Dan Cadman's blog

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: Read more...

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...

Bad Cases, Bad Case Law

By Dan Cadman, March 10, 2014

It's an oft-repeated maxim in law enforcement and prosecutorial circles that "bad cases make bad case law." It's a cautionary reminder that what happens in the field, and how it happens, directly affects for better or worse what happens later in court, including at the appellate level.

The federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals has just decided an immigration-related case that proves the strength and truth of the maxim, as if anyone in favor of vigorous but rational immigration enforcement needed a reminder. Read more...

Clueless in the Capital: DHS and ICE Morale Continue to Plunge

By Dan Cadman, March 7, 2014

In March 2012, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report, accompanied by testimony, on the state of morale across the government. The verdict: "Over time, federal surveys have consistently found that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees are less satisfied with their jobs than the government-wide average." It's only gotten worse since then. Read more...

Worksite Enforcement and Critical Infrastructure

By Dan Cadman, March 6, 2014

Critical infrastructure protection is a world unto its own, much like the byzantine world of immigration, and it intersects with immigration enforcement in important ways. Read more...

On Fines, Worksite Enforcement, and Cost-Benefit Analysis

By Dan Cadman, March 3, 2014

The Homeland Security Inspector General's office issued a report on February 11 titled "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Worksite Enforcement Administrative Inspection Process".

It is full of interesting factoids that one would probably find impossible to obtain even through the filing of a Freedom of Information Act request, given this administration's reticence to share information and data of even the most fundamental nature. Read more...

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...