Immigration Blog

Latin American Countries Call for an End to U.S. Immigration Policies Favoring Cubans

By Kausha Luna, August 30, 2016

On Monday, the Ecuadorian mission in Washington D.C. delivered a letter signed by nine Latin American foreign ministers expressing their concern about the negative effects of U.S. immigration policy across the region.

The letter, addressed to Secretary of State John Kerry, solicited the United States to evaluate the Cuban Adjustment Act and the "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which encourages illegal Cuban migration the United States. Read more...

DHS Proposes New Rules for Inept Entrepreneurs (and Con Artists), Redux

By Dan Cadman, August 30, 2016

My colleague David North has published a blog post titled "DHS Proposes New Rules for Inept Entrepreneurs". The rules in question are the latest installment of the long-running Obama do-it-myself series, "How to Demolish Federal Immigration Integrity and Enforcement in 1,000 Easy Steps While Congress Acquiesces". Read more...

SEC Goes After Rule-Breaking EB-5 Lawyers in Batches

By David North, August 29, 2016

There apparently are so many rule-breaking lawyers in the EB-5 business that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) goes after them in batches.

On August 24, SEC announced that it had penalized three of them, all for failing to secure a legally required license to sell securities, and said that the trio (who apparently operated separately from each other) had agreed to cough up a total of three-quarters of a million dollars. Read more...

Expanded Central American 'Refugee' Program: Bring the Whole Family!

By Nayla Rush, August 28, 2016

In a previous report, we highlighted the Obama administration's relentless efforts to welcome children (and adults) from Central America into the United States under the refugee umbrella, despite the lack of solid grounds for granting refugee status, even by United Nations standards.

New measures were announced last month to further the administration's renewed commitment to "address Central American migration challenges" and admit more people from that region. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said "Today, we are expanding these resettlement opportunities to additional vulnerable individuals within the region [Central America]. This will increase the number of individuals to whom we are able to provide humanitarian protection while combating human smuggling operations." (Emphasis added). Read more...

Forged ISIS-Destined Passports and Alien Smuggling Plague Europe

By Dan Cadman, August 26, 2016

Some developments in Europe (see here and here) that should concern Americans:

  1. An uptick in the number of migrant maritime arrivals into Greece since many of the Balkan nations unilaterally closed their borders with fences and patrols to shut off the landward flow of tens of thousands of migrants out of Turkey and into European Union (EU) states;

  2. Uncertainty over post-coup Turkey's ability or willingness to abide by its deal with the EU to accept deported migrants or those rejected for asylum;

DHS Proposes New Rules for Inept Entrepreneurs

By David North, August 26, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security on August 26 issued a new rule making it possible for what might be called "inept entrepreneurs" to secure additional temporary legal status in the United States.

There appears to be no upper limit to this latest stretch and abuse of the government's parole authority and it is designed for a subset of entrepreneurs who have some entrepreneurial credentials, but who are not smart enough, or do not have a lawyer smart enough, to secure admission to the United States under the set of laws, regulations, and administrative flourishes now existing. Read more...

Media Mislead on Pew Poll about Border Wall

By Jon Feere, August 26, 2016

All too often, immigration polls are not designed to get at what Americans really think about immigration, but instead are written to create a certain narrative. Many polls are financed by activist groups who simply want to create the appearance of widespread public support for amnesty. The advocates have two main goals: (1) provide lobbyists with polling data that they can use to browbeat politicians into supporting their cheap-labor, open-border agenda; and (2) encourage the media to write headlines that don't really reflect the findings, but nevertheless advance the notion that Americans love open borders.

The Pew Research Center has done just that with a new poll. The poll contains a few different questions, but the one getting all the press asks Americans about building a border wall. Read more...

Trump's 'Softening' on Immigration: If It Looks Like a Duck and Quacks Like a Duck...

By Dan Cadman, August 25, 2016

Following Donald Trump's town hall appearance on the Fox News Channel's "Hannity" show, in which he "softened" his tone on immigration, The Hill has published an article, "Hardliners shrug off Trump's softer tone on immigration", that quotes a few individuals such as Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County, Ariz., sheriff, and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who persevere in their support of the Republican presidential candidate.

