Immigration Blog

S.C. Tax Money Meant for Kids and Teachers Is Sent to Distant Middleman

By David North, October 26, 2016

Can an out-of-state financial middleman pocket more than a million dollars in South Carolina taxpayers' money meant for kids and teachers at one small school?

Can that private-sector middleman get 7.325 percent interest payments, every year, on $1.5 million lent by other people (namely those applying for EB-5 immigrant visas)?

Can this arrangement go on for a long time?

Is it all a matter of public record?

Lessons Learned by an Insider in the 30 Years Since IRCA

By Dan Cadman, October 26, 2016

My colleague Jerry Kammer has posted a couple of read-worthy blogs on the 30th anniversary of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA); see here and here.

At the time of IRCA's passage, and for many years afterward, I was an insider: one of the cogs of government charged with implementing the omnibus legislation. Immediately pre- and post-passage of IRCA, I worked on, and later supervised, one of the teams within the Immigration and Naturalization Service Central Office (INS CO) that was charged with implementing new enforcement measures, including employment verification and penalties procedures, commonly known as "employer sanctions". Read more...

Mexico and Honduras Announce Amnesties

By Kausha Luna, October 25, 2016

Mexico and Honduras announced last week they would grant amnesty to illegal aliens in their respective territories. Read more...

Attention Would-Be EB-5 Investors: Avoid Putting Your Money into Charter Schools

By David North, October 25, 2016

There is a new trend in the EB-5 (immigrant investor) visa program — placing those funds in charter schools.

The EB-5 program rewards rich aliens with a handful of green cards following a half-million-dollar investment into a government sanctioned, but not guaranteed, project. Charter schools are 99-percent-plus supported by local taxpayer funds and provide tuition-free education; they are usually private entities lightly regulated by local school boards. EB-5 is a federal program; charter schools operate at the local level and are not regulated by the federal government.

There are three main reasons for alien investors to avoid charter school investments: Read more...

More Proof of Vetting Failures in the Immigration Process

By Dan Cadman, October 25, 2016

Two more recent terrorism-related law enforcement cases have led to three more chuckleheads who pledged allegiance to ISIS being in custody for material support of terror.

One of the three, Iraqi refugee Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, copped a plea to the charge in a Houston federal court. His co-conspirator and fellow Iraqi refugee, Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, is detained in Chicago awaiting trial, unless he too decides to plead out. Read more...

GAO Finds Most Funding in EB-5 Projects Is NOT from Alien Investors

By David North, October 24, 2016

The majority of the money invested in projects that attract EB-5 (investor visa) funding does not come through that program; it comes from mainstream capital sources. But despite this fact, the alien investors continue to be given sets of green cards for their half-million-dollar inputs.

The marginal significance of the EB-5 funds was described in a recently released report by the Government Accountability Office. Read more...

10 Executives Indicted in Scheme to Use B-2 Aliens as Workers

By David North, October 24, 2016

Back in 2011, a retail store executive must have said "Let's stop using those expensive H-1B workers and switch to foreign workers on tourist visas."

A Virginia-based business, which runs some of those kiosks you see in malls, did just that and now 10 of its executives and other staffers face 34 criminal counts and the prospect of years in federal prison. The story came to light when one of the 10 pleaded guilty, an act that in similar circumstances leads other conspirators to do the same thing. (Aliens on tourist visas are not allowed to work in the United States.) Read more...

Mexico Sends Troops to Its Southern Border

By Kausha Luna, October 19, 2016

The Mexican government has sent military forces to guard its southern border with Guatemala, amidst the arrival of thousands of U.S. bound Haitians and Africans illegal aliens.

Mexico's Ministry of National Defense (Sedna) and Navy (Semar) deployed troops to the Guatemala-Mexico border as part of the Regional Border Operation 2016. The operation is taking place between October 17 and November 17 and aims to combat smuggling networks, among other criminal activities. Read more...

Los Angeles Terminates Three Gulen Schools for Hiring Turkish H-1B Teachers

By David North, October 19, 2016

In a precedent-setting decision, the Los Angeles Board of Education — by a six-to-nothing vote — shut down three charter schools because they had used the H-1B program to replace resident teachers with aliens from Turkey, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The three schools, called Magnolia Public Schools, all were affiliated with the Gulen Movement led by the self-exiled Turkish Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who is regarded as a cult leader by many. Read more...

EB-5 Problems Inflict Collateral Damage on State and Local Governments

By David North, October 19, 2016

One of the real, if seldom-noticed, problems with the star-crossed EB-5 program is that when an EB-5 funded project is failing because of fraud or faulty management it often adds state and local governments to its list of victims. EB-5 is the program that gives a set of green cards to alien investors who place half a million dollars in federally sanctioned, but not guaranteed, economic development projects.

The most recent instance of this kind of collateral damage involves the frequently mentioned GreenTech Automotive Company, which secured EB-5 funding through a regional center run by Secretary Clinton's brother, Anthony Rodham, and was once run by the current governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe (D). Read more...

