Immigration Blog

Many No-Shows in Immigration Court; Some Hearings Scheduled for 2020

By Jon Feere, August 22, 2014

The Heritage Foundation's news site The Daily Signal ran a piece Friday on one reporter's observations at an immigration court in Arlington, Va. The docket was made up of juveniles, though not youths affiliated with the recent border influx. I happened to attend a day of the juvenile docket in the same courtroom the day after the reporter and his article is quite accurate and worth reading. There is one thing the reporter did not mention, however, and that is the turnout rate. Read more...

A Town Near You? ICE Reveals Locations of Convicted Murderers It Freed

By Jessica Vaughan, August 22, 2014

The 169 aliens with homicide-related convictions who were freed by ICE in 2013 were booked out of detention facilities in 24 different states, with the largest number in California, according to information provided to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). ICE records show that these convicted killers were associated with 96 different cities and towns across America. The city with the largest concentration was Miami, with seven convicted murderers freed by ICE, followed by Los Angeles with six. Read more...

The Bedrock of Ordinary Americans' Immigration Views: Future Immigration Levels, Pt. 2

By Stanley Renshon, August 22, 2014

Americans have consistently said that they want immigration levels to "remain the same" or be decreased. Many so-called immigration "reformers" have simply ignored them.

As a result, one of the most egregious elements of the Senate's 2013 bill was that it would have enormously increased the number of legal immigrants allowed into the United States. Just how many new legal immigrants would have been allowed in is a matter of debate, but by any fair look, the numbers would be substantial — at least double and most likely more. Read more...

Jan Ting on Immigration Policy: 'The Issue Is: How Many?'

By Jan Ting, August 21, 2014

This morning, before hosting an address by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the Heritage Foundation and National Review co-sponsored a panel discussion about immigration. (Watch it here.) One of the participants was Jan Ting, a law professor at Temple University and a member of the Center for Immigration Studies board of directors. Here are extensive excerpts from his introductory remarks. Read more...

It Depends on What the Meaning of "Student" Is

By David North, August 21, 2014

You know whose side they're on when immigration lawyers talk about a "shortage of H-1B visas".

There are a lot of suggestions to the White House these days about how to write the perhaps forthcoming executive amnesty, and many industry-centric attorneys are eager to make sure that the proposed opening of the borders helps their fat cat corporate clients, as well as run-of-the-mill illegal aliens.

My favorite industry-tilted proposal is that of Roger Algase, and is included in an article in Immigration Daily's August 14 edition, entitled "Can the President Act of His Own to Relieve the H-1B Visa Shortage?" Read more...

Iranian-American IJ Told Not to Take Iranian Cases, She Sues DOJ

By David North, August 20, 2014

A judge suing her employer is both rare and interesting; this time it is an Iranian-American immigration judge who is suing the U.S. Department of Justice.

The DOJ ordered her to recuse herself if any Iranian appeared before her. She is Ashley Tabaddor, and she is one of 37 IJs at the busy Los Angeles immigration court.

She said that such an order would violate her First Amendment rights, according to an article reprinted on the Immigration Daily website. Read more...

The Bedrock of Ordinary Americans' Immigration View: Future Immigration Levels

By Stanley Renshon, August 20, 2014

In the last few entries, we have been exploring the fact that ordinary Americans hold basic, bedrock views on several subjects that that are cornerstones of the immigration debate – their views on the impact of large-scale immigration, as reflected in the numbers of the foreign-born in the population, and their views on illegal immigration.

The vehicle of our examination has been a large, sophisticated immigration survey, with an experiment design component embedded within it (for the experimental parts, different groups within the larger sample are given different question and the results compared), conducted by two very reputable political scientists. Read more...

HHS OIG Report on Aliens and Obamacare: Important but Incomplete

By Dan Cadman, August 19, 2014

I have been reading a June report issued by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) called "Marketplace Faced Early Challenges Resolving Inconsistencies with Applicant Data".

The report provides the findings from an examination of the start-up enrollment data from the automated sites (data hubs, or "marketplaces") run by the federal and state governments that receive and store requests for medical insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare. Under the law, states may choose to run their own or not; in the latter case applicants use the federal marketplace. Read more...

Disturbing Marriage Fraud Case
When in Rome do as the Vandals do

By David North, August 19, 2014
When in Rome do as the Vandals do

A Federal Judge in Nevada has ruled that two highly questionable prior marriages between an illegal alien and two different U.S. citizens should be ignored and that the alien should be allowed to proceed toward a green card as a result of a third marriage to a U.S. citizen.

Routinely, someone who has sought Lawful Permanent Resident status through marriage fraud is barred for life from using another marriage to seek a green card. Read more...

The Bedrock of Ordinary Americans' Immigration Views: How Many is Too Much?

By Stanley Renshon, August 19, 2014

Researchers asking if providing "accurate" information about the percentage of foreign-born persons and illegal immigrants in the population of the United States would lead survey respondents to feel less of a "threat" from, and be more welcoming to, ethnic "others" (immigrants), were surprised to find accurate numbers (i.e., the estimates that researchers provided) didn't make much difference (p. 15). Americans were not happy with the figures, even when they were given the "correct" (i.e. estimated) numbers.

