Immigration Blog

U.S. and China Collaborate Against Chinese EB-5 Abuser

By David North, May 21, 2015

Usually when one reads about abuse of the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program the victims are rich aliens and the abusers are U.S.-resident middlemen.

The program grants a family-sized set of green cards to aliens making a $500,000 investment in a project that is approved, but not guaranteed, by DHS. The investment is supposed to create 10 jobs for non-family members.

This case is different as the abuser and his ex-wife are both accused of violating the EB-5 law and, in his case, of embezzling millions from a grain warehouse he managed in China. The case is also unusual as it includes formal cooperation between Chinese and American authorities. Read more...

Citizens Without Allegiance

By Dan Cadman, May 21, 2015

Visitors to this Center's website or to NumbersUSA or Breitbart or any number of other sites know that the issue of "birthright citizenship" — citizenship acquired at birth without regard to the immigration status of your parents — has been garnering a lot of attention in recent weeks, including a House of Representatives hearing on the matter. (See here, here, and here.)

The idea of according citizenship to just about anyone simply by virtue of the geographical happenstance of where they are born — with no consideration given to the citizenship or loyalties of your parents or where you will likely be raised and inculcated into a culture and way of thinking — is far from universal among the world's nations, and highly unusual among countries immigrants actually move to. Regular readers of CIS publications and blogs probably know that the subject has been examined from a number of different policy and demographic perspectives. (See, for instance, here and here.) Read more...

Zombie Immigration Programs

By Mark Krikorian, May 20, 2015

No, not the immigration of zombies – I mean programs, in this case "temporary" amnesties, that never die.

Today was the last day for illegal aliens and legal visitors from Liberia to register for Temporary Protected Status. Congress created TPS in 1990 to allow the executive to suspend deportations of (and grant work permits to) illegal aliens from countries where there's been a natural disaster or civil strife. I've written frequently about the bogus nature of TPS (here and here, for instance), but always regarding the fact that while the status isn't technically permanent, like a green card, it's nonetheless renewed indefinitely, long after the home-country emergency has passed. An earlier crop of Liberian illegals, for instance, was granted a "temporary" amnesty in 1991 – and they're still here. Read more...

Don't Look Now, but the Amnesty-First Crowd Has Blinked

By Mark Krikorian, May 20, 2015

Prof. Robert George's group, American Principles in Action, has released an "immigration reform" plan calling for enforcement followed by amnesty and increased guestworker admissions. Read more...

Looking Behind a Seemingly Bland USCIS Decision

By David North, May 20, 2015

Correction, May 26. The original version of this blog indicated that some H-4 children of H-1Bs could get work permits as a result of a new edict from the administration, but that is incorrect; only spouses qualify. The text has been updated to reflect this.


New Data Show that USCIS Fee Waivers Are Rapidly Increasing

By David North, May 18, 2015

USCIS, unlike most government entities, is largely funded by fees collected from those seeking benefits from that agency.

Recently discovered data reveal that in fiscal years 2010-2012, the grants of fee waivers doubled each year, reaching more than 370,000 in the last-noted year. Since each fee waiver averaged $585 the last time I ran the numbers, that means that in 2012 the agency lost more than $216 million. And as the figure below shows, the trend is ever upward. Read more...

A Scary Idea: Ignore 94 years of Legislative History on Numerical Ceilings

By David North, May 18, 2015

There's a frightening idea out there about the use of executive discretion that I must have missed when it surfaced last year: Let's have the president define the numerical ceilings in the green card programs in such a way as to double the number of workers admitted.

"Pundits have also said that the president could effectively double the number of employment-based green cards by changing the way that employment-based green card[s] are counted," wrote immigration lawyer Chris Musillo in Immigration Daily.

If the president counted only workers, and not count their accompanying dependents, against the 140,000 ceiling, admissions would more than double, as only 45 percent of the 140,000 now admitted each year are workers; the rest are dependents. Read more...

Measuring Prosecutorial Discretion's Effectiveness: Statistics? What Statistics?

