Immigration Blog

Federal Appellate Court Rules American Samoans Are U.S. Nationals, not Citizens

By Dan Cadman, October 8, 2015

Just when you think the fiery debate over birthright citizenship has exhausted itself for the moment, a court comes along and breathes a bit of new life into the embers.

This time, the subject involves the tiny territory of American Samoa, consisting of five small islands and atolls in the South Pacific that have a combined land mass of about 76 square miles and a population of 54,343. As for the economy? Next time you eat tuna salad, think American Samoa, which has processing plants that employ many of the islands' natives. The islands also do a thriving business in copra (dried coconut meat). Note also that American Samoa is to be distinguished from the Independent State of Samoa (the former Western Samoa). Read more...

The Ramos Rules
Univision anchor: "Undocumented immigrants" should be treated like those who came legally.

By Jerry Kammer, October 7, 2015
Univision anchor: "Undocumented immigrants" should be treated like those who came legally.

In an interview with Terry Gross for her "Fresh Air" program on NPR Monday, Univision anchorman Jorge Ramos provided a glimpse into his reasoning on immigration. As seen in the excerpts below, Ramos makes no distinction between "undocumented immigrants" and legal immigrants. He believes that since Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are Latinos whose parents immigrated to the United States they should support illegal immigration. Read more...

Administration Extends Idea of 'Extreme Hardship' to Ridiculous Extremes

By David North, October 7, 2015

"That was in another country; and besides, the wench is dead." — Christopher Marlowe

Here's the situation: An illegal alien (let's say the alien is male) is about to be deported, but he seeks a waiver on the grounds that such a move would bring an "extreme hardship to his citizen wife" so he should be allowed to stay.

OK, but what if the wife dies? What if she dies and the illegal has re-married? Can the hardship on the former (and now dead) wife be used to seek the waiver that will allow him to stay? Read more...

The Results Are In: Obama Never Intended to Enforce Immigration Law

By Mark Krikorian, October 7, 2015

Using preliminary numbers, the Associated Press reports that deportations are down to the lowest level in nearly a decade. As you can see from the graphic, deportations (or, strictly speaking, removals attributed to ICE rather than to the Border Patrol) grew significantly under Bush (as they had under Clinton), initially plateaued under Obama, and are now collapsing. Read more...

Angela Merkel, the Nobel Peace Prize, and the Sorcerer's Apprentice

By Jerry Kammer, October 6, 2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has won international praise for her decision to welcome hundreds of thousands of refugees. But public opinion at home is becoming restless for reassurance that the government will restrain the influx.

As the British newspaper, The Telegraph, put it: "Speculation is mounting that Angela Merkel will win this year's Nobel Peace Prize for her handling of the European refugee crisis and the war in Ukraine, just as public opinion in Germany is hardening on the migrant issue." Read more...

Foreign Fighters, Lone Wolves, and Combating Violent Extremists

By Dan Cadman, October 6, 2015

Last week President Obama met with other nations' leaders, including the Russians and European Union member states, at the United Nations in New York to plot a strategy to deal with terrorism, most particularly the malevolent kind represented by the Islamic State (IS). From the sounds of it — with the exception of Vladimir Putin, who for better or worse has his game plan mapped out — the president and the others appear to be flailing about in the same ineffective way that the EU has been handling its migrant crisis (which is one of the outcomes of the West's mishandling of Syria's dissolution and the rise of IS). Read more...

Euphemism du Jour: "Spontaneous Arrivals"

By Mark Krikorian, October 6, 2015

An indication of the unpopularity of the anti-borders position is the ubiquity of euphemism. Immigration being an Up vs. Down issue, rather than the conventional Right vs. Left, anti-borders elites have to use their cultural sway to transform even the utterance of certain ungood words into crimethink. Read more...

Illegal Alien Who Went Home Demands to Be Let Back In

By Kausha Luna, October 5, 2015

On Tuesday, Rafael Gaytan is expected to turn himself in to the Border Patrol at the border between Tijuana and San Diego, in hopes of being reunited with his family in central Florida. Read more...

Administration Uses Sleight of Hand to Change Visa Rules

By David North, October 5, 2015

The Obama administration has used yet another sleight-of-hand maneuver in the visa process to get aliens here more quickly and to expand the legal alien workforce substantially.

The latest legally dubious executive action allows a large number of aliens who have been sponsored for a green card, but who are still years away from obtaining it due to the numerical limits of the law, to instead receive work permits and travel documents. These individuals will have permission to work and travel in the United States — de facto permanent residency — even before their applications have been reviewed, and in defiance of the numerical limits and orderly process set by Congress. Read more...

L.A. Sheriff Takes a Small Step Toward Reason with New Immigration Enforcement Cooperation Policy

By Dan Cadman, October 5, 2015

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell announced last month that the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD) was partially reversing a policy instituted following a Board of County Supervisors meeting last May, when the long-established practice of cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify and detain alien criminals lin the county jail was ended. Read more...

Migrant Deaths at Sea in This Hemisphere Too

By David North, October 5, 2015

We were having a quiet dinner at a Washington hotel when the conversation turned to the deaths at sea of the migrants coming from Africa to Italy.

"This happens all the time in the waters between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico and the press never covers it," said the former Border Patrol agent. Read more...

Immigration in the Canadian Election

By Dan Cadman, October 2, 2015

The 2015 election cycle has descended on Canada, pitting the ruling Conservative party, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, against the Liberal Party, led by Justin Trudeau, the movie-star handsome eldest son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

As in the United States, the subject of immigration has taken on added dimension in the struggle for electoral victory between the parties. Also as in the United States, it is confounding liberals and progressives with a certain amount of popular backlash among voters that, at least prior to the actual casting of ballots, is redounding in favor of the Conservatives. Some are even speculating that it may result in an upset win against the Liberals, who had earlier held a comfortable margin of support. Read more...

Four Immigration Programs Extended to Dec. 11 by Continuing Resolution

By David North, October 1, 2015

Both houses of Congress passed – and the president signed into law – a continuing resolution (CR) yesterday which will avoid a government shutdown caused by a lack of funds, and, in the small print, will keep four specialized immigration programs alive for the duration of the CR, which will end on December 11.

The four immigration programs are extended in their current form, and will need another extension to keep them going past December 11. Read more...

RFK, Theodore White, and the Great Debate over Immigration

By Jerry Kammer, September 30, 2015

In 1968, when Robert F. Kennedy was a senator from New York campaigning for the presidency, he frequently made a call to idealism that survives as a quotation vividly tied to his memory: "Some men see things as they are and say, why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?"

Over the past several months, as I researched the transformative 1965 Hart-Celler Immigration Act to write the paper we will release Thursday at the National Press Club, I thought often of Kennedy's famous quote. Read more...

To Be Called Migrants or Refugees? That Is the Question

By Nayla Rush, September 30, 2015

The "migrant crisis" in Europe has been making headlines lately as reports abound on the hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children crossing its borders. These large flows of migrants (coming mostly from the Middle East and North Africa) are putting the European Union to the test as Europe faces its largest mass migration since the end of World War II. Public outrage escalated (especially following the picture of the drowned three-year-old boy on the Turkish shore), with calls to welcome everyone as EU leaders argue over logistics and numbers. Read more...

Honduras' Central Bank: Emigration to U.S. Is a Cause for Concern

By Kausha Luna, September 30, 2015

The United Nations' new development agenda presents migration and remittances as a contribution to development. However, the vice president of Honduras' Central Bank (BCH), Manuel Bautista, said in a recent interview that emigration and remittances are a source of concern for Honduras.

Bautista's comments need to be understood in the context of a 2007 report by the BCH on family remittances and a profile of remittance senders. The report shows emigration to the U.S. from Honduras has had a negative impact on the productivity of the work force. The data shows labor inactivity increased by 9.1 percent in 2006. The emigrant population (estimated at more than 1 million out of the country's current population of 8.6 million) is a significant portion of Honduras' labor force because almost all (92.5 percent) are between 15 and 49 years old. Furthermore, the able workers receiving remittances often stop looking for jobs and others use remittances as early retirement funds. Read more...

EB-5 Debacle in Vermont Offers Schadenfreude for All

By David North, September 30, 2015

There's a failed EB-5 venture in Vermont that offers schadenfreude for all comers.

According to VT Digger, an online alternative publication, Seldon Technologies, a small scientific firm in Windsor, Vt., went out of business on Monday, laying off 32 workers in the process.

If you are a critic of EB-5, as I am, this is sad news for the little town, but good news on the national stage since the heart of the immigrant investor program will expire tonight unless Congress acts remarkably swiftly. Read more...

Murder of a Libyan Smuggling Boss Will Change Nothing

By Dan Cadman, September 30, 2015

A friend sent me a curious news item from the British online Telegraph outlining the assassination of a Libyan migrant smuggler and eight of his bodyguards. The man was apparently at the apex of this dirty trade. The article goes on to cite speculation that the massacre was the "wet work" of Italian security services in retaliation for the tens of thousands of migrants sent to Italian shores in the past several months. Read more...

Oklahoma Again Reports an Increase in Taxes on Wired Remittances

By David North, September 29, 2015

With the U.S. Congress apparently poised to reduce fees on employers who hire massive numbers of foreign workers, a loss to the government of between $100 million and $250 million, it is a pleasure to note that Oklahoma continues to collect increasing amounts of money from its tax on wire transfers of money made by individuals (many of whom are illegal aliens.) Read more...

On Ombudsmen, Sinecures, and Phony Enforcement

By Dan Cadman, September 29, 2015

The Oxford Dictionary defines the word ombudsman as "an official appointed to investigate individuals' complaints against maladministration, especially that of public authorities." In theory this is an excellent concept, particularly since it occupies a gap not usually filled by watchdog organizations like inspectors general, which generally focus on issues such as outright malfeasance, crimes, and internal corruption rather than on poor administrative practices. Read more...

Integrating Immigration Controls into Daily Life
Not every country is as feckless as the United States.

By Dan Cadman, September 28, 2015
Not every country is as feckless as the United States.

