Immigration Blog

Prometheus Unhinged

By W.D. Reasoner, January 3, 2012

The ancient Greeks gave us the story of Prometheus, one of the Titans, who was punished by Zeus for giving the gift of fire to mere mortals.

Residents of Los Angeles County received their own (unwelcome) gift of fire during a long and terrifying extended New Year's weekend when a disgruntled German immigrant named Harry Burkhart allegedly set ablaze a sizeable number of vehicles, many of them in garages attached to, or underneath, densely populated apartments and condos. By a miracle, no one was killed or seriously injured. Read more...

Looking to One's Own Backyard

By W.D. Reasoner, January 2, 2012

Quite recently, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama took to the Senate floor to chastise Sen. Dick Durban of Illinois, after the latter criticized the state of Alabama for having passed an immigration enforcement statute. Read more...

Three Developments in Nonimmigrant Worker Programs

By David North, December 30, 2011

Three developments, two grim, and one intriguing – and all relating to nonimmigrant worker programs – deserve a few lines of type as the year closes. The first relates to high-skilled workers, and the last two with low-skilled ones. Read more...

Old News About Latino Voters

By James R. Edwards Jr., December 30, 2011

A new Pew Hispanic Center poll relays some old news: Latino voters favor the Democratic presidential candidate by better than 2-to-1. Read more...

Criminals Start Small

By Mark Krikorian, December 29, 2011

I don't know how much national attention it got, but earlier this year there were a spate of attacks in Northern Virginia (where I live) where a man would slash a young woman's buttocks in a department store or mall and then run off. The injuries were superficial but the randomness (not to mention weirdness) of it caused a lot of concern, kind of like a farcical replay of the Beltway Sniper shootings in 2002. Read more...

Bipartisanship in Immigration

By Mark Krikorian, December 29, 2011

The new-ish editor of the Atlanta Journal Constitution has spent the past year telling anyone who would hear that "Our goal is broader discourse" so that in the opinion pages "no single voice dominates the conversation."

Today the paper ran two pieces on Newt Gingrich's amnesty proposal and … well, you can guess what I'm going to say, but I'll go ahead anyway. The two pieces not only fail to broaden the discourse but they say the same thing and are written by members of the same pro-amnesty lobbying group. Read more...

"You Can Fool Some of the People..."

By W.D. Reasoner, December 29, 2011

Every once in a while, some little newsy tidbit comes along that warms the cockles of even my cynical heart.

In this case, it's a realization that perhaps Honest Abe Lincoln (or P.T. Barnum, or whoever actually uttered the words) was right when he said that "you can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." Read more...

Mexico Protects Its Interests with a Friend of the Court Brief, and a Friend in Court

By Ronald W. Mortensen, December 29, 2011

Last week, Mexico and 13 other Latin American countries filed a friend of the court brief asserting that Utah's immigration enforcement act (HB497) "threatens the human rights" of their nationals.

According to a press release issued by the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "The Mexican Government will continue to make use of all available means and channels in order to firmly and immediately respond to any violation of the fundamental rights of Mexicans, regardless of their migratory status." Read more...

Let's Focus on Aliens and Jobs, Less So on Aliens and Voting

By David North, December 28, 2011

Any advocacy movement – such as the one calling for not-too-much-immigration – has limited resources and must set priorities if it is to achieve any of its goals. Read more...

Editors: Let's Take Immigration/Marriage Fraud Seriously

By David North, December 27, 2011

One of the continuing challenges to those of us who want some limits on immigration is the slippery language used by the other side.

You know all about "undocumented workers" for illegal aliens, and, more recently, in connection with the DREAM Act, "children of illegal immigrants" for illegal aliens arriving as young people.

Not quite as prominent as those just mentioned is the use of the term "marriage of convenience" for marriage fraud. This is the activity in which both participants know what they are doing, being aware that they are jointly lying to the government so that one of them can get an immigrant visa. Read more...

Harvard Affiliate, DoL Gang Up to Lower Wages for a High-Tech Worker

By David North, December 24, 2011

The general view from the right is that there is a Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy aimed at converting the U.S. to some kind of workers' socialist paradise.

And among the leading conspirators are said to be institutions linked with Harvard University and with the U.S. Department of Labor, the most left-leaning of the cabinet agencies (and an alma mater of mine).

So it may come as a bit of surprise that an entity linked to that university, and another that is an obscure part of that department, have just agreed, in public, to lower the wages of a high-tech alien worker, a computer programmer. Read more...

