January 29, 2015
The perverse outcome of this story of good educational intentions gone wrong in Texas reminds me of the rollicking old Henry Wallace Progressive song about "Charlie on the MTA" that dealt with a similar goof in the Massachusetts Transit Authority's Boston subway system: Read more...
January 26, 2015
Amidst the gloom and doom of the House Republican leadership's refusal to move effectively against the Obama administration's massive amnesty-by-edict program, three positive — if lesser — straws in the Washington wind have become visible recently. Read more...
January 23, 2015
Congress is about to pass a high-tech foreign worker bill that will — oddly — in its first year, admit something like 430,000 additional temporary workers, about 84 percent of whom will not have high-tech credentials.
That's right — the vast majority of these new nonimmigrant workers will not be admitted because of their technical skills. Read more...
January 19, 2015
Its sounds implausible, but President Obama's Justice Department has won a $48.8 million court settlement against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania because that state was paying welfare benefits to illegal aliens.
It was in one of those press releases sent out on a Friday afternoon leading up to a three-day holiday with the Department's Civil Division making the announcement on Friday, January 16.
Thematically, it seems out of place (which perhaps explains the timing of the announcement), with the administration otherwise going all out to extend a wide variety of benefits to illegal aliens even though Congress has not given it the authority to do so. Read more...
January 15, 2015
Here's some great news about illegal aliens from a totally unexpected source — Obamacare.
Illegal aliens wanting income tax refunds, and there are a lot of them, face a tough choice this income tax filing season:
- They can admit, in writing, that they and their family members are illegal aliens in order to seek to collect income tax refunds; OR
- They can be silent about it, in a couple of different ways, and forego (collectively) billions of dollars worth of these refunds, some legit, and some not.
And who created this delicious dilemma? Why, the Obama administration itself, though I suspect that very few, if any, of its executives know that this is the case. Read more...
January 15, 2015
Yesterday's Floor vote in the House on defunding the Obama amnesty was a victory for common sense — but it also revealed the names of about a score of not-so-solid allies of immigration skeptics.
Among the amendments to the DHS appropriations bill, there was the Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) Amendment cutting off funds for the planned Obama amnesty, and the Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) Amendment taking back the benefits given by the two-year-old DACA program. Read more...
January 8, 2015
This is a report on the evolving euphemisms in the immigration field (which I have dubbed EEIF, pronounced "ee - ee - if").
When I was younger, General Joseph W. Swing, then INS Commissioner, talked of "drying out the wets", meaning the conversion of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants from Mexico into participants in the Bracero program, a specialized nonimmigrant worker program that offered few protections to the farm workers involved, but which was recognized legally.
The regrettable term "wets" (from the Spanish "mojados"), short for "wetbacks", was eventually replaced by illegal alien, and that, in turn, has morphed to unlawful migrant, undocumented immigrant, unauthorized migrant, and more recently into undocumented worker and sometimes, in the Obama White House, to just migrant or immigrant. Read more...
January 8, 2015
Immigration law violations are usually solitary, silent, and all-too-successful, but once in a while there is a public failure. Read more...
January 7, 2015
One of the unanticipated by-products of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is that it gives yet another set of financial incentives to many employers to hire alien workers rather than citizens or green card holders.
There are already plenty of existing tax incentives to employers to not hire American workers.
But under ACA it gets worse. For all classes of alien workers, even illegal aliens, it can be less expensive for an employer to hire a foreign worker than a domestic one. This relates to the unfortunate manner (in my eyes) in which the ACA is funded by tying support of the program to employment rather than to the overall tax base. (Unlike some of my colleagues here at CIS, I favor widespread, government-managed medical insurance, as is provided in Canada.) Read more...
January 5, 2015
It is 11:36 a.m. on Monday, January 5, 2015. You are Ali Abdullah, a Syrian who desperately wants legal status in the United States but has been refused a visa. You have just seated yourself for an early lunch in Kingston, Canada, on the northern edge of Lake Ontario.
