Immigration Blog

Do Substance Abusers Exhibit Good Moral Character?

By Dan Cadman, March 30, 2016

Those merry pranksters at the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (9-CCA) have been having their way with the immigration law again, reinterpreting it into an image more consonant with their Left Coast views.

I recently wrote a blog post about how the 9-CCA decided that California's identity theft laws didn't rise to the level of moral turpitude as a basis for deportability, despite common sense to the contrary. Now they've turned their incessantly wandering eyes upon the matter of habitual drunkenness — which subjects one to a variety of immigration penalties, including removal and denial of benefits or relief, for lack of good moral character. Read more...

SEC Cleans Up Two EB-5 Messes in One Week

By David North, March 30, 2016

The Securities and Exchange Commission, once again, has galloped onto the scene to clean up messes created by the ever-messy EB-5 (immigrant investor) program — this time handing down orders on two different cases within a few days of each other in the week of March 21.

It ordered one set of middlemen, in Florida, to disgorge about $3.2 million in ill-gotten EB-5 fees; in a Washington State case, it consented to a settlement in which an EB-5 lawyer agreed to pay the Commission $278,169 in disgorgement, interest, and penalties.

In both cases the parties had acted as unregistered broker-dealers; one might think that professionals handling multi-million dollar EB-5 deals would know better, but that was not the case. The EB-5 program gives sets of green cards to investors (for the alien, the spouse, and all their children under 21) who provide DHS-licensed regional centers with half-million-dollar investments. Read more...

A Bill to End Favorable Treatment for Cuban Aliens

By Dan Cadman, March 29, 2016

Over the past several months, my colleague Kausha Luna, and to a lesser extent I myself, have been watching and commenting on Cuban migration. Migrants who manage to leave the island by hook or crook for South or Central American nations — often under the guise of "turismo" — immediately abandon that pretense on arrival and begin making the trek northward to the United States. Read more...

The H-1B Program Facilitates Blatant Racial Discrimination

By David North, March 29, 2016

Suppose there was a large, U.S. government-operated program that permitted U.S. employers to hire nothing but White Anglo Saxon Protestant (WASP) college-graduate men between the ages of 22 and 30.

Suppose that program, more narrowly, allowed major U.S. employers to discriminate in favor of descendants of men who had graduated from an Ivy League College before World War II. (After WWII the Ivy League dropped its restrictive admissions practices.) Read more...

"Welcome Cubans to the Land of Liberty and Opportunity"
Once U.S. admits visa-less Cubans, non-profit group helps with work permits, welfare, bus tickets

By Kausha Luna, March 28, 2016
Once U.S. admits visa-less Cubans, non-profit group helps with work permits, welfare, bus tickets

Over the last couple of months thousands of Cuban migrants have been transferred from Costa Rica to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, from where they cross into Laredo, Texas. As the islanders leave the port of entry at Bridge 1 they are greeted by a banner immediately across the street, which reads "Welcome Cubans To The Land of Liberty and Opportunity."

The welcoming banner hangs from the offices of the non-profit organization Cubanos en Libertad (Cubans in Liberty). My colleague Jessica Vaughan and I were able to meet the man behind the organization during a recent visit to Laredo. Read more...

State Map: Number of Immigrants and Their Minor Children

By Steven A. Camarota, March 28, 2016

The Center recently released an analysis of December 2015 government data indicating that more than 61 million immigrants and their American-born children under age 18 now live in the United States. The numbers represent a complete break with the recent history of the United States. As recently as 1970, there were only 13.5 million immigrants and their young children in the country, accounting for one in 15 U.S. residents. Read more...

The EB-5 Program Continues to Be a Bonanza for Litigating Lawyers

By David North, March 28, 2016

Never let it be said that the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program does not create jobs in the American economy.

It may not do much for factory workers or hotel employees, but it is a bonanza for lawyers, and yet another expensive legal dispute came into view recently. Read more...

Employers Vastly Overstate Unfilled Jobs to Justify Hiring H-1Bs

By John Miano, March 25, 2016

After I testified before the Senate immigration subcommittee in February about the H-1B visa mess, a woman from IBM politely confronted me. To dispute my testimony, she asserted that IBM had 40,000 unfilled jobs.

The very next week, news reports appeared about massive layoffs at IBM. Read more...

U.S. Immigration Policy as a 10-Layer Cake with Cuban Frosting

By David North, March 25, 2016

If you were a creature from outer space, complete with really good computational skills, and you were examining U.S. immigration policy, you would find that our policy resembles a 10-layer cake, coated with a Cuban frosting.

While immigration law sometimes applies equally to aliens from all nations, as in the case of a U.S. citizen seeking a visa for an alien spouse, different rules often apply to different kinds of migrants from different countries, in a maze of complications. This blog post is an effort to illustrate how the total set of migration rules impacts different nations. (In some cases a nation will appear in two or more layers, and some of the layers will be much more populated than others.) Read more...

