Immigration Blog

Accounting Firms Want to Join a Subsidy Program for Cheap Foreign Workers

By David North, June 7, 2017

It's a typically incomplete (or maybe biased) story about an industry wanting to hire, at virtually hidden cut-rates, skilled foreign workers when there is a surplus of American workers.

This time it is the accounting industry making the usual argument that they need more workers than they can find in the United States, and all they want is an ever-so-slight change in the rules to give them these workers at a discount of 7.65 percent from what they would have to pay U.S. workers. (Of course, they never mention the subsidy.)

The program at risk is Optional Practical Training (OPT), an administrative creation of the Bush II and Obama administrations, which gives recent foreign alumni up to three years of legal work in the United States while still here on their student visas. (Congress did not create the program.) Read more...

The U.K. Elections and Foreign Terrorist Threats

By Dan Cadman, June 7, 2017

As I write this, the last day of campaigning is partway over before Britons go to the polls to vote in the snap election called by Prime Minister Theresa May. May's primary opponent in these snap elections is Jeremy Corbyn of the liberal-progressive Labour party, a leftist against whose die-hard views Bernie Sanders dims to a very pale shade of pink.

Before the most recent spate of terror attacks in Manchester and London, the focus was primarily on how the United Kingdom (UK) would approach the Brexit talks — a matter of great significance given the threats from European Union (EU) leaders in an attempt to soften official British positions on such key matters as residual rights of migration into Britain (or not) once it separates from the EU. Read more...

Labor Dept. Vows to "Aggressively Confront Visa Program Fraud"

By David North, June 6, 2017

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a press release promising to fight fraud in the foreign worker programs that it helps to administer.

These are the H programs for H-1B (skilled workers), H-2A (farm workers), and H-2B (non-farm, non-skilled workers).

"We will enforce vigorously those laws, including heightened use of criminal referrals," said new Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta in the press release. Read more...

GAO Exposes Massive Increase in Immigration Court Backlog

By Andrew R. Arthur, June 6, 2017

On Thursday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its long-awaited report on the management of the immigration court system by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). The results, as they pertained to the immigration court backlog, revealed significant declines in the ability of the immigration courts to complete cases over the past 10 years.

For those not familiar with its work, GAO "is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the 'congressional watchdog,' GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars." The impetus for this report was a request from Congress that GAO "review EOIR's management and oversight of the immigration court system, as well as options for improving EOIR's performance, including through restructuring." Read more...

Thousands of Troubled Former Teens Are Using Up Scarce EB-4 Visas

By David North, June 6, 2017

There is an exploding number of young people getting green cards because they have a particular attribute — they are, in the words of the Department of Homeland Security, "juvenile court dependents". That is how they are described in the Yearbook of Immigration Statistics (Table 7).

These aliens do not get anything as minimal as the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) benefits; they obtain full permanent resident alien status; complete with instant legal Social Security numbers, and three to five years later, the opportunity to become naturalized citizens. It also gives them the opportunity to start filing DHS petitions on behalf of their relatives — the term is chain migration. Read more...

Stapling H-1B Visas to Foreign Students' Diplomas Still a Bad Idea

By John Miano, June 6, 2017

A recent policy memo from USCIS has generated some news coverage. It was, as my colleague David North has noted, a small step in the right direction, but many people have missed important implications of the memo.

The memo in question adopts as USCIS formal policy the ruling in Matter of A-T-Inc. In that proceeding the employer sought an H-1B visa for a 2010 graduate of International Technological University (ITU). Read more...

On Trump, Tweets, and Ground Truths

By Dan Cadman, June 5, 2017

The Washington Times is one of several outlets reporting on some of the most recent tweets from President Trump. Some recent messages he sent out on Twitter, in which he condemned the dangers of political correctness when they lead to compromises of public safety, may have been prompted by his observation of the multiple terror attacks in Britain in the last several weeks. Read more...

Mexican City Tells Central American Illegals to Keep Moving

By Kausha Luna, June 5, 2017

A councilwoman in San Juan del Rio, Mexico, recently expressed concern over the growing number of Central American arrivals, particularly those who make their way to and through her municipality.

Aidee Mellado Resendiz, a councilwoman for the Humanist Party, warned that the municipality of San Juan de Rio does not have the capacity to accommodate the growing number Central American migrants who illegally migrate to and through Mexico in search of work. Read more...

Feds Continue Funding Sanctuaries to the Tune of Tens of Millions of Dollars

By Dan Cadman, June 5, 2017

Don Rosenberg is the father of a young man who was killed by an illegal alien initially held on criminal charges by police, who chose to release the alien to the streets rather than into the hands of immigration agents who wanted to initiate proceedings to deport him. It was this failure that led to the son's death. It happened in San Francisco, that model of progressive thinking, which has more than once done this with similarly disastrous results to its innocent citizenry.

Rosenberg is among a distressingly large and diverse group of families who have faced similar tragedies. He is now the face of a public service announcement slamming sanctuary jurisdictions, and asking President Trump to make good on his campaign promise to halt federal funding for these jurisdictions. Read more...

How About E-Verifying Tax Refund Recipients?

By David North, June 5, 2017

The Trump administration is said to be thinking about illegal aliens and Social Security.

Let's hope the focus of the new people is not on Social Security beneficiaries, as benefits are not supposed to be paid to those without legal status, anyway. This part of the system may not be enforced with zest, but the rules are in place. Clearly such systems could, and should, be tightened.

The focus on Social Security and illegal aliens, however, should be on seeing to it that the massive amount of information on the illegals held by the SSA — now rarely shared with other agencies — should be routinely dispatched to other federal outfits that can, and should, do something about it. Read more...

How a Good Little Migration Policy Idea Got Twisted in the Budget Process

By David North, June 2, 2017

Deep down inside this article there is a significant piece of good news, but its birth story is like that of a baby chick having to fight its way out of a particularly thick eggshell.

Let's tell the story in reverse chronological order, because that is the way I encountered it.

In the New York Times corrections section, now buried deep in the first section on p. A21 (scroll down this page for the web version), on Wednesday, May 24 we learned: Read more...

The Ninth Circuit Tees Off on ICE Enforcement

By Andrew R. Arthur, June 2, 2017

There were two items in the past week that reflected the state of political discourse in this country.

The first was a gruesome photograph of comedian Kathy Griffin "holding aloft a bloodied imitation of President Trump's decapitated head", which was apparently published on Tuesday, May 30. The second was a decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, issued the same day, in which, as the Washington Post reported, Judge Stephen Reinhardt "wrote that a Trump administration order to deport a Mexican man was 'inhumane' and 'contrary to the values of the country and its legal system.'"

Given the timing, both the photograph and the order were issued in isolation. Both reflect a larger issue that is poisoning political discourse in our society. And, of the two, the Ninth Circuit order is probably worse in the long run. Read more...

Univision Talks "Potential" Amnesty Under the Trump Administration

By Kausha Luna, June 1, 2017

Over Memorial Day weekend, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos interviewed the Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, who said he is working with the Trump administration on a proposal to legalize illegal aliens.

Rodriguez is one of the few Hispanic leaders to respectfully meet with President Trump.

Below is a translated transcript in which Ramos and Rodriguez discuss who would benefit from this proposed amnesty, how the process would function, and the likelihood that the president would approve such measures. Read more...

Conflating the First Amendment with Immunity from Arrest and Removal

By Dan Cadman, June 1, 2017

A melee broke out on the floor of the Texas Legislature the other day (see here and here). The precipitating event was the presence of demonstrators in the gallery of the chamber, a number of them wearing T-shirts and placards proclaiming "I'm illegal and I'm here to stay" and the like. Some allege that they became vocal, disrupting the proceedings. They were there to protest the Republican-dominated legislature's recent passage, and the governor's signature into law, of an anti-sanctuary statute prohibiting officials from refusing to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement efforts. Read more...

A First Small Step Toward Fixing H-1B
USCIS Does the Right Thing on Dubious Colleges, and Does It with Finesse

By David North, June 1, 2017
USCIS Does the Right Thing on Dubious Colleges, and Does It with Finesse

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has done the right thing, substantively, regarding the dubious colleges that still haunt our immigration system, and it did so with what might be called bureaucratic elegance — and I mean that as a compliment.

As usual, in Washington, the move is complicated and the thrust of the decision may well get lost as it seems, at first glance, to be specialized, narrow, and lacking in drama. There is no wall, no billions of dollars, no mass deportations. All of that is true, but to a policy wonk like me, the USCIS decision is a thing of beauty. Read more...

