Immigration Blog

NPR's Rachel Martin Begins to Look at the Connection Between Immigration and Income Inequality

By Jerry Kammer, January 13, 2016

On Sunday, Rachel Martin, host of NPR's "Weekend Edition", introduced one of the most important immigration stories facing the United States: the connection between immigration and income inequality. Martin said that because of the significance of the story in the presidential race, she intends to follow the story in the coming weeks. I'm writing this post in the hope that she will have the time to dig deeper into some of the issues that local people introduced in their conversations with her for Sunday's story. I'll have another post tomorrow in the same spirit.

Martin was reporting from Charlotte, N.C., the largest city in Mecklenburg County, where the Hispanic population grew from 6.5 percent in 2000 to 12.7 percent in 2014. Here is how she introduced the story: Read more...

One-Sided Marriage Fraud Redux

By Dan Cadman, January 12, 2016

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog about one-sided marriage fraud, in which a citizen or resident alien believing it is love is duped into marriage by an alien all about angling for a green card, leaving the duped one with, at best, a broken heart and emotional scars, and at worst physical or mental abuse, and often financial mayhem.

I rhetorically asked who looks out for these victims, and encouraged them to report the alien spouse to, among others, the Ombudsman's Office at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, even though I had doubts that this office much cares about anyone except the aliens seeking benefits. I was contacted by a reader who took my advice. This is the response she got (her name is used with her permission): Read more...

Medicare Scam Exposes Naturalization Fraud

By Dan Cadman, January 12, 2016

A few days ago, the United States Attorney's office in Miami announced the indictment of several individuals on a combination of health care and immigration fraud charges. Read more...

Below-Average Applicant Tells How He Got an F-1 Visa to Attend a Below-Average U.S. University

By David North, January 12, 2016

We rarely see detailed accounts of how a below-average applicant for an F-1 visa manages to secure the visa despite self-admitted problems with the application; in this case the applicant, an Indian national, wanted to go to what the Indian press (and apparently some American officials) regard as a borderline institution in the United States. Read more...

Enforcing Final Orders of Removal in the Face of Civil Disobedience

By Dan Cadman, January 11, 2016

The recent immigration raids, which were leaked in advance for whatever reason (possibly to limit their effectiveness) and that were so much remarked upon, often with hysteria and supercharged rhetoric, have come and gone, at least for the moment, and proved to be as over-hyped as one expected that they might be. Of the thousands of scofflaws with outstanding orders of removal who might have been taken into custody, only about 350 were targeted, of whom only 121 persons were arrested. Read more...

For Refugees, 18-24 Months of Waiting, Not Vetting

By Nayla Rush, January 11, 2016

In making the case for resettling more and more refugees, especially Syrians, the Obama administration has made the following assurances:

  • Refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks of any category of traveler to the United States.
  • Refugees' vetting process takes (on average) 18 months.

This would be comforting if it were credible. CIS underlined the opacity of public officials' testimonies here, and the absence of dependable screening measures for Syrian (and other) refugees here. In short, the lack of solid on-the-ground intelligence systems and the unreliability of required documentation in sending countries such as Syria result in important gaps in security. Read more...

Islam as Ideology – and Its Exclusion

By James R. Edwards Jr., January 10, 2016

Just as in medicine, getting the diagnosis right is half the battle. So is it with immigration policies relating to Muslims. This will enable U.S. officials to prescribe the right cure: ideological exclusion.

Former State Department official John Bolton has recently compared the United States' and the West's conflict with Soviet Communism to the present U.S. and Western conflict with radical Islam. It's a compelling comparison: Read more...

The Humane Approach to Europe's Refugee Crisis Is to Get Tough

By David Seminara, January 10, 2016

The conventional wisdom about the refugee crisis in Europe is that the humanitarian approach is to open the borders — let anyone who comes stay indefinitely and provide them with generous subsidies to start a new life in Europe. But this approach has been a complete failure. According to the International Organization for Migration, 3,279 migrants died crossing the Mediterranean in 2014, and 3,771 died in 2015.

Why are these people willing to risk their lives to get to Europe? The stock answer we read in the media is that they are fleeing violence in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. But the truth is more complex. Read more...

El Salvador: True Friend or Frenemy?

By Dan Cadman, January 8, 2016

Dictionary.com defines "frenemy" as "a person or group that is friendly toward another because the relationship brings benefits, but harbors feelings of resentment or rivalry". The Urban Dictionary goes a step further and defines frenemy as "an enemy disguised as a friend".

This word has been on my mind lately in regard to the United States' erstwhile ally in Central America, El Salvador. The country has been the recipient of massive amounts of American economic, military, and security aid in the past several decades — $3.5 billion just between 1980 and 1990, according to the Government Accountability Office, and tens of millions per year since ($57.2 million in 2012 alone) — not all of it wisely spent, nor well accounted for by a series of governments in which corruption is endemic. Yet the money keeps on flowing. Read more...

