Immigration Blog

That Whisking Sound – It's EB-5 Investigations Being Swept Under the Rug

By David North, December 18, 2013

That whisking sound you hear, that's the quiet little noise being made as at least three EB-5 (immigrant investor) investigations are being swept under three different rugs.

Whisk One. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced yesterday that Charles K. Edwards, long the deputy and acting inspector general of the department, had (apparently at his request) taken a different job in the technology section of that giant department. The AP story on the subject is here. Read more...

Deportation Lies Continue

By Jessica Vaughan, December 18, 2013

ICE has finally come up with a public explanation for why deportation numbers are so much lower in 2013, even with the same book-cooking it has done to claim "record levels" in the past, which I reported on earlier this year.

I was told several times by mainstream reporters looking into both the drop in numbers and the administration's statistical manipulations that ICE was still "fumbling around" trying to put together a response to my reporting. That response appeared yesterday in the form of Michael Bender's article at Bloomberg News. Read more...

Randy Grandfathers Abuse Our Immigration and Divorce Laws

By David North, December 17, 2013

An obscure federal government report has just revealed a hitherto largely neglected set of immigration/rule-of-law problems in one of the nation's larger refugee communities, that of the Hmong tribesmen from Laos, who were our allies in the Vietnam War.

The pattern is a grim one, and one not confined to the Hmong: old men get tired of their old wives, dump them, and, in these cases, fly to Laos (or to nearby China or Thailand) to get new, teenaged wives, often apparently in violation of one or more of our marriage, divorce, bigamy, child support, and/or immigration laws. Read more...

Bloomberg's Immigration Pearls

By Dan Cadman, December 16, 2013

A few days ago, outgoing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg — regular Joe, run of the mill billionaire-next-door, architect of the modern nannypolis, and all around good guy —went on Fusion's "America with Jorge Ramos" talk show to lament that the Gang of Eight omnibus immigration bill has not passed because of House Republicans' intransigence. Read more...

Distinguishing Deserving and Less Deserving Legalization Candidates, Part 3

By Stanley Renshon, December 16, 2013

The answer to the question of what to do while enforcement procedures are implemented and before formal awards of legalization for any group take place will differ for each of three major groups: Read more...

The Reality of Childhood Arrivals: Seamy, not Dreamy

By Dan Cadman, December 16, 2013

News media in the west Texas/New Mexico area carried a story on December 9 that gives us the harsh realities about child smuggling. A Border Patrol agent was dispatched to investigate after a sensor hit in the rugged desert terrain just on the U.S. side of the border in the area straddling New Mexico and Texas.

There, he found a small boy in the company of an adult male who claimed to be the child's uncle — and immediately bolted back across the border, abandoning the boy to his fate. Read more...

Negative ICE Memo on EB-5 Surfaces; Iranian Operatives in the Program?

By David North, December 13, 2013

The latest news on the embattled immigrant investor (EB-5) program reveals that an arm of the Department of Homeland Security worries that Iranian operatives may have infiltrated the program.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), renewing a detailed attack on the program begun by Sen. Thomas Coburn (R-Okla.) and reported here earlier, dropped a bombshell on the controversial sale-of-visas program by releasing a hitherto secret memorandum on EB-5 written by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) unit of DHS. For the text of both the senator's letter to the department and the leaked memo, see here. Read more...

A Muted Welcome, Please, for the Newest Nonimmigrant Visa (T-6)

By David North, December 13, 2013

What the world needs now is not another immigration-expanding, nonimmigrant visa class, but that's what we have in the brand-new T-6 visa.

It's another one of those government-created, chain-migration systems in which an illegal alien with a plausible story ultimately can provide legal status for his or her alien nieces and nephews; grandparents and grandchildren; not to mention children, spouses, parents, and the like — whether or not he or she has actually seen them face-to-face. Read more...

Politics through Distraction; Governance through Fiat
The Administration's Immigration Tactics Are Starting to Backfire

By Dan Cadman, December 13, 2013
The Administration's Immigration Tactics Are Starting to Backfire

A couple of weeks ago, President Obama decided to go to San Francisco — a stalwart sanctuary city if ever there was one and a metropolitan area generally in tune with his weltanschauung — to talk about immigration. Apparently tired of the constant drumbeat of negative publicity about the failed health care website and concern over a number of other major policy issues, such as spying on American citizens' telephone and Internet metadata, that have adversely reflected on the administration and caused Obama's favorable standings to plummet in the polls, he went to his base for support. Read more...

Distinguishing Deserving and Less Deserving Legalization Candidates, Part 2

By Stanley Renshon, December 13, 2013

The question of how to implement a small grand bargain that couples legalization for some groups of illegal aliens with the introduction of serious and effective enforcement mechanisms starts with the question of which comes first.

Putting enforcement measures into place first makes sense in order to avoid past mistakes. Yet it also has the effect of helping to increase the level of support for Americans who would like immigration reform, but do not have confidence that their government has the will or ability to keep the problem of illegal migration from becoming an issue again, soon. Read more...