My wife and I are frequent watchers of the television show "House Hunters International". Having lived and traveled abroad, we are always fascinated by what we see of various countries and cultures, collapsed into a half-hour's viewing.

We recognize that parts of the show appear to be tailored or scripted, but even so you get at least a flavor of many other parts of the world through the microcosm of foreigners' searches for just the right home in which to start their new lives abroad. Read more...

Secretive Alien Millionaires File EB-5 Class Action Case

By David North, September 28, 2015

Usually when you think of a class action suit it's a bunch of little guys, like individual stockholders or workers suing big corporations. (Disclosure: my stepdaughter lawyer files such cases for disabled people.)

It is usually a segment of the 99 percent suing a segment of the 1 percent, often in an attempt to make matters more transparent and to strip away secrecy.

Ah, but then there is Zhang v. USCIS, which is totally different from the usual class action case in that the fat cats are doing the suing and they want less, not more transparency. Read more...

Three Different Flavors of Florida Immigration/Marriage Fraud

By David North, September 25, 2015

Three different variations on immigration/marriage fraud have emerged in the U.S. courts in Florida recently.

There was the all-in-the-family-style for a quartet of people from the Philippines.

There was the marry-a-Cuban-to-get-your-green-card-in-a-hurry scheme involving 14 people.

And there was the cosmopolitan conspiracy in which fraudulent marriages were arranged for citizens of six different countries (Argentina, Colombia, Israel, Moldova, Ukraine, and Venezuela). This one included either 27 or 28 people, the accounts vary. Usually in immigration/marriage fraud cases the participants all have the same nation of birth, but not in this one. Read more...

Supreme Court To Consider Whether State Arson Convictions are Aggravated Felonies

By Dan Cadman, September 25, 2015

A case involving an alien ordered removed after being convicted of an aggravated felony (arson) will be heard by the Supreme Court after the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the order of the presiding immigration judge and affirmance of the order by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).

The alien's petition for certiorari was most probably granted by the court because circuit courts are split on whether the definition of "aggravated felony" encompasses the crime for which the alien was convicted in New York — attempted arson. Read more...

Wanted: Terrific, Classy Foreign Workers; Americans Need Not Apply

By Mark Krikorian, September 24, 2015

The CBS affiliate in Miami reports that Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago estate & resort in Palm Beach has requested hundreds of foreign worker visas for jobs such as cooks, waitresses, and housekeepers. This would appear to conflict with his boast that "I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created," and with the assertion in his immigration policy paper that "we need companies to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed." Read more...

It's CR Season in the Nation's Capital

By David North, September 24, 2015

It's that time of year; CR season has arrived in Washington and that has immigration policy implications.

No, the initials do not stand for Crisp, Refreshing weather, which is welcome. Rather, they stand for Continuing Resolution, which is not welcome, as it has become a near-annual symbol of political deadlock.

If Congress neglects its duty and fails to pass budget bills for the various parts of government before the fiscal year ends on September 30, then the solution — other than closing the government, which happens from time to time — is to pass an omnibus continuing resolution to keep the government going for a stated period of time, with expenditures running at the current levels. Read more...

Civil Rights Commission Issues Hatchet Job Masquerading as an Immigration Detention Report

By Dan Cadman, September 23, 2015

I will confess to a certain uneasiness with the general proposition that illegal immigration is a civil rights issue. To equate the plight of aliens who choose to cross our borders unlawfully with the civil rights issues raised by slavery and its aftermath bears the same kind of tone-deafness people exhibit when comparing lesser modern social or political ills with the evils of the Holocaust.

For this reason, I am suspicious of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission's motives in tackling a controversial issue such as detention of aliens in pursuit of border control in recent report, "With Liberty and Justice for All: The State of Civil Rights and Immigration Detention Facilities".

Why not leave this subject to other government entities better poised to examine the matter in-depth and with dispassion — for instance, watchdog agencies such as the Government Accountability Office (GAO) or the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG)? The answer, I fear, is in pursuing agendas, in the most pejorative sense of the word. Read more...

The Triple Play That Will Bring in Still More L-1 Workers

By David North, September 22, 2015

We are in the midst of a triple play involving the admission of lots more L-1 foreign workers to replace resident ones.

L-1s are alien employees of big multinational firms ("intracompany transferees") who can be admitted to work in the United States for years at a time. Unlike the somewhat similar H-1B program, there are no numerical limits and no labor standards. Big firms, based both overseas and in the States, love the program. Read more...

Walker's Strategic Ambiguity on Legal Immigration

By Mark Krikorian, September 22, 2015

On immigration as on other issues, there was a clear sense that Scott Walker personified the Groucho Marx line that "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." Likewise, Walker simply doesn't know much of anything about issues beyond his experience in Wisconsin, whether immigration or the Ex-Im Bank. Read more...

The Pope and U.S. Immigration Policy

By Kausha Luna, September 22, 2015

Pope Francis arrives in Washington today, and many advocates for amnesty and increased immigration are looking to him for political support.

Early this month Pope Francis spoke to audiences in the U.S. through a live video chat. Among the audience in McAllen, Texas, illegal immigrants were able to relay their grievances to the pontiff. Read more...