Immigration Blog

A Supreme Court Immigration Ruling that's Not Worth Waiting For

By David North, January 8, 2014

There was a recent oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court on an immigration policy case.

The title of the case is Mayorkas v. Cuellar de Osario; a decision will be handed down this spring or early summer. Read more...

2 Different EB-5 Cases in Which Asians Apparently Conned other Asians

By David North, January 7, 2014

We suggested in an earlier blog that the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program keeps attracting a number of interesting and controversial people, because of the lure of apparently easy money.

This is the DHS-run program in which an alien can secure a family-size collection of green cards for placing either half a million dollars, or one million, into a government-approved (but not guaranteed) private-sector investment. Read more...

Prosecutorial Discretion, or Abuse of Discretion?

By Dan Cadman, January 7, 2014

As it does from time to time, Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) has produced one if its statistical analyses with a prosaic name that belies its capacity to raise the eyebrows of anyone who takes the time to give it even just a bit more than cursory examination. Read more...

Why Conservatives Should Consider Agreeing to a Real Immigration Reform Bill, Pt. 2

By Stanley Renshon, January 6, 2014

"Who Are We?" was the title of an important, and in some quarters, controversial book by the late Harvard political scientist Samuel P. Huntington. Part of the answer to the title question is that this country was settled and built by those who came here from elsewhere. That iconic self-description of America as a "nation of immigrants" was and remains true ("true but only partially true," as Huntington writes). Read more...

Washington Post Carnival Story: Nicely Written, Terribly Reported

By Jerry Kammer, January 6, 2014

A front-page story in Friday's Washington Post presented a glowing report about the prominence of migrant workers from Mexico in the U.S. carnival industry. It marveled at the energy of the workers, who come to the U.S, on H-2B visas. It described how the money they sent home had "helped transform" the small town of Tlapacoyan in the coastal state of Veracruz. Reporter Joshua Partlow quoted one carnival manager as saying that without them "we'd be out of business."

The story is a good read. Partlow has a bright, fluid writing style. But like many reporters who admire the migrant work ethic and the diversity they bring to the workplace, he failed to engage the less appealing reality that there is often a downside to stories of migrant labor. The unpleasant reality of the carnival labor market is that it is also a story about the degradation of the American workplace and the manipulation of U.S. visa policy by politically active employers eager to jettison American workers. Read more...

Practicing Law without License to Be Here
California Supreme Court Okays Admission of Illegal Alien to Bar

By Dan Cadman, January 6, 2014
California Supreme Court Okays Admission of Illegal Alien to Bar

The California Supreme Court issued a decision last week authorizing one Sergio Garcia, an alien residing illegally in the United States, to receive his law license and become a member of the California State Bar.

The case is replete with ironies, and with no few of what might be termed illogical syllogisms. Read more...

Jorge Ramos and Joe Arpaio Discuss Immigration and the Law

By Jerry Kammer, January 5, 2014

Univision's Al Punto program on Sunday presented a discussion between two men who have done much to stir the passions of the immigration debate: anchorman Jorge Ramos, who uses immigration as a megaphone to spread his belief that the right to immigrate is a fundamental human right and that racism is the underlying cause for opposition to illegal immigration; and Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who regards public issues as a mirror to reflect his endlessly self-propagated image as "America's toughest sheriff." Read more...

Why Conservatives Should Consider Agreeing to a Real Immigration Reform Bill, Pt. 1

By Stanley Renshon, January 3, 2014

Conservatives are not the only ones who oppose the Senate's massive and complex immigration bill. However, they are the most vocal and generally the best-informed because this issue really matters to them. In the House, and to a slightly lesser degree in the Senate, it is conservative Republicans who oppose the Senate bill. Read more...

Defining Immigration Deviancy Down

By Mark Krikorian, January 2, 2014

The ruling that an unlawful immigrant can be admitted to the practice of law in California is the kind of thing that will light up talk-show switchboards, and rightly so. But beyond the Bizarro World nature of the decision is a broader issue. Read more...

Criminals Without Borders

By Dan Cadman, January 2, 2014

Twice in recent days, I've blogged about the lawless atmosphere that infects the border regions between the United States and Mexico, with specific reference to the smuggling of minors attempting to cross into our country illegally – and the policies the Obama administration has put into place which have actually encouraged minors and their parents in these smuggling ventures, often leading to their victimization or abandonment by smugglers. (See "The Reality of Childhood Arrivals: Seamy, not Dreamy", and "Uncle Sam, Coyote Extraordinaire".) Read more...

Predictions, Predictions

By Jon Feere, December 31, 2013

We can't let 2013 expire without noting the confident predictions that didn't pan out. Like a contractor on a kitchen renovation who for a whole year says the job will be done in just two more weeks, open-border advocates repeatedly promised in 2013 that amnesty was right around the corner. These promises encouraged new illegal immigration and helped persuade lobbyists to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the effort. Since the last failed amnesty attempt in 2007, lobbyists and business groups have spent $1.5 billion pushing the unpopular idea of doubling legal immigration and amnestying illegal aliens. Read more...

