Immigration Blog

Many Are Called, but Few Are Chosen in the EB-5 Program

By David North, September 19, 2014

America is trying to improve the high school graduation rate, which is a ratio between those entering as freshmen and those leaving with a diploma. The national average in 2010, according to Department of Education statistics, was 78.2 percent.

The roughly comparable figure for the immigrant investor (EB-5) program is about 50 percent for the most recent time period. Whereas high school runs for four years, the waiting period in EB-5 is only two years, but the "graduation rate" is much lower. Here is how it works: Read more...

The Executive Immigration Order That Breaks the Obama Presidency? Pt. 2

By Stanley Renshon, September 19, 2014

When a president's major policy initiative, like President Obama's healthcare initiative, never gains public support, he is in trouble. When, in addition, the public no longer supports many of the president's other major domestic or foreign policies, the trouble is far more serious. And when both of the preceding are true and the public views the president as "weak", ineffective", or "dishonest", it is appropriate to use the word "collapse" to describe that presidency.

That is the current state of the Obama presidency. Read more...

Want to Lower the Average Educational Level of the Legal U.S. Workforce? Expand DACA!

By David North, September 18, 2014

We keep hearing from the Obama administration, prominent employers, and educators that in order to compete in the world economy we must have a better-educated workforce.

This makes sense. Brains are rapidly replacing brawn in the newer parts of the economy. Jobs demanding computer-related and other high skills are increasing just as the number of low-skilled factory (and farm) jobs are diminishing.

Yet in terms of the average educational level of the legal workforce in the United States, the Obama administration is already moving in the opposite direction with its support of the DACA amnesty program — the two-year-old amnesty-by-decree laid on by the administration for aliens who say they came here illicitly before the age of 16. DACA beneficiaries now range in age from the teens to the early 30s. Read more...

How About Just Paying Them More?

By Mark Krikorian, September 17, 2014

Maria Shriver is helping Marriott hotels avoid raising the pay for its housekeepers.

Perhaps fearing that the minimum-wage campaign directed at fast-food restaurants will turn its red and fiery eye toward hotels, Marriott has teamed up with Shriver and her group A Woman's Nation, to launch a campaign dubbed "The Envelope Please." It will "put envelopes in hotel rooms to encourage tipping" at Marriott's various brands, including Courtyard, Residence Inn, J.W. Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Renaissance hotels. The hotel chain is even suggesting how much to tip: "Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson says $1 to $5 per night, depending on room rate, with more for a high-priced suite." Read more...

Dispatch From "Almost America"

By Jessica Vaughan, September 16, 2014

El Paso – I had to chuckle as I read the first line of a front-page story in the El Paso Times, which I had picked up in the airport on my way home from a conference: "The average Border Patrol agent in El Paso apprehended 4.2 undocumented immigrants [sic] in 2013, according to a presentation made to lawmakers last week by two experts who study the border." Read more...

Mass. 'Public Safety' Office Seeks to Impede Immigration Enforcement

By Dan Cadman, September 16, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, an issue came to light in Massachusetts that once again highlights the fact that state and local officials continue to actively look for ways to impede federal laws where immigration enforcement is concerned. Read more...

Cato Institute Rebuttal to CIS Employment Report Is a Non Sequitur

By Steven A. Camarota, September 16, 2014

Alex Nowrasteh of the Cato Institute, which argues for open borders and amnesty, has published a posting at Cato's blog that tries to refute a report authored by Karen Zeigler and myself showing just how bad the labor market is for native-born Americans. His efforts to refute our analysis are very odd. In some places he does not seem to have read the report. Read more...

Backlogs in America's Immigration Courts

By Dan Cadman, September 15, 2014

On September 11, Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) issued a press release noting that the backlog in U.S. immigration courts had increased to 408,307 as of the end of August. That is astounding: a relatively small court system with a backlog approaching a half million cases.

But the subject line of TRAC's release also caught my attention: "Immigration Offenses Account for 80% of Immigration Court Deportation Orders". Read more...

The Executive Immigration Order That Breaks the Obama Presidency?

By Stanley Renshon, September 12, 2014

"The straw that broke the camel's back". Definition: "The last little burden or problem that causes everything to collapse."

There have been so many avoidable domestic and international missteps in the Obama presidency that is it is hard to single out one and say: That did him in!

There is, at the core, the most profound mismatch between the president's ambitions and the preferences of ordinary Americans. They want reform; he wants transformation. Read more...

Why Illegal Aliens Are Hard on America and Why an Amnesty Will Not Help

By David North, September 12, 2014

A Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives — one of the few that might actually capture a GOP seat — phoned the other day to talk about immigration policy. Having once been in his shoes (long ago I was the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House in a GOP district), we talked for a while, and I told him I would expand on my views in writing. Hence this letter:

Dear Candidate:

Too many of us in the Democratic Party appear to be deaf to the feelings of the multitude of non-elite Americans on the question of immigration control. Read more...

