Immigration Blog

How a Dead, Divorced Cuban Can Cause Amnesty for His Ex, Years Later

By David North, October 12, 2016

A public policy that is hard to understand grants legal migration status if an alien (usually a woman but sometimes a man) can argue successfully that the citizen or resident alien spouse was abusive.

Yes, society should provide short-term shelter for battered wives and issue court orders to prevent the repetition of the abuse; and it should probably extend medical care and counseling to the victims. But instant immigrant status for illegal aliens (or legal nonimmigrants) in this situation, regardless of numerical limitations?

This certainly is a nice benefit for the spouse in question, but is that the way we should distribute our limited supply of immigrant visas? What is the public good that is being provided? Read more...

Is Conviction for "Crimes of Violence" too Unconstitutionally Vague a Standard for Deportation?

By Dan Cadman, October 11, 2016

In an earlier blog posting, I mentioned that during its current term, the Supreme Court will be reviewing and deciding an immigration-related case having to do with birthright citizenship.

But that isn't the only immigration matter that the high court will hear this term. It will also be considering the question of whether the phrase "crime of violence", as used in its immigration enforcement context, is unconstitutionally vague. Read more...

DHS Does the Right Thing About H-2B Workers — 4,000 Miles West of Hawaii

By David North, October 11, 2016

Once in a while the Department of Homeland Security does the right thing about foreign workers — making them harder to obtain by employers who, one hopes, will be forced to hire citizens instead.

This time the issue is whether, as USCIS charges, some of Guam's employers are using the temporary hiring provisions of the H-2B program for unskilled labor to fill year-round vacancies in their workforce. Sadly, this has been the pattern there for ages.

But this move, a potential benefit for U.S. workers, is taking place a full 4,000 miles west of Hawaii, when such actions should also be taking place on the Mainland. Read more...

IRCA's 30th Anniversary: Looking Back at October 10, 1986

By Jerry Kammer, October 10, 2016

Thirty years ago, on October 9, 1986, the House of Representatives passed a major immigration reform bill, putting it on course to be signed a month later by President Reagan. Today this blog begins an occasional series to take a look back at the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and the political circumstances from which it emerged. Here is the top of the Washington Post's report on October 10, 1986: Read more...

Federal Court to Indiana: Refugee 'Consultation' Is Just for Show

By Dan Cadman, October 10, 2016

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has issued a sharply worded rejection of an executive order on refugee resettlement issued by Governor Mike Pence of Indiana. Pence is the Republican vice presidential candidate and running mate of Donald Trump.

The executive order from Pence directed state agencies to refuse to cooperate with federal agencies and nongovernmental relief organizations in the resettlement of Syrian refugees within the state. The circuit court's rejection and rebuke was based on the fact that Pence's order was nationality specific and, according to the Daily Caller, came close to labeling the executive order as racist. Read more...

The New Yorker Begins to Open Its Eyes to the Reasons for Trump's Durable Popularity

By Jerry Kammer, October 10, 2016

The New Yorker magazine has long shown the way for post-national cosmopolitans whose citizen-of-the world sense of moral superiority inclines them to disdain or simply ignore working-class Americans.

But in recent months, bewilderment at the popularity of Donald Trump has moved the magazine's editors to encourage a sort of anthropological journalism that has come up with some valuable insights into the durable support in much of the United States for the New York billionaire businessman. Read more...

Hillary's Brother's EB-5 Regional Center Finally Terminated by DHS

By David North, October 10, 2016

Hillary Rodham Clinton's brother's EB-5 regional center was finally, and appropriately, terminated by the Department of Homeland Security on September 29.

These centers (there are more than 800 of them) play the often-controversial role of middlemen between the alien investors (who for half a million dollars can get a family-sized set of green cards) and the real estate promoters who use the funds. Each center is licensed by DHS. Read more...

Was EB-5 Extended by Congress? Lawsuit Asks Federal Court to Decide

By David North, October 8, 2016

The clouds over the legislative extension, or non-extension, of the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program darkened a bit Friday as a Texas non-profit organization asked a federal court to order the Department of Homeland Security to halt all EB-5 operations. The previous authorization for the program ran out on September 30. Read more...

