Immigration Blog

John McCain Gets Some Love on Morning Joe

By Jerry Kammer, April 22, 2014

Writing in the New York Times about the Nevada rancher who has become a media star by refusing to pay the grazing fees he owes for running his cattle on federally owned land, Timothy Egan observed: "Easterners, especially clueless ones in politics and the press, have always had a soft spot for a defiant white dude in a Stetson." Read more...

Immigration Reform in a Republican Controlled Senate, Pt. 4

By Stanley Renshon, April 21, 2014

Any realistic numbers by which Republicans would gain control of the Senate would still leave the relative weight of the parties rather close to each other. That means that getting Republican legislation passed, including immigration legislation, will not be easy. That includes real immigration reform. Read more...

A Catholic's Dissent from the Bishops' Immigration Policy, Pt. 4

By Jerry Kammer, April 21, 2014

The most astonishing moral declaration I've ever heard from a member of the Catholic clergy was made at a 2004 conference on immigration at the University of Notre Dame. The speaker was Bishop Thomas Wenski, who was then chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration. Said Wenski:

I think we can make a summary of Catholic social teaching in one phrase: No human being can ever be considered as a problem. When we consider a human being as a problem, we depersonalize him, we offend his human dignity. When we allow any class of human beings to be categorized as a problem, then we give ourselves permission to look for solutions. And as the history of the 20th century has proven, sometimes we look for final solutions.

I listened in stunned disbelief. A leader of the Catholic Church, my church, was warning that concerns about immigration were so fraught with peril that they must be rejected lest they produce horrors akin to the extermination campaign with which Hitler pursued his "final solution to the Jewish problem"? Read more...

"Silicon Valley Treats American Workers Like H-1Bs"

By David North, April 21, 2014

That should have been the New York Times headline for today's article about how the major IT employers have been sued "on claims of conspiring to keep their employees down".

Instead, the Times headline predicted the outcome of a class action suit by U.S. workers against Google, Apple, Intel, and Adobe with these words: "In Silicon Valley Thriller, a Settlement May Preclude the Finale". Read more...

Immigration Reform in a Republican-Controlled Senate, Pt. 3

By Stanley Renshon, April 21, 2014

Life and politics rarely proceed in a straight line. And that goes for the possibility of real immigration reform in a Republican-controlled Senate.

The actual numbers of Republican Senators, new and old, who would support real immigration reform, as opposed to a 2015 clone of the Democrats' 2013 effort, is a question mark. Read more...

A Catholic's Dissent from the Bishops' Immigration Policy, Pt. 3

By Jerry Kammer, April 18, 2014

Yesterday's post described how the Rev. Dan Groody, a Notre Dame theologian and immigration activist, sacralizes immigrants by identifying them with Jesus and the Eucharist. Today I want to relate that teaching to the insights of moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt in his remarkable book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion Read more...

Hair-splitting Judges Rule in Favor of Northern Border Coyote

By David North, April 18, 2014

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has recently ruled that an admitted alien smuggler, who worked in upstate New York, should not be deported because he did not actually cross the border with the assisted illegals, thus blowing another hole in the already faltering efforts to enforce the immigration law.

The case also reminds us that illegal aliens don't sneak across the southern border only and that Indian reservations along either border complicate law enforcement there. Read more...

Fewer Deportations, More Repeat Offenders

By Dan Cadman, April 17, 2014

For the second time in a very short span, I am writing about an immigration-related item to be found in the New York Times. Earlier this week, I commented on an article entitled "Hoping for Asylum, Migrants Strain U.S. Border".

Now I find myself looking retrospectively to an article which preceded that one by a matter of days, and feeling obliged to respond to some of the assertions that can be found within it. This article was published by the Times on April 6, with the heading "More Deportations Follow Minor Crimes, Records Show". Read more...

A Catholic's Dissent from the Bishops' Immigration Policy, Pt. 2

By Jerry Kammer, April 17, 2014

The package of immigration measures known as "comprehensive immigration reform" would provide a sweeping legalization for illegal immigrants and increase legal immigration to more than 2 million newcomers a year. But Catholic bishops think it should provide more.

Kevin Appleby, the director of migration policy and public affairs at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, made that position clear last month at an immigration conference at Notre Dame. Read more...

Giveaway to H-1B Employers Opens Huge Hole in USCIS Budget

By David North, April 16, 2014

The huge giveaway to H-1B employers previously described does major damage to the budget of USCIS.

Earlier we had reported that the agency was refunding H-1B employers something like one-third of a billion dollars a year in connection with fees previously paid for failed applications for H-1B slots, while not making similar repayments to ordinary naturalization applicants who had failed their citizenship tests. Read more...

Immigration Reform in a Republican-Controlled Senate, Pt. 2

By Stanley Renshon, April 16, 2014

The numbers count of any likely GOP Senate majority in the new Congress suggests that real immigration reform is by no means a forgone conclusion. Indeed, it could be rather iffy.

