Immigration Blog

Update on EB-5 Scandals in South Dakota

By David North, October 26, 2015

In an earlier blog on the extremely serious, but confusing, EB-5 scandals in South Dakota, I managed to conflate two of the controversial activities. I said that the payments from the EB-5-financed, bankrupt cattle slaughterhouse in Aberdeen, S.D., to the Cyprus entity owned by a Russian railways oligarch, Ultracare Holdings, were made through a British Virgin Islands company that had been chartered in the Cayman Islands. Not so. Read more...

DHS Bends Over Backward to Accommodate Marianas Employers

By David North, October 25, 2015

Employers love, and workers despair of, loose labor markets. When there are a lot more workers than jobs employers can pick and choose, and pay lower wages.

Given this truth, the Department of Homeland Security under the Obama administration is going out of its way to be super nice to employers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (Saipan); this is a U.S. territory lying north of Guam in the Western Pacific.

DHS has announced in the Federal Register that it has reduced the ceiling on the number of temporary alien workers in these islands by 1,000, down to 12,999. Sounds like a movement toward a tight labor market, right? Wrong! Read more...

Mass Layoffs in Honduras Likely to Cause Increased Emigration

By Kausha Luna, October 23, 2015

Pastoral Care of Migrants (PMH are the Spanish initials), a Catholic non-governmental organization in Honduras, anticipates a spike in emigration from that country due to widespread layoffs.

Over recent weeks Honduras has experienced mass firings in both the public and the private sectors. This process started at the end of 2014 when the Honduran government announced it would lay off 7,000 civil servants starting in 2015, with the goal of reducing the government workforce by up to 30 percent. Honduras, faced with a fiscal deficit, explained the mass layoffs were about making the country more efficient. Employees of the state-owned telephone company, Hondutel, and ENEE (the power company), as well as employees of Honduran Institute for Children and Family are on the list for the government's downsizing project. Read more...

Obama (Now) and Jeb Bush (Then) Spur Naturalization for Political Gain

By David North, October 22, 2015

From the early days of Tammany Hall to the present day, American political parties have sought to expand their power by making sure that aliens favorable to the party in question are encouraged and helped to become citizens and voters.

In fact, both Barrack Obama (currently) and Jeb Bush (some 30 years ago) have followed this hallowed pattern. Read more...

This Is Not What the Future Was Supposed to Look Like

By CIS, October 21, 2015

Today is Back to the Future Day, the date when Doc Brown and Marty McFly appear in their time-traveling DeLorean in the movie Back to the Future Part II. Their starting date was 1985, the year before the IRCA amnesty was passed that was supposed to solve the illegal immigration problem once and for all.

In the strip below, Marty sees how the future really turned out in the sanctuary city of Hill Valley: Read more...

Central American "Refugee" Program Admits Few Actual Refugees

By Jessica Vaughan, October 21, 2015

Most of the youths being approved under the Obama administration's new Central American Minors Refugee/Parole (CAM) Program do not qualify as refugees, but are being admitted as parolees, according to new data released in a stakeholders' teleconference last week, confirming earlier reports. Read more...

Univision Newscast Condemns Wrong TV Ad

By Jerry Kammer, October 20, 2015

Last Thursday, Enrique Acevedo, the anchor of Univision's late-night "Edicion Nocturna" newscast, briefly appeared on the network's evening news to promote his upcoming program. He said viewers would see a story about an ad that ran during the Democratic presidential debate earlier in the week. He claimed the ad, from a group that seeks to reduce immigration, especially to California, "blames immigrants for all the problems that the state is suffering".

There were two problems with the story that was broadcast that night. First, the ad reported on was not the ad that had been broadcast during the debate. Instead, what Univision viewers saw were clips from an ad that had been broadcast back in June and claimed that virtually all of California's population growth was the result of immigration. Read more...

Finally — USCIS Zaps South Dakota's EB-5 Regional Center

By David North, October 20, 2015

USCIS has, finally, done the right thing regarding the blizzard of scandals that marred the EB-5 program in South Dakota, from sloppy accounting (at least $5 million is missing), to a huge bankruptcy (for the state) of a large, EB-5-supported beef slaughterhouse, to the alleged suicide of a prominent GOP politician and major EB-5 figure who was ruled to have shot himself in the stomach with a shotgun.

