David North's blog

The Migration of the Rich — and Nervous — Chinese

By David North, June 14, 2016

If Emma Lazarus were alive today, and paying attention to the most recent wave of migrants to the United States — wealthy Chinese — she might write:

Give me your rich,
your lawyered masses,
yearning to breathe free.

These movements from China run exactly contrary to one of the fundamental rules of international migration: Routinely the elite do not migrate, since things are going very well at home, thank you. So why — and how — are so many wealthy Chinese trying to migrate to the United States, or in many cases, trying to see to it that their children can do so? Read more...

Inevitable: Alleged EB-5 Fraudster Already Has a Third Nation's Citizenship

By David North, June 13, 2016

It had to happen. One of the alleged fraudsters involved in an EB-5 scandal in the United States has also purchased an additional citizenship in another nation.

We reported a few days ago that Charles Liu and his wife, Lisa Wang, were exposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission as diverters of $18 million in EB-5 investments involving a cancer treatment center in Southern California. They sent the money to their own bank accounts and to three companies in China rather than building the medical center. Read more...

Emigration Note: The Two-Way Movements of College Students

By David North, June 10, 2016

Those of us who write about migration — from all points of view — tend to focus all our thoughts on immigration. We often tend to forget that migration is a two-way street, with at least some people going in both directions.

To fill that gap there will be, from time to time, these emigration notes on people leaving the country for reasons other than tourism. Today, look at the international movements of college-age people, as they arrive in the United States and as they leave. Read more...

DOL $100 Million Training Grant Plays into H-1B Employers' Bogus Claims

By David North, June 9, 2016

The Department of Labor has announced that it is using $100 million in H-1B fees to train workers so that fewer H-1B workers will be needed (that last verb should be in quotation marks) in the future.

Sounds like good news, right?

Wrong! For two reasons: Read more...

Pro-Amnesty GOP House Member Loses with Less Than 25 Percent of the Vote

By David North, June 8, 2016

In an odd primary contest, a Republican member of the House of Representatives, who had cast an odd vote (for a Republican) in favor of amnesty, lost to another sitting GOP member in North Carolina on Tuesday. So far in this election year, she is the first Republican House member to lose a primary. Read more...

F-1 to OPT to H-1B to Green Card-by-Marriage to Murder

By David North, June 6, 2016

One of the irritating aspects of the American press is its routine refusal to report in any detail on the immigration status of prominent criminals.

Take the recent case of Mainak Sarkar, an apparently thin-skinned and mentally unbalanced citizen of India who first killed his estranged wife, a U.S. citizen whose marriage to him made him a green card carrier, and then, a week or so ago, shot the university professor who helped him overcome what sounds like a marginal dissertation to secure his PhD. Subsequently Sarkar killed himself, according to the Associated Press. Read more...

EB-5 Problems Proliferate – Here are Three New Ones

By David North, June 6, 2016

I was about to write a posting about two new black eyes suffered by the EB-5 program when a third, and much more significant body blow, appeared on the wire. All are California-based.

The latest news item is that the Securities and Exchange Commission has, yet again, sought to heal a nasty situation that the Department of Homeland Security allowed to fester.

This one involves the raising of $27 million for the support of a cancer center in southern California that would, the promoters said, use proton therapy on patients and create 4,500 new jobs. The EB-5 money, however, did not produce even the start of a building. What it did do was add $7 million to the accounts of Charles C. Liu and his wife, the EB-5 promoters, while another $11 million was sent off to three firms in China. Read more...

How 10 Patels and Nine Others Failed to Beat the Immigration Law

By David North, June 3, 2016

This is an immigration fraud story played out in unlikely place, Mississippi, and in which 10 people named Patel and their nine co-conspirators (including six or seven U.S. citizens) failed in their efforts to secure green cards for 11 aliens from India.

In one sense the conspirators, led by Sachin Girishkumar Patel, were creative, as they used two quite different fraudulent approaches to green card status.