ICE Deportations Still Plummeting; Catch and Release Continues

By Jessica Vaughan, September 12, 2014

The Associated Press has published figures from ICE's weekly internal metrics showing that immigration enforcement has continued to decline in 2014. But the reasons offered sound more like spin from the DHS or ICE press office, which for years has peddled the tall tale that the Obama administration is tougher than any other on enforcement.

Writes AP immigration writer Alicia Caldwell: Read more...

President Obama's Self-Imposed Immigration Dilemmas, Pt. 2

By Stanley Renshon, September 11, 2014

The truth of presidential intelligence is that, ultimately, smart is what smart does, not what smart could do but doesn't. Calling attention to your intelligence by using such self-congratulatory terms as "smart diplomacy" to describe your policies does not make them so. Nor does the admonition "don't do stupid stuff" make you immune from doing just that. Read more...

South Dakota Loses $120 Million in EB-5 Funds

By David North, September 10, 2014

The big picture of the EB-5 scandal in South Dakota is beginning to emerge and it is not pretty

It looks like something on the order of $120 million in EB-5 funds that should be in the state's treasury are missing — a sum in that state that is, to paraphrase the late Sen. Everett Dirksen, real money.

Why moneys paid by EB-5 investors should be in the state's coffers, and why they are in some other, unknown location or locations, is an incredibly complex, South Dakota-only story that neither the local reporters nor the local politicians seem to understand very well. And it is all happening because of a huge gap in the regulation of the immigrant investor program by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a variable no one mentions. Read more...

President Obama's Self-Imposed Immigration Dilemmas, Pt. 1

By Stanley Renshon, September 10, 2014

It is an article of faith and certainty among liberals that the Barack Obama is "the smartest guy ever to become president." Less well know is that this view, "that Obama is one of our smartest presidents," has also found a foothold among some thoughtful informed scholars on the right, like Max Boot.

There is no doubt that the President Obama is smart in the conventional understanding of that term. He is able to engage the factual and conceptual complexities of the issues that the country faces. He is able to grasp the alternative formulations of a problem and their implications. And, he can as well, be an articulate spokesman for the policies he prefers.

Regrettably, while being "smart" is an important and useful attribute for any president, it is not the same as being effective, successful, or having good judgment. Read more...

TPS Lite Offered for West Africa — A Smart Move

By David North, September 9, 2014

All too often when something goes wrong, badly wrong, somewhere in the world, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) creates one of those always-permanent Temporary Protected Status arrangements. Read more...

How Big Is 'Real Big' for Lawless Amnesty?

By Mark Krikorian, September 9, 2014

Harry Reid is urging President Obama to "go real big" when he decrees his lawless amnesty after the election. This echoes a comment made to BuzzFeed over the weekend by Angela Kelley, head of immigration policy at the Center for American Progress: Read more...

Some Accused Citizens Are More Equal than Others in Immigration Law

By David North, September 9, 2014

Here are two situations in which an alien is accusing someone — usually a citizen — of unattractive behavior:

In one, the alien says that his lawyer is to blame for his losing a case and that the lawyer is incompetent, lazy, sloppy, or all three.

In the other, the alien says that her (it is usually a woman) husband has abused her physically or mentally. Read more...

Another Case of Immigration Self-Sabotage by "the Smartest Guy Ever to Become President"?

By Stanley Renshon, September 9, 2014

The president's decision to delay his potentially (and most likely) sweeping executive immigration action until after the November elections must seem quite clever, as well as necessary, for the White House. After all, a sweeping immigration executive action would doubtlessly embroil the country in a heated debate about its legitimacy and the president's domestic leadership strategies just before Americans are set to go to the polls with the Democrats' Senate majority in peril.

Why take the chance? Read more...

Changing the Rules to Strip Citizenship from U.S. Citizen Terrorists

By Dan Cadman, September 8, 2014

The terrorist organization ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, alternately known as ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or just IS, the Islamic State) has captured a significant portion of prime-time news in the past few months, and with good reason.

There has been a steady drip of unsettling information coming out of the administration about ISIS capacities and members; especially its intentions toward the homeland. It's as if the White House is preparing us a little at a time, so as to inoculate itself should the worst come to pass. Read more...

Different Amnesty Designs Would Impact Profile of Beneficiaries

By David North, September 8, 2014

Different designs of amnesty programs would produce different sets of characteristics for the newly amnestied.

While all massive amnesties should be avoided, particularly those done by executive decree with no congressional input, it is useful to remind observers that establishing different sets of qualifications for those who receive some form of legalization would inevitably lead to granting those benefits to different subgroups of the illegal population.

In fact, it is more complicated than that because different program designs will not only consciously qualify different groups of people, they will also make it easier or harder for certain groups to effectively cheat the system.