By Dan Cadman, May 15, 2015

I have been involved in immigration programs and operations in and around government — mostly in — for almost 40 years. I can say unambiguously that the Obama White House is the least transparent administration, Democratic or Republican, that I have experienced in the whole of those nearly four decades. This is, I believe, a view shared by both sides of the spectrum where immigration controls and enforcement are concerned. Read more...

Silicon Valley to Americans: Drop Dead

By Mark Krikorian, May 13, 2015

Silicon Valley oligarchs come to the immigration debate with considerable advantages. Aside from the obvious giant bags of money, there’s the perception (often correct) that they're wizards responsible for breathtaking innovation and economic growth. So when they say they need ever-greater numbers of indentured code-jockeys from abroad because there aren't not enough Americans available, they're taken seriously (even though the real motivation is simply cheap labor). This gullibility is all the more prevalent in Congress, many of whose members don’t even know how to turn their computers on (let alone send e-mail). Read more...

The Ebola Epidemic Is Over in Liberia, but USCIS Has Not Noticed

By David North, May 13, 2015

One would never know that the Ebola crisis is over in Liberia, and fast shrinking in neighboring Sierra Leone and Guinea, if one paid attention only to USCIS.

Several days ago the World Health Organization issued this report: Read more...

EB-5 Faces Population Problems: Too Many Middlemen, Too Few Visas

By David North, May 13, 2015

It is ironic that the Department of Homeland Security — an outfit that apparently believes that there never can be too many people under any circumstance — finds itself with a highly specialized population problem of its own making. Read more...

Contesting Presidential Immigration Overreach: Friends of the Court, Friends of the Constitution

By Dan Cadman, May 12, 2015

A "friend of the court" brief has just been filed with the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans in the case filed against the federal government by over half of the states, which are seeking to have ruled illegal and unconstitutional major portions of the administration's "executive action" programs on immigration.

The brief supporting the plaintiff states was filed by the Committee to Defend the Separation of Powers of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). According to the ACLJ, it was filed on behalf of nearly 220,000 individuals who have expressed their concern over this White House's trampling on the separation of powers established by our constitution. Read more...

The National Defense Authorization Act Is Drawn into the Immigration Battleground

By Dan Cadman, May 11, 2015

FBI Director James Comey has been quoted in the past few days by just about every media outlet of any size as saying there are ISIS supporters in every state of the country.

One supposes this is intended to inoculate the public in advance of the chance of a terrorist attack successfully taking place, unlike the recent failed attack in Garland, Texas — a smart political move, if not necessarily the most comforting given all of the administration's rhetoric about how safe we are both at our borders and in the interior, and oh by the way, let's just let millions of illegal aliens about whom we know very little stay here permanently.

At the same time, defense installations throughout the United States have been ordered to raise their terrorism alert level because social media monitoring shows that ISIS is encouraging its followers and supporters to focus attacks on police and soldiers. Even military families have been warned to beware that they might be targeted. Read more...

Myths about LA County's Successful 287(g) Program

By Jessica Vaughan, May 11, 2015

On Tuesday, May 12, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set to vote on a proposal to end its longstanding and successful 287(g) partnership with ICE, which is one of the largest in the country. Activists for illegal aliens are pulling out all the stops to pressure the board members to cancel the program and have sent a barrage of emails and phone calls in favor of fewer criminal alien deportations. Read more...

"It Takes a Village" Becomes "We'll Take the Whole Village"

By Dan Cadman, May 11, 2015

Watching as presidential candidates (declared and undeclared) whirl and spin, jerk and jump, trying to mark out and then massage their positions on immigration, especially illegal immigration, is a terrific spectator sport matched only by following tennis volleys at Wimbledon, albeit the political watching holds greater risk of whiplash.

Most recently, candidate Hillary Clinton reversed previously espoused, purportedly deeply held, convictions about the unacceptability of amnesty and declared that, if anything, she'd do more than Barack Obama has done, leading even the New York Times to ask how that could be, and White House Press Secretary Josh Ernest to say he didn't know. Read more...

The Two Opposing Visions of Life, Including Immigration

By Jerry Kammer, May 8, 2015

We are supposed to have freedom to choose the place where we're going to live. ... In a different world, a world deserving to be what the world wanted to be when it was a different world, a world deserving to be what the world wanted to be when it was not yet born. Any newborn person should be welcomed. Welcomed! Say, "Come in! Come in boy or girl! The entire earth will be your kingdom and your legs will be your passport, forever valid."

