David North's blog

Immigrants to the U.S. Were Once Self-Starters – But No More

By David North, December 4, 2009

"Self Starters" are well regarded in the American culture – they create their own careers without help from family or old-school ties. All legal immigrants to the United States used to be self-starters.

But no more. Read more...

Same-Sex Marriage and Immigration Rights – An Issue That Could Tear Apart the Open Borders Coalition?

By David North, December 2, 2009

There is a question in current U.S. immigration policy debate that has the potential for tearing apart the Open Borders coalition: should the U.S. recognize same-sex marriages in the immigration context?

In other words, should we grant marital visas to aliens marrying Americans of the same sex? Read more...

Why Not Place Some Numerical Limits on Nonimmigrant Admissions?

By David North, November 30, 2009

The U.S. has been putting numerical limits on most classes of immigrant admissions since the 1920s. There are qualitative rules but no numerical limits for most classes of nonimmigrants – i.e., temporary visitors, like tourists, students, or businessmen.

Given that roughly 40 percent of the illegal alien population in the U.S. consists of visa abusers – i.e., former holders of once-valid nonimmigrant visas – why not set numerical limits on those particular flows of nonimmigrants that contribute most heavily to our illegal alien population? Read more...

Immigration Facilitators for the Oldest Profession

By David North, November 27, 2009

Among the people making money by encouraging migration to the U.S. are overseas facilitators offering advice – of all kinds to all comers – on how to get into the States. See my earlier blog.

In Thailand this includes observations about the alleged lack of vigor shown in America's ban on prostitutes. Read more...

Abramoff Allies Lose One Immigration Battle, Win Another

By David North, November 24, 2009

It is useful to mention Jack Abramoff from time to time. He's the most lavishly paid, most outrageous, and most jailed of the Open Borders lobbyists.

This week his allies lost one substantive battle, but were victorious in a largely symbolic one.

Abramoff should be remembered for his successful effort to keep the Saipan sweatshops open, and for his advocacy of the job-killing H1-B visas for foreign computer programmers. Read more...

Misguided Energies: An Analysis of the Immigration-Related Theses

By David North, November 22, 2009

CIS does all of us a service by its annual listing of Immigration-Related Theses and Dissertations, such as Matt Graham's most recent edition published earlier this month.

Each of the approximately 360 papers listed for 2008 represents from one to two year's full-time work, sometimes more, and its completion is usually the last step on the way to the writer's securing a Ph.D. In these studies could contain a treasure-chest of highly useful information and insights that could help the nation as it struggles to define its immigration policy. Read more...

Money That Encourages International Migration -- a Typology

By David North, November 20, 2009

Although one would not know it by reading immigration policy debates, money paid to middlemen, mostly Americans, plays a major role in the whole process.

If one seeks to manage, or at least nudge, events in immigration it is useful to visualize the financial transactions involving the non-migratory actors in the field, the people and institutions that shape migration but do not migrate themselves. Read more...

Bizarre Consistency: Obama, Immigrants, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

By David North, November 18, 2009

Two recent decisions by the Obama Administration suggest a bizarre consistency -- no matter what the pressures are from Left or Right, the government will not do anything to or for immigrants that would discourage sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs).

It is not that there is a giant, well-funded lobby for sexually-transmitted diseases, but there might as well be one. Read more...

Leon Trotsky's Ghost, The Russian Immigration Service, and Me

By David North, November 15, 2009

This is a story about the Russian immigration service, the ghost of Leon Trotsky, and me.

There are three bits of background to bear in mind before I tell the story.

1) Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), founder of the Red Army, was one of the possible heirs to Vladimir Lenin as the dictator of the USSR after Lenin's death; Joseph Stalin won the power struggle and, it is widely believed, caused the murder of Trotsky, by ice pick, in Mexico City. I never met any of them. Read more...

Watch Out for 'Streamlining' in Immigration Policy Debates

By David North, November 12, 2009

It sounds harmless but the word "streamline" spells trouble in immigration policy debates.

Open Borders proponents are always wanting to "streamline" this or that immigration management procedure, all in the name of governmental efficiency. Read more...

Looking at Other Nation's Migration Policies - Canada's Point System

By David North, November 10, 2009

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, most of the other English-speaking nations in the world have adopted a points system as part of their immigrant-screening process. Read more...

The Elections and Immigration Policy

By David North, November 9, 2009

When you look at the November election returns as they impact immigration policy, the results are not just apples and oranges, they are: one apple, two oranges – and in the distant Western Pacific, a split coconut. Read more...

More on Other Nations' Migration Policies

By David North, November 6, 2009

As I suggested in an earlier blog, there is much to be learned from other nations' attempt to rationalize their immigration policies, and one of the good places to find out about such matters is the Australian scholarly publication People and Place.

Sometimes you can read about how other nations have sought to solve problems common to all nations of immigration, and sometimes you can read about problems that they are having that may well descend on the U.S. in the near future. Read more...

A Major Open-Borders Leader Loses a Minor Contest on Election Day

By David North, November 4, 2009

You had to be watching carefully on election night, but deep in the wilds of Brooklyn there was a noticeable defeat for one of the Roman Catholic Church's leading spokesmen for open borders.

And the pro-open-borders New York Times helped bring about the defeat. Read more...

A Look at Other Nations' Migration Policies – In This Case the U.K.

By David North, November 3, 2009

People interested in immigration to the U.S., and the immigration policies of this nation, might find it useful, from time to time, to look at what other democracies do with their immigration policies.

