June 20, 2014
My colleague, Mark Krikorian, recently made the point that few Americans have any idea of the actual level of immigration to this country — currently about a million a year.
With that in mind I decided to run a tiny test of that notion at what I thought was a collection of bright, well-educated, well-traveled people — we were all attending a cocktail party on Embassy Row. Read more...
June 19, 2014
An important skill for political leaders is knowing how to use leverage to get someone else to do one's own dirty work. It's the kind of thing LBJ did all the time.
The Kings of Saudi Arabia have for years saved their people from fighting wars by conning America into doing its fighting, as in the First Gulf War, for example, just as the Brits used to employ Gurkhas for jungle fighting. Australia hires Papua-New Guinea to house its refugees; the list goes on.
Let's do a little of this ourselves, vis-a-vis the surge of young Central Americans now flooding into south Texas after long trips through Mexico. Let's cause Mexico to control its own southern border, to prevent this migration. Read more...
June 18, 2014
Phony marriages designed to create illicit visas are well-known, and we have written about them frequently. How about sham divorces entered into for the same motivations?
That may sound unlikely, but the Sixth Circuit just ruled that the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) was right when it rejected a legalization (adjustment of status) plea from someone who had engaged in a phony divorce for immigration purposes. Read more...
June 17, 2014
It's not going to happen, but here's the best way for the United States to start returning those illegal alien youngsters to Central America:
By a caravan of big, ominous-looking Greyhound buses – all carrying large signs in Spanish saying something like "the young ones are back." Read more...
June 16, 2014
This is a story of how a highly prosperous — for a while — retail pharmacist cheated the Medicare and Medicaid programs out of millions with one hand, while chiseling his own H-1B workers with the other.
It is another account of multiple misuses of immigration and other federal programs, all by the same co-conspirators. Read more...
June 13, 2014
The immigrant investor (EB-5) program is supposed to use aliens' money to create jobs for Americans, but many government-licensed middlemen in the program are on public record as preferring to hire temporary foreign workers in their own shops rather than citizens or green card holders.
This is, strictly speaking, legal, but it certainly runs counter to both public policy and the administration's cheerful characterization of the program. Read more...
June 12, 2014
DHS has done it again. It has raided an apparent visa mill, caused multiple federal indictments of the owner and four key executives, shut down classes at the offending school — and then let it open again!
It is beginning to be a pattern. After much investigation and inter-agency cooperation, ICE investigators and other feds raided five operations of a career college in New York and New Jersey on May 29 and, according to the local CBS station, scooped up lots of evidence of "inflating attendance records of foreign students", and then allowed it to re-open for classes 10 days later. Read more...
June 6, 2014
Carnival operators and circus managers are not noted among the best employers in the land, and an administrative law judge in the Department of Labor has just lowered the boom — finally — on one that has been badly misusing the H-2B program.
That is the program that allows U.S. employers to bring unskilled, non-farm workers to the United States temporarily from other nations. Think of landscape and forestry workers, cooks, and, in this case, carnies. Read more...
June 5, 2014
Is it worth $232.50 a year and some paperwork for an illegal alien to maintain a legal immigration status in the United States? Or is the near total lack of enforcement of immigration law so pervasive that it is not worth the bother?
Well, USCIS is about to learn the answer to that question, but I doubt if they will share the findings with the rest of us. Read more...
June 4, 2014
Despite the scandals about the state government's promotion of the controversial EB-5 (immigrant investor) program, former Governor Michael Rounds easily won the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in South Dakota yesterday.
The Republican nominee is widely expected to carry the day in November, for the seat now held by retiring Senator Tim Johnson (D). President Obama got less than 40 percent of the vote there in 2012, and the Democratic Senate nominee, Rick Weiland, is not regarded as a strong candidate. Read more...
June 4, 2014
The new, fully Senate-confirmed inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security has reminded us that his office has a dim view of the administration's favored immigrant investor (EB-5) program.
Earlier IG reports on this program, mostly adverse, were blurred, at least in many minds, by the bureaucratic feud between the then-acting IG, Charles K. Edwards, and the then-USCIS Director (now Deputy DHS Secretary) Alejandro Mayorkas. Mayorkas was, and is, a strong supporter of the EB-5 program. Read more...
May 29, 2014
This may be a bit of a stretch, but Egypt's de facto ruler and Homeland Security's leader do have some things in common.
They are both, as of May 29, un-elected public officials in their 50s, both formerly high-ranking in their nation's military establishments, and relatively new to their current positions of power. That much is pretty clear.
Further, both are in the odd position of offering what appear to be benefits, and finding those benefits rejected (or at least not accepted) by those who might be expected to welcome them. Read more...
May 29, 2014
California Chrome may or may not win the Triple Crown next month, but that steady, reliable old immigration war horse, the all-too-powerful H-1B program, remains a trifecta winner in the field of discrimination.
You see, the program routinely discriminates against:
- American workers;
- Older workers, i.e., those aged over 35; and
May 29, 2014
Immigration management is a broad field, involving many moving parts. Here are a few thoughts on some recent developments.
SEVP Finally Gets a Field Staff. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a segment of ICE in DHS, oversees more than a million foreign students spread over thousands of educational institutions in the United States. You would think that to handle this assignment effectively SEVP would have had an extensive network of field offices in place for generations.
You would have been wrong. Read more...
May 28, 2014
The U.S. could likely collect between one and two billion dollars a year in revenues from illegal aliens if it just copies a tax practice Oklahoma adopted a couple of years ago.
Two quite different data sources suggest that this can be done: the World Bank and the Oklahoma tax authorities. Read more...
