Immigration Blog

The 2014 Congressional Elections and Real Immigration Reform, Pt. 1

By Stanley Renshon, March 17, 2014

The nature and timing of any House GOP-sponsored set of immigration reform measures is obviously going to be dependent on the outcome of the 2014 congressional elections. Therefore, an obvious point of departure is to consider what would happen if Republicans kept control of the House, but did not gain a majority in the Senate, and compare that to what would happen if, as seems possible, Republicans gained control of both the House and the Senate. Read more...

Should Government Reward Law-breakers for Having More Children?

By David North, March 17, 2014

Should the U.S. government give a really valuable reward to law-breakers for having more children?

Should our government's policy be to encourage the arrival of more such children even though they would, inevitably, be poor and many of them illegitimate?

That is exactly what would happen if one notion being pressed on the Obama administration were to become law (or practice.) Read more...

A Truth Finally Admitted
The new DHS secretary acknowledges ICE's books were cooked

By Dan Cadman, March 17, 2014
The new DHS secretary acknowledges ICE's books were cooked

A quiet little act of confession played out in Washington, D.C. recently — at least, quiet by Washington terms, and certainly as quiet as the administration could make it. We'll get to the where, and how in just a moment; bear with me as I talk about the what.

For years now, critics of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have alleged that its deportation numbers didn't add up. The questions and scrutiny at one point led John Morton, leader at the time of the DHS component Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to disavow publicly that the "books were cooked", although one Shakespeare-quoting observer at the time noted that the man "doth protest too much". Read more...

For Real Immigration Reform Beat the Clock, Pt. 3

By Stanley Renshon, March 15, 2014

Read Part Two

The immigration clock is ticking, but to mix metaphors, it is unclear for whom the bell tolls. Some panicked Republicans are certain that electoral demographic death awaits the party if it doesn't quickly pass something close to or resembling the vast immigration bill passed by the Senate. Liberal pundits agree: "For Republicans, it's now or never on immigration reform."

That is patently false. There exist a number of timing options for real immigration reform, though none of them are particularly favorable for the passage of a Senate-like immigration bill. Read more...

DHS Sec. Johnson Disputes Detention Bed Mandate

By Jessica Vaughan, March 14, 2014

Two House appropriations hearings this week revealed some interesting new information on immigration detention issues.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and several deputies appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security to discuss the DHS and ICE budgets. Read more...

Updates on Visa Mills, EB-5 in South Dakota, and China City

By David North, March 14, 2014

There has been a series of recent developments about some of the visa mills and EB-5 projects that CIS has reported on earlier. For instance:

Visa Mill No. 1. Herguan University, the California private-for-profit once raided by ICE on suspicion of being a visa mill, had a couple of setbacks in recent weeks, though it is still allowed by ICE to issue the I-20 documents that lead to student visas (F-1s) for aliens. Read more...

For Real Immigration Reform, Beat the Clock, Pt. 2

By Stanley Renshon, March 13, 2014

Read Part One

The immigration reform clock is ticking, but when we should set the alarm is unclear.

Republican immigration alarmists are certain that "If we don't pass immigration reform this year, we will not win the White House back in 2016, 2020, or 2024." So said John Feehery, once a top aide to former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, in a recent New York Times article whose title reflects its perspective and most likely its purpose. Read more...

A Tale of Two Judiciaries
Fla. v. Calif. re: illegal aliens practicing law

By Dan Cadman, March 13, 2014
Fla. v. Calif. re: illegal aliens practicing law

Even at the best of times, the law is a strange and wondrous thing. At its worst, it more closely approximates the description given it by Mr. Bumble in Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist: "If the law supposes that ... then the law is a ass, a idiot!"

Some weeks ago, the California Supreme Court, through a classic piece of legal legerdemain, declared that it was perfectly acceptable for an illegal alien to be enrolled as an attorney in the California State Bar — a prerequisite to actually practicing law before the various courts in that state. Many observers offered their opinions on this decision, yours truly among them. Read more...

USCIS Nominee Rodriquez Skates Through Senate Confirmation Hearing

By David North, March 12, 2014

Using bland responses and touches of humor, the president's nominee to be head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Leon Rodriquez, skated over what could have been turbulent waters at a Senate confirmation hearing this morning.

Rodriguez (a lawyer and son of Cuban refugees) was nominated to succeed Alejandro Mayorkas (a lawyer and son of Cuban refugees) as the head of that agency after Mayorkas became the deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Read more...

DHS Ignores Rules for OPT Visas

By John Miano, March 12, 2014

The GAO has just released a report on Optional Practical Training (OPT). The report is a scathing indictment on the OPT program. Sadly, as my colleague David North also notes, the GAO's approach misses the forest amongst the trees.

