Immigration Blog

H-1 B Program Grace Notes

By David North, April 25, 2012

There is so much going on with the H-1B program that it's worth taking another look at recent developments.

I-9 "Errors". We learned from a Reuters story written in Mumbai that Infosys, the big software firm and massive user of H-1B workers, is being investigated for I-9 "errors" by the Department of Homeland Security. Read more...

Turnabout Is Fair Play: A Spoof

By David North, April 24, 2012

While the members of the U.S. Congress are busily considering how to bring in more high-tech nonimmigrant workers, a counter movement is afoot.

A band of techies, advocating the interests of unemployed U.S. computer programmers, engineers, and other professionals, is considering the creation of the HR-1 and S-1 visa program, which would increase the productivity of Congress and lower its costs while bringing some of the world's "best and brightest" to the United States as nonimmigrant lawmakers. Read more...

Uncommon Common Sense: LAPD's Union Bucks the Brass

By W.D. Reasoner, April 24, 2012

A short while back, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck announced, with the support of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, that he was promulgating a new "Special Order 7", under which officers will no longer immediately impound the vehicles of unlicensed drivers for 30 days if they meet certain criteria such as having car insurance and no prior convictions for driving without a license. Read more...

New York Times Op-Ed Argues Against Deportations of Illegal Alien Parents

By David North, April 23, 2012

There was an op-ed piece in Saturday's (April 21) New York Times about the plight of children of deported illegal aliens that seemed to argue for a two-tier deportation system: While some non-parent illegal aliens might be subject to deportation, no illegal alien with kids should ever be deported.

The authors did not discuss the totally predictable results of such a policy: Read more...

Arizona Case Before Supreme Court This Week

By James R. Edwards Jr., April 23, 2012

Arizona v. United States comes before the U.S. Supreme Court this week for oral arguments. The core issue involves whether or not the Constitution allows states to write their own law enforcement statutes that relate to foreigners' immigration status. Read more...

Reform Our Visa System for Entrepreneurs or Reform the Economy?

By Stanley Renshon, April 20, 2012

Sometimes a news report provides informative juxtapositions that underscore the foolishness of our immigration policies. Case in point is the New York Times piece on reforming the EB-5 visa system, "Making Visas-for-Dollars Work".

The basic idea of the program is simple. The United States sells visas to those who invest between $500,000 and $1 million here and create at least 10 domestic jobs from that investment within two years. If they do so, they get a green card. (My colleague David North has written extensively on the program.) Read more...

Let's Play the Guilt by Association Game!

By Mark Krikorian, April 19, 2012

The open-borders folks never tire of trying to tar immigration skeptics with the racist label by inquiring whom they had lunch with or who copied their material off the web. So, merely as an educational exercise for the other side, allow me to demonstrate where such smear tactics can lead. Read more...

Assimilation, Attachment, and Economic Opportunity

By Stanley Renshon, April 19, 2012

Two recent stories in the New York Times underline, if only inadvertently, the importance of a robust economy to the continuing assimilation of legal immigrants.

The first is titled, "Many U.S. Immigrants' Children Seek American Dream Abroad". It is a reminder that emotional attachment to the American national community is the real final accomplishment of assimilation, when it happens. And that is a precious, not-to-be-taken-for-granted outcome that is the foundation of American support for legal immigration. Read more...

Let's Create American Workers' Desks in Federal Agencies

By David North, April 19, 2012

Here's an old idea — left over from the Kennedy years — that should be revived: Let's create top-level American Workers' Desks in each of the federal agencies extending big subsidies and big contracts to big business.

The (admittedly negative) inspiration for this thought came from a CBS News story titled "Unions say foreign workers get stimulus jobs". This bit of investigative journalism revealed that while federal stimulus money had been poured into Michigan factories owned by two Korean firms, LG Chem and Dow Kokam, many of the jobs created went to newly arrived Korean migrant workers. Read more...

Clueