Immigration Blog

Senate Hearing Shows Partisan Divide on the Illegal Influx into South Texas

By Jerry Kammer, June 12, 2014

In Wednesday's hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, senators questioned DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson on the dramatic increase in the flow of illegal immigrants from Central America across the Mexican border into Texas. Here are excerpts from that discussion, in which Johnson and the Democrats focused primarily on the influx of children. There was little effort to clarify that the illegal influx comprises more adults than children (and that many of the children are teenagers). There were sharp differences on what was causing the spike in illegal order crossings. Read more...

An Old Story: Feds Raid Visa Mill, Close It, and Then Let It Open Again

By David North, June 12, 2014

DHS has done it again. It has raided an apparent visa mill, caused multiple federal indictments of the owner and four key executives, shut down classes at the offending school — and then let it open again!

It is beginning to be a pattern. After much investigation and inter-agency cooperation, ICE investigators and other feds raided five operations of a career college in New York and New Jersey on May 29 and, according to the local CBS station, scooped up lots of evidence of "inflating attendance records of foreign students", and then allowed it to re-open for classes 10 days later. Read more...

DNC Chair Wasserman-Schultz Believes in Enforcing Federal Law, Except When She Doesn't

By Dan Cadman, June 11, 2014

Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who represents a district in South Florida and is also the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), got herself in an unexpected pickle recently when she voted against a measure in the House of Representatives to prohibit federal officials from interfering with state laws governing use of marijuana. Read more...

Support of Amnesty Leads to Republican Leader's Defeat

By Marguerite Telford, June 11, 2014

For the first time in history, a House majority Leader has lost in a primary election. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was defeated by Dave Brat in a single-issue campaign focused on immigration. An economics professor at a local college, Brat spoke persuasively about the impact of immigration on employment and wages. Read more...

Avoiding GOP Immigration Reform Self-Sabotage, Pt. 8: The Gateway Issue Redux

By Stanley Renshon, June 10, 2014

There may be some truth to Jeb Bush's view that immigration is a "gateway issue for Hispanics". He is quoted as saying, "If you can get past that, then you have to make a case on a broader set of issues." This point was seconded in a Sunday news show appearance by Matthew Dowd, chief strategist for the Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential campaign, "The problem for Republicans is that immigration reform is a gateway issue and basically says you have to do something about that in order for those voters to listen to you on all those other issues."

The question is: What is that "something" you "have to do"? Read more...

Deferred Action Renewals to Benefit Unemployed Dropouts

By Jon Feere, June 10, 2014

When President Obama's lawless Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy came into effect, its supporters argued that it was designed to benefit illegal aliens who were either in high school or already in college. While some illegal aliens applying for DACA are in school, the DACA guidelines never required applicants to actually graduate from their education program. Read more...

Is the Obama Administration Capable of Stopping the DREAM Deluge at the Border?

By Mark Krikorian, June 10, 2014

An editorial today at National Review Online notes that word has passed through the grapevine back to Central America that women and children who infiltrate across the border are let go, and that "The only way to stanch the flow is to change such expectations." But I wonder if this administration is capable of doing what it takes. I don't mean whether the tools exist, but rather whether the decision makers are ideologically or even psychologically up to the task. Read more...

Internal Memo Reveals High-Level Dissent on Border Surge Policies

By Jessica Vaughan, June 10, 2014

A draft memo from a top Border Patrol official expresses alarm that the administration's handling of the border surge in south Texas is inviting more illegal crossings and overwhelming the DHS agencies. The memo calls for the administration to stop releasing illegal crossers into the United States and instead impose harsher "consequences" on illegal crossers. Read more...

Spinning the Gordian Knot
Tens of thousands surge the border, twisting the administration into the middle of its own spin

By Dan Cadman, June 10, 2014
Tens of thousands surge the border, twisting the administration into the middle of its own spin

Major media outlets have begun to pay attention to the fact that tens of thousands of women and children have illegally crossed our southern border in recent weeks — many immediately turning themselves in to the closest Border Patrol agents, knowing that under this administration's policies, they will be held a short time and then released to other illegal family members already in the country. Read more...

Texans Deliver Another Blow to the Open-Borders Corporate Right

By Mark Krikorian, June 9, 2014

On the heels of last month's primary election defeats for establishment Republicans in Texas, the state party's biennial convention has toughened its platform's immigration plank. Read more...

