Dan Cadman's blog

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.

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...

The Changing Immigration Labor Landscape

By Dan Cadman, September 2, 2015

When provisions were added to the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1986 that forbid the hiring (or referring for a fee) of an alien unauthorized to work in the United States, people thought it would be a game-changer. The prohibitions were accompanied by civil fines and even criminal penalties for repeat offenders.

The "employer sanctions" laws, as they are usually described, also included prohibitions on "use of labor through contract", reflecting legislators' awareness that without them, employers would try to skirt the law forbidding hiring of illegal aliens by claiming they were contract employees, or by conveniently using subcontractors to do a lot of their dirty work — sometimes literally, as in the case of janitors, window washers, etc. Read more...

Circuit Court Overextends on Second Amendment

By Dan Cadman, August 31, 2015

In June of this year, a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the case of an illegal alien who had appealed his conviction on a federal firearms offense for possessing a bullet. (There is evidence he also had the gun itself in his possession earlier in the evening of his arrest, though it wasn't on him when taken into custody.) As a convicted aggravated felon, he was deported with a lifetime bar on reentry. The panel ruled his appeal of the conviction was not moot because, if overturned, the lifetime bar would no longer apply. Read more...

Rent-Boy.com Case Reveals Lack of Enforcement Priorities in ICE's Homeland Security Investigations Division

By Dan Cadman, August 27, 2015

As is my habit from time to time, I was browsing Breitbart.com when my eye was caught by a photo of federal agents carrying boxes containing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seal, so I looked closer and, yep, the logo confirmed that they were evidence boxes used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Read more...

French Train Attack Again Raises Questions About Security of the Visa Waiver Program

By Dan Cadman, August 27, 2015

I may be in a minority on this point, but I'm uncomfortable with the visa waiver program. It seems all too easy for something to go horribly wrong and result in the admission of one person, perhaps a group of people, not on anyone's list (despite the proliferation of such lists since 9/11) who could wreak terrible havoc in a very short period of time. Read more...

Interpreting Logic Out of the 14th Amendment Where Birthright Citizenship Is Concerned

By Dan Cadman, August 26, 2015

Within a span of days, National Review Online has published two interesting pieces on birthright citizenship with diametrically opposing views, though each speaks to the centrality of the 14th Amendment in framing the current debate.

It is the first sentence in Section 1 of the 14th Amendment that is at issue: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside." Read more...

Activist Judge Tries to Thwart Criminal Alien's Deportation

By Dan Cadman, August 25, 2015

A senior federal judge in the Eastern District of New York (which encompasses New York City) has laid out the basis by which "judicial recommendations against deportation" (JRADs) will be issued. He did so via an opinion and order in a criminal case for which he was presiding judge.

Everything about the order — its context, the crime, the defendant, even its content — is strange, not to say skewed. It's the judicial equivalent of staring at an M.C. Escher print and trying to figure out of which side is up. Read more...

On Refugee Standards and Mental Filters

By Dan Cadman, August 20, 2015

A few days ago, Raha Jorjani, an immigration attorney and sometime professor at the University of California-Davis Law School, wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post offering her view that African Americans could qualify as refugees given the level of violence against them by police. Read more...

Don't Rescind DACA Right Away, Mr. Trump

By Dan Cadman, August 19, 2015

Concurrent with releasing his immigration platform, presidential candidate Donald Trump was interviewed by Chuck Todd, NBC political analyst and host of "Meet the Press". Read more...

Will the White House Shift Money Away from ICE?

By Dan Cadman, August 18, 2015

The Daily Caller recently reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was going to propose shifting $110 million away from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) into other DHS organizations and efforts such as the Secret Service and cybersecurity programs. The money targeted by the White House for "reprogramming", which would need congressional approval given the staggering amount, would come from ICE's immigration programs, not its customs programs. Read more...

Senate Begins to Analyze Links Between Immigration and Terror

By Dan Cadman, August 17, 2015

Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the chairmen, respectively, of the Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest and the subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights, and Federal Courts, have penned a rather remarkable letter to the attorney general and the secretaries of State and Homeland Security. Read more...

Court Victory for American Workers but No Immediate Relief in Sight

By Dan Cadman, August 14, 2015

My CIS colleague David North has documented the existence of a suspect program begun in 2008 and broadened to disturbing lengths in 2012. The program, initiated and expanded by federal regulations, permits foreign students who have graduated (and thus fulfilled the basis for being granted a visa) to remain in the United States for extended periods of time to engage in "optional practical training" (OPT), which is in fact designed to allow them to enter the workforce and compete directly against struggling American workers in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Read more...