During the town hall, Trump said, "Let me go a step further: They'll pay back-taxes, they have to pay taxes. There's no amnesty, as such, there's no amnesty, but we work with them." A number of supporters have tried hard to suggest it isn't a flip-flop, but I lean more toward Mark Krikorian's view on this, as he expressed it in National Review Online. It is a turnabout, and a dramatic and disappointing one. Read more...

Does Hillary Support a Border Wall? Someone Should Ask

By Jon Feere, August 24, 2016

For a recent article, PolitiFact called our office asking whether it was true that Hillary Clinton once wanted a border wall. Specifically, they were analyzing the truthfulness of the following statement made by Donald Trump:

We're gonna have strong borders. We're gonna have a wall — a big, powerful wall. You know that Hillary Clinton wanted a wall, a number of years ago. She wanted a wall." (at 1:00:10)

PolitiFact wasn't interested in the difference between the word "wall" and "fence" and noted in their article that "both block people." They just wanted to know if Trump's statement was accurate. Read more...

More Nonsense About Aliens' Faux "Privacy Rights"

By Dan Cadman, August 23, 2016

Yesterday's Law360 immigration newsletter contained this little snippet:

Groups Raise Alarm Over DHS Bid For Social Media Info

Twenty-eight immigration, civil liberties and other groups released a letter Monday raising concerns over a U.S. Department of Homeland Security proposal to collect social media information from visa waiver program travelers, saying the request would be a privacy intrusion.

The full article is behind a paywall, but you get the point. (The letter and list of signers is here.) Read more...

Felon Seeks to Sell EB-5-Like Benefits for $380,000 — and Maybe Succeeds

By David North, August 22, 2016

This is not exactly EB-5 fraud, but like a knock-off of a Gucci handbag, the scheme plays off the attraction of the original, in this case the EB-5 program.

There is now (or at least was quite until recently) an offer on the Chinese part of the internet made by a convicted American felon that says that a $380,000 investment in Florida real estate (isn't this where we came in 90 years ago?) can produce not only a nice place to live, but, within two-to-six months, a U.S. passport and many other governmental benefits as well. I am told by our translator that the term "EB-5" does not appear in the pitch, but the investment-in-exchange for immigration benefits proposal tracks EB-5 quite closely and is aimed directly at rich and insecure Chinese investors, the principal alien users of this program. Read more...

Transforming America, One Immigration Case at a Time

By Dan Cadman, August 22, 2016

Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) has issued another of its periodic reports on immigration, one that Americans should find disturbing. According to TRAC, immigration judges are ruling in 57 percent of the cases that come before them that the alien should be permitted to stay in the United States. Read more...

Interesting Policy Questions Raised Regarding Defrauded EB-5 Investors

By David North, August 22, 2016

An interesting set of immigration policy question arose last week regarding whether EB-5 investors who have been defrauded by American business interests should get their green cards anyway, despite the failure of the investments — failures only remotely linked to the actions of the aliens.

The questions arose when the court-appointed trustee for the EB-5 disaster in Vermont, Michael Goldberg, said that he was going to use some of the EB-5 funds under his control to hire a lobbyist to seek a change in the immigration law to protect the interests of the 700 or so investors in the ski lodge at Jay Peak and other problematic Vermont properties, as we have reported previously (see here and here). Read more...

On Sharia, Assimilation, and the Risk of a Descent into Tribalism

By Dan Cadman, August 19, 2016

Donald Trump gave a speech this week urging the equivalent of an ideological litmus test as a prerequisite for Muslims to enter the United States under our immigration laws. Whether or not to administer some kind of test to Muslims, or to require an affirmation from a Muslim that he or she subscribes to constitutional values, shocks many Americans, because we don't like the idea of singling people out based on race, religion, or the like. Read more...

State Legislative Seat and Immigration/Marriage Fraud Linked Again

By David North, August 18, 2016

It should have been a glorious moment for her — she was about to become the first Eritrea-born woman in the United States to be elected to a state legislature — but even as she was winning a hard-fought Democratic primary earlier this month against the longest-serving member of the Minnesota House of Representatives in state history, it turns out that she was charged with immigration-related marriage fraud.

