Immigration Blog

My Great-Grandfather, President Obama, and Preserving Our Federal Lands

By Janice Kephart, March 3, 2011

Two years ago hidden camera sources in Arizona started sending me e-mails containing footage of illegal aliens unabashedly violating our federal lands with illegally-cut trails and trash by the hundreds of tons. Since then, I have produced three mini-documentaries on the subject. So far, these films have received a combined total of nearly 700,000 views. Since then, I have sought answers as to why Arizona is such a massive gateway for illegal activity. Read more...

Morning News, 3/3/11

By Bryan Griffith, March 3, 2011

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1. Obama, Calderon to meet
2. GA House set to vote
3. SC Senate begins debate
4. TX considers enforcement
5. UT introduces bill

USCIS Involves White House as It Streamlines H-1B Process

By David North, March 2, 2011

The USCIS involved the White House in its announcement at five this afternoon of a proposed rule that would save H-1B-using corporations millions of dollars a year.

The proposed rule, which would not go into effect for 12 months, will not affect the basic rules of the program nor the various ceilings set by Congress, but it would potentially cut costs for employers, presumably making it even more attractive to corporations than it is now. Read more...

House Panel Has Lively Session on Illegals' Impact on Black Workers

By David North, March 2, 2011

The House of Representatives Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement held a lively but largely good-tempered discussion yesterday morning about the extent of the impact of illegal alien workers on the labor market experiences of blacks, particularly black men.

For the hearing announcement and links to witness statements see here. Read more...

Should Employer Fines Be Cut Because of the Recession?

By David North, March 1, 2011

When jobs for American residents are scarce, should an employer pay smaller fines for ignoring the rules on hiring illegal aliens because there's a recession?

That's the odd position taken by an administrative law judge (ALJ) who works for the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), an arm of the U.S. Justice Department. Read more...

Morning News, 3/1/11

By Bryan Griffith, March 1, 2011

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1. Gingrich's immigration stance
2. Study: US good at integration
3. OK House panel okays bill
4. UT lawmakers work on enforcement
5. Embezzlement charge at ICE

Hatch Bill Targets Several Loopholes

By James R. Edwards Jr., February 28, 2011

My colleague Janice Kephart recently highlighted the tremendous risks of the visa lottery program in a recent blog here. Indeed, the visa lottery needlessly clogs the system with millions of applications (a portion of them multiple applications by the same applicant). More than 12 million people filed for this year's lottery – 55,000 visas – and almost 15 million applied for next year's lottery. Read more...

Multi-Tasking Coast Guard Does a Lot Besides Stopping Illegal Entries

By David North, February 28, 2011

Since I am curious about the apparent current and strange lack of illegal entry attempts from Haiti in recent months, I have been following the flow of press releases out of Coast Guard's Seventh District headquarters in Miami.

The image I get is an entity as busy as a one-armed paperhanger, who is also charged with cooking the meals, watching the dog, changing the baby . . . and catching illegal immigrants. Read more...

Morning News, 2/28/11

By Bryan Griffith, February 28, 2011

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1. Rep. Pelosi defends Obama
2. DC chief shaky on Sec. Comm.
3. TX homes stranded by fence
4. Mexico arrests drug boss
5. Illegals convicted, set free

Large Group Nabbed Right Where SBInet Is Operational

By Janice Kephart, February 25, 2011

On February 18, 2010, the Border Patrol arrested an abnormally large group of illegal immigrants – 128 of them, to be exact – crossing right through the middle of one of the "virtual fence" surveillance areas. Most of them have already been returned to Mexico. Read more...

Texas-Sized Jihadi Plot Foiled

By James R. Edwards Jr., February 25, 2011

A 20-year-old Saudi Arabian has been arrested and charged with planning an Islamist bomb plot. The scary thing is that Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, a student visa holder studying business at South Plains College in Texas, was in the country perfectly legally. Originally, he enrolled at Texas Tech to study chemical engineering. Read more...

Too Much Immigration Staff Time Is Spent on Low-Priority Matters

By David North, February 24, 2011

I suggested in a previous blog that the Department of Homeland Security should spend more staff time making high-priority immigration decisions, and less time on lower-priority ones.

The general notion being that the removal of aliens and decisions about migrants admitted outside of numerical limits should get more attention than admission decisions within numerically-limited classes, as the last-named set of judgments have no bearing on the size of the U.S. population, while the former two are crucial to that metric. Similarly, I noted that there is often an enormous amount of bureaucratic energy spent on very small, innocuous populations. Read more...

Indicting Hezbollah in Mexico

By Janice Kephart, February 23, 2011

A few months, the United States issued an extraterritorial indictment against Jamal Yousef, a senior agent of Hezbollah, an Iranian-sponsored and U.S.-designated terrorist organization. The agent was conducting a business deal to provide thousands of new U.S. arms stolen from American forces in Iraq that had been shipped and stored in Mexico and were to be sold to the Colombian FARC (another designated terrorist organization) in exchange for drugs that were to be couriered into the U.S. by Mexican cartels. The stolen U.S. Read more...

John Lennon, a Marine General, and the Twisted Language of Immigration

By David North, February 23, 2011

This is a story about how a rich and famous alien made a major impact on America's deportation policies, and how a prominent Marine general sought to unwrinkle part of the very wrinkled verbiage used in the immigration business.

The alien was John Lennon, the Beatle and British political activist; the Nixon administration tried to deport him for stirring up opposition to the war in Vietnam. Read more...

'The Beast' and the Mexican Justice System

By Jerry Kammer, February 23, 2011

In recent months, the Mexican press has been drawing attention to the violence and abuses inflicted upon illegal immigrants from Central America as they head toward the U.S. border. Particularly scandalous is the inability of Mexican authorities to stop the predators who work the confined – and therefore controllable – space of the rail line that runs from the border state of Chiapas through Veracruz and on to Mexico City. The train that travels that route is known both as "The Beast" and "The Train of Death." Read more...

