Immigration Blog

Lamar Smith Acts to 'Keep Our Communities Safe'

By Jessica Vaughan, May 25, 2011

Every year, ICE releases about 4,000 criminal aliens back into U.S. communities because their home countries will not accept them for deportation, and because the Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot be detained indefinitely. This group includes murderers, rapists, cop killers, child predators, and gang members who are then free to continue their life of crime here, and they get a work permit in case their crime doesn't pay enough. Read more...

Morning News, 5/25/11

By Bryan Griffith, May 25, 2011

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1. Border Patrol doubles in size
2. Amnesty label is sticking point
3. PA bill requires E-Verify
4. SC House approves bill
5. CT Senate passes tuition bill

Dear Mr. President: How About a Border Strategy?

By Janice Kephart, May 24, 2011

On May 11, the White House issued "Statements of Support for President Obama's Commitment to Fix our Broken Immigration System", listing business leaders, elected officials, labor unions, and "immigration reform" advocates. The focus of the comments was on the economics of immigration, and the need to rebuild our businesses and universities with foreign workers and foreign students. Read more...

Morning News, 5/23/11

By Bryan Griffith, May 23, 2011

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1. Inquiry into Sec. Comm.
2. States' efforts lose steam
3. MI Gov. anti-enforcement
4. AL lawmakers to vote soon
5. Pakistani deported

Romney and Huntsman on Illegal Aliens

By Ronald W. Mortensen, May 23, 2011

Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman have many things in common. They both have Utah roots, are members of the Mormon Church, have been governors, come from a business background, and are potential Republican presidential candidates. But when it comes to illegal immigration they are miles apart.

Romney has vetoed and helped defeat bills that would have given special benefits to illegal aliens whereas Huntsman has signed legislation that provides and protects special benefits for illegal aliens. Read more...

New Wrinkle in H-1B Fraud: Stealing from the Taxpayers, Not the Workers

By David North, May 23, 2011

While the abuse of immigration systems is as old as national borders, there are creative new types of fraud (at least new to me) that pop up from time to time.

One of the typical frauds in foreign worker programs is that the worker is charged for fees that should be paid by the employer. Recently the school board in Prince George's County, Md., adjacent to Washington, D.C., was caught, as we recorded in a blog, doing exactly that to its overseas school teachers brought to this country under the H-1B program. Read more...

9/11's Triumvirate of Terrorist Travel: al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Iran

By Janice Kephart, May 20, 2011

The 9/11 Commission requested the federal government continue an investigation into the extent of involvement of Iran and its de facto terrorist wing, Hezbollah, in the support of Al Qaeda's attacks on 9/11. On p. 241 of the Final Report, the Commission stated:

After 9/11, Iran and Hezbollah wished to conceal any past evidence of cooperation with Sunni terrorists associated with al Qaeda. A senior Hezbollah official disclaimed any Hezbollah involvement in 9/11.

DoJ Zaps Discrimination vs. U.S. Citizens, but Very Rarely

By David North, May 20, 2011

The Good News is that an H-1B employer has been penalized by an obscure Justice Department entity for discriminating against U.S. citizens.

The Bad News is that this small agency, in the last 13 years, has publicized actions of this kind only five times, while issuing press releases on taking action against employers who discriminated against foreign-born workers 25 times. Read more...

Golden Parachutes for Illegal Chipotle Workers?

By David Seminara, May 20, 2011

If you entered a country illegally, secured work with fraudulent identity documents, and were subsequently terminated once your employer detected the fraud, what would you do? I would slink out very quietly, thanking my lucky stars that the boss didn't immediately turn me over to the police for prosecution or immigration authorities for deportation. But I'm clearly out of step with the modern day sensibilities of illegal immigrants in America, or at least those employed by Chipotle in Washington. Read more...

Amnesty for All Haitians in U.S., Save those Arriving in Last Four Months

By David North, May 19, 2011

Amnesty for all Haitians who arrived legally or illegally in the U.S. by January 12 of this year has been offered by the Department of Homeland Security.

