Immigration Blog

It Looks Like Visa Mill History Is About to Repeat Itself in Northern Virginia

By David North, June 23, 2017

Once again it looks like a highly questionable educational institution in Northern Virginia is about to be closed down — it is said to provide lots of nonimmigrant visas and not much education — and the closing will not be forced by the federal agency that is supposed to handle such things, the Department of Homeland Security. Read more...

Another Ninth Circuit Judge Goes Off on Immigration Enforcement

By Andrew R. Arthur, June 23, 2017

In a June 2, 2017 post, I detailed the case of Magana Ortiz v. Sessions, in which Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt described the removal of a Mexican national who had entered the United States in 1989 as "contrary to the values of this nation and its legal system." He continued:

Indeed, the government's decision to remove Magana Ortiz diminishes not only our country but our courts, which are supposedly dedicated to the pursuit of justice. Magana Ortiz and his family are in truth not the only victims. Among the others are judges who, forced to participate in such inhumane acts, suffer a loss of dignity and humanity as well. I concur as a judge, but as a citizen I do not.

On Monday, June 12, 2017, it was the turn of Judge Reinhardt's colleague, Ninth Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson, to attack the government for enforcing the immigration laws. Read more...

Big H-1B Employer Infosys Sued Again for Racial Discrimination

By David North, June 23, 2017

Infosys, one of the largest Indian outsourcing companies, has been sued, yet again, for discrimination against non-Indian workers, as the Dallas Morning News reported recently.

The firm, which sought more H-1B workers than any other company in the United States in 2016 — 33,289, according to the Myvisajobs website — was hauled into court by Erin Green, a non-Indian U.S. citizen and a former supervisor at the firm. In his filing, he pointed out that while "less than 5 percent of the U. S. population is of the South Asian race and national origin, roughly 93 percent to 94 percent of Infosys's United States workforce "is of the South Asian national origin, (primarily Indian)." Read more...

Honduras and El Salvador Plead for TPS Extension

By Kausha Luna, June 22, 2017

Last week, the United States and Mexico cohosted the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America in Miami. While the question of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was not on the agenda, both Honduras and El Salvador took the opportunity to highlight the issue before U.S. officials. Read more...

IRS Ignores Appeals Court Decision; Continues Paying "Child Tax Credits" to Illegal Aliens

By Jan Ting, June 22, 2017

According to the Inspector General of the U.S. Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year pays billions of dollars in "child tax credits" to illegal aliens.1 The child tax credit, provided by section 24 of the Internal Revenue Code, is a credit against a taxpayer's federal income tax liability of $1,000 for each of the taxpayer's children.2 The credit is reduced for taxpayers whose income exceeds a specified amount.3 Read more...

Some Welcome Information on the "Travel Ban" and Sanctuary Lawsuits

By Dan Cadman, June 21, 2017

Most readers know that the "travel ban" and sanctuary lawsuits were filed by various entities, including a few states, against executive orders (EOs) issued by President Trump to pause entry into the United States from nationals of certain countries; and to cease providing federal grants to "sanctuaries that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement efforts. Read more...

Alliance for Prosperity Plan: Hope for Curbing Northern Triangle Emigration?

By Kausha Luna, June 21, 2017

Last week, the United States and Mexico co-hosted the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America in Miami. Throughout the conference, prosperity and security in the region were recognized as an antidote to illegal immigration. An op-ed jointly authored by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, and the president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) presents a similar argument by alluding to the potential success of the Alliance for Prosperity Plan. Read more...

Even Pakistan Agrees: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

By Dan Cadman, June 21, 2017

The saying "Good fences make good neighbors" has been around in one form or another for a very long time.

Of course, a lot of American progressives and liberals disagree with that notion, at least where erection of a wall, fence, or other barrier across our southern border is concerned — even though a significant number of these critics, at least when they are also a part of the privileged elite, live in manses behind high, fortified walls to keep out the riff-raff.

Apparently Pakistan disagrees with that kind of borderless worldview. Read more...

Sanctuary for Illegal Alien Drunk Drivers?

By Andrew R. Arthur, June 20, 2017

It is almost trite and redundant to state that there is a contentious debate in the United States between those who are pushing for the strict enforcement of the immigration laws and those who believe that certain aliens, notwithstanding the fact that they are removable from the United States, should not be subjected to the "harsh punishment" of removal.

An interesting part of this debate is its framing. "Immigration enforcement" is linked to President Donald Trump, notwithstanding the fact that he has not signed a single piece of legislation that has changed the immigration laws of the United States, which are codified at 8 United States Code, commonly known as the "Immigration and Nationality Act", or "INA". The INA is a series of individual provisions, some of which were originally passed in 1952, that have been amended and added to since then. Read more...

Deflating the Immigration Court Backlog Balloon

By Dan Cadman, June 20, 2017

My colleague Andrew Arthur has written a series of blog posts on a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report discussing the sobering state of affairs at the Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review (DOJ EOIR), which is responsible for administering the immigration courts and their appellate tribunal, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). (See here, here, and here.) Read more...

Remembering Robert Leiken

By Jerry Kammer, June 20, 2017

Last week the New York Times published a fine obituary for a remarkable man, Robert Leiken, who died June 7 at the age of 78. I want to make a personal tribute to Bob Leiken. We had a friendship that began about 20 years ago, when he was a scholar at the Nixon Center and I was a reporter in Washington. Read more...

Tackling the Backlogs in Immigration Court

By Andrew R. Arthur, June 19, 2017

On June 1, 2017, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report detailing a significant increase in the immigration courts' case backlog between Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 and FY 2015. In a June 6, 2017 post, I summarized that report, and in a June 9, 2017 post, I offered some explanations for the increase in the backlog over that 10-year period. In this post, I will offer some solutions to ease that backlog. Read more...

ICE Offensive on Long Island Against MS-13 Getting Results

By Joseph J. Kolb, June 19, 2017

Operation Matador, a major offensive against gangs, especially MS-13 on Long Island, by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and regional law enforcement task forces, has not only reaped multiple arrests, but has also confirmed what I have been discussing for the past six months — that the unabated and poorly supervised placement of unacc Read more...

The Verify First Act: A Common-Sense Measure to Protect Tax Dollars

By Dan Cadman, June 16, 2017

The House of Representatives passed this week H.R. 2581, the "Verify First Act", sponsored by Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.). The bill would require government agencies, including the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security, to verify the citizenship or lawful alien status of individual claimants before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would be permitted to issue advance payment for credits allowed under the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

The bill represents common sense: Why pay out credits to fraudulent claimants and illegal aliens without checking first? Sadly, common sense is often in short supply in our capital city, as well as underneath the rotunda of the Capitol itself. Read more...

A Good News Detention Story that Gets Almost No Attention

By Dan Cadman, June 16, 2017

On June 2, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) issued a report, "Results of Office of Inspector General FY 2016 Spot Inspections of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] Family Detention Facilities", the results of which have warmed the hearts of ICE officials. Here they are in a nutshell:

During our July 2016 unannounced spot inspections of ICE's three family detention facilities, we observed conditions that generally met ICE's 2007 Family Residential Standards. The facilities were clean, well organized, and efficiently run. Based on our observations, interviews, and document reviews, we concluded that, at all three facilities, ICE was satisfactorily addressing the inherent challenges of providing medical care and language services and ensuring the safety of families in detention. (Emphasis added.)

The Secret Provisions of the U.S.-Australia Refugee Deal Better Be Really Good for America

By Nayla Rush, June 16, 2017

A quick update on the U.S.-Australia refugee resettlement deal I've been writing about (see here, here, and here).

The latest development came with the news Thursday of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull mocking President Trump during the Australian Parliament's annual Midwinter Ball, which is the premier event of the political year in Canberra, similar to the White House Correspondents Dinner. Unlike the U.S. version, Turnbull's speech in front of journalists, advisers, and politicians, was supposed to be off the record. Read more...

