Immigration Blog

Obama Amnesty Supporters Don't Let Facts Get in the Way of a Good Story

By John Miano, June 2, 2015

I have refrained from writing about DACA and DAPA because most of the legal analysis in the media (including that of noted constitutional law scholars) is total garbage and I did not want to get into a fight with fools.

However, this post from the tin-foil hat crowd illustrates the growing connection between my own lawsuits and these two programs — but in a different way than portrayed here. Read more...

Immigration Lawyers Website Disses the EB-5 Program

By David North, June 1, 2015

If a New York Times editorial called for outlawing all abortions all the time, there would be an earthquake felt all over the United States.

Well, the Times has not done that, but the little shudder you felt recently was because the routinely pro-immigration website Immigration Daily had an unsigned editorial recently that said some pretty derogatory things about the EB-5 (immigrant investor program). The website is published for immigration lawyers and routinely carries bitter criticisms of attempts to enforce the immigration law. Read more...

Bringing Terrorists to the U.S. for Training

By Dan Cadman, June 1, 2015

Gulmurod Khalimov, a special police forces commander from Tajikistan who disappeared from his country in April, resurfaced recently in an Islamic State propaganda video. It's unclear what triggered the defection of a man formerly charged with protecting the political leaders and government elites of tightly ruled, autocratic Tajikistan.

News accounts tell us that he was well-trained, courtesy of both the American and Russian militaries. He was in the United States several times for such training; likewise with Russia. Read more...

Obama's 'Rock-Solid' Legal Argument for Granting Work Permits

By John Miano, June 1, 2015

I have yet to see any description of Obama's "rock solid legal argument", as the learned folks at the New York Times editorial page describe DAPA, so I thought I would create one now that I am running into it in other cases.

You may have noticed that the Constitution confers all powers over immigration to the Congress. You might then expect that the way the immigration system is supposed to work is that Congress defines the classes of aliens eligible work in the United States and that DHS has the broad authority to determine the individual aliens within those classes who are authorized to work.

That is not how Obama's DHS sees things. Read more...

The Border Patrol Loses One of Its Balloons

By David North, June 1, 2015

It's always sad to see a child cry when he lets go of his helium-filled balloon and it rises to the sky.

Well, the Border Patrol recently had the opposite problem. One of its helium-filled balloons, used as an unmanned observation post in the lower Rio Grande Valley, started leaking gas, and the aerostat (as they are called) fell gently into someone's field. Fortunately this happened on our side of the river, no one was hurt, and there was not much, if any, property damage. The leak was fixed and the balloon is again working as a silent sentinel. Read more...

So Illegal Immigration Isn’t Inevitable After All? Who Knew?

By Mark Krikorian, May 29, 2015

[This is the start of a piece by me posted today at National Review.]

Thursday's Washington Post front page featured a story on the decline in illegal immigration. The story itself isn't news (my colleagues did their first report on this phenomenon seven years ago), but the story's dead-tree subhead explains the timing: "Trend alters dynamics of immigration reform, a likely topic for 2016." Read more...

Australia Moves Toward Stripping Citizenship from Terrorists

By Dan Cadman, May 29, 2015

News reports tell us that the Land Down Under is preparing to amend its laws to enable the government to strip Australian citizenship from "dual nationals" who engage in terrorist acts, or who join terrorist groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS).

This is a step in the right direction, but perhaps two steps short of what needs to be done. The government apparently backed off its initial plan to remove citizenship from others as well, including children born in Australia of immigrant parents, when those children engage in terror or terrorist support. Aussie Prime Minister Abbott, channeling his inner progressive in walking back the original outlines, said "The changes will be consistent with our international legal obligation not to leave a person stateless." Read more...