Living in an Immigration Wonderland

By Dan Cadman, March 25, 2016

Sometimes when I see the things supposedly responsible members of the various branches of our government say or do, I don't just wonder if we live in the same country, I wonder if we share the same planet. Or have I been transported to an alternate dimension that shares a superficial physical likeness with my universe, but where the rules of logic and common sense are suspended? Here are two examples:

Hiring Illegal Aliens to Work as Congressional Interns. Arizona Democratic Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick and Ruben Gallego have drafted legislation that would permit illegal aliens to work as interns in both the House and Senate. I am not making this up. Granted, this is a specific subset of illegal aliens — those who were the happy recipients of the president's administrative amnesty under one of his "executive actions." According to a broadcast email sent out by Rep. Gallego's office, there are apparently 21 cosponsors of this magnificent bill. Read more...

Facebook and Other Companies Petition Supreme Court on Deferred Action

By Jon Feere, March 23, 2016

Companies seeking more cheap labor from abroad have filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Obama administration, which is seeking to overturn an injunction on President Obama's controversial Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) amnesty and an expanded version of his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty. Read more...

Where's the Free French Model Among Europe's Refugees?

By David North, March 23, 2016

Turkey may, similarly, be induced by European money to play a similar role in the near future.

The quotation above was part of a blog post late last year in which I suggested that maybe in the future Europeans would follow our example and hire Turkey to block the path of migrants to Europe, as we seem to have done with Mexico in connection with the Central Americans, if not the Cubans. That has come to pass. Read more...

Ebola Crisis Is Over, But TPS Is Extended for Three Nations Anyway

By David North, March 22, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security, which routinely extends Temporary Protected Status (TPS, a form of amnesty) for 18-month periods, today extended it for only six months for three West African nations where Ebola had been active in the recent past.

My sense is that DHS, feeling that the rationale for creating TPS in the first place in those nations was weak then and is considerably weaker now, compromised between the usual full-throated extension and none at all by cutting the renewal period to six months. Read more...

Overstating Immigrant Entrepreneurship

By CIS, March 21, 2016

[Guest post by Jason Richwine]

There is no doubt that immigrants have helped start many successful companies in the United States, but immigration advocacy groups sometimes overstate the case. Take the latest report from the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), an organization that advocates expanded immigration. As highlighted in Friday's Wall Street Journal, the NFAP report states that 44 out of 87 private companies worth over $1 billion were founded by immigrants.

Although this is an interesting finding, it is less impressive than it sounds. Read more...

Further Reflections on Guantanamo Detainees and Immigration Law

By Dan Cadman, March 21, 2016

A few days ago, the Center published my latest Backgrounder, "The Immigration Implications of Moving Guantanamo Detainees to the United States".

A few readers with deep subject matter knowledge may be wondering why I omitted two items from the discussion in that piece:

  1. Section 236A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), and

  2. A May 14, 2014, Department of Justice (DOJ) letter written to the chairmen and ranking minority members of the Senate Armed Services and Judiciary committees, outlining its position as to why transferring the detainees would incur no risk.

Here are my views: Read more...

New Wave of Cuban Migrants Pile Up in Panama

By Kausha Luna, March 21, 2016

Just as Central America breathed a sigh of relief, more Cubans migrants are gathering at Panama's border with Costa Rica.

Last week Costa Rica, Panama, and Mexico announced that the "successful" transfer of over 6,000 Cuban migrants to Mexico had concluded. The Cuban migrants then continue north to the United States to take advantage of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 and the "wet foot, dry foot" policy which stems from it. Read more...

EB-5 Notes: A Court Case, OIG Reminders, and a N.Y. Times Review

By David North, March 18, 2016

There's a lot going on in the usually shuttered world of the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program. There is an intriguing new court case, reminders by the DHS inspector general that the program has not taken basic steps for reform laid out years ago, and a sober New York Times review of the whole scene. Read more...

Immigration, Segregation, and Education

By John Wahala, March 17, 2016

One of the more controversial initiatives enacted by the Obama administration is the effort now underway to aggressively reduce segregation in residential neighborhoods across the country. Officials at the Department of Housing and Urban Development are collecting and sharing extensive amounts of data with local officials to devise policies to better integrate communities. Localities that do not cooperate are being coerced in various ways, including the withholding of federal funds. Read more...

The Population Growth Nuances of Our Immigration Policies

By David North, March 17, 2016

Many of our public leaders on both the left and right are not only for increasing legal immigration, some of them (Hillary Clinton, for example) seem opposed to any enforcement of the immigration law except in the case of violent criminals.

There is also a series of more nuanced (and often not recognized) policies in the immigration field that push us in the same way to have ever-increasing crowds of people in the United States. It is useful to at least enumerate some of these nuances. Read more...

Transfer of U.S.-Bound Cubans: A Failed Operation?

By Kausha Luna, March 16, 2016

As Costa Rica and Panama conclude the transfer of U.S.-bound Cubans to Mexico, it is worth asking: Was this plan a success or a failure? Read more...

