Immigration Blog

The Curious and Troubling Case of Mozzafar Khazaee

By Dan Cadman, January 14, 2014

The Center for Immigration Studies has published a number of articles concerning the lack of a system to weed out candidates for permanent residence who ultimately prove to be national security threats through acts of terror or spying on behalf of foreign powers. (See, for instance, "Brushbacks, Proxies, and Connecting the Dots: Our Immigration Policies Still Put Us at Risk in a Post-9/11 World", and "Upholding the Value of Our Citizenship: National Security Threats Should Be Denaturalized".)

Well, once again a naturalized citizen has been found with his hand in the defense secrets cookie jar. And once again his discovery appears to have been mere happenstance, rather than any rigor in the government's homeland and national security programs. Read more...

Unfortunate H-1B Coincidence in Switch of Obamacare Website Firms

By David North, January 13, 2014

I am not sure what it means, but there has been an ironic coincidence to be seen in the change of consulting firms handling the troubled Obamacare website.

The new firm is to be Accenture.The firm that is being fired is CGI, according to the Washington Post. Read more...

Immigration and the Press: Four Stories from the First Week of January

By Jerry Kammer, January 13, 2014

As a former reporter, I'm interested in how immigration is covered in the press. As this blog has shown, I think much coverage is marred by political correctness, timidity, superficiality, and outright bias in the face of complex and emotional issues. Many reporters have such a strong desire to show sensitivity toward immigrants that they ignore and deprecate those who believe immigration should be regulated and limited. Read more...

Should DHS License an Institution Like This to Teach Foreign Students?
An un-retouched item from Herguan University's website

By David North, January 13, 2014
An un-retouched item from Herguan University's website

Herguan University, in Sunnyvale, Calif., was raided by ICE as a suspected visa mill on August 2, 2012. Its president and owner, Mr. Wang, (depicted in the picture below) is out on bail during his trial in federal court for visa fraud as we reported in a previous blog. Read more...

Gaming the System: Illegal Aliens - 1, Unemployed Americans - 0

By Dan Cadman, January 12, 2014

Most readers are probably aware that one of the budget battles consuming the Senate is whether to pass an act extending now-lapsed unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. The majority of Republicans have indicated a willingness to consider any substantive bill only if it is considered in combination with other measures to offset costs. Read more...

ICE Is Too Nice to the Dregs of the Dregs of F-1 Issuing Schools

By David North, January 10, 2014

If an immigration compliance matter is such an obvious problem that even our lackadaisical Congress does something about it, then it must be pretty serious. But you would not know it from the way a DHS agency acted the other day.

There is such a problem, and it deals with unaccredited schools of English and their ability to cause the issuance of F-1 visas for international students. The Government Accountability Office has determined that such schools are particularly likely to be used as pathways for illegal aliens. Read more...

NIF's Shurtleff Caught Up in Criminal Investigation
May involve activities related to immigration enforcement

By Ronald W. Mortensen, January 9, 2014
May involve activities related to immigration enforcement

Two senior Republican Utah state senators, Lyle Hillyard and John Valentine, have raised concerns about the competency, disarray, big losses, and missteps of the Utah Attorney General's Office. However, during the 12 years that Republican Mark Shurtleff served as Attorney General, these same legislators, along with their Republican and Democrat counterparts, said nothing in spite of red flags popping up everywhere.

Interestingly, Utah legislators are not the only ones who were willing to overlook Shurtleff's questionable activities. The National Immigration Forum (NIF) worked closely with Shurtleff to promote amnesty for illegal aliens during the time that he was still serving as Utah's Attorney General. Once Shurtleff left office, the NIF appointed Shurtleff to its board of directors, where he continues to serve as of this writing. And the NIF continues to use Shurtleff as a high-profile "conservative" spokesperson for amnesty. Read more...

Why Conservatives Should Consider Agreeing to a Real Immigration Reform Bill, Pt. 3

By Stanley Renshon, January 9, 2014

Should House Republicans accede to the demands of immigration activists, the Democratic Party, the president, and those members of their own party who firmly believe that almost any deal is better than none, they will have done the country a great disservice.

At the same time, those who care deeply about this country, must be willing to take difficult steps to right the country's immigration impasse without allowing it to be set up for another deeply divisive immigration debate that mirrors the present one. Read more...

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...