National Park Service Signs on to Obama's Pro-Illegal Immigrant Agenda

By Marguerite Telford, May 28, 2015

The politicizing of our national monuments is well underway, with the National Park Service (NPS) pushing the president's pro-illegal immigrant agenda in a new exhibit at the Ellis Island Museum. The Obama administration and Democrats (helped by more than a few Republicans) have been attempting to normalize illegal immigration for some time, so it is not surprising that they would enlist the NPS, a federal bureau in the Department of the Interior, to rewrite history to turn U.S. law enforcement into the bad guys. Read more...

Breaking News! Feds Need State and Local Help to Enforce the Law

By Dan Cadman, May 28, 2015

FBI Director James Comey has solicited the help of state and local law enforcement agencies, including the New York City Police Department, in an effort to identify, track, and act against potential terrorists. No one seems to have noted the irony that this request comes at the same time the Obama administration is turning away such help with immigration enforcement. Read more...

The Non-Deported: ICE Still Releasing Criminal Aliens at a Rapid Pace

By Jessica Vaughan, May 28, 2015

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has published an investigative report on violent criminals released by ICE. Aptly titled "Convicted, but free to roam: Giving little notice, federal authorities have released thousands of detained undeportable immigrants — sometimes with grave results", the article tells the story of a rapist and a murderer turned loose by ICE. Such criminal alien releases are continuing at an alarming pace in 2015. Read more...

Memorial Weekend Incidents: Thoughtlessness and Delinquency or Foreshadowing?

By Dan Cadman, May 27, 2015

Over the Memorial Day weekend, there were two distinct kinds of untoward incidents that took place that should make Americans sit up and take notice. While neither may have had terrorist intent, they're just the kind of thing terrorist groups might do to test us. Read more...

Michael Lind's Story of Arthur Sulzberger and Immigration Policy at the New York Times

By Jerry Kammer, May 27, 2015

In 1995, when Michael Lind was a senior editor at the New Republic, he was contacted by an editor at the New York Times who was aware of his contrarian-liberal views of immigration. The editor asked Lind to write about them in an op-ed column for the Times.

Published under the headline "Liberals Duck Immigration Debate", Lind's essay made the case that "ignoring the rising costs of mass immigration, legal as well as illegal, is anything but courageous — or liberal." It went on to argue that, among Democrats, discussion of immigration is "still governed by taboos" and "rests on two articles of faith." Read more...

Will EB-5 Renewal Be as Dramatic as for the Patriot Act?

By David North, May 27, 2015

The answer to the question in the headline is "probably not", but there are some similarities in the proposed extensions of the EB-5 program and that of the USA Patriot Act.

As this is written it is not clear whether all, or some part, of the Patriot Act will be extended by the June 1 deadline.

Meanwhile, the main part of the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program is also up for renewal on September 30.

In each instance it is a portion of the measure that causes more controversy than the general activity. Read more...

5th Circuit Rules in Favor of Texas, Blocking Obama’s Unilateral Amnesty

By Jon Feere, May 26, 2015

In February, federal judge Andrew Hanen, of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas, issued an injunction temporarily blocking President Obama’s expanded executive amnesty, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). The order was in response to a lawsuit filed by 26 states. In response to the ruling, the Obama administration appealed the preliminary injunction and moved for a stay of the injunction, pending resolution of the merits of that appeal.

But today the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Obama administration’s appeal of the injunction as well as its request to narrow the scope of the injunction to just Texas (in order to let DAPA move forward in other states). The court explained that the government is unlikely to succeed on the merits of its appeal. Read more...

Another Story of Failed Chain Migration with Tragic Consequences

By Dan Cadman, May 26, 2015

My colleagues here at the Center have spoken often of the need to do more than just address the intertwined problems of illegal immigration and crimes committed by aliens. They have also spoken in favor of amending a system that is geared toward chain migration simply on the basis of family — including members of the family after they have left the nest and are (or should presumably be) on their own and establishing their own families. (See, for instance, here, here, and here.)

Chain migration, which is without numerical visa restrictions for some categories of immediate relatives, fuels the huge numbers of individuals coming to our shores legally each year, but without much assurance that they have anything to offer our society. Sometimes, in fact, they detract from what used to be called "the common weal". Read more...

