Dan Cadman's blog

Of Terrorists, Failed Immigration Vetting Systems, and Running to Catch Up

By Dan Cadman, February 28, 2014

The media and blogosphere have been alive with the story about a convicted terrorist who was working as a "navigator" for the Obamacare website maintained by the state of Illinois.

Given the controversy over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — the official name for the statute giving birth to Obamacare — it is perhaps inevitable that many are focused on that portion of the story. Read more...

On Dual Citizenship

By Dan Cadman, February 27, 2014

Last month, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report titled "U.S. Naturalization Policy", by CRS Immigration Policy Analyst William Kandel.

In the report, Mr. Kandel makes passing reference to birthright citizenship, a matter of some controversy these days given a booming business in "birth tourism" among Chinese nationals and others, but, as he notes, delving into it at any depth was beyond the scope of a report on naturalization. I agree, but hope that a future CRS report does focus on the subject. (CIS has explored birthright citizenship at some length. See here, here, here, and here, for example.) Read more...

On Profiling, Irony, and Hypocrisy

By Dan Cadman, February 26, 2014

A federal district court judge has thrown out a lawsuit against New York City officials alleging that a secret New York City Police Department (NYPD) program of spying on Muslim businesses and mosques violated the constitutional rights of business owners and members of those mosques. Read more...

On License Plates and Metadata

By Dan Cadman, February 24, 2014

This just in from our Department of Non Sequiturs and Oxymorons: The Associated Press reports that Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, citing privacy concerns, has canceled a contract that would have given agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) access to a national registry of vehicle license plate data. Read more...

Taking TRAC to Task — Again

By Dan Cadman, February 21, 2014

About a month ago, I wrote a blog about Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC).

In it, I expressed my admiration for the clearinghouse and its daily teeth-pulling work with the administration to obtain data that is being obscured (or downright hidden) from the public by various federal agencies — most especially those in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) involved with immigration matters. Read more...

Parole-in-Place, Meet Military Misconduct Rates

By Dan Cadman, February 20, 2014

In January, the Center published my Backgrounder "An Examination of the USCIS Parole-in-Place Policy", which analyzed a November 2013 policy memorandum issued by the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) directing its adjudicators to grant the immigration benefit of parole to illegal-alien parents, children, and spouses of military, and prior military, members. Read more...

Malleable Leaders; Directionless Agency

By Dan Cadman, February 20, 2014

News reports tell us that John Sandweg, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), one of the largest law enforcement organizations in the federal government and an integral component of the Department of Homeland Security, is resigning after less than half a year on the job.

This is okay. Sandweg, one of Janet Napolitano's praetorian guard while she ran DHS, lent the agency nothing by his presence, and takes away nothing with his departure. Read more...

Sheltering Abusers

By Dan Cadman, February 12, 2014

On February 10, Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes (aka Jorge Sosa) was sentenced in Riverside, Calif., to 10 years in a federal penitentiary and was stripped of his citizenship. The sentencing and denaturalization were the result of his being convicted for lying on his naturalization application, and unlawfully procuring naturalization, by concealing his participation in a massacre committed by the armed forces in Guatemala in 1982 during a bloody war between the government and leftist insurgents. Read more...

Guestworkers Who Overstay Their Welcome

By Dan Cadman, February 11, 2014

Trying to catch up on the pundits' most recent prognostications for "immigration reform", I came across a February 5 article in Politico titled "Immigration reform's other hurdle".

The gist of the article can be found in its lede: "The Republican divide on whether undocumented immigrants can become citizens is consuming most of the headlines. But there's a trickier issue at play that ultimately could prove to be a bigger stumbling block for immigration reform: a guestworker program for future immigrants." House Republicans apparently are not in accord with the guestworker program numbers contained in the infamous Gang of Eight bill passed by the Senate last June. Read more...

Government by Fiat: Granting Discretionary Waivers for Terrorism Supporters

By Dan Cadman, February 7, 2014

"When we say we will never forget, we mean what we say."

–President Barack Obama, speaking to New York firefighters and police at Ground Zero on May 5, 2011

I'm sitting at my desk with a sense of shock. I've just read an item with the headline, "Obama admin unilaterally changes law to allow immigrants with 'limited' terror contact into US". Read more...

