Immigration Blog

New Yorker Surprise: Understanding for Trump's Appeal Among the White Working Class

By Jerry Kammer, May 12, 2016

This blog has posted several laments about the sneering New Yorker disdain for those of us who oppose illegal immigration or want to reduce legal immigration. Six years ago, I noted the complaint by the magazine’s William Finnegan that: "Anti-immigrant groups, which have proliferated in recent years, are not racist by nature, but they certainly attract racists and give them a platform." I added this response to Finnegan: "So what's your point for those of us whose concerns are non-racist, and in many cases rooted in progressive values? Shut up or you’ll be smeared?" Read more...

Should We Be Satisfied That Immigrants Are "A Better Class of Underclass"?

By CIS, May 11, 2016

[Guest post by Jason Richwine]

On Monday, CIS published my new study comparing the welfare consumption of immigrant and native households. It shows that immigrant households consume an average of about $6,200 worth of welfare dollars, while native households consume about $4,400. The main reasons for the difference are the lower level of education and greater number of children in immigrant households.

This new report is CIS's second analysis of the Census Bureau's Survey of Income Program Participation. The first study (released last September) focused on participation rates, showing that 51 percent of immigrant households used some form of welfare. Now we are able to quantify the costs associated with that participation. Read more...

Problems with the Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor Programs

By David North, May 11, 2016

Last month we published 20 years of data on the E-1 (Treaty Trader) and E-2 (Treaty Investor) nonimmigrant programs. The tables, covering the years 1994 to 2013, show that the number of visas issued in the E-1 category dropped from over 11,000 a year to about 7,000, while issuances of E-2 visas moved in the opposite direction, from about 19,000 to about 35,000 a year. Data for 2104 show E-1 visas at 7,330 and E-2 visas at 36,825. Read more...

The Wise Use of Prosecutorial Discretion, Expressed in a Single Sentence

By Dan Cadman, May 11, 2016

Yesterday I wrote about a Department of Justice (DOJ) report on the history and development of the Office of Special Investigations, a small unit charged with hunting down Nazis and other war criminals from World War II.

I said that I'd found, embedded within the manuscript's pages, lessons still important for today's world, and went on to relate the parallels between the processing of displaced persons in the post-war era and the processing of Syrians, Iraqis, and persons from other war-torn nations today — processing as replete with risks now as it was then because of the high probability of making mistakes and granting refuge or asylum to persecutors, genocidists, or even Islamic terrorists bent on further mayhem after being "resettled". Read more...

DHS Uses WW II to Open the Gates for More Aging Filipinos

By David North, May 11, 2016

One of the hidden specialties of the U.S. immigration system is the way it facilitates the immigration of aliens deep into, or beyond, their working lives.

The country-of-origin limits on immigration, coupled with high demand from some nations such as the Philippines, means that many migrants have been waiting for 20 years or more – and are thus about 20 years older than the average migrant when they finally arrive in the U.S. You can imagine what this does to the welfare costs.

I was reminded of this by a Homeland Security press release proclaiming: Read more...

Transfer of Visa-less Cubans to U.S. Border Continues

By Kausha Luna, May 10, 2016

Today, the first group of 238 Cuban migrants airlifted from Panama reached El Paso, Texas.

On Monday, the government of Panama initiated the airlift of about 4,000 U.S.-bound Cubans stranded in Panama to Ciudad Juarez, the Mexican city opposite El Paso.

Earlier this year, Panama transferred about 1,300 islanders to the U.S.-Mexico border, after Nicaragua and then Costa Rica closed their borders to Cuban migrants without visas passing through on their way north. However, after the airlift was complete, Cuban illegal aliens continued to arrive at the Panama-Costa Rica border. Read more...

How Predators Get Admitted with Their Prey During Humanitarian Crises

By Dan Cadman, May 10, 2016

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), responding to pressure and threats of a lawsuit, turned over to the National Security Archive (which, despite the name, is an arm of George Washington University, not part of the government) a significantly redacted version of a manuscript prepared by a DOJ lawyer detailing the history of DOJ's Nazi-hunting unit, the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). The manuscript was prepared over the course of several years under DOJ auspices and was edited by Mark Richard, the career deputy assistant attorney general who as a part of his duties oversaw OSI for many years. Read more...