H-1B Worker Driven Deep into Poverty Sues Employer

By David North, March 16, 2016

The H-1B worker wanted a few days off work so that he could visit his dying father in India; his employer (a fellow Indian) said not until you give me $300.

The H-1B did not have the money so he never saw his father alive again. Or so one side argues in federal court.

At a time when a lot of H-1B controversies deal with whether the worker should get $90,000 a year rather than $70,000 it is a splash of cold water to the face to encounter an H-1B conflict where real poverty is involved. Read more...

DHS Gets Less Data on EB-5 Middlemen than Amex Does on Card Holders

By David North, March 16, 2016

Suppose you want a formal license from the U.S. government that allows you to raise tens of millions of dollars in investments through a government-promoted program that makes aliens into green card holders, a program in which you, the middleman, can levy fees on the aliens without limit?

Suppose, on the other hand, you want a credit card?

Which application do you suppose asks more personal questions of the applicant, the one for the fraud-plagued EB-5 immigrant investor program or for the credit card? Here is the full list of all the personal questions asked in these two programs: Read more...

USCIS Stiff-Armed ICE in San Bernardino Terror Investigation

By Jessica Vaughan, March 15, 2016

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) revealed at a hearing today that on December 3, 2015, the day after the San Bernardino terror attack, USCIS managers obstructed ICE agents from entering the USCIS office building to try to arrest Enrique Marquez, an accomplice in the December 2 plot, and possibly others. Marquez, who supplied some of the weapons used by Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik in their attack, had been expected at the USCIS building for an interview in connection with his sham green-card-motivated marriage to a Russian woman. The USCIS manager apparently also refused to share the file on "Mr. and Mrs." Marquez with the ICE agents. Read more...

Illegal Immigrants Should Not Receive Taxpayer-Subsidized Attorneys

By Jon Feere, March 15, 2016

Once again, Democrats are trying to force taxpayers to foot the bill for illegal aliens. This time, it's about providing them "free" attorneys at immigration hearings. Though the legislation is being marketed as being for minors, the misleadingly titled "Fair Day In Court for Kids Act" would benefit any illegal alien "whose circumstances are such that the appointment of counsel is necessary to help ensure fair resolution and efficient adjudication of the proceedings." Make no mistake: the goal is to put taxpayers on the hook for lawyers for all illegal aliens facing deportation.

Because it is a civil proceeding, there is no constitutional right to an attorney in immigration court; the Sixth Amendment only guarantees the right to counsel to individuals in a criminal trial. This means that Americans must pay for their own attorney, should they want one, during a child custody battle, a divorce proceeding, or a landlord-tenant dispute, for example. Since immigration cases are not criminal, illegal aliens must similarly pay for an attorney. Read more...

If the EB-5 Developer Can't Count the Zeroes, Look for Another Broker

By David North, March 15, 2016

An as example of how slipshod some EB-5 offers can be, here's a developer who has run an uncorrected proposal on the Internet for weeks that manages to confuse $1.575 billion with $157.5 million. The EB-5 program offers a family-sized set of green cards to aliens ponying up $500,000 investments.

The proposal sounds, at first, to be interesting: Read more...

Free to Kill: 124 Criminal Aliens Released By Obama Policies Charged with Homicide Since 2010

By Jessica Vaughan, March 14, 2016

In response to congressional inquiries, ICE has released information on some of the criminal aliens who have been released by the agency since 2010. Specifically, ICE provided information on aliens who were charged with homicides after being released and aliens who were released multiple times by ICE. Read more...

How the Democratic Debate Played in Central America: Some Perspectives on Non-Enforcement Pandering

By Jerry Kammer, March 14, 2016

Last week's Democratic debate was a remarkable example of how far Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are pushing their party to pander to the Hispanic vote. Their competition for the title of "most lax on border enforcement" was closely watched in many countries. Here is the lead of the story in the Honduran newspaper La Prensa: Read more...

Immigration and the GOP Debate: How Many?

By Mark Krikorian, March 11, 2016

The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan also took the radical step last night of asking the Republican candidates about the level of legal immigration. Over the previous 47,000 debates this season, this question – one of the most important faced by any country – has only come up once before. In January, Rubio was asked why he wanted to massively increase immigration; his panicked response was a fruit salad of non sequiturs. Read more...

Immigration and the GOP Debate: Foreign Worker Visas

By Mark Krikorian, March 11, 2016

I was delighted to see Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times in one of the moderators’ chairs last night. He asked about immigration right at the beginning of the night, with questions on both foreign worker visas and immigration levels overall. Here’s what was said about the first topic. Read more...

Big Tax Breaks for Controversial DHS-Licensed School for Indian Migrants

By David North, March 10, 2016

Here are five different views of a single, controversial educational institution that majors in students from India — the Northwestern Polytechnic University of Fremont, Calif.:

  • The venerable Times of India calls it a "massive academic rip-off";

  • Slightly more charitably, India's Foreign Minister, Sushma Swaraj, tweeted that NPU and another, somewhat similar institution, Silicon Valley University, "are not blacklisted, but they are not reputed either."