Dan Cadman's blog

Remittance Tax to Fund the Wall?

By Dan Cadman, January 23, 2017

The recent news tidbit that President Trump's transition team had asked what money and infrastructure capabilities might be available to begin the promised border wall (or, more probably, high-tech fencing) promptly fed speculation that he would back off the assertion that "Mexico will pay for it." I'm betting my money on the likelihood that the source will be taxes or penalty fees levied on remittances: funds being sent out of our country by aliens, often illegal aliens who send a portion of the wages from their unauthorized employment back to their home countries, usually to support family. Read more...

Will the "Criminal Alien Deportation Enforcement Act" Stall in the Senate?

By Dan Cadman, January 23, 2017

Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) has introduced a bill into the House, the "Criminal Alien Deportation Enforcement Act of 2017", that would cut off foreign aid to any country that "den[ies] or unreasonably delay[s] the acceptance of nationals who have been ordered removed from the United States."

One would think it common sense that the United States should not reward other nations when they deliberately throw monkey wrenches into the lawful workings of our deportation processes — but common sense is often in sadly short supply in the nation's capitol. Read more...

Insecure IDs Compromise Security at Military Bases

By Dan Cadman, January 19, 2017

Earlier this month military.com published this article: "More State IDs No Longer Accepted at Bases".

The gist of the article is that U.S. military posts have begun to tighten up on the identity documents required before they will permit entry onto their compounds. It is a commonsense security measure given today's unsettled world, and particularly noteworthy in light of efforts by so many terrorist groups to single out serving members of our armed forces and police. For instance, in 2015 ISIS released a list of 100 U.S. armed forces members' names, addresses, and other data, obviously with the hope that would-be jihadists would follow up with attacks against them here in the homeland. Read more...

When Is an Alien Admitted?

By Dan Cadman, January 18, 2017

My colleague David North penned a blog post on Monday entitled "Interesting Migrant Screening Suggestion from an Unlikely Source", in which he picked up the idea from a Northern Mariana Islands legislator that one way to figure out if an alien seeking admission is truly a tourist is by gauging the amount of luggage he (or she) is bringing — the larger the amount, the less likely the intent to depart as promised. Read more...

If Voting Machines Are 'Critical Infrastructure,' Why Not the Voter Rolls as Well?

By Dan Cadman, January 12, 2017

On January 6, the outgoing secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Jeh Johnson, designated elections infrastructure as "critical". This follows the ongoing political war over whether or nor Russia "hacked" U.S. elections.

Johnson's designation permits the federal government to take a more active hand in the electoral process via Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21), "Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience". Read more...

Making Sanctuaries "Cheaper" or Just Sticking Local Taxpayers?

By Dan Cadman, January 11, 2017

So much has been in the news lately about "fake news" — kind of an oxymoron, really, when you think about the questionable quality of media today and the partisan divide that cleaves even our mavens of the Fourth Estate.

It seems to me that one of the problems is the blurring of lines between hard news and opinions, and the sway of editorial boards over their journalists in ensuring that a particular line is hewed to, sometimes painfully obviously and sometimes with great subtlety. Read more...

Immigration Policy Integral to Intelligence and National Security

By Dan Cadman, January 9, 2017

Kevin Williamson has written an excellent article for National Review online, "Agents and Agencies: Donald Trump should push for intelligence reform". I strongly encourage readers to take a look.

In it, Williamson says, "The Wall Street Journal reports that Donald Trump's recent public criticism of U.S. intelligence agencies presages an effort to reorganize the nation's sundry spy bureaucracies. Trump's press secretary, Sean Spicer, denies that the president has any such plan in mind. If he doesn't, he damn well should." Read more...

California's Picky-Choosey Attitude to Complying with Federal Immigration Laws

By Dan Cadman, January 9, 2017

California, the would-be renegade state that has declared itself a statewide sanctuary for illegal aliens, has hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to "defend" it against expected actions from the incoming Trump administration (such as, presumably, withholding federal funds for its sanctuary status); and has a referendum petition circulating that would direct it to secede from the Union. Yet the state finally has found an immigration-related law that it can love. Read more...

Stuffing the Bureaucracy at the 11th Hour

By Dan Cadman, January 5, 2017

On December 31, the Washington Post published this story: "Federal agencies rush to fill job openings before Trump takes office Jan. 20".

The Post quotes Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary for the incoming Trump administration, as saying this violates an agreement reached between the incoming and outgoing administrations on November 20. It also quotes anonymous sources as confirming that the outgoing administration agreed especially to halt last-minute Senior Executive Service (SES) appointments, but did not necessarily agree to provide a list to the incomers that would make it easier to spot violations of the agreement. Read more...

Re-Thinking the Legal Immigration System

By Dan Cadman, January 3, 2017

Peter Spiliakos has written a piece for The Corner at National Review Online titled "Immigration Compromise".