"Investor" Visas Are a Joke – And a Bad One at That

By Dan Cadman, May 30, 2017

An old joke comes to mind whenever I see anything about immigration programs with names like "investor" or "entrepreneurial" visas. The story, variously attributed to Groucho Marx, Mark Twain, W.C. Fields, and others, goes something like this:

Two people are sitting at an upscale bar having drinks. One individual says to the other, "Would you sleep with me for a million dollars?" The second individual, taken aback, looks carefully into the other's eyes and sees nothing there but seriousness. After a few moments pause, the second individual says, "Yes, in truth, I think I would."

The first individual then follows up with, "Would you sleep with me for ten bucks?" The second individual, visibly outraged, says, "No! What kind of person do you think I am?"

The first says, "We've already established that, now all we're doing is haggling over the price."

Why Haven't Erdogan's Thugs Been Charged with Crimes?

By Dan Cadman, May 30, 2017

Shortly before President Trump's recent overseas travels to the Middle East and Europe, he was visited by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is known to be both Islamist and authoritarian in outlook.

During his visit earlier this month, when Erdogan went to the Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C., a brawl occurred between protesters (many of them Kurds, our allies in the war against Islamic State, but in general opponents of his regime) on one hand, and his supporters on the other. (A video of the brawl can be seen here.) Read more...

Manchester Leaks: Bad? Yes. Treason? No.

By Dan Cadman, May 30, 2017

As most readers will be aware, following the Manchester, England, terrorist attack by a suicide bomber, British authorities accused U.S. personnel of inappropriately and prematurely sharing details of the investigation, including the bomber's identity as well as forensic evidence. Those details ended up in the New York Times and, quickly thereafter, other American media outlets, to the dismay of the constabulary, which is in the midst of an ever-widening investigation into the bombing.

The Brits were furious, leading to the home secretary (their rough equivalent of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary) to condemn the leak, and the prime minister to declare that the leak was so offensive and injurious to cooperation that they would suspend sharing of law enforcement information as a result. Read more...

Missing the Point on the "Travel Ban"
A concurrence explains the problems with the Fourth Circuit's analysis of Executive Order 13,780

By Andrew R. Arthur, May 27, 2017
A concurrence explains the problems with the Fourth Circuit's analysis of Executive Order 13,780

On Thursday, May 25, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump. In that decision, the Fourth Circuit reviewed an injunction from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland barring enforcement of section 2(c) of Executive Order 13,780, "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States" (EO-2). The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court judge's order in part, holding that "the district court erred in issuing an injunction against the President himself," but otherwise leaving the district court's decision enjoining enforcement of that provision intact. Read more...

Will No One Rid Me of These Turbulent Immigration Restrictionists?

By Mark Krikorian, May 26, 2017

In the under-appreciated film "Bowfinger" one of Eddie Murphy's characters is a paranoid movie-star nitwit who meticulously combs through a proposed script to count the number of times the letter K is used:

Kit: The letter K appears in this script 1,456 times. That's perfectly divisible by 3.

Freddy: So what? So what you saying?

Kit: What am I saying? KKK appears in this script 486 times!

This was my first thought when I read the Southern Poverty Law Center's latest screed attacking my organization, the Center for Immigration Studies. But rather than simply counting the Ks in my name, the SPLC's Inspector Javerts spent what must have been weeks combing through hundreds of weekly CIS roundups of immigration-related commentary from all sides. Then they researched the hundreds of columnists and bloggers whose pieces had been included — investigating their personal lives and statements in other articles — in order to find objectionable material (some of it anti-Semitic), which we are then somehow responsible for. This is proof that we're a "hate group." Read more...

No, Whistlebolower Revelation of MS-13 'Children' Does Not Harm Investigation

By Dan Cadman, May 26, 2017

On May 24, the Washington Times carried this item: "Obama admin knew gang members were part of illegal immigrant surge: Whistleblower".

My colleague Jessica Vaughan has already posted on the matter, but bear with me for a few moments here. Read more...

Shadows and Lies
Why won't politicians help inform immigrant victims?

By Andrew R. Arthur, May 26, 2017
Why won't politicians help inform immigrant victims?