The Real Stumbling Blocks to Immigration Reform, Pt. 3

By Stanley Renshon, December 31, 2013

There is still a large, majority constituency in the American public for enforcing our immigration laws. And that, surprisingly, includes a large majority of Hispanics and Asians.

You read that last sentence correctly.

As a Pew Hispanic Center study notes, "When it comes to increasing enforcement of immigration laws at U.S. borders, the surveys find that two-thirds (68%) of Hispanics and 73% of Asian Americans say they approve of this proposal." (p. 18) Read more...

A Useful, if Neglected, Argument against Mass Immigration

By David North, December 31, 2013

A recent New York Times op-ed piece reminded me that there are three basic streams of arguments against massive and growing migration to the U.S.:

  1. It is hard on the U.S., its environment, and most of its residents. We restrictionists spend 99 percent of our time, understandably, on such themes.

On Euphemisms and Wishful Thinking
Good Morning America Crosses the Line

By Dan Cadman, December 30, 2013
Good Morning America Crosses the Line

Astute readers of the Center's daily immigration news roundup may have caught this nugget, as item 12 in the December 24 edition: "No Longer Illegal – Good Morning America Drops 'i-Word'"

The article goes on to say, "The ABC news show Good Morning America has dropped use of the term 'illegal' when describing immigrants in the country who have no documents to establish their legal residency. Earlier this week, anchors for the popular morning program opted instead for 'undocumented Americans.'" Read more...

The Real Stumbling Blocks to Immigration Reform, Pt. 2

By Stanley Renshon, December 30, 2013

The current impasse in immigration reform can be directly tied to the refusal of "comprehensive" immigration legislation advocates to learn from past efforts like IRCA in 1986. The major lesson of that legislation was that the fact of legalization coupled with the promise of enforcement is a recipe for failure. The estimated 11.7 million illegal migrants now living and working in the United States are that failure's highly visible and divisive metric.

The United States has now been put through more than two decades of avoidable social, cultural and political strife because of that mistake. It would be disheartening and politically negligent to repeat that same mistake, this time with eyes wide open. Read more...

Abuser of H-1B Program Here Is also Major Political Force in Turkey

By David North, December 29, 2013

A mid-level abuser of the H-1 B program in the U.S. is also a major political leader in Turkey, an odd combination.

In America, Fethullah Gulen is the head of a movement which creates tax-supported charter schools which have both an emphasis on teaching science and on using the H-1B program to displace U.S. teachers with Turkish ones. Thousands of Turkish teachers – many with no science credentials – have secured visas from these schools as we have reported in earlier blogs. Read more...

The Real Stumbling Blocks to Immigration Reform, Pt. 1

By Stanley Renshon, December 29, 2013

The convention wisdom of the Obama administration and its allies, which is echoed endlessly by the press, is that it is the House Republicans who are holding up a bipartisan deal on comprehensive immigration reform.

In his year-end press conference, the president said, "We can get immigration reform done. We've got a concept that has bipartisan support. Let's see if we can break through the politics on this." Read more...

EB-5 Report by IG Short on Detail, Long on Program Criticism

By David North, December 28, 2013

The long-awaited report of the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General turned out to lack any specific charges against the man who runs the program, Alejandro Mayorkas, now DHS Deputy Secretary, but carried many serious criticisms of the immigrant investor (EB-5) program itself. Read more...

The 11.7 Million-Person Question: What to Do about Illegal Aliens, Pt. 3

By Stanley Renshon, December 28, 2013

The moral underpinnings of enforcing our immigrations laws have been steadily eroding over the last decade. This has been a crucial element in bringing us to the nation's current immigration morass.

What we have now is a toxic mix of understandable public sympathy toward people who say they only want a better life and the ambivalence toward enforcement it helps to generate, crass political calculation on the part of large segments of both our major political parties, ethnic group self-interest geared to easing the way for more of their own group members – all allied against the basic and legitimate public interest of ordinary Americans and the country. Read more...

Obama Deportations Definitely Not Record-Breaking

By Jessica Vaughan, December 26, 2013

In its first four years the Obama administration deported 3.2 million aliens, averaging just over 800,000 per year. Pro-amnesty advocacy groups, administration officials, lawmakers, and lazy reporters all have claimed this is a record, but it is not. In fact, according to historical DHS statistics, this is the lowest total and annual average since the mid-1970s.

Bloomberg News reporter Bill Selway wrote this last week: Read more...

On Telemundo, Obama Takes Heat for Enforcing Immigration Law Too Much

By Jerry Kammer, December 26, 2013

President Obama takes considerable criticism from those who say he is not going enough to enforce immigration laws. (See, for instance, my colleague Jessica Vaughan's recent analysis.) But as Telemundo anchorman Jose Diaz Balart demonstrated on his Sunday news program Enfoque, the president is also under fire from those who say he is doing too much. Read more...

The 11.7 Million-Person Question: What to Do about Illegal Aliens? Pt. 2

By Stanley Renshon, December 23, 2013

The debate about what to do with those who have broken our immigration laws has been socially, politically, and culturally wrenching, and it has been going on for decades.

In 1997 Peter Salins wrote a well-regarded book, entitled Assimilation American Style. He worried about illegal migration's corrosive effect on American's support for large scale-legal immigration. And he noted (p.212), "almost all Americans favor stemming the tide of illegal immigration." However, he added, "Unfortunately, no one knows how to go about doing it." Read more...

Senate Confirms Mayorkas as Deputy Secretary of DHS

By David North, December 23, 2013

Friday morning the U.S. Senate, by a party-line vote (54 to 41), confirmed USCIS's Director Alejandro Mayorkas' promotion to the Deputy Secretaryship of the Department of Homeland Security.

This came after protests by Republicans that it was unprecedented to confirm someone to a position while an investigation into that individual was ongoing. Read more...

Like Flies to Honey, EB-5 Investor Visas Keep Attracting Interesting People

By David North, December 20, 2013

The EB-5 immigrant investor program keeps attracting interesting (and controversial) people.

Over and above alleged secret operatives from foreign powers, Chicago con men, an illegal alien engaged in congressional fund-raising on Staten Island, a suicidal South Dakota EB-5 middleman, and the Iranian who wanted to use hot money to fix the old Watergate Hotel (citations below) we now have a couple of West Coast people who run an EB-5 regional center charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with managing a Ponzi scheme. Read more...

Doubly Grubby Marriage Fraud, in Slow Motion, Eventually Noticed by DHS

By David North, December 20, 2013

Marriage fraud is always a grubby affair, and our government is often slow to recognize it, but yesterday a doubly grubby bit of sequential marriage fraud, played out in slow-motion, led to an immigration fraud conviction in federal district court in Maine.

The principals are Margaret Mwihaki Kimani, an illegal alien from Kenya and a persistent seeker of legal status, and DH, an unidentified U.S. citizen from Lewiston, Maine. Read more...

Uncle Sam, Coyote Extraordinaire

By Dan Cadman, December 19, 2013

A few days ago, I had occasion to write a blog about the seamy underside of "childhood arrivals"; specifically that such euphemisms, plus a skewed attitude toward immigration enforcement, tend to mask the reality that these children are trafficked across our borders, and are being put into the hands of smugglers whose motives are impure at best, and downright malevolent at times.

In that blog, I also reflected on the fact that our own government is acting as a motivating force in encouraging such smuggling, something I believe is both immoral and intolerable.

Now, I find that a federal judge (with first-hand experience of the government's complicity in perfecting the smuggling of children across the border, even when the attempts by the professional "coyotes" have gone awry) has had the perspicacity and courage to say very much the same thing. Read more...

Complicated Inner Workings in the Amnesty Program for Crime Victims

By David North, December 19, 2013

In an earlier blog I sketched the main elements of the U visa program for illegal aliens who have become crime victims in the United States and for their relatives. There are both nonimmigrant and green card stages of the program, there are time limits for applying, and there are some numerical ceilings.

This is one of the many specialized amnesty programs that are ongoing. This one brings us far more of the huddled masses than of the best and the brightest. Anyone can be a crime victim, but violent crime happens more often in the slums than on college campuses. In the late Nancy Mitford's terminology, those with U visas are a distinctly non-U population. Read more...

The 11.7 Million-Person Question: What to Do about Illegal Aliens? Pt. 1

By Stanley Renshon, December 19, 2013

In a September 2013 report, the Pew Hispanic Center estimated that as of March 2012 there were 11.7 million illegal migrants in the United States. That number represented a slight uptick from the 11.2 million figure they had used in a June 2013 report.

There are two important basic points to be taken from the juxtaposition of these two reports, using the same methods: Read more...

Crime, Generally, in the U.S. Is Down, But Visa-Creating Crime Soars

By David North, December 18, 2013

Crime in America, generally, declined between 2009 and 2012 by about 10 percent.

But the kind of crime that creates visas (usually for illegal aliens) quadrupled in the same time period. Many Americans are not aware that some crimes create green cards for their victims.

Here are the numbers: Read more...

Pelosi Declares the End of Immigration Law

By Mark Krikorian, December 18, 2013

Nancy Pelosi recently told Telemundo (Spanish broadcast here) that violations of immigration law should no longer have any consequences:

"Our view of the law is that it — if somebody is here without sufficient documentation, that is not reason for deportation."