Immigration Blog

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By jminter, September 11, 2012

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U.S. Further Softens Its Position on Birth Tourism — But a Remedy Lurks

By David North, September 11, 2012

Apparently, the nation's already soft policy on "birth tourism" has been softened further.

A few weeks ago I wrote about an almost accidental ICE move against a birth tourism promoter in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), a U.S. territory just north of Guam. The criminal was in the business of bringing pregnant Chinese mothers to the CNMI and was charged with harboring an illegal alien, rather than for promoting birth tourism. Read more...

The Cost of Responding to Faux Analysis, Part 2: Ignoring Inconvenient Truths That Detract from Your Hypothesis

By W.D. Reasoner, September 11, 2012

Author's Note: Following is the second of two blogs examining the report entitled "The Cost of Responding to Immigration Detainers in California — Preliminary Findings", issued on August 22, 2012, by the Justice Strategies organization. The first blog examined the hype and reaction surrounding release of the report to the media. This blog takes a look at the report itself and critically examines the analysis. Read more...

Mixed Reviews as ICE Breaks Up a Mass Marriage Fraud Ring in Florida

By David North, September 10, 2012

If enforcement targeting immigration marriage fraud is sometimes dramatic, as it often is, then perhaps there is a role for a drama critic.

With than in mind here's a mixed review of the latest big ICE marriage fraud bust, as seen in both an ICE press release and in underlying documents in the federal court system. Read more...

The Cost of Responding to Faux Analysis, Part 1: Uncritical Acceptance of Shoddy Research Reports Damages the Public Interest

By W.D. Reasoner, September 10, 2012

Author's Note: Following is the first of two blogs examining the report "The Cost of Responding to Immigration Detainers in California — Preliminary Findings", issued last month. This blog examines the hype and reaction surrounding release of the report to the media. The second will take a look at the report itself. Read more...

Straws in the Wind Suggest Immigrants Marry More than Natives

By David North, September 7, 2012

We have long known that immigrants have higher birth rates than natives of the United States, as my colleague Steve Camarota documented in a CIS Backgrounder a few years ago, but now there are some straws in the wind suggesting that they may also be more likely to marry than natives of the United States. Read more...

District Court Rules on In-State Tuition, Punts on Birthright Citizenship

By Jon Feere, September 7, 2012

With the help of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), five Florida residents born to illegal aliens sued the Florida Commissioner of Education as well as the chancellor of the state's university system over a statute that denied in-state tuition rates to dependents (as defined under federal tax code) who could not prove that their parents had established legal residency in Florida and maintained it for at least a year. Read more...

The Executioner's Men, a Review

By Jerry Kammer, September 7, 2012

When I was a reporter covering U.S. Mexico relations, I often looked to George Grayson for expert commentary. Here at CIS, where he is a member of the board, I have come to admire not just his expertise, but also his courage in reporting the stories he has told in The Executioner's Men, a new book he has written with investigative reporter Samuel Logan. This is a brief review. Read more...

It Depends on What the Meaning of 'Deportations' Is

By Mark Krikorian, September 6, 2012

Amid the geyser of lies this campaign season is one that gets little attention. Read more...

ID Innovate Conference: Secure ID Technologies You'll Want to Know About

By Janice Kephart, September 5, 2012

Last month, I delivered the keynote address at the first-ever ID Innovate conference in Cambridge, Mass. (See the Memorandum version of my presentation.) My mission was to highlight issues of identity that have a national security element and the role of technology in supporting security. While I was there to educate, however, I was the one who ended up being educated. Read more...

Open-Borders Democrats Use Republican Thinking on Family Migration

By David North, September 5, 2012

If the only people who could vote in November were members of the immigration bar and other open-borders enthusiasts, Obama would win in a walk.

Yet when you examine their posture on family immigration (and non-deportation of family members) you will find that the more-migration people are thinking in deeply Republican terms, though they probably do not realize it. Read more...

Leaving a Local Law Enforcement Partner in the Lurch: With Friends Like ICE, Who Needs Enemies?

By W.D. Reasoner, September 4, 2012

If you spend any time at all browsing the website of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or reading any of the shiny, parti-colored pamphlets that they seem to produce like confetti these days at taxpayer expense, you'll see multiple references to their endeavors with "state and local partners".

