December 15, 2014
Why is there so little enforcement of the immigration laws, except right at the southern border?
The basic reason, of course, is that except for intercepting those entering without inspection (EWIs), the administration is not very interested in the subject. Read more...
December 12, 2014
Let's use the income tax system to encourage the voluntary departure of some of the millions of illegal aliens now in the United States.
Here are the facts: Read more...
December 12, 2014
One of the odd elements of the Obama administration's management of the immigrant investor (EB-5) program is the way Republicans use it to make out like bandits.
The most recent example of this bit of bipartisanship-for-profit is taking place, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, in connection with fixing an old, old infrastructure problem — the lack of a direct connection between the granddaddy of super-highways, the east-west Pennsylvania Turnpike, and the north-south I-95. The two routes cross in Pennsylvania near Trenton, N.J., but it is difficult to get from one to the other.
The EB-5 program is about to be used to help finance a $420 million linkage between the two super-highways, with the apparent blessing of the Obama administration, but to the profit of well-connected Republican operatives in Pennsylvania. Read more...
December 8, 2014
OOOOk-lahoma! not only has the best state song in the nation, it also is the only state that collects taxes from its illegal aliens in a sensible and effective way — as the Oklahoma Tax Commission's annual report for 2014 reveals (p. 11).
It is widely agreed that many illegal aliens work in the underground (cash) economy and do not pay state and federal income taxes as a result. (Some do, of course, but a lot of money is missing). Read more...
December 8, 2014
We hear all the time about low-paid workers in fast food places protesting their wages and working conditions.
Meanwhile, there is virtual silence in another major sector of the economy: the high tech or IT industry, where American workers are constantly being displaced by H-1B foreign workers and where the latter are often mistreated by greedy employers.
The IT workers are often college grads and are playing important roles in a prosperous part of the economy. Why aren't their protests being heard? Read more...
December 5, 2014
The House of Representatives voted yesterday 219 to 197 against the president's executive edict legalizing millions of illegal aliens; some critics said that this vote was more symbol than substance, but it did show the division of opinion in that body.
The vote in favor of HR 5759 was almost completely along party lines, with only three Democrats supporting the GOP position and only seven Republicans voting against their own leadership. Read more...
December 3, 2014
If you want to regularize the status of millions of illegal aliens, one obvious way to do it is to encourage some aliens to go home voluntarily.
Once they have left the country, these individuals cease to be a problem to our society — and if they do so of their free will no one can complain that they were treated badly.
Mitt Romney understood that (and was unfairly beaten up for his use of the term "self-deportation".)
Barack Obama apparently does not. I see nothing in his administration's detailed plans that even hints of such a program.
The advantages are obvious. There is no coercion. Every single departure reduces the size of the illegal alien population in the United States. What's not to like? Read more...
December 1, 2014
The latest public relations attempt by the White House to link illegal aliens with the military has just hit a major obstacle – the Pentagon has suspended an otherwise useful recruiting program while it tries to sort out how to use DACA beneficiaries in it. Read more...
November 26, 2014
There's an immigration enforcement agency that is supposed to keep track of more than 1 million temporary foreign residents.
From that particular alien sub-population comes the third largest group of illegal aliens — after only border-jumpers (illegal entrants) and tourists who abuse their visas.
The Border Patrol, the agency that worries about the illegal entrants, has something like 20,000 agents on duty.
How many field agents do you suppose are assigned to watching over the 1 million-plus, most of whom behave themselves, but many of whom self-convert to illegal status?
Would you believe 1,000? Or maybe 500?
You would be wrong. Read more...
November 24, 2014
John Miano, the New Jersey attorney and CIS Fellow, has just won a round in a federal court battle to prevent foreign college grads from taking jobs from qualified Americans.
The specific issue is the continuing Optional Training Program for recent alien college grads; it is run by the Department of Homeland Security, the defendant in the case. Read more...
November 24, 2014
If you read the fine print of the detailed Obama administration's edict on immigration you will find hidden body blows to both the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, as well as to U.S. college grads looking for their first post-campus employment.
But you have to look hard, and read between the lines, because these twin bits of bad news are almost completely hidden, even in one of those detailed documents that are supposed to flesh out the president's generally vague statements in his speech. Read more...
November 20, 2014
It could have been worse.
In the weeks leading up to the president’s speech there was much speculation about what specifics would be offered; among them were three immigration policy changes that, fortunately, did not make the cut:
- Special, easy rules for illegal-alien farm workers;
- A blanket legalization program for the parents of the DACA beneficiaries, those who had arrived illegally before their 16th birthday; a tabloid headline writer might have written “Devious Daddies of the DACA Dreamers Denied”; and
- The admissions of lots more H-1B workers.
November 20, 2014
Don’t get me wrong – I am not for deporting anyone to Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone in the next few months.
That would put a couple dozen Africans at some avoidable risk, and would give the deportation program – generally – a black eye. (That's an angle few discuss.)
But that does not excuse what the Obama administration has announced – at a sneaky time – regarding the creation of Temporary Protected Status for all nationals of those three countries. It is much more sweeping than it needs to be. If a kid in costume comes to the door on Halloween you give him a candy bar, you do not empty a bushel basket full of bonbons over his head.
Let me elaborate. Read more...
November 17, 2014
One of the useful things that the Department of Homeland Security does is to operate checkpoints at the edges of the nation.
By definition, these locations monitor traffic within the United States, but near our borders. Their main purpose is to intercept illegals and wanted people who have managed to get over our borders and who now want access to the middle of the country. Read more...