But in another way, the conspirators lacked finesse. Read more...

Three Excellent Examples of Investigative Journalism on Migration Topics

By David North, June 2, 2016

There has been all too little investigative reporting regarding immigration matters, but there were two remarkable exceptions to that last month, and a third late last year.

These three long, well researched articles dealt with scandals in a huge California visa mill, multiple problems in the EB-5 program, and in the H-2B program for temporary alien non-agricultural workers, perhaps the most ignored of the migration trouble spots. Read more...

Man Bites Dog: Turkey Says Do Not Hire Turkish Teachers for U.S. Schools

By David North, May 31, 2016

Usually when a foreign government intervenes in the U.S. labor market it is either to protect the interests of individual foreign workers or to see to it that the United States keeps hiring them in general.

But Turkey, through its lawyer, Robert Amsterdam, has just issued a statement saying that a group of Turkish-run charter schools in the United States has been using an American visa scheme:

that places under-qualified Turkish teachers into key positions in its schools, while simultaneously underpaying its more qualified non-Turkish teachers.

Another Fraud Trick Attempted in the EB-5 Program
But the DHS appeals body hides the names of those involved

By David North, May 31, 2016
But the DHS appeals body hides the names of those involved

As we have noted previously, there are many of different kinds of opportunities for fraud in the EB-5 program.

Earlier this month another shady maneuver emerged, this time caught by the Department of Homeland Security. The EB-5 program is designed to give overseas investors a set of green cards when they put $500,000 of their own money into a project approved by, but not guaranteed by, DHS. That investment, in turn, is supposed to be at risk, and should lead to the creation of 10 U.S. jobs. Read more...

What’s Wrong with EB-5? A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words

By David North, May 26, 2016

The photo highlighted in a recent article in The RealDeal, a New York-based real estate trade paper, speaks louder than words.

The EB-5 program is supposed to channel investment to depressed urban or rural areas. But Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman and ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee and EB-5 reformers, say it provides too much capital to glitzy, downtown urban areas.

The news item, which would involve about 10 percent of a year's supply of EB-5 visas, neatly supports their position: Read more...

Soccer Camp Ignores Millions of Americans to Exploit H-1B Soccer Coaches

By David North, May 25, 2016

While Mitt Romney has suggested that marrying Donald Trump is a job Americans won't do (66.67 percent of his wives, to date, have been foreign-born), playing soccer does not fall into that category.

Wikipedia says that 24 million Americans were playing soccer in 2006, while another source, Statista, puts the number at 14.74 million in 2015. In short, millions and millions.

Let's assume that no more than one out of 500 of the players (0.2 percent) is good enough to coach others; using the Wikipedia numbers, we would still have 48,000 potential coaches. Using the other source there would be 29,480 potential soccer workers. If we assumed that 1 percent of the players were good enough to be coaches, there would be a work force of close to a quarter of a million to choose from. Read more...

Elon Musk's Name Is Mud in the Foreign Worker Field

By David North, May 23, 2016

Silicon Valley's highly regarded innovator Elon Musk — he of Tesla fame — turns out to be just another exploitative user of what I regard as illegal alien workers, according to a detailed expose by the San Jose Mercury News.

In this case, the workers are from Eastern Europe and they have been allowed by our lackadaisical State Department to use B-1 (business) visas to enter the United States to do manual labor building Tesla's factory to make electric cars. Such visas may be used for commercial activities such as signing agreements and training people in the use of foreign-produced machinery, but not for day-to-day construction work. Read more...

Another EB-5 Developer Sees His Assets Frozen by Court Order

By David North, May 19, 2016

Six days ago I wrote about a Florida/Vermont case in which an EB-5 developer's assets were frozen by court order.

Today's subject is a West Coast EB-5 middleman who is facing the same challenge. Life is never dull in the EB-5 cesspool. Read more...

