Immigration Blog

Here's a Switch: The Dangers Migrants Face Leaving the U.S. for Canada

By David North, May 11, 2017

We have heard for years about aliens seeking to illegally enter the United States from the south dying in the heat of the desert along the southern border.

This past winter we began to hear about the exact opposite — aliens with dubious or no credentials fleeing from the United States to Canada, and risking freezing to death in the process. Read more...

Can A New Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Bill Pass into Law?

By Dan Cadman, May 11, 2017

Several Republican members of Congress are reported to be working with the Trump White House to craft a border security and interior immigration enforcement bill.

According to the story:

The legislation is still in flux, though copies of an early draft have floated around Washington. The focus will be strengthening defenses at the border and enforcement of immigration laws in the interior of the US, and will likely include a mix of upping resources and staffing at the border as well as tweaking some immigration law and authorities to clear the way for more aggressive immigration enforcement, according to sources familiar with the direction.

Donald Trump, Immigration Booster

By Mark Krikorian, May 11, 2017

Whoever conducted the recent Economist interview with the president seems to be the first reporter ever to ask him whether he wants to reduce legal immigration. The answer is no:

Do you want to curb legal immigration?
Oh sure, you know, I want to stop illegal immigration.

And what about legal immigration? Do you want to cut the number of immigrants?
Oh legal, no, no, no. I want people to come into the country legally. No, legally? No. I want people to come in legally. But I want people to come in on merit. I want to go to a merit-based system. Actually two countries that have very strong systems are Australia and Canada. And I like those systems very much, they’re very strong, they're very good, I like them very much. We’re going to a much more merit-based system. But I absolutely want talented people coming in, I want people that are going to love our country coming in, I want people that are going to contribute to our country coming in. We want a provision at the right time, we want people that are coming in and will commit to not getting ... not receiving any form of subsidy to live in our country for at least a five-year period.

DHS Officials Testify on "Preventing Terrorists from Acquiring U.S. Visas"

By Dan Cadman, May 10, 2017

Three senior officials within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently presented unified testimony for a House of Representatives hearing titled "Preventing Terrorists from Acquiring U.S. Visas". Read more...

A Platform for Change?
Connecting the unemployed with jobs through Facebook

By Andrew R. Arthur, May 10, 2017
Connecting the unemployed with jobs through Facebook

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has long been active in the "immigration reform" movement. Four years ago, he helped found FWD.us, an organization whose mission "is to mobilize the tech community to support policies that keep the American Dream achievable in the 21st century." As the group's website explains: "FWD.us has focused on immigration reform first because America's broken system prevents far too many talented immigrants from fully contributing to our communities and our economy." Read more...

Texas's New Anti-Sanctuary Law Draws Predictable Reactions from Open-Borders Advocates

By Dan Cadman, May 10, 2017

On May 7, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law SB (Senate Bill) 4, a statute forbidding agencies of the state or its political subdivisions from acting as illegal alien sanctuaries. The statute, which comes into effect on September 1, goes so far as to criminalize behavior by officials such as police chiefs and sheriffs who refuse to fully cooperate with federal immigration enforcement efforts by providing information and honoring detainers filed against aliens arrested for criminal offenses. It also establishes civil fines of up to $25,000 daily for towns, cities, and counties that violate the anti-sanctuary law. Read more...

Mexico Regrets Texas Sanctuary City Ban

By Kausha Luna, May 10, 2017

On Monday, Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a press release lamenting the enactment of Texas Senate Bill 4 (SB 4).

Signed by Governor Greg Abbott, SB 4 bans sanctuary jurisdictions in the state of Texas. Read more...

State-Based Visas: Unwise, Unworkable, and Constitutionally Dubious

By Dan Cadman, May 9, 2017

The libertarian Cato Institute recently hosted an event titled "State Based Visas: A Federalism Approach to the Immigration Impasse", featuring two members of Congress, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.). The lead-in on the webpage has this to say:

The idea of regional or state-based visas is not a new one. Indeed, Canada and Australia have each implemented successful variations that provide some valuable lessons and hint at the major economic benefits possible for us in the United States. Adoption of a state-based visa program in America would permit our 50 state governments to craft rules for work visa programs that are more adaptable to local economic conditions than the present one-size-fits-all system run from Washington, D.C. While state governors and state and federal lawmakers are warming to the idea, all that stands in the way here is congressional approval.