The term "practical training" in DHS-speak is a euphemism for work. Optional Practical Training is merely work that takes place on a student visa. There is no requirement that training take place. Read more...

GAO Worries about a Foreign Worker Population — Recent Students

By David North, March 12, 2014

The good news is that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has caused the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to pay attention to a problematic foreign worker population — alien recent college graduates.

The bad news is that GAO does not seem to understand how many of the 150,000 or so young foreign workers in the program of interest are screwing things up for young and old Americans alike. Or how the program in question gives billions in tax breaks to undeserving employers — those who are paid by our government to hire recent foreign college grads rather than American ones. More on that later. Read more...

The Media Gets It Wrong — Again

By Mike Nicley, March 12, 2014

The national U.S. Border Patrol Chief, Michael J. Fisher, issued a memorandum last week outlining guiding principles on the use of force to all field personnel. The national media descended into a feeding frenzy. A sampling of the "informative" headlines follows: Read more...

Bad Cases, Bad Case Law
The Third Circuit rules that honoring ICE detainers is discretionary

By Dan Cadman, March 10, 2014
The Third Circuit rules that honoring ICE detainers is discretionary

It's an oft-repeated maxim in law enforcement and prosecutorial circles that "bad cases make bad case law." It's a cautionary reminder that what happens in the field, and how it happens, directly affects for better or worse what happens later in court, including at the appellate level.

The federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals has just decided an immigration-related case that proves the strength and truth of the maxim, as if anyone in favor of vigorous but rational immigration enforcement needed a reminder. Read more...

Two Tidbits of Goods News from the Third Circuit and from USCIS

By David North, March 10, 2014

Sometimes there is actual good news on an immigration issue, and, more rarely, as today, we have two such items!

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a U.S. District Court ruling and thus has given new life to the Department of Labor's efforts to increase wages for the routinely under-paid H-2B workers, and newly released statistics show that USCIS was tougher on issuing another kind of non-immigrant worker visa in 2013 than it was the previous year. Read more...

CPAC's 2014 Amnesty Panel

By Jon Feere, March 7, 2014

Nearly every speaker at the first day of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) avoided any discussion of immigration or amnesty, a sign that Republican politicians are starting to understand that conservative voters have very little interest in doubling legal immigration and amnestying illegal aliens. Read more...

Clueless in the Capital: DHS and ICE Morale Continue to Plunge

By Dan Cadman, March 7, 2014

In March 2012, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report, accompanied by testimony, on the state of morale across the government. The verdict: "Over time, federal surveys have consistently found that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees are less satisfied with their jobs than the government-wide average." It's only gotten worse since then. Read more...

The Economist Has a Good Idea that Could Net US $4 Billion-Plus a Year

By David North, March 7, 2014

The British establishmentarian magazine The Economist has an idea that, with a little tweaking, could both reduce immigration to the United States and give us at least $4 billion a year more for, say, the Social Security trust funds.

I have mixed views about the publication; it is flagrantly pro-additional migration and Tory in its politics, as I am not, but it does shed light on some of my issues that get little attention in the American media — such as UK by-elections and politics in Fiji, Montenegro, and Serbia. So I read it. Read more...

Worksite Enforcement and Critical Infrastructure

By Dan Cadman, March 6, 2014

Critical infrastructure protection is a world unto its own, much like the byzantine world of immigration, and it intersects with immigration enforcement in important ways. Read more...

Trade Papers Disagree about Massive EB-5 Project at a Louisiana Port

By David North, March 5, 2014

You may have trouble realizing that both trade papers cited below are describing the same EB-5 project, a proposed port near where the Mississippi meets the Gulf of Mexico.

It would be built for the next generation of huge ocean-going ships. It would facilitate the transfer of freight from these behemoths to smaller ships, some of which would travel up the river. Its initials, LIGTT, stand for Louisiana International Gulf Transfer Terminal. Read more...

Texas Data Confirm Declining Deportations, Cost of Alien Crime

By Jessica Vaughan, March 5, 2014

An analysis by the Texas Tribune of an annual report issued by a Texas criminal justice agency shows that immigration enforcement in Texas has declined steadily over the last 18 months, dropping 20 percent from August 2012 to December 2013.

Since 2011, the Texas legislature has required the Texas Commission on Jail Standards to collect and report on the number of ICE detainers issued and the cost to Texas county jails for complying with those detainers. Read more...

Unlike Their Leaders, Christian Laity Are Wise as Serpents, Yet Innocent as Doves on Immigration

By James R. Edwards Jr., March 4, 2014

If you've suspected that the elites heading Big Religion, who push so hard for mass amnesty, are out of touch with their parishioners, you're absolutely right. The leadership of many evangelical denominations (plus the Catholic Church) lacks a flock when it comes to immigration issues. More importantly, the leaders seem farther removed from sound scriptural teachings.