First Group of U.S.-Bound Cubans Will Leave Costa Rica January 12

By Kausha Luna, January 8, 2016

On Wednesday, the Costa Rican government announced the first group of U.S.-bound Cuban migrants will be flown to El Salvador on January 12, allowing them to continue their journey north.

According to an agreement between Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and the International Organization of Migration (IOM), the approximately 8,000 Cubans – stranded in Costa Rica after Nicaragua refused to let them pass – will be flown to El Salvador and bused through Guatemala and to Mexico. Once in Mexico, they will have to make their own way to the Rio Grande. The islanders are expected to cover the costs of the transfer. Read more...

"If You Are From the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Please Dial 8"

By David North, January 7, 2016

"If you are from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, please dial 8" is the recorded message you hear if you call (510) 592-9688, the telephone number of the embattled Northwestern Polytechnic University in Fremont, Calif.

It's a sign of the nervousness of NPU's administration — and its chintzy-ness. Read more...

Setting the Record Straight: NPR Corrects Mischaracterization of CIS Stance on ICE Operation

By Jessica Vaughan, January 7, 2016

On January 6, NPR's "Morning Edition" ran a story on the recent ICE operation to remove Central American adults and children who arrived illegally in the surge of 2014, who have failed in their request for legal status and been ordered removed in person by an immigration judge, but who have not departed. The story included comments from me that were over-edited and presented an incomplete and therefore misleading impression of my opinion on ICE's operation. Read more...

Three Immigration Issues Unresolved in 2015

By Jon Feere, January 6, 2016

Though there are many immigration issues that came into greater focus in 2015 — from the highly controversial H-1B cheap labor agenda, to the H-2B controversies — the following still-unresolved issues were on the forefront of everyone's mind and must be addressed in 2016: (1) Kate Steinle’s death in sanctuary city San Francisco, (2) America’s inability to vet refugees, deter terrorists, and (3) the Central American border rush. Read more...

No Evidence of Labor Shortage in H-2B Occupations

By Steven A. Camarota, January 6, 2016

Buried in the omnibus spending bill was an expansion in the H-2B visa program for less-skilled seasonal workers outside of agriculture. The changes will not increase the current H-2B visa cap, but instead will exclude from the cap workers who have received an H-2B visa in the last three years. As John Miano has pointed out, the provision could theoretically quadruple the number of visas for this year, to 264,000, though the actual increase is likely to be smaller. (David North reports that last time this provision was passed, in 2007, the number more than doubled.)

In a recent radio interview, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) justified the insertion of this provision on the grounds that without it businesses would face shortages of seasonal workers of the kind covered by the program.

Is there evidence for Ryan's claim of a labor shortage? Read more...

On Immigration and Assimilation

By Dan Cadman, January 5, 2016

Audrey Singer has written a piece for Fortune magazine titled "What Everyone Is Missing About the Immigration Debate". It is, on the whole, a paean to unbridled immigration to the country and, at least in my view, doesn't live up to its title. Read more...

Social Security Data Points to Growth in 2nd-Generation Muslim Population

By David North, January 5, 2016

Given the fact that some U.S.- or European-born Muslim terrorists (such as Syed Farook in San Bernardino) have been menacing Western societies, are there any statistics on the growth of the second-generation Muslim populations?

About a tenth of the total flow of new immigrants and about three tenths in the diversity lottery are from predominantly Muslim countries. But how about the next generation, the ones born here? Our government, unlike many in Europe, religiously avoids counting people by religion, so we must look for indirect measures. Read more...

Will the Supreme Court Take the DAPA Case?

By John Miano, January 4, 2016

There is a lot happening on the immigration legal front right now, including the government's petition to the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari to review the preliminary injunction over DAPA; DHS's new proposed regulations to effectively hand out green cards in excess of the annual limits; DHS's request for a delay of the District Court's vacatur of its guestworker program created through regulation out of student visas; and, on the horizon, a court decision on allowing spouses of guestworkers to work in the United States as well. Read more...

The New York Times' Radical Transformation on Immigration

By Jerry Kammer, January 4, 2016

I don't know whose arrogance is worse for the country: Donald Trump's, which takes legitimate fears about uncontrolled immigration to illegitimate extremes, or the New York Times editorial board's, whose editorials conflate legitimate fear with hysterical nativism.

In an editorial last month, the Times warned that Trump is not merely "a solitary phenomenon, a singular celebrity narcissist who has somehow, all alone, brought his party and its politics to the brink of fascism." It warned that Trump was part of a broader phenomenon conjured by Republicans who are "attuned to the power of fear" as they seek to build a wall against illegal immigration. It said Republican governors had joined "an axis of ignorance, declaring their borders closed to refugees fleeing the Islamic State in Syria." Read more...

