.

In the tech industry it has become routine for Americans to be replaced by lower-paid foreign workers on H-1B visas. The repeating pattern is for the U.S. employer to contract with an H-1B bodyshop to supply labor to replace its American workers. The U.S. employer then requires its American workers train their foreign replacements. Read more...

USCIS Overturns 'Early Bird Gets the Worm' Rule in H-1B Program

By David North, April 29, 2011

Throughout our lives we are told that "that the early bird gets the worm," that it is a good idea to be "early to bed and early to rise," and that a "stitch in time saves nine," but USCIS has now overruled those mottos in the H-1B program.

It now is about to impose a set of rules in that foreign high-tech worker program to, in effect, make life easier for the late birds, the late risers, and the non-stitchers among the greedy employers who use the H-1B program to lower their labor costs, and deny jobs to American workers. Read more...

State Department Regs Guarantee Loss of 120,000 American Jobs

By David North, April 28, 2011

I suppose it is progress when one of the State Department's alien worker programs decides that foreign college students can no longer be used as rickshaw operators, or in their words: "as pedicab or rolling chair drivers".

It certainly is a refreshing bit of transparency when the department admits that its Summer Work Travel program had sometimes been used to staff "money laundering, money mule schemes and Medicare fraud", though no details are provided. Read more...

SB1070 as Bogeyman

By Mark Krikorian, April 28, 2011

After the passage of Arizona's SB1070 and Republican gains in many state legislatures, there was a lot of talk of similar immigration measures sweeping other states. There has been some real progress, most notably in Georgia, but not as much as you would have thought from the hype. Some of that is because it was hype, and most bills in any legislature never get anywhere. Read more...

Superman Meets His Match: Los Hermanos Ortiz

By Jerry Kammer, April 28, 2011

The blogosphere is abuzz with the news that the latest edition of the Superman comics series has the superhero renouncing his American citizenship, declaring he is "tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy." Read more...

Utah's Actions Analyzed at Immigration Policy Conference

By David North, April 27, 2011

While all the talk was, subtly, in favor of mass immigration, there were some conflicting views regarding the recent Utah developments at the 8th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference in Washington on April 26.

The event, at the Georgetown University Law School, was co-sponsored by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network. It is a continuation of a series of such events that, with somewhat different sponsorships but with an identical policy orientation, have been happening every spring since at least 1969. Read more...

Jason DeParle Has the Last Word, for Now

By Jerry Kammer, April 26, 2011

In yesterday's blog, I noted that New York Times reporter Jason DeParle had responded to questions I had emailed him regarding his April 17 front-page story. I did not quote from the response because I had offered to embargo it for a year. I offered the embargo because I thought he might be more comfortable and candid if he knew that the answers would be printed long after the initial controversy of his story had cooled. Read more...

Bahamas Gets It Right on Investment Levels and Streamlining

By David North, April 26, 2011

Sometimes it is downright embarrassing to find tiny Third World nations handling immigration challenges better than the mighty U.S. does.

For example, The Bahamas has just decided to triple the investment needed if you want to get permanent residence there; the bar used to be $500,000 (often used to buy a house) and now it is $1,500,000. These are Bahamas dollars, but they are worth, depending on the mood of the market, a hair more or a hair less than the U.S. dollar. Read more...

A Message from Jason DeParle, and a Response

By Jerry Kammer, April 25, 2011

In Friday's blog post, which responded critically to the previous Sunday's lengthy New York Times article about John Tanton, I noted that on April 17, DeParle had responded to an email from me in which I had questioned the story. As I noted in the blog, while DeParle's email said he would send me a note the next day, I had not heard from him. Read more...

Morning News, 4/25/11

By Bryan Griffith, April 25, 2011

Please visit our YouTube, Twitter and Facebook pages.

