Immigration Blog

Two Small Bits of Good News on the Marriage Fraud Front

By David North, 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...

No More EB-5 Visas for Chinese Nationals – For a Month

By David North, 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...

The Bedrock of Ordinary Americans' Immigration Views: Future Immigration Levels, Pt. 4

By Stanley Renshon, August 29, 2014

Trying to answer the question: What would Americans think about future of levels of immigration if they were given different kinds of information, researchers conducted an experiment. They gave a portion of their larger survey samples (1) no new information — that was the control condition; (2) information about the estimates of current numbers of both legal immigrants and illegal immigrants; and (3) these estimates of legal immigrants and illegal migrants coupled with the information that about 40 percent of both groups living in America were from Spanish-speaking backgrounds. Read more...

BIA Makes Expansive Decision in Asylum Case

By David North, 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...

The "Octopus" Tries to Expand Immigration

By Dan Cadman, August 27, 2014

The August edition of Harper's Magazine has an excellent article by Rebecca Solnit in the "Easy Chair" column of the magazine entitled, "The Octopus and Its Grandchildren".

As Ms. Solnit explains, the "Octopus" of the title originally was the derogatory moniker given to railroads and their robber baron owners, who wrapped their tentacles around everything in sight, squeezing them dry for maximum profit, often at the expense of the public. Later, the phrase came to be used more generically to other equally rapacious organizations, such as Standard Oil, and even recently was applied to Goldman Sachs for its greedy, unethical behavior leading up to the Great Recession. Read more...

If DHS Won't Enforce Immigration Law, Maybe the Competition Will

By David North, 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...

American Immigration Council Floats a Petition to Sway the President on Executive Amnesty

By Dan Cadman, August 26, 2014

Honest disclosure No. 1: Before I began this blog, I promised the lawyer who made me aware of the subject matter that I wouldn't make any of those typical tasteless lawyer jokes that are always making the rounds (often over some of Guinness's finest), though in retrospect I can't imagine why I'd agree to tie one hand behind my back, especially with this subject, which is (or would have been but for my promise) casting for fish in a barrel. Read more...

Allegations of Corruption by a S.C. Sheriff in Overriding ICE Detainers

By Dan Cadman, August 26, 2014

A friend has made me aware of a legal battle playing out in South Carolina. This coming September 3, there is to be a pretrial conference between the federal government and longtime Lexington County Sheriff James Metts, who is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office for bribery, conspiracy, and other charges. Metts is the longest-serving sheriff in South Carolina, having first been elected in 1972. Read more...

Bruised Egos in a Small Part of the Immigrant Selection Process

By David North, 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...

The Bedrock of Ordinary Americans' Immigration Views-Future Immigration Levels, Pt. 3

By Stanley Renshon, August 25, 2014

Trying to ascertain Americans' preferences for future immigration levels when they were given information that might stimulate them to feel threatened or xenophobic, researchers asked three versions on the question future levels question (p.16): Read more...

Many No-Shows in Immigration Court; Some Hearings Scheduled for 2020

By Jon Feere, August 22, 2014

The Heritage Foundation's news site The Daily Signal ran a piece Friday on one reporter's observations at an immigration court in Arlington, Va. The docket was made up of juveniles, though not youths affiliated with the recent border influx. I happened to attend a day of the juvenile docket in the same courtroom the day after the reporter and his article is quite accurate and worth reading. There is one thing the reporter did not mention, however, and that is the turnout rate. Read more...

A Town Near You? ICE Reveals Locations of Convicted Murderers It Freed

By Jessica Vaughan, August 22, 2014

The 169 aliens with homicide-related convictions who were freed by ICE in 2013 were booked out of detention facilities in 24 different states, with the largest number in California, according to information provided to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). ICE records show that these convicted killers were associated with 96 different cities and towns across America. The city with the largest concentration was Miami, with seven convicted murderers freed by ICE, followed by Los Angeles with six. Read more...

The Bedrock of Ordinary Americans' Immigration Views: Future Immigration Levels, Pt. 2

By Stanley Renshon, August 22, 2014

Americans have consistently said that they want immigration levels to "remain the same" or be decreased. Many so-called immigration "reformers" have simply ignored them.

As a result, one of the most egregious elements of the Senate's 2013 bill was that it would have enormously increased the number of legal immigrants allowed into the United States. Just how many new legal immigrants would have been allowed in is a matter of debate, but by any fair look, the numbers would be substantial — at least double and most likely more. Read more...

Jan Ting on Immigration Policy: 'The Issue Is: How Many?'

By Jan Ting, August 21, 2014

This morning, before hosting an address by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the Heritage Foundation and National Review co-sponsored a panel discussion about immigration. (Watch it here.) One of the participants was Jan Ting, a law professor at Temple University and a member of the Center for Immigration Studies board of directors. Here are extensive excerpts from his introductory remarks. Read more...

It Depends on What the Meaning of "Student" Is

By David North, 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...

Iranian-American IJ Told Not to Take Iranian Cases, She Sues DOJ

By David North, 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...

The Bedrock of Ordinary Americans' Immigration View: Future Immigration Levels

By Stanley Renshon, August 20, 2014

In the last few entries, we have been exploring the fact that ordinary Americans hold basic, bedrock views on several subjects that that are cornerstones of the immigration debate – their views on the impact of large-scale immigration, as reflected in the numbers of the foreign-born in the population, and their views on illegal immigration.

