David North's blog

Would You Buy a Used Car from This EB-5 Applicant?

By David North, September 29, 2014

Every so often one part of the immigration system does the right thing, while another does not.

In this case USCIS gets the credit and the State Department gets none.

Our protagonist today is an alien used car dealer; he's a Mexican millionaire who tried, without the needed qualifications, to convert his E-2 (nonimmigrant investor) visa and his collection of formerly owned vehicles into a green card via the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program. Read more...

Immigration, Criminal Creativity, and Some Speculation

By David North, September 24, 2014

A reader of mine, someone I had never met before, knew that I had written about schools that served as "visa mills" for foreign students and wanted to talk with me about a specific one that we both had visited. We set up a lunch date at a bar and grill in the suburbs.

Not knowing the location, I gave myself plenty of time to drive to the place and found myself ultra-early. As I waited at the bar I started reading the September 8 issue of Interpreter Releases, the immigration lawyers' staid trade paper. Read more...

An EB-5 Success Story, Turkish Charter Schools Zapped, and the Samoan Amnesty

By David North, September 23, 2014

Today we have a menu of migration miscellany: an honest-to-God, if anonymous, EB-5 success story; some more negative news about those H-1B-program-abusing Turkish charter high schools; and the latest word on American Samoa's non-DHS amnesty. Read more...

DHS Chooses Convenience for Aliens over Sound Decision-Making in L-1 Move

By David North, September 22, 2014

While the process in question does not deal with many aliens, a recent announcement by DHS about the L-1 and TN visas at the northern border revealed a clear-cut choice on the part of the administration.

Should we opt for alien convenience? Or for a framework for sound decision-making regarding individual applications for temporary legal status in the United States?

The department came down heavily for alien convenience. Read more...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

BIA Makes Expansive Decision in Asylum Case

By David North, August 28, 2014

Unless it is overturned by a higher authority (or unless I am misreading it completely) the Justice Department's Board of Immigration Appeals has just made a remarkably expansive decision on America's asylum program.

It looks like the BIA has ruled that all abused women, anywhere in the world, are potentially eligible for asylum in the United States provided that they can get into this nation and file a claim. They would have to prove their individual cases, however. Read more...

If DHS Won't Enforce Immigration Law, Maybe the Competition Will

By David North, August 27, 2014

Given the all-too-relaxed way that the Department of Homeland Security enforces immigration law, maybe we can look to competing, private sector actors to do the department's work.

In these instances, straightforward middlemen expose the shenanigans of their rivals, and while they are doing this for their own purposes, they are, indirectly, providing a public service. A recent example from the federal courts was called to my attention by Joe Whalen, an EB-5 consultant, but first a little background. Read more...

Bruised Egos in a Small Part of the Immigrant Selection Process

By David North, August 25, 2014

The individual losers in immigration cases usually face the inconvenience of returning to their home countries, more limited access to the good things of life, and sometimes a fear of how certain forces in the old country may treat them. Further, in many cases, the decision means the loss of legal status in the United States.

All of that is bad enough for the alien, and that person may be angry and disappointed, but the ego is intact.

That is not the case with a small set of near-elite aliens, those who have been denied a for "Aliens of Extraordinary Ability" (part of the first employment-based category, or EB-1). They have been told, in writing, that their talents are really not extraordinary. In effect, they are informed: 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...

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...

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.

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...

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...

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...

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.

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...

Should a School with a Financial Statement Like This Be Authorized to Teach Accounting to Foreign Students?

By David North, August 5, 2014

This is one of an occasional series of reports on some of the extremely marginal educational institutions licensed by the Department of Homeland Security to cause the admission of foreign students to the United States.

For an earlier example, regarding Herguan University in California, see here. Both are for-profit institutions.

Regarding the text below, how often does one see, in a document prepared for the public by an educational institution, four different ways of spelling a single word, in this case "interest," in five lines of type? Read more...