Immigration Blog

The Score in the Courts: Indians - 2, the Rest of Us - 0

By David North, October 14, 2016

Two American courts — working separately from each other — dealt with foreign worker questions yesterday and both came down against resident workers.

The Indian outsourcing firms in these cases had a different score, winning one and more or less losing the other. Here's what's happening:

In Florida, a federal judge ruled against the Walt Disney workers (citizens or green card holders) who had sought to overturn their layoffs so that Disney could turn its IT work over to two Indian outsourcing firms and to their H-1B workers. Read more...

Not All Terrorists Are Muslim Extremists

By Dan Cadman, October 14, 2016

The media are reporting the crash of a small aircraft in East Hartford, Conn., by an alien in pilot training who died on impact. His co-pilot (and trainer) for the flight, now hospitalized with serious injuries, says the act was deliberate. The pilot, Feras Freitekh, was a Jordanian national of Palestinian descent who entered the United States on a visa permitting him to attend pilot school.

One of the reporting media outlets, the Daily Caller, points out that the crash was close to the site of a Pratt & Whitney factory that has been designated as a part of the homeland's critical infrastructure. The FBI is investigating. Read more...

EB-5 Regional Centers Squabble Over Ex-USCIS Staffer's Files

By David North, October 14, 2016

One way of piercing the all-too-effective corporate veil in the EB-5 business is to examine the court records when insiders fight each other.

And what could be more insider-y than the records of the former chief economist of the EB-5 office in USCIS who, after she left the government, was hired by one regional center and then later worked with rival regional centers. Did she remove corporate secrets from the first regional center and then use them to start her own EB-5 consulting business? Read more...

The EU Creates a New Border Control Force

By Dan Cadman, October 14, 2016

The European Union (EU) announced last month that it would create a border control force consisting of both a land and sea division — in essence a border patrol and a coast guard — to be effective right about now, in mid-October (see here and here).

The announcement comes after a year and a half of endless waves of migrants working their way into Europe, primarily through the land and sea gateways of Turkey, straddling the European and Asian continents, and Libya, on the north coast of Africa. Well over 1.5 million migrants from all over the Middle East, South Asia, and both North and Sub-Saharan Africa have poured into the EU's member states. Read more...

Tweedledum and Tweedledee Assure Diane Rehm that Illegal Immigration Is Not a Problem for American Workers

By Jerry Kammer, October 13, 2016

The Diane Rehm Show, a public-affairs program carried by many public radio stations around the country, has a deserved reputation for sophistication and fair-mindedness in presenting competing points of view. But Wednesday's program, where Rehm and her guests discussed the roots of political alienation in the American working class, badly missed that mark.

Instead of an informed and lively discussion of an issue that is reverberating across the electoral landscape, the program gave a forum to an immigration-policy version of Tweedledum and Tweedledee. They were conservative economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin of the American Action Forum and liberal columnist David Leonhardt of the New York Times. Read more...

Is the ISIS-Supporting Imam Deportable? WaPo Does Not Ask

By David North, October 13, 2016

The Washington Post (and the FBI) have both reviewed the strange case of a Maryland-based imam who is said to have publicly supported ISIS and to have "celebrated ISIS killings and immolations on Facebook", to quote the Post's article, which is titled "Md. imam who backs ISIS is at the heart of terrorism probe".

Suleiman Anwar Bengharsa is the cleric in question. And while the freedom of speech doctrine may cover his advocacy of Muslim extremism, there are other matters, such as this, again from the Post: Read more...

Diligence on a Changing Canadian Border

By John Wahala, October 13, 2016

The Center for Immigration Studies recently completed its sixth border tour. Heading north for the first time, we began our trip in Ottawa. From there we traveled east, crisscrossing nearly a thousand miles over the waterways and rolling hills of upstate New York and Vermont and into the lush forests of Quebec. The geography and relative calm of the region is a stark contrast to the rugged terrain and volatility of the U.S. Southwest. But behind the bucolic charm a host of factors are at work to make securing this part of the border just as challenging as the more trafficked parts. Read more...