The vehicle of our examination has been a large, sophisticated immigration survey, with an experiment design component embedded within it (for the experimental parts, different groups within the larger sample are given different question and the results compared), conducted by two very reputable political scientists. Read more...

HHS OIG Report on Aliens and Obamacare: Important but Incomplete

By Dan Cadman, August 19, 2014

I have been reading a June report issued by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) called "Marketplace Faced Early Challenges Resolving Inconsistencies with Applicant Data".

The report provides the findings from an examination of the start-up enrollment data from the automated sites (data hubs, or "marketplaces") run by the federal and state governments that receive and store requests for medical insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare. Under the law, states may choose to run their own or not; in the latter case applicants use the federal marketplace. Read more...

Disturbing Marriage Fraud Case
When in Rome do as the Vandals do

By David North, August 19, 2014
When in Rome do as the Vandals do

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...

The Bedrock of Ordinary Americans' Immigration Views: How Many is Too Much?

By Stanley Renshon, August 19, 2014

Researchers asking if providing "accurate" information about the percentage of foreign-born persons and illegal immigrants in the population of the United States would lead survey respondents to feel less of a "threat" from, and be more welcoming to, ethnic "others" (immigrants), were surprised to find accurate numbers (i.e., the estimates that researchers provided) didn't make much difference (p. 15). Americans were not happy with the figures, even when they were given the "correct" (i.e. estimated) numbers.

The researchers wondered why and speculated as follows (p. 15): Read more...

USCIS: No Green Card for Jello Shots

By David North, 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.

CNN Publishes Error-Filled, Pro-Amnesty "News" Article

By Jon Feere, August 15, 2014

On Monday, CNN.com published an article by CNN's Senior Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh titled "Republicans ignoring their own advice on immigration". Though it is apparently meant to be a news article, it comes across as an editorial written by a pro-amnesty activist who is upset that the American people were able to stop Congress from passing a bill that would allow millions of foreigners to get away with violating U.S. sovereignty. On top of that, the article contains a number of factual errors, as detailed below. I have sent inquires to both the article's author and CNN.com about the errors, and should they be corrected, this post will be updated.

Here are the obvious factual errors: Read more...

The Bedrock of Ordinary Americans' Immigration Views

By Stanley Renshon, August 15, 2014

Americans do have some bedrock views on immigration, but how legitimate are they given the lack of specific information that ordinarily accompanies them?

The criticism of ordinary Americans' lack of specific information about immigration and other public matters often masks a conceit and several false premises. It also provides an opening to manipulate the public that many advocates and pundits feel no qualms about taking advantage of if it suits their policy preferences, for example by arguing that legalizing illegal immigrants will require them to pay their back taxes when that is patently untrue and misleading. Read more...

Report on ICE's Criminal Alien Releases Leaves Much to Be Desired

By Dan Cadman, August 15, 2014

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a report entitled "ICE's Release of Immigration Detainees". Read more...

Illegal Migrants: A Silent Invasion No More, Pt. 2

By Stanley Renshon, August 14, 2014

The hidden tsunami of new immigrants, both legal and illegal, have been operating under the public's attention radar for many decades. In part this reflects the fact that immigration is not, ordinarily, a high-attention issue for most Americans. As a result, ordinary Americans don't have a great deal of factual information about the substantive foundations of the many complex elements that make up immigration policy. Read more...

Pardon Me? Executive Clemency as a Vehicle for Amnesty Isn't a Good Bet

By Dan Cadman, August 14, 2014

I have been pondering the Guy Benson Townhall.com article on the possibility of the president using his pardon power to amnesty the 10 to 12 million aliens illegally in the United States.

I'm not sure who came up with this notion, or how, but it goes without saying that it's a bad idea — and, more to the point, unlikely to gain enough legal traction to be successful. Read more...

Amnesty Would Make Border Crisis Worse

By Jon Feere, August 14, 2014

The start of my op-ed posted today at TheHill.com:

Any legalization of illegal immigrants — either through legislation or executive fiat — would undoubtedly encourage more illegal immigration, making the current crisis look almost insignificant by comparison. This should be well-understood by former La Raza Vice President Cecilia Muñoz, who currently serves in the White House as assistant to President Obama and director of the Domestic Policy Council.

Only four years after the comprehensive amnesty of 1986 was signed into law, Muñoz authored a report for La Raza in which she noted that the amnesty did not stop illegal immigration. ...

Read the rest here.

Read more...

High-Tech H-1B Employers Take Two Indirect Hits

By David North, 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...

Accusations of Caesarism Should Not Be Dismissed Lightly

By Dan Cadman, August 12, 2014

The Economic Policy Institute's Daniel Costa has written a defense, even before it has happened, of the president's ability to expand deferred action to additional as-yet-undefined categories of illegal aliens, beyond the current DACA program for about half million youth and young adults.

The piece, entitled "American Caesar? Not Even Close: The president has the statutory authority he needs to expand deferred action", is well-written, but fails a critical examination of logic. (Its title refers to a New York Times column and subsequent blog post by Ross Douthat.) Here is why it doesn't ring true. Read more...

A Refreshing Aspect of EB-5 – No Bowing to the Alien Rich

By David North, 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.

It's not that the government puts workers first, or even taxpayers; the tilt is toward another set of "haves", the middlemen who profit from the money invested by the aliens. (There may be some indirect benefits to others, but the middlemen are the most likely to get something out of this program.) Read more...