On Advice of Rights in Removal Cases

By Dan Cadman, February 6, 2014

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the most liberal circuit in the country, has heard argument in two cases having to do with when, and how, government officers must provide aliens facing deportation proceedings advice of their rights, and what the appropriate remedies should be for failure to do so. The cases are Segovia v. Holder, and (ironically, given the name "Miranda warnings" that is applied to advice of rights in the criminal context) Miranda-Fuentes v. Holder. Read more...

Interest Groups Petition Government to Ignore the Immigration Laws

By Dan Cadman, February 4, 2014

Last month I penned a short report for the Center expressing concerns about a policy memorandum issued by Alejandro Mayorkas, then Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), now promoted to the number two spot in USCIS's parent, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Read more...

On Syrian Refugees, Revisited

By Dan Cadman, January 31, 2014

A few days ago, I blogged about Sen. Dick Durbin's (D-Ill.) belief that the United States has not done enough to accept Syrian refugees into this country. By contrast, I opined that there were good and valid reasons for not doing that where immigration policies and public safety are concerned -- reasons that, for once, the administration was following.

My objection was, and is, that the background checks and vetting procedures in our refugee program are inadequate to protect the country against the possibility of admitting a terrorist, as has happened before. Read more...

On Risk Management and Risk Mitigation at USCIS

By Dan Cadman, January 31, 2014

Before we drive onto the roadways, most of us almost reflexively check to ensure that the rearview and sideview mirrors give us the best sighting possible of what's behind us. If not, we take a few moments to adjust them to their proper angles and, where the rearview is concerned, also adapt it to low-light conditions if it's night time.

We do this because we know that you sometimes need to look backward to see what's coming. It's so fundamental and obvious a truism that saying so borders on platitude. Read more...

Fraud Fishing in Yemen

By Dan Cadman, January 29, 2014

Aljazeera America has kindly brought us the story of Rayman Hussein, a naturalized U.S. citizen who is stuck in Yemen, the country of his birth, after having his passport seized for fraud by officials at the American embassy in the capital city of Sana'a. Apparently, he is one of several snared. Read more...

Helping the Able, Overlooking the Needy, in Virginia

By Dan Cadman, January 27, 2014

Virginia State Senator Adam Ebbin (D) has introduced a bill into the Virginia Senate that would fund, at the expense of Virginia taxpayers, "an Office of Immigrant Assistance to help Virginia's newcomers navigate the complex process of becoming naturalized citizens," according to the Virginian-Pilot newspaper.

The paper cites Sen. Ebbin as saying "It's an important population to keep here, with a larger percentage of immigrants having college degrees and owning businesses than natural-born citizens."

This seems wrong-headed to me for so many reasons. Read more...

On the Use and Misuse of Homeland Security Grant Programs

By Dan Cadman, January 23, 2014

I happened to be watching a CNN program the other day and, in between news items, a commercial came on advertising the pleasures of taking the Pinellas County (Fla.) transit system. It shows a couple of "active seniors" having a grand time at various Pinellas venues that the announcer's voice tells us are all reachable through Pinellas' safe and secure trolley system. Fine and good.

But what caught my attention was the final board that ends the commercial, which contains this legend, "Paid for in part by a grant from the Department of Homeland Security" (DHS). Read more...

Out of the Mouths of Babes

By Dan Cadman, January 16, 2014

I spend a certain amount of time reading publications, writings, and blogs of groups, think tanks, and individuals whose ideas and philosophies are not well attuned to mine, at least where immigration is concerned. It's good to know what others are thinking.

Sometimes, to my surprise, I even find things on which I can agree, although I admit to a feeling of dissonance and nearly overwhelming vertigo at such moments, as if the ground had dropped out from under me. Read more...

On Syrian Refugees

By Dan Cadman, January 15, 2014

In a recent UPI article, senior legal writer Michael Kirkland poses the question, "Is the U.S. turning its back on Syrian refugees?"

Sen. Dick Durban (D-Ill.) thinks so. According to the article, "Durbin said 'overly broad immigration bars' in the United States are preventing legitimate Syrian refugees from reaching the United States but President Obama has the power to do something about it." Read more...

The Curious and Troubling Case of Mozzafar Khazaee

By Dan Cadman, January 14, 2014

The Center for Immigration Studies has published a number of articles concerning the lack of a system to weed out candidates for permanent residence who ultimately prove to be national security threats through acts of terror or spying on behalf of foreign powers. (See, for instance, "Brushbacks, Proxies, and Connecting the Dots: Our Immigration Policies Still Put Us at Risk in a Post-9/11 World", and "Upholding the Value of Our Citizenship: National Security Threats Should Be Denaturalized".)

