Dan Cadman's blog

On Establishing Migrant Safe Zones

By Dan Cadman, November 18, 2015

For the last several months, we at the Center for Immigration Studies have been examining the issue of Syrian refugee admissions with a skeptical eye, believing that vetting would be inadequate to protect public safety — notwithstanding administration assurances to the contrary (see here, here, and here). Read more...

After the Paris Attacks, What Next for U.S. Refugee Admissions?

By Dan Cadman, November 16, 2015

On November 12, the Center published a blog posting I wrote about airport security in which I said, "My fear is that we will unthinkingly and unnecessarily make many of the same bad choices the French have made, admitting large numbers of people who, once here, will likely rebel heart and soul against the permissive nature of the society that they see around them, sometimes leading to tragic consequences."

The very next day a series of coordinated terrorist attacks took place in Paris, claiming more than 120 lives so far, with many more wounded and in critical condition. The Islamic State (ISIS) has taken responsibility. Some of the attackers and accomplices have already been identified as Frenchmen of Arabic origin. I'm not prescient; I don't prognosticate well; I'm not even particularly good at connecting the dots. It's just that sometimes things take on such a painfully self-evident nature that they can't be ignored. Read more...

On Airports, Refugees, and Security Vetting

By Dan Cadman, November 12, 2015

It sometimes seems to me that political correctness will be the death of us all; if not literally, then certainly as a cohesive society and an identifiable nation.

My colleague David North highlighted that most recently when he blogged about former CIA director James Woolsey publicly observing that poorly vetted Somali refugees were working as baggage handlers at U.S. airports, including Phoenix. Read more...

One-Sided Marriage Fraud: Who Looks Out for the Citizen Victims?

By Dan Cadman, November 6, 2015

My colleague David North recently wrote a thought-provoking blog about American citizens who become victimized by what might fairly be called one-sided marriage frauds — marriages where they wed for love and don't realize that, from the alien spouse's point of view, it's a loveless marriage conceived of for the sole purpose of obtaining a green card.

There is a tendency on the part of the public, when they think about immigration marriages of convenience at all (which is almost never), to think of them in cutesy Hollywood terms, where it's innocent and victimless — think Gérard Depardieu and Andie MacDowell in the comedy "Green Card". As North has pointed out, the reality is often much darker. What's more, marriage fraud is a crime — a federal felony. Read more...

Will Released Alien Convicts Be Deported? Can Senate Bill 2123 Be Defeated?

By Dan Cadman, November 5, 2015

It's been about two weeks since the media caught hold of a little-remarked change in U.S. sentencing guidelines that occurred in 2014, making many federal prisoners eligible for earlier-than-expected releases, which began to take effect Halloween weekend when the first of an eventual flood of 40,000-plus drug and "minor" offenders, were released. "Trick or Treat!" (Well, maybe the American public just gets the trick; there's no treat that I can see here.) Estimates are that between 11,500 and 13,200 of those released will be alien convicts. Read more...

On House Speakers, Hubris, Deception, and Immigration Reform

By Dan Cadman, November 2, 2015

So, there you have it: The House Freedom Caucus, perhaps regretting its dalliance with rebellion by working mightily to unseat John Boehner (R-Ohio), gave in and Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is now Speaker of the House of Representatives despite weeks of protestations to the effect that if nominated he would not run and if elected he would not serve. Methinks he didst protest too much. Read more...

Is ICE Undermining Its Own Sanctuary Jurisdiction List?

By Dan Cadman, October 30, 2015

A great deal of time and effort has been put into creating the interactive sanctuary jurisdictions map on the Center's website. But as Jon Feere just noted in a posting on the subject, the most important thing to recognize is that the government is the basis of the information, not the Center. Read more...

The Case of Mozzafar Khazaee Becomes Even More Curious and Troubling

By Dan Cadman, October 29, 2015

In January of last year, I wrote about the "curious and troubling case" of Mozzafar Khazaee, a native of Iran, a naturalized American, and a defense contractor with access to classified materials who got caught passing some of those materials on to organs of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

That blog was one of many I've written that question the gaping holes in our immigration vetting systems — holes largely unexamined by the media, the public, and, most depressingly, our own government, perhaps because to acknowledge them would require a serious look in the dark places where this administration doesn't want to go. (See, for instance, here, here, here, and here.) Read more...