Morning News, 2/23/11

By Bryan Griffith, February 23, 2011

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1. Ex-ICE chief investigated
2. IN Senate advances bill
3. TX state Rep. targets Congress
4. AK House panel looks at bill
5. RI capital against Sec. Comm.

Two Governors and Immigration

By Mark Krikorian, February 22, 2011

I'd mentioned last week that Indiana governor Mitch Daniels has tried to avoid weighing in on a tough new immigration bill making its way through his state's legislature, despite freely dispensing his views on a variety of other issues of national importance. The Indianapolis Star had more on the topic Sunday, quoting people on both sides expressing their hope that Daniels will come down on their side: Read more...

Morning News, 2/22/11

By Bryan Griffith, February 22, 2011

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1. Sec. attends agent's funeral
2. TX Rep. wants to strip funds
3. Lax security found after bust
4. Poll: UT split on solutions
5. IN weighs AZ-style law
6. KS repeals tuition break

Lobbyists Spin GAO Report on H-1B

By John Miano, February 21, 2011

We have previously reported that the GAO has released a new study on the H-1B program titled "H-1B Visa Program: Reforms Are Needed to Minimize the Risks and Costs of Current Program". As you can tell from the title, this report does not paint a pretty picture of the H-1B program, like all the other government reports that came before it.

Now the lobbyist spin on the GAO report is coming in. Read more...

European Multiculturalism's Lessons for the U.S.: The Psychology of Belonging

By Stanley Renshon, February 21, 2011

Europe's turn from multiculturalism has, as we have been noting, implications for the United States and its policies for helping new legal immigrant become American. Prime Minister David Cameron's detailed critique of his country's failed efforts to enlist multiculturalism to further that goal provides some cautionary lessons. Read more...

Immigration and the 'Informal Economy'

By Jerry Kammer, February 21, 2011

National Public Radio last week reported a story from Phoenix that was intended to illustrate a recent finding by the Pew Hispanic Center. Pew reported that in the second quarter of 2010, American citizens lost more than a million jobs while foreign-born workers gained 656,000 jobs. Read more...

Let's Change the Conceptual Framework Used in Migration Decision-Making

By David North, February 21, 2011

After a year or two of watching how DHS, and more specifically USCIS, makes immigration decisions, I realize that both the agency, and Congress, are working in the wrong conceptual environment.

Virtually everything that DHS does regarding migrants, legal and illegal, is (perhaps unconsciously) based on how we handle criminal cases. Immigration decisions are made on an individual basis, often with many of the trappings of the courts, and with ample opportunity for extended due process. Read more...

Morning News, 2/18/11

By Bryan Griffith, February 18, 2011

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1. Obama admin. takes hard line
2. Sen. McCain calls for security
3. Trial for NE city law in 2012
4. Slaying highlights dangers
5. KS lawmakers introduce bill

Wikileaks, Visa Fraud, and a Reverse Twist on the Anchor Baby Scheme

By David North, February 18, 2011

Wikileaks, the unauthorized release of a huge collection of U.S. government documents, has made a useful contribution to the immigration field.

More specifically, it has shed light on the multiplicity of fraudulent visa schemes inflicted on the American immigration system, and most specifically, on those that have been detected by consular officials in Mexico City. My colleague, Jerry Kammer, called the leaked State Department report to my attention. Read more...

A Statement of Principles for American NGOs dealing with Immigrant Assimilation

By Stanley Renshon, February 18, 2011

Like much else in American society, the development of organizations that help new immigrants has proceeded in an ad hoc way. That is part of the nature of our society noted as long ago as Alexis de Tocqueville's trip to the United States in 1831. The general rule of American culture has been that voluntary associations spring up to address civic needs. Read more...

Medicaid, Immigration Game of Chicken

By James R. Edwards Jr., February 18, 2011

Remarkably, the Obama administration won't block the state of Arizona from paring back its Medicaid rolls. Some 250,000 people could have to forego taxpayer-funded health care. This is notable, because cutting Medicaid rolls goes against the grain of Obamacare's forcing of states to add millions more to this entitlement program. Read more...

Reflections from the Border

By John Wahala, February 17, 2011

Last month I had the opportunity to tour southern Arizona with a small group led by our own Jerry Kammer, who lived and wrote there for many years and whose passion for the region is contagious. Through his connections, we were given intimate perspectives on the border situation from those who face it on a daily basis. Read more...

Immigrant Assimilation and NGOs: Mixed Messages

By Stanley Renshon, February 17, 2011

Among the many important, useful, and neglected recommendations of the 1997 report of the Barbara Jordan Commission was the following (p. 29, emphasis added):

The Commission believes that the federal government should take the lead and invite states and local governments and the private sector to join in promoting Americanization.

It further recommended (p. 34, emphasis mine) that state governments be encouraged to set up resource centers in local communities that, Read more...

Appropriations Amendment Déjà-Vu: Allowing Illegal Aliens Access to Driver's Licenses All Over Again

By Janice Kephart, February 16, 2011

Yesterday, Rep. David Price (D-NC), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, offered a one sentence amendment to homeland security federal funding that would cut off states' ability to check foreign nationals' legal status ("None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for the implementation of the REAL ID Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-13)."). Read more...

A Little Good News from Social Security, Maybe, Later This Year

By David North, February 16, 2011

Maybe, just maybe, the Social Security Administration might do something useful about illegal aliens and Social Security benefits, later this year.

The title of its announcement is not very exciting: "Additional Insured Status Requirements for Certain Alien Workers (2882P)"

But what it says has at least some promise. Read more...