The immigration-reduction group NumbersUSA recently released an opinion poll of evangelical Christians. The survey, conducted by Pulse Opinion Research of 1,000 evangelicals who are likely voters, was unveiled at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville. Read more...

On Fines, Worksite Enforcement, and Cost-Benefit Analysis
Homeland Security's IG issues a report that offers little and measures less

By Dan Cadman, March 3, 2014
Homeland Security's IG issues a report that offers little and measures less

The Homeland Security Inspector General's office issued a report on February 11 titled "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Worksite Enforcement Administrative Inspection Process".

It is full of interesting factoids that one would probably find impossible to obtain even through the filing of a Freedom of Information Act request, given this administration's reticence to share information and data of even the most fundamental nature. Read more...

Of Terrorists, Failed Immigration Vetting Systems, and Running to Catch Up

By Dan Cadman, February 28, 2014

The media and blogosphere have been alive with the story about a convicted terrorist who was working as a "navigator" for the Obamacare website maintained by the state of Illinois.

Given the controversy over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — the official name for the statute giving birth to Obamacare — it is perhaps inevitable that many are focused on that portion of the story. Read more...

Anomalies Abound in the Economics of Illegal Immigration

By David North, February 28, 2014

The three-dimensional interface among illegal aliens, the labor market, and government programs contains a number of anomalies, some good public policy and some not. Read more...

Why the Double Standard?

By John Rhodes, February 28, 2014

I am just now noticing a pattern, a pattern that displays a double standard (Please tell me if I am wrong in my observation I may be tardy in seeing the obvious). A double standard is intellectual dishonesty. It took a recent article in the New York Times article about immigration in Norway for me really to notice a consistent inclination to view with suspicion those who espouse controlled immigration.

In other words, without being simplistic and without excessively generalizing, I have noticed that many of those who, in practice and actual articulated philosophy, are generally inclined to open borders (whether or not they admit this is a separate issue) tend to view immigrants with optimism, as basically good people with no ill will. At the same time, they tend not to view their fellow citizens who dare question the free-flowing influx of immigrants as basically good people with no ill will. Read more...

Utah Likely to Push Back E-Verify Mandate (Again)

By Jon Feere, February 28, 2014

Two facts have been missed by media outlets reporting on Utah's plan to push back the start date of the state's controversial (and unlikely) guestworker program: (1) this is the second time that Utah has delayed the guestworker program's start date, and (2) the state's E-Verify mandate is contingent on the guestworker program coming into effect, and thus will also be delayed. Read more...

For Real Immigration Reform, Beat the Clock, Pt. 1

By Stanley Renshon, February 28, 2014

In the early days of television, quiz shows were a staple, and none was more popular or enduring than "Beat the Clock". In that show contestants were required to perform tasks within a certain time limit. Their time remaining was counted down on a large 60-second clock in front of a live audience. If they succeeded at the task within the prescribed time limit, they "beat the clock". If not, the clock beat them.

Real immigration reform also is in a race to "beat the clock", but in this case the clock is an unfolding election calendar, whose results at each stage will present a series of opportunities and dangers. Read more...

On Dual Citizenship

By Dan Cadman, February 27, 2014

Last month, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report titled "U.S. Naturalization Policy", by CRS Immigration Policy Analyst William Kandel.

In the report, Mr. Kandel makes passing reference to birthright citizenship, a matter of some controversy these days given a booming business in "birth tourism" among Chinese nationals and others, but, as he notes, delving into it at any depth was beyond the scope of a report on naturalization. I agree, but hope that a future CRS report does focus on the subject. (CIS has explored birthright citizenship at some length. See here, here, here, and here, for example.) Read more...

Canada, UK, and China All Blast Immigrant Investor Programs — but Not U.S.

By David North, February 27, 2014

Three major players in the immigrant-investor field — Canada, China, and the United Kingdom — have all made major moves to kill, limit, or increase the price of these programs, while the Obama administration continues to promote the EB-5 program in its current form.

To the best of my knowledge, the three nations did not coordinate these moves and I have seen no other writer link the three nations' positions on these programs, but they all are certainly in sharp contrast to the Obama administration's mindless cheerleading. Read more...

On Profiling, Irony, and Hypocrisy
Federal lawsuit against NYPD dismissed

By Dan Cadman, February 26, 2014
Federal lawsuit against NYPD dismissed

A federal district court judge has thrown out a lawsuit against New York City officials alleging that a secret New York City Police Department (NYPD) program of spying on Muslim businesses and mosques violated the constitutional rights of business owners and members of those mosques. Read more...