Immigration Blog

Two Clarifications Emerge on Anti-Citizen Food Stamp Discrimination Issue

By David North, July 26, 2016

Two clarifications have emerged recently on the matter of discrimination in favor of certain mixed families, including aliens, in the food stamp eligibility rules. Read more...

Fact Checkers Can't Handle the Truth

By Jessica Vaughan, July 25, 2016

Last Thursday evening, self-described fact-checkers for Politifact, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post mobilized as soon as the text of Donald Trump's nomination acceptance speech was leaked to challenge a series of immigration facts cited by the candidate. In their haste, or maybe it was their zeal, to try to de-bunk Trump's statements on immigration, they put out sloppy work and sometimes downright false evaluations. Read more...

Immigration Court Backlogs and the Smuggling of Alien Women and Children

By Dan Cadman, July 22, 2016

Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) has issued a report showing that despite the addition of new immigration judge resources, the backlog of removal docket cases in the national immigration court system administered by the Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review (DOJ EOIR) continues to grow. As of the end of June, TRAC tells us the backlog is at an all-time high of 496,704 — just short of the half million case mark. With the new additions, there are now 273 immigration judges to handle this staggering caseload. Read more...

A Suggestion: Handling Erdogan’s Request for Gulen’s Extradition

By David North, July 21, 2016

Turkey’s autocratic president, Recep Erdogan, wants us to extradite Fethullah Gulen, the Muslim cleric and cult leader now living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, for allegedly stirring up the recent coup attempt.

Meanwhile, one of Erdogan’s emissaries, a little earlier, advocated the termination of the practice of bringing Turkish teachers to the United States, on H-1B visas, to replace U.S. teachers in the Gulen charter high schools. Read more...

On Refugee Flows, Radicalized Lone Wolves, Unaccompanied Minors, and Indiscriminate Slaughter

By Dan Cadman, July 21, 2016

European media are reporting on a terrorist attack that took place on a suburban commuter train near the southern German town of Wurzburg. The perpetrator, shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest), attacked travelers including a group of visitors from Hong Kong. Read more...

A Crime in Progress? Immigration/Marriage Fraud and Chain Migration

By David North, July 20, 2016

Chain migration, unfortunately, is not only quite legal in the United States (but less so in other nations), it drives most of our immigration numbers.

Meanwhile, immigration/related marriage fraud (which is the subject of less enforcement here than elsewhere), is totally illegal but a lesser force in immigration numbers.

All too often these forces move together.

Why Is the U.S. Still Releasing GTMO Detainees?

By Dan Cadman, July 19, 2016

Dozens of the Islamic terrorists taken into custody by military authorities in theaters of war such as Afghanistan and Iraq, and placed into the detention center at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO, or “Gitmo”) have been released into the custody of various and sundry other nations around the globe upon assurances from those governments that they would undertake to monitor the former detainees to ensure they did not reengage in jihad. The releases have almost all taken place during the Obama administration. Read more...

Buying Visas and Creating an EB-5 Victims’ Assistance Program

By David North, July 18, 2016

Two recent events have cast new light on old problems with the EB-5 program.

In one, a couple charged with swindling their EB-5 clients spoke the grim truth about the program – its investors are really buying visas, not seeking financial gain.

In the other, we saw the invention of a brand-new government program to protect victims – in this case those innocents suffering collateral damage from EB-5 fraud.

The locales were California and Vermont, respectively.

Ecuador Deports Cubans and Cuba Blames U.S. Immigration Policies

By Kausha Luna, July 18, 2016

The Cuban government criticized U.S. immigration policies, yet again, after 75 Cubans were deported from Ecuador.

According to a press release by the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Cuban illegal aliens were deported back to the island in "strict compliance with the provisions of the legislation of both countries and existing international standards for this type of situation, with the primary aim of ensuring an orderly, regular and safe migration flow, while responding to the commitment to prevent defenseless human beings from becoming victims of human traffickers." Read more...

On the Scene in Nice

By Mark Krikorian, July 15, 2016

Before my family and I came to Nice for vacation, I looked to see if any large-capacity, terrorist-bait events were scheduled during our stay. Several matches of the European soccer championships were played there, but that was weeks ago, and last weekend’s final (where France lost to Portugal) was in Paris, so I figured we were in the clear.

But no one’s in the clear. I was at the Bastille Day fireworks at Nice’s waterfront promenade, with the usual ooh-ing and aah-ing: Read more...

Overseas Distribution of Social Security Recipients Reflects Old Patterns

By David North, July 14, 2016

More than 613,000 Social Security recipients have retired overseas, usually after working for decades in the United States.

