Immigration Blog

Mexico Gets a Better Deal than the United States on Cuban Deportations

By Kausha Luna, May 18, 2016

On May 1, amidst the transfer of thousands of visa-less Cubans from Central America to the U.S.-Mexico border, an immigration agreement between Mexico and Cuba came into effect.

The Memorandum, reaffirmed in Mexico last November, aims to establish a "legal, ordered, and secure migratory flow" between Mexico and Cuba. The agreement was originally signed between the two countries in 2008. As such, the Memorandum establishes the following guidelines in relation to illegal immigration and returns: Read more...

Using Expatriating Acts Against Terrorists to Safeguard the Homeland

By Dan Cadman, May 18, 2016

Twice in recent days I've blogged about a remarkable Department of Justice (DOJ) manuscript documenting the foundation and work of DOJ's Office of Special Investigations (OSI) — see here and here.

DOJ buried the manuscript for several years under cover of confidentiality, and finally released a redacted version only to have the unexpurgated document leaked to the New York Times. I'm not generally a fan of the Times' editorial views — too liberal-progressive for my taste, especially in matters of immigration policy — but, like the Washington Post, perhaps simply by virtue of place and circumstance they sometimes perform a public service by publishing suppressed documents of national interest when aided by angry whistleblowers and scorned bureaucrats (the Pentagon Papers and Watergate come quickly to mind). Read more...

EB-5 Funds Created Jobs, but Workers Were Not Paid

By David North, May 17, 2016

Here's a new wrinkle in the EB-5 business: An employer got millions in EB-5 funds to run a shrimp farm and then didn't pay its workers.

Does the business get credit for creating these jobs without paychecks? Do the investors get their green cards anyway? As you might imagine, answers are not readily available.

Florida Organic Aquaculture, a for-profit enterprise, is a 22-acre shrimp farm in Fellsmere, Fla., and is reported by one news account to be a $16 million project that involved an unstated, but apparently substantial, amount of EB-5 investments. Read more...

F.H. Buckley: Canada Is a More Successful Melting Pot than the U.S.

By Jerry Kammer, May 17, 2016

Yesterday's post reported on the appearance last week of George Mason law professor F.H. Buckley on MSNBC's Morning Joe program. Today we have more thoughts from the professor, who holds both U.S. and Canadian citizenship and says Canada has a better system of legal immigration than the United States because Canada, he notes, prioritizes the selection of immigrants who have skills and educational achievement that will allow them to integrate into the country's cultural and economic life. The U.S. system for awarding green cards, meanwhile, is heavily weighted toward family unification, i.e., allowing migrants who are already here to bring over their relatives, without regard to skill. Read more...

"Schrodinger's Immigrant" Is No Paradox: Welfare and Work Go Together in Today's America

By Jason Richwine, May 17, 2016

Immigration skeptics need to get their stories straight, according to a misleading internet meme that has been going around the past couple of years. Immigrants either compete with natives for jobs, or they go on welfare. It can't be both, right? That's the point of the graphic below, which is a play on the famous Schrodinger's Cat paradox. "Too lazy to work" is presumably a reference to concerns about immigrants using welfare, which other iterations have made explicit. Read more...

This Is Getting Monotonous – Third Indian-on-Indian H-1B Scandal in 12 Days

By David North, May 16, 2016

This is getting monotonous. On May 4 we reported a middle-sized case of H-1B fraud involving both the loss of jobs to U.S. residents and the exploitation of Indian workers by Indian criminal employers in Virginia.

On May 12 we wrote about a somewhat similar case in California, and today we have the third case in the set, this time in Memphis, Tenn. Three cases in 12 days, all in the federal courts.

This time the corrupt employer, Ramesh Basa, has pled out and has agreed that the feds can seize six pieces of his real estate valued at half a million dollars as part of the deal. The agreement also included a joint recommendation by attorneys on both sides of the case for a one-year jail term for Basa. Read more...

