Immigration Blog

Reality Check at HHS Exposes UAC-Gang Nexus

By Joseph J. Kolb, June 27, 2017

An article in the Washington Times last week reported what many, especially in law enforcement, already know: A significant percentage of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) from Central America have ties to gangs such as MS-13.

The article cites a survey conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) at their secure detention centers for UACs. This revelation comes in the wake of Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on June 21 where it was revealed the agency really has no idea how prevalent the gang problem is. According to the article, which only provides a "snapshot" of the issue, HHS looked at 138 teens and identified 39 with gang ties. Four of them were forced into cooperating with the gangs, while 35 voluntarily joined, according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Some 2,233 are being held in unsecured facilities. Read more...

Two Immigration Enforcement Bills Are Introduced in the House

By Dan Cadman, June 27, 2017

Two immigration bills worthy of notice are wending their way through the congressional maze, both introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who is chair of the House Judiciary Committee. The two bills are the much-discussed "Kate's Law", H.R. 3004, and the "No Sanctuaries for Criminals Act", H.R. 3003.

Neither bill, considered by itself, takes a holistic view of immigration enforcement; put together, they come closer to the mark. The problem of course is that because they are two separate bills, there is no guarantee that they will both proceed to passage.

What would be preferable would be a broader approach to amending those portions of the immigration law having to do with enforcement, detention, and removal – specifically, the Davis-Oliver Act introduced in both the House and the Senate in prior years, and which underwent mark-up again in the House last month (see here, here, and here). We'll see where that goes.

In the meantime, you play the hand you're dealt, and in this case, that means the two bills described below. Read more...

SCOTUS Grants Certiorari in Trump Travel Cases and Stays Injunctions in Part

By Andrew R. Arthur, June 26, 2017

The Supreme Court issued today a per curiam order, in which it agreed to the government's request for certiorari and partially granted the government's application to stay preliminary injunctions in two recent circuit court decisions that enjoined, in part, provisions of Executive Order 13,780, captioned "Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States" (EO-2).

Although this is a victory for the president, it is likely to generate more litigation until the Court issues its final ruling on the matter. Read more...

Once Again, Somebody Other Than the Feds Goes After Infosys Hiring Practices

By David North, June 26, 2017

For the second time in a week, Infosys, the biggest user of the H-1B program and a huge Indian outsourcing company, has been zapped for its hiring practices by someone other than the federal government.

The first charge was filed by a former employee of the firm, saying that it grossly discriminates against all non-Indian job applicants. Read more...

Don't Read Too Much into the Drop in Refugee Arrivals Under President Trump

By Nayla Rush, June 26, 2017

A sharp decrease in FY 2017 refugee admissions under President Trump compared to those under the Obama administration has been reported recently (see here and here). The drop could easily be interpreted as a sign of policy change and tougher screening measures brought about by Obama's successor. But the numbers are not quite as telling. Read more...

Among the Working-Age in Tennessee, All Employment Gains Since 2007 Have Gone to Immigrants

By Steven A. Camarota, June 26, 2017

Even though the election is more than a year away, the issue of immigration has come up repeatedly in the Tennessee governor's race. To put this debate into context, the Center for Immigration Studies has analyzed recent government data on employment in the state. The analysis shows that immigrants (legal and illegal) accounted for all of the net increase in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job in Tennessee between the first quarter of 2007 and the first quarter of 2017 — even though the native-born accounted for 77 percent of growth among the total working-age population. Prior analysis indicates that 30 percent to 40 percent of immigrants in Tennessee are in the country illegally. Of the 229,000 immigrants in the state working, 70,000 to 90,000 are likely to be illegal immigrants. Read more...

Defining Immigrants, Noncitizens, Aliens, Nonimmigrants, and Nationals
Who's Who in Immigration Law?

By Andrew R. Arthur, June 26, 2017
Who's Who in Immigration Law?

Two recent events prompted me to think about the use of nomenclature in immigration law.

One was a tweet criticizing a colleague for using the word "alien". The second was my review of Moncrieffe v. Holder, 133 S. Ct. 1678 (2013), a case involving the application of the term "aggravated felony" under section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Read more...

Top Justice Official Scoffs at Immigrant Crime Reporting "Chilling Effect"

By Jessica Vaughan, June 26, 2017

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week on the growth of the MS-13 gang and the nexus to immigration enforcement failures, a senior Department of Justice official strongly rebuffed assertions by two senators that cooperation between local police and ICE causes immigrants to fear reporting crimes. Read more...

SEC Files Another Suit Against Another EB-5 Attorney for Misuse of Funds

By David North, June 25, 2017

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed yet another suit against yet another EB-5 lawyer, contending that the Chicago lawyer in the case, Seyed Taher Kameli, "improperly commingled and otherwise improperly used portions of the $88.7 million investment ... and has spent a significant portion of the investment proceeds for his own benefit."

Usually these cases involve Chinese investors whose bids for a green card are endangered by the fraud. Usually they involve big city real estate deals, and usually they involve the SEC as the assertive cop on the beat. This case was no different, but it did have a slightly different tilt: Some of the investors were Iranians. Read more...

The Immigration Debate: A Battle for Nuance

By Benjamin Dierker, June 25, 2017

With an issue as sensitive and complicated as immigration, emotion and confusion are bound to cloud the complexities of the debate. There is no shortage of lenses through which to view the topic, from libertarianism to compassionate liberalism, from pragmatic enforcement to hawkish neoconservatism. And no shortage of actual immigration areas upon which to focus those lenses: border security, visa issuance and overstays, interior enforcement, refugee, or asylum seeking, to name a few. Read more...