David North's blog

Three H-1B Fraud Cases Involving People Named Sharma

By David North, September 28, 2016

I have written several times about Indian nationals with a few years experience in this country exploiting their more newly arrived countrymen through the H-1B program; but in those cases the people involved all had different names.

Today's posting is about H-1B fraud inflicted by, in two cases, and inflicted on, in one case, Indians named Sharma. Read more...

A Moral Dilemma for an Immigration Lawyer, and How It Played Out

By David North, September 26, 2016

Were I an immigration lawyer (which I am not) and believed in open or nearly open borders (as I do not) and also felt strongly that every alien should be represented in court, would I argue for an alien who was charged with illegal entry and who had been previously convicted by a federal court for facilitating a cock fight?

On the one hand, if I won, I would save the once-convicted alien from deportation, but there would be the possibility that there would be headline like this:

Cockfighting Immigrant Gets a Break in the 9th Circ.
Read more...

DHS Says It Will Actually Terminate TPS for a Few Thousand Aliens

By David North, September 23, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security has finally decided to (slowly) terminate Temporary Protected Status for small numbers of people from three African nations — Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone — noticing belatedly that the Ebola Crisis that created TPS for them in the first place is long gone.

TPS is a status conferred on aliens by the secretary of Homeland Security when a disaster of some kind impacts a given nation or nations; a disaster of such proportions that the secretary suspends the enforcement of immigration law against the nationals of that country who are in the United States at the time, giving those aliens present in the United States either legally or illegally both temporary legal status here and the right to work legally.

The decision to end TPS for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone is unusual. Read more...

The Future of the EB-5 Program May Be Decided in a Senate Vote Monday

By David North, September 22, 2016

Will the heart of the Immigrant Investor (EB-5) Program be extended beyond the end of this month?

That question will probably be resolved by the leaders of the Senate prior to the scheduled vote on a continuing resolution to finance the government, which is currently scheduled for Monday, September 26. One of the possibilities is that a clean (i.e., no amendments) EB-5 extension will be part of the big spending bill. Read more...

GAO Uses Tired Approach to EB-5 Fraud, Misses Real Chance for Change

By David North, September 19, 2016

The extent of fraud in the immigrant investor (EB-5) program is a subject of importance, one we at CIS have reported on frequently, and have mapped, and one that deserves a more spirited approach.

So it was with some anticipation that I read the recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on fighting fraud within the program. Sadly, the GAO document suggests a metaphor from medieval warfare:

The bad prince (symbol of the EB-5 fraudsters) is holed up in the big castle, and the good guys, on the outside, want to capture it. Read more...

Two Immigration Bills, on H-1B and EB-5, Stalled in the House Committee

By David North, September 16, 2016

Two House bills, each carrying some useful reforms and dealing separately with the H-1B (foreign worker) and EB-5 (immigrant investor) programs, stalled in mid-flight this week.

Both bills were scheduled for markup (detailed committee consideration) on Wednesday and both markups were postponed by the leadership of the House Judiciary Committee. As of this writing the markups have not yet been re-scheduled. Read more...

A New EB-5 Bill Emerges

By David North, September 12, 2016

A House of Representatives bill (H.R. 5992) on the immigrant investor program (EB-5) surfaced Friday and is due to be marked up (i.e., discussed and perhaps changed) in committee on Wednesday, September 14.

The signs are that a neater, cleaner and much better EB-5 program will emerge if this bill, or something like, it is passed. It was introduced by the Republican chairman and the ranking Democrat of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.). Read more...

Government Statistics Paint Grim Portrait of 'Abused' Alien Spouses

By David North, September 9, 2016

Distressing new statistical information — from the government itself — paints an unattractive picture of the population of "abused" spouses claiming green card status under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

As we noted in a previous blog post, the number of spouses successfully claiming these benefits almost tripled between FY 2013 and FY 2014, going from 3,318 to 8,706.

In each case the alien, usually a woman, married a U.S. citizen or green card holder and later persuaded the government that the U.S. resident was abusive — hence an automatic green card for the alien in question. Read more...

Trump's Emphasis on Enforcing the Law on Visa Abusers

By David North, September 8, 2016

In his recent immigration policy speech, delivered a few hours after his visit with the president of Mexico, Donald Trump said that his emphasis for immigration law enforcement would be on criminal aliens and (presumably secondarily) on visa abusers.

Bearing in mind that the candidate switches his positions from time to time, and the strong possibility that the distinction between visa abusers and those entering without inspection (EWIs) may be fuzzy to him, as it is to most Americans, let's look at his focus on visa abusers. Read more...

Green Cards Triple in a Worrisome Category — Abused Spouses of Citizens

By David North, September 7, 2016

New data from the Department of Homeland Security shows a highly worrisome increase in the number of green cards issued to aliens (almost always alien women) who have successfully claimed that their (usually new) U.S. citizen spouses abused them.