Temporary Protected Status Means Never Having to Go Home

By Mark Krikorian, May 16, 2016

Congress in 1990 created something called Temporary Protected Status in an attempt to hem in unilateral executive actions on immigration. The law created a framework for presidents to let illegal aliens from a country stay here for a limited period of time if there was a natural disaster or civil violence back home that made the country "unable, temporarily, to adequately handle the return of its nationals." The point was to prevent presidential freelancing, though what had happened up to that time was microscopic compared to Obama's outrages. (I wrote last month about the likely grant of TPS to Ecuadorian illegals in the wake of the earthquake there.) Read more...

U.S. Immigration Policy Imports Immobility and Boosts American Aristocracy, New Book Says

By Jerry Kammer, May 16, 2016

As we at CIS prepare for our annual week-long border trip, which this year takes us to the Canadian border with New York and Vermont, I have been reading up on our northern neighbor's approach to border management and immigration policy. So my ears perked up last week when a native of Canada who studies immigration policy was a guest on the Morning Joe program. Read more...

"Make America Mexico Again"

By Dan Cadman, May 16, 2016

A number of observers have commented on the proliferation of Mexican flags at rallies in favor of amnesty and open borders, as well as at anti-Trump demonstrations. They've also noticed the "Make America Mexico Again" slogan showing up on signs, hats, and hashtags — supposedly as a humorous meme, but almost certainly one that exhibits more than a grain of serious intent behind it, even though such an intent would be ironic in the extreme. Read more...

OPT Case Headed Back to District Court

By John Miano, May 16, 2016

The latest in the 8-year-old legal saga of Optional Practical Training (OPT) is that the D.C. Circuit Court has dismissed the case. This is not as ominous as it might sound. The effect is that the case goes back to the lower court, the D.C. District. Read more...

It Ain't Over 'til the Alien Wins

By Mark Krikorian, May 15, 2016

"Immigration cases — like old soldiers — seem never to die."

That's the opening line of the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in a recent case that exemplifies the relentless war on America's borders being waged by immigration lawyers and their illegal-alien clients.

This is an utterly conventional case, like thousands of others that clog the courts, the result of "serial attempts to revisit a final order of removal" (a deportation order), in the words of the ruling. The alien plaintiff's 20-year campaign of lies and immigration fraud shows what our immigration-enforcement system is up against. Read more...

A Blundering Bad Guy in Vermont and Other EB-5 Notes

By David North, May 13, 2016

Multiple EB-5 developments — all discouraging for the program's backers — are coming hard and fast as the September 30 termination of the main part of the program looms. Read more...

ICE Announces the Arrest of 84 Criminal Aliens – but What Else Should We Be Asking?

By Dan Cadman, May 13, 2016

I admit to spending several minutes pondering before I committed the following blog to writing. This is because when an agency does something good you want to applaud it, thus encouraging more of the same. But under the Obama administration, serious issues — particularly immigration issues — have become so politicized, convoluted, and messy that nothing is ever as it seems.

On May 11, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the round-up of 84 criminal aliens, all of whom had serious offense histories. These are the kind of people you want to see off the streets of our communities. Various news media dutifully reported the arrests (see, for instance, here and here).

That's great, as far as it goes, but a really enterprising reporter would have followed up with a few questions: Read more...

No, Deporting Illegal Immigrants Would Not Make Americans $600 Billion Poorer

By Jason Richwine, May 13, 2016

The American Action Forum (AAF) published a study last week arguing that the U.S. economy would lose as much as $623 billion in labor output if illegal immigrants were deported. The AAF portrayed this as a major economic loss for Americans, and a credulous media went along with it. "Tremendously expensive," according to Townhall. "Economic havoc," proclaimed Politico. "A devastating blow," said The Week. Read more...

Yet Another Indian-Exploits-Indian Case of H-1B Fraud

By David North, May 12, 2016

Last week one of my informants sent me an article headlined "US: 4 Indian-Americans charged with H-1B fraud".

Since I had written a blog post a few days earlier involving five Indian-Americans in a case of H-1B fraud, my initial assumption was that the headline writer simply had the wrong number of culprits.

It turned out, however, that the five earlier ones were in Virginia, while the four current ones were in California. Two completely separate cases, but with many of the same characteristics: Read more...