The ratio of Democrats to Republicans is important, as is control of the Senate. And the actual composition of the crucial Senate committees matters as well, and that certainly includes the Senate Judiciary that has primary (but shared) jurisdiction over immigration legislation. Read more...

A Catholic's Dissent from the Bishops' Immigration Policy

By Jerry Kammer, April 16, 2014

Like many Catholics, I have been bitterly disappointed in the church's negligence in its response to the pedophile priests. And as someone who thinks legal immigration should be reduced and illegal immigration should not be encouraged, I have been disappointed that the policy preferences of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops seem to be reducible to a slogan: "More green cards, less enforcement!"

But after viewing a video of a presentation at an immigration conference last month at the University of Notre Dame, I now have a better understanding of the bishops' immigration advocacy. But I also have a new criticism. Read more...

The Boston Marathon Bombing, Assimilation, and Amnesty

By Jon Feere, April 15, 2014

On the one-year anniversary of the attack on the Boston Marathon, a question that continues to be asked is how two immigrants welcomed into the United States at a relatively young age apparently never assimilated into American culture, and never really accepted the United States as home. On this anniversary, as that question remains unresolved, many members of Congress are working to incorporate illegal aliens into our military. These amnesty advocates have concluded that foreigners who enter the United States by their teenage years are fully American, and consequently not a threat, even though our nation's experience with Boston bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev suggests otherwise. Read more...

Fat Cat H1-B Employers Get Huge USCIS Refunds – Would-Be Citizens Do Not

By David North, April 15, 2014

A low-income alien, wanting to become a citizen, has to scrape up $680 for his naturalization fees. Then he fails the test, twice.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the economic power spectrum, a major fat-cat user of the controversial H-1B program, in order to increase his profits, has applied for more new H-1Bs (at $4,325 apiece) than he can obtain, because of the ceiling on the program. His efforts have failed, in part, too.

So what happens to the poor man's $680? The government keeps it.

What happens to the corporation's fees for those non-approved petitions? The company gets all its money back! Read more...

Immigration Reform in a Republican-Controlled Senate, Pt. 1

By Stanley Renshon, April 15, 2014

Let's image the GOP does gain the six seats necessary to win control of the Senate, and maybe even the few additional seats that Nate Silver thinks possible. Let's further imagine that it then sets out to do the right thing for real immigration reform. What then for immigration reform?

Well, there's good news and bad news. Read more...

Straining the Border, Straining the System, Straining Credibility

By Dan Cadman, April 15, 2014

The New York Times published an article last week entitled "Hoping for Asylum, Migrants Strain U.S. Border". It's worth reading despite its shortcomings.

I don't agree with the apparently blind acceptance of certain assumptions and premises embedded in the article, and I particularly don't care for the notion of journalists accompanying aliens on their smuggling ventures across the U.S. southern border, which may very well have been the case here, based on what I'm seeing in the photos and slide show of the online version.

But mostly, I dislike what the article fails to point out. It does an abysmal job of putting together the pieces of the puzzle in revealing the cause-and-effect between what we are shown – a border out of control – and the administration's policies and practices. I'm wondering why the reporter, Julia Preston, didn't go back to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson with some pointed questions after researching this article, and insert his responses so that we could make judgments of our own, rather than relying solely on her prose. Read more...

H1-B Visa Leaves Americans on the Sidelines

By James R. Edwards Jr., April 15, 2014

Two notable economists have highlighted what's making it tougher on middle-aged Americans to land jobs. Irwin Stelzer, writing for the Weekly Standard, and Robert Samuelson, columnist for the Washington Post, show how, despite high unemployment levels for Americans in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, corporate elites would rather import cheap foreign labor to systematically displace these available American workers, who bring tremendous experience, insight, and wisdom to the table. Read more...

Washington Post Muffs Good News on H-1B and Suburban Teachers

By David North, April 14, 2014

There was good news in the Washington Post over the weekend about the declining use of H-1B teachers in a D.C. suburb – but it was hard to tell from reading the paper's story on the subject. Read more...

Republicans on Immigration Reform: A Time for Choosing

By Stanley Renshon, April 14, 2014

Debating and passing immigration reform in the House after the new Congress is seated in January 2015 would by a seismic event for Republicans and their standing with the public.

But first they will have to choose which public they wish to represent.

Choosing correctly is absolutely central to the Republicans' future. In order to do so, however, Republicans will have to understand that they will be addressing several different audiences in any efforts they take toward any real immigration reform efforts:

Rust Belt Salvation through Immigrant Entrepreneurs?

By Dan Cadman, April 14, 2014

Once again a correspondent has emailed to me the link to an article that he suggested I might find interesting. I did, although I didn't agree with much in the article.