1. Noncriminals and Sec. Comm.
2. AK cop an illegal alien
3. Bloomberg touts immigration
4. Women lead protests int SC
5. GA business against law

A Misleading Article on Illegal Aliens and Income Tax Payments

By David North, April 24, 2011

For advocates of the illegal alien population the headline seemed to be a winner. It said:

Study estimates that illegal immigrants paid $11.2 B in taxes last year, unlike GE, which paid zero

The news story was by Albor Ruiz and appeared in the New York Daily News on April 20. Read more...

Insecuring the Border

By James R. Edwards Jr., April 24, 2011

Fox News recently made an exclusive report confirming that Border Patrol and Homeland Security officials are manipulating apprehension figures.

That is, border security agencies are forcing Border Patrol officers not to apprehend aliens attempting to cross the Mexican border illegally. You read that right: Let them go, never touch them. Read more...

Angels Dancing on Pins and the Meaning of Moral Turpitude

By David North, April 23, 2011

Sometimes it is useful to look at a single deportation case to get a sense of how the immigration law is, in fact, enforced.

In the Middle Ages theologians used to debate how many angels could dance on the head of a pin; nowadays, immigration lawyers and judges often argue about the meaning of a "crime of moral turpitude" in deportation cases.

It's not that the alien in the dock is not deportable – that he's deportable is usually conceded by all parties. Nor is there a question of whether or not the alien has committed a crime; again, that is pretty clear. Read more...

GAO Updates Cost of Criminal Aliens

By Jessica Vaughan, April 23, 2011

The incarceration of criminal aliens cost the federal government more than $1.6 billion in 2009, according to a new GAO report. In addition, taxpayers shelled out tens of millions more that year to incarcerate aliens in state prisons and local jails.

Other findings:

Deconstructing the New York Times

By Jerry Kammer, April 22, 2011

When I read last Sunday’s New York Times cover piece on pioneering and polemical immigration restrictionist John Tanton, I thought immediately of John Higham, the eminent historian and author of the classic study of nativism, Strangers in the Land. Read more...

Firm on CIS 'Taking Names' List Zapped Again for Labor Practices

By David North, April 22, 2011

Global Horizons, a Beverly Hills-based farm labor contractor, listed in a recent CIS publication, "Taking Names", as one of the few misbehaving employers of aliens to be penalized by the government, is now in trouble with a different government agency.

This time it is the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and this time the charge is that it discriminated against the 200 or so Thai nonimmigrant farm workers, brought to this country through the temporary farm worker (H-2A) program. Read more...

Father of Earth Day on Population and Immigration

By Jerry Kammer, April 22, 2011

As we observe Earth Day today, it's fitting to note some of the concerns expressed by its founder, the late Sen. Gaylord Nelson. Here are some excerpts from his 2002 autobiography, Beyond Earth Day: Fulfilling the Promise.

If we accept that forging and maintaining a sustainable society is the critical challenge for this and future generations, we must also accept that stabilizing our population will be key to determining our success or failure.

Failure of Imagination

By Mark Krikorian, April 21, 2011

After I'd finished writing the piece that's at National Review Online today about the anti-climactic denouement of the open-borders smear campaign against immigration skeptics, it occurred to me that the whole sordid affair was the result of the other side's lack of imagination or empathy. Read more...

Montana Adopts Legal-Presence Requirement of REAL ID Act

By Janice Kephart, April 21, 2011

Montana has just passed a law requiring both legal presence for driver's license applicants and expiration of a driver's license on the same day that the holder's federally mandated legal presence expires (in the case of nonimmigrants). Oddly, this is the same REAL ID secure driver license law that Montana's Gov. Read more...

Brookings Holds Spirited Debate on Dream Act Variations

By David North, April 21, 2011

There was a spirited debate on variations of the Dream Act at the venerable Brookings Institution in Washington on April 20.

By Washington standards it was a "fair and balanced" session, with both presenters being mass migration sympathizers, as were two of the four panelists. But one of the two restrictionists present was CIS's Mark Krikorian, who suggested that a Dream Act with four major changes could be acceptable public policy, as outlined later. Read more...