Dan Cadman's blog

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...

Accepting Australia's Rejected 'Refugees'

By Dan Cadman, November 14, 2016

More than once in recent weeks I've suggested that in its waning months the Obama administration would use its lame duck status to slip through as many more "transformational" changes to immigration policy and regulation as it thinks it can get away with.

One was official adoption of a sadly weakened definition of "extreme hardship" that will render it magnitudes easier for removable aliens, including aliens convicted of significant offenses, to sidestep the actual consequence of exclusion or deportation by being granted a waiver based on a finding of extreme hardship to the aliens' family members. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) foisted this change off on an unsuspecting public via "policy" guidance to its adjudicators — almost certainly choosing this mechanism rather than going the regulatory amendment route that would have had to meet the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act by being announced in tentative form, published for public comment, etc., before being finalized. Read more...

They Still Just Don't Get It

By Dan Cadman, November 13, 2016

The general level of whining and cluelessness emanating from those in the Clinton Circle has been distasteful to watch. Any number of articles have been printed now discussing their angst and attempts to figure out how they "got it so wrong". (See here and here.)

This doesn't seem to me to be a higher math equation; it's more like a 2+2=4 kind of thing. That they still don't get it suggests exactly why they lost the election. Read more...

Election Hands Maricopa Sheriff's Job to Newcomer

By Dan Cadman, November 10, 2016

Most followers of immigration issues know that Arizona has been a flashpoint in the battle between open-borders advocates on one hand, and pro-enforcement types on the other.

Most people also know that Arizonans — or at least significant numbers of them — maintain conservative views. This is, after all, the home of Barry Goldwater and the longtime fiefdom of Republican Senator John McCain, who just won reelection (but who is, however inexplicably, disturbingly liberal on the singular issue of immigration, having been one of the fathers of the abysmal and failed "Gang of Eight" amnesty bill of 2013). In the presidential election on November 8, Donald Trump carried the state, although by a smaller margin than one might think given its conservative "pedigree". Read more...

Looking Ahead

By Dan Cadman, November 9, 2016

Wow. So Donald Trump performed the hat trick successfully despite prognostications from the punditry and sundry dirty tricks from the media, much of which so helpfully aided Clinton toward her ultimate defeat.

But enough of that. Time to look ahead. I'm sure folks everywhere will have advice for the incoming president and his team on all fronts, so I'm going to limit my few remarks to those central to the Center's raison d'etre: American immigration policy and operations.

Mr. Trump campaigned vigorously on a platform of reinstituting respect for the nation's sovereignty, which means above all things that the immigration laws of the United States must be uniformly and routinely enforced. Time to make good on that promise, because it isn't one readily to be forgotten. Read more...

Revisiting One-Sided Marriage Fraud

By Dan Cadman, November 7, 2016

Since my last blog posting about the disastrous consequences of one-sided marriage frauds, I have received a considerable amount of correspondence from citizen victims of such frauds. I suspect this may also be true for my colleague, David North, who also has written about the evils of marriage fraud.

The range of victims has been notable, spanning a variety of races and ethnicities, and has included at least one naturalized citizen, showing that even those who have been through the legal immigration system can be blind to the possibility of fraud when the heart overrules the head. Read more...

BBC Airs Its Media Bias on "Unaccompanied Minors"

By Dan Cadman, November 4, 2016

On Wednesday, November 2, I was watching BBC World News and a segment came on showing the last of the "unaccompanied minors" being removed from the unlawful migrant squatters camp called "the Jungle" outside of Calais, France. The migrants, from nearly every part of the globe, but especially the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, have been gathering there over the course of two years after illegally entering France, all hoping to get across the English channel to the United Kingdom by means of the France-UK "Chunnel" that passes underneath. Read more...

Supreme Court Docket Holds More Immigration Cases, Including Another 'Aggravated Felony' Challenge

By Dan Cadman, November 3, 2016

The hit parade of infamy keeps on coming. If anyone doubts the importance of establishing a rational policy toward immigration to the United States, they need only take a look at the cases on the plate of the Supreme Court, both during the last session and this one.

Several times in recent months I've blogged about immigration-related cases accepted by the Court; one of those was settled with a resounding victory for common sense, and the other two are teed up and ready to be heard (see here and here). Read more...

Australia Considers Permanent Ban on Illegal Migrants

By Dan Cadman, October 31, 2016

Australia has once again caused a furor with one of its legislative proposals.

The Australian government previously has gotten a firestorm of press (and criticism from various international and migrant advocacy groups) for a pay-to-stay-away plan allegedly providing a financial incentive for maritime alien smugglers not to move their human cargo into Australian waters; for "renting" space on foreign territory on which to set up camps for migrants and asylum-seekers interdicted at sea; and for a proposal to strip citizenship from any dual nationals caught engaging in or supporting terrorism. Read more...

'Extreme Hardship' Need Not Be So Extreme Under USCIS Policy Guidance

By Dan Cadman, October 28, 2016

Law360 posted an item the other day with this teaser:

USCIS Unveils Guidance on Extreme Hardship Determinations

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Friday released policy guidance on extreme hardship determinations regarding certain relatives, making good on one of the lesser known initiatives announced under President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration.

Extreme hardship is an important principle in immigration law, because the statute provides waivers of inadmissibility for certain aliens who can establish that their removal/denial of admission would result in such hardship to certain categories of U.S. citizen or resident alien family members.