David North's blog

Employers Outraged at DoL's Demand for Pay of $2/hr for Shepherds

By David North, April 22, 2015

Do you suppose that a group of reasonably well-heeled U.S. employers would object if the government made them pay their foreign workers $2.00 an hour plus room and board (with "room" sometimes being a tent)?

The answer is "Yes." Read more...

Amidst All the Grim Immigration News, Here Are Four Bits of Cheer

By David North, April 17, 2015

Those of us who want to retain immigration, but keep admissions down to a dull roar, see lots of bad news, but here are four bits of good news. In each of four different migration programs, the open-borders types have been thwarted, at least momentarily.

The four instances, moving from an individual case to that of a whole class, can be described as follows. Read more...

Nearly 40% of First-Round DACAs Have Not Filed for Renewal

By David North, April 15, 2015

Now there's a cloud coming up out of the sea no bigger than a man's hand.

— 1 Kings 18:44

If DACA grants are so important to individual illegals, and if adding those individuals to America's legal population is such a good thing for the nation (as the administration argues) ...

... then why did nearly 40 percent of eligible first-round DACA beneficiaries not renew?

Always bearing in mind that it is still early days and the hit-or-miss nature of USCIS statistical data, when we compare the first six months of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initial applications to the DACA renewals filings for those in that first cohort we see this: Read more...

Government Rules Overstate H-1B Demand

By David North, April 14, 2015

Both Congress and USCIS have taken actions that tend to overstate the actual demand for H-1B visas. The first filling date was April 1.

USCIS announced on April 7 that it had accepted 233,000 applications when only 85,000 are available annually; so a lottery will be conducted to allocate the 85,000 slots among the would-be employers. The implication is that there is a huge shortfall of talented workers in the U.S. and the hard-strapped American corporations have to look way beyond the U.S. labor market to run its operations. Read more...

Obscure Immigration Program Hurts U.S. Residents — Both Young and Old

By David North, April 12, 2015

The full negative impact on residents (both citizens and green card holders) of an obscure, almost secret, immigration program was revealed recently as the Department of Homeland Security — slowly — responded to a FOIA request from the Center for Immigration Studies. Read more...

For One Brief Shining Moment, a Federal Court Shut Down H-2B Recruiting

By David North, April 9, 2015

For one brief Camelot moment last month, the H-2B program (for unskilled foreign workers in non-agricultural jobs) stopped recruiting as a result of a court order — but then the Department of Labor, of all entities, revived it.

The H-2B program is the smallest of the three foreign worker programs handled by DoL; it rarely gets as much attention as the larger H-2A farm worker program or the H-1B program, which displaces college graduates with foreign workers, notably in computer programming. (For more on how this exploitative program works, see my colleague David Seminara's Backgrounder on the H-2B program.) Read more...

American Samoa's Government: "Don't Let Our People Be U.S. Citizens"

By David North, February 16, 2015

Though there are strong indications that many alien residents of the Mainland, (legal and illegal) want to become U.S. citizens, there is a small, native-born, legally present population who should be denied that citizenship, according to their own elected leaders.

You read that right. The politicians, in this narrow case, do not want their fellows to become American citizens!

The deniers include the democratically elected territorial government of American Samoa and the brand new congressional delegate from that place, Amata Radewagen. Read more...

Give Me Your Sleek, Your Athletic, Yearning to Jet Ski

By David North, February 12, 2015

It had to happen. The Border Patrol picked up three youthful (and one presumably pretty well-preserved), swim-suited jet-skiers attempting an elegant (if illicit) entry on the glorious beach south of San Diego.

The women were 18, 20, and 40 years old; the guy was 15. Read more...

Letting It All Hang Out, DHS Inspector General Style

By David North, February 10, 2015

Inspector general reports often are tediously dull and non-revealing, but the faithful reader is sometimes rewarded with little black-out mysteries and is sort of encouraged to fill in the missing pieces.

This one by the DHS IG deals with charges that some of the Central American illegals detained at the Karnes City, Texas, "rent-a-jail" facility had been sexually abused by the contracting staff — the facility is run by the GEO Group. I quote: Read more...

IRS Offers Specialized Extra Benefits to some DACA and DAPA Grantees

By David North, February 5, 2015

The Internal Revenue Service has just decided that some illegal aliens, granted short-term amnesty under the president's recent edict, can also retroactively collect tax benefits previously denied to them.

The benefits can be as much as several thousand dollars — and perhaps as much as $10,000 over the years for some illegals, particularly parents. It's a pretty specialized offer wrapped in IRS complexities, but one that will probably bring some serious money to income tax preparers working in areas where there are numerous amnesty beneficiaries. Read more...

ABC News Lowers the Boom on Fraudsters in the EB-5 Program

By David North, February 3, 2015

ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross will lower the boom on fraudsters and other criminals using the immigrant investor (EB-5) program in tonight's broadcast of "World News Tonight" and later on "Nightline". Read more...

New Orleans and the EB-5 Program Are Made for Each Other

By David North, February 3, 2015

The graft-ridden immigrant investor (EB-5) program and New Orleans' sloppy governance were destined to come together, and they have done so, according to investigative reporting just published by Al Jazeera America.

A few years ago the (now-jailed) Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, signed a 30-year exclusive agreement with NobleOutreach NOLA LLC, a USCIS-recognized EB-5 regional center. It was to be the city's sole connection to EB-5 financing, with a cluster of half-million dollar investments from largely Chinese aliens designed to continue the post-Katrina re-building process. Read more...

Visa Lottery Winners Run Up $1.3 Million in Bad Debts

By David North, February 2, 2015

Usually the Washington Post, like much of the mainstream media, emphasizes the virtues, if not the heroism, of migrants, legal or illegal. If there are problems they are ignored or downplayed.

But last week the Post ran a comprehensive, fact-filled, two-page expose of how one immigrant family with a middle-class income managed to run up more than $1.3 million in various debts that they cannot possibly repay. The family, from Ghana, had secured visa lottery green cards back in 1997. Read more...

Bright Little Betsy Flores, Trapped in an Immigration-Twisted School System

By David North, 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...

Three Helpful Signs Emerging in the Senate and DHS's OIG

By David North, 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...

84% of Aliens Admitted in 1st Year of Senate High-Tech Bill Won't Be High-Tech Workers

By David North, 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...

Man Bites Dog: DOJ Zaps Pa. for Paying Illegals Welfare Benefits

By David North, 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...

Illegal Aliens Must Confess Lawless Status to Get Tax Refunds in 2015

By David North, 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...

Yesterday's House Floor Vote Revealed Solid and Not-So-Solid Allies

By David North, 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...

Evolving Governmental Euphemisms in the Immigration Business

By David North, 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...

Double Stumblebum EB-5 Case

By David North, 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...

ACA Gives Employers Even More Incentives to Hire Alien Workers

By David North, 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...

How an Alert Undocumented Syrian Could Obtain Life-Long Legal Status - Today

By David North, 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...

"Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Agents Seize Over 1,500 Pounds of Marijuana in Abandoned Water Buffalo"

By David North, 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 ...

How Little Does the Administration Think of Immigration Enforcement?

By David North, 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...

Immigration Misadventures of Political Fundraisers

By David North, 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...

Congressional Non-Action Is OK when the Administration Likes the Result

By David North, 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...

Another Visa Mill Zapped, but Not by the Feds — Again

By David North, 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...

Indian Outsourcing Firm Snags Two Sets of Benefits in a Single Deal

By David North, 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...

DACA and the Next Amnesty Are Missing Big Public Health Opportunities

By David North, 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...