Let's use the rules of the current (and deplorable) Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to illustrate these points. Read more...

President Obama's Thoroughly Tawdry Executive Action Delay on Immigration

By Stanley Renshon, September 8, 2014

Well, its official.

Cueing up speculation, anticipation, and expectation, the president announced to reporters at the end of his recent NATO summit that he had received recommendations on his immigration executive order from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice and that, "I suspect that on my flight back, this'll be part of my reading, taking a look at some of the specifics that we've looked at. And I'll be making an announcement soon."

That followed a June 30 Rose Garden appearance in which the president vowed "to issue broad directives to overhaul the immigration system soon after summer's end."

No he won't. Read more...

What Do You Have to Do to Lose U.S. Citizenship?

By Dan Cadman, September 5, 2014

A recent event in North Korea forces us to confront the question of retaining or losing one's citizenship. A CNN reporter interviewed three American citizens being held in captivity there, one for nearly two years now.

Two of the captives don't concern us here, but the case of the third captive, 24-year-old Matthew Miller, does. His case goes beyond curious. Although described by high school colleagues as extremely bright, he comes across as callow and arrogant in his CNN interview. Among other things, he says "This interview is my final chance to push the American government to help me," and "there's been no movement from my government." Read more...

A New Angle in South Dakota's Continuing EB-5 Scandal

By David North, September 5, 2014

There's a new angle to South Dakota's continuing, complex, even bloody immigrant investor (EB-5) scandal that has received little, if any, attention. Read more...

Administration Removes Another Tool to Deter and Prevent Illegal Immigration

By Dan Cadman, September 4, 2014

I recently wrote a blog summarizing why I believe that using the pardon power as a form of amnesty for millions of illegal aliens isn't a good bet. Read more...

U.S. Announces What May Be the World’s Tiniest Re-Amnesty for 20 Aliens

By David North, September 3, 2014

On September 2, USCIS announced what may be the world’s smallest re-amnesty.

A "re-amnesty" is the extension of a previous amnesty, giving the beneficiaries more-or-less legal status in the United States. The technical term is TPS, for Temporary Protected Status.

This program will cover a small number of once-illegal aliens from the new, and troubled, nation of South Sudan, the non-Muslim breakaway section of Sudan which achieved independence in 2011.

And how many lucky beneficiaries will there be?

To quote the ever-lucid prose of USCIS: Read more...

Norm Matloff's Neat Summary of the H-1B Problem

By David North, September 2, 2014

The nation's leading critic of the H-1B program is professor Norm Matloff of UC-Davis — he teaches computer science there.

This gem is taken from a recent posting at his new-ish blog: Read more...

A Gratuitous Insult from the Mexican President

By Stanley Renshon, September 2, 2014

Ordinarily when a foreign leader visits the United States you can expect platitudes, not insults. Yet insults are what Americans got when Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto recently visited California.

The young (48) president, with what one biography touts as "movie-star good looks", was on his first state visit to the United States since being sworn in as president of Mexico two years ago. His first and only stop was described, with no irony intended, as the "immigrant-friendly [state of] California", where he held meetings with the state's Democratic governor, Jerry Brown. Read more...

McCain Rolls Out the Welcome Mat for ISIS on America's Southern Border

By Ronald W. Mortensen, September 2, 2014

Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) dogged support for illegal aliens and open borders has left the United States vulnerable to terrorists. This has not gone unnoticed by ISIS, also known as ISIL and IS, which reportedly is prepared to launch terrorist operations in the United States from across the southern border.

Unlike McCain, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey recognizes our vulnerability: "Because of open borders and immigration issues, it [ISIS] is an immediate threat," Dempsey said at a Department of Defense press conference. In addition, according to Saudi King Abdullah, the threat posed by ISIS to the United States is imminent. Speaking to newly appointed ambassadors to Saudi Arabia, Abdullah warned that if the United States ignores the ISIS threat, it could face terror attacks within two months. Read more...

Two Small Bits of Good News on the Marriage Fraud Front

By David North, September 2, 2014

Two bits of good news — if you look hard enough — have emerged recently regarding marriage-based immigration fraud.

As we noted a year ago, there are fundamentally two kinds of marriage-related immigration fraud. There are what might be called the Class C (for Cash) cases, in which an alien and a citizen conspire for payment to enter a sham marriage so that the alien can become a legal resident of the United States. This is the most common form. Read more...

No More EB-5 Visas for Chinese Nationals – For a Month

By David North, August 29, 2014

There will be no more immigrant investor (EB-5) visas for Chinese nationals for the next month, the government has announced – then a fresh supply will come into play.

The Obama administration has been hyping this program for years and the number of applicants has finally bumped into the statutory ceiling. Since immigration law has ceilings within ceilings, only Chinese investors will be given a "time out" this time around; investors from other nations are still being granted visas. Read more...