Sounds grand, doesn't it? What you won't find among the paeans to this "federalist" concept are some of the many issues and problems lurking in the bushes surrounding it. Read more...

Comey: 15% of Terror Cases Came as Refugees

By Mark Krikorian, May 8, 2017

The narrative about refugee resettlement spun by the invite-the-world crowd is that refugees pose no threat to Americans. To pick only the first link to pop up in Google, see this from VOA: "UNHCR: Refugees Pose No Threat to US National Security". This is because they are "rigorously vetted", "the most thoroughly vetted of all people entering our nation".

The problem is that vetting is only as good as the information available. And we simply don’t have access to information that would successfully identify potential bad guys. In my testimony on this a while back I quoted FBI Director Comey: Read more...

Trump Sibling-in-Law Plays Princeling in China

By David North, May 8, 2017

Nicole Meyer (younger sister of President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner) may have been obtuse about the American optics in Beijing on Saturday, but she was spot-on with the Chinese culture when she pitched a crowd of rich Chinese about her family's latest EB-5 investment in Jersey City, N.J., right across the Hudson from mid-town Manhattan. Read more...

In a Time of Criminal Crisis, Long Island UAC Placements on Track for Four-Year High

By Joseph J. Kolb, May 8, 2017

Despite dwindling numbers of unaccompanied minors (UACs) showing up at the southwest border, the placement of UACs by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) on MS-13 crime-plagued Long Island is on track to top a four-year high. Read more...

The Fifth of May — an American Holiday

By Andrew R. Arthur, May 5, 2017

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

An interesting aspect of my morning news every year on the fifth of May is the festive manner in which the broadcasters note that the day that will be celebrated by revelers at their local Mexican/Tex-Mex restaurant with drink specials and free salsa. On the Baltimore morning news this year, they actually listed some of the half-price taco and $2 Tecate deals that are available to the happy hour crowd.

News reports never remark, however, on the importance of this day to American freedom, and the defeat of the Confederacy in our Civil War. Read more...

Two Sets of Rules in Mobtown
Baltimore's prosecutor announces more lenient treatment for alien criminals

By Andrew R. Arthur, May 5, 2017
Baltimore's prosecutor announces more lenient treatment for alien criminals

In a recent opinion piece I wrote for the Baltimore Sun, I discussed a recent decision by the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office to employ different standards when prosecuting certain criminals: a stricter standard the office will follow when it prosecutes citizens, and a more lenient standard that it will follow when dealing with aliens.

This decision is reflected in a memorandum issued on April 27, 2017 (and disclosed the next day by the Sun), in which Marilyn Mosby’s staff "instructed prosecutors to think twice before charging illegal immigrants with minor, non-violent crimes in response to stepped up immigration enforcement by the Trump administration." Read more...

Long Island Police Arrest Three MS-13 Members, All in the U.S. Illegally

By Joseph J. Kolb, May 5, 2017

Gang investigators for the Nassau County, N.Y., police department on Long Island arrested three MS-13 suspects this week in connection with a recent attempted murder. Two of the suspects are brothers and all three are in the United States illegally.

At a press conference Wednesday, Nassau County Police Chief Kevin Smith said Fidel Hernandez, 23; his older brother, Jose, 26; and Miguel Urias Arguenta, 18, were taken into custody Tuesday and charged with attempted murder.

According to Smith, on Sunday the Hernandez brothers and Arguenta allegedly attacked a man with a machete and gun, but did not kill him. They are charged with attempted murder. The Hernandez brothers are also implicated in a machete attack in January where the victim also survived. Read more...

Births to Unmarried Mothers by Nativity and Education

By Steven A. Camarota, May 5, 2017

Immigrants account for a large share of births in the United States. Almost one in four births (22.6 percent) in 2015 were to foreign-born mothers. As recently as 1990 it was just 7.9 percent. As a share of all births, the figure for 2015 may be the in highest American history. In 1910, the last peak in immigration, immigrants accounted for 21.9 percent of births. The tables below examine births by the education, race, and marital status of mothers based on 2015 data from the National Center for Health Statistics. The data reflect what is shown on certifications as reported by the states to the National Center for Health Statistics. Read more...