Their distribution is a reflection of former – not current – migration patterns as we see in this, another of our notes on emigration from the United States. (View an earlier posting about some U.S. students getting part of their education abroad). Read more...

An Empty Victory at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals

By Dan Cadman, July 14, 2016

This is a blog about one of those good news/bad news kinds of cases. The good news: the government won. The bad news: the alien probably still doesn't get deported. There are a number of cautionary lessons in the case, Bassam Saliba v. the United States, which emanates out of the federal third circuit court of appeals. Read more...

New Legal Tool, Qui Tam, is used in Florida EB-5 Case

By David North, July 13, 2016

A new legal tool has been unveiled against a Florida EB-5 user by a once-fired employee of the lumber mill in question.

The former employee has filed a Qui Tam case in federal court seeking to recover losses suffered by the federal government. To the best of my knowledge this is the first use of this legal tool in the EB-5 business. Read more...

A Call for "Responsible Nationalism" and Attention to Those Who are Falling Through the Cracks

By Jerry Kammer, July 13, 2016

The populist revolts in the United States and Great Britain against unchecked immigration and free trade are forcing a rethinking of the ideology of post-national cosmopolitans. David Brooks, while dismayed at Donald Trump’s candidacy, acknowledges that Trump has brought attention to the fact that “people across America have been falling through the cracks.” Read more...

Rich EB-5 Investors Get Undue Attention From USCIS Ombudsman Office

By David North, July 12, 2016

Here’s a government agency with millions of clients, mostly low-income, mostly with limited to no English.

The agency rarely allows interviews between those seeking benefits and decision-makers. It routinely relies on forms, written in English, when making its decisions.

The agency (USCIS) has established a special office (that of the omsbudsman) to help the low-income, marginally literate portion of the migrant population it serves to wend its way through these obstacles, a perfectly appropriate move. Read more...

On Refugees, National Security, and Myth-Making Solons

By Dan Cadman, July 12, 2016

Often, when I have a scheduled meeting or appointment with an authority figure—a doctor, a lawyer, an academic or the like—the tiny irreverent guy who lives in the back of my head reminds me that half of them will, as a statistical matter, have been below the fiftieth percentile in their university or postgraduate studies class. Read more...

Court Rules that Another Vermont EB-5 Project was Corrupt

By David North, July 12, 2016

A Vermont state court has ruled that another failed EB-5 project in the state was corrupt, not just a financial disaster.

This is in addition to the big failure and multi-million dollar swindle in the Jay Peak ski lodge and at an associated medical laboratory that has caused so much controversy and press coverage, as we noted earlier. Read more...

On Borders, Fences, Political Pandering and Party Turnabouts

By Dan Cadman, July 11, 2016

The Democratic party has drafted its 2016 platform for the presidential race. It is, of course, a draft and will remain that way until endorsed (or amended) by the convention delegates, but there's little reason to think it will substantially change. Read more...

Pow! Bam! Sock! Vermonters Again Collect Swiftly in Migration Fraud Case

By David North, July 11, 2016

Maybe it’s in the milk they drink, but yet again we have a case of Vermonters moving swiftly to collect cash for prior immigration violations.

We reported recently that the State of Vermont had sued Raymond James, the brokerage firm, for its part in the recently revealed EB-5 disaster, and had collected, in a matter of a few weeks, nearly $6 million of the $24 million or so that had been lost. Read more...

Ecuador: No Airlift for U.S.-bound Cubans

By Kausha Luna, July 8, 2016

During a press conference on Tuesday, the Foreign Minister of Ecuador said that his country will not participate in the illegal migration of Cubans by providing them with an airlift to Mexico.

The press conference took place after the government of Ecuador and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees signed a cooperation agreement concerning the treatment of applications for refugee status in the country. Read more...

White House Looks to Private Sector to Increase Refugee Admissions Outside the Resettlement Program
An Attempt to Circumvent Numerical Caps

By Nayla Rush, July 6, 2016
An Attempt to Circumvent Numerical Caps

With the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, the Obama administration is more than ever committed to helping refugees, whether in their host countries in the Middle East or in the United States. U.S. humanitarian assistance to the Syrian crisis reached $5.1 billion this year. President Obama has already pledged to bring into the United States 10,000 Syrian refugees via the refugee resettlement program this fiscal year (which ends September 30).

The administration is also looking for "alternative pathways" to admit more Syrian refugees outside the refugee resettlement program, to meet the target set by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) of providing at least 480,000 places worldwide through resettlement and private sponsorships (such as employment contracts, student scholarships etc.) to Syrian refugees over three years (2016-2018). Read more...