As you wait for the waiter, you check your laptop for the latest immigration news from the States (you had foresightedly asked USCIS to send you bulletins, as I have done).
And there it is – the announcement that the U.S. will offer legal status (Temporary Protected Status, or TPS) to all Syrian Nationals who can claim “continuous residence in the United States since January 5, 2015". Read more...
January 4, 2015
The headline above and the text below are direct quotes from a December 29 Border Patrol press release:
On December 26, 2014, at approximately 2:00 pm, Border Patrol Agents assigned to the Rio Grande City Station conducting line-watch duties near Rio Grande City, Texas, came upon an abandoned water buffalo. As the agents approached the water buffalo, they noticed a distinct smell of marijuana ...
December 30, 2014
For another indication of how little the Obama administration thinks of immigration enforcement, there's the story of Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Ellen Thomas.
Ms. Thomas has a blameless record, but she symbolizes the government's lack of zeal for enforcing employer sanctions, the long-standing statute that says, in effect: "thou shalt not hire illegal aliens." Read more...
December 29, 2014
There have been recent developments in immigration-related news stories related to tainted political fundraisers from both parties.
Perhaps the most thoroughly reported was the latest twist in the story of Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), who was re-elected in November despite a battery of federal tax and immigration charges against him, and who copped a plea bargain last week that probably will lead to jail time. Read more...
December 22, 2014
One of the key arguments advanced by the Obama administration in support of its massive executive amnesty program is that the White House must take action because Congress has failed to do so.
In other words, the lack of congressional action on this front means that there's a big void out there that must be filled by the president's edict, more or less legalizing the immigration status of millions of illegal aliens.
This is what happens when the White House does not like congressional inaction.
But what happens if Congress does not act in a way that is useful to the administration? Suppose the administration likes such inaction?
Well, that's different. That kind of inaction is decisive. Read more...
December 19, 2014
It's happened again. Another immigration-related visa mill has been identified, but not by any agency of the Department of Homeland Security.
This time it is the local police and a plaintiffs' lawyer that are taking the lead. That's the Gwinnett County (Ga.) Police Department; the lawyer is Richard Samms. Read more...
December 18, 2014
Many exploitative companies take advantage of the federal immigration laws to enhance their profits. Others make use of loose state-level (non-immigration-related) policies to get richer. And a few manage to use both systems at the same time.
The media is rarely perceptive enough to notice these "twofer" arrangements, but National Public Radio (of all places) noticed one such deal the other day in North Carolina. Read more...
December 17, 2014
Suppose your community is taking on millions of new members — wouldn't it be a good idea for their sake, as well as for those of the existing community — if their health were checked on their way through the door? Read more...
December 15, 2014
Why is there so little enforcement of the immigration laws, except right at the southern border?
The basic reason, of course, is that except for intercepting those entering without inspection (EWIs), the administration is not very interested in the subject. Read more...
December 12, 2014
Let's use the income tax system to encourage the voluntary departure of some of the millions of illegal aliens now in the United States.
Here are the facts: Read more...
December 12, 2014
One of the odd elements of the Obama administration's management of the immigrant investor (EB-5) program is the way Republicans use it to make out like bandits.
The most recent example of this bit of bipartisanship-for-profit is taking place, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, in connection with fixing an old, old infrastructure problem — the lack of a direct connection between the granddaddy of super-highways, the east-west Pennsylvania Turnpike, and the north-south I-95. The two routes cross in Pennsylvania near Trenton, N.J., but it is difficult to get from one to the other.
The EB-5 program is about to be used to help finance a $420 million linkage between the two super-highways, with the apparent blessing of the Obama administration, but to the profit of well-connected Republican operatives in Pennsylvania. Read more...
December 8, 2014
OOOOk-lahoma! not only has the best state song in the nation, it also is the only state that collects taxes from its illegal aliens in a sensible and effective way — as the Oklahoma Tax Commission's annual report for 2014 reveals (p. 11).