Louisiana Uses Sledge Hammer Instead of Scalpel on Immigration/Marriage Fraud

By David North, October 12, 2016

Louisiana had an excellent idea about immigration/marriage fraud: Let's not let anyone who is an illegal alien get a legal marriage in our state. If they can't get married at all, they can't get married fraudulently.

To that end it passed a law requiring would-be foreign-born brides and grooms to show parish (county) officials that they held an unexpired visa and a birth certificate.

It was the "and" that got the state and this law in trouble. Read more...

How a Dead, Divorced Cuban Can Cause Amnesty for His Ex, Years Later

By David North, October 12, 2016

A public policy that is hard to understand grants legal migration status if an alien (usually a woman but sometimes a man) can argue successfully that the citizen or resident alien spouse was abusive.

Yes, society should provide short-term shelter for battered wives and issue court orders to prevent the repetition of the abuse; and it should probably extend medical care and counseling to the victims. But instant immigrant status for illegal aliens (or legal nonimmigrants) in this situation, regardless of numerical limitations?

This certainly is a nice benefit for the spouse in question, but is that the way we should distribute our limited supply of immigrant visas? What is the public good that is being provided? Read more...

Is Conviction for "Crimes of Violence" too Unconstitutionally Vague a Standard for Deportation?

By Dan Cadman, October 11, 2016

In an earlier blog posting, I mentioned that during its current term, the Supreme Court will be reviewing and deciding an immigration-related case having to do with birthright citizenship.

But that isn't the only immigration matter that the high court will hear this term. It will also be considering the question of whether the phrase "crime of violence", as used in its immigration enforcement context, is unconstitutionally vague. Read more...

DHS Does the Right Thing About H-2B Workers — 4,000 Miles West of Hawaii

By David North, October 11, 2016

Once in a while the Department of Homeland Security does the right thing about foreign workers — making them harder to obtain by employers who, one hopes, will be forced to hire citizens instead.

This time the issue is whether, as USCIS charges, some of Guam's employers are using the temporary hiring provisions of the H-2B program for unskilled labor to fill year-round vacancies in their workforce. Sadly, this has been the pattern there for ages.

But this move, a potential benefit for U.S. workers, is taking place a full 4,000 miles west of Hawaii, when such actions should also be taking place on the Mainland. Read more...

IRCA's 30th Anniversary: Looking Back at October 10, 1986

By Jerry Kammer, October 10, 2016

Thirty years ago, on October 9, 1986, the House of Representatives passed a major immigration reform bill, putting it on course to be signed a month later by President Reagan. Today this blog begins an occasional series to take a look back at the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and the political circumstances from which it emerged. Here is the top of the Washington Post's report on October 10, 1986: Read more...

Federal Court to Indiana: Refugee 'Consultation' Is Just for Show

By Dan Cadman, October 10, 2016

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has issued a sharply worded rejection of an executive order on refugee resettlement issued by Governor Mike Pence of Indiana. Pence is the Republican vice presidential candidate and running mate of Donald Trump.

The executive order from Pence directed state agencies to refuse to cooperate with federal agencies and nongovernmental relief organizations in the resettlement of Syrian refugees within the state. The circuit court's rejection and rebuke was based on the fact that Pence's order was nationality specific and, according to the Daily Caller, came close to labeling the executive order as racist. Read more...

The New Yorker Begins to Open Its Eyes to the Reasons for Trump's Durable Popularity

By Jerry Kammer, October 10, 2016

The New Yorker magazine has long shown the way for post-national cosmopolitans whose citizen-of-the world sense of moral superiority inclines them to disdain or simply ignore working-class Americans.

But in recent months, bewilderment at the popularity of Donald Trump has moved the magazine's editors to encourage a sort of anthropological journalism that has come up with some valuable insights into the durable support in much of the United States for the New York billionaire businessman. Read more...

Hillary's Brother's EB-5 Regional Center Finally Terminated by DHS

By David North, October 10, 2016

Hillary Rodham Clinton's brother's EB-5 regional center was finally, and appropriately, terminated by the Department of Homeland Security on September 29.

These centers (there are more than 800 of them) play the often-controversial role of middlemen between the alien investors (who for half a million dollars can get a family-sized set of green cards) and the real estate promoters who use the funds. Each center is licensed by DHS. Read more...

Was EB-5 Extended by Congress? Lawsuit Asks Federal Court to Decide

By David North, October 8, 2016

The clouds over the legislative extension, or non-extension, of the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program darkened a bit Friday as a Texas non-profit organization asked a federal court to order the Department of Homeland Security to halt all EB-5 operations. The previous authorization for the program ran out on September 30. Read more...

Religious Leaders Grant Illegal Aliens Immunity from the 8th and 10th Commandments

By Ronald W. Mortensen, October 7, 2016

Religious leaders face a dilemma when it comes to illegal aliens and the Ten Commandments. Churches have traditionally exhorted their American citizen members not to steal or to covet that which belongs to their neighbor. However, if religious leaders were to teach and hold their illegal alien members to the same standard that they set for their American members, they would put those illegally in the country in an untenable position because in order to get by, illegal aliens have to steal and covet every day of their lives. Read more...

What Sen. Kennedy Didn't Say About Immigration Says a Lot About Liberals' Abandonment of the Working Class

By Jerry Kammer, October 7, 2016

Many Americans of both liberal and conservative persuasion view the enduring popularity of Donald Trump with bewildered dismay. Yesterday we pointed to two poignant statements that offer a partial explanation for this phenomenon. They described working-class despair rooted in a sense of abandonment by the rest of American society. Read more...

Single-Paragraph 'Fact-Check' Resolves Longstanding Economics Debate

By Jason Richwine, October 6, 2016

During Tuesday's vice presidential debate, Mike Pence said the Clinton-Kaine ticket supports immigration policies that are "driving wages down in this country." The ABC News fact-checker, applying its infinite wisdom to a longstanding debate in the economics profession, declared this claim "mostly false".

I have always had a low opinion of the fact-check movement, since the supposedly objective fact-checkers are influenced by the same biases that reporters bring to other types of news. (See here and here for some delightful skewerings of the fact-checkers by Mark Hemingway.) But this time ABC News has gone beyond merely dressing up its opinions as fact. Every sentence of this fact-check is false, misleading, or vague. Start with its citation of the recent National Academies study on immigration: Read more...

Buying the Right to Repatriate

By Dan Cadman, October 6, 2016

The European Union (EU) has struck a deal with Afghanistan that will permit it to forcibly remove Afghan nationals who have illegally entered EU territory, among the hundreds of thousands of land- and seaborne migrants who've headed in that direction in the past 12 to18 months, when they are denied asylum.

Up to this time, EU member states — notably Germany, whose chancellor did much to precipitate the crisis with her echo of Jimmy Carter's Mariel boatlift mistake ("We will welcome them with open hearts and open arms") — have been uniformly confronted by intransigent Afghan officials refusing to issue the documents needed to repatriate thousands of failed asylum seekers. Read more...

Big Hospitals Can Profit When an Illegal Alien Gives Birth

By David North, October 6, 2016

If you think that a hospital suffers financially when it delivers a baby to an illegal immigrant mother, as I used to, think again.

The Justice Department has announced a financial settlement of a complicated civil and criminal case against Tenet Healthcare Corporation in which the company was forced to pay back to the feds more than a half a billion dollars that it had received for providing fraud-related maternity services to illegal alien mothers giving birth to thousands and thousands of instant U.S. citizens over a period of many years. Read more...

Birthright Citizenship Policy Creates Downstream Problems

By Dan Cadman, October 5, 2016

Imagine this:

A son is born in the United States of two aliens from the Dominican Republic ("the D.R."). The parents' immigration status doesn't matter for purposes of the scenario. The child is a U.S. citizen by virtue of birthright citizenship as now interpreted. But he is also a citizen of the D.R. because of his parents' citizenship. At a very young age, the child accompanies the parents back to the D.R., where he remains and grows into adulthood without returning to the United States. Read more...