Religious Leaders Love Their Neighbors – as Long as They Are Illegal Aliens

By Ronald W. Mortensen, October 19, 2016

Following a meeting with President Obama and religious leaders, Dieter Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) declared: "Our principle ... is that we love our neighbor, which means we love all people, in all places and at all times."

Uchtdorf and other religious leaders routinely invoke the "love of neighbor" to justify their unconditional support for illegal aliens. However, their love of neighbor appears to largely exclude American citizens, including American children, who are victimized by illegal aliens. Read more...

IRCA's 30th Anniversary: What Lawmakers Were Saying When They Finally Reached Agreement

By Jerry Kammer, October 17, 2016

On October 15, 1986, the New York Times announced that negotiators for the House and Senate had agreed on "a landmark immigration bill that would prohibit the hiring of illegal aliens and offer legal status to several million illegal aliens already in the United States." Read more...

Clarification: Anthony Rodham Lost One of His TWO EB-5 Regional Centers

By David North, October 17, 2016

On October 10, we posted a blog titled "Hillary's Brother's EB-5 Regional Center Finally Terminated by DHS". The heading was correct, but we failed to differentiate between one regional center that was closed, and one that was not. Read more...

The Score in the Courts: Indians - 2, the Rest of Us - 0

By David North, October 14, 2016

Two American courts — working separately from each other — dealt with foreign worker questions yesterday and both came down against resident workers.

The Indian outsourcing firms in these cases had a different score, winning one and more or less losing the other. Here's what's happening:

In Florida, a federal judge ruled against the Walt Disney workers (citizens or green card holders) who had sought to overturn their layoffs so that Disney could turn its IT work over to two Indian outsourcing firms and to their H-1B workers. Read more...

Not All Terrorists Are Muslim Extremists

By Dan Cadman, October 14, 2016

The media are reporting the crash of a small aircraft in East Hartford, Conn., by an alien in pilot training who died on impact. His co-pilot (and trainer) for the flight, now hospitalized with serious injuries, says the act was deliberate. The pilot, Feras Freitekh, was a Jordanian national of Palestinian descent who entered the United States on a visa permitting him to attend pilot school.

One of the reporting media outlets, the Daily Caller, points out that the crash was close to the site of a Pratt & Whitney factory that has been designated as a part of the homeland's critical infrastructure. The FBI is investigating. Read more...

EB-5 Regional Centers Squabble Over Ex-USCIS Staffer's Files

By David North, October 14, 2016

One way of piercing the all-too-effective corporate veil in the EB-5 business is to examine the court records when insiders fight each other.

And what could be more insider-y than the records of the former chief economist of the EB-5 office in USCIS who, after she left the government, was hired by one regional center and then later worked with rival regional centers. Did she remove corporate secrets from the first regional center and then use them to start her own EB-5 consulting business? Read more...

The EU Creates a New Border Control Force

By Dan Cadman, October 14, 2016

The European Union (EU) announced last month that it would create a border control force consisting of both a land and sea division — in essence a border patrol and a coast guard — to be effective right about now, in mid-October (see here and here).

The announcement comes after a year and a half of endless waves of migrants working their way into Europe, primarily through the land and sea gateways of Turkey, straddling the European and Asian continents, and Libya, on the north coast of Africa. Well over 1.5 million migrants from all over the Middle East, South Asia, and both North and Sub-Saharan Africa have poured into the EU's member states. Read more...

Tweedledum and Tweedledee Assure Diane Rehm that Illegal Immigration Is Not a Problem for American Workers

By Jerry Kammer, October 13, 2016

The Diane Rehm Show, a public-affairs program carried by many public radio stations around the country, has a deserved reputation for sophistication and fair-mindedness in presenting competing points of view. But Wednesday's program, where Rehm and her guests discussed the roots of political alienation in the American working class, badly missed that mark.

Instead of an informed and lively discussion of an issue that is reverberating across the electoral landscape, the program gave a forum to an immigration-policy version of Tweedledum and Tweedledee. They were conservative economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin of the American Action Forum and liberal columnist David Leonhardt of the New York Times. Read more...

Is the ISIS-Supporting Imam Deportable? WaPo Does Not Ask

By David North, October 13, 2016

The Washington Post (and the FBI) have both reviewed the strange case of a Maryland-based imam who is said to have publicly supported ISIS and to have "celebrated ISIS killings and immolations on Facebook", to quote the Post's article, which is titled "Md. imam who backs ISIS is at the heart of terrorism probe".

Suleiman Anwar Bengharsa is the cleric in question. And while the freedom of speech doctrine may cover his advocacy of Muslim extremism, there are other matters, such as this, again from the Post: Read more...

Diligence on a Changing Canadian Border

By John Wahala, October 13, 2016

The Center for Immigration Studies recently completed its sixth border tour. Heading north for the first time, we began our trip in Ottawa. From there we traveled east, crisscrossing nearly a thousand miles over the waterways and rolling hills of upstate New York and Vermont and into the lush forests of Quebec. The geography and relative calm of the region is a stark contrast to the rugged terrain and volatility of the U.S. Southwest. But behind the bucolic charm a host of factors are at work to make securing this part of the border just as challenging as the more trafficked parts. Read more...