With that in mind I would like to mention People and Place, an academic, peer-reviewed quarterly dealing with immigration and related issues, and published by Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Read more...

Does Little Fiji Have a Migration Management Tool the U.S. Lacks? - Well, Yes

By David North, October 19, 2009

Does poverty-stricken, coup-beset Fiji -- an island nation with less than a million population -- have a technological migration management tool the United States lacks?

As a matter of fact, yes.

A New York Times page-one headline recently reminded us: "U.S. Can't Trace Foreign Visitors on Expired Visas". While we record the arrival of visa-holders, we have no way, currently, of knowing if they have actually left the country, or are still here, perhaps in violation of the terms of their entry document. Read more...

There Ought to Be a Nobel Prize in Demography

By David North, October 14, 2009

There should be a Nobel Prize in demography to go along with those for studies in economics and other fields.

Were there one, it might encourage more attention to studies of what happens to the environment during population increases, and, more pertinently, how international immigration impacts population growth in an area of in-migration. Read more...

Needless Complexities in the Visa System Hinder Migration Management

By David North, October 13, 2009

One of the major sources of illegal immigration is the flow of persons into the U.S. with valid temporary visas who later (often quickly) drop out of legal status. Tourists (usually on B-1 visas) and foreign students (on either F-1 or J-1 visas) produce most of this type of illegal immigrants, the visa-abusers, often called visa-overstayers. Read more...

Fuzzy Words Foul Up the Immigration Policy Debate

By David North, October 7, 2009

The use of deliberately fuzzy terms -– "undocumented worker" is my favorite -– continues to cloud the immigration policy debate, always to the detriment of the restrictionists' position.

A good example popped up in yesterday's New York Times; the headline was "Ideas for Immigrant Detention Include Converting Hotels and Building Models". In the article the term "noncitizens" was used to define the inmates. Read more...

The Immigration Managers - The Departments of Labor and Justice

By David North, October 6, 2009

The principal U.S. migration management agency has done a lot of institutional migrating over the decades. During the late 19th Century, as the Bureau of Immigration, it was first in the Department of the Interior, and then in the Treasury Department. It moved to the no-longer-existing Department of Commerce and Labor in 1903, and then became one of the main parts of the Department of Labor when it was created in 1913. Read more...

The Immigration Managers - The Department of State

By David North, October 5, 2009

The two units within the State Department that deal with migration management are the Bureau of Consular Affairs and its considerably smaller cousin, the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. Both are headed by Assistant Secretaries. Read more...

Sen. Grassley's Gold mine of Temporary Worker Data

By David North, October 2, 2009

Senator Charles Grassely (R-IA), or more precisely his staff, has opened up a goldmine of policy and statistical information on the use of allegedly short-term foreign workers holding U.S. white collar jobs.

He and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) have introduced legislation to curb the wide-spread and little-noted abuses in the H-1B and the L-1 visa programs. Read more...

The Immigration Managers - The Department of Homeland Security

By David North, October 1, 2009

The team of five Presidential appointees working on immigration management in the Department of Homeland Security include two people with substantial resumes in the immigration field, two neophytes, and one in-between. All five have law degrees.

The five positions on the current Departmental organization chart that play leading roles in immigration matters are the Secretary, the Deputy Secretary, and three agency heads with ranks at about the Assistant Secretary level. Read more...

The Immigration Managers - An Overview

By David North, September 29, 2009

The management (or mismanagement) of the flows of immigrants into the United States is, thanks to Congress, an extremely complicated task assigned to at least eight agencies spread over four cabinet departments. If anything, the second Bush Administration's decision to re-organize the immigration process (and dismantle the old Immigration and Naturalization Service) made matters more complex. Read more...

The Who's Who of Immigration Policy Making - the Senate Republicans

By David North, September 28, 2009

There are four Republicans, compared to five Democrats, on the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, a subset of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Read more...

The Who's Who of Immigration Policy Making - the Senate Democrats

By David North, September 26, 2009

There are five Democrats and four Republicans on the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, which is part of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

All five Democrats drew grades of F on the immigration policy votes followed by Numbers USA, the restrictionist organization. Read more...

The Who's Who of Immigration Policy Making - the House Republicans

By David North, September 24, 2009

The six Republican members of the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law can be expected to struggle, probably in vain, to bring some restraint into proposed immigration legislation. The subcommittee is part of the House Judiciary Committee. Read more...

The Who's Who of Immigration Policy Making – the House Democrats

By David North, September 23, 2009

A congressional subcommittee may sound like a minor entity, but when it comes to lawmaking it is where much of the action takes place. Most of the provisions of any bill emerging from a subcommittee are likely to be in place when the parent body, the House or the Senate, takes final action on it. Read more...

The Who's Who of Immigration Policy Making

By David North, September 21, 2009

Immigration policy is usually made by politicians, and not presidential ones.

As the Obama Administration shows signs of tackling the subject, it might be helpful to sketch the players who have strongly influenced the immigration policy scene in recent years, which I do in this the first of several blogs on the subject. Read more...

The New York Times' Ode to Illegal Aliens in the Orchards

By David North, September 20, 2009

The New York Times, in an editorial page item on Sunday, describes the use of illegal workers in the ongoing upstate New York apple harvest from the point of view of a poetic apple farmer.

Exploitation of illegal workers, and the exclusion of unemployed legal residents from the harvest, is described thusly: "It was the usual harvest race, under constant threat of disruption from bad weather and the Border Patrol... Read more...