In Arizona, Our Tax Dollars at Work Stopping Immigration Enforcement

By Jessica Vaughan, December 21, 2011

In July, 2005, then-governor of Arizona Janet Napolitano was keen on bringing an innovative public safety tool to her state to help "alleviate the strain" on local law enforcement of dealing with illegal aliens. She wrote to then-Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, asking his agency to approve a 287(g) agreement for Arizona: "Officers often come into contact with large numbers of UDAs [Undocumented Aliens] during routine traffic or other law enforcement activities." In the letter, she approvingly noted that she would have the assistance of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in providing bed space for the criminal aliens she anticipated detaining for ICE. The Arizona Department of Corrections soon became the nation's fourth law enforcement agency to participate in the 287(g) program, followed into the program 17 months later by Maricopa County (which includes the city of Phoenix and is home to most of the state's population). Read more...

Other Nations Deal With Immigration/Marriage Complications – U.S. Does Not

By David North, December 21, 2011

Polygamy and the English-speaking abilities of the incoming alien spouse have created marriage-related immigration news in Canada and the U.K., while such matters are rarely discussed in the U.S.

Three news reports in recent days support the previous sentence, a subject touched upon in an earlier blog of mine. Read more...

When All Else Fails, Sell Paranoia

By Stephen Steinlight, December 20, 2011

When ordinary folk espy what they believe is impending disaster, it's not unusual for them to experience desperation, embrace unreason, and imagine conspiracy lurking everywhere. When those crying "conspiracy" are cool-headed mainstream pundits who are opposing a political trend that challenges their household gods, however, it's likely they're consciously fear-mongering. Crying wolf means there's much at stake, persuasion hasn't worked, and they're out of arguments. Read more...

Propaganda Against GOP Immigration Control

By James R. Edwards Jr., December 19, 2011

The tell-tale signs of a propaganda campaign are popping up, with pro-amnesty hacks browbeating and trying to intimidate Republican candidates. Saturday's Washington Post front-page story slammed Mitt Romney for his opposition to amnesty. He's a top-tier candidate and consistently taking a principled, control-oriented position on immigration. And Friday's National Journal Daily pursued the same general theme, but without singling out Romney from the GOP field. Read more...

More Gibberish from Newt

By Mark Krikorian, December 19, 2011

On Face the Nation yesterday, Gingrich made clear that he wants to amnesty all illegal aliens, not just church-going grandmothers who wash the feet of the poor and knit socks for our troops in Afghanistan to help them kill the enemies of America. Read more...

Bespoke Visas for the Irish, Aussies, and Disney

By David North, December 18, 2011

One of the avoidable problems with the U.S. immigration system is the presence of too many highly specialized visa programs.

Each is bespoke (tailored) to the very particular needs of some narrow, powerful interest. Each is created by Congress.

Each must have its own set of forms, regulations, policy memoranda, and, if any petitions are denied – its own appeals channel. All of this is expensive. Read more...

Worrying About the Wrong Citizens

By Jessica Vaughan, December 16, 2011

Opponents of Secure Communities have opened up a new front in their campaign to have the program ended. The new rallying cry against SC is that it is leading to the wrongful arrest of some unknown but deeply disturbing number of U.S. citizens. It all started with the release of a deeply flawed study from a group of anti-SC activists, which I've written about with my colleague W.D. Reasoner. Read more...

Congress Acting Dumb

By John Miano, December 16, 2011

The Washington Post documents Rep. Tim Griffin's (R-Ark) difficultly in deciding on a name for a new bill to give green cards to aliens simply because they get graduate degrees in the U.S. He apparently started with the NERDS Act (New Employees for Research & Development and STEM) but settled on BRAIN Act (Bringing and Retaining Accomplished Innovators for the Nation). Read more...

Iran, Hezbollah Also Responsible for 9/11, Rules Federal Judge

By Janice Kephart, December 16, 2011

Federal Judge George Daniels announced in open court in New York City yesterday, in a case filed by families of 9/11 victims, that he was going to be signing an order within 24 hours stating Iran, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda are responsible for the 9/11 attacks. More specifically, the judge found that Iran has provided material support to al Qaeda for the 9/11 attacks. Much of the material witness testimony in the case comes from three Iranian defectors whose affidavits remained under seal during the course of the case. Read more...

Utah Attorney General Unable to Effectively Defend Utah's Enforcement Law

By Ronald W. Mortensen, December 15, 2011

In early 2011, by an overwhelming vote of both houses, the Utah state legislature enacted an illegal immigration enforcement law (HB497) which has been described by its opponents as a "watered down version" of Arizona's SB1070. In spite of this, advocates for illegal aliens still filed suit to prevent it from taking effect.