Driver's Licenses Make It Easy for Law Enforcement to Identify Illegal Aliens

By Ronald W. Mortensen, May 3, 2017

The Trump administration's aggressive enforcement of immigration laws is causing illegal aliens and their political backers to have second thoughts about some of their past victories.

Illegal aliens and their supporters now realize that well over a million illegal aliens are carrying driver's licences issued by 12 states and the District of Columbia; see below for a breakdown of the rules in each of these jurisdictions. As required by the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, these licenses clearly identify the holder as being unlawfully in the United States. In addition, these states and the District of Columbia now have large databases with the personal identifying information, addresses, and phone numbers of large numbers of illegal aliens. Read more...

Illegal Immigrants Get Off Easy in Baltimore

By Andrew R. Arthur, May 2, 2017

This is the first paragraph of an op-ed I wrote for the Baltimore Sun today. Read the whole article here.

Baltimore's State's Attorney's Office now has two sets of rules: one for citizens and legal immigrants, and one for illegal immigrants. In an April 27 memorandum, Marilyn Mosby's office "instructed prosecutors to think twice before charging illegal immigrants with minor, non-violent crimes in response to stepped up immigration enforcement by the Trump administration." Read more...

Open-Borders Advocates Slip EB-5 and H-2B Extensions into Spending Bill

By David North, May 2, 2017

The congressional leadership, aided by the Appropriations Committee, has once again extended the EB-5 program, and a loophole in the H-2B program, by inserting language in the massive interim budget bill. The provisions, due to expire this coming Friday will now remain in place until September 30, the end of the fiscal year.

Republican and Democratic leaders agreed over the weekend to the text of the budget bill, which is expected to be passed shortly. Read more...

Reactions to Trump's First 100 Days from South of the Border

By Kausha Luna, May 1, 2017

The 100th day of the Trump administration arrived over the weekend, and with it an onslaught of articles remarking on the administration's accomplishments, or lack thereof. Below is an overview of immigration-related events and trends that have emerged south of the border, including but not limited to:

  • Increases in social and economic reintegration programs for deportees;
  • Migrants searching for destinations other than the United States; and
  • A surge of asylum applications in Mexico.

Too Good to Check?

By Jerry Kammer, May 1, 2017

"The press can't simply report flatfooted a smearing accusation against someone's loyalty," said Murray Marder, who did some of the sharpest reporting on [Sen. Joseph] McCarthy in the Washington Post. "The press should ask the accuser, 'What do you mean? What justification do you have?' That's real work, and it's called journalism."
The Age of Anxiety, by Haynes Johnson

Yet Another Multimillion Dollar EB-5 Scandal Comes to Light

By David North, May 1, 2017

Just as the backers of the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program drew a small sigh of relief — the program won a week's additional life from Congress — another multi-million-dollar scandal, this one involving a gold mine in Idaho, came to light.

The main part of the EB-5 program, which allows investors to essentially buy a family-sized set of green cards for $500,000, is set to sunset on Friday, May 5, unless the congressional leadership, yet again, secures another extension of the program. Read more...

Even Cato Agrees: A Border Wall Can Pay for Itself

By Steven A. Camarota, May 1, 2017

In a recent report published by the Center for Immigration Studies, I examined the fiscal costs of illegal immigrants who cross the border based on estimates developed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS). I then estimated how many illegal border-crossers a wall would have to stop or deter to pay for itself.

Last week Cato Institute authors Alex Nowrasteh and David Bier published a blog post criticizing my analysis. For the most part, their comments reflect their opinions concerning the marginal impact of things like the cost of more Border Patrol agents or whether state and local costs should count, rather than actually addressing the real cost of a wall. One interesting point they argue is that illegal immigrants are somewhat more educated than I estimated, but they do not explain how they created their estimates and I have not been able to replicate their numbers. Nonetheless, the Cato authors still find that illegal border-crossers cost $43,444 during their lifetimes, or $4.3 billion per 100,000. So, despite the Cato blog post being titled "The Border Wall Cannot Pay for Itself", their own cost estimates would simply mean that a border wall would have to stop 16 to 20 percent of those expected in the next decade to pay for itself (as opposed to 9 to 12 percent in my estimate).

Some of the specific issues with Cato's critique: Read more...