Texas GOP Sends Clear Message on Illegal Immigration

By Marguerite Telford, June 9, 2014

After days of debate on immigration, the Texas Republicans rejected inserting a guest worker or provisional visa program into the party's 2014 official platform. The controversial 2012 "Texas Solution", which called for a national guestworker program, is history. Read more...

Guatemalan Ambassador: Violence Not the Cause of Children's Exodus

By Jerry Kammer, June 9, 2014

Disputing the notion that violence is a major reason for the recent surge in the exodus of Guatemalan children to the U.S. border, the Guatemalan ambassador to the United States cited three factors that draw them northward: a desire to be with their parents, a lack of opportunities at home, and the aggressive recruitment of smugglers who guarantee parents that they will receive their children. Read more...

A Mere Word Change in Texas

By Marguerite Telford, June 7, 2014

Immigration has been one of the most controversial issues debated at the Texas Republican Party National Convention this week. Today the over 10,000 delegates will finalize the party’s platform. Although it may be non-binding, it will be an important political statement, receiving much attention heading into the November elections. Read more...

Containing Scabies at the Border
A Mite Too Little, a Mite Too Late

By Dan Cadman, June 6, 2014
A Mite Too Little, a Mite Too Late

A reader forwarded me a link to an article relating to a serious outbreak of scabies among illegal aliens — and, as a consequence, the Border Patrol agents who apprehend them — in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Read more...

DOL Judge Makes the Right Ruling on Sleazy H-2B Carnival Operator

By David North, June 6, 2014

Carnival operators and circus managers are not noted among the best employers in the land, and an administrative law judge in the Department of Labor has just lowered the boom — finally — on one that has been badly misusing the H-2B program.

That is the program that allows U.S. employers to bring unskilled, non-farm workers to the United States temporarily from other nations. Think of landscape and forestry workers, cooks, and, in this case, carnies. Read more...

American Companies More Interested in Outsourcing than H-1Bs

By John Miano, June 5, 2014

The largest users of H-1B visas are Indian bodyshops that specialize in moving American jobs overseas.

At the same time, American technology companies claim there are not enough H-1B visas available.

I get asked the obvious question frequently: Why don’t American companies support changing the H-1B rules to have a more equitable distribution of visas? Read more...

Is Legal Status in the U.S. Worth $232.50 a Year?
USCIS is about to find out

By David North, June 5, 2014
USCIS is about to find out

Is it worth $232.50 a year and some paperwork for an illegal alien to maintain a legal immigration status in the United States? Or is the near total lack of enforcement of immigration law so pervasive that it is not worth the bother?

Well, USCIS is about to learn the answer to that question, but I doubt if they will share the findings with the rest of us. Read more...

Parsing the Words: S-1's Testimony at the House Judiciary Committee's DHS Oversight Hearing

By Dan Cadman, June 5, 2014

Let's get first to a bit of administrivia, for those who don't know: the secretary and deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are referred to, respectively, by employees as "S-1" and "S-2". I'm not sure how this cutesy bit of shorthand took root but it's been the case pretty much since DHS was formed. Read more...

Ex-Governor Rounds Wins in South Dakota Despite EB-5 Scandals

By David North, June 4, 2014

Despite the scandals about the state government's promotion of the controversial EB-5 (immigrant investor) program, former Governor Michael Rounds easily won the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in South Dakota yesterday.

The Republican nominee is widely expected to carry the day in November, for the seat now held by retiring Senator Tim Johnson (D). President Obama got less than 40 percent of the vote there in 2012, and the Democratic Senate nominee, Rick Weiland, is not regarded as a strong candidate. Read more...

Immigration Irony: Doctrine of Consular Non-Reviewability Is Under Judicial Review

By Dan Cadman, June 4, 2014

It should come as no surprise to anyone who tracks immigration matters that immigration enforcement is under assault from its opponents in open borders and immigrant advocacy groups. Note, here, that I mean "enforcement" in its broadest sense, to include denial of immigration benefits to aliens deemed ineligible.

The assault on enforcement is being waged across many fronts, not just in courts of law, but also in the court of public opinion. Advocacy groups are treating this as a war for the "hearts and minds" of Americans. Read more...

New, Non-Controversial IG at DHS Reminds All of EB-5 Problems

By David North, June 4, 2014

The new, fully Senate-confirmed inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security has reminded us that his office has a dim view of the administration's favored immigrant investor (EB-5) program.