Facing Tougher Mexican Border Controls, Hondurans Seek New Routes to the U.S.

By Jerry Kammer, May 26, 2015

Despite a sharp rise in Mexico's deportations of Hondurans who seek to cross Mexico on their way to the United States, the illegal flow northward is continuing along new routes, according to an article in the Honduran newspaper La Prensa.

The article quotes a Honduran government official who said Mexico has deported 4,900 Hondurans this year, most of them between the ages of 11 and 29. Read more...

Is "Illegals on Board" Sign Needed to Stop a Smuggling Vehicle?

By David North, May 26, 2015

Here are the facts of a criminal case set in the District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. An ICE agent stopped a vehicle on the highway and found illegal aliens inside, including four alleged to be former deportees, according to court documents.

The question before the judge: Was the stop itself justifiable?

The story, as summarized in the May 4 issue of Interpreter Releases, the immigration lawyers' trade paper, was as follows: Read more...

No Preliminary Injunction in H-4 Visa Case; Main Event Still to Come

By John Miano, May 25, 2015

Unfortunately – and as I predicted from the hearing – the preliminary injunction in the H-4 case was denied, solely on the issue of "irreparable harm". (See background on the lawsuit here – it is a challenge to DHS's unilateral grant of work authorization to holders of H-4 visas, who are the spouses of H-1B foreign workers. This was one of the executive actions President Obama announced in November, and it will go into effect as scheduled on Tuesday.) Read more...

"Decoupling" Police Work from Reality, Including the Effects of Illegal Immigration

By Dan Cadman, May 22, 2015

My colleague Jessica Vaughan has written an excellent piece on the absurdity of the immigration-related recommendations of the president's Task Force on 21st Century Policing. The report included the recommendation that civil immigration violations not be included in the FBI's national crime computer (which is not, and hasn't been, an issue for some time) and that state and local police distance themselves from immigration law enforcement, even though the adverse impact of illegal immigration stares state and local governments, including cops, in the face daily. If that weren't true, 26 states would not be suing the federal government for its amnesty-surrogate giveaway programs. Read more...

DHS Trumpets Its Own Immigration Failure

By Mark Krikorian, May 22, 2015

A press release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement this week boasts that "ICE removes man wanted by Romanian authorities for attempted murder." Sounds good, right?

Tomescu was apprehended near Douglas, Ariz., in July 2010 when he tried to enter the United States without inspection. U.S. Border Patrol officers served him a notice to appear in immigration court and placed him in custody.

So far, so good. The Board Patrol is on top of things.

He was later released on an order of recognizance.

Wait, what? We let him go? Read more...

How to Read an ICE Press Release — Repeated Enforcement Failures Ignored

By David North, May 22, 2015

The headline this ICE press release sounds like another triumph for law enforcement:

"ICE removes man wanted by Romanian authorities for attempted murder"

But a careful reader will find that it took three law-breaking events, the passage of five years, and one misguided government act — freeing him on "an order of recognizance" — before he was finally turned over to the Romanian cops. Read more...

Update on Lawsuit over Work Permits for Spouses of H-1Bs

By John Miano, May 21, 2015

Today was the hearing for the preliminary injunction over the DHS regulations authorizing work under H-4 visas (for the spouses of H-1B visa holders; some background on the lawsuit is here.) This hearing was not on the merits of the case – whether DHS is permitted by law to grant work authorization to H-4 visa holders – but rather whether implementation of the new regulations (which are scheduled to go into effect next week) should be put on hold until the lawsuit is resolved. Normally, each party spends 15 minutes answering the judge's questions. I was answering questions for 45 minutes.

One thing is clear: The case is being taken seriously by the court. Read more...

President's Policing Task Force Targets Immigration Enforcement

By Jessica Vaughan, May 21, 2015

The president's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which was formed in the wake of Ferguson and other controversial policing events last year (none of which had anything to do with immigration), unfortunately has become another opportunity for anti-immigration enforcement activists to fabricate "mainstream" support for the continued crippling of DHS enforcement agencies by the Obama administration. Read more...