Will of the People? Common Sense? No Thanks, We're Congress

By Dan Cadman, October 27, 2015

Last week, Senate Democrats blocked a bill introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and others designed to reverse the trend of certain state and local governments toward creating "sanctuaries" within which criminal aliens are shielded from the reach of immigration enforcement agents by denying police and sheriff's offices the ability to cooperate with the agents.

It was a disappointing defeat because it was a pretty good bill as such things go and, more importantly, it would have contributed to public safety because many of these criminals are recidivists who commit violent crimes, including murder, when released back to the streets by police in lieu of being handed over to the immigration authorities for removal. Read more...

Thousands of Alien Felons Are Being Released from Prison

By Dan Cadman, October 19, 2015

Thanks to a little-noticed change in federal sentencing rules that occurred in 2014, a flood of 6,000 felons is being released from U.S. penitentiaries all over the country. All were convicted of significant drug offenses, such as trafficking in heroin or cocaine; many of them were subject to mandatory minimum sentences because of the seriousness of the crimes; and many were recidivists, or engaged in other criminal conduct such as using weapons in the course of their drug crimes.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this is the first wave in a flow that may ultimately result in the release of 40,000 convicts. The Journal cites officials who say that about 33 percent of those being released under the new sentence-reducing guidelines are alien offenders. Read more...

Why Syrian Refugee Vetting Will Be Indisputably Fallible

By Dan Cadman, October 16, 2015

My colleague Nayla Rush has written a posting about the recent testimony of government witnesses at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the administration's intent to admit at least 10,000 Syrian refugees fleeing the dissolution of their country. Read more...

Jorge Ramos: Misstatement of the Month

By Dan Cadman, October 9, 2015

Reading the two recent postings by my colleague Jerry Kammer on Jorge Ramos' interview with NPR's "Fresh Air" host Terry Gross (see here and here), what caught my particular attention was this quote from Ramos, contained in the first blog:

In other words, they didn't come here to go to Disneyland. They came here to work. They came here to do the jobs that nobody else wants to do.

Wrong on all counts. Read more...

Federal Appellate Court Rules American Samoans Are U.S. Nationals, not Citizens

By Dan Cadman, October 8, 2015

Just when you think the fiery debate over birthright citizenship has exhausted itself for the moment, a court comes along and breathes a bit of new life into the embers.

This time, the subject involves the tiny territory of American Samoa, consisting of five small islands and atolls in the South Pacific that have a combined land mass of about 76 square miles and a population of 54,343. As for the economy? Next time you eat tuna salad, think American Samoa, which has processing plants that employ many of the islands' natives. The islands also do a thriving business in copra (dried coconut meat). Note also that American Samoa is to be distinguished from the Independent State of Samoa (the former Western Samoa). Read more...

Foreign Fighters, Lone Wolves, and Combating Violent Extremists

By Dan Cadman, October 6, 2015

President Obama met with other nations' leaders, including the Russians and European Union member states, at the United Nations in New York to plot a strategy to deal with terrorism, most particularly the malevolent kind represented by the Islamic State (IS). From the sounds of it — with the exception of Vladimir Putin, who for better or worse has his game plan mapped out — the president and the others appear to be flailing about in the same ineffective way that the EU has been handling its migrant crisis (which is one of the outcomes of the West's mishandling of Syria's dissolution and the rise of IS). Read more...

L.A. Sheriff Takes a Small Step Toward Reason with New Immigration Enforcement Cooperation Policy

By Dan Cadman, October 5, 2015

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell announced last month that the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD) was partially reversing a policy instituted following a Board of County Supervisors meeting last May, when the long-established practice of cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify and detain alien criminals lin the county jail was ended. Read more...