According to a detailed account by reporter Bob Mercer of the Mitchell (S.D.) Daily Republic, who has been relentless in his pursuit of the complex story, USCIS has listed a long series of questionable actions by the state and proposes to terminate South Dakota as the operator of the DHS-licensed middleman agency for the program, the regional center. Read more...

Immigration Is Key to Mexico's interest in Canada's Election

By Kausha Luna, October 19, 2015

In 2009 Canada, under the Conservative Party, imposed a tourist visa requirement for Mexicans and thus "damaged" its relationship with Mexico. Canada's national elections today could be a turning point in that relationship. Read more...

Thousands of Alien Felons Are Being Released from Prison
Will congressional action lead to thousands more?

By Dan Cadman, October 19, 2015
Will congressional action lead to thousands more?

Thanks to a little-noticed change in federal sentencing rules that occurred in 2014, a flood of 6,000 felons is being released from U.S. penitentiaries all over the country. All were convicted of significant drug offenses, such as trafficking in heroin or cocaine; many of them were subject to mandatory minimum sentences because of the seriousness of the crimes; and many were recidivists, or engaged in other criminal conduct such as using weapons in the course of their drug crimes.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this is the first wave in a flow that may ultimately result in the release of 40,000 convicts. The Journal cites officials who say that about 33 percent of those being released under the new sentence-reducing guidelines are alien offenders. Read more...

Univision Reports and Comments on Scuffle at Trump Rally in Richmond

By Jerry Kammer, October 19, 2015

On Thursday evening's Univision newscast, anchorman Jorge Ramos described the scuffle that broke out between Donald Trump supporters and advocates for illegal immigrants at a Trump rally on Wednesday as "an example of the tension created by the campaign and the polarization in the country."

The scuffle began when a small group of protesters, unfurling a banner that read "No Human Life is Illegal", sought to disrupt Trump's speech. There was pushing, shoving, and shouting for a few minutes until police intervened. The incident received little national attention. But for Univision, where immigration reporting is the top priority, it was a major story. Read more...

Don't Look for Truth in Headlines when Reading DHS Press Releases

By David North, October 19, 2015

The Department of Homeland Security press release that went out Friday afternoon — the time a skilled pressie knows that readership will be low — carried this headline: "DHS proposes changes related to on-the-job training program for STEM students".

The word "change" is correct, but there is no training in this program. It is just one more foreign worker program and it has nothing to do with students; it is for recent alien college graduates. Read more...

Reality Check on Immigrant Education
Nearly half of all working-age high school dropouts in the U.S. are foreign-born

By CIS, October 19, 2015
Nearly half of all working-age high school dropouts in the U.S. are foreign-born

The Pew Hispanic Center recently noted an uptick in the education level of recent immigrants vis a vis natives. For example, while 11 percent of recent arrivals in 1990 had a post-graduate degree, 18 percent of new immigrants had one in 2013. The percentage of natives 25 and older with a post-graduate degree also increased during that time period, but only from 7 percent to 11 percent.

While a relative reduction in low-skilled immigration is always welcome news, some perspective is needed here. Read more...

Are DACA Aliens Gang Members? USCIS Does Not Want to Know

By David North, October 16, 2015

Are DACA aliens members of gangs, or were they ever?

The government potentially knows the answer because it is on the application form (I-821D). But in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Center we were told that we could not have any data on the topic because, "The information you seek is not a field that is electronically captured." Read more...

Two Specialized Migration Programs, One Much Better than the Other

By David North, October 16, 2015

Last month I wrote about the four immigration programs that were set to expire on September 30 with the end of the fiscal year. Congress passed a Continuing Resolution extending most spending programs, including these four, until December 11. But two of the immigration programs caught my eye and I started comparing them.