Don't Reward Illegal Cuban Arrivals with the Benefit of Adjustment

By Dan Cadman, January 4, 2016

In a series of postings over the past several weeks, my colleague Kausha Luna has outlined the various attempts by Costa Rica to rid itself of about 8,000 Cubans who traveled there on temporary visas. They didn't go for tourism, but with the express intent to travel northward through the other countries of the region, across Mexico, and ultimately to the United States without papers. Once in the United States they hope to avail themselves of that Cold War relic, the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA), and live long and contentedly despite arriving with no immigration documents, and despite the recent normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States. Read more...

Miss. Case Shows the Complications of Victim-Visas

By David North, December 31, 2015

The annual ceiling for crime victim (U) visas is 10,000, and USCIS announced this week that the limit has been reached for FY 2016. This does not mean that any crime victims will be denied visas – or caused to leave the country – it just means that from now on this year's issuances will be delayed until October 1, 2016, when the new fiscal year begins. Read more...

This New Year, Close Your Eyes

By Nayla Rush, December 31, 2015

As the year comes to an end, it is customary to reflect on the past and make resolutions for the future.

What is undeniable is the intensity of the divide that has dominated the public sphere in the United States in (not just) 2015. Political parties have grown further apart; accentuated tensions have reached the point of alienation. The "divorce" is also palpable among various ranks within the American public.

Somehow, some have designated themselves as the emissaries of moral standards and sole defenders of American values. Americans with different views and opinions are deemed unworthy of respect and quickly disavowed. Read more...

Pressuring Students in the Service of Teaching Diversity

By Stanley Renshon, December 30, 2015

For many years immigration specialists have pointed to the historical success of assimilation in sparing the United States the ethnic, national, and racial conflicts that other counties have experienced. As scholars such as David Hollinger, Peter D. Salins, and Arthur M. Schlesinger have pointed out, this is no accident. Rather it comes from a history in which ordinary Americans and those who headed America's primary governmental and cultural institutions agreed that assimilation to American values and cultural premises were the not-particularly-hidden secret of that success. Read more...

Symmetry in Migration in the Two Hemispheres

By David North, December 30, 2015

If you are as geography buff, as I am, you will notice a strange symmetry in the current migrations through the Balkans and through Central America.

In both cases these are south-to-north movements, with the migrants wanting to leave their sunnier but troubled lands for the prosperous, if chillier countries of the U.S., on one hand, and Germany and Scandinavia on the other. Read more...

Where Have the Democrats Gone, Mr. Robinson? American Workers Turn Their Lonely Eyes to You

By Jerry Kammer, December 30, 2015

The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson seems to delight in the Republican Party's torment. In his latest column, Robinson was aghast that while GOP positions had once "dovetailed nicely with the views of business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce," now it has gone the other way with the populist revolt against proposals to give legal status to illegal immigrants and to increase immigration. Read more...

Central American Countries Agree to Let Stranded Cubans Continue North to U.S.

By Kausha Luna, December 29, 2015

On Monday, Central American governments meeting in Guatemala reached a solution for the U.S.-bound Cubans stranded in Costa Rica because of Nicaragua's refusal to let them through. After several previous failed attempts, officials from Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Mexico, Costa Rica, and the International Organization for Migration finally reached a consensus. The United States was not present at the meeting. Read more...

The Slippery, PC Application of "Standing" in the States' Lawsuit against Obama's Amnesty

By John Miano, December 29, 2015

I attended Seton Hall Law School during a period of transition. At that time the professors were divided between those who took an older approach to teaching and the law and those with a newer approach. The old-school professors were people who had significant experience practicing law then went into teaching. The new school of law professor graduated from Harvard or Yale, clerked for a federal judge, then went into teaching and has little to no practical experience in law. The more of the Harvard/Yale professors a school has, the higher the Harvard/Yale network of professors rate the school in the U.S. News peer rankings, producing a high ranking for the school. Read more...

Chinese-Run U.S. School for Indian Foreign Students Reaps Profits of $30 Million a Year

By David North, December 28, 2015

Related: Reporter: 2 Schools Are "Massive Academic Rip-Off" for Foreign Students

Northwestern Polytechnic University – a Chinese-managed entity near San Francisco now apparently being investigated by DHS – managed to make a thunderous profit of close to $30 million on gross receipts of a little more than $40 million in 2014. It has about 2,000 F-1 students, nearly all from southern India. Read more...

Is Iran Dictating Terms of the New Visa Waiver Restrictions?

By Dan Cadman, December 28, 2015

A bright note, if it can be called that, in the recent passage of the omnibus spending bill was that at the last moment, the "Visa Waiver Program Improvement Act of 2015" (H.R. 158) was folded into the government funding measure, so it too became law and the visa waiver program (VWP) was significantly tightened up. Read more...

Reporter: 2 Schools Are "Massive Academic Rip-Off" for Foreign Students

By David North, December 28, 2015

Related: Chinese-Run U.S. School for Indian Foreign Students Reaps Profits of $30 Million a Year

Some would-be F-1 students from India have been shipped home, and others barred from taking flights to the U.S., in what may be another visa mill scandal in California's Bay Area. Read more...