Religious Leaders Grant Illegal Aliens Immunity from the 8th and 10th Commandments

By Ronald W. Mortensen, October 7, 2016

Religious leaders face a dilemma when it comes to illegal aliens and the Ten Commandments. Churches have traditionally exhorted their American citizen members not to steal or to covet that which belongs to their neighbor. However, if religious leaders were to teach and hold their illegal alien members to the same standard that they set for their American members, they would put those illegally in the country in an untenable position because in order to get by, illegal aliens have to steal and covet every day of their lives. Read more...

What Sen. Kennedy Didn't Say About Immigration Says a Lot About Liberals' Abandonment of the Working Class

By Jerry Kammer, October 7, 2016

Many Americans of both liberal and conservative persuasion view the enduring popularity of Donald Trump with bewildered dismay. Yesterday we pointed to two poignant statements that offer a partial explanation for this phenomenon. They described working-class despair rooted in a sense of abandonment by the rest of American society. Read more...

Single-Paragraph 'Fact-Check' Resolves Longstanding Economics Debate

By Jason Richwine, October 6, 2016

During Tuesday's vice presidential debate, Mike Pence said the Clinton-Kaine ticket supports immigration policies that are "driving wages down in this country." The ABC News fact-checker, applying its infinite wisdom to a longstanding debate in the economics profession, declared this claim "mostly false".

I have always had a low opinion of the fact-check movement, since the supposedly objective fact-checkers are influenced by the same biases that reporters bring to other types of news. (See here and here for some delightful skewerings of the fact-checkers by Mark Hemingway.) But this time ABC News has gone beyond merely dressing up its opinions as fact. Every sentence of this fact-check is false, misleading, or vague. Start with its citation of the recent National Academies study on immigration: Read more...

Buying the Right to Repatriate

By Dan Cadman, October 6, 2016

The European Union (EU) has struck a deal with Afghanistan that will permit it to forcibly remove Afghan nationals who have illegally entered EU territory, among the hundreds of thousands of land- and seaborne migrants who've headed in that direction in the past 12 to18 months, when they are denied asylum.

Up to this time, EU member states — notably Germany, whose chancellor did much to precipitate the crisis with her echo of Jimmy Carter's Mariel boatlift mistake ("We will welcome them with open hearts and open arms") — have been uniformly confronted by intransigent Afghan officials refusing to issue the documents needed to repatriate thousands of failed asylum seekers. Read more...

Big Hospitals Can Profit When an Illegal Alien Gives Birth

By David North, October 6, 2016

If you think that a hospital suffers financially when it delivers a baby to an illegal immigrant mother, as I used to, think again.

The Justice Department has announced a financial settlement of a complicated civil and criminal case against Tenet Healthcare Corporation in which the company was forced to pay back to the feds more than a half a billion dollars that it had received for providing fraud-related maternity services to illegal alien mothers giving birth to thousands and thousands of instant U.S. citizens over a period of many years. Read more...

Birthright Citizenship Policy Creates Downstream Problems

By Dan Cadman, October 5, 2016

Imagine this:

A son is born in the United States of two aliens from the Dominican Republic ("the D.R."). The parents' immigration status doesn't matter for purposes of the scenario. The child is a U.S. citizen by virtue of birthright citizenship as now interpreted. But he is also a citizen of the D.R. because of his parents' citizenship. At a very young age, the child accompanies the parents back to the D.R., where he remains and grows into adulthood without returning to the United States. Read more...

Doubt Cast on the Extension of EB-5 by CRS Opinion

By David North, October 5, 2016

Was the controversial EB-5 (immigrant investor) program really extended by Congress until December 9 of this year as we reported earlier?

Did the convoluted language of the continuing resolution, which will fund the government until that date, actually extend the fraud-ridden EB-5 program, without saying so in so many words?

Doubt was raised by the release of a document written by lawyers in Capitol Hill's own Congressional Research Service, an entity that Congress regards as its in-house think tank. Read more...

How "Death of a Salesman" and Chris Matthews Explain Donald Trump's Enduring Support

By Jerry Kammer, October 5, 2016

In one of many wrenching scenes of "Death of a Salesman", the wife of Willy Loman pours out her own anguish as she demands respect for Willy's basic human dignity:

I don't say he's a great man. Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He's not to be allowed to fall into his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.

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.
Read more...