It is widely agreed that many illegal aliens work in the underground (cash) economy and do not pay state and federal income taxes as a result. (Some do, of course, but a lot of money is missing). Read more...
December 8, 2014
We hear all the time about low-paid workers in fast food places protesting their wages and working conditions.
Meanwhile, there is virtual silence in another major sector of the economy: the high tech or IT industry, where American workers are constantly being displaced by H-1B foreign workers and where the latter are often mistreated by greedy employers.
The IT workers are often college grads and are playing important roles in a prosperous part of the economy. Why aren't their protests being heard? Read more...
December 5, 2014
The House of Representatives voted yesterday 219 to 197 against the president's executive edict legalizing millions of illegal aliens; some critics said that this vote was more symbol than substance, but it did show the division of opinion in that body.
The vote in favor of HR 5759 was almost completely along party lines, with only three Democrats supporting the GOP position and only seven Republicans voting against their own leadership. Read more...
December 3, 2014
If you want to regularize the status of millions of illegal aliens, one obvious way to do it is to encourage some aliens to go home voluntarily.
Once they have left the country, these individuals cease to be a problem to our society — and if they do so of their free will no one can complain that they were treated badly.
Mitt Romney understood that (and was unfairly beaten up for his use of the term "self-deportation".)
Barack Obama apparently does not. I see nothing in his administration's detailed plans that even hints of such a program.
The advantages are obvious. There is no coercion. Every single departure reduces the size of the illegal alien population in the United States. What's not to like? Read more...
December 1, 2014
The latest public relations attempt by the White House to link illegal aliens with the military has just hit a major obstacle – the Pentagon has suspended an otherwise useful recruiting program while it tries to sort out how to use DACA beneficiaries in it. Read more...
November 26, 2014
There's an immigration enforcement agency that is supposed to keep track of more than 1 million temporary foreign residents.
From that particular alien sub-population comes the third largest group of illegal aliens — after only border-jumpers (illegal entrants) and tourists who abuse their visas.
The Border Patrol, the agency that worries about the illegal entrants, has something like 20,000 agents on duty.
How many field agents do you suppose are assigned to watching over the 1 million-plus, most of whom behave themselves, but many of whom self-convert to illegal status?
Would you believe 1,000? Or maybe 500?
You would be wrong. Read more...
November 24, 2014
John Miano, the New Jersey attorney and CIS Fellow, has just won a round in a federal court battle to prevent foreign college grads from taking jobs from qualified Americans.
The specific issue is the continuing Optional Training Program for recent alien college grads; it is run by the Department of Homeland Security, the defendant in the case. Read more...
November 24, 2014
If you read the fine print of the detailed Obama administration's edict on immigration you will find hidden body blows to both the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, as well as to U.S. college grads looking for their first post-campus employment.
But you have to look hard, and read between the lines, because these twin bits of bad news are almost completely hidden, even in one of those detailed documents that are supposed to flesh out the president's generally vague statements in his speech. Read more...
November 20, 2014
It could have been worse.
In the weeks leading up to the president’s speech there was much speculation about what specifics would be offered; among them were three immigration policy changes that, fortunately, did not make the cut:
- Special, easy rules for illegal-alien farm workers;
- A blanket legalization program for the parents of the DACA beneficiaries, those who had arrived illegally before their 16th birthday; a tabloid headline writer might have written “Devious Daddies of the DACA Dreamers Denied”; and
- The admissions of lots more H-1B workers.
November 20, 2014
Don’t get me wrong – I am not for deporting anyone to Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone in the next few months.
That would put a couple dozen Africans at some avoidable risk, and would give the deportation program – generally – a black eye. (That's an angle few discuss.)
But that does not excuse what the Obama administration has announced – at a sneaky time – regarding the creation of Temporary Protected Status for all nationals of those three countries. It is much more sweeping than it needs to be. If a kid in costume comes to the door on Halloween you give him a candy bar, you do not empty a bushel basket full of bonbons over his head.
Let me elaborate. Read more...