Immigration Blog

The "American Connection" to Terrorism

By Dan Cadman, May 29, 2014

Even as the media are reporting that the wind-down of the war in Afghanistan may be paired with a wind-up of involvement in the Syrian civil war — by means, for instance, of a possible White House request to provide direct military aid in the form of weapons to insurgents fighting the al Assad regime — we hear that one of the insurgent groups, al Nusra, a radical Islamist organization with al Qaeda connections, is trumpeting a successful Read more...

What Do Field Marshal el-Sisi and Secretary Johnson Have in Common?

By David North, May 29, 2014

This may be a bit of a stretch, but Egypt's de facto ruler and Homeland Security's leader do have some things in common.

They are both, as of May 29, un-elected public officials in their 50s, both formerly high-ranking in their nation's military establishments, and relatively new to their current positions of power. That much is pretty clear.

Further, both are in the odd position of offering what appear to be benefits, and finding those benefits rejected (or at least not accepted) by those who might be expected to welcome them. Read more...

Hijinks on ICE: Freezing Out TRAC on FOIA Requests

By Dan Cadman, May 29, 2014

More than once in the past, I've blogged about Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). See, for example, here and here.

It is an entity with which I almost never agree philosophically, but for which I have a measure of respect because of its tenacity in digging for data hidden or denied by this most opaque of presidential administrations; one whose Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and subordinate immigration agencies have done all that they can to either completely withhold statistical information or to disclose it sparingly and only in such fashion as serves their purposes. Read more...

The H-1B Program Wins the Triple Crown for Discrimination

By David North, May 29, 2014

California Chrome may or may not win the Triple Crown next month, but that steady, reliable old immigration war horse, the all-too-powerful H-1B program, remains a trifecta winner in the field of discrimination.

You see, the program routinely discriminates against:

  • American workers;
  • Older workers, i.e., those aged over 35; and
  • Women.

A Roundup of Miscellaneous Migration Memos

By David North, May 29, 2014

Immigration management is a broad field, involving many moving parts. Here are a few thoughts on some recent developments.

SEVP Finally Gets a Field Staff. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a segment of ICE in DHS, oversees more than a million foreign students spread over thousands of educational institutions in the United States. You would think that to handle this assignment effectively SEVP would have had an extensive network of field offices in place for generations.

You would have been wrong. Read more...

Avoiding GOP Immigration Reform Self-Sabotage, Pt. 5: High-Tech Visas

By Stanley Renshon, May 28, 2014

It is doubtlessly naïve to expect, or get, some degree of basic substantive honesty in the immigration debate from those whose who are wholly taken up with their organization or group's self interest. Still, it would be refreshing if groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at least acknowledged that their circumstances really are not as dire as their rhetoric. Read more...

Radio Talkers Giving Illegal Aliens a Pass on Identity Theft

By Ronald W. Mortensen, May 28, 2014

Conservative talk radio hosts frequently talk about the scourge of identity theft as they do paid commercials designed to get their listeners to sign up for identity theft protection. However they don't tell their listeners that illegal immigration and identity theft go hand-in-hand, since illegal aliens routinely use the Social Security numbers of Americans in order to get jobs, credit, etc. Read more...

Least Convincing Immigration Sob Story Ever

By Mark Krikorian, May 28, 2014

Tuesday's New York Times featured "Advocates Seek to Make Courthouses Off Limits for Immigration Officials", a tale of the immigration agent's boot stamping on the immigrant's face forever. Except that the advocates in question apparently couldn't find a suitable protagonist, because the one they offered up to the Times reporter doesn't evoke a lot of sympathy. Here's how it starts: Read more...

U.S. Could Raise $1-2 Billion a Year from Illegals by Copying Oklahoma

By David North, May 28, 2014

The U.S. could likely collect between one and two billion dollars a year in revenues from illegal aliens if it just copies a tax practice Oklahoma adopted a couple of years ago.

Two quite different data sources suggest that this can be done: the World Bank and the Oklahoma tax authorities. Read more...

Avoiding GOP Immigration Reform Self-Sabotage, Pt. 4: The Chamber of Commerce

By Stanley Renshon, May 27, 2014

It's hard to think of a more important member of the Republican establishment than the Chamber of Commerce. The very name conjures up Republican cultural values and economic goals — business, the free enterprise system, industriousness, delay of gratification, risk taking, resilience — even profit and economic mobility. Read more...

The Busy Mas-Migration Beavers Gnaw Away at U Visa Restrictions

By David North, May 27, 2014

As we noted a few weeks ago, one in six new green cards goes to someone who is a victim of some kind.