Much EB-5 Action: Mayorkas Advances, Casino Deal Exposed, Lawyer Zapped

By David North, December 11, 2013

There was much activity today related to the EB-5 immigrant investor visa: EB-5 booster Alejandro Mayorkas's nomination moved forward in the Senate, an EB-5 deal in Las Vegas with political ramifications was exposed, and (to quote the Florida press) "one of the nation's biggest EB-5 lawyers" being barred from practicing immigration law. Read more...

Distinguishing Deserving and Less Deserving Legalization Candidates

By Stanley Renshon, December 11, 2013

Deciding to go ahead with a small grand bargain in which legalization for some illegal aliens is coupled with real and effective enforcement is one part of a large three-piece puzzle.

The second part of that puzzle requires answering the question: Which, if either, of the two should come first? The three options are legalization in practice if not in final, official status first; real and effective enforcement first, or both together. Read more...

Kinder, Gentler, and Foolish
Why States Have No Business Encouraging Illegal Immigration

By Dan Cadman, December 10, 2013
Why States Have No Business Encouraging Illegal Immigration

There is a somewhat bizarre article in the November-December issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, entitled "A Kinder, Gentler Immigration Policy: Forget Comprehensive Reform — Let the States Compete". While you will need to register to see the entire article, registration is free.

The piece was written by a couple of economics professors, one of whom is also a professor of law and a senior fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations — presumably why the article ended up in print, because in my view it doesn't otherwise meet the standard one usually finds in that journal. Read more...

Obama's New Military-related Amnesty Raises Questions

By Jon Feere, December 9, 2013

Late on a Friday afternoon, the Obama administration quietly announced its decision to exempt a new category of illegal aliens from immigration enforcement. Unlike President Obama's lawless Deferred Action program which grants legal status, work permits, and Social Security accounts to nearly any illegal alien up to age 31, the new policy is aimed specifically at the illegal alien children, spouses, and parents of people who are currently serving or who have previously served in the U.S. military. At first blush, such a policy seems at least somewhat reasonable considering the sacrifice our service members are making for the country.

But new information from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) indicates that the Obama administration's arguments for crafting the policy have little to do with the actual implementation of the policy. Read more...

Immigration Coverage: The Biased Leading the Clueless

By Mark Krikorian, December 9, 2013

Politico ran a piece the other day on White House fears that Obama will share the political blame if the current amnesty push fails — i.e., that his attempts to pin all the responsibility on the Republicans won't be successful. It was an interesting look at the tensions between the administration and its outside pro-amnesty supporters, and it's worth a look. But one sentence struck me as shedding light on a broader problem with media coverage of immigration:

The White House is very touchy about any criticism from its allies for Obama's deportation policies, which have sent away more people during his tenure than all other presidents combined.

More Wrinkles in the South Dakota Investor Visa Scandal

By David North, December 9, 2013

A couple of new elements have popped up in the ever-expanding EB-5 investor visa scandal in South Dakota.

In addition to the mysterious gunshot death of a local EB-5 middleman, the disappearance of tens of millions of dollars, the odd role in the scheme of a Russian railroad's subsidiary in Cyprus, thwarted investigations a la Watergate, and other variables reported in my recent blog, we have: Read more...

Immigration-Related Marriage Fraud Hits a New High and a New Low in the UK

By David North, December 9, 2013

Immigration-related marriage fraud, always a criminal, grubby activity, hit both a new, depraved low in Great Britain the other day, as well as a peak in chutzpah.

A 23-year-old male from Pakistan, in illegal status and wanting legal papers, conned a 19-year-old woman of very limited intelligence (an IQ of 49) into an Islamic marriage. Since she had legal status in the UK the marriage would convey the same status on the alien. Read more...

Boehner's Dilemma: Which Comes First, Legalization or Enforcement?

By Stanley Renshon, December 9, 2013

The chicken and egg conundrum of this proposed small grand bargain proposal, or any other, is: Which comes first, legalization or enforcement? In the sequence I've described the enforcement bills come first, followed by the legalization bills. Read more...

Russian Diplomats Charged with Benefit Fraud

By David Seminara, December 6, 2013

According to the New York Times, and a host of other publications, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, announced on Thursday that he had charged 49 Russian diplomats, including 11 currently in the country and 38 now serving elsewhere, in a $1.5 million Medicaid fraud case. The Times article notes that insurance fraud schemes have been "dominated by immigrants from the former Soviet Union for years", but the fact that this incident involves dozens of diplomats posted in New York and the apparent complicity of the Russian government is a huge scandal. Read more...

California Activists Demand Amnesty for Felons

By Jessica Vaughan, December 6, 2013

A group of amnesty activists in California really had to scrape the bottom of the barrel in their quest to draw public sympathy for illegal aliens who are being deported.

On Monday, November 26, three women, two of whom are illegal aliens and one who is a U.S. citizen, chained themselves by the neck to a fence surrounding the Adelanto Detention Facility in San Bernardino, Calif. Their aim was to provoke arrest and draw attention to their demands for the release of three men being detained at the center. They were part of a larger group of activists demanding a moratorium on all deportations. The three women were arrested, spent the night in a county jail, and now face charges for misdemeanor failure to disperse, trespassing, and a felony charge of vandalism. Read more...

Reporter Finally Gets It Right on H-1Bs

By John Miano, December 6, 2013

I nearly had a seizure reading Liz Peek's article on H-1B in the Fiscal Times. Ms. Peek had actually done some research and independent thinking; something nearly absent in today's media. Read more...

Elk Horn, Iowa's Danish-American Community: Assimilation Done Right?

By David Seminara, December 5, 2013

No matter how you feel about immigration, the comprehensive immigration reform debate can be exhausting and stressful. Supporters of legalization are outraged that there's been no legislative progress on the amnesty front and opponents are fearful that politicians will cave in to the demands of the business lobby. No one is happy. Because we're in the midst of the holiday season, I thought it might be a good time to recommend a documentary about an immigrant community that just about anyone can feel good about, no matter where they stand on the issues. Read more...

What Speaker Boehner Could Achieve: A Focused, Public Interest Immigration Grand Bargain, Part 2

By Stanley Renshon, December 5, 2013

What Speaker Boehner could accomplish, and leave as a positive and lasting legacy to this country, would be a set of immigration reform measures that begin with serious and effective enforcement controls, but also recognize that there are some illegal aliens living and working here who deserve our compassion and help.

Not all do. Read more...

What Speaker Boehner Could Achieve: A Focused, Public Interest Immigration Grand Bargain

By Stanley Renshon, December 4, 2013

As is always the case with "if it bleeds, it leads" journalism, a great deal of attention has been paid to orchestrated nationwide efforts, including those by the president, to keep the heat on Republicans in the House to pass immigration bills that could be reconciled with the Senate's massive legislation. Sit-ins, hunger strikes, blocking traffic, and other efforts to pressure House Republicans have not had their desired effect and House Republicans continue plug along on a series of possible immigration bills. Read more...

It's Beginning to Look Like Watergate in South Dakota EB-5 Case

By David North, December 4, 2013

It is starting to look like Watergate all over again, on a smaller scale, in the South Dakota EB-5 scandal.

The national EB-5 investor-visa program grants green cards to aliens (and their families) who have placed half a million dollars in certain USCIS-approved, but not guaranteed, investments; a lot of EB-5 money has disappeared in South Dakota.

Some of the well-connected lesser functionaries of the party in power in that state were bending if not breaking the law regarding these moneys, the investigative machinery of state government is somewhere between constipated and compromised, and the local press is having a field day. Read more...

Journos Still Don't Understand House Cannot Act on Senate Amnesty Bill

By Jon Feere, December 3, 2013

Journalists should really do their research before writing on the status of the Senate amnesty bill, particularly if they plan on pressuring House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) to pass an amnesty.

Those paying close attention know that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) never sent the Senate's gargantuan amnesty bill (S.744) over to the House of Representatives. Reid has refused to do so because he knows his bill is unconstitutional because the bill raises revenue; the Constitution requires all bills raising revenue to originate in the House, not the Senate. Mr. Reid is well aware that, if he were to send the bill to the House, it would be "blue-slipped" — stopped by a legislative procedure that allows House members to shut down a bill that runs afoul of the Constitution's Origination Clause. Read more...

Comprehensive Immigration Reform: The Part Justifies the Whole

By Mark Krikorian, December 2, 2013

One of the problems with any kind of omnibus bill is that supporters will argue the whole bill must be passed based on the claimed merits of specific pieces. This was the whole purpose of the DREAM Act: Advocates pointed to the most sympathetic group of illegal aliens — those who came here as children and did well in school — as an unrebuttable argument for amnestying all 12 million illegals. Read more...

Sometimes It Pays to Say Something: Speaking One's Immigration Mind

By John Rhodes, December 2, 2013

One day last fall, a thoughtful seventh grader came home from school (in Northern Virginia) with questions about a civics presentation given to the entire seventh grade class. Keep in mind that civics is the study of the theoretical and practical aspects of citizenship, and includes the study of civil law and civil code. Civics thus considers, among other things, the process of lawful entry into the country. The seventh-grade civics teacher had invited a long-standing custodial staff member from the school (for the fifth year in a row) to share the story of her journey from Southeast Asia to the United States, and her subsequent naturalization and integration into American society; a touching, educational exercise it was – or so it seemed. Read more...

Church Arsonist in Vermont Is an Illegal Alien

By David North, December 2, 2013

An earlier blog of mine asked the question: Did an illegal alien try to burn down a church in Sen. Leahy's Vermont?

The damage to the church's steeple was not in question, nor was the identity of the arsonist (Aliaksandr Bychkou); the only question left by media coverage was his legal status. Read more...

Amnesty "Because God Says So"

By John Rhodes, December 2, 2013

The art of spiritual discernment is a difficult but rich endeavour. In the arena of Christian faith, it can be described as an attempt to read between the lines of life, in order to get a sense of God's mind, to get a sense of what God may be prompting, to get a sense of the movement of the Holy Spirit. Read more...