Outsourcers Help Tech Firms Keep Up Appearance of High H-1B Salaries

By David North, June 15, 2017

When a baseball player sees a teammate hit a bases-loaded, game-winning home run he experiences two emotions — elation for the team, and a whiff of jealousy that he did not get those four RBIs and all that applause.

Well, South Carolina lawyer Geoffrey Rhodes, someone I had never heard of, has just pulled off a similar feat in the H-1B field, and I am frankly envious.

Using an interesting research method, he has just demolished the fantasy of high H-1B salaries paid by the big players in the IT world. He discovered that Cisco, PayPal, Microsoft, and E-Bay, for example, follow a (misleading) double track as they use the H-1B system. Read more...

Refugees Do Not Pay Their Own Way

By Jason Richwine, June 15, 2017

A working paper released this week by Notre Dame economists William Evans and Daniel Fitzgerald makes the head-scratching claim that refugees, despite below-average incomes and high rates of welfare use, pay $21,000 more in taxes than they receive in benefits during their first 20 years in the United States. Immigration-boosting wonks such as Matt Yglesias and Dylan Matthews immediately trumpeted the findings, and the Washington Post and FiveThirtyEight added favorable write-ups.

They should have been more skeptical. The claim that refugees contribute more in taxes than they receive in benefits is simply implausible. The public sector struggles with budget deficits every year, and it relies on the taxes paid by the highest-earning Americans to stay even close to fiscal balance. If disproportionately low-earning and high-welfare-consuming Americans were somehow net fiscal contributors, then governments at all levels would be deep in the black, and politicians would be sparring over what to do with the massive surpluses. Read more...

EU Begins Legal Action to Force Migrants on Resistant Member States

By Dan Cadman, June 15, 2017

In the time since German Chancellor Angela Merkel unilaterally opened the floodgates of Europe in 2015 by declaring that she would not put a limit on the number of migrants attempting to enter Germany — and therefore, given the European Union (EU) policy of border-free travel in what is known as the Schengen Area, ensuring that virtually all of Europe would be affected — somewhere between two and three million aliens have arrived in the EU illegally. They consist of a diaspora from all over the Middle East, Central Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Read more...

Ninth Circuit Takes on the Trump Travel Executive Order

By Andrew R. Arthur, June 14, 2017

In a May 27 blog post, I detailed the affirmance (in part) by the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit of a district court judge's injunction barring enforcement of section 2(c) of Executive Order 13,780, "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States" (EO-2). On Monday, June 12, the Ninth Circuit took its chop at that order, reviewing a decision by the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii, which had entered a temporary restraining order (TRO) prohibiting enforcement of sections 2 and 6 of EO-2 nation-wide. Read more...

A Good Story Goes Bad with a Subtle Turn of Phrase

By Jerry Kammer, June 13, 2017

A story on Monday's "Here and Now" program, which is presented on many public radio stations, provides an example of how subtle manipulations of language can color the discussion of immigration policy.

The story, reported by Liz Jones of KUOW in Seattle, concerned an effort by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to establish relations and build trust with community-based organizations, including advocates of illegal immigrants. One advocate told Jones that he appreciated the opportunity to meet with ICE because, "It fights this notion of a bunch of thugs."

Jones' reporting was skillful and even-handed until her last sentence, which tilted abruptly away from those journalistic values. Said Jones, "As for trust, that will be tricky between a group that wants to protect immigrants and an agency built up to deport them." Read more...

IRC's Involvement in the U.S.-Australia Refugee Deal: A Clear Conflict of Interest

By Nayla Rush, June 13, 2017

The U.S-Australia refugee resettlement deal I started researching in February is now well underway, as I wrote yesterday, with president Trump choosing to honor his predecessor's commitment to take in Australia's unwanted refugees.

One thing overlooked in some of the news coverage of yesterday's report is the role of a group called the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in this resettlement process.

IRC is a U.S.-based non-governmental organization that is partly funded by the State Department. It is currently headed by David Miliband, a former foreign secretary of the United Kingdom.