The Silence of the Shams

By Dan Cadman, May 1, 2017

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) recently published an assessment of the president's first 100 days in office, as have many other organizations, pundits, and media outlets.

One of the things that several of those other assessments have in common is to fault the president for a relatively sparse record on legislation passed. Although it's true that there hasn't been much — which is deeply distressing in the arena of immigration matters given the great abundance of excellent past bills that have been bottled up in Congress waiting, waiting, waiting to be acted on — I find it somewhat amusing that the president is taking the hit for the dearth of legislation. Read more...

Massive Fraud Shown in O-1 (Extraordinary Ability) Nonimmigrant Category

By David North, April 30, 2017

[Revised May 8, 2017, to reflect that the New York case involves O-1 nonimmigrant visas, not EB-1 immigrant visas.]

It is with some chagrin that I return to a discussion of the relatively small "aliens of extraordinary ability" visa category.

A few weeks ago I wrote enthusiastically about Anya (not her real name) as an exemplar of the immigration system working as intended, as it so often does not. Read more...

Bad News & Good News on Immigration

By David North, April 28, 2017

The bad news is that the immigration investor (EB-5) program will have one more week of life before yet another deadline.

The mini extension was carried in the continuing resolution passed by both houses today; it will keep the government funded for another week. Read more...

The Consequences of Ignorance: Clueless Long Islanders Protest AG Sessions

By Joseph J. Kolb, April 28, 2017

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was on Long Island today demonstrating a firm commitment to assist local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies as they work to end the MS-13 gang's stranglehold on communities such as Brentwood, N.Y.

As we’ve seen so many times with this administration, no good deed goes unpunished. As AG Sessions was talking with stakeholders trying to control the scourge of this transnational gang, which continues to be fueled by the placement of unaccompanied children (UACs) from Central America, outside the venue more than 100 demonstrators protested the Trump immigration policies. The very immigration policies that would contribute to their safety. Read more...

H-1B: A Lottery You Pay to Enter Only AFTER You Have Won

By David North, April 28, 2017

Is there a lottery, outside of Washington, where you only pay to enter after you know you have won?

I doubt it.

But there is a specialized (and obscure) one in Washington that only the big guys can use, thanks to the Bush II, Obama, and now (to some extent) the Trump administrations.

This is the roll of the dice (a computer-aided lottery system) that allocates H-1B slots to employers in cases in which — as has happened in recent years — there are more applications for these positions than the 85,000 that Congress permits to be granted annually. Read more...

Too Good to Check?
Part 1: Three N.Y. reporters give a pass to the SPLC's ridiculous smear

By Jerry Kammer, April 28, 2017
Part 1: Three N.Y. reporters give a pass to the SPLC's ridiculous smear

Jonathan Blitzer of the New Yorker, Nicholas Kulish of the New York Times, and Joel Rose of National Public Radio are accomplished, sophisticated journalists who graduated from Ivy League universities. Nevertheless, the purpose of this post is not to praise them, but to express bewilderment and dismay that in the past 10 weeks all three have reported a damaging allegation without probing its justification. They treated the allegation as legitimate news from a bona fide expert, not as a partisan attack from an organization that has long monetized such tactics by coupling them with appeals for financial support. Read more...

Central Americans Choose Mexico over the United States

By Kausha Luna, April 27, 2017

The arrival of President Trump at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. appears to be having a deterrent effect on Central Americans.

Tabasco Hoy, a Mexican news daily, highlights the story of one of these Central Americans. Per the article, Cinthya Marisol Pereira is a 20-year-old who left Honduras due to "insecurity." Her goal was to reach Mexico and seek asylum there — not in the United States. Read more...

Perverting the Course of Justice in Brooklyn

By Dan Cadman, April 27, 2017

Anyone who watches British police procedurals on television is probably aware of the phrase "perverting the course of justice". It is a charge levied against individuals, often police or others in officialdom, who rig the system to arrive at a result contrary to what any reasonable person would expect from the criminal justice system.

I thought of that phrase recently, when I blogged about an American prosecutor and judge who did figurative backflips so a serially wife-abusing alien defendant could plea to a charge that would not result in his being subjected to deportation proceedings.

As repugnant as that situation was, it involved only a single case. Read more...