His main argument can be found in his first sentence: "It is easy to see the immigration common ground between populist, conservative Sen.Tom Cotton and liberal journalist Noah Smith. Keep legal-immigration levels stable, but strongly prioritize high-skill immigration and English-proficiency."

Spiliakos was no doubt moved to comment after a recent op-ed by Sen. Cotton appeared in the New York Times. Read more...

Seeing Two Faces of Islam in One Terrorist Tragedy

By Dan Cadman, January 3, 2017

Another New Year's celebration; another bullet dodged, at least here in the United States and many other places. Sadly, not so in Istanbul, Turkey, where the upscale Reina nightclub was the scene of carnage as what has been described as a lone gunman shot the policeman standing guard out front and then entered unmolested, to kill 39 and wound at least 70—many of them foreigners. Read more...

Given Our Own Immigration Dysfunction, Berlin Christmas Market Attack Could Happen Here

By Dan Cadman, December 22, 2016

As no doubt have many others, I've followed media reporting on the horrific truck attack at the Christmas market in Berlin with dismay because, at least from the public perspective, there has been a certain Inspector Clouseau-like quality to the actions of German intelligence and police officials. Read more...

Immigration-Related Provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2017, Part 2

By Dan Cadman, December 21, 2016

A few days ago I discussed a few immigration-related provisions contained in the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA 2017), which overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives on December 2.

In that blog post, I said I would separately discuss a much longer immigration-related measure, the "Department of Homeland Security Strategy for International Programs", contained as Title XIX inside of NDAA-2017, which I'll do in a moment. First, though, a couple of prefacing remarks seem to me to be in order. Read more...

Does Our 'Get to Yes' Visa System Let in Kleptocrats?

By Dan Cadman, December 19, 2016

On December 9, the organization Pro Publica, which describes its mission as "journalism in the public interest", published an article entitled "Suspected of Corruption at Home, Powerful Foreigners Find Refuge in the U.S." in collaboration with the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University. Read more...

Trump: 'We Can Work It Out' on DACA

By Dan Cadman, December 8, 2016

Various media sources are reporting that president-elect Donald Trump, in an interview with Time Magazine arranged concurrent with that magazine's naming him person of the year, said in relation to so-called Dreamers who came illegally as minors to the United States:

We're going to work something out. ... They got brought here at a very young age, they've worked here, they've gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they're in never-never land because they don't know what's going to happen.

Further Thoughts on the U.S.-Australia Asylum-Seeker Swap

By Dan Cadman, December 6, 2016

My colleague Nayla Rush posted an item yesterday titled "Australia's Unwanted Asylum Seekers (Mostly Iranians) To Be Resettled in the U.S."

Rush provides details of an "exchange" between the U.S. and Australian governments in which the United States will accept 1,600 or more mostly-Iranian asylum seekers being detained in offshore asylum camps after being interdicted trying to enter Australia illegally. In return, Australia will accept an unspecified number of "Central American 'refugees' from a processing center in Costa Rica", as Rush explains. Read more...

Immigration-Related Provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2017, Part 1

By Dan Cadman, December 6, 2016

On December 2, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA 2017), the appropriations bill for the entire Defense Department. This is the first of two posts on immigration-related provisions in the bill.

The federal fiscal year the bill addresses actually began on October 1, 2016, so as usual this is a catching-up exercise, neither party having wanted to take on the full substantive bill until after the November elections were over, for fear of adding more controversy into the mix of an already chaotic political season. Read more...

A Faux Analysis of Immigration Judge Asylum Cases by GAO

By Dan Cadman, December 5, 2016

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) — the congressional "fraud, waste, and abuse" watchdog — published a report last month entitled "Asylum: Variation Exists in Outcomes of Applications Across Immigration Courts and Judges". The report details the significant difference in approval and denial rates among immigration judges for asylum claims filed before them in immigration court by aliens seeking to avoid removal.

Speaking of waste, it's not clear to me why GAO felt the need to spend taxpayer dollars on the analysis, because this data is collected and reported on regularly by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). In fact, four days prior to the November 14 release of the GAO report, TRAC had done just that. Read more...

Election Integrity: Not Just Recounts, but also Checks for Non-Citizen Voters

By Dan Cadman, December 5, 2016

A little over a week ago, I wrote a blog suggesting that it's time to settle the question of alien voter fraud. I noted that this didn't have to happen within the first, or even second, hundred days of the new Trump administration, but that it ought to come to pass. I also said it should be up to experts to figure out the mix of targeted and randomized checks of voter rolls to be matched against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) alien databases to winnow out aliens who ought not to have voted. Read more...

EOIR Takes a Small Step in the Right Direction to Cut Backlog

By Dan Cadman, December 1, 2016

In blog postings in the last few months, I've suggested that the Obama administration will do its level best in its waning days in office to issue as many policy directives and rule changes as possible. I've noted a couple of these last-ditch efforts in the immigration arena, including one that waters down what constitutes "extreme hardship" to the level of farce. Read more...