EB-5 Funds Created Jobs, but Workers Were Not Paid

By David North, May 17, 2016

Here's a new wrinkle in the EB-5 business: An employer got millions in EB-5 funds to run a shrimp farm and then didn't pay its workers.

Does the business get credit for creating these jobs without paychecks? Do the investors get their green cards anyway? As you might imagine, answers are not readily available.

Florida Organic Aquaculture, a for-profit enterprise, is a 22-acre shrimp farm in Fellsmere, Fla., and is reported by one news account to be a $16 million project that involved an unstated, but apparently substantial, amount of EB-5 investments. Read more...

This Is Getting Monotonous – Third Indian-on-Indian H-1B Scandal in 12 Days

By David North, May 16, 2016

This is getting monotonous. On May 4 we reported a middle-sized case of H-1B fraud involving both the loss of jobs to U.S. residents and the exploitation of Indian workers by Indian criminal employers in Virginia.

On May 12 we wrote about a somewhat similar case in California, and today we have the third case in the set, this time in Memphis, Tenn. Three cases in 12 days, all in the federal courts.

This time the corrupt employer, Ramesh Basa, has pled out and has agreed that the feds can seize six pieces of his real estate valued at half a million dollars as part of the deal. The agreement also included a joint recommendation by attorneys on both sides of the case for a one-year jail term for Basa. Read more...

A Blundering Bad Guy in Vermont and Other EB-5 Notes

By David North, May 13, 2016

Multiple EB-5 developments — all discouraging for the program's backers — are coming hard and fast as the September 30 termination of the main part of the program looms. Read more...

Yet Another Indian-Exploits-Indian Case of H-1B Fraud

By David North, May 12, 2016

Last week one of my informants sent me an article headlined "US: 4 Indian-Americans charged with H-1B fraud".

Since I had written a blog post a few days earlier involving five Indian-Americans in a case of H-1B fraud, my initial assumption was that the headline writer simply had the wrong number of culprits.

It turned out, however, that the five earlier ones were in Virginia, while the four current ones were in California. Two completely separate cases, but with many of the same characteristics: Read more...

Problems with the Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor Programs

By David North, May 11, 2016

Last month we published 20 years of data on the E-1 (Treaty Trader) and E-2 (Treaty Investor) nonimmigrant programs. The tables, covering the years 1994 to 2013, show that the number of visas issued in the E-1 category dropped from over 11,000 a year to about 7,000, while issuances of E-2 visas moved in the opposite direction, from about 19,000 to about 35,000 a year. Data for 2104 show E-1 visas at 7,330 and E-2 visas at 36,825. Read more...

DHS Uses WW II to Open the Gates for More Aging Filipinos

By David North, May 11, 2016

One of the hidden specialties of the U.S. immigration system is the way it facilitates the immigration of aliens deep into, or beyond, their working lives.

The country-of-origin limits on immigration, coupled with high demand from some nations such as the Philippines, means that many migrants have been waiting for 20 years or more – and are thus about 20 years older than the average migrant when they finally arrive in the U.S. You can imagine what this does to the welfare costs.

I was reminded of this by a Homeland Security press release proclaiming: Read more...

DHS Excels at Locking the Barn Door Long after the Horse Has Been Stolen

By David North, May 9, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security has shown, once again, that it is very good at locking the barn door, not only after the horse has been stolen, but long after the stolen horse has died of old age. In short, it occasionally takes appropriate action, but years — even decades — too late.

The latest example comes from America's far, far West, the Island of Tinian, in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, just north of Guam in the Pacific. That is the location of the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino; the casino has been closed for several months, and the adjacent hotel is operating, but just barely. Read more...

A Romantic Start that Turned into a $20 Million H-1B Fraud Case

By David North, May 4, 2016

The feds charge that $20 million was obtained fraudulently in an immigration scheme that involved hundreds of Asians, and that part of the scam involved a geographic area that our government has ruled to be economically depressed.

Sounds like another EB-5 scandal, right?