The above words of Eduardo Galeano, a giant of Latin American literature and politics who died last month, are a vivid expression of the sensibility of those who favor unrestricted immigration. They hold what conservative American writer Thomas Sowell has called the "unconstrained vision". As Sowell wrote, "In the unconstrained vision, there are no intractable reasons for social evils and therefore no reason why they cannot be solved, with sufficient moral commitment." Read more...

Eduardo Galeano's Passionate Defense of Unrestricted Immigration

By Jerry Kammer, May 7, 2015

Eduardo Galeano, the Latin American novelist and radical journalist who died last month, was a towering cultural figure. According to The Economist, Galeano did more than any writer other than Gabriel Garcia Marquez "to shape the mental image that both locals and outsiders have of Latin America."

As we noted in yesterday's post, one of Galeano's admirers is Maria Hinojosa, the National Public Radio figure who, in her tribute last week to Galeano's life, could not bring herself to acknowledge that he had disavowed his most famous book, a polemical tract titled The Open Veins of Latin America. Read more...

When Is a Multi-Million Dollar Race Horse Stable a "Small Business"?

By David North, May 7, 2015

The answer to the title question is "when the government says so," at least in a recent case involving 99 violations of the employer sanctions law.

If you look up the website of Kenny McPeek's Racing, a race horse training operation, you will find these evidences of prosperity and success: Read more...

Lesson from Garland: Leverage Local Police for Homeland Security

By Dan Cadman, May 7, 2015

Once again, we have proof in the most tangible and important possible way of the indispensable role that local police, as first responders, play in the safety and well-being of our communities.

When two would-be jihadists, one a native-born convert and the other an immigrant from Pakistan, attacked a group of cartoonists, a la Charlie Hebdo, meeting in the Dallas suburb of Garland — reportedly with assault rifles and wearing body armor — it was a school security officer they first confronted and slightly wounded, and then an outgunned police patrol officer, who nonetheless shot and killed both while they poured weapons fire in his direction. Read more...

New Fiscal Study of Immigration Tells Only Half the Story

By Steven A. Camarota, May 6, 2015

The fiscal impact of immigration can be felt at every level of government, straining the resources of federal, state, and local taxpayers alike. So it is frustrating that the mainstream media focus almost exclusively on the federal budgetary consequences of immigration.

For example, when the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored the Schumer-Rubio amnesty bill from 2013, it analyzed only federal effects (except for a narrow set of unfunded mandates related to immigration enforcement). That analysis did not focus on the amnesty portion of the legislation; it combined some positive assumptions about future legal immigrants and came up with a slightly positive fiscal impact at the federal level. None of this stopped Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) from proclaiming that the CBO's report "proves once and for all that immigration reform is not only right to do to stay true to our nation's principles, it will also boost our economy, reduce the deficit, and create jobs." How Sen. Schumer could draw that conclusion without any estimate of the state and local effects is not clear. Read more...

Ever Wonder about the Slant of NPR's Maria Hinojosa?
Here's a look at a major influence

By Jerry Kammer, May 6, 2015
Here's a look at a major influence

Maria Hinojosa is one of the most opinionated journalists on National Public Radio. The NPR biography of the "Latino USA" host reports that she "has helped define the conversation about our times and our society with one of the most authentic voices in broadcast."

An immigrant from Mexico, Hinojosa speaks with compassion for the undocumented and clearly believes they should be fully accepted into American society. That advocacy has been a source of controversy. As Hinojosa herself acknowledged in 2006, many listeners who had tuned in to a discussion of immigration protested that she was too biased to have been the moderator. Read more...

Countering Migrant Smuggling in the Med Will Be Measured by Deeds, Not Words

By Dan Cadman, May 6, 2015

Twice in past weeks I've addressed the migrant smuggling crisis unfolding in Mediterranean waters, with the attendant tragedies that always seem to accompany chaotic and uncontrolled mass illegal migration. (See here and here.)

European Union leaders have been struggling with how to contain the movement of tens of thousands of intended migrants showing up on the northern coast of Africa to attempt their water-borne smuggling passage through the Med. Recently, they've publicized a 10-point plan. Read more...

Stealth Work Force of as Many as 179,600 H-4 Workers Due To Be Authorized

By David North, May 6, 2015

My colleague John Miano reported late last month on the highly suspect legal status of the H-4 workers DHS will authorize to start work in the next few weeks — these are a subset of the dependents of H-1B workers, usually spouses of programmers or other IT workers.

Now, let me tell you about the impact that they will have on the American labor market: It will take away jobs from as many as 179,600 U.S. workers — that's the government estimate — and, indirectly, will swell the coffers of some of America's most prosperous companies. Most of these will be white collar jobs. Read more...

The National Urban League's Immigration Disconnect

By Dan Cadman, May 5, 2015

Like much of the country, I've been tracking events in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. A few days ago, April 30, prior to the arrest of several officers for that death, Alisyn Camerota, news anchor for CNN's "New Day" interviewed Marc Morial, former mayor New Orleans, son of another former mayor, and presently head of the National Urban League. Read more...

Free Trade, Not Free Admission of Workers

By Jessica Vaughan, May 5, 2015

Trade agreements, the trade negotiating process, and trade pact approval measures (i.e. "fast track" authority) all must be carefully monitored to ensure that the trade deals do not cause increases in admissions of foreign workers or erode congressional authority over visa rules. The current fast-track proposal (TPA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would have Congress surrender its authority over guestworker policies to the executive branch and its trade negotiators and ultimately to international trade tribunals. This means that we would be stuck with the dysfunctional guestworker programs that we now have and kept on a one-way street allowing only more access for foreign workers to U.S. jobs, with no means to reverse direction. Read more...

"Truthiness" about the Central American Minors Program

By Dan Cadman, May 4, 2015

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing late last month entitled "Eroding the Law and Diverting Taxpayer Resources: An Examination of the Administration's Central American Minors Refugee/Parole Program". Read more...

The Blind Will Be Leading the Blind at ICE

By Dan Cadman, May 4, 2015

Twice in recent weeks I've written about Sarah Saldana, the latest in a string of directors at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during the Obama administration, who took office last December.

Neither piece was particularly flattering, because she has quickly proven herself to be extremely tractable to the political whims of her bosses rather than true to her duties as head of a large enforcement organization with weighty responsibilities, and because even though she is a lawyer and former U.S. attorney, she hasn't taken the time to learn the laws governing immigration law enforcement and deportation. Read more...

"On the Media" Goes to Heaven, Slanting the Story of Europe's Immigration Anxiety

By Jerry Kammer, May 1, 2015

Cable television has understandably been fixated on the riots and unrest in Baltimore and much of the commenting has followed sadly predictable ideological lines. On Fox, Bill O'Reilly points to dysfunction in black communities. On MSNBC, Chris Hayes talks with former Maryland Rep. Kweisi Mfume about police brutality, the globalized economy, and social injustice while saying not a word about the tragic reality that 70 percent of black children nationwide are born out of wedlock.

The problem of ideological fixation made a prominent appearance on last week's "On the Media" program, which is carried on many public radio stations. A 10-minute segment on the horrific crisis of migrants being smuggled from Libya to Italy — many of them drowning as their overloaded boats capsize — became a lament about the rising discontent — in the press and the public — over the immigrant influx into Europe. Read more...

Corruption, Politics, and an Immigration Investor Program Gone Awry

By Dan Cadman, May 1, 2015

My colleague, David North, has written capably and often about the scandal-plagued EB-5 immigration program, which provides alien resident status to individuals who are often mis-described as "entrepreneurs", but who in fact need only dump a half million dollars into an investment managed by a government-approved regional center to obtain that highly desirable commodity, a U.S. green card. (See, for instance, here.) Read more...

Walker vs. Cruz on Immigration: The Debate We Need

By Mark Krikorian, April 30, 2015

There's been a lot of commentary about the politics of Scott Walker's observation that the well-being of American workers must be considered when making immigration policy. John Fonte's fine piece on National Review's home page today puts it in the context of a growing conservative populist movement. Read more...