These are not people being admitted because we think that they will help the U.S. (which some of them, in fact, will do); they are being admitted because we feel sorry for them. Read more...

A Shortage of STEM Workers?

By Steven A. Camarota, May 23, 2014

Alex Nowrasteh at the Cato Institute and Philip Wolgin at the Center for American Progress (CAP) each comment on, but don't really try to refute, a new report that I co-authored on the lack of a shortage of STEM workers. The American Immigration Lawyers Association's Paul McDaniel also comments on the report at the association's American Immigration Council website. Like Nowrasteh and Wolgin, McDaniel doesn't really try to refute the report. He cites Cato and CAP and also repeat a number of the points from our report. Read more...

Avoiding GOP Immigration Reform Self-Sabotage, Pt. 3: "Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform"

By Stanley Renshon, May 23, 2014

The Republican establishment, as it might be called, consists of its "professional class" — past and present political office holders, consultants, pundits, heads of various Republican constituency groups, and associated think tanks and personnel. Collectively, they might be considered the Republican Washington establishment (even if not all its members are physically in the capital). They are, generally, in favor of immigration reform, and have endorsed Republican support for the 2013 Senate Democratic bill, some vociferously. Read more...

President Obama Pushes for More Foreign Tourists at Cooperstown, but What Are the Risks?

By David Seminara, May 22, 2014

President Obama visited the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., Thursday to promote the United States as an attractive destination for foreign tourists. He signed a presidential memorandum calling for a reduction in wait times for international travelers arriving at the 15 largest U.S. airports and wants to expedite the visa application process for foreign tourists. (Those who are from countries on the visa waiver program can enter for up to 90 days with no visa.) Read more...

Our Visa System, or the Little Dutch Boy in Reverse

By David North, May 21, 2014

Remember the story of the heroic little Dutch boy who stuck his finger in a hole in the dike, thus saving his nation from a flood?

Sometimes I think our visa system is a reverse of that metaphor; there are a lot of grown-up, well-dressed, imposing adult males standing around the dike making sure that no one intrudes on the status quo by fixing the existing leaks.

An old friend, a U.S. Senate staffer who is not in the immigration business, called me the other day to say that he had heard that there was a leak in the visa-issuance system that, he said, could easily be fixed by regulation and did not need legislation. Read more...

Avoiding GOP Immigration Self-Sabotage, Pt. 2: Tea Party vs. Establishment

By Stanley Renshon, May 21, 2014

One of the most basic forms of self-sabotage is unnecessary warfare among parties that essentially agree with each other. However, another form of self-sabotage is denying that important differences exist among like-minded parties and not clarifying them so the differences can receive a fair hearing. Read more...

Creampuffs and Softballs
PBS News Hour's Judy Woodruff "Interviews" DHS Secretary

By Dan Cadman, May 20, 2014
PBS News Hour's Judy Woodruff "Interviews" DHS Secretary

Recently appointed Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was interviewed a few days ago on the PBS NewsHour.

It was such a creampuff session that I grinned with admiration at the prowess of Secretary Johnson's public affairs staff for having so thoroughly vetted the venue in advance that he could be assured of not having to face any tough questions that might embarrass him, or oblige him to acknowledge some of the harsh and unpleasant realities confronting his department where terrorism or immigration are concerned.

There were so many things inaccurately portrayed in the interview, one hardly knows which to point out. Read more...

Memories: When Illegal Aliens Could Vote in Arlington, Va.

By David North, May 20, 2014

Once upon a time illegal aliens could vote in some local elections in my town, Arlington, Va., across the Potomac from Washington, D.C.

Whether they actually did so is doubtful, but they could have done so, but only every other year.
They can't any more, and the story of why that is true is characteristic of the odd, and not necessarily rational, way public policy sometimes develops. It also reflects the decentralized way American elections are run and a peculiar local political situation of about 25 years ago. Read more...

Avoiding GOP Immigration Reform Self-Sabotage, Pt. 1: The Primaries Trap!

By Stanley Renshon, May 20, 2014

Rushing to pass a Republican immigration bill in the House before August makes no policy or political sense for a number of reasons. There is little time left to reach agreement among Republicans. The congressional elections are only four months away and Republicans will be a much better position to pass real immigration reform should they win majorities in both the House and the Senate. And even if they fail to win the Senate, delaying an immigration bill until after the new House convenes in January 2015 means that the 2013 Senate Democratic bill is essentially dead and is very unlikely to be revived in its present form. Read more...

A New Justification for Not Deporting Illegal Alien Criminals

By Mike Nicley, May 19, 2014

The Obama Administration and open-border advocates have crafted a number of dubious rationales for not deporting illegal aliens as required by law. The bogus notion that deportations are "tearing families apart" is not a new pretext, but it has gained traction with our President of late. It is rare to come across an original justification for not enforcing our immigration laws, but occasionally an imaginative media faction concocts a truly remarkable excuse for malfeasance. Read more...

Laughable Amnesty Polling, Politico Edition

By Mark Krikorian, May 19, 2014

They just keep coming. Politico has a story on its own poll crowing that "GOP voters back immigration reform." They asked "likely voters in competitive U.S. House and Senate races" questions on a variety of issues, including this one: "Do you support or oppose comprehensive immigration reform?" Seventy-one percent said they support it, including 64 percent of Republicans.

I'm sorry, but this is a joke. Read more...

Court Records Show Massive USCIS Neglect in Chinese Asylum Cases

By David North, May 19, 2014

If you were a bank manager and the same masked bandit held up your cashiers, in exactly the same way, in the same place, on hundreds of occasions, you (and the police) would probably do something about it.

The Anaheim (Calif.) USCIS asylum office was not quite as alert or careful, according to court documents that I recently saw.

They show that the office had been granting asylum to many hundreds of Chinese asylum applicants based on mass-produced and totally false applications over a period of more than 10 years. Read more...

A Republican Immigration Reform Bill: The Politics of Timing, Pt. 2

By Stanley Renshon, May 19, 2014

Republicans have three basic choices regarding an immigration reform bill; they can support the Democrat's Senate (and House) bill, do nothing, or forge their own.

The most obvious best choice for Republicans is to write their own bill. But when?

The choices are these: Read more...

When It Comes to English Instruction for Migrants, Erin Go Bragh

By David North, May 19, 2014

Yet another nation reminds us how badly our Department of Homeland Security handles schools that teach English to foreign students. (Such schools produce a high proportion of visa abusers.)

This time the nation is Ireland. Read more...

O Canada, O America

By Dan Cadman, May 19, 2014

We Americans sometimes seem to view Canada as a kind of Legoland version of our own country — one in which we see pretty much our own values, worldview, language, and culture, albeit not with the perfect clarity one might find in, say, a mirror or a well-executed still life painting.

But that, of course, isn't the reality. Although our countries and peoples are both neighbors and friends, and along the shared border intermarriage and extended families comprised of both Canadian and American citizens are common, Americans should make no mistake: Canadians are very much their own people. Read more...

A Republican Immigration Reform Bill: The Politics of Timing, Pt. 1

By Stanley Renshon, May 16, 2014

If Republicans gain control of the Senate, they will have a great many important agenda items to consider, and not much time to do something about them. The 114th Congress, elected in November 2014 will officially be in session from January 3, 2015, to January 3, 2017. Read more...

Obama Responds to Grim Jobs Situation by Bringing in More Workers

By John Miano, May 16, 2014

The nation’s job woes continue: 83 percent of graduating college seniors do not have a job yet. In technology fields, where corporate America prattles that there is a crisis worker shortage, 82 percent of graduates do not have a job. Read more...

Big Outsourcer Infosys Loses Battles, but Unfortunately in India

By David North, May 16, 2014

Infosys, the Indian outsourcing company, one of the worst exploiters in the H-1B program, has lost two big battles – but, I am sorry to say, not over immigration issues.

Two of its former leaders, including its billionaire co-founder, Nandan Nilekani, lost races for seats in the Indian parliament it was announced earlier today. They had allied themselves with the ruling Congress Party (of the Nehru/Gandhi family), which lost heavily to the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. Read more...

That's a Red Light, Pinellas!
More on the Misuse of Homeland Security Counterterrorism Grant Funds

By Dan Cadman, May 15, 2014
More on the Misuse of Homeland Security Counterterrorism Grant Funds

Earlier this year I published a blog post about the apparent misuse of Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-provided counterterrorism funds by the Pinellas County, Fla., Suncoast Transit Authority — PSTA — which used those funds to pay a consultant to produce a series of ads whose sole purpose seems to be to promote use of their transit system. Read more...

Passing Immigration Reform: Republican and Democratic Dilemmas, Pt. 2

By Stanley Renshon, May 15, 2014

If Republicans in the Senate or the House pass immigration bills, Democrats will be in a tough spot. They could, and many would be tempted, to turn away from a Republican bill because: Read more...