Previously this form of amnesty, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), had been available to Haitians who were here on January 12, 2010, at the time of the earthquake in that country. Now the arrival date has been extended by one year. According to DHS about 48,000 had secured this status during the earlier amnesty, a number smaller than the government had expected. Read more...

Security Gaps Still Present in Visa Waiver Program

By Jessica Vaughan, May 19, 2011

A new GAO report discloses a fairly lackluster implementation of security enhancements to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) by the Department of Homeland Security. The report reinforces the reputation that DHS has for putting travel facilitation above security considerations. Proponents of VWP expansion often tout the security enhancements as a justification for extending visa waiver privileges to more countries, but these GAO findings provide no support for this perennial proposal. Read more...

Senate Holds Hearing on Immigration Courts, II

By David North, May 18, 2011

Congressional hearings on the immigration court system usually focus on resources and the length of the backlogs.

This morning's U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing dealt with these subjects but also with some other matters:

  • the utility to the system as a whole – not just to the aliens involved – of having the aliens represented by counsel; and
  • the specific problems with deporting aliens to China and India.

(See my colleague Jon Feere's report on the hearing here.) Read more...

Senate Holds Hearing on Immigration Courts, I

By Jon Feere, May 18, 2011

This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing titled, "Improving Efficiency and Ensuring Justice in the Immigration Court System." (See my colleague David North's report on the hearing here.) The focus of the hearing was the chronic backlogging in the immigration court system, and most of the discussion was about how the court system could be streamlined in order to meet growing demands. Read more...

Morning News, 5/17/11

By Bryan Griffith, May 17, 2011

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1. Sen. Schimer holds hearing
2. NM Gov. to push for license repeal
3. Memorial service for BP agents
4. Groups decry linking E-Verify
5. Group gives GPS to 'coyotes'

NYT Exposes Fraud in Yet Another Foreign Worker Program

By David North, May 17, 2011

It was nice – and out-of-character – of the New York Times to run an exposé of yet another foreign worker program (P-1B) on its front page this morning.

The headline was written to attract the eyes of music-lovers, not immigration policy specialists:

Orchestras on Tour: Names Strike False Note

Border Exchange

By Mark Krikorian, May 16, 2011

Angelo Codevilla, a Boston University professor of international relations, and I have been engaged in a back-and-forth on the need for (or futility of) border enforcement:

His article which got the whole thing started ran in the Claremont Review of Books entitled "Our Borders, Ourselves". Read more...

Post-Modern Journalistic Partisanship

By James R. Edwards Jr., May 16, 2011

A Washington Post Sunday editorial is titled "Twisting the truth on the Mexican border". But it's the Post that twists the truth, not the Republican foils jabbed at in President Obama's El Paso speech. Read more...

USCIS Moves (gasp!) to Upgrade Arriving Immigrant Populations

By David North, May 15, 2011

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agrees thoroughly, particularly in this administration, with the Emma Lazarus approach to immigration; you know, "Give me your poor, your huddled masses . . ."

So it may come as a surprise to both the public and the agency that it is about to make major operational changes, and that its proposed procedures would, indirectly, cause that phrase to read: "Give me your rich, your English-speaking, your computer-savvy individuals . . ." Read more...

Ethnic Politicking in El Paso

By James R. Edwards Jr., May 15, 2011

Many commentators and observers, including myself, have analyzed President Obama's El Paso immigration speech this week. In this blog, I want to look at it in political, rather than policy, terms. I mean legislative politics vis-a-vis electoral politics. Read more...

Only 30% of Americans Agree with Obama that Border Is Secure

By Jon Feere, May 15, 2011

According to a new Rasmussen Reports survey only 30 percent of likely voters think the U.S.-Mexico border is even "somewhat secure," while 64 percent disagree and say it is "not very secure." Twenty-nine percent of voters believe the border is "not at all secure." Only three percent said it is "very secure." Read more...

Morning News, 5/13/11

By Bryan Griffith, May 13, 2011

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1. State laws face challenges
2. Enforcement may raise ID-theft
3. GA Gov. to sign bill
4. CA Latinos hope for bills
5. BP agents killed in chase

No Taxpayer Dollars for Sanctuary Cities, States, or Federal Agencies

By Ronald W. Mortensen, May 13, 2011

Rep. Lou Barletta is drafting legislation that would withhold taxpayer funds from sanctuary cities. This is a good start but it would be even better to go after sanctuary states and sanctuary federal agencies as well. (See here for a list of sanctuary jurisdictions subsidized by Justice Department funds.) Read more...

DHS Raids Social Security System and Zaps U.S. Workers – Again

By David North, May 13, 2011

The Department of Homeland Security has – yet again – decided to raid the Social Security Trust Fund and shoulder aside American college graduates from good jobs, as it announced today a twist on the use of the F-1 student visa to aid big business.

That, of course, was not the way the DHS publicists shaped their press release, which was, headed, innocuously:

ICE announces expanded list of science, technology, engineering and math degree programs
Qualifies eligible graduates to extend their post-graduate training

Huffington Post Skips E-Verify

By Bryan Griffith, May 12, 2011

The Huffington Post published an article yesterday entitled, "Chipotle, Undocumented Workers, And The Trouble With 'Enforcement-Only' Immigration," by Dave Jamieson. It discusses how, through an Obama administration immigration audit, the majority of the Chipotle restaurant chain's illegal alien workers in the Washington, D.C. area have been fired but have not left the country, as they are searching for new jobs or have already found new jobs. Read more...

The Startup Visa Fraud

By John Miano, May 12, 2011

Over the years industry lobbyists have come up with a number of different marketing campaigns for cheap labor in technology fields. In the past we have seen the "best and brightest" campaign and the "We educate them – why send them home?" campaign. The pitch from these used car salesmen is that all these H-1B workers are really entrepreneurs ready to start companies and build up the economy. America just needs to set these H-1B workers loose to revive the economy. Read more...

Measuring Border Security

By Jerry Kammer, May 11, 2011

President Obama's confident assertions Tuesday about his administration's success in securing the Southwest border don't stand up even to casual examination.

An impressive reduction of a huge number of illegal border crossings can still leave an impressive number of illegal border crossings. Read more...

Honduran Woman Tries to Deport Her Own Mother

By David North, May 11, 2011

It's the perfect man-bites-dog story in the immigration field; a 30-ish Honduran woman seeks to deport her own mother, goes to the Honduran consulate in Atlanta to speed it up, and is faced with a demand for a bribe to do so.

The full story has elements of pathos, of irony, of illegal-alien klutziness, as well as some interesting implications for immigration policy, notably that we as a nation should systematically encourage the non-mandatory departure of illegals – something we don't do. Read more...

Credibility Gap

By Mark Krikorian, May 11, 2011

The president still doesn't get it.

If his amnesty speech yesterday in El Paso is any indication, he really believes that the call for "enforcement first" is merely a ploy to avoid amnesty. His crack about alligators suggests he thinks that he's done all the enforcement that can reasonably be expected of him and that further opposition to amnesty is simple demagoguery. Read more...

Obama's Amnesty Speech

By James R. Edwards Jr., May 10, 2011

The president's speech in El Paso this afternoon delivered a whopper in his call for mass amnesty (still referred to by advocates, including Obama, as "comprehensive immigration reform"). In fact, there were several whoppers, examples of stretching of the truth, and hackneyed phraseology. Read more...

The Outcomes of 'Comprehensive' Reform

By Jerry Kammer, May 10, 2011

In her appearance on C-SPAN this morning, Hispanic Federation president Lillian Rodriguez Lopez made it clear that her organization and its allies continue to press President Obama and the Congress for the massive pinata of comprehensive immigration reform. Read more...