And the odd thing is that just over two years ago this summer, pretty much the same thing happened in Manhattan. This time the person was from the Dominican Republic, the first woman from her country to be elected to a state legislature. She managed to serve for a while in the New York State Assembly before her marriage fraud got her bounced from the chamber. Read more...

UN Experts Issue a Dark Report on Terrorist Travel and Recruiting

By Dan Cadman, August 18, 2016

News media are reporting on a recently issued document prepared by expert advisers to the United Nations Security Council concerning extremists affiliated with ISIS, al Qaeda, and other Muslim terrorist organizations (see, for instance, here and here).

According to these experts:

  • As many as 30,000 foreign fighters in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere are prepared to return to their home countries — or, in the case of the European Union (EU) with its borderless travel rules, anywhere in the visa-free zone — in order to commit attacks.

What If There Was an Amnesty and a Majority of Those Eligible Ignored It?

By David North, August 18, 2016

Suppose the U.S. government offered temporary legal status in a highly publicized, low-cost way, and the majority of the illegal aliens in the eligible age range ignored it.

What would that tell you about the value systems of the people involved? What would it say about enforcement of the immigration law?

Do the majority of these eligibles think highly enough of the community in which they live to want to get right with the law? Apparently not. Read more...

'Extreme Vetting' Is Extremely Overdue

By Mark Krikorian, August 16, 2016

Donald Trump's speech yesterday on the threat of radical Islam included a section about immigration policy that has the usual suspects in a tizzy. This section focused not on terrorism, but rather on what Andy McCarthy calls the "grand jihad," the importation of Islamist ideology that rejects our constitutional order and open society.

In his trademark manner, Trump departed from the prepared text to Archie Bunker-ize the speech by calling this "extreme vetting," which is not the phraseology you should use once you've won the nomination and are trying to persuade the middle-of-the-road voter in Ohio and Florida. But rather than calling for body-cavity searches, as this label might suggest, he was instead calling for ideological/values screening, with the commonsense goal that "we should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people." He explained: Read more...

The Cost of Family Detention Centers and Failed American Immigration Policies

By Dan Cadman, August 15, 2016

The Washington Post has published a story titled "Inside the administration's $1 billion deal to detain Central American asylum seekers". Interestingly, it was classified as a business story, one presumes because it discusses details of the government's contractual arrangements for a family detention center with the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), although the narrative goes far beyond mere recitation of fiscal factoids in raising the issue.

The article mentions, for instance, that the four-year $1 billion contract guarantees CCA a full occupancy rate, whether or not the facility is in fact filled to capacity. The gist of the article's bent can be found in a single paragraph, though: Read more...

TPS for Palestinians?

By Nayla Rush, August 15, 2016

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has announced the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Syrians for another 18 months, through March 31, 2018. This allows visitors and illegal aliens to remain here legally, enabling them to get work permits, Social Security numbers, driver's licenses, etc.

But it's not just for Syrians. The language of the announcement (and of the relevant statute) says TPS is also available to "persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Syria." Being formally stateless, Syria's 560,000 Palestinian refugees would appear to qualify. So how many of them – if any – have benefitted, and will benefit from this form of amnesty? Read more...

Salt Lake City: Help an Illegal Alien Identity Thief and Get a 60% Discount on Parking Fines

By Ronald W. Mortensen, August 15, 2016

Salt Lake City has long been a sanctuary city — in a sanctuary state. So, it is not surprising that the mayor allows people to pay their "extremely" overdue parking fines at a 60 percent discount in exchange for a $10 donation to (among other groups) Comunidades Unidas, an organization whose nine-person board has two members from a law firm that openly touts its expertise in defending illegal alien identity thieves.

According to the Immigrant Defenders Law Group PLLC website, "Illegal immigrants face a completely different set of challenges and consequences for criminal convictions. We have dedicated our firm to protecting these peoples' rights and defending their opportunity to live and work in the U.S." Read more...