DHS Excels at Locking the Barn Door Long after the Horse Has Been Stolen

By David North, May 9, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security has shown, once again, that it is very good at locking the barn door, not only after the horse has been stolen, but long after the stolen horse has died of old age. In short, it occasionally takes appropriate action, but years — even decades — too late.

The latest example comes from America's far, far West, the Island of Tinian, in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, just north of Guam in the Pacific. That is the location of the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino; the casino has been closed for several months, and the adjacent hotel is operating, but just barely. Read more...

One Inspirational Story Doesn't Blot Out Realities of Illegal Immigration

By Jerry Kammer, May 9, 2016

During Sunday's "Al Punto" program on Univision, host Jorge Ramos spoke with renowned brain surgeon Alfredo Quinones, a former illegal immigrant from Mexico. They spoke about plans to make a feature film about Quinones's remarkable story of entering the United States illegally in 1987, working in the fields near Fresno, and beginning a remarkable ascent that took him to Berkeley, Harvard Medical School, and on to the Johns Hopkins Hospital to become one of the country's most respected brain surgeons. It is, as Dr. Quinones told Ramos, "a Cinderella story". Read more...

On Federalism, States' Rights, and the Power of Coercion

By Dan Cadman, May 9, 2016

Various media outlets are reporting on a letter sent to the North Carolina governor from the Department of Justice (DOJ) threatening to withhold millions of federal dollars if something is not done to void the recently enacted state statute requiring that, in public places, individuals use bathrooms consistent with the gender reflected on their birth certificates (see here and Read more...

Good News / Bad News on OPT

By John Miano, May 9, 2016

The lawsuit challenging the regulations designed to transform student visas into a guestworker program has taken a bizarre twist. I and the rest of the Immigration Reform Law Institute team were in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia last Wednesday for oral arguments on the Optional Practical Training Program.

This is a good news/bad news story. I will start with the bad news. Unfortunately, this takes a lengthy setup. Read more...

Bill Would Defund CAM, the Stealth Executive Action Program Abroad

By Dan Cadman, May 5, 2016

In a recent blog post, keying off the writings of my colleagues Nayla Rush and Mark Krikorian, I expressed dismay that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) appeared to be working with the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and other federal agencies to create "alternative pathways" for aliens to enter the United States, apparently because they don't meet the definition of refugees under either international or domestic law.

This end-around is reminiscent of the types of "executive actions" undertaken by the Obama administration, and is perfectly consistent with the kind of activism seen out of the UNHCR in recent years. The organization seems to have abandoned any attempt whatever to hew to the letter of international law in favor of a more all-encompassing view that closely mirrors that of many open-borders advocates. Read more...

A Romantic Start that Turned into a $20 Million H-1B Fraud Case

By David North, May 4, 2016

The feds charge that $20 million was obtained fraudulently in an immigration scheme that involved hundreds of Asians, and that part of the scam involved a geographic area that our government has ruled to be economically depressed.

Sounds like another EB-5 scandal, right?

Wrong! Most of the money, according to an indictment in the Eastern District of Virginia, came out of the H-1B program, with lesser sums being obtained from Small Business Administration benefits.

The whole thing started out on what I — if not the feds — regard as a romantic moment. Read more...

The UN's #RefugeeChildren Campaign

By Kausha Luna, May 4, 2016

On Friday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched a new digital campaign: #NiñezRefugiada or #RefugeeChildren. The campaign aims to explain the reasons why children and adolescents flee El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Read more...

An Afternoon at Immigration Court

By CIS, May 3, 2016

By Meredith M. Vaughan, CIS research intern.

The immigration court in the city of Boston is located within a huge, grim, and somewhat dilapidated federal government complex built in the 1960s. The immigration courtrooms are windowless, chilly, and formal, though functional. This juxtaposition between a solid inner layer and the crumbling outer layer is a reasonable metaphor for how the immigration court works: well-intended, capable workers on the inside, but unfortunately saddled with some terribly dysfunctional infrastructure. Read more...

