February 27, 2017
If the main immigration policy disputes are being fought on the highway of executive orders and deportations, there is an energetic little scrap taking place in a nearby alley — a battle in which the Trump administration is being urged to take an open-borders position, which would conflict with its overall immigration policy.
This is the long-running conflict about regulating for-profit schools — including low quality schools for aliens and, within that subset, the out-and-out visa mills. Read more...
February 24, 2017
Here's a thought for most of the nation's governors, or, more precisely, the 41 in places with state income taxes on wages.
Governors, you can, all in one fell swoop:
- Save large chunks of state tax money,
- Encourage some illegal aliens in your state to leave without being deported, and
- Thereby open more jobs for the voters,
all by taking a simple action against a specific criminal population, people who are committing fraud by using Social Security numbers that were not issued to them. Read more...
February 24, 2017
Two different congressional delegations (codels, in DC parlance), with a total of 27 members of the House, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), are headed for the very part of South India which is the home of 42 percent of the worldwide population of H-1B workers. This is likely to strengthen the hand of those defending the status quo in the H-1B program.
Coincidence? Maybe. The Times of India happily reported earlier: "a record number of 27 U.S. congressmen will visit India later this month." Read more...
February 22, 2017
According to the headline in Fortune, "Accenture Joins Trump's Job Creation Drive". The article goes on to say that the firm will "open ten new innovation hubs in cities around the U.S., and create 15,000 highly skilled jobs in the process." In an earlier, less-hyped day we would have called them branch offices. Read more...
February 17, 2017
While the letter that follows is imaginary, the facts in it are rock solid.
Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan:
I am writing to you on behalf of the Democratic Party to thank you for protecting and prolonging the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program, which has brought disproportionate amounts of urban investment money to the blue states.
Your Olympian ability to overlook the fact that twice as much EB-5 money goes to blue, rather than red, states is admirable as you have presided over the continuing resolutions that have kept this extremely controversial program alive. Read more...
February 16, 2017
While our attention has been drawn to various immigration initiatives by the new White House, and the attacks thereon, a lot of things have been happening rather quietly in the world of the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program. For example:
- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chair of the powerful Judiciary Committee, who has been valiantly trying to reform the program, has decided that it is beyond redemption and has joined Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in calling for its termination.
- The Washington Post, in a lead editorial the other day, agreed with the two senators.
- Joop Bollen, who was in charge of South Dakota's disastrous part of the EB-5 program, has pled guilty in a sweetheart deal with the state that gave him two years probation and a $2,000 fine. Thus he got off nearly unscathed while saving the state's establishment from embarrassments that might have accompanied a trial.
February 15, 2017
Managing the border is not always a matter of grim law enforcement, as two unrelated Customs and Border Protection (CPB) press releases indicated this week.
From the southern border we find that some would-drug smugglers used a medieval device, the catapult (pictured below), to toss marijuana into the United States, just as some of their colleagues have used the ancient practice of tunneling under the border to achieve the same purpose. Read more...
February 14, 2017
There are subdued cheers today coming from a particularly unattractive segment of the open borders community regarding the apparently forced resignation of General Michael Flynn as the president's national security adviser. Read more...
February 14, 2017
The White House has announced that it is freezing a number of proposed regulations put forth in the last couple of months by the departing Obama administration. Not killing them, but postponing them until the new people have a chance to look at and perhaps change them. Read more...
February 13, 2017
Typically a writer hates to report that something he had written needs to be revised, but in this case I am delighted to declare that I understated the impact of a government decision regarding marginal colleges, as I did last month under the heading "Mild Rapture: a Federal Agency Cracks Drown on Crappy Colleges".
I now realize that "Enhanced, if Not Total, Rapture" would be a better description. Read more...
February 10, 2017
The employers in the H-1B program (for foreign college grad workers, mostly in IT) say that they must have unlimited access to the world's best and brightest or else America's advances in technology will come to a screeching halt.