November 12, 2014
A bit of irony has just surfaced, totally unnoticed by the government, regarding the ethics of nepotism.
The Justice Department's Inspector General has just zapped three high-ranking officials in the immigration court system for causing the temporary employment of their relatives by their agency. At the same time, Congress enthusiastically supports the permanent admissions of relatives by the immigration system itself.
The first issue is, of course, important and visible; the second is far more important but virtually invisible. Read more...
November 11, 2014
There is a bit of statistical sleight-of-hand present in one of the more bizarre features of our immigration policy — the diversity visa lottery in which about 50,000 visas are distributed annually to some of the millions of aliens who apply for these tickets of admission.
One must be a resident of a nation that does not send us lots of migrants, and one must be a high school graduate. The winner and his or her family members get green cards. Read more...
November 10, 2014
The Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security each handle different parts of the immigration system and conflict (perhaps restrained) between the two cabinet secretaries is almost inevitable.
The AG, who used to have the old Immigration and Naturalization Service, retains control of the immigration judges, the immigration prosecutors in Washington, and the U.S. attorneysin the field, while most immigration benefit and enforcement decisions are made by DHS officials. In other democracies' more rational systems these activities all report to a single minister of immigration. Read more...
November 10, 2014
Some of my best friends are U.S. citizens, but designing an executive amnesty around granting legal status to their parents is a particularly bad idea.
I was reminded of this when reading one of the many speculative media musings about the possible shape of a post-election executive amnesty. Read more...
November 7, 2014
One owner of a phony California university, a visa mill for foreign students, has just been sent to jail for 16 years, while the owner of another questionable institution nearby is finally about to go on trial.
The two institutions, both in the San Francisco Bay area are, respectively, Tri-Valley University — which was raided and then closed by ICE in a rare example of enforcement assertiveness — and Herguan University, also raided by ICE, but permitted to re-open, as we have reported in earlier, including here. Read more...
November 6, 2014
Beyond the key change — that the Republicans will now run the Senate Immigration Subcommittee — the elections had virtually no direct impact on the membership of the House and Senate immigration subcommittees. Read more...
November 3, 2014
Given the extensive abuse of H-1B workers, often Indian nationals being kicked around by others of Indian extraction, as reported in our prior blog, what can be done to minimize this problem when it comes to government contract work? Read more...
October 31, 2014
Speaking generally, our immigration laws and practices are supposed to be blind and unbiased as far as national origin is concerned. If a citizen marries a partner from overseas, we expect that the spouse will be treated the same no matter where the partner was born — Albania or Zambia.
But over the years, through a variety of mechanisms, special arrangements for people from specific countries have crept into our systems, making some aliens, to quote George Orwell, more equal than others. Most of these arrangements favor people from a single nation; a few others benefit small groups of countries, as we spell out in the table below. Read more...
October 30, 2014
There are two major problems with the H-1B program:
- It routinely drives down wages for everyone in the high-tech industries and deprives resident workers of good jobs.
- It often results in the additional exploitation of workers from India, routinely, but not always, by firms from India.
October 28, 2014
Last week, we reported on how some truck drivers in the sugar refining business were being adversely impacted by H-2B foreign workers.
We did not mention the name of the whistleblower, or even the state where the problem existed. Unfortunately, we can now. Read more...
October 23, 2014
You have to feel sorry for the people at Department of Homeland Security (DHS) who manage the EB-5 program, especially the publicists, as the immigrant investor program takes multiple blows, day after day, week after week.
My favorite story, not yet in the mainstream media, would have had this headline 40 years ago: "ChiComs Take Over Multi-Million Dollar Capitalist Tool in Brooklyn". Read more...
October 22, 2014
Recently a BBC Panorama program called "Student Visa Scandal", which exposed cheating in the UK's foreign student system, was called to my attention. It has two strong messages for this side of the water:
- U.S. broadcasters: Do some investigative reporting on immigration cheating; and
- U.S. policymakers: do more to keep foreign "students" from abusing our system!
October 21, 2014
He had a gruff truck driver's voice, with the hint of Scandinavia you sometimes hear in the Upper Midwest, and he had several thoroughly justifiable grievances about how some temporary foreign workers (H-2Bs) were adversely affecting his life.
He also painted a highly nuanced picture of how temporary foreign workers can cause harm in American labor markets, and shed some light on a specific piece of American agriculture that was brand-new to me (though my grandparents were Midwestern farmers.) Read more...
October 20, 2014
The Obama administration's latest symbolic, open-the-flood-gates-a-little-bit decision (regarding Haitian family immigration) is, of course, deplorable, but it could have been worse. Let me expand on that.
It is deplorable because it is contrary to our nation's 90-plus-year-old decision that immigration should be numerically limited. There are about a billion people who would migrate to the United States tomorrow if they were allowed to do so, but we have limited resources, too few jobs, and an already-over-stressed infrastructure. We simply cannot absorb all of the earth's poor. Read more...
October 17, 2014
There are two reasons why the state of South Dakota lost tens of millions of dollars from its treasury due to its strange handling of the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program:
- The surrender of a state-owned money-maker (the EB-5 regional center) to private interests under mysterious circumstances during the Rounds administration, which has been the subject of much controversy in the current U.S. Senate campaign, and
- A factor not previously discussed: the extreme fees charged to alien investors by the state's de facto monopoly regional center. If the fees had not been so large, there would be much less missing money to worry about.