These are the relatively well-known EB-5 program, which sells a set of green cards to alien families investing half a million dollars in DHS-approved, but not guaranteed investments, usually in urban real estate, and the more obscure Conrad-30 program, which brings foreign physicians to under-served (i.e., poverty-stricken) parts of the country. (I should add that it is only the heart of the EB-5 program that runs out soon, this is the provision that allows the use of estimated indirect creation of jobs to fulfill the requirement that 10 jobs must result from each investment.) Read more...

Why Syrian Refugee Vetting Will Be Indisputably Fallible

By Dan Cadman, October 16, 2015

My colleague Nayla Rush has written a posting about the recent testimony of government witnesses at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the administration's intent to admit at least 10,000 Syrian refugees fleeing the dissolution of their country. Read more...

Remittances: What the Beautiful People See and What Actually Happens

By David North, October 15, 2015

When you go to a conference run by the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund or similar entities, you run into lots of beautiful people on the institution's staff.

They are the elite from all over the world; slim, well-tailored, well-educated, well-spoken in several languages, self-confident, and much better looking than your average subway car or bus full of people. I cannot put myself in their shoes, but I can envy them, particularly on the grounds of their linguistic skills and the fact that they do not pay American income taxes on their quite adequate salaries. (There are even special nonimmigrant visa classes for those that live in America, for their families, and for their servants, G-1 through G-5.) Read more...

Hearing on Syrian Refugees: Reassurance and Storytelling

By Nayla Rush, October 13, 2015

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing earlier this month titled "Oversight of the Administration's FY 2016 Refugee Resettlement Program: Fiscal and Security Implications". The hearing followed Secretary of State John Kerry's announcement that the U.S. plans on increasing the number of refugees it admits every year. Read more...

Would a Speaker Ryan Push Through Amnesty?

By Mark Krikorian, October 12, 2015

Right after the Senate passed Marco Rubio's amnesty/immigration-surge bill, the Associated Press ran a story headlined "Dems pin immigration hopes on GOP's Ryan."

They pin them there still.

In his still-hypothetical bid for the Speakership, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has secured the coveted endorsement of Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), probably the most strident voice for amnesty in Congress. Gutierrez told MSBNC: "He would be good for the country. He would be good for the Republican Party. Paul Ryan is the kind of individual that would work with people on the other side of the aisle and that's what we need." Read more...

Foreign Worker Program Could Run Out of Time
Can OMB approve new regs fast enough to meet court's OPT ruling?

By David North, October 12, 2015
Can OMB approve new regs fast enough to meet court's OPT ruling?

This should be an interesting (if Inside-the-Beltway) race to watch.

The federal district court in Washington has ruled that the Department of Homeland Security must rewrite the regulations for the OPT program – which provides scores of thousands of jobs for recent alien college grads without any supporting legislation. The current timetable is that the new proposed regs must be ready for publication by this Thursday, October 15, or else the OPT program will come to a halt in February. Read more...

Immigration Questions for the Democratic Debate, Part 1

By Jon Feere, October 12, 2015

From the start of my op-ed posted today at

Democratic Party candidates for the 2016 presidential election will hold their first debate this week on CNN. It will be moderated by Anderson Cooper and additional questions will be posed by Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Juan Carlos Lopez. This two-part op-ed offers 10 questions on immigration in total that will help make for an informative debate. The questions are designed to get the candidates' thoughts on the impact of immigration policy and to also drill down into the philosophical arguments behind their positions on key issues like sanctuary cities, refugee resettlement and executive action.

Presidential Candidates' Worker-Protection Immigration Grades

By David North, October 12, 2015

NumbersUSA routinely issues voting-record grades on migration reduction matters for all members of Congress, from A+ down to F-. It now has done the same thing for 18 announced candidates for president (plus Vice President Biden, who may become a candidate). These are the scores on what NumbersUSA calls worker-protection immigration grades: Read more...

Honduras Faces a Surge of Cubans Headed for the U.S.

By Kausha Luna, October 12, 2015

Honduran immigration offices are being inundated by an influx of illegal Cubans. Last Tuesday, alone, 360 Cubans were detained at the Honduran border with Nicaragua.

