Dan Cadman's blog

Do Amnesty Backers Really Support Future Enforcement? A Thought Experiment

By Dan Cadman, June 13, 2014

The media and blogosphere have been hot with the news of the GOP primary upset of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. There is more spin out there now than on 1,000 knuckleballs.

I imagine that those who want amnesty will downplay the linkage between Cantor's downfall and immigration matters, saying instead that he was out of touch with voters in his district. It is not in their interest to draw any immigration-related conclusions from his defeat. Read more...

DNC Chair Wasserman-Schultz Believes in Enforcing Federal Law, Except When She Doesn't

By Dan Cadman, June 11, 2014

Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who represents a district in South Florida and is also the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), got herself in an unexpected pickle recently when she voted against a measure in the House of Representatives to prohibit federal officials from interfering with state laws governing use of marijuana. Read more...

Spinning the Gordian Knot

By Dan Cadman, June 10, 2014

Major media outlets have begun to pay attention to the fact that tens of thousands of women and children have illegally crossed our southern border in recent weeks — many immediately turning themselves in to the closest Border Patrol agents, knowing that under this administration's policies, they will be held a short time and then released to other illegal family members already in the country. Read more...

Containing Scabies at the Border

By Dan Cadman, June 6, 2014

A reader forwarded me a link to an article relating to a serious outbreak of scabies among illegal aliens — and, as a consequence, the Border Patrol agents who apprehend them — in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Read more...

Parsing the Words: S-1's Testimony at the House Judiciary Committee's DHS Oversight Hearing

By Dan Cadman, June 5, 2014

Let's get first to a bit of administrivia, for those who don't know: the secretary and deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are referred to, respectively, by employees as "S-1" and "S-2". I'm not sure how this cutesy bit of shorthand took root but it's been the case pretty much since DHS was formed. Read more...

Immigration Irony: Doctrine of Consular Non-Reviewability Is Under Judicial Review

By Dan Cadman, June 4, 2014

It should come as no surprise to anyone who tracks immigration matters that immigration enforcement is under assault from its opponents in open borders and immigrant advocacy groups. Note, here, that I mean "enforcement" in its broadest sense, to include denial of immigration benefits to aliens deemed ineligible.

The assault on enforcement is being waged across many fronts, not just in courts of law, but also in the court of public opinion. Advocacy groups are treating this as a war for the "hearts and minds" of Americans. Read more...

New British Immigration Law Embeds Common-Sense Principles

By Dan Cadman, June 3, 2014

This is another in my occasional series highlighting common sense in the immigration laws, rules, and policies of other nations, and contrasting them to what's going on in our own backyard.

The Home Office of the United Kingdom recently announced enactment of an immigration bill that shows a considerable amount of good sense, if it isn't eviscerated in practice, as often seems to happen to the best of laws after a few years of litigation, questionable court or administrative tribunal precedents, and sausage-making by one or more political parties when in power.

Here are the highlights, as put out by the British Home Office on May 14: Read more...

The American Connection to Terrorism Revisited

By Dan Cadman, June 2, 2014

Another shoe has dropped in the story of the American suicide bomber I blogged about the other day — the young man going by the nom de guerre Abu Hurayra Al-Amriki, who blew himself up at the behest of the al Qaeda-affiliated al Nusra Front of Syria in order to strike a restaurant allegedly often populated by Syrian soldiers.

At the time I wrote the blog, although al Nusra had proclaimed his American citizenship, U.S. law enforcement officials were limiting their acknowledgement only to "an American connection", a phrase I found curious. Read more...

Visa Common Sense, from the UAE

By Dan Cadman, May 30, 2014

A few days ago, I commented on evidence of plain common sense being applied to some of Canada's new immigration policies for handling the influx of temporary foreign workers and contrasted it with the apparent lack of such sense in any number of legislative proposals and interest group outcries in our own country. Read more...

The "American Connection" to Terrorism

By Dan Cadman, May 29, 2014

Even as the media are reporting that the wind-down of the war in Afghanistan may be paired with a wind-up of involvement in the Syrian civil war — by means, for instance, of a possible White House request to provide direct military aid in the form of weapons to insurgents fighting the al Assad regime — we hear that one of the insurgent groups, al Nusra, a radical Islamist organization with al Qaeda connections, is trumpeting a successful Read more...

Hijinks on ICE: Freezing Out TRAC on FOIA Requests

By Dan Cadman, May 29, 2014

More than once in the past, I've blogged about Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). See, for example, here and here.