In the case of Australia's unwanted refugees, IRC is acting both as a Resettlement Support Center (RSC) and a domestic resettlement agency (or volag) for the State Department. Read more...

Mexican Emigration Is Straining Families

By John Wahala, June 12, 2017

A new study published in the journal International Migration provides some insight into the motivations of Mexican emigrants and the impact their decisions have on the families they leave behind. Sociologist Heather Fuller conducted focus groups in an outlying township of Mexico City — an urbanizing area with a 43 percent poverty rate, high unemployment, and increasing out-migration — to examine the emotional toll on parents whose children have gone to the United States. Read more...

H-2B Visa Discretion

By Benjamin Dierker, June 12, 2017

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly made it clear at last week's House Homeland Security Committee hearing that he wants to focus on national security and not economics or labor. At several points during the hearing, the H-2B Visa was raised as an area of concern. The visas provide for temporary permitting of foreign workers for nonagricultural labor, typically for seasonal business, high workload periods, or for a one-time project. Read more...

Breaking Down the Increasing Backlogs in Immigration Court

By Andrew R. Arthur, June 9, 2017

In my last post, I detailed the results of a June 1, 2017, report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that exposed a massive increase in the immigration courts' case backlog between Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 and 2015. Understanding the reasons for these backlogs is critical to addressing them, and to putting the immigration courts in a position to handle their workflow. Read more...

Trump Is Amnestying 192 New Illegals per Day

By Mark Krikorian, June 8, 2017

Shortly after inauguration, I wrote about the Trump administration's decision to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty. During the campaign, Trump (correctly) lambasted Obama's unilateral amnesty program as illegal and pledged to stop it on day one. But not only did he not stop it, DHS has continued to process renewals and even new applications, for illegal aliens who did not already have this two-year renewable work permit. Read more...

Kelly Calls for Full Implementation of REAL ID

By Benjamin Dierker, June 8, 2017

In yesterday's House Homeland Security Committee hearing that I mentioned in my previous post, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly used part of his opening statement to address government-issued identification cards as a measure to bolster national security. The hearing was on DHS reauthorization and the presidential budget request, but Kelly slipped in his own request for support for full implementation of the REAL ID Act. (His written statement did not mention it, but he did in his oral testimony.) Read more...

On Judicial Impartiality (or Lack Thereof) in Immigration Cases

By Dan Cadman, June 8, 2017

What do you do when so much bias is exhibited in a case that one of the parties becomes convinced it's unlikely to be treated impartially? If it's at the federal district court level, then a request for change of venue could be filed if the problem appears to be finding an unbiased jury. If the problem appears to be bias exhibited by the presiding judge, the party can ask the judge to recuse him- or herself, and if he or she refuses, then perhaps file a motion or interlocutory appeal requesting that someone above the judge take a look at the prejudicial statements or conduct to determine if the judge should be removed and substituted.

But what do you do when the bias is pervasive, and it is at the appellate level? Where do you go to seek someone more impartial to hear the case on appellate review? Read more...

DHS Chief Kelly: 'Everything That Is Bad' Crosses Southwest Border

By Benjamin Dierker, June 8, 2017

In a hearing yesterday before the House Homeland Security Committee, to discuss the reauthorization and budget of the Department of Homeland Security, DHS Secretary John Kelly left nothing to the imagination when he identified the porous southwest border as a national security concern. Discussing everything from human trafficking to drugs to gang activity, Kelly said, "everything that is bad in this regard comes from the southern border." Read more...

EB-5 Notes: The Kushners' Debt and an Unrelated $100 Million Headline

By David North, June 8, 2017

Thanks to the acts of the president, his son-in-law, and the latter's sister, many more people in America now know about the EB-5 program than did six months ago. (This is the immigrant investor program in which an alien family gets, ultimately, a set of green cards for a $500,000 investment)

There are newspaper reports that Jared Kushner wants to get rid of the family's EB-5 debt in Jersey City, N.J., for the half-occupied Trump Plaza complex there. Part of the debt is $50 million put up by 100 Chinese families who presumably have their green cards by now. Read more...