For instance, on the "ICE Detainers: Frequently Asked Questions" portion of the website, there is this Q-and-A exchange (emphasis added): Read more...

Computer Literacy, Not English Language, Pushed by Immigration System

By David North, September 4, 2012

It would be politically incorrect for Congress to demand any knowledge of the English language on the part of arriving migrants, but apparently it is perfectly OK for the immigration system to force computer literacy on would-be arrivals.

I am not a zealot on the language issue, but I find the current posture of our government on these subjects to be a peculiar one.

Unlike some other English-speaking nations, there does not appear to be a U.S. demand for English for any applying immigrant group; there are U.S. requirements for some knowledge of English by some, in fact most, candidates for citizenship, and for some nonimmigrants (e.g., some students), but never for legal immigrants.

On the other hand, the government is making it progressively harder for the non-computer literate to seek migration benefits. Read more...

So Much for "No Path to Citizenship" for DACA DREAMers

By Jessica Vaughan, August 31, 2012

When President Obama announced on June 15 that he would bypass Congress and offer legal status to the so-called DREAMers, he said: "Now, let's be clear — this is not amnesty, this is not immunity, this is not a path to citizenship." False on all three counts, as it turns out. Read more...

Ted Cruz More Hawkish than Me?

By Mark Krikorian, August 30, 2012

The presumptive next senator from Texas told Telemundo that he thinks a President Romney should revoke the “deferred action” amnesty for whoever manages to get it before Obama and his crowd are booted out. As I wrote a couple weeks ago, our track record with such "temporary" statuses strongly suggests this isn't going to happen. My suggestion would be that Romney pull the plug on the program, so there would be no new grants of amnesty, and then make lemonade out of the lemon: ask Congress to pass a mini-package deal of green cards for those who've already been legalized (presenting it as an effort to clean up one of the many messes left by the prior administration) in exchange for Lamar Smith's Legal Workforce Act and elimination of the Visa Lottery and the chain-migration family categories. It would be a deal well worth taking.

Read more...

Good News: Government Nibbles Away, a Bit, at Chain Migration

By David North, August 30, 2012

In two totally unrelated actions, the government has limited two different elements of chain migration. One is birth tourism and the other is an attempt to stretch a green card by marriage into two green cards. Read more...

D.C. Council Votes to Impede Immigration Enforcement: In Stunning Rebuff, Federal Government Snubs Itself

By W.D. Reasoner, August 29, 2012

Kind of a funny, ironic headline, no? A bit less funny when you begin to realize that it's basically true. Read more...

California Sheriffs Protest Anti-Secure Communities Bill

By Jon Feere, August 28, 2012

The California legislature has passed a bill designed to shield illegal aliens from law enforcement and it currently sits on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk. The "Trust Act" (AB 1081) would prohibit local law enforcement from complying with federal detention requests except when an illegal alien has been convicted of, or charged with, a "serious" or "violent" felony. The crimes that would be a prerequisite for sending aliens to ICE custody include murder, rape, assault with intent to commit a rape or robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, and a number of other crimes. Read more...

Racing to Expand Entrepreneurial Visas: Sometimes It's Better to Be the Turtle than the Hare

By W.D. Reasoner, August 27, 2012

There's an interesting article by James Surowiecki in the August 27 edition of The New Yorker magazine titled "The Track-Star Economy". Although I disagree with the premises of the article in fundamental ways, it's thought-provoking and well worth a read. Read more...

Need Help Cheating on That DACA Application? Check the Web

By David North, August 27, 2012

I suppose I should not have been surprised, but it still was a bit of a jolt when I discovered at least two Internet sites where people were asking how to cheat on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications, and getting advice on how to do so.

What, asks one (presumably illegal) alien, "should I put for annual income?"

Another writer, probably not an alien, asks a more sophisticated version of the same question: Read more...

Puzzling Press Coverage of Marriage Fraud Case

By David North, August 24, 2012

There is something puzzling about the press coverage of a marriage fraud case that recently ended in a Kansas courtroom. But, first let's look at the case itself.