Wrong! Most of the money, according to an indictment in the Eastern District of Virginia, came out of the H-1B program, with lesser sums being obtained from Small Business Administration benefits.

The whole thing started out on what I — if not the feds — regard as a romantic moment. Read more...

Some Minor Good News on Visa Mills — Accrediting Official Leaves Job

By David North, May 2, 2016

One must search with a magnifying glass, but sometimes there is good news on the immigration front. Here is an example.

As background: Some schools that have been charged with being visa mills — letting illegal aliens into the country in return for tuition payments — have been accredited by an organization essentially licensed by the U.S. Department of Education to be an accreditor. This entity is the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). Read more...

Open Letter to Governors: Don't Go Overseas for EB-5 — It Might Backfire

By David North, May 1, 2016

To: America's Governors and other Elected Officials

From: David North, Center for Immigration Studies

Re: Warning: Overseas Travel to Promote EB-5 Investments Can Be Risky

The invitations look attractive — a trip to China or Vietnam, a place you have never been, all at the cost of either the EB-5 promoters or the state business development budget. All you have to do is appear at an event or two to promote the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program, and you will surely get a nice trip; and maybe you will bring some investment-created jobs to your state.

The big problem is that many EB-5 investments turn out to be disasters for the investors and for everyone connected, directly or indirectly, with them. And it can happen to pols in both parties. Read more...

Immigration/Marriage Fraud Indictments and Chain Migration

By David North, April 29, 2016

If it had not been for the terrorist shootings in San Bernardino, CA, an immigration/marriage fraud situation would probably have gone unnoticed by the authorities.

But because of the killings by Syed Rizwan Farook and the woman he brought to the United States as his alien bride, Tashfeen Malik, the fraudulent marriage between Farook's friend, Enrique Marquez Jr., and Mariya Chernykh has now — months later — led to yesterday's immigration fraud indictments against the three people in the middle of the chart below: Read more...

Artificial Human Organs and the Vermont EB-5 Scandal

By David North, April 25, 2016

Building ski lodges is a relatively old, relatively low-tech activity, but the EB-5 promoters in Vermont, now subject to court action, were also proposing to build a state-of-the-art medical facility to manufacture artificial human organs.

The organs were to be developed in the rural reaches of northern Vermont, near the Canadian border, in an area not known for high-tech medical work.

Other aspects of this now-exposed Vermont scandal involved the apparent theft of $50 million, as we reported earlier. Read more...

Ivy Leaguer Bounced, but H-1Bs Keep Jobs in Industry Layoff

By David North, April 22, 2016

One of the reasons our rulers are rarely worried about foreign worker programs is that such programs never adversely impact them, their relatives, or their college classmates.

If you are in Congress or one of the big foundations or universities, the likelihood is that no one you know personally ever lost a job to an under-paid foreign farm worker or had their wages reduced by a contractor's use of H-2B temporary workers. And if you can't identify with the victims, it is hard for you to see — as you should — that something is very wrong. Read more...

When to Blow the Whistle in an EB-5 Fraud Case?

By David North, April 20, 2016

If authorities hear about a murder or terrorist attack plot, they move immediately to prevent people from being killed.

But what should the authorities do when they become suspicious of an embezzlement in the works? Move in immediately to prevent the loss of more money, and in the rush risk losing the case against the bad guys – or let it play out till all the facts are in order and no innocent victims, like carpenters on the building site, are hurt.

This is the dilemma that faced the state of Vermont and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the huge EB-5 scandal that emerged in that state last week. Here are five considerations: Read more...

Rabid Bobcats, a Rural Hospital, and EB-5 Funding

By David North, April 19, 2016

This particular EB-5 conflict is between folks who want to protect us against rabid bobcats, on one hand, and the green-eyeshade types at USCIS, on the other; it is rural health providers vs. urban regulators, and my initial sympathies are with the former, but it is more complicated than that. Read more...