It is an entity with which I almost never agree philosophically, but for which I have a measure of respect because of its tenacity in digging for data hidden or denied by this most opaque of presidential administrations; one whose Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and subordinate immigration agencies have done all that they can to either completely withhold statistical information or to disclose it sparingly and only in such fashion as serves their purposes. Read more...

Creampuffs and Softballs

By Dan Cadman, May 20, 2014

Recently appointed Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was interviewed a few days ago on the PBS NewsHour.

It was such a creampuff session that I grinned with admiration at the prowess of Secretary Johnson's public affairs staff for having so thoroughly vetted the venue in advance that he could be assured of not having to face any tough questions that might embarrass him, or oblige him to acknowledge some of the harsh and unpleasant realities confronting his department where terrorism or immigration are concerned.

There were so many things inaccurately portrayed in the interview, one hardly knows which to point out. Read more...

O Canada, O America

By Dan Cadman, May 19, 2014

We Americans sometimes seem to view Canada as a kind of Legoland version of our own country — one in which we see pretty much our own values, worldview, language, and culture, albeit not with the perfect clarity one might find in, say, a mirror or a well-executed still life painting.

But that, of course, isn't the reality. Although our countries and peoples are both neighbors and friends, and along the shared border intermarriage and extended families comprised of both Canadian and American citizens are common, Americans should make no mistake: Canadians are very much their own people. Read more...

That's a Red Light, Pinellas!

By Dan Cadman, May 15, 2014

Earlier this year I published a blog post about the apparent misuse of Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-provided counterterrorism funds by the Pinellas County, Fla., Suncoast Transit Authority — PSTA — which used those funds to pay a consultant to produce a series of ads whose sole purpose seems to be to promote use of their transit system. Read more...

El Camino Americano Rally: An Exercise in Double Standards and Hypocrisy

By Dan Cadman, May 14, 2014

Remember the budget impasse last fall that shut the government down at the beginning of the new federal fiscal year in October? You know:

  • The one where the president scored endless points on the backs of Republicans for not having shown enough flexibility to avoid the shutdown?

Look, Ma, Hands Off!

By Dan Cadman, May 8, 2014

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has written a remarkable letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson. It is remarkable — but welcome — because it demands answers to some pressing terrorism-related questions that arose when internal e-mails leaked showing exchanges between Customs and Border Protection (CBP) employees regarding an apparent "hands off" policy for certain terrorists. Read more...

Further Reflections on Asylum in the United States

By Dan Cadman, May 5, 2014

In March of this year, the Center for Immigration Studies published a paper I wrote outlining problems plaguing the asylum program as administered in the United States — and, candidly, probably elsewhere as well, although the facts and figures reflecting radical statistical shifts in the American program leap out and demand explanation, reflecting as they do a strong probability of massive amounts of fraud.

At the end of April, the Center sponsored a panel discussion on asylum in which I participated, and I have been reflecting on a number of things raised there since. (The video and transcript of the discussion are here.) Read more...

Fewer Deportations, More Repeat Offenders

By Dan Cadman, April 17, 2014

For the second time in a very short span, I am writing about an immigration-related item to be found in the New York Times. Earlier this week, I commented on an article entitled "Hoping for Asylum, Migrants Strain U.S. Border".

Now I find myself looking retrospectively to an article which preceded that one by a matter of days, and feeling obliged to respond to some of the assertions that can be found within it. This article was published by the Times on April 6, with the heading "More Deportations Follow Minor Crimes, Records Show". Read more...

Straining the Border, Straining the System, Straining Credibility

By Dan Cadman, April 15, 2014

The New York Times published an article last week entitled "Hoping for Asylum, Migrants Strain U.S. Border". It's worth reading despite its shortcomings.

I don't agree with the apparently blind acceptance of certain assumptions and premises embedded in the article, and I particularly don't care for the notion of journalists accompanying aliens on their smuggling ventures across the U.S. southern border, which may very well have been the case here, based on what I'm seeing in the photos and slide show of the online version.

But mostly, I dislike what the article fails to point out. It does an abysmal job of putting together the pieces of the puzzle in revealing the cause-and-effect between what we are shown – a border out of control – and the administration's policies and practices. I'm wondering why the reporter, Julia Preston, didn't go back to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson with some pointed questions after researching this article, and insert his responses so that we could make judgments of our own, rather than relying solely on her prose. Read more...

Rust Belt Salvation through Immigrant Entrepreneurs?

By Dan Cadman, April 14, 2014

Once again a correspondent has emailed to me the link to an article that he suggested I might find interesting. I did, although I didn't agree with much in the article.

What I found even more interesting was the fact that the correspondent who sent the link was the author of the article, Daniel McGraw. It can be found in Belt magazine, which is described in the email as "a new media enterprise targeting the literate middle class"; the web site says it has a "distinctly Rust Belt sensibility". Read more...