New Yorker Surprise: Understanding for Trump's Appeal Among the White Working Class

By Jerry Kammer, May 12, 2016

This blog has posted several laments about the sneering New Yorker disdain for those of us who oppose illegal immigration or want to reduce legal immigration. Six years ago, I noted the complaint by the magazine’s William Finnegan that: "Anti-immigrant groups, which have proliferated in recent years, are not racist by nature, but they certainly attract racists and give them a platform." I added this response to Finnegan: "So what's your point for those of us whose concerns are non-racist, and in many cases rooted in progressive values? Shut up or you’ll be smeared?" Read more...

Should We Be Satisfied That Immigrants Are "A Better Class of Underclass"?

By Jason Richwine, May 11, 2016

On Monday, CIS published my new study comparing the welfare consumption of immigrant and native households. It shows that immigrant households consume an average of about $6,200 worth of welfare dollars, while native households consume about $4,400. The main reasons for the difference are the lower level of education and greater number of children in immigrant households.

This new report is CIS's second analysis of the Census Bureau's Survey of Income Program Participation. The first study (released last September) focused on participation rates, showing that 51 percent of immigrant households used some form of welfare. Now we are able to quantify the costs associated with that participation. Read more...

Problems with the Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor Programs

By David North, May 11, 2016

Last month we published 20 years of data on the E-1 (Treaty Trader) and E-2 (Treaty Investor) nonimmigrant programs. The tables, covering the years 1994 to 2013, show that the number of visas issued in the E-1 category dropped from over 11,000 a year to about 7,000, while issuances of E-2 visas moved in the opposite direction, from about 19,000 to about 35,000 a year. Data for 2104 show E-1 visas at 7,330 and E-2 visas at 36,825. Read more...

The Wise Use of Prosecutorial Discretion, Expressed in a Single Sentence

By Dan Cadman, May 11, 2016

Yesterday I wrote about a Department of Justice (DOJ) report on the history and development of the Office of Special Investigations, a small unit charged with hunting down Nazis and other war criminals from World War II.

I said that I'd found, embedded within the manuscript's pages, lessons still important for today's world, and went on to relate the parallels between the processing of displaced persons in the post-war era and the processing of Syrians, Iraqis, and persons from other war-torn nations today — processing as replete with risks now as it was then because of the high probability of making mistakes and granting refuge or asylum to persecutors, genocidists, or even Islamic terrorists bent on further mayhem after being "resettled". Read more...

DHS Uses WW II to Open the Gates for More Aging Filipinos

By David North, May 11, 2016

One of the hidden specialties of the U.S. immigration system is the way it facilitates the immigration of aliens deep into, or beyond, their working lives.

The country-of-origin limits on immigration, coupled with high demand from some nations such as the Philippines, means that many migrants have been waiting for 20 years or more – and are thus about 20 years older than the average migrant when they finally arrive in the U.S. You can imagine what this does to the welfare costs.

I was reminded of this by a Homeland Security press release proclaiming: Read more...

Transfer of Visa-less Cubans to U.S. Border Continues

By Kausha Luna, May 10, 2016

Today, the first group of 238 Cuban migrants airlifted from Panama reached El Paso, Texas.

On Monday, the government of Panama initiated the airlift of about 4,000 U.S.-bound Cubans stranded in Panama to Ciudad Juarez, the Mexican city opposite El Paso.

Earlier this year, Panama transferred about 1,300 islanders to the U.S.-Mexico border, after Nicaragua and then Costa Rica closed their borders to Cuban migrants without visas passing through on their way north. However, after the airlift was complete, Cuban illegal aliens continued to arrive at the Panama-Costa Rica border. Read more...

How Predators Get Admitted with Their Prey During Humanitarian Crises

By Dan Cadman, May 10, 2016

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), responding to pressure and threats of a lawsuit, turned over to the National Security Archive (which, despite the name, is an arm of George Washington University, not part of the government) a significantly redacted version of a manuscript prepared by a DOJ lawyer detailing the history of DOJ's Nazi-hunting unit, the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). The manuscript was prepared over the course of several years under DOJ auspices and was edited by Mark Richard, the career deputy assistant attorney general who as a part of his duties oversaw OSI for many years. Read more...

