Immigration Blog

USCIS Hails More Permissive Handling of EB-5 Alien Investor Program

By David North, July 12, 2011

Apparently nothing frustrates USCIS more than an underutilized visa program, such as the one that allows a well-to-do-investor's family to get a collection of green cards by – briefly – investing half a million dollars in the U.S. So, the agency has announced its efforts to expand that program. Read more...

Morning News, 7/12/11

By Bryan Griffith, July 12, 2011

1. ATF to require gun buyer info
2. Mexican repatriation flights
3. Asylum fraud industry thrives
4. Immigrants leaving AL
5. Advocate urges All-Stars

More Secure Communities Kabuki

By Jessica Vaughan, July 11, 2011

Boston Mayor Tom Menino is the latest addition to the growing chorus of the nation’s liberal politicians who are making a show of wringing their hands over the Secure Communities program, which uses the existing federal fingerprint-sharing system to help ICE find foreign nationals who have been arrested and should be removed. Read more...

The Tale of Two Immigration-Related Freedom of Information Act Requests

By David North, July 11, 2011

Last year the Center for Immigration Studies filed formal requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) with two different federal agencies, and we got answers of vastly differing quality. Both requests related to operations of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Read more...

Morning News, 7/11/11

By Bryan Griffith, July 11, 2011

1. Birthright to children of diplomats
2. Hezbollah and Iran may have presence
3. Schools complain about AL law
4. Boston Mayor threatens to quit program
5. AL churches against law

Immigration News: Some Good, Some Bad, Some Really New

By David North, July 8, 2011

There has been an abundance of immigration news lately, some good, some bad, and some reflecting genuine new thinking. All related to issues covered in our previous blogs.

Good News. Perhaps the best news was the abject surrender of one of the largest H-1B users in the nation's school systems, that of Prince George's County Md., a Washington, D.C., suburb. Read more...

State Dept. Policy: No Mexican Left Behind

By Jessica Vaughan, July 7, 2011

The recent New York Times article celebrating the supposed end of illegal Mexican migration to the United States offers little to inform a discussion of the illegal immigration problem, but does usefully illustrate the extent to which legal and illegal immigration feed off of one another. Read more...

Napolitano Is Releasing a Border Strategy Tomorrow; Does Anyone Care?

By Janice Kephart, July 6, 2011

Local TV in Arizona has reported that on Thursday, July 7, 2011, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, with Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin and Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, will be announcing the 2011 Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy in Nogales, Ariz. Read more...

As U.S. Gets More Like Mexico, More Mexicans Stay in Mexico

By David North, July 6, 2011

The New York Times' lead story this morning made an interesting case for what it sees as a decline in illegal migration from Mexico to the U.S.

But it played down a central element of the picture: the fact that the U.S., with its widespread poverty and huge wages gaps between the rich and the poor, is rapidly getting to be more like Mexico than in the past, so the Mexican poor no longer have as many reasons to want to come here. Being sensible, they stay home. Read more...

On Turning E-Verify 'Sprinkles' into 'Icing'

By Janice Kephart, July 5, 2011

President Obama has half-heartedly stated that "E-Verify can be an important enforcement tool". This simple commentary, although riddled with predictable qualifications, is a huge step forward for a president silent on the subject until after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to uphold Arizona's E-Verify compliance law. Read more...

H-1B Cluelessness in the Shadow of Lady Liberty

By David North, July 5, 2011

School systems all over the country – well, some school systems – are deciding that it was not a good idea to hire nonimmigrant teachers from overseas in the H-1B program, and are not only not seeking new ones, but are beginning to think about laying off the old ones, as we noted in a recent blog. Read more...

Today, as in 1950: Keeping Wages at Rock Bottom

By Jerry Kammer, July 5, 2011

As I was doing research over the weekend, I read a New York Times story with a dateline of Los Angeles, August 12, 1950. Here is the lead:

Much of the economic distress among seasonal farm workers results from a concerted, long-term effort by big "corporation farms," particularly in California, to keep wages at rock bottom by the use of foreign labor, the President's Commission on Migratory Labor was told today.

Addicted to Illegal Labor

By Ronald W. Mortensen, July 5, 2011

"Business lobby helps scuttle immigration curbs in Texas" reads the headline of a Reuters news report.

This is not an isolated incident of businesses that rely on illegal immigrant labor intervening to protect their source of cheap, illegal alien labor. Business interests in Arizona scuttled anti-illegal immigration legislation during this year's legislative session and the Salt Lake Chamber ensured that Utah passed a state "guestworker" program that turns Utah into a sanctuary state and makes illegal aliens virtual indentured servants. Read more...

H-1B Applicants: Purer than Ivory Soap?

By David North, July 4, 2011

Ivory Soap is famously "99.44% pure", but as far as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is concerned, its H-1B applicants seem to be even more pristine – they are 99.52 percent pure, or at least approvable.

USCIS is widely known as the agency that loves to say "Yes!" to aliens seeking benefits, but the extent of that enthusiasm was not clear until the Center for Immigration Studies obtained – after waiting more than a year – some statistics through the agency's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process. Read more...

Immigration Common Sense North of the Border

By James R. Edwards Jr., July 4, 2011

Even with its point system, which reduces unskilled, uneducated immigration, Canada has still seen immigrants imposing a sizable fiscal burden on citizens. A recent report by the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute found that Canada's immigrant population collected more than $6,000 per person more than each immigrant paid in taxes in the 2005-06 fiscal year. Read more...