Doubt Cast on the Extension of EB-5 by CRS Opinion

By David North, October 5, 2016

Was the controversial EB-5 (immigrant investor) program really extended by Congress until December 9 of this year as we reported earlier?

Did the convoluted language of the continuing resolution, which will fund the government until that date, actually extend the fraud-ridden EB-5 program, without saying so in so many words?

Doubt was raised by the release of a document written by lawyers in Capitol Hill's own Congressional Research Service, an entity that Congress regards as its in-house think tank. Read more...

How "Death of a Salesman" and Chris Matthews Explain Donald Trump's Enduring Support

By Jerry Kammer, October 5, 2016

In one of many wrenching scenes of "Death of a Salesman", the wife of Willy Loman pours out her own anguish as she demands respect for Willy's basic human dignity:

I don't say he's a great man. Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He's not to be allowed to fall into his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.

Good News/Bad News on IRS Program that Pays Illegals to Stay in the U.S.

By David North, October 4, 2016

There's both some good news and some bad news on one of the Internal Revenue Service programs that, in effect, pays many illegal aliens to stay in this country. We at CIS have written about these peculiar and persisting tax transfers to illegals from time to time (see here and here).

One of the principal elements of the current personal income tax system that pays the illegals to stay is the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) program. Peter A. Shulkin estimated that illegal aliens received $4.2 billion in 2010 from this program. Read more...

The Times Prints All the News that Fits the Julia Preston Stereotype

By Jerry Kammer, October 3, 2016

Walter Lippmann, the late political journalist and philosopher, observed that we humans try to understand our complex social world by forming "systems of stereotypes". I thought of Lippmann over the weekend as I pondered two recent Julia Preston stories in the New York Times that encapsulate the stereotypical view of immigration that prevails in her work as national immigration reporter. Read more...

Hungary Rejects EU Migrant Quota; Insists on Right to Self-Determination

By Dan Cadman, October 3, 2016

Another national referendum, another rejection of the Eurocrats in Brussels. This one may not have garnered as much attention from the world media as did the lead-up and results to the Brexit vote in which United Kingdom voters opted to leave the European Union (EU), but it may in the end have an impact just as far-reaching. Read more...

Gleaning Information from the Senate Refugee Hearing

By Dan Cadman, September 30, 2016

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing this week entitled "Oversight of the Administration's FY 2017 Refugee Resettlement ‎Program". Three officials testified.

It can be expected that senior government officials' written testimony at such hearings will be written to put forward their agencies' and the administration's best spin on the program under the spotlight, in this case the increasingly suspect U.S. refugee program. Even so, some interesting facts can come to light, and often there is much to be gleaned from exactly how things are phrased or from what is not said. Here are a few things that caught my attention: Read more...

U.S. Attorney Indicts Yet Another Florida EB-5 Regional Center Operator

By David North, September 30, 2016

As Congress thinks about extending the key portion of the EB-5 (immigrant investor) program, the U.S. attorney in Jacksonville, Fla., has indicted yet another regional center executive, Karamchand Doobay, for mail and wire fraud.

The regional center is the Florida Gateway Regional Center LLC, and one of its projects was a retirement community called Senior Premium Living LP. Doobay was charged with, among many other acts, the "use of a portion of the funds received from foreign investors invested through the EB-5 Program for his own personal use and enjoyment." Read more...

Congress Does Nothing to Protect American Jobs

By John Miano, September 29, 2016

In 1996, a couple of clowns embarked on a publicity stunt that ended tragically. They would have a seven-year-old girl set the record for the youngest person to fly a plane across country. (Bear with me – it's a metaphor relating to immigration policy.)

Because most airplanes have dual controls (allowing them to be flown equally well from either seat), it would be a simple matter to set the record for the youngest cocker spaniel to fly across the country. Read more...