Has the Notion of "Executive Action" for Syrian Refugees Even Infected the UNHCR?

By Dan Cadman, May 2, 2016

As I write this, media sources are reporting the arrest of four plotters by police in Ankara, Turkey, at about midnight on Saturday, April 30. Turkish police and security authorities say the arrests were in the nick of time because the plotters, members or supporters of the terrorist group Islamic State, were planning to attack during May Day celebrations in the city the very next day. Read more...

Some Minor Good News on Visa Mills — Accrediting Official Leaves Job

By David North, May 2, 2016

One must search with a magnifying glass, but sometimes there is good news on the immigration front. Here is an example.

As background: Some schools that have been charged with being visa mills — letting illegal aliens into the country in return for tuition payments — have been accredited by an organization essentially licensed by the U.S. Department of Education to be an accreditor. This entity is the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). Read more...

On Prosecutorial Discretion and Tired Analogies

By Dan Cadman, May 2, 2016

Columnist Ruben Navarette recently wrote that he has come to believe that the immigration executive actions undertaken by the Obama administration were a mistake — not for the reasons cited by conservatives and pro-enforcement types such as myself, but because the recipients have been fed a meal of crumbs and expected to be as grateful as if they had gotten the steak that they deserved. Read more...

Open Letter to Governors: Don't Go Overseas for EB-5 — It Might Backfire

By David North, May 1, 2016

To: America's Governors and other Elected Officials

From: David North, Center for Immigration Studies

Re: Warning: Overseas Travel to Promote EB-5 Investments Can Be Risky

The invitations look attractive — a trip to China or Vietnam, a place you have never been, all at the cost of either the EB-5 promoters or the state business development budget. All you have to do is appear at an event or two to promote the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program, and you will surely get a nice trip; and maybe you will bring some investment-created jobs to your state.

The big problem is that many EB-5 investments turn out to be disasters for the investors and for everyone connected, directly or indirectly, with them. And it can happen to pols in both parties. Read more...

David Brooks, Donald Trump, and a Letter from Mesa, Ariz.

By Jerry Kammer, April 29, 2016

David Brooks of the New York Times is dismayed at the rise of Donald Trump. But in Friday's column, Brooks once again acknowledges that Trump has brought attention to the fact that "people across America have been falling through the cracks." Writes Brooks, "Trump to his credit, made them visible." Read more...

House Armed Services Committee Approves Defense Funding, Rejects Mini-Amnesties or Transfer of GitmoTerrorists

By Dan Cadman, April 29, 2016

In what was apparently a sometimes-contentious, marathon 17-hour session, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) has approved and will soon forward to the full chamber the federal fiscal year 2017 defense spending bill, the "National Defense Authorization Act of 2017".

Among the amendments raised by Democrats and defeated were several measures of interest to those such as myself who advocate a robust and balanced immigration enforcement program; the kind that used to exist before being dismantled by the Obama administration. Read more...

Immigration/Marriage Fraud Indictments and Chain Migration

By David North, April 29, 2016

If it had not been for the terrorist shootings in San Bernardino, CA, an immigration/marriage fraud situation would probably have gone unnoticed by the authorities.

But because of the killings by Syed Rizwan Farook and the woman he brought to the United States as his alien bride, Tashfeen Malik, the fraudulent marriage between Farook's friend, Enrique Marquez Jr., and Mariya Chernykh has now — months later — led to yesterday's immigration fraud indictments against the three people in the middle of the chart below: Read more...

U.S. Silent as Thousands of Cubans Are Delivered to the Border

By Kausha Luna, April 28, 2016

On Tuesday, State Department officials confirmed that the Obama administration has done nothing to prevent the transfer of thousands of Cuban migrants in Central America to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Since Nicaragua closed its southern border and refused to let U.S.-bound islanders pass last year, Costa Rica and Panama have experienced a backlog of Cuban migrants in their territories. As a result, the Central American countries agreed to transfer over 8,000 stranded Cubans to Mexico so they could continue to the United States and take advantage of the Cuban Adjustment Act and the "wet foot, dry foot" policy that grants them immediate legal status and welfare eligibility. Read more...