Immigration Footnotes to Non-Immigration Stories, Like that of Strauss-Kahn

By David North, July 2, 2011

The question is: will the Department of Homeland Security admit its mistakes in the asylum case of the woman who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of rape, as the New York District Attorney's Office admitted its mistakes – a painful and honorable decision? Read more...

Roundup of Developments in Nonimmigrant Worker Programs

By David North, July 1, 2011

There have been a series of interesting developments in the usually ignored nonimmigrant worker programs which continue to flood America’s already over-staffed labor markets:

  • Our embassy in India is giving some major H-1B operators fits;
  • An Asian financial organization has downgraded the economic prospects of some big users of the H-1B visa program;
  • An H-1B school teacher in California, denied renewal of her visa, has taken her employers to court;
  • The J-1 program has received some (well-deserved) negative press.

E-Verify Bills: Legislative Perspective

By James R. Edwards Jr., July 1, 2011

A lot of questions, concerns, and even arguments have broken out over House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith’s H.R. 2164, the Legal Workforce Act. Here and here are two looks at the issue with legislative politics in mind. Read more...

Tucson Weekly Wants Answers on Arizona Wildfires

By Jerry Kammer, July 1, 2011

As we have noted here before, at least two Arizona reporters have reported on public skepticism about the refusal of federal officials to speak directly about concerns that smugglers or other illegal border crossers have caused some of the recent, devastating fires in the Arizona borderlands.

Now one of those reporters, Leo Banks of the Tucson Weekly, has come out with the most comprehensive report yet. Read more...

Morning News, 6/30/11

By Bryan Griffith, June 30, 2011

1. Obama says E-Very effective
2. No deportation for immigrant
3. Los Angeles Sheriff sued
4. Students press Obama on DREAM
5. Business helps sink TX bill

The Road To IRCA, June 1986

By Jerry Kammer, June 29, 2011

Editor's note: This is the first installment of a 25-year anniversary series on the lead up to passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which was signed into law in late 1986.

In November of 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), which offered amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants and established sanctions for employers who hired those not authorized to work in the country. Read more...

The Progress of Refugees: How are we doing?

By Don Barnett, June 29, 2011

By all accounts refugees are mostly “self-sufficient” within 8 months.

In fact, Tennessee’s State Refugee Coordinator recently testified before a state legislative committee that 95% of refugees in Tennessee are “self-sufficient” within 8 months. That is a stunning achievement considering that one way to interpret America’s current debt crisis is to say that the average American is not self-sufficient. Read more...

That’s Alright, That’s OK, We’ll E-Verify Anyway

By Jessica Vaughan, June 28, 2011

One of the first acts of newly-elected Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee (who squeaked into office in a three-man race) was to rescind his predecessor Don Carcieri’s popular and court-approved executive order requiring all state agencies, contractors and grantees to use E-Verify. Read more...

Secretive USCIS Agency Rejects H-1B Petitioner over Secrecy Issue

By David North, June 28, 2011

There is an appeals agency within USCIS that takes the privacy of its operations to what many regard as ridiculous lengths.

Although the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) is a semi-judicial agency, it, unlike similar organizations spread throughout the government, issues decisions in which the decider’s name is not mentioned, nor is that of the alien, nor that of the alien’s employer nor sponsor. Nor are the attorneys in the case named, as I mentioned in an earlier blog. Read more...

ICE’s Mission Melt 5: Another No Confidence Vote for Morton

By Janice Kephart, June 28, 2011

On June 23, 2011, a press release was issued by the union representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees stating that ICE “Union leaders around the nation issued a unanimous no confidence vote in ICE Director John Morton on behalf of ICE officers, agents and employees nationwide citing gross mismanagement within the Agency as well as efforts within ICE to create backdoor amnesty through agency policy. Read more...

Morning News, 6/28/11

By Bryan Griffith, June 28, 2011

1. White House revives DREAM Act
2. DOJ accuses Smithfield of bias
3. Origin of AZ Monument Fire
4. Authorities unsure about funding
5. SC enforcement bill signed

Soccer as Immigration Litmus Test

By Jerry Kammer, June 27, 2011

I’m a native of Baltimore and a lifelong fan of the Orioles. A few years ago, when the Orioles played a home game against the Red Sox, I had the unpleasant experience of watching and listening as thousands of Red Sox fans proudly, loudly and sometimes obnoxiously cheered for their team. I cracked to a friend, “Now I know what it feels like to live in an occupied country.”

A similar scene unfolded in Pasadena, Calif., on Saturday, where fans of Mexico’s soccer team filled the Rose Bowl with Mexican flags and nationalistic fervor as their team defeated the U.S. by a score of 4-2. Read more...

With Payroll Taxes and Migrants It Is Still -- ‘Ems That Has, Gits

By David North, June 27, 2011

A friend called my attention recently to an article in India’s Economic Times regarding India’s generally well-paid nonimmigrant workers and Social Security and Medicare taxes. (The publication is that booming nation’s rough equivalent to our Wall Street Journal.) Read more...

Morning News, 6/27/11

By Bryan Griffith, June 27, 2011

1. NY can't opt out of Sec. Comm.
2. Bill would block amnesty
3. Sen. holds DREAM Act hearing
4. Judge blocks parts of IN law
5. SC Gov. to sign bill today

ICE Agent's Union Blasts Obama Administration, ICE Director

By Jon Feere, June 24, 2011

The union for Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents has issued a sharp press release calling on Americans to take action against what it describes as "gross mismanagement" and an effort to "create backdoor amnesty through agency policy."

On June 11, 2010, ICE Union leaders around the nation issued a unanimous no-confidence vote in ICE Director John Morton. Since then, the union's concerns have grown. Read more...