As U.S. Rushes to Meet Obama's Refugee Target, France's Program Is on Hold

By Nayla Rush, August 12, 2016

The French Ministry of Interior announced on Wednesday that France admitted only 1,330 of the 30,000 refugees it had pledged to resettle from Greece and Italy by 2017. The commitment was made at the end of summer 2015, when the migrant crisis was at its peak. The French government, hostile at first to quotas recommended by the European Union, finally agreed to be part of the EU's resettlement plan to relieve these two first-entry member state countries.

"The honor of France is to welcome refugees" said French Prime Minister Manuel Valls one year ago on television. Read more...

EB-5 Regional Center with Chinese Government Tie Is Terminated

By David North, August 11, 2016

Earlier this year we wrote about a Florida-based EB-5 regional center that reported that its office in China was lodged in a Chinese City Hall, suggesting if not Chinese government ownership, then at least very solid ties to the government. Read more...

The Ninth Circuit Strikes (Out) Again

By Dan Cadman, August 11, 2016

I recently wrote a blog on a decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that deprived a statute of its logic by means of a tortured reading of the language used in the law. In that case, using linguistic acrobatics worthy of Rio olympians, they determined that a woman convicted of commercial piracy of Microsoft and other software didn't lack the good moral character needed to become a naturalized citizen.

They've done it again, once more delving into the arcane mysteries of the English language in order to arrive at a decision that deprives an immigration detention statute of meaning and common sense. Read more...

Venezuelans Seek Amnesties, "Temporary" or Permanent

By Kausha Luna, August 10, 2016

On Monday, Venezuelan exiles in Florida urged American authorities to grant "migratory relief" to those fleeing Venezuela for "political reasons."

Jose Colina, president of the organization Politically Persecuted Venezuelans in Exile (or Veppex), told the Spanish news agency EFE, "Any measure taken is important because it will resolve the problems of many Venezuelans that are in limbo, in the shadows." Read more...

Birth Tourism + EB-5 Fraud, All in a Single Case

By David North, August 10, 2016

It had to happen, and it finally did.

With so many well-to-do Chinese families manipulating the immigration law through birth/citizenship activities, and so many of the same kind of families being manipulated by Stateside crooks in EB-5 investor-visa schemes, it was inevitable that one such couple would be enmeshed in both processes.

And it happened in the unlikely environment of far Upstate New York, in Dunkirk in the wine country west of Buffalo. Read more...

More Gulen Teachers Coming Our Way?

By David North, August 9, 2016

The reaction (or over-reaction) by the Erdogan government to the attempted coup in Turkey is bad news for America's unemployed school teachers – because there suddenly is a huge supply of newly-fired educators over there who would love to have a chance to work in America. Read more...

When Our Protectors Betray Us

By Dan Cadman, August 9, 2016

A friend sent me the online version of Police Magazine containing an article about Nicholas Young, the District of Columbia Metro Transit police officer recently arrested by the FBI and charged with material support of a terrorist organization (Islamic State). Read more...

Mexico Launches Campaign to Boost Its Image in the U.S.

By Jerry Kammer, August 9, 2016

Mexico's Foreign Secretary is embarking on a campaign to enlist lobbyists and allies in many spheres of American life in order to rehabilitate the nation's reputation in the United States, according to an article in Mexico's largest newspaper. Donald Trump has seriously damaged that image in his campaign for the presidency, El Universal reported on Sunday. Read more...

Melania Trump's Immigration Status: Without Facts, Speculation Is Irresponsible

By John Miano, August 8, 2016

I have received quite a few inquiries about Melania Trump's immigration status. These started after Politico published an article questioning Mrs. Trump's immigration status.

There is not a whole lot to say on Mrs. Trump's immigration history. The Politico article is a shoddy piece of journalism, where the authors have raised theories but have done no research to confirm their theories. Mrs. Trump claims to have received an H-1B visa in 1996. However, she did a photo shoot in the United States in 1995. Therefore, according to Politico, Mrs. Trump could have been working in the United State illegally. Read more...