Immigration in the Canadian Election

By Dan Cadman, October 2, 2015

The 2015 election cycle has descended on Canada, pitting the ruling Conservative party, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, against the Liberal Party, led by Justin Trudeau, the movie-star handsome eldest son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

As in the United States, the subject of immigration has taken on added dimension in the struggle for electoral victory between the parties. Also as in the United States, it is confounding liberals and progressives with a certain amount of popular backlash among voters that, at least prior to the actual casting of ballots, is redounding in favor of the Conservatives. Some are even speculating that it may result in an upset win against the Liberals, who had earlier held a comfortable margin of support. Read more...

Murder of a Libyan Smuggling Boss Will Change Nothing

By Dan Cadman, September 30, 2015

A friend sent me a curious news item from the British online Telegraph outlining the assassination of a Libyan migrant smuggler and eight of his bodyguards. The man was apparently at the apex of this dirty trade. The article goes on to cite speculation that the massacre was the "wet work" of Italian security services in retaliation for the tens of thousands of migrants sent to Italian shores in the past several months. Read more...

On Ombudsmen, Sinecures, and Phony Enforcement

By Dan Cadman, September 29, 2015

The Oxford Dictionary defines the word ombudsman as "an official appointed to investigate individuals' complaints against maladministration, especially that of public authorities." In theory this is an excellent concept, particularly since it occupies a gap not usually filled by watchdog organizations like inspectors general, which generally focus on issues such as outright malfeasance, crimes, and internal corruption rather than on poor administrative practices. Read more...

Integrating Immigration Controls into Daily Life

By Dan Cadman, September 28, 2015

My wife and I are frequent watchers of the television show "House Hunters International". Having lived and traveled abroad, we are always fascinated by what we see of various countries and cultures, collapsed into a half-hour's viewing.

We recognize that parts of the show appear to be tailored or scripted, but even so you get at least a flavor of many other parts of the world through the microcosm of foreigners' searches for just the right home in which to start their new lives abroad. Read more...

Supreme Court To Consider Whether State Arson Convictions are Aggravated Felonies

By Dan Cadman, September 25, 2015

A case involving an alien ordered removed after being convicted of an aggravated felony (arson) will be heard by the Supreme Court after the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the order of the presiding immigration judge and affirmance of the order by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).

The alien's petition for certiorari was most probably granted by the court because circuit courts are split on whether the definition of "aggravated felony" encompasses the crime for which the alien was convicted in New York — attempted arson. Read more...

Civil Rights Commission Issues Hatchet Job Masquerading as an Immigration Detention Report

By Dan Cadman, September 23, 2015

I will confess to a certain uneasiness with the general proposition that illegal immigration is a civil rights issue. To equate the plight of aliens who choose to cross our borders unlawfully with the civil rights issues raised by slavery and its aftermath bears the same kind of tone-deafness people exhibit when comparing lesser modern social or political ills with the evils of the Holocaust.

For this reason, I am suspicious of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission's motives in tackling a controversial issue such as detention of aliens in pursuit of border control in recent report, "With Liberty and Justice for All: The State of Civil Rights and Immigration Detention Facilities".

Why not leave this subject to other government entities better poised to examine the matter in-depth and with dispassion — for instance, watchdog agencies such as the Government Accountability Office (GAO) or the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG)? The answer, I fear, is in pursuing agendas, in the most pejorative sense of the word. Read more...

The Cynical Use of Citizenship

By Dan Cadman, September 21, 2015

On September 17, the administration celebrated Constitution Day by administering the naturalization oath to more than 36,000 newly minted citizens in 200 events throughout all 50 states. The president used the occasion to kick off the new Stand Stronger Citizenship Awareness Campaign.

I would like to say I found this heartwarming evidence of 36,000 people fulfilling their aspirations to share in the American Dream. I didn't. Instead, I found myself thinking, "On Constitution Day of all days? You're kidding! How cynical can you get?" Read more...