Everyone is concerned about abusive spouses, but I find it highly unlikely that the actual incidence of spousal abuse among citizen-alien couples tripled between 2013 and 2014. What is much more likely is that the sleepy people at USCIS have turned a blind eye to a growing trend of fraudulent use of a provision in immigration law that allows an abused spouse to secure a green card largely on her unsupported testimony that her new citizen (or green card) spouse has been abusive to her. Read more...

Immigration Shenanigans in Trump Tower, But Donald's Barely Involved

By David North, September 2, 2016

This is a story about a questionable, immigration-related sleight of hand within New York's Trump Tower, and about high fashion, but it has very little to do with The Donald (who lives there) and nothing to do with alien fashion models allegedly working for his model agency while in illegal status in the past.

Nor does it deal with the question of Mrs. Trump's immigration status when she first came to New York City as a fashion model, which John Miano and I wrote about in previous blog posts. Read more...

Gang of Eight Members McCain and Rubio Win Primaries, as Does Arpaio

By David North, August 31, 2016

Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Marco Rubio (Fla.), both members of the Senate's loose-borders Gang of Eight, won primary races yesterday against more conservative opponents, Rubio convincingly and McCain handily.

Rubio, who has a career grade of C- from NumbersUSA, got 72 percent of the primary vote. McCain, with a career grade of D, received 52 percent. Both were running against three opponents. Both senators face Democratic opponents in the fall, both of whom are sitting members of the House. They are Rep. Pat Murphy in Florida (career grade of D-) and the somewhat more formidable Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in Arizona (career grade of D). Read more...

SEC Goes After Rule-Breaking EB-5 Lawyers in Batches

By David North, August 29, 2016

There apparently are so many rule-breaking lawyers in the EB-5 business that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) goes after them in batches.

On August 24, SEC announced that it had penalized three of them, all for failing to secure a legally required license to sell securities, and said that the trio (who apparently operated separately from each other) had agreed to cough up a total of three-quarters of a million dollars. Read more...

DHS Proposes New Rules for Inept Entrepreneurs

By David North, August 26, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security on August 26 issued a new rule making it possible for what might be called "inept entrepreneurs" to secure additional temporary legal status in the United States.

There appears to be no upper limit to this latest stretch and abuse of the government's parole authority and it is designed for a subset of entrepreneurs who have some entrepreneurial credentials, but who are not smart enough, or do not have a lawyer smart enough, to secure admission to the United States under the set of laws, regulations, and administrative flourishes now existing. Read more...

Felon Seeks to Sell EB-5-Like Benefits for $380,000 — and Maybe Succeeds

By David North, August 22, 2016

This is not exactly EB-5 fraud, but like a knock-off of a Gucci handbag, the scheme plays off the attraction of the original, in this case the EB-5 program.

There is now (or at least was quite until recently) an offer on the Chinese part of the internet made by a convicted American felon that says that a $380,000 investment in Florida real estate (isn't this where we came in 90 years ago?) can produce not only a nice place to live, but, within two-to-six months, a U.S. passport and many other governmental benefits as well. I am told by our translator that the term "EB-5" does not appear in the pitch, but the investment-in-exchange for immigration benefits proposal tracks EB-5 quite closely and is aimed directly at rich and insecure Chinese investors, the principal alien users of this program. Read more...

Interesting Policy Questions Raised Regarding Defrauded EB-5 Investors

By David North, August 22, 2016

An interesting set of immigration policy question arose last week regarding whether EB-5 investors who have been defrauded by American business interests should get their green cards anyway, despite the failure of the investments — failures only remotely linked to the actions of the aliens.

The questions arose when the court-appointed trustee for the EB-5 disaster in Vermont, Michael Goldberg, said that he was going to use some of the EB-5 funds under his control to hire a lobbyist to seek a change in the immigration law to protect the interests of the 700 or so investors in the ski lodge at Jay Peak and other problematic Vermont properties, as we have reported previously (see here and here). Read more...

State Legislative Seat and Immigration/Marriage Fraud Linked Again

By David North, August 18, 2016

It should have been a glorious moment for her — she was about to become the first Eritrea-born woman in the United States to be elected to a state legislature — but even as she was winning a hard-fought Democratic primary earlier this month against the longest-serving member of the Minnesota House of Representatives in state history, it turns out that she was charged with immigration-related marriage fraud.

And the odd thing is that just over two years ago this summer, pretty much the same thing happened in Manhattan. This time the person was from the Dominican Republic, the first woman from her country to be elected to a state legislature. She managed to serve for a while in the New York State Assembly before her marriage fraud got her bounced from the chamber. Read more...

What If There Was an Amnesty and a Majority of Those Eligible Ignored It?

By David North, August 18, 2016

Suppose the U.S. government offered temporary legal status in a highly publicized, low-cost way, and the majority of the illegal aliens in the eligible age range ignored it.

What would that tell you about the value systems of the people involved? What would it say about enforcement of the immigration law?

