Immigration Blog

Justice Sotomayor's Vocabulary of Immigration

By Jerry Kammer, April 11, 2016

In 2009, when Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote her first opinion as a member of the high court, she used the term "undocumented immigrant" to refer to persons who are in the United States illegally. It is believed to have been the first such usage in the history of the court, where the term "illegal immigrant" had previously been used.

In an interview for last week's NPR program Latino USA, Justice Sotomayor explained her decision. She told host Maria Hinojosa: Read more...

How to Screen 600 Syrian Refugees a Day: A "Surge Operation"

By Nayla Rush, April 8, 2016

We just heard about the first Syrian family to arrive in the U.S. from Jordan under the new resettlement program called "surge operation". A "temporary processing center" opened in Amman, Jordan, this February to speed up the resettlement process from 18-24 months to just three.

Forty-five-year-old Ahmad Al-Abboud, his wife, and five children landed in Kansas City this week. The family fled the Syrian city of Homs and was living in Jordan for the past three years. Ahmad could not find a job there, the family surviving on food coupons. Read more...

"Criminal Justice Reform" for Alien Felons

By Dan Cadman, April 7, 2016

I have been watching a short video clip of two young men climbing the U.S.-Mexico border fence, taken from the Mexican side of the border. They are almost certainly drug mules running narcotics north into the United States and from the way men casually approach their business, it's likely they've done this any number of times.

With that in mind, consider the sad business of criminal justice reform, which is being entertained by two concurrent bills in the House (H.R. 3713) and Senate (S. 2123). I have already written about the Senate bill, expressing hope that it would die aborning and that the House wouldn't take up this unnecessary gauntlet, but as with many things where immigration or law enforcement are concerned in recent years, my hope has proven to be forlorn. Read more...

Costa Rica Convenes International Meeting to Deal with Cuban Migration

By Kausha Luna, April 7, 2016

On Wednesday, Costa Rica announced it has called for an international meeting to address the issue of Cuban migration through Central America to the United States. Read more...

Refugee Resettlement Is Not the Answer
Help the millions of Syrians where they are.

By Nayla Rush, April 6, 2016
Help the millions of Syrians where they are.

As the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, appeals for more global solidarity and asks the international community to "take 10 percent of all the Syrian refugees ... more than 400,000 people," Oxford refugee scholar Alexander Betts and Oxford economics professor Paul Collier think of better ways to help refugees and fix this failing refugee system. They believe more effort should be directed towards addressing the refugee crisis closer to its main source, i.e. in the Middle East. Betts and Collier propose the creation of "economic zones" in the region that would enhance hosting countries' economies, while providing jobs to Syrian refugees. The newly acquired skills developed through vocational training could then be reinvested in the rebuilding process of post-war Syria. Read more...

Supreme Court Leaves Door Open to States Not Counting Aliens when Drawing Electoral Districts

By Jon Feere, April 6, 2016

In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court held in Evenwel v. Abbott that Texas's current methodology for drawing electoral districts based on total population is constitutionally sound. The Court did not rule on the question of whether states are required to include illegal aliens or other non-citizens when drawing districts. In fact, the Court noted that some states "have relied on the registered-voter or voter-eligible populations" for drawing districts and that 10 states already exclude some non-permanent residents. Read more...

After Abusing Visa Loopholes, Disney's Number Two Steps Down

By John Miano, April 5, 2016

The latest news from Disney is that Bob Iger's heir apparent, Thomas Staggs, is leaving the company.

Staggs was promoted to the number-two position at Disney a year ago. In the video accompanying a New York Times article, Times reporter James Stewart wonders what happened over the past year to make Iger change his mind: "Something happened." Read more...

In an Unusual Burst of Creativity, ICE Sets Up a Successful Visa Mill Sting

By David North, April 5, 2016

In an unusual and commendable move, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) established a phony visa mill, created a network of recruiters for it, and then arrested 21 of the conspirators yesterday.

ICE established the totally imaginary University of Northern New Jersey (UNNJ), which was described to recruiters of foreign students as having no classes, and then watched as these recruiters (for a fee) enrolled "students" in the scheme. Since the whole enterprise was known as a fraud to everyone concerned — recruiters, brokers, "students", and some employers of the "students" — all were clearly participating in illegal activity. Read more...

Trump Brings Up Question of Remittances to Mexico

By David North, April 5, 2016

In his usual oafish way, Donald Trump has brought a usually ignored aspect of immigration economics to the fore: the outward flow of remittances to Mexico and other nations, and how those transfer payments harm the American economy.

Trump has proposed to block all such transfers to Mexico until Mexico agrees to pony up $5 billion to build his wall. He sets the amount at about $25 billion a year to Mexico; about an equal amount goes to other nations.

While it is useful that The Donald has raised the remittances issue, he has used a sledgehammer when a more precise tool would be more effective. Read more...

Immigration Enforcement Failures Felt Keenly in Texas

By Jessica Vaughan, April 5, 2016

Texas lawmakers have been using this year when the legislature is not in session to examine how the collapse of immigration enforcement has affected public safety. Texas is greatly affected, not just because it is a large border state with many immigrants, but also because south Texas currently is the hot spot for illegal entry into the United States. How Texas approaches border security and enforcement matters to the entire country. Currently, half of all immigration enforcement activity happens in the four ICE field offices that cover Texas. Read more...