May 27, 2014
As we noted a few weeks ago, one in six new green cards goes to someone who is a victim of some kind.
These are not people being admitted because we think that they will help the U.S. (which some of them, in fact, will do); they are being admitted because we feel sorry for them. Read more...
May 21, 2014
Remember the story of the heroic little Dutch boy who stuck his finger in a hole in the dike, thus saving his nation from a flood?
Sometimes I think our visa system is a reverse of that metaphor; there are a lot of grown-up, well-dressed, imposing adult males standing around the dike making sure that no one intrudes on the status quo by fixing the existing leaks.
An old friend, a U.S. Senate staffer who is not in the immigration business, called me the other day to say that he had heard that there was a leak in the visa-issuance system that, he said, could easily be fixed by regulation and did not need legislation. Read more...
May 20, 2014
Once upon a time illegal aliens could vote in some local elections in my town, Arlington, Va., across the Potomac from Washington, D.C.
Whether they actually did so is doubtful, but they could have done so, but only every other year.
They can't any more, and the story of why that is true is characteristic of the odd, and not necessarily rational, way public policy sometimes develops. It also reflects the decentralized way American elections are run and a peculiar local political situation of about 25 years ago. Read more...
May 19, 2014
If you were a bank manager and the same masked bandit held up your cashiers, in exactly the same way, in the same place, on hundreds of occasions, you (and the police) would probably do something about it.
The Anaheim (Calif.) USCIS asylum office was not quite as alert or careful, according to court documents that I recently saw.
They show that the office had been granting asylum to many hundreds of Chinese asylum applicants based on mass-produced and totally false applications over a period of more than 10 years. Read more...
May 19, 2014
Yet another nation reminds us how badly our Department of Homeland Security handles schools that teach English to foreign students. (Such schools produce a high proportion of visa abusers.)
This time the nation is Ireland. Read more...
May 16, 2014
Infosys, the Indian outsourcing company, one of the worst exploiters in the H-1B program, has lost two big battles – but, I am sorry to say, not over immigration issues.
Two of its former leaders, including its billionaire co-founder, Nandan Nilekani, lost races for seats in the Indian parliament it was announced earlier today. They had allied themselves with the ruling Congress Party (of the Nehru/Gandhi family), which lost heavily to the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. Read more...
May 14, 2014
Let's turn our attention away, for the moment, from the Harvards and the Yales, the MITs and the Stanfords, and think about other end of the academic spectrum — four "academic" institutions in the United States that have violated the immigration law repeatedly.
In only one of the four cases did the federal government move swiftly to end the violations. Read more...
May 13, 2014
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) took the right immigration enforcement action recently, but, in my view, it should have done so quietly so as not to alert the bad guys.
I was genuinely pleased at first to learn that DHS had decided to take a long-needed step in enforcing the law regarding the extensions of L-1A visas in one of the nation's many temporary nonimmigrant worker programs. Read more...
May 12, 2014
We all have started hearing about same-sex divorces, so I suspect we will soon hear of a case of same-sex marriage/immigration fraud.
It will involve a citizen and an alien, married to each other in one of the states that currently permits it, followed by an effort to secure a conditional green card for the alien spouse, and then the discovery that the marriage was phony to begin with.
The headline writers will have a field day. Read more...
May 7, 2014
Do we really need hundreds of thousands of new high-tech foreign workers like H-1Bs each year as industry and political leaders keep telling us?
Or are these massive inflows of aliens, most with only a bachelor's degree, just another way of reducing wage bills for already prosperous corporations?
If you are interested in serious, well-documented answers to those questions Michael Teitelbaum's new book Falling Behind? Boom, Bust & the Global Race for Scientific Talent is a must read. Read more...
May 6, 2014
Earlier today, the administration, presumably bowing to employer demands, proposed to give permission to work in the United States to perhaps 100,000 additional foreign workers, none being admitted because of their skills.
The DHS press release was headlined, misleadingly:
DHS Announces Proposal to Attract and Retain Highly Skilled Immigrants
May 5, 2014
Here's a different way of judging the energy the United States uses in enforcing employer sanctions: Ellen K. Thomas.
Judge Thomas, a civil servant, is neither the hero nor the villain of this piece. But she is a living measure of the level of seriousness of immigration enforcement in the labor market. ("Employer sanctions" is shorthand for the law that private employers cannot hire illegal alien workers.)
You see, she is the only administrative law judge handling appeals when employers are fined for either having illegal alien workers, or having inadequate records on the civil status of their workers, or both. The only one in the entire country. Read more...
May 4, 2014
You have to feel sorry for USCIS and the Obama administration.
They are, yet again, in a situation in which they are offering legal status to some illegal aliens, and the response is apparently well below expectations — probably because of the near-total lack of interior enforcement of immigration law. Why pay fees and fill out papers when there is no real danger of deportation? Read more...
May 1, 2014
The Attorney General of Virginia, Mark Herring, has issued an opinion that Virginia state colleges and universities may accept one group of illegal-alien resident students in their institutions and let them pay at in-state tuition rates.
The subject of the opinion is the set of aliens who have secured temporary legal status through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama administration's amnesty-by-fiat. DACAs are supposed to have arrived illegally in the States prior to their 16th birthday. Read more...
April 29, 2014
About a month ago, I wrote a blog regarding the ongoing amnesty in American Samoa with the headline "Could we have 13,276,000 Legalization Applicants?"
The big number was based on the not-necessarily-valid assumption that the percentage of illegal aliens in the South Pacific territory and in the United States would be about the same, and that American Samoa's amnesty had enrolled 2,400 applicants in its program by that point. American Samoa, alone of the territories, runs its own immigration system. Read more...