Do the majority of these eligibles think highly enough of the community in which they live to want to get right with the law? Apparently not. Read more...

EB-5 Regional Center with Chinese Government Tie Is Terminated

By David North, August 11, 2016

Earlier this year we wrote about a Florida-based EB-5 regional center that reported that its office in China was lodged in a Chinese City Hall, suggesting if not Chinese government ownership, then at least very solid ties to the government. Read more...

Birth Tourism + EB-5 Fraud, All in a Single Case

By David North, August 10, 2016

It had to happen, and it finally did.

With so many well-to-do Chinese families manipulating the immigration law through birth/citizenship activities, and so many of the same kind of families being manipulated by Stateside crooks in EB-5 investor-visa schemes, it was inevitable that one such couple would be enmeshed in both processes.

And it happened in the unlikely environment of far Upstate New York, in Dunkirk in the wine country west of Buffalo. Read more...

More Gulen Teachers Coming Our Way?

By David North, August 9, 2016

The reaction (or over-reaction) by the Erdogan government to the attempted coup in Turkey is bad news for America's unemployed school teachers – because there suddenly is a huge supply of newly-fired educators over there who would love to have a chance to work in America. Read more...

The Muted Conversation about Melania Trump's Early Immigration Status

By David North, August 8, 2016

There has been a muted conversation recently about the question of Melania Trump's immigration status during her first trips to the United States.

Was she working on a visitor's visa (B-1) when she was not allowed to do so?

She subsequently, apparently, secured an H-1B visa (there are – God knows why – special provisions for alien models to secure these visas) and from there she moved to green card and then to citizen status. Read more...

UK Court Precedent Would Bankrupt Our DHS

By David North, August 8, 2016

Were a recent immigration-related ruling by Britain's Law Lords to apply to our Department of Homeland Security, it would bankrupt that agency.

You see, the Brit judges, in a case involving former British colony Antigua and Barbuda, said that if the islands' immigration agency did not make a decision about an alien's application in a period of 12 months, the agency owed monetary damages to the delayed alien. Given the long delays common to DHS, think what that would do to the Department's finances! Read more...

Silicon Valley Insider Tells the Unpleasant Truth about the H-1B Program

By David North, August 7, 2016

In a happy change, a Silicon Valley insider – whose resume includes the ownership of a yacht docked in the San Francisco Bay – describes the H-1B program in this manner:

The American immigrant visa system amounts to indentured servitude, a type of peonage.

This is in a newly-published, much-reviewed, tell-it-all book on the IT industry entitled Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley, by Antonio Garcia Martinez. See articles on the book in the New York Times and the Washington Post. Read more...

Administration Reaches Out to Help the 1% – of Syrians

By David North, August 4, 2016

The U.S. government, which portrays itself as the defender of the little guy, has just reached out to another elite group (within an admittedly severely disadvantaged population).

This time it is to give Temporary Protected Status to a very lucky bunch of Syrians – people who had arrived in the United States on Monday, or earlier, either legally or illegally. Read more...

Interesting Migration Flows: Those from What Used to be British India

By David North, August 4, 2016

Stimulated by the remarkable level of ethnic discrimination in the hiring practices of the big Indian outsourcing firms – they hire up to 99 percent of their H-1Bs workers from the Republic of India – I decided to take a look at other streams of migration from what the Brits call the Subcontinent. Read more...

Open-Borders Foe Huelskamp Loses Kansas Primary

By David North, August 3, 2016

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), an opponent of "comprehensive immigration reform," lost his primary yesterday to another Republican.

The congressman's loss presumably had less to do with his immigration stand than his vote against farm subsidies, in one of the nation's most agricultural congressional districts – it includes all of western Kansas. Read more...

The Klutz Factor in Migration Management

By David North, August 1, 2016

Five years ago I wrote about the klutz factor associated with some illegal aliens:

I feel sorry for the guy, and am pleased that the Border Patrol rescued him from the flooded Rio Grande, but the news story reminded me of the seldom-remarked-upon klutz factor in illegal immigration.

According to the account he was stranded in a tree while trying to cross the flooded river and had been there for five days. The BP spokesperson said that he was ‘severely dehydrated.'

One of the Offstage Problems of EB-5 — It Lets the Sharks Fleece the Naive

By David North, July 28, 2016

Sometimes a financial program can do substantial damage to individual victims without the program's operators doing anything wrong — and EB-5 is a good example.

The mere presence of the program — offering, as it does, green cards to aliens who invest in the United States — can wreak havoc without any direct complicity from politicians or government officials. That's one of the reasons Congress should not interfere with the scheduled sunset of the major part of the program on September 30. Read more...

Two Clarifications Emerge on Anti-Citizen Food Stamp Discrimination Issue

By David North, July 26, 2016

Two clarifications have emerged recently on the matter of discrimination in favor of certain mixed families, including aliens, in the food stamp eligibility rules. Read more...