Unfortunately for the legislature that passed the law, the governor who signed it, and the citizens who support it, HB497 is being defended by Utah's Attorney General, Mark Shurtleff, who is an unwavering advocate for illegal aliens, an unabashed supporter of amnesty, and a key ally of the government of Mexico. Read more...

Wholesome-Sounding Employer Caught Discriminating Against U.S. Citizens

By David North, December 15, 2011

What could sound more wholesome this time of the year?

How about a Christmas tree farm in rural Pennsylvania?

One that also grows corn and pumpkins and squash?

An outfit that is close to the small farming town of Weatherly (population 2,384 in 2010, a decline from the previous census, as so often is the case in rural America)?

Think again.

An obscure arm of the U.S. Justice Department, one that rarely takes such an action, has just settled a lawsuit against Sernak Farms (of Weatherly) for discriminating against eight U.S. citizen workers, in favor of nonimmigrant H2-A workers. Read more...

Law Prof Predicts Supreme Court Will Uphold S.B. 1070

By Jon Feere, December 15, 2011

Temple University law professor (and CIS Fellow) Jan Ting analyzes the Supreme Court's decision to hear Arizona v. United States and predicts that S.B. 1070 will be upheld as constitutional in a new op-ed:

Arizona law will be upheld

Wanted by USCIS: Business Experts to Infiltrate USCIS

By David North, December 14, 2011

In World War II they were called "dollar-a-year men."

They were business executives and they were dispatched to Washington by their firms to help the government organize the procurement side of the defense effort. They stayed on the corporate payrolls, while getting $1 a year from the government.

Many of them worked hard in the war mobilization, and many of them, it was reported at the time, steered federal contracts to their firms. Many probably did both.

USCIS seems to be using that old technique to help that agency become even more business-friendly. Read more...

Beam Me Up Scotty, Our Work Here Is Done

By W.D. Reasoner, December 14, 2011

Our Division of Smoke-and-Mirrors has just sent us a late-breaking article about a new U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposal to post an unmanned border crossing kiosk in the Big Bend National Park. The park is home to some of the most rugged terrain on our shared border with Mexico and is a notorious drug- and alien-smuggling venue. Read more...

Nibbling Around the Immigration Edges in U.S. vs. Big Ideas in U.K.

By David North, December 13, 2011

Here's an across-the-pond contrast in immigration policy-making.

Over here, the House has passed and the Senate is considering HR 3012, a bill which will not add any visas to those currently authorized, but will give some long-term applicants – those from India and China – quicker green cards, while slowing the issuance of those documents to people from other nations, Korea and Mexico, for instance. The mass migration people seem to think this tinkering would be a triumph for them.

In short, a minor change.

Court: No Green Card from Abuse by Bigamous Spouse

By David North, December 12, 2011

One of the more obscure ways an alien can get a green card is to marry someone who turns out to be an abusive spouse, who is either a permanent resident alien or a USC, and then contend that the spouse abused you.

That's OK generally, the Eleventh Circuit ruled recently in Alhuay v. U.S. Attorney General, but it does not work if you, the alien spouse, had married the abuser bigamously.

The illegal alien woman who tried that argument, and lost, was Maria Gladys Alhuay, who married four different men, one of them twice.

Chronologically, it goes like this:

George Kennan, 2 NYT Alums, and Immigration

By Jerry Kammer, December 12, 2011

On November 28, this blog took note of what I called an "Upper West Side of Manhattan" sensibility about immigration. People with this mindset exhibit views that are both expansive and generous about the value of immigrants, regardless of their numbers and human capital, and narrow and intolerant toward those who want to stop illegal immigration and limit legal immigration.

On Sunday, I had a peculiar encounter with the mindset as I took a long walk while listening to a podcast of Thursday's Diane Rehm show, which originates in Washington D.C.'s public radio station, WAMU. Read more...

Middle Eastern Threats Coming from South of the Border

By James R. Edwards Jr., December 11, 2011

Fresh attention to Islamist terrorism shows why America really should be diligent about controlling immigration.

A report on Univision TV network used investigative journalism techniques to gather the of Iran's pursuit of entrée to the United States via Latin America and plans to carry out attacks. Read more...

Interview with a Filmmaker on the Deportation of a Polish Illegal Immigrant

By David Seminara, December 9, 2011

[Editor's note: The segment with NPR's Michel Martin referenced below was part of a series this week entitled "In Limbo" on the program "Tell Me More". The first four installments were about particular immigrant stories, including one featuring the filmmaker interviewed here by Mr. Seminara, and are available here, here, here, and here. The final installment, broadcast today, was an interview with CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian, available here.] Read more...