Correcting a Misunderstanding on the Law Concerning Loss of Citizenship for Acts of Treason

By Dan Cadman, November 30, 2016

Jim Geraghty posted an item yesterday at National Review, "Are Anti-Trump Protesters Dumb Enough to Take the Bait?", that touches on president-elect Donald Trump's recent tweets suggesting that flag burners should go to jail or have their citizenship revoked.

I have nothing whatsoever to offer about the issue of flag burning and will leave it to others to weigh in as they think appropriate. But in the course of his remarks, Geraghty had some additional interesting things to say: Read more...

Ohio State University: Another Near Tragedy, Another Lucky Break

By Dan Cadman, November 29, 2016

The media has been filled with stories of the attack at Ohio State University on Monday by a Somali resident alien who came to the United States as a refugee — apparently from a camp in Pakistan. The question of why we should at that point have accepted him and his family, rather than leaving them in Pakistan (another Muslim country) looms large, at least in my mind. Interestingly, Pakistan is not a signatory to the international convention on refugees, which raises more questions about that country's values, but which in no way obliges us to fill that void.

The individual in question was one Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18 years old and a student on the campus who had recently been featured in the university newspaper where he decried being "afraid" and unable to find a place on campus to pray. Read more...

Fix Enforcement Before Considering Changes to "High-Skilled' Immigration

By Dan Cadman, November 23, 2016

Michael Barone recently wrote an article for National Review Online entitled "The New Key to Immigration Reform: More High-Skilled Immigrants". In it, Mr. Barone suggests that: Read more...

It's Time to Settle the Question of Alien Voter Fraud

By Dan Cadman, November 22, 2016

In the months leading up to the presidential election, a number of observers expressed concern that lax voter identification laws or procedures were resulting in aliens enrolled on state voter registration lists, thus enabling them to vote illegally. At least one survey of voter rolls in Virginia seemed to bear this out. Read more...

Philippines' Duterte Wants More Refugees

By Dan Cadman, November 21, 2016

Rodrigo Duterte, the irascible leader of the Philippines, has slammed Western nations for their "hypocrisy" when it comes to migrants and said the Philippines will happily take them until it is "filled to the brim." It's an interesting comment, given the generosity of the West by any objective measure, especially compared with the Philippines, which is very much a sending, as opposed to a receiving, nation — but hey, let's not let the facts get in the way of his magnanimity. Read more...

Rep. Brooks Introduces TPS Reform Bill

By Dan Cadman, November 19, 2016

In a recent blog, I commented on the number of good, substantive immigration reform bills that got log-jammed in Congress the past several years without going anywhere. And expressed the hope that this would change, come the swearing-in of the new president.

These bills never got to this president's desk. And even if they had, I'm pretty sure they would have been vetoed because when I say "good, substantive" reform bills, I'm not talking about amnesty or other such things, I'm talking about bills that would restore integrity to our immigration system by obliging enforcement and compliance with the law, and that would also address many of the weak points that have been revealed in existing statute and practice over the past eight years. Read more...

You're Hired!

By Dan Cadman, November 18, 2016

One of the most carefully guarded prerogatives of every incoming presidential administration is the selection of executive branch leaders, from Cabinet-level positions through agency heads and even further below in the hierarchical rungs of the bureaucracy. These are all senior executive positions, and there are over 4,000 of them. Read more...

Appellate Court Nominations May Be More Important for Immigration than SCOTUS

By Dan Cadman, November 18, 2016

Merrick Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court by President Obama is now obviously doomed by Donald Trump's White House win, and the Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress.

I imagine that right about now, Garland probably feels a little like the character Terry Malloy, memorably played by Marlon Brando in "On the Waterfront": "I coulda had some class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody." If only Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had let Garland's nomination move forward through the advice-and-consent process. But he didn't. Read more...

Sabotaging Trump's Wall and Mexican Removals: Would It Work?

By Dan Cadman, November 15, 2016

My colleague Jerry Kammer posted yesterday on the opposition of Mexican politician Jorge Castaneda to key immigration initiatives outlined by President-Elect Donald Trump — initiatives that helped him en route to the White House, including his signature "wall" to be built on the U.S.–Mexico border, as well as deportation of Mexicans residing illegally in the United States.

As Kammer notes, Read more...

Confronting the Surge with Enforcement, or Enforcement Theater?

By Dan Cadman, November 15, 2016

The federal government is reassigning approximately 150 Border Patrol agents on temporary duty to assist the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol sector. The agents will help get a handle on the flood of aliens attempting illegal entry into the United States before the Trump administration takes office and, we have been promised, border security will be taken seriously.

The aliens' surge is no surprise. Actually it's been going on for many months, though without much press visibility, quite possibly because our friends in the mainstream media didn't want to air anything that might help tip the election toward Donald Trump. Read more...