The Wednesday, May 24, Baltimore Sun online edition ran a story that shocked the conscience of even its most jaded readers. Although it was a complicated narrative of obstruction and deceit, it was also amply summed up by its headline: "Baltimore attorney arrested for allegedly offering rape victim $3K to not testify, saying Trump will deport her." Read more...

Overstays Study Suggests Need to Overhaul the Foreign Student Program

By David North, May 25, 2017

Foreign students are more than twice as likely to overstay their visas as nonimmigrants coming to the United States generally.

That's an obvious but unremarked take-away from the "Fiscal Year 2016 Entry/Exit Overstay Report" just issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Using a statistical ratio based on the report, one out of 36 entrants with F, J, or M visas do not go home when their visas expire. Read more...

Pew Research Shows How OPT Undercuts American Workers

By Dan Cadman, May 25, 2017

In March the White House issued a press release, "President Trump Delivers on Jobs for the American People", that cited his progress in making good on his campaign promise to bring jobs to American workers. The release observes, "As a candidate, Mr. Trump promised 'I am going to bring back the jobs that have been stripped away from you and your country.'"

There does seem to be some progress, but what if his administration could free up thousands of jobs practically with the stroke of a pen (no need for a phone, folks), simply by undoing another one of the abysmal programs twisted out of recognition by his predecessors? He can. Read more...

Feds Allowed Known Gang Members to Enter as Unaccompanied Minors; Status Now Unknown

By Jessica Vaughan, May 24, 2017

A number of Central American youths who were positively identified by border agents as MS-13 and Sureno 18 gang members were allowed to enter the country in July 2014 under Obama administration border surge policies, according to documents released today by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.). Johnson is seeking information from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the status of these cases and, most importantly, whether they were released from the HHS facilities to communities in the United States. The youths were initially held by the Border Patrol in Nogales, Ariz., and were later transferred to HHS-run facilities in Virginia, Washington, Texas, New York, and Oklahoma. Read more...

Locking the Revolving Door
Davis-Oliver puts teeth into reinstatements, but more could be done

By Andrew R. Arthur, May 24, 2017
Davis-Oliver puts teeth into reinstatements, but more could be done

The House Judiciary Committee has returned this week to mark-up the "Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act" (Davis-Oliver) (H.R. 2431), which was introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho. (The committee approved the bill today by a vote of 19-13.) Earlier, I discussed how Title V of the bill will provide ICE officers and agents with the needed body armor and weapons that they need to do their jobs, particularly given the restrictions placed on them by sanctuary jurisdictions that endanger their lives and the public at large.

A separate section of that bill, section 604, will prevent aliens who are subject to expedited removal from obtaining review of those decisions by reentering illegally. Read more...

DHS Issues a Disturbing Report on Nonimmigrants Who Overstay Their Visas

By Dan Cadman, May 24, 2017

After a great deal of hemming, hawing, and revisions, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has finally issued its second report (for Fiscal Year 2016) on aliens who overstay their period of authorized admission — whether they entered with visas or through the Visa Waiver Program. Read more...

Reflections on Analyzing Donald Trump's Words and the So-Called "Travel Ban"

By Dan Cadman, May 24, 2017

Not so long ago, my colleague, Andrew Arthur, wrote an excellent blog, "Loaded Questions and False Assumptions", about the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' treatment of the president's executive order directing a visa time-out for certain countries deemed a high terrorism risk, which was frequently and erroneously referred to as a "Muslim travel ban". Read more...

Many Haitians Choosing to Stay in Mexico

By Kausha Luna, May 23, 2017

As Haitians in the United States receive an extension of their Temporary Protected Status (TPS), those in Mexico have begun to establish themselves in Tijuana and abandon their intentions to cross to the United States.

In 2016, the number of Haitian arrivals at the U.S. southwest border swelled. The majority made their way north from Brazil to take advantage of lax immigration enforcement. However, after the Obama administration reinstated Haitian deportations and President Trump took office, the number of Haitians seeking asylum in the United States dropped dramatically. Read more...

DHS Secretary Kelly Extends Haitian TPS for Six Months

By Dan Cadman, May 23, 2017

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly has announced, after a period of deliberation, that he has decided to issue a six-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitian nationals in the United States.

The decision was made after a period of very public entreaties by any number of nongovernmental agencies, affected Haitians themselves, and the Haitian government. Read more...