But what they, do, in fact, is to hire a remarkably high percentage of their workers who just happen to be:
- Male, and
- From just three southern Indian states.
February 1, 2017
A reporter called and asked me about two draft executive orders dealing with immigration that had been located by the Washington Post.
Both orders were dated January 23, and were signed by Andrew Bremberg, the new White House policy director. One was a largely useful, if not always very precise, document dealing with the various ways that American workers should be protected from alien competition, which may be discussed in a later posting. Read more...
February 1, 2017
Here's a civil case (involving migration status) in the California state courts where both sides should lose.
One player is an illegal alien with a short-term DACA partial-legalization card. That relates to the Obama-created Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals near-amnesty program.
The other is Wells Fargo, a very big bank. Read more...
January 31, 2017
In a previous posting, we suggested that the new president could open up 180,000 jobs for U.S. resident by closing down the Optional Practical Training program, which gives recently graduated foreign students up to three years of legal working status after they finish their studies.
While most of the 180,000 jobs would be reasonably well paid, there are several thousand exceptions as the loosely-managed OPT program gave legal working status to many graduates of questionable institutions.
In the table below, we show some university-specific data on the award of the longest of the OPT working permits; they had 29-month durations at the time. These valuable permits went to alien alums with STEM degrees, i.e., in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Read more...
January 30, 2017
One of the ironies of the president's ban on the admission of aliens from seven Muslim-majority nations is that it does not seem to touch the ability of illegal aliens from four of those countries, assuming that they are in the United States, from signing up for temporary legal status under the TPS program, and getting permits that would allow them to work legally in America.
So a non-troubling alien with a brand-new visa cannot enter the nation immediately, but someone who has broken our immigration laws successfully is given benefits. Read more...
January 30, 2017
The president has proposed that the big wall at the southern border should be funded by imposing a 20 percent tariff on all imports from Mexico.
Let's think about that a bit.
I totally agree with the overtone of the president's proposal — let's get someone other than American citizens to help fund the wall (and other migration enforcement activities). To some extent a tariff would do that, but it would lead to higher prices to Americans for products made in Mexico.
But the significant by-product of such a policy would be a less prosperous Mexico — and when that happens illegal immigration increases. Read more...
January 26, 2017
President Trump saved several thousand factory jobs by brow-beating some CEOs, but he could also do something much more useful: He could create about 180,000 new jobs for American college grads just by abolishing an obscure bit of the immigration machinery.
Here's a way to help the middle class without dealing with Congress; the president can do it with a stroke of the pen. It would not be a question of saving existing jobs (as in the case of the factory workers) it would lead to the creation of an additional 180,000 jobs for U.S. residents. Good jobs, too. Read more...
January 24, 2017
Oracle, the big IT company, has been sued by the U.S. Department of Labor for simultaneously:
- Discriminating in favor of white males in terms of compensation; and
- Discriminating in favor of Indians, in terms of hiring.
While I do not doubt for a minute that the charges are appropriate, it is a strange case. It was filed by the Obama administration within 48 hours of the end of its term; its odd mix of charges is something I have never seen before; and the firm's partial reliance on H-1B workers is not even mentioned, although this is the mechanism it uses to hire many Indian workers. Read more...
January 23, 2017
We are reading about Cubans who thought they could use the wet foot-dry foot program to secure legal status in the United States after an illegal entry.
Now they are stranded on the other side of the U.S. border, or on the way to it, thanks to the last-minute decision of the Obama administration to (appropriately) end the earlier policy toward Cuban illegals. Read more...
January 19, 2017
Are the beneficiaries of any single provision of the immigration law more likely to be law-breakers (but not necessarily violent ones) than the beneficiaries of other provisions?
Our government does not publish statistics on this point, but for reasons outlined below, the probable answer is that the highest proportion of lawbreakers are in the EB-5 immigrant investor program. Read more...