The researchers wondered why and speculated as follows (p. 15): Read more...

USCIS: No Green Card for Jello Shots

By David North, August 18, 2014

Often in these blogs, we write about USCIS abusing its discretionary powers, about alien investors getting cheated in EB-5 (immigrant investor) cases, and about those investments being in real estate deals.

Late last month a decision made by an arm of USCIS put a reverse spin on all three of those patterns:

  • USCIS decided the case exactly as it should;
  • It was the alien, not some American middleman, who was at fault; and
  • Instead of a proposed real estate investment, we have one in a bizarre food (?) product.

CNN Publishes Error-Filled, Pro-Amnesty "News" Article

By Jon Feere, August 15, 2014

On Monday, CNN.com published an article by CNN's Senior Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh titled "Republicans ignoring their own advice on immigration". Though it is apparently meant to be a news article, it comes across as an editorial written by a pro-amnesty activist who is upset that the American people were able to stop Congress from passing a bill that would allow millions of foreigners to get away with violating U.S. sovereignty. On top of that, the article contains a number of factual errors, as detailed below. I have sent inquires to both the article's author and CNN.com about the errors, and should they be corrected, this post will be updated.

Here are the obvious factual errors: Read more...

The Bedrock of Ordinary Americans' Immigration Views

By Stanley Renshon, August 15, 2014

Americans do have some bedrock views on immigration, but how legitimate are they given the lack of specific information that ordinarily accompanies them?

The criticism of ordinary Americans' lack of specific information about immigration and other public matters often masks a conceit and several false premises. It also provides an opening to manipulate the public that many advocates and pundits feel no qualms about taking advantage of if it suits their policy preferences, for example by arguing that legalizing illegal immigrants will require them to pay their back taxes when that is patently untrue and misleading. Read more...

Report on ICE's Criminal Alien Releases Leaves Much to Be Desired

By Dan Cadman, August 15, 2014

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a report entitled "ICE's Release of Immigration Detainees". Read more...

Illegal Migrants: A Silent Invasion No More, Pt. 2

By Stanley Renshon, August 14, 2014

The hidden tsunami of new immigrants, both legal and illegal, have been operating under the public's attention radar for many decades. In part this reflects the fact that immigration is not, ordinarily, a high-attention issue for most Americans. As a result, ordinary Americans don't have a great deal of factual information about the substantive foundations of the many complex elements that make up immigration policy. Read more...

Pardon Me? Executive Clemency as a Vehicle for Amnesty Isn't a Good Bet

By Dan Cadman, August 14, 2014

I have been pondering the Guy Benson Townhall.com article on the possibility of the president using his pardon power to amnesty the 10 to 12 million aliens illegally in the United States.

I'm not sure who came up with this notion, or how, but it goes without saying that it's a bad idea — and, more to the point, unlikely to gain enough legal traction to be successful. Read more...

Amnesty Would Make Border Crisis Worse

By Jon Feere, August 14, 2014

The start of my op-ed posted today at TheHill.com:

Any legalization of illegal immigrants — either through legislation or executive fiat — would undoubtedly encourage more illegal immigration, making the current crisis look almost insignificant by comparison. This should be well-understood by former La Raza Vice President Cecilia Muñoz, who currently serves in the White House as assistant to President Obama and director of the Domestic Policy Council.

Only four years after the comprehensive amnesty of 1986 was signed into law, Muñoz authored a report for La Raza in which she noted that the amnesty did not stop illegal immigration. ...

Read the rest here.

Read more...

High-Tech H-1B Employers Take Two Indirect Hits

By David North, August 13, 2014

The big H-1B employers in Silicon Valley took two unrelated and indirect hits recently.

The biggest damage came last week from a federal judge's decision in which H-1B was not even mentioned, but which cast dark shadows on the software industry's image as an employer.

The lesser blow came from a Department of Homeland Security move earlier that will decrease the number of H-1B slots available for computer programmers. In this action, the computer industry was not mentioned, but it will be hurt in any case. Read more...

Accusations of Caesarism Should Not Be Dismissed Lightly

By Dan Cadman, August 12, 2014

The Economic Policy Institute's Daniel Costa has written a defense, even before it has happened, of the president's ability to expand deferred action to additional as-yet-undefined categories of illegal aliens, beyond the current DACA program for about half million youth and young adults.

The piece, entitled "American Caesar? Not Even Close: The president has the statutory authority he needs to expand deferred action", is well-written, but fails a critical examination of logic. (Its title refers to a New York Times column and subsequent blog post by Ross Douthat.) Here is why it doesn't ring true. Read more...

A Refreshing Aspect of EB-5 – No Bowing to the Alien Rich

By David North, August 12, 2014

If you step back a metaphorical 100 yards and put your mind in neutral, you might notice that the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program is refreshing and different in one strange way: It is the only government program that I know of that routinely treats the rich as powerless riffraff.