Would You Buy a North Korean Used Car from This EB-5 Promoter?

By David North, July 6, 2016

There are plenty of bizarre business notions in the EB-5 program, but this one wins the Oscar for creativity.

The idea: Let's use $630,000 of an EB-5 investor's money to buy and ship 100 used cars from North Korea to an about-to-be-formed southern California car dealership. (Given North Korea's poverty, perhaps used cars are cheap there.) Read more...

Study Reveals Education Decline Across Immigrant Generations

By John Wahala, July 6, 2016

Deeply ingrained in American mythology is the notion that succeeding generations of immigrants always do better than their forefathers. This belief is predicated on the success that descendants of last century's great wave of immigration achieved. While researchers have pointed out that that success was often slow and the result of specific historical forces, most importantly a 40-year period of significantly reduced immigration, it has nonetheless become romanticized and held up as a model for all future immigrant trajectories. It worked in the past, say advocates for open-ended immigration, so there is no reason to be concerned. This sort of thinking can quickly turn into ideology that has no use for facts. Read more...

Legislature Does Right Thing on Alien Marriage Issue – WaPo Misses It

By David North, July 5, 2016

The Virginia Legislature took an important step toward reducing green card-producing, abusive marriages of young female citizens — and the Washington Post missed the migration point completely in a July 3 article about the legislation.

Encouraged by a tiny Virginia lobbying group, both parties in the GOP-controlled state legislature set the minimum age for marriage at 18 under most circumstances, and at 16 with a court order. Previously the minimum age was "13 or younger ... if she had parental consent and was pregnant", according to the Post. Read more...

Will New FOIA Amendments Make it "Easier, Faster, Cheaper" to Obtain Immigration Data?

By Dan Cadman, July 5, 2016

Here's a hoot: Barack Obama, the chief executive of our least transparent administration in decades — if not in the history of the country — has just signed into law a revision of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that he says will make it "easier, faster, and cheaper" to obtain information from the federal government.

Sounds good, but after seven-plus years of this administration, I'm not buying that any more than I would a "good used car from a previous single owner in West Virginia". Read more...

Two Prominent Latinos Take Sharply Different Approaches to Trump

By Jerry Kammer, July 5, 2016

On Sunday, Univision newsman Jorge Ramos pressed his case against Donald Trump during interviews with two prominent Latinos.

First the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, pushed back against Ramos, making it clear that he wanted to have a dialogue with the presumptive Republican nominee. Then Lionel Sosa, the Texas-based marketing executive who helped Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush appeal to Latino voters, echoed Ramos's disgust with Trump. Both men spoke with Ramos for the "Al Punto" program. Read more...

Vermont Quickly Recovers $6 million in EB-5 losses; South Dakota Dawdles

By David North, July 5, 2016

Only weeks after the disclosure of some $25 million (or more) in EB-5 losses, the state of Vermont has already recovered a quarter of that figure. South Dakota, whose EB-5 losses probably exceed $100 million, incurred years ago, has barely started its tiny, seemingly reluctant efforts to recover a mere $1 million or so of its losses.

Both states are (or were) Department of Homeland Security-designated regional centers in the immigrant investor program, which provides a family-sized set of green cards to aliens placing half-million-dollar investments in DHS-approved, but not guaranteed, projects. Both states found that multi-millions of investor funds (and smaller amounts of state funds) had been swindled, wasted, or lost. And the states have the powers of both regional centers and of state governments to begin the process of recovering at least some of those funds. Read more...

Nepotism Reigns in Labor Department Appellate Body

By David North, July 4, 2016

Tired of waiting for those family preferences in the immigration system?

Is your brother willing to work in the kitchen of the family's restaurant business?

If the answers are both yes, just ask the Department of Labor to issue a decision leading to a green card for that relative, and his immigration problems are solved — and another resident of this country is denied a job. Read more...

Front Loading the Phrasing to Obtain Desired Poll Results

By Dan Cadman, July 4, 2016

The Immigration Reading list compiled and e-mailed weekly by the Center often makes for some interesting stuff for those like myself who like to dig down into the weeds on the subject of immigration, legal and otherwise, in all of its multiple facets.

Last week was no exception. It contained no less than four polls on the interrelated subjects of presidential politics, national security, and whether or not Americans agree with halting the flow of refugees from Syria and other parts of the Middle East: Read more...

Kate Steinle Day

By Mark Krikorian, July 1, 2016

One year ago today, Kate Steinle was killed in San Francisco by a previously deported felon protected by that city's sanctuary policies. In the interim, neither Congress nor the administration has done anything to rein in these acts of nullification by states and localities against federal immigration law. Read more...