January 18, 2017
Once upon a time there were simple decoder rings for kids, used as promotional devices for breakfast cereals. They offered a substitution of a letter for another letter; two kids, each with a ring, could send coded messages to each other, notes that outsiders could not understand.
Is the Department of Homeland Security engaged in a similar maneuver in it latest, largely commendable, proposed reforms of the EB-5 program? Is it sending a hidden message to the EB-5 middlemen, understandable only to them, that the proposed reform looks a lot fiercer than it really is? Read more...
January 17, 2017
Time is running out for the incoming Trump administration to save billions this winter by reforming the income tax system to avoid making needless cash payments to illegal aliens.
Most — but not all — of these mindless payments of federal funds to illegals are made in the income tax filing season, which has already started. Illegals (and other low-income people) often file their 1040 or 1040NR (NR for non-resident) forms early in the hopes of securing refunds and other payments as soon as possible.
The IRS, under current law, will start sending out refund checks on February 15. Read more...
January 16, 2017
A useful screening method to sort out real tourists from potential illegal aliens has emerged from an unlikely source — a member of the territorial legislature in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. jurisdiction just north of Guam.
The Idea. Someone (in this case from China) who shows up with a tourist visa and six pieces of luggage is likely a would-be illegal worker, planning on a long stay in the United States. A similar alien, traveling with one or two pieces of luggage, is more likely to be a genuine tourist. Read more...
January 13, 2017
It is probably a coincidence, but the dying Obama administration announced two excellent immigration decisions yesterday (January 12).
- The president announced that the long-standing policy on illegal immigrants from Cuba — automatic legalization if they can reach dry land in America — would be terminated immediately; and
January 9, 2017
It has taken years, but finally the Department of Homeland Security has taken action against Herguan University, the Sunnyvale, Calif., visa mill that extended numerous F-1 visas to "students" who really did not want to study; they wanted admission to the United States and a chance to work here.
It was an institution designed to facilitate breaking immigration law. Read more...
January 5, 2017
Although the delivery was delayed (it came on December 27), the ever-reliable Securities and Exchange Commission came through with an attractive Christmas present for those of us in the EB-5 doubters community.
In one sense, it was another nice tie for Dad and an attractive sweater for Mom — the case involved the misuse of $72 million in EB-funds in various California projects, including the apparent theft of $9.5 million of the total. Presumably about 144 or so alien investors, probably mostly Chinese, were duped. Read more...
January 4, 2017
The Department of Homeland Security is grinding out new Temporary Protected Status schemes so rapidly that it is not stopping to proofread them.
DHS published in today's Federal Register another one of the extensions of TPS status (legalizing people from Yemen who are currently in illegal status) but it seems, in the last sentence below, to be making an impossible demand: Read more...
December 29, 2016
Various messages over the last few of weeks have reminded me that there are four distinct, and non-equal, evils built into the H-1 program for foreign workers, two considerably more significant than the two others.
The first two are pretty obvious to all except the employers and their lobbyists:
Evil #1. The system lowers wages for workers where it operates, and denies jobs to perfectly well-qualified residents of the U.S. This is an evil by design. Read more...
December 20, 2016
Let's consider the amount of money that the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program raises and the number of visas needed to sustain that flow at the current rate of about $2 billion annually. Let's do it within these contexts: A, the U.S. admits fully one million new legal migrants each year and the electorate seems reluctant to increase these numbers, to put it mildly; and B, at the same time there are forces in Congress supporting the investment program.
The key question: assuming that it is appropriate to have an EB-5 program at all (I think it should be killed) can we simultaneously continue the flow of dollars at the current rate but reduce the number of visas?
Absolutely! With a stroke of the proverbial congressional pen. Read more...
December 16, 2016
Here’s a collection of immigration-related news items, each of which can be described relatively briefly:
Trump and Tuition at Canadian Colleges. Canadian university officials are contemplating an increase in the tuition to be charged to international students, an informant told me the other day. Read more...