Student, Asylee, Terrorist: The Administration's Immigration Policy Flaws in a Nutshell

By Dan Cadman, April 11, 2014

The FBI announced this week that it had arrested and charged a Moroccan, El Mehdi Semlali Fathi, with lying on his application for asylum (incorrectly referred to as an "application for refugee status" in some media reports). But the underlying cause of the investigation was that Fathi intended to commit acts of terror, according to the Bureau; specifically, that he intended to use a remote-controlled aircraft to bomb a federal building and an unnamed university, as is obvious from the affidavit filed by the FBI case agent.

Other than clearly showing the bugs in the high-gloss finish our administration wants the public to see in its immigration policies, there are a number of troubling things about this case. Read more...

Detention Space: A Legal Mandate, Not a Quota

By Dan Cadman, April 9, 2014

My colleague Jessica Vaughan has written at some length about the importance of maintaining the congressional mandate that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) maintain a filled capacity at any point in time of 34,000 detention beds.

Ms. Vaughan has also pointed out that Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has floated the trial balloon, in recent congressional testimony, that the mandate is more like a suggestion – DHS is required by law to keep paying the bills for the beds, at taxpayer expense, but not necessarily to fill them. Read more...

Hypocrisy and Moral and Cultural Relativism in the Immigration Context

By Dan Cadman, April 2, 2014

Last week, the Center published a Backgrounder I wrote on the U.S. asylum process and program, which is buckling under the strain of abuse by all three branches of our government — not to mention the many thousands of aliens who are gaming the system solely to buy themselves time, the right to work, and, increasingly, a get-out-of-jail-free card in the form of an approved grant of asylum, even in the face of fraud. Read more...

Another Look at Victims and Humane Treatment under the Law

By Dan Cadman, March 27, 2014

Even as the president, bowing to his open-borders supporters, orders his Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials to find "humane" ways to administer the immigration laws (which may mean "ignoring" those laws, including against previously deported aliens whose presence constitutes a federal felony), communities throughout the nation continue to lurch from tragedy to tragedy based on the actions of illegal aliens who violate our laws, large and small, with impunity. Read more...

Public Advocacy, Victims, and Skewed Moral Compasses

By Dan Cadman, March 24, 2014

The House of Representatives has taken up a bill, the Immigration Compliance Enforcement Act, that would, among other things, once again require de-funding of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency's alien ombudsman position. Read more...

On Chutzpah, American Oligarchs, and Long-Term Joblessness

By Dan Cadman, March 23, 2014

Do they know no shame? In a post titled "Tech flips the script on immigration foes", The Hill newspaper's "Hillicon Valley" blog, which bills itself as Capitol Hill's online technology information resource, reports: Read more...

On Reentry after Deportation, and Faithfully Executing the Laws

By Dan Cadman, March 20, 2014

The Hispanic Trends Project of the Pew Research Center has recently issued a report: "The Rise of Federal Immigration Crimes: Unlawful Reentry Drives Growth".

As the introduction to the report details:

A Postscript on Parole-in-Place

By Dan Cadman, March 18, 2014

In November of last year, then-Director of U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) Alejandro Mayorkas issued a policy memorandum directing examiners to approve all requests for parole on behalf of illegal aliens in the United States who are family of present or former members of the military, including reservists.

Many observers, myself included, objected to the memorandum on both procedural and substantive grounds, and said as much in our various writings. See here, here, and here. Read more...

A Truth Finally Admitted

By Dan Cadman, March 17, 2014

A quiet little act of confession played out in Washington, D.C. recently — at least, quiet by Washington terms, and certainly as quiet as the administration could make it. We'll get to the where, and how in just a moment; bear with me as I talk about the what.

For years now, critics of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have alleged that its deportation numbers didn't add up. The questions and scrutiny at one point led John Morton, leader at the time of the DHS component Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to disavow publicly that the "books were cooked", although one Shakespeare-quoting observer at the time noted that the man "doth protest too much". Read more...

A Tale of Two Judiciaries

By Dan Cadman, March 13, 2014

Even at the best of times, the law is a strange and wondrous thing. At its worst, it more closely approximates the description given it by Mr. Bumble in Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist: "If the law supposes that ... then the law is a ass, a idiot!"

Some weeks ago, the California Supreme Court, through a classic piece of legal legerdemain, declared that it was perfectly acceptable for an illegal alien to be enrolled as an attorney in the California State Bar — a prerequisite to actually practicing law before the various courts in that state. Many observers offered their opinions on this decision, yours truly among them. Read more...