U.S. and China Collaborate Against Chinese EB-5 Abuser

By David North, May 21, 2015

Usually when one reads about abuse of the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program the victims are rich aliens and the abusers are U.S.-resident middlemen.

The program grants a family-sized set of green cards to aliens making a $500,000 investment in a project that is approved, but not guaranteed, by DHS. The investment is supposed to create 10 jobs for non-family members.

This case is different as the abuser and his ex-wife are both accused of violating the EB-5 law and, in his case, of embezzling millions from a grain warehouse he managed in China. The case is also unusual as it includes formal cooperation between Chinese and American authorities. Read more...

Citizens Without Allegiance

By Dan Cadman, May 21, 2015

Visitors to this Center's website or to NumbersUSA or Breitbart or any number of other sites know that the issue of "birthright citizenship" — citizenship acquired at birth without regard to the immigration status of your parents — has been garnering a lot of attention in recent weeks, including a House of Representatives hearing on the matter. (See here, here, and here.)

The idea of according citizenship to just about anyone simply by virtue of the geographical happenstance of where they are born — with no consideration given to the citizenship or loyalties of your parents or where you will likely be raised and inculcated into a culture and way of thinking — is far from universal among the world's nations, and highly unusual among countries immigrants actually move to. Regular readers of CIS publications and blogs probably know that the subject has been examined from a number of different policy and demographic perspectives. (See, for instance, here and here.) Read more...

Zombie Immigration Programs

By Mark Krikorian, May 20, 2015

No, not the immigration of zombies – I mean programs, in this case "temporary" amnesties, that never die.

Today was the last day for illegal aliens and legal visitors from Liberia to register for Temporary Protected Status. Congress created TPS in 1990 to allow the executive to suspend deportations of (and grant work permits to) illegal aliens from countries where there's been a natural disaster or civil strife. I've written frequently about the bogus nature of TPS (here and here, for instance), but always regarding the fact that while the status isn't technically permanent, like a green card, it's nonetheless renewed indefinitely, long after the home-country emergency has passed. An earlier crop of Liberian illegals, for instance, was granted a "temporary" amnesty in 1991 – and they're still here. Read more...

Don't Look Now, but the Amnesty-First Crowd Has Blinked

By Mark Krikorian, May 20, 2015

Prof. Robert George's group, American Principles in Action, has released an "immigration reform" plan calling for enforcement followed by amnesty and increased guestworker admissions. Read more...

Looking Behind a Seemingly Bland USCIS Decision

By David North, May 20, 2015

Correction, May 26. The original version of this blog indicated that some H-4 children of H-1Bs could get work permits as a result of a new edict from the administration, but that is incorrect; only spouses qualify. The text has been updated to reflect this.


New Data Show that USCIS Fee Waivers Are Rapidly Increasing

By David North, May 18, 2015

USCIS, unlike most government entities, is largely funded by fees collected from those seeking benefits from that agency.

Recently discovered data reveal that in fiscal years 2010-2012, the grants of fee waivers doubled each year, reaching more than 370,000 in the last-noted year. Since each fee waiver averaged $585 the last time I ran the numbers, that means that in 2012 the agency lost more than $216 million. And as the figure below shows, the trend is ever upward. Read more...

A Scary Idea: Ignore 94 years of Legislative History on Numerical Ceilings

By David North, May 18, 2015

There's a frightening idea out there about the use of executive discretion that I must have missed when it surfaced last year: Let's have the president define the numerical ceilings in the green card programs in such a way as to double the number of workers admitted.

"Pundits have also said that the president could effectively double the number of employment-based green cards by changing the way that employment-based green card[s] are counted," wrote immigration lawyer Chris Musillo in Immigration Daily.

If the president counted only workers, and not count their accompanying dependents, against the 140,000 ceiling, admissions would more than double, as only 45 percent of the 140,000 now admitted each year are workers; the rest are dependents. Read more...