Usually visa-creating marriage fraud involves:

  • An alien seeking a visa by paying a citizen for a phony marriage; and
  • About as much sex as a dispute between two accountants.

On August 23 a jury in Federal District Court in Wichita convicted a Jamaican woman of marriage fraud in a trial that turned both of those generalizations on their heads. Here's a quick summary of the immigration aspects: Read more...

Dissing American Kids: Genuine Problem or Employer Cop-Out?

By Jerry Kammer, August 24, 2012

An e-mail about last week's PBS NewsHour story that drew from our work on the State Department's Summer Work Travel (SWT) program posed a big question: "What do you think about the idea that was put forward that U.S. students don't work as hard as their foreign counterparts?" Read more...

Scholarships Just for Illegal Immigrants

By David Seminara, August 24, 2012

Here’s yet another, only-in-America news item: Hampshire College announced the creation of a scholarship fund this week specifically for illegal immigrants. The fund will reportedly provide $25,000 toward Hampshire’s $43,000 annual tuition. At least three states — Texas, California, and New Mexico — provide in-state tuition discounts for illegal immigrants, and UCLA and Cal-Berkeley also have scholarship funds for illegal immigrants.

I have no problem with illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents as children and have grown up here attending college in the United States, but the idea of creating scholarship funds solely for families that broke the law is absurd. People who have no legal right to live in the country should not be entitled to a special scholarship that others can’t even apply for. How would you even vet the applications? Read more...

Suing to Stop the Obama Amnesty

By Mark Krikorian, August 23, 2012

Ten immigration agents have just filed suit in federal court in Dallas to challenge the illegal DREAM Scheme amnesty that's now underway. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents include Chris Crane, president of their union. The first paragraph of the complaint sums up their claim: Read more...

Lithuanian SWT Workers Sweat Their Way Across the USA

By Jerry Kammer, August 23, 2012

The most interesting e-mail I've received since the PBS NewsHour story last Friday about the Summer Work Travel (SWT) program came from a friend who just moved from Baltimore to State College, Pa. It began with a wry comment about my failure to wear a tie for my on-camera interview and ended with a painfully candid description of the program's sweat-shop charms for American employers. Read more...

AAO Records Show that Amnesty Is Forever — or at Least 29 Years

By David North, August 23, 2012

A close look at the records of an obscure immigration-control agency suggest that the current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty created (seemingly out of whole cloth) by the White House will be neither relatively brief nor without appeals, as currently promised. Read more...

Immigration in the GOP Platform

By Mark Krikorian, August 23, 2012

I wrote the other day about an attempt by cheap-labor interests to get a guestworker program inserted into the immigration plank of the Republican platform. The bad news is that a guestworker provision did get added. I don’t have the whole text, but the relevant part says “a Republican administration and Congress . . . Read more...

Deferred Action Could Aid Future Enforcement

By John Miano, August 22, 2012

Keeping on top of the mess that is our guestworker programs keeps me so busy that I do not have enough time to devote to the rest of the immigration system.

The big news there is President Obama's "deferred action" program in which he is granting an amnesty to certain illegal aliens. Through this administrative amnesty, illegal aliens who register can avoid deportation and get a work permit. Read more...

ICE Agents Protest Disciplinary Action for Enforcing Laws

By Jessica Vaughan, August 22, 2012

The National ICE Council, which is the primary union for ICE enforcement agents and officers, is taking the extraordinary step of circulating a petition to draw attention to the threats of punishment some of its members have faced for trying to enforce immigration laws, even when those enforcement actions fall within the Obama administration's stated priorities. Read more...

A Wish List for the State Department's Management of the Summer Work Travel Program

By Jerry Kammer, August 21, 2012

As I walked near Farragut Square on Monday, I could have sworn that the warm breeze from the southwest was the accumulation of all the sighs of relief wafting from the State Department as administrators of the Summer Work Travel program discussed the story that aired on Friday night's PBS "NewsHour".

State — whose years of egregious mismanagement of the program have been chronicled by the GAO, its own inspector general, the Associated Press, the Economic Policy Institute, and by us at the Center for Immigration Studies — got off easy. Read more...