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:
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
August 19, 2014
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...
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.
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...
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. Read more...
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...
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.
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...
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...
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...
July 31, 2014
Several of us from the Center spent a recent morning watching our immigration judges at work: we do not envy them.
We traipsed a couple of miles across the Potomac to the new set of IJ courtrooms in Arlington, Va., to see how the five judges there were coping with a new part of their case load — Central Americans who had just crossed another river, the Rio Grande, some 1,500 miles away. Read more...
July 29, 2014
You may have been worried that last year's DHS anti-terrorism grant to St Paul's island in Alaska, which is about 280 miles from that state's mainland and 500 miles from Russia, was inadequate for the defense of that God-forsaken place (population 491).
I suspect your average, run-of-the-mill terrorist would have trouble finding it on a map, but that's beside the point. Read more...
July 28, 2014
It is rarely if ever discussed, but the current surge out of Central America, and into Southern Texas, is a wonderful development for some very powerful people — Central America's oligarchs.
Think of the alternatives: the understandably unhappy majority of these countries, instead of spending time, money, and emotional energy on the risky emigration of their relatives, might otherwise be using those resources for: Read more...
July 28, 2014
Here's an urgent suggestion to the Border Patrol: Send some of your specialists and maybe the Sector Chief at Nogales to Israel immediately to check out the tunnels from Gaza that are, at this writing, controlled by the Israeli military.
Whatever one may think of the latest conflict in the Middle East, it is clear that the Israeli military has in its possession a world-class collection of the latest in terrorist tunneling technology, and the Border Patrol should look at it in detail. Read more...
July 24, 2014
The most disastrous EB-5 (immigrant investor) project to date – a sham hotel complex near O'Hare Airport in Chicago – is described in stunning and comprehensive detail in a long article published this morning by Fortune. (It will appear in the August 11 issue of the magazine's paper edition.)
It was written by Peter Elkind, the publication's editor-at-large, well known for his exposé on the Enron scandal, and a colleague, Marty Jones. It carries this headline:
"The dark, disturbing world of the visa-for-sale program". Read more...
July 23, 2014
The uproar created by the flood of illegals from Central America at the Texas border perhaps can focus our attention on a long-neglected underlying problem – we have too much due process in the immigration system and too few judges (and supporting staff) to handle it.
I am not for eliminating due process in the immigration business, far from it, but there is too much of it generally, and that is accompanied by an unwillingness by the administration to fund the due process it seems to want. Read more...