Earlier IG reports on this program, mostly adverse, were blurred, at least in many minds, by the bureaucratic feud between the then-acting IG, Charles K. Edwards, and the then-USCIS Director (now Deputy DHS Secretary) Alejandro Mayorkas. Mayorkas was, and is, a strong supporter of the EB-5 program. Read more...

New British Immigration Law Embeds Common-Sense Principles

By Dan Cadman, June 3, 2014

This is another in my occasional series highlighting common sense in the immigration laws, rules, and policies of other nations, and contrasting them to what's going on in our own backyard.

The Home Office of the United Kingdom recently announced enactment of an immigration bill that shows a considerable amount of good sense, if it isn't eviscerated in practice, as often seems to happen to the best of laws after a few years of litigation, questionable court or administrative tribunal precedents, and sausage-making by one or more political parties when in power.

Here are the highlights, as put out by the British Home Office on May 14: Read more...

92% of Top Tech Companies Created in the U.S. Were Founded by Native-Born Americans

By John Miano, June 3, 2014

But didn't the press report that 36 percent of the top technology companies were founded by immigrants?

Yes it did. The figures came from a presentation by Mary Meeker. That presentation includes this slide making that very claim. Naturally, Ms. Meeker followed that slide with the obligatory call for more cheap foreign workers on H-1B visas. Read more...

Avoiding GOP Immigration Reform Self-Sabotage, Pt. 7: The Gateway Issue

By Stanley Renshon, June 3, 2014

Even those Republicans interested in real immigration reform who are not panicked by wild, non-contextualized Democratic analysis face a difficult question: What difference will it make to Republican attempts to woo Hispanics?

Answers range from not much to possibly some.

This is the so-called "gateway" question and it asks: Can the GOP successfully get Hispanics to listen to, and support, their policy pitches if they don't first pass immigration legislation? Read more...

The American Connection to Terrorism Revisited

By Dan Cadman, June 2, 2014

Another shoe has dropped in the story of the American suicide bomber I blogged about the other day — the young man going by the nom de guerre Abu Hurayra Al-Amriki, who blew himself up at the behest of the al Qaeda-affiliated al Nusra Front of Syria in order to strike a restaurant allegedly often populated by Syrian soldiers.

At the time I wrote the blog, although al Nusra had proclaimed his American citizenship, U.S. law enforcement officials were limiting their acknowledgement only to "an American connection", a phrase I found curious. Read more...

Avoiding GOP Immigration Reform Self-Sabotage, Pt. 6: Fellow Republicans

By Stanley Renshon, June 2, 2014

Of all the groups and ideas that are most dangerous to real immigration reform, there is none in a better position to do terrible damage than Republicans themselves. And among Republicans there are no groups or leaders more poised at the precipice of a historic mistake than those who are panicked by demographic projections or those who want some concrete marker to demonstrate their policy empathy with Hispanics by signing on to the massive changes in immigration numbers and procedures contained in the Democratic Party's legislation. Read more...

Cantor: These Are My Immigration Principles. If You Don’t Like Them, I Have Others

By Mark Krikorian, May 30, 2014

House majority leader Eric Cantor's attempt to have it both ways on amnesty is starting to give him a political headache. His little-known and underfunded primary challenger, economics professor Dave Brat, is starting to gain traction for the June 10 election by highlighting the contradictions between Cantor's pro-amnesty record in Washington and his campaign messaging.

Cantor recently sent out this mailer to voters in his district: Read more...

DHS Secretary Johnson Not Doing Everything in His Power to Prevent the Release of Criminal Aliens

By Jon Feere, May 30, 2014

At a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Thursday, members of Congress questioned Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on a number of issues. Many of the questions were focused on the Obama administration's controversial immigration policies.

One issue that came up involved a section of federal law (8 U.S.C. § 1253) that requires the State Department to stop issuing visas to citizens of countries that refuse to take back their citizens when the United States attempts to deport them. The law comes into effect when the DHS secretary consults with the State Department about difficulty deporting someone. Read more...

Visa Common Sense, from the UAE

By Dan Cadman, May 30, 2014

A few days ago, I commented on evidence of plain common sense being applied to some of Canada's new immigration policies for handling the influx of temporary foreign workers and contrasted it with the apparent lack of such sense in any number of legislative proposals and interest group outcries in our own country. Read more...

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...