Immigration Blog

Good News/Bad News on IRS Program that Pays Illegals to Stay in the U.S.

By David North, October 4, 2016

There's both some good news and some bad news on one of the Internal Revenue Service programs that, in effect, pays many illegal aliens to stay in this country. We at CIS have written about these peculiar and persisting tax transfers to illegals from time to time (see here and here).

One of the principal elements of the current personal income tax system that pays the illegals to stay is the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) program. Peter A. Shulkin estimated that illegal aliens received $4.2 billion in 2010 from this program. Read more...

The Times Prints All the News that Fits the Julia Preston Stereotype

By Jerry Kammer, October 3, 2016

Walter Lippmann, the late political journalist and philosopher, observed that we humans try to understand our complex social world by forming "systems of stereotypes". I thought of Lippmann over the weekend as I pondered two recent Julia Preston stories in the New York Times that encapsulate the stereotypical view of immigration that prevails in her work as national immigration reporter. Read more...

Hungary Rejects EU Migrant Quota; Insists on Right to Self-Determination

By Dan Cadman, October 3, 2016

Another national referendum, another rejection of the Eurocrats in Brussels. This one may not have garnered as much attention from the world media as did the lead-up and results to the Brexit vote in which United Kingdom voters opted to leave the European Union (EU), but it may in the end have an impact just as far-reaching. Read more...

Gleaning Information from the Senate Refugee Hearing

By Dan Cadman, September 30, 2016

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing this week entitled "Oversight of the Administration's FY 2017 Refugee Resettlement ‎Program". Three officials testified.

It can be expected that senior government officials' written testimony at such hearings will be written to put forward their agencies' and the administration's best spin on the program under the spotlight, in this case the increasingly suspect U.S. refugee program. Even so, some interesting facts can come to light, and often there is much to be gleaned from exactly how things are phrased or from what is not said. Here are a few things that caught my attention: Read more...

U.S. Attorney Indicts Yet Another Florida EB-5 Regional Center Operator

By David North, September 30, 2016

As Congress thinks about extending the key portion of the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program, the U.S. attorney in Jacksonville, Fla., has indicted yet another regional center executive, Karamchand Doobay, for mail and wire fraud.

The regional center is the Florida Gateway Regional Center LLC, and one of its projects was a retirement community called Senior Premium Living LP. Doobay was charged with, among many other acts, the "use of a portion of the funds received from foreign investors invested through the EB-5 Program for his own personal use and enjoyment." Read more...

Congress Does Nothing to Protect American Jobs

By John Miano, September 29, 2016

In 1996, a couple of clowns embarked on a publicity stunt that ended tragically. They would have a seven-year-old girl set the record for the youngest person to fly a plane across country. (Bear with me – it's a metaphor relating to immigration policy.)

Because most airplanes have dual controls (allowing them to be flown equally well from either seat), it would be a simple matter to set the record for the youngest cocker spaniel to fly across the country. Read more...

EB-5 Program Is Renewed, but Only for a Couple of Months

By David North, September 29, 2016

The main part of the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program was extended by the Congress this week — but only until December 9.

The extension was included in the stop-gap funding bill, the Continuing Resolution, which passed both houses only after Democrats insisted on both Zika funding and the promise of money for lead-free water for the residents of Flint, Mich. Read more...

DHS Catches Visa Fraudsters with Fake Phony University

By David North, September 29, 2016

While my colleagues and I are often critical of the way the Department of Homeland Security handles the enforcement of immigration law, today's posting is a (one-off) hymn of praise to the agency for a burst of creativity regarding an element of the OPT foreign worker program.

OPT stands for Optional Practical Training, which turns alien graduates of U.S. colleges and universities back into "students" again and allows them to work, full-time, for up to three years after graduation on their F-1 student visas. Read more...

The Realities of Illegal Immigration Into and Out of Honduras

By Kausha Luna, September 28, 2016

An interview with the director of Honduras' National Institute for Migration (INM), Carolina Menjívar, provides an insight into the country's immigration flows and system.

The INM, created in 2014, is the agency responsible for controlling and regulating migration into and out of Honduras. Menjívar, an attorney, was appointed as director to elevate the status of the INM, given the corruption scandals that plagued the previous immigration agency. That prior agency, the General Migration Directorate, was abolished and its entire staff fired because it was actually facilitating alien smuggling.

Some of the more telling portions of the interview read as follows: Read more...

Three H-1B Fraud Cases Involving People Named Sharma

By David North, September 28, 2016

I have written several times about Indian nationals with a few years experience in this country exploiting their more newly arrived countrymen through the H-1B program; but in those cases the people involved all had different names.

Today's posting is about H-1B fraud inflicted by, in two cases, and inflicted on, in one case, Indians named Sharma. Read more...

A Look at 'Hillbilly Elegy', news the Times Finds Unfit to Print, and the Backlash Against Stifling Lefty Orthodoxy

By Jerry Kammer, September 27, 2016

The remarkable new book Hillbilly Elegy is receiving rave reviews for its depiction of a large segment of the white working class. Liberal columnist Leonard Pitts, comparing the book to Ralph Ellison's classic about black America titled Invisible Man, called it "a compelling and compassionate portrait of a people politicians seldom address and media seldom reflect." Read more...

Immigration Restrictionists, the Importance of Words, and "Never Trumpers"

By Dan Cadman, September 27, 2016

Reihan Salam has written an interesting piece in National Review Online, "The Right Can Stop Losing on Immigration: Here's What it Will Take", that's worth a look. In it, he argues for a new strategy, one that: Read more...

As Haitians Head North from Brazil, DHS Announces Resumption of Deportations

By Kausha Luna, September 27, 2016

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced last week the resumption of regular deportations to Haiti, amid a spike in Haitian arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In the one hundred days prior to September 18, as many as 5,600 Haitian illegal aliens, accompanied by 150 minors, crossed Mexico's southern border and made their way north to Tijuana in order to seek asylum in the United States. Last week the Los Angeles Times reported that "numbers provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection showed that through July 31, a total of 3,060 Haitian 'inadmissibles' sought admittance to the United States through San Diego ports of entry during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year." Read more...

A Moral Dilemma for an Immigration Lawyer, and How It Played Out

By David North, September 26, 2016

Were I an immigration lawyer (which I am not) and believed in open or nearly open borders (as I do not) and also felt strongly that every alien should be represented in court, would I argue for an alien who was charged with illegal entry and who had been previously convicted by a federal court for facilitating a cock fight?

On the one hand, if I won, I would save the once-convicted alien from deportation, but there would be the possibility that there would be headline like this:

Cockfighting Immigrant Gets a Break in the 9th Circ.

Considering Those 1,982 Special Interest Aliens Who Fraudulently Naturalized

By Dan Cadman, September 26, 2016

On September 8, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) issued an audit report titled "Potentially Ineligible Individuals Have Been Granted U.S. Citizenship Because of Incomplete Fingerprint Records".

The report drew immediate attention from the media and innumerable other observers, including members of Congress, because of its primary finding: that the DHS agency responsible for administering immigration benefits, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Read more...

Questions for Monday's Presidential Debate

By Marguerite Telford, September 25, 2016

The first of three presidential debates will be held on Monday, September 26, moderated by Lester Holt of NBC Nightly News. The topic areas – America's Direction, Achieving Prosperity, and Securing America – are broad, but one issue area that will surely be covered is immigration. Immigration is an issue that impacts both the economy and national security, the top two voter concerns as shown by most polls. Read more...

DHS Says It Will Actually Terminate TPS for a Few Thousand Aliens

By David North, September 23, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security has finally decided to (slowly) terminate Temporary Protected Status for small numbers of people from three African nations — Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone — noticing belatedly that the Ebola Crisis that created TPS for them in the first place is long gone.

TPS is a status conferred on aliens by the secretary of Homeland Security when a disaster of some kind impacts a given nation or nations; a disaster of such proportions that the secretary suspends the enforcement of immigration law against the nationals of that country who are in the United States at the time, giving those aliens present in the United States either legally or illegally both temporary legal status here and the right to work legally.

The decision to end TPS for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone is unusual. Read more...

Admit Women and Children as Refugees Now, Able-Bodied Men Will "Follow to Join" Later

By Dan Cadman, September 23, 2016

State Department spokesman John Kirby has gone on record admitting that ISIS terrorists have attempted to infiltrate refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey and that U.S. vetting processes are imperfect. No surprise there really, other than the belated admission of something that's patently self-evident, from an administration notoriously loath to speak straightforwardly about the threat of Islamist terrorism. Read more...

Guatemala to UN: Our Emigrants Aren't Refugees

By Kausha Luna, September 23, 2016

During the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants this week, Guatemala clarified that Guatemalans leave the country for economic reasons and family reunification, not because of violence or persecution. As such, they should not be treated as refugees. Read more...

The Future of the EB-5 Program May Be Decided in a Senate Vote Monday

By David North, September 22, 2016

Will the heart of the Immigrant Investor (EB-5) Program be extended beyond the end of this month?

That question will probably be resolved by the leaders of the Senate prior to the scheduled vote on a continuing resolution to finance the government, which is currently scheduled for Monday, September 26. One of the possibilities is that a clean (i.e., no amendments) EB-5 extension will be part of the big spending bill. Read more...

TSA Port Worker Identity Card Vetting Is as Substandard as USCIS Benefits Vetting

By Dan Cadman, September 22, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) has issued an important report: "TWIC Background Checks Are Not as Reliable as They Could Be". The acronym TWIC stands for Transportation Worker Identification Card, the laminated document provided to employees who are able to enter, with few restrictions, the secure "sterile" areas of airports, seaports, and other sensitive public transportation nodes. Read more...

Rahami May Be a Terrorist, Criminal, and Traitor, but He's Not an Enemy Combatant

By Dan Cadman, September 20, 2016

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has suggested that Ahmad Khan Rahami, the naturalized citizen of Afghan origin who was just arrested for planting the pipe and pressure cooker bombs in New York and New Jersey, should not be criminally tried but instead held as an "enemy combatant". I disagree on both constitutional and practical grounds. Read more...

Germany Refugee Policy Makes Life Unbearable for Lebanese

By Nayla Rush, September 20, 2016

In an recent open letter to the German Ambassador in Lebanon, a Lebanese national residing next to the German embassy in Lebanon informed the ambassador about her intention to leave her apartment:

Since your government decided to welcome Syrian migrants into your country and following your decision to allow these migrants to present their visa applications at the embassy premises which is in a residential area, my life became unbearable.

110,000 Refugees Resettled in the U.S in FY 2017?

By Nayla Rush, September 20, 2016

President's Obama's deep commitment to the refugee cause following the Syrian crisis and its five million refugees is now well established.

We predicted in a previous blog the arrival of at least 12,000 Syrian refugees by the end of FY 2016 on September 30 (surpassing the Obama administration's "floor-not-ceiling" target of 10,000).

Following the release of the government's "Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2017" report to Congress we know that number to be even higher. The Obama administration announced it is expecting a total of 13,000 Syrian refugees by the end of this fiscal year. Read more...

Are International Moral Obligations a One-Way Street?

By Dan Cadman, September 20, 2016

Earlier this month, two Fresno County, Calif., correctional officers were shot by Laotian immigrant Thong Van, a multiple felon under an outstanding order of deportation — which could not be carried out by federal immigration authorities because the Laotian government refused to cooperate in providing the travel documents needed for his removal back to Laos.

As a consequence, he was released from immigration detention because the Supreme Court has previously established guidelines for the maximum amount of time an individual can be held while attempting to execute orders of removal. Read more...

When Are We Going to Get Serious About Immigration?

By Mark Krikorian, September 20, 2016

The news over the past couple of days highlights how screwed up our immigration policy is.

In response to the Minnesota attack by a Somali immigrant jihadist, Jeremy Carl asks at National Review, "But if even a small, but meaningful number of Somali immigrants join terror groups, which they most certainly do in numbers far out of proportion to their population, why do we need to bring in more?" Read more...

Another Needless Killing by a Drunk-Driving Illegal Alien

By Dan Cadman, September 19, 2016

The Daily Caller is reporting the killing of a Johnson County, Kan., law enforcement officer, Master Deputy Brandon Collins, at the hands of an illegal alien, one Adrian Espinosa-Flores, who was driving drunk at the time he plowed his vehicle into Deputy Collins and then ran away.

It was a needless death because, according to the Daily Caller, Espinosa-Flores was on the streets despite having been arrested twice previously — a pertinent fact that somehow just doesn't show up in the Kansas City Star newspaper article about him being charged with manslaughter in the case. Sloppy reporting or political correctness? Read more...

GAO Uses Tired Approach to EB-5 Fraud, Misses Real Chance for Change

By David North, September 19, 2016

The extent of fraud in the immigrant investor (EB-5) program is a subject of importance, one we at CIS have reported on frequently, and have mapped, and one that deserves a more spirited approach.

So it was with some anticipation that I read the recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on fighting fraud within the program. Sadly, the GAO document suggests a metaphor from medieval warfare:

The bad prince (symbol of the EB-5 fraudsters) is holed up in the big castle, and the good guys, on the outside, want to capture it. Read more...

Immigration and the Art of "Trumpology"

By Dan Cadman, September 17, 2016

I've been watching with a certain amused fascination as various organizations and news media engage in what my colleague David North has wittily called "Trumpology" on the subject of immigration, to try to determine where he really stands on the issue.

For instance, The Hill published a piece titled "Five Burning Questions about Trump's immigration plan" and Law360 put out an article titled "Parsing Donald Trump's Positions on Immigration" (the full item is behind a paywall). Read more...

Darrell Issa Continues to Fail U.S. Workers

By John Miano, September 17, 2016

Last week I wrote about Rep. Darrell Issa's do-nothing "reform" bill for the H-1B program. The purpose of Issa's bill is to head off other bills (such as those from Sen. Sessions and Sen. Grassley) that would fix some of the problems in H-1B. It is no wonder that Issa's bill has the support of industry groups.

Yesterday there was a markup session for Issa's do-nothing bill in the House immigration subcommittee, where the bill ended up being pulled. Read more...