Louisiana Uses Sledge Hammer Instead of Scalpel on Immigration/Marriage Fraud

By David North, October 12, 2016

Louisiana had an excellent idea about immigration/marriage fraud: Let's not let anyone who is an illegal alien get a legal marriage in our state. If they can't get married at all, they can't get married fraudulently.

To that end it passed a law requiring would-be foreign-born brides and grooms to show parish (county) officials that they held an unexpired visa and a birth certificate.

It was the "and" that got the state and this law in trouble. Read more...

How a Dead, Divorced Cuban Can Cause Amnesty for His Ex, Years Later

By David North, October 12, 2016

A public policy that is hard to understand grants legal migration status if an alien (usually a woman but sometimes a man) can argue successfully that the citizen or resident alien spouse was abusive.

Yes, society should provide short-term shelter for battered wives and issue court orders to prevent the repetition of the abuse; and it should probably extend medical care and counseling to the victims. But instant immigrant status for illegal aliens (or legal nonimmigrants) in this situation, regardless of numerical limitations?

This certainly is a nice benefit for the spouse in question, but is that the way we should distribute our limited supply of immigrant visas? What is the public good that is being provided? Read more...

Is Conviction for "Crimes of Violence" too Unconstitutionally Vague a Standard for Deportation?

By Dan Cadman, October 11, 2016

In an earlier blog posting, I mentioned that during its current term, the Supreme Court will be reviewing and deciding an immigration-related case having to do with birthright citizenship.

But that isn't the only immigration matter that the high court will hear this term. It will also be considering the question of whether the phrase "crime of violence", as used in its immigration enforcement context, is unconstitutionally vague. Read more...

DHS Does the Right Thing About H-2B Workers — 4,000 Miles West of Hawaii

By David North, October 11, 2016

Once in a while the Department of Homeland Security does the right thing about foreign workers — making them harder to obtain by employers who, one hopes, will be forced to hire citizens instead.

This time the issue is whether, as USCIS charges, some of Guam's employers are using the temporary hiring provisions of the H-2B program for unskilled labor to fill year-round vacancies in their workforce. Sadly, this has been the pattern there for ages.

But this move, a potential benefit for U.S. workers, is taking place a full 4,000 miles west of Hawaii, when such actions should also be taking place on the Mainland. Read more...

IRCA's 30th Anniversary: Looking Back at October 10, 1986

By Jerry Kammer, October 10, 2016

Thirty years ago, on October 9, 1986, the House of Representatives passed a major immigration reform bill, putting it on course to be signed a month later by President Reagan. Today this blog begins an occasional series to take a look back at the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and the political circumstances from which it emerged. Here is the top of the Washington Post's report on October 10, 1986: Read more...

Federal Court to Indiana: Refugee 'Consultation' Is Just for Show

By Dan Cadman, October 10, 2016

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has issued a sharply worded rejection of an executive order on refugee resettlement issued by Governor Mike Pence of Indiana. Pence is the Republican vice presidential candidate and running mate of Donald Trump.

The executive order from Pence directed state agencies to refuse to cooperate with federal agencies and nongovernmental relief organizations in the resettlement of Syrian refugees within the state. The circuit court's rejection and rebuke was based on the fact that Pence's order was nationality specific and, according to the Daily Caller, came close to labeling the executive order as racist. Read more...

The New Yorker Begins to Open Its Eyes to the Reasons for Trump's Durable Popularity

By Jerry Kammer, October 10, 2016

The New Yorker magazine has long shown the way for post-national cosmopolitans whose citizen-of-the world sense of moral superiority inclines them to disdain or simply ignore working-class Americans.

But in recent months, bewilderment at the popularity of Donald Trump has moved the magazine's editors to encourage a sort of anthropological journalism that has come up with some valuable insights into the durable support in much of the United States for the New York billionaire businessman. Read more...

Hillary's Brother's EB-5 Regional Center Finally Terminated by DHS

By David North, October 10, 2016

Hillary Rodham Clinton's brother's EB-5 regional center was finally, and appropriately, terminated by the Department of Homeland Security on September 29.

These centers (there are more than 800 of them) play the often-controversial role of middlemen between the alien investors (who for half a million dollars can get a family-sized set of green cards) and the real estate promoters who use the funds. Each center is licensed by DHS. Read more...

Was EB-5 Extended by Congress? Lawsuit Asks Federal Court to Decide

By David North, October 8, 2016

The clouds over the legislative extension, or non-extension, of the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program darkened a bit Friday as a Texas non-profit organization asked a federal court to order the Department of Homeland Security to halt all EB-5 operations. The previous authorization for the program ran out on September 30. Read more...

Religious Leaders Grant Illegal Aliens Immunity from the 8th and 10th Commandments

By Ronald W. Mortensen, October 7, 2016

Religious leaders face a dilemma when it comes to illegal aliens and the Ten Commandments. Churches have traditionally exhorted their American citizen members not to steal or to covet that which belongs to their neighbor. However, if religious leaders were to teach and hold their illegal alien members to the same standard that they set for their American members, they would put those illegally in the country in an untenable position because in order to get by, illegal aliens have to steal and covet every day of their lives. Read more...