What I found even more interesting was the fact that the correspondent who sent the link was the author of the article, Daniel McGraw. It can be found in Belt magazine, which is described in the email as "a new media enterprise targeting the literate middle class"; the web site says it has a "distinctly Rust Belt sensibility". Read more...

A Question about Those 172,500 H-1B Petitions

By David North, April 14, 2014

USCIS has announced that 172,500 petitions have been filed for 85,000 H-1B slots in this hiring season. That's a major increase from the 124,000 filed last year, and the new number is sure to be used by the H-1B employers as they seek still higher ceilings from Congress.

But the news also raises what may be a new question: "To what extent is the number of petitions artificially increased – at little cost to the industry – to game the system?" Read more...

Student, Asylee, Terrorist: The Administration's Immigration Policy Flaws in a Nutshell

By Dan Cadman, April 11, 2014

The FBI announced this week that it had arrested and charged a Moroccan, El Mehdi Semlali Fathi, with lying on his application for asylum (incorrectly referred to as an "application for refugee status" in some media reports). But the underlying cause of the investigation was that Fathi intended to commit acts of terror, according to the Bureau; specifically, that he intended to use a remote-controlled aircraft to bomb a federal building and an unnamed university, as is obvious from the affidavit filed by the FBI case agent.

Other than clearly showing the bugs in the high-gloss finish our administration wants the public to see in its immigration policies, there are a number of troubling things about this case. Read more...

Bill O'Reilly Needs to Know the Law Before Reforming It

By Jerry Kammer, April 11, 2014

Fox's Bill O'Reilly is positioning himself as a Great Compromiser on immigration policy. But if the influential Papa Bear is going to have credibility in the debate, he needs a better understanding of immigration law than he displayed last night in a conversation with immigration hawk Laura Ingraham.

Said O'Reilly: "You know as well as I do that it's not a criminal offense to overstay your visa or sneak across the border. It's a civil offense." Read more...

Needed: A New Immigration Debate Narrative

By Stanley Renshon, April 11, 2014

House Republicans should step forward immediately after the new Congress is seated to debate and pass real immigration reform. In doing so they not only stand a real chance of having their reforms enacted, especially if the Republicans gain a majority in the Senate, but of also changing the terms of debate.

That new immigration debate is coming, unless Republicans do nothing and allow the old immigration debate to have a new, undeserved lease on life. Read more...

How Many Illegal Aliens Would Jeb Bush Amnesty?

By Ronald W. Mortensen, April 10, 2014

Like Senator Marco Rubio, Governor Chris Christie, Senator Chuck Schumer, and other amnesty advocates, Jeb Bush seems to believe that if you don't acknowledge that the vast majority of illegal aliens commit multiple, job-related felonies then the felonies don't exist.

And like the other amnesty advocates, he appears to believe that if he throws enough gorilla dust in the air that he will be able to put one over on the American people. Read more...

Detention Space: A Legal Mandate, Not a Quota

By Dan Cadman, April 9, 2014

My colleague Jessica Vaughan has written at some length about the importance of maintaining the congressional mandate that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) maintain a filled capacity at any point in time of 34,000 detention beds.

Ms. Vaughan has also pointed out that Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has floated the trial balloon, in recent congressional testimony, that the mandate is more like a suggestion – DHS is required by law to keep paying the bills for the beds, at taxpayer expense, but not necessarily to fill them. Read more...

Why Passing House Immigration Bills in the Next Congress Matters, Pt. 4

By Stanley Renshon, April 9, 2014

The period between the 2014 congressional election and the 2016 presidential election is an essential period when Republicans should act on real immigration reform. The passage of real reform legislation by the House, or if possible by the House and (Republican) Senate, would establish that Republicans are serious, reform-minded, and in touch with the repeatedly expressed wishes and concerns of the American public. Read more...

If USCIS Can't Count H1Bs, How Is It Going to Run an Amnesty?

By David North, April 8, 2014

In the Third World it takes days, maybe weeks, to count ballots – witness the Afghan elections – something advanced democracies can do in a matter of hours for nationwide contests.

This is not to put down Afghan election officials who, after all, have not had much practice.

But it does remind me that sometimes U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seems like a Third World institution. Read more...

Tech Firms Consider Cutting a Separate Deal

By John Miano, April 8, 2014

A big problem has suddenly arisen with the "comprehensive immigration reform" bill. Groups representing technology companies are breaking ranks and trying to pass a guestworker-only bill on their own. Read more...

Much is Wrong with DOL Decision on Hiring an Alien to Clean the Stables

By David North, April 7, 2014

There is so much wrong with a recent decision of an obscure Department of Labor appeals body regarding a foreign worker that I do not know where to begin.

It involves a rancher refusing to hire a female U.S. citizen to clean his stables because he wanted to hire an alien — and DOL agreed.

Many thoughts come to mind: Read more...