Over the past ten years more than 300,000 Cubans have gone through Honduras to the United States in a daily flow which is "likely to increase," , said Rene Gomez, a spokesman for Honduras' National Migration Institute (INM) last week. Cuban migrants, despite being initially detained, are not deported from Honduras. Instead, illegal aliens are given a 72-hour "safe-passage" permit to travel through the country. They then make their way to the border with Guatemala and continue on through Mexico to the United States. This policy is clearly not in the interest of the United States, which would be better served if Honduras deported illegal aliens, rather than waving them through. Read more...

The Wall Street Journal's Misguided Attack on the CIS Immigrant Welfare Study

By Steven A. Camarota, October 9, 2015

The Wall Street Journal published an editorial this week that highlighted the positive aspects of the National Research Council's mixed assessment of immigrant integration. The Journal's positive spin is unsurprising, given that its editors have been advocates of open borders for decades.

More surprising – or if not surprising, at least disappointing – is that the Journal included a deeply misguided attack on CIS's recent study of immigrant welfare usage. Our study found that 51 percent of immigrant-headed households used at least one form of welfare in 2012, compared to 30 percent of native households. Here is how the Journal described that study: Read more...

Jorge Ramos: Misstatement of the Month

By Dan Cadman, October 9, 2015

Reading the two recent postings by my colleague Jerry Kammer on Jorge Ramos' interview with NPR's "Fresh Air" host Terry Gross (see here and here), what caught my particular attention was this quote from Ramos, contained in the first blog:

In other words, they didn't come here to go to Disneyland. They came here to work. They came here to do the jobs that nobody else wants to do.

Wrong on all counts.

The Ramos Rules, Pt. 2

By Jerry Kammer, October 8, 2015

Read part 1.

In an interview with NPR's Terry Gross on Monday, Univision anchorman Jorge Ramos provided this explanation for his willingness to speak with people such as Donald Trump, Ann Coulter, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, and Fox newsman Sean Hannity, whose views on immigration he strongly opposes: Read more...

Federal Appellate Court Rules American Samoans Are U.S. Nationals, not Citizens

By Dan Cadman, October 8, 2015

Just when you think the fiery debate over birthright citizenship has exhausted itself for the moment, a court comes along and breathes a bit of new life into the embers.

This time, the subject involves the tiny territory of American Samoa, consisting of five small islands and atolls in the South Pacific that have a combined land mass of about 76 square miles and a population of 54,343. As for the economy? Next time you eat tuna salad, think American Samoa, which has processing plants that employ many of the islands' natives. The islands also do a thriving business in copra (dried coconut meat). Note also that American Samoa is to be distinguished from the Independent State of Samoa (the former Western Samoa). Read more...

The Ramos Rules
Univision anchor: "Undocumented immigrants" should be treated like those who came legally.

By Jerry Kammer, October 7, 2015
Univision anchor: "Undocumented immigrants" should be treated like those who came legally.

In an interview with Terry Gross for her "Fresh Air" program on NPR Monday, Univision anchorman Jorge Ramos provided a glimpse into his reasoning on immigration. As seen in the excerpts below, Ramos makes no distinction between "undocumented immigrants" and legal immigrants. He believes that since Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are Latinos whose parents immigrated to the United States they should support illegal immigration. Read more...

Administration Extends Idea of 'Extreme Hardship' to Ridiculous Extremes

By David North, October 7, 2015

"That was in another country; and besides, the wench is dead." — Christopher Marlowe

Here's the situation: An illegal alien (let's say the alien is male) is about to be deported, but he seeks a waiver on the grounds that such a move would bring an "extreme hardship to his citizen wife" so he should be allowed to stay.

OK, but what if the wife dies? What if she dies and the illegal has re-married? Can the hardship on the former (and now dead) wife be used to seek the waiver that will allow him to stay? Read more...

The Results Are In: Obama Never Intended to Enforce Immigration Law

By Mark Krikorian, October 7, 2015

Using preliminary numbers, the Associated Press reports that deportations are down to the lowest level in nearly a decade. As you can see from the graphic, deportations (or, strictly speaking, removals attributed to ICE rather than to the Border Patrol) grew significantly under Bush (as they had under Clinton), initially plateaued under Obama, and are now collapsing. Read more...