Transferring Alien Inmates from U.S. to Foreign Prisons under International Treaties

By Dan Cadman, September 18, 2015

The Department of Justice Office of Inspector General (DOJ OIG) has issued an interesting follow-up report on a subject it first studied in 2011: transfer of federal prisoners who are foreign nationals to prisons in their home countries to serve the remainder of their sentences. The OIG's first report found that less than 1 percent of the over 40,000 inmates from treaty transfer nations in Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) custody in fiscal year 2010 were ultimately transferred back to their home countries. Read more...

A Sentencing Win in a Criminal Immigration Case at the Ninth Circuit

By Dan Cadman, September 17, 2015

There is always something interesting and "newsy" to be found in the federal courts where immigration is concerned, especially if it involves aliens seeking to evade the consequences of removal.

Deportation, it seems, is a particularly fertile ground for plowing in appellate courts, probably much to the delight of the private bar. And because immigration law is exceedingly nuanced and complex there is always some new technical argument to be put forward by plaintiffs and their lawyers. Read more...

Amateur Analysis and Pseudo Journalism at BuzzFeed News

By Dan Cadman, September 17, 2015

Some readers will remember the proto-reality television series "Jackass" that ran on MTV more than a decade ago. Wikipedia aptly describes it as "featuring people performing various dangerous, crude, self-injuring stunts and pranks."

That description, I think, is also perfectly descriptive of immigration analysis when undertaken by amateurs or, worse, journalists determined to write an article that conforms to their predetermined notions, no matter how hard they have to pound that square peg to fit it into a round hole.

A perfect example is an article that appeared in BuzzFeed News recently. Lest you be a well-intentioned progressive, but a little slow on the uptake, the authors ensure that you get the drift right from the headline and lede: Read more...

ABC Touts "Made in America" by Americans — Just Not at Its Owner, the Walt Disney Company

By Dan Cadman, September 16, 2015

Monday's "ABC Evening News" with David Muir included a feature the program airs with some regularity called "Made in America".

The theme of this portion of the broadcast is American workers and products; this time it featured WD-40, which has been produced in San Diego since the 1950s. Watching the piece, my thoughts went into a stream of consciousness state as I reflected on what I was seeing. Read more...

How Can HR 3102 Improve Airport Security if DACA Recipients or Parolees Can Work at Airports?

By Dan Cadman, September 15, 2015

On July 23, the House Subcommittee on Transportation Security approved by voice vote, and moved to the full committee for consideration, H.R. 3102, the Airport Access Control Security Improvement Act of 2015. The bill, which would revise portions of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, was approved with only one technical amendment, introduced by the author of the bill, Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.). Read more...

Are 10,000 Syrian Refugees Just the Opening Bid?

By Dan Cadman, September 14, 2015

President Obama no sooner indicated that he will exercise his "executive authorities" to increase established refugee ceilings to permit admission of an additional 10,000 refugees in 2016 — contrary to the expressed concerns of many in Congress over how the federal government can possibly adequately vet such a flow to interdict potential terrorists — and already the drumbeat has begun to substantially increase that number. This is not unexpected. How could it be, given the big-numbers-and-open-borders tenor of this administration over the past several years? Read more...

Reflections on 9/11

By Dan Cadman, September 11, 2015

Fourteen anniversaries, fourteen commemorations of the horrible events of September 11, 2001. Undoubtedly all over the country, there will be moments of silence in remembrance, a continuation of the post-9/11 phrase, "We will never forget" – that event's equivalent of "Boston Strong," the phrase that took currency after the marathon bombing in that city.

But memories do weaken with time, and with the growing-up of youngsters too small to really feel the emotional impact of that day's events, and the birth of children who grow up not having even been alive when 9/11 took place. Perhaps a better tribute to the 9/11 victims than moments of silence would be moments of reflection. These are mine. Read more...

Financial Information Exchange Would Enhance Integrity in the EB-5 Investor Program

By Dan Cadman, September 8, 2015

Last week, my colleague David North wrote a blog post about problems within the EB-5 investor program, including rampant fraud. This particular post discussed, among other things, a member of the private immigration bar's advice to potential investors to always tell the same story about the source of their funding, lest the U.S. government trip them up when comparing EB-5 applications with, for example, nonimmigrant visa applications previously filed and on record with the State Department. Read more...