Well, once again a naturalized citizen has been found with his hand in the defense secrets cookie jar. And once again his discovery appears to have been mere happenstance, rather than any rigor in the government's homeland and national security programs. Read more...

Gaming the System: Illegal Aliens - 1, Unemployed Americans - 0

By Dan Cadman, January 12, 2014

Most readers are probably aware that one of the budget battles consuming the Senate is whether to pass an act extending now-lapsed unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. The majority of Republicans have indicated a willingness to consider any substantive bill only if it is considered in combination with other measures to offset costs. Read more...

Prosecutorial Discretion, or Abuse of Discretion?

By Dan Cadman, January 7, 2014

As it does from time to time, Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) has produced one if its statistical analyses with a prosaic name that belies its capacity to raise the eyebrows of anyone who takes the time to give it even just a bit more than cursory examination. Read more...

Practicing Law without License to Be Here

By Dan Cadman, January 6, 2014

The California Supreme Court issued a decision last week authorizing one Sergio Garcia, an alien residing illegally in the United States, to receive his law license and become a member of the California State Bar.

The case is replete with ironies, and with no few of what might be termed illogical syllogisms. Read more...

Criminals Without Borders

By Dan Cadman, January 2, 2014

Twice in recent days, I've blogged about the lawless atmosphere that infects the border regions between the United States and Mexico, with specific reference to the smuggling of minors attempting to cross into our country illegally – and the policies the Obama administration has put into place which have actually encouraged minors and their parents in these smuggling ventures, often leading to their victimization or abandonment by smugglers. (See "The Reality of Childhood Arrivals: Seamy, not Dreamy", and "Uncle Sam, Coyote Extraordinaire".) Read more...

On Euphemisms and Wishful Thinking

By Dan Cadman, December 30, 2013

Astute readers of the Center's daily immigration news roundup may have caught this nugget, as item 12 in the December 24 edition: "No Longer Illegal – Good Morning America Drops 'i-Word'"

The article goes on to say, "The ABC news show Good Morning America has dropped use of the term 'illegal' when describing immigrants in the country who have no documents to establish their legal residency. Earlier this week, anchors for the popular morning program opted instead for 'undocumented Americans.'" Read more...

Uncle Sam, Coyote Extraordinaire

By Dan Cadman, December 19, 2013

A few days ago, I had occasion to write a blog about the seamy underside of "childhood arrivals"; specifically that such euphemisms, plus a skewed attitude toward immigration enforcement, tend to mask the reality that these children are trafficked across our borders, and are being put into the hands of smugglers whose motives are impure at best, and downright malevolent at times.

In that blog, I also reflected on the fact that our own government is acting as a motivating force in encouraging such smuggling, something I believe is both immoral and intolerable.

Now, I find that a federal judge (with first-hand experience of the government's complicity in perfecting the smuggling of children across the border, even when the attempts by the professional "coyotes" have gone awry) has had the perspicacity and courage to say very much the same thing. Read more...

Bloomberg's Immigration Pearls

By Dan Cadman, December 16, 2013

A few days ago, outgoing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg — regular Joe, run of the mill billionaire-next-door, architect of the modern nannypolis, and all around good guy —went on Fusion's "America with Jorge Ramos" talk show to lament that the Gang of Eight omnibus immigration bill has not passed because of House Republicans' intransigence. Read more...

The Reality of Childhood Arrivals: Seamy, not Dreamy

By Dan Cadman, December 16, 2013

News media in the west Texas/New Mexico area carried a story on December 9 that gives us the harsh realities about child smuggling. A Border Patrol agent was dispatched to investigate after a sensor hit in the rugged desert terrain just on the U.S. side of the border in the area straddling New Mexico and Texas.

There, he found a small boy in the company of an adult male who claimed to be the child's uncle — and immediately bolted back across the border, abandoning the boy to his fate. Read more...

Politics through Distraction; Governance through Fiat

By Dan Cadman, December 13, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, President Obama decided to go to San Francisco — a stalwart sanctuary city if ever there was one and a metropolitan area generally in tune with his weltanschauung — to talk about immigration. Apparently tired of the constant drumbeat of negative publicity about the failed health care website and concern over a number of other major policy issues, such as spying on American citizens' telephone and Internet metadata, that have adversely reflected on the administration and caused Obama's favorable standings to plummet in the polls, he went to his base for support. Read more...