ICE Released 19,723 Criminal Aliens in 2015

By Jessica Vaughan, April 27, 2016

ICE continued to release deportable criminal aliens from its custody at an alarming rate in 2015, according to figures the agency provided to members of Congress this week in advance of a hearing taking place Thursday, April 28. In 2015, ICE freed 19,723 criminal aliens, who had a total of 64,197 convictions among them. These included 8,234 violent convictions and 208 homicide convictions. While the total number of releases is lower than the past two years, since the number of arrests has declined quite dramatically, the rate of releases is approximately the same — meaning that this is no progress at all, and certainly will be no consolation for the victims of these criminal aliens. Read more...

The Earthquake Lottery for Illegal Aliens, Ecuador Edition

By Mark Krikorian, April 27, 2016

Almost every natural disaster in the Third World is followed by calls for amnesty for illegal aliens from the afflicted country. Such amnesties are de facto permanent, despite their label: Temporary Protected Status.

TPS is what you might call green card-lite – it provides the illegal immigrants (and legal tourists, students, et al. whose visas are expiring) a work permit, Social Security number, driver’s license, and access to certain welfare benefits, but not an immediate path to citizenship. Obama’s lawless DACA and DAPA amnesties were modeled on TPS. Read more...

Sentencing for Reentry after Deportation

By Dan Cadman, April 27, 2016

I've been blogging a lot recently about sentencing and incarceration in criminal cases, in the context of pending legislation that both chambers of Congress are contemplating. The bills would permit reduced sentences for many offenders, including aliens who smuggle narcotics by land or sea across our international borders. It is legislation that I dislike, as do many current and former prosecutors and law enforcement officers.

But here are two more items that have come to my attention that touch on a different aspect of sentences imposed on aliens. They have nothing to do with the pending legislation, but rather focus on the crime of illegal reentry after removal (deportation; see 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1326). Read more...

Former Abbott Labs Workers Meet in Chicago

By John Miano, April 26, 2016

It was great to meet so many of you at Flanagan's in North Chicago on Friday. Of course I have mixed feelings because of the source of the event: hundreds of Americans losing their jobs.

In case you have been getting your news from the "mainstream media," Abbott Labs fired much of its American IT staff and replaced them with imports from India through H-1B and other guestworker visa programs. Read more...

"Alternative Safe Pathways" for Syrian Refugees – Resettlement in Disguise?

By Nayla Rush, April 25, 2016

With the Syrian crisis entering its sixth year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is thinking of "innovative approaches" to organize Syrian admissions, alongside the refugee resettlement program, to countries willing to welcome them. UNHCR's target for resettlement is 480,000 places over the next three years; it is not sure how many additional admissions into the U.S. and elsewhere these new "alternative safe pathways" will ensure. Refugees who are not resettled could be "legally admitted" using various routes described below. Read more...

Artificial Human Organs and the Vermont EB-5 Scandal

By David North, April 25, 2016

Building ski lodges is a relatively old, relatively low-tech activity, but the EB-5 promoters in Vermont, now subject to court action, were also proposing to build a state-of-the-art medical facility to manufacture artificial human organs.

The organs were to be developed in the rural reaches of northern Vermont, near the Canadian border, in an area not known for high-tech medical work.

Other aspects of this now-exposed Vermont scandal involved the apparent theft of $50 million, as we reported earlier. Read more...

More on Sentencing and Criminal Justice "Reform"

By Dan Cadman, April 24, 2016

Twice before (here and here) I've blogged about the highly questionable aspects of parallel sentencing reform bills that are before both houses of Congress. They apparently aren't gaining quite the traction that they need to pass despite the support of heavyweights among both senators and representatives and — a more dubious thing by far, where garnering added congressional votes is concerned — the enthusiastic backing of the president, since this is on his -uckit list. Read more...