It's not that the government puts workers first, or even taxpayers; the tilt is toward another set of "haves", the middlemen who profit from the money invested by the aliens. (There may be some indirect benefits to others, but the middlemen are the most likely to get something out of this program.) Read more...

Guatemalan Police Reportedly Shaking Down Northbound Central Americans

By Jerry Kammer, August 11, 2014

Stories of predatory Mexican police, soldiers, and immigration authorities are common among Central Americans who pass through Mexico on their way to an illegal border crossing into the United States. When I was in the Rio Grande Valley in June, a Salvadoran man told he had been shaken down "maybe 15 times" on his way to the U.S. border and the friendly arms of the Border Patrol. I met him at the bus station in McAllen, where the Border Patrol had just dropped him and his son off with an order to appear in immigration court in Los Angeles, where they hoped to settle. Read more...

Could Obama Amnesty Illegal Aliens via the Pardon Power?

By Jon Feere, August 8, 2014

Townhall.com's Guy Benson has raised some interesting questions about the extent to which President Obama might use his pardon power to initiate a mass amnesty of illegal aliens. The article is worth reading and thinking about as the nation awaits the Obama administration's controversial plans to decree an amnesty despite its failure to get an amnesty by constitutional means.

Benson reasons that Obama might use his presidential pardon power to legalize a sizeable number of illegal aliens, explaining that an "immigration pardon-o-rama could be a particularly devious method of achieving most of what Obama wants on this issue, and doing so with a patina of legality." Read more...

Murder of Agent Points to Importance of Arresting Prior Deports

By Dan Cadman, August 8, 2014

Even as White House operatives such as Cecilia Munoz plan the next steps in dismantling immigration law enforcement – including ways to "de-prioritize" efforts to arrest aliens who reenter the United States after having been previously deported – other plans were being made: funeral plans for murdered Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega, Jr., Read more...

Border Patrol Press Release Has Boat Helping with Desert Rescue

By David North, August 8, 2014

Fond as I am of the Border Patrol, and sympathetic as I am to government press agents (I used to be one myself), I can 't let this go.

It seems that five illegals were "lost in the desert without food or water" and the Patrol sent its search and rescue team in action "along with Air and Marine assets" in an effort to "search the area". (My emphasis; quotes from their press release.) Read more...

At Conference of Latino Officials, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown Hailed the Rise of Brown Power

By Jerry Kammer, August 7, 2014

Earlier in the week, this blog noted that 2014 is the 20th anniversary of California's Proposition 187, a controversial effort to curtail illegal immigration. That anniversary was cited at the recent conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), part of which was shown on C-SPAN Thursday morning.

NALEO President Alex Padilla referred to pro-Proposition 187 television ads that showed illegal immigrants streaming across the Texas border as a narrator sounded the alarm: "They keep coming!" Read more...

Too Many See Immigration Policy as a Good-vs-Bad Morality Play

By David North, August 7, 2014

Too many Americans (and too many in the media) see the surge of Central Americans as a simplistic morality play, that runs about like this:

  • Arriving Central Americans (although illegals) are good.
  • They are fleeing from violence, and from other Central Americans who are bad.
  • If our immigration system sends them home, that would be bad.

Illegal Migrants: A Silent Invasion No More

By Stanley Renshon, August 7, 2014

According to Gallup, immigration has ranked near the bottom of Americans' concerns for many years. No more.

In 1994, the number of Americans who said immigration was "America's biggest problem" reached a highpoint of 2 percent. In 1996, the highpoint was 6 percent. In 1997, it was 4 percent. In 1998, it was 2 percent. In 1999 it was 1 percent. In 2000 it was 2 percent, and in 2001 it was 3 percent.

Fast forward to now, the summer of 2014 and Gallup reports, "With thousands of undocumented immigrant minors crossing the nation's southern border in recent months, the percentage of Americans citing immigration as the top problem has surged to 17 percent this month, up from 5 percent in June, and the highest seen since 2006." Read more...

Other English-Speaking Nations Move to Reduce International Migration

By David North, August 7, 2014

In the years since 2012, other English-speaking nations have taken a variety of approaches to reducing international migration, and/or to making it more selective, a CIS survey has shown.

The nations taking these steps are Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom and, to a lesser extent, Australia. Read more...

Have a Third-Rate Business Model? Call in the Aliens

By David North, August 6, 2014

If your business model isn't working, the answer is: bring in the aliens.

And since it will help you out of whatever trap you are in, you can label it a matter of national necessity. You can always say "America Needs Aliens" for whatever ails your business. Read more...

Malleable Privacy Policies and Media Manipulation of Minors

By Dan Cadman, August 6, 2014

One of my readers and occasional correspondents is a retired Border Patrol agent. I can't say we are former colleagues; to my knowledge our paths didn't cross while serving in the now-defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service. Still, we share a certain commonality of experience and outlook, so I'm always interested in what he has to say.

Recently, he forwarded me a link to a Time article by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson about his recent trip to the border to take a first-hand look at what's going on with the surge of aliens crossing illegally into the Rio Grande Valley. Read more...