DHS Excels at Locking the Barn Door Long after the Horse Has Been Stolen

By David North, May 9, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security has shown, once again, that it is very good at locking the barn door, not only after the horse has been stolen, but long after the stolen horse has died of old age. In short, it occasionally takes appropriate action, but years — even decades — too late.

The latest example comes from America's far, far West, the Island of Tinian, in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, just north of Guam in the Pacific. That is the location of the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino; the casino has been closed for several months, and the adjacent hotel is operating, but just barely. Read more...

One Inspirational Story Doesn't Blot Out Realities of Illegal Immigration

By Jerry Kammer, May 9, 2016

During Sunday's "Al Punto" program on Univision, host Jorge Ramos spoke with renowned brain surgeon Alfredo Quinones, a former illegal immigrant from Mexico. They spoke about plans to make a feature film about Quinones's remarkable story of entering the United States illegally in 1987, working in the fields near Fresno, and beginning a remarkable ascent that took him to Berkeley, Harvard Medical School, and on to the Johns Hopkins Hospital to become one of the country's most respected brain surgeons. It is, as Dr. Quinones told Ramos, "a Cinderella story". Read more...

On Federalism, States' Rights, and the Power of Coercion

By Dan Cadman, May 9, 2016

Various media outlets are reporting on a letter sent to the North Carolina governor from the Department of Justice (DOJ) threatening to withhold millions of federal dollars if something is not done to void the recently enacted state statute requiring that, in public places, individuals use bathrooms consistent with the gender reflected on their birth certificates (see here and Read more...

Good News / Bad News on OPT

By John Miano, May 9, 2016

The lawsuit challenging the regulations designed to transform student visas into a guestworker program has taken a bizarre twist. I and the rest of the Immigration Reform Law Institute team were in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia last Wednesday for oral arguments on the Optional Practical Training Program.

This is a good news/bad news story. I will start with the bad news. Unfortunately, this takes a lengthy setup. Read more...

Bill Would Defund CAM, the Stealth Executive Action Program Abroad

By Dan Cadman, May 5, 2016

In a recent blog post, keying off the writings of my colleagues Nayla Rush and Mark Krikorian, I expressed dismay that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) appeared to be working with the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and other federal agencies to create "alternative pathways" for aliens to enter the United States, apparently because they don't meet the definition of refugees under either international or domestic law.

This end-around is reminiscent of the types of "executive actions" undertaken by the Obama administration, and is perfectly consistent with the kind of activism seen out of the UNHCR in recent years. The organization seems to have abandoned any attempt whatever to hew to the letter of international law in favor of a more all-encompassing view that closely mirrors that of many open-borders advocates. Read more...

A Romantic Start that Turned into a $20 Million H-1B Fraud Case

By David North, May 4, 2016

The feds charge that $20 million was obtained fraudulently in an immigration scheme that involved hundreds of Asians, and that part of the scam involved a geographic area that our government has ruled to be economically depressed.

Sounds like another EB-5 scandal, right?

Wrong! Most of the money, according to an indictment in the Eastern District of Virginia, came out of the H-1B program, with lesser sums being obtained from Small Business Administration benefits.

The whole thing started out on what I — if not the feds — regard as a romantic moment. Read more...

The UN's #RefugeeChildren Campaign

By Kausha Luna, May 4, 2016

On Friday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched a new digital campaign: #NiñezRefugiada or #RefugeeChildren. The campaign aims to explain the reasons why children and adolescents flee El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Read more...

An Afternoon at Immigration Court

By CIS, May 3, 2016

By Meredith M. Vaughan, CIS research intern.

The immigration court in the city of Boston is located within a huge, grim, and somewhat dilapidated federal government complex built in the 1960s. The immigration courtrooms are windowless, chilly, and formal, though functional. This juxtaposition between a solid inner layer and the crumbling outer layer is a reasonable metaphor for how the immigration court works: well-intended, capable workers on the inside, but unfortunately saddled with some terribly dysfunctional infrastructure. Read more...