Immigration Blog

Visa Interviews Finally Required for Jamaican H-2A Guestworkers

By David North, February 5, 2016

World War II ended more than 70 years ago, but one of its questionable emergency immigration arrangements for foreign farm workers lingered in place until yesterday.

In order to get the farm workers to America quickly — at a time when we had a genuine labor shortage — Franklin D. Roosevelt's State Department waived the existing procedures and allowed foreign farm workers from various Caribbean islands to come directly to the United States without the usual visa interview.

The workers — and politically more importantly, their employers in sugar cane, citrus, apples, and other crops — liked the lack of the interview, and the procedure (or non-procedure) stayed in place for decades after the end of WWII. Read more...

On Underground Railroads, Fugitive Slave Laws, and Deportation

By Dan Cadman, February 5, 2016

The deeply disturbing series of events leading to lead contamination of public water sources in Flint, Mich., has been a major source of news in recent weeks. Read more...

"Mexico Is a Safe Place"

By Kausha Luna, February 4, 2016

During her visit to Arizona on Wednesday, Mexico's Minister of Foreign Affairs assured that Mexico is a safe place.

Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu said, "All countries issue [travel] warnings...These alerts reflect situations in small geographical areas." At the beginning of this month the U.S. State Department issued travel warnings for some cities and tourist locations in Mexico. Massieu reiterated that Mexico was a safe place for investment and visitors. Massieu emphasized, "The fact that each year more U.S. citizens visit us shows that Mexico is a safe place." Read more...

Chinese Governments and EB-5 Projects — What the Witness Did Not Report

By David North, February 4, 2016

In my recent blogpost about Tuesday's Senate hearing on the EB-5 program, I reported that the DHS official in charge of the program, Nicholas Colucci, did not give a substantive response to a question from the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), about the involvement of Chinese governments in EB-5 projects in the United States.

More specifically Grassley asked (approximately), "Can you tell me that no Chinese government owns a regional center?" Read more...

MPI Cheerleads for the Obama Administration's Enforcement Record

By Stanley Renshon, February 4, 2016

In thinking and writing about immigration, it's always advisable to be familiar with your sources. It's important and useful to know for example, that the editorial page and news sections of the Wall Street Journal are different entities, and that news reporters working for the former are proud of their independence and separation from the later.

Moreover, it's not enough to know that the New York Times generally has a liberal slant in both its news and opinion sections. Some reporters there really are independent minded and can be read with more confidence than skepticism. You just have to learn who they are, wherever they write. Read more...

Obama, Immigration, and 'Electoral Caudillismo'

By Mark Krikorian, February 3, 2016

[This is a short piece by me that appears in today's issue of the Latin America Advisor, published by the Inter-American Dialogue.]

In June, the Supreme Court will drop an immigration bomb into the middle of the presidential campaign.

That's when it is expected to rule on the 26-state lawsuit challenging President Obama's edict granting work permits and Social Security numbers to as many as four million illegal aliens who have U.S.-citizen or legal-resident children. This legalization program proposed by Obama is ostensibly temporary, but is understood by everyone to be de facto permanent; revoking lawful work permits from four people is easy, but from four million is essentially impossible. Read more...

Fighting Human Trafficking Abroad, But Not at Home

By Dan Cadman, February 3, 2016

On February 1, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 400, the "Trafficking Prevention in Foreign Affairs Contracting Act", which will go next to the Senate for consideration.

It is modest in scope, requiring the Department of State (DOS) and Agency for International Development (AID) to report to the Congress within 180 days of enactment on their respective efforts to define contractor recruiting fees, and explain how they will enforce provisions that prohibit the levying of such fees. The fees refer to amounts paid by employees of DOS and AID contractors to obtain their jobs — often through shady middle-man recruiting agencies. Read more...

EB-5 Chief Gets a Gentle Grilling on EB-5 Problems

By David North, February 2, 2016

Nicholas Colucci, the DHS official in charge of the EB-5 program within USCIS, got a sustained, fact-based, but courteous, grilling for two hours earlier today as he sought to defend the administration's handling of the controversial immigrant investor program at a hearing before the full Senate Judiciary Committee.

With the chair of the committee, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and the senior Democratic member, Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), both calling for drastic reforms in the program, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) seeking to kill the program completely, Colucci spent much of his time at the witness table skillfully (I must admit) bobbing and weaving as he faced a barrage of tough questions about the fraud-ridden program. Read more...

The Demographic, Economic, and Fiscal Impact of Immigration

By Steven A. Camarota, February 2, 2016

Below is a PowerPoint presentation I used at an event in New York City last week organized by Impact New York. The presentation deals with the demographic, economic, and fiscal impact of immigration. As I get a lot of questions about these topics, I thought this PowerPoint might be a useful overview. Anyone who wishes to do so may download it and distribute it, with attribution. Read more...

It's Tax Refund Time for Illegal Aliens

By David North, February 2, 2016

Some people in the United States have already filed their 2015 income tax returns — not because they are super-law-abiding, but because they want to get a check from Uncle Sam in the mail. Some savvy illegal aliens, since they can get substantial tax breaks, will have filed by now.

The first day that IRS accepted returns was January 19 this year — the deadline is two and a half months away, the usual April 15.

This year there is yet another tax break for illegals in the tax system. Unlike citizen and green card workers who are not participating in Obamacare or another qualifying plan, who will be paying a penalty of up to $695 per adult (with a family limit of $2,085) for not joining the system, illegals without coverage pay no penalties. None at all. These penalties were much smaller last year. Read more...

Visa Overstays: A Lesson in Flexible Facts and Pliable Media

By Dan Cadman, February 2, 2016

On January 20, the New York Times carried this story: "Few Foreign Visitors to U.S. Overstay Visa, Federal Report Says". It states that "A little more than 1 percent of the nearly 45 million foreign visitors to the United States overstayed their work or tourist visas last year, according to a long-awaited report by the Department of Homeland Security."

Great news! Or is it? Let me "do the sums here", as they say. Wait a minute. That's about half a million people added to the illegal alien population in just a year's time. Read more...

Australia Ranks the Risks of Foreign Student Applicants by Nation of Origin

By David North, February 2, 2016

Australia manages its screening of international students in a more systematic way than the United States does, but then it should — since it takes in five to seven times as many overseas students per capita as the United States (a questionable decision).

First the numbers: The most recent data for overseas students in Australia shows a total of 453,000 of them; in contrast, the most recent annual census of foreign students in the United States, conducted by the Institute for International Education, reported a total of 974,000 students. Read more...

House Appropriations Boss Initiates Crackdown on Sanctuaries

By Jessica Vaughan, February 1, 2016

Today the chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee in charge of funding the Department of Justice, John Culberson (R-Texas), put the Obama administration on notice that it must take steps to rein in sanctuary jurisdictions or risk problems getting approval for its own budget requests. In addition, Culberson announced that he will begin requiring local jurisdictions to follow federal law and stop obstructing communication with immigration agencies as a condition for receiving certain federal law enforcement funding. Read more...

An Update on a Small Educational Entity

By David North, January 30, 2016

We published a posting about the American College of Commerce and Technology, Falls Church, Va., in August 2014 saying, among other things, that while the organization was licensed by the Department of Homeland Security to teach foreign students, it was not accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

This week we received the following from ACCT, which we reprint verbatim: Read more...

Raising Human Trafficking Awareness Everywhere Except at DHS and HHS, Where It's Sorely Needed

By Dan Cadman, January 29, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced its "Blue Campaign", an effort to make the general public and, more importantly, individuals in key positions aware of human trafficking — first responders, law enforcement, educators, even federal acquisition officers (for reasons they explain on their website).

This is a "close the barn door after the horses have left" exercise in embarrassment mitigation. The Washington Post recently ran a story detailing a sordid tale of peonage and human trafficking in unaccompanied alien minors about which my colleague, David North, recently blogged. Read more...

Rubio and his 'non-criminal' illegal aliens

By Jon Feere, January 28, 2016

On the January 17 edition of "Meet the Press", presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was quizzed about his immigration proposal. He explained: "If you're a criminal alien, no, you can't stay. If you're someone that hasn't been here for a very long time, you can't stay."

The way Rubio approaches immigration and amnesty is not all that different from President Obama, who has made it policy to largely focus on only the worst of the worst when it comes to deportation. Read more...

Does Anyone Read the Border Patrol's Press Releases?

By David North, January 28, 2016

The following is the complete and untouched text of a Border Patrol press release sent out at 10:01 pm, January 27.

You are subscribed to Media Releases for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

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"Something Old, Something New" on Exploiting Young Aliens

By David North, January 27, 2016

There is something all too familiar, and something rather new, in today's front-page Washington Post story about how some young illegal migrants from Central America are being mistreated and exploited on at least one industrial poultry farm in Ohio. Read more...

Disney and Racketeering to Deprive Americans of Their Jobs

By Dan Cadman, January 27, 2016

Well, it's finally happened — someone has decided to legally challenge the egregious actions of Disney when it fired American workers and replaced them with foreign H-1B workers whom they had to train before being shoved out the door.

You'll recall that Disney owns ABC, which on its nightly national news program regularly touts the values of keeping the economy vibrant and Americans fully employed by buying American, with its "Made in America" segments. Read more...

The Washington Post's Kathleen Parker's Gushing Ode to Governor Haley: A Moderate's Diatribe, Pt. 3

By Stanley Renshon, January 27, 2016

Of all the subjects covered in Governor Haley's response to the president's SOTU address, two items stands out loud and clear in the Washington Post's Kathleen Parker's opinion piece about it. Read more...

Egregious Border Inspection Failures at JFK Airport

By Dan Cadman, January 27, 2016

Over the weekend the New York Daily News reported that, "JFK allowed passengers arriving on international flight to exit without going through Customs".

Reading through the article, one finds that it wasn't just customs that was bypassed, meaning that any contraband articles got through; it was also the immigration checks, meaning not only that excludable aliens got through, but that even legitimate nonimmigrant travelers are now free to roam around the United States without any official limits to their stay — in fact, without any official record that they ever entered. One also discovers that this has happened not once, but twice now at Kennedy airport, both times by American Airlines. (Perhaps they should rename themselves "Citizens of the World Airlines"?) Read more...

Central America and Mexico Agree to Continue Transfer of Cubans to U.S.

By Kausha Luna, January 26, 2016

Last week, the Central American countries and Mexico agreed to continue the transfer of Cubans from Costa Rica to Mexico, from where they will continue to the United States. Approximately 8,000 Cuban migrants were stranded in Costa Rica in November 2015 after Nicaragua closed its southern border and refused to let the Cubans pass. Read more...

The Washington Post's Kathleen Parker's Gushing Ode to Governor Haley: A Moderate's Diatribe, Pt. 2

By Stanley Renshon, January 26, 2016

Kathleen Parker's admiring ode to Governor Nikki Haley's response to the president's SOTU address focuses on one small part of it, and then uses it to ride one of her favorite hobby-horses — GOP extremism. Read more...

Placating Iran, Abandoning National Security

By Dan Cadman, January 25, 2016

Some things have an inevitability about them. For instance, as surely as the night follows the day, if you give this president or his cabinet a legislative inch, they are sure to go a mile or more with it, congressional intent be damned. Not to mention that this Congress never learns its lessons, always giving the president that inch and then expressing dismay and outrage when he abuses it.

Such is the case with the Visa Waiver Program Improvement Act (VWPIA), which was folded into the omnibus budget bill passed last month and signed by the president into law. Other than the VWPIA, there was precious little in that bill to give solace to those of us who would like to see immigration laws enforced fully and fairly. Read more...

The Washington Post's Kathleen Parker's Gushing Ode to Governor Haley: A Moderate's Diatribe, Pt. 1

By Stanley Renshon, January 25, 2016

Kathleen Parker is a conservative opinion writer at the Washington Post, but a soft one. That is, she is willing to take a look at the impact of political correctness on military preparedness, or how a focus on self-esteem creates thin-skinned college students. Yet, she is also willing to smear Trump supporters, on the basis of a rinky-dink study of their supposed "authoritarianism". That is "obvious" because people who want their "children to be respectful, obedient, well-behaved and well-mannered have a propensity to support Trump." Why soon they'll be teaching their children Nazi salutes! Read more...

Concrete Evidence of the Continuing Plunge in Both Civil and Criminal Immigration Enforcement

By Dan Cadman, January 23, 2016

Two recent reports from Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) reflect the continued erosion of immigration enforcement under the Obama administration.

On January 20, TRAC reported that criminal prosecution for immigration offenses fell 22.3 percent from November 2014 to November 2015, and more than 36 percent over the course of five years, excluding magistrate court (which deals exclusively with petty offenses). Read more...

South Sudanese TPS Announced Four Days in Advance

By David North, January 22, 2016

If you are a South Sudanese anywhere in the world and you want TPS status in the United States you were given four days notice this morning to scramble to our borders to get what has become a life-long legal status in the United States.

If you are in Cairo or Berlin, for example, and do not have a U.S. visa, but have or can get a Canadian one, you could fly to Montreal later today and spend the weekend walking or skiing across the northern border, arriving before midnight Monday to qualify. If you are lucky and have a little money, you might be able to get to the United States from South Sudan in the allotted time. Read more...

The Washington Post's Cockamamie Constitutional Advice on the "Natural Born Citizen" Requirement for the Presidency

By Stanley Renshon, January 22, 2016

Cockamamie: adjective, Slang.
1. ridiculous, pointless, or nonsensical: full of wild schemes and cockamamie ideas.

As most Americans now realize, the Constitution contains a provision requiring our presidents to be natural-born citizens. And, as anyone who has been paying the least attention to the emerging presidential race knows, one GOP candidate, Ted Cruz, has had questions raised about his legal standing to assume that office because he was born in Canada even though his mother was American. Read more...

On Equitable Distribution of Migrants Arriving in Europe

By Dan Cadman, January 21, 2016

Several decades ago, a spat developed between the Border Patrol and the Investigations Division, both of which were part of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The spat was over whether one of those divisions should be stuck processing, on a routine basis, aliens who were apprehended by the other, thus being forced to expend innumerable productive hours for which they would accrue no statistical credit. I won't say which was the aggrieved party; it's irrelevant to the story. Read more...

What, If Anything, Has Marco Rubio Learned about Immigration Reform? (Part 2 of 2)

By Stanley Renshon, January 20, 2016

Immigration is a very complicated policy area and many aspiring presidents like Marco Rubio have an incentive to make it more so. The reason is that they are caught between the need to make primary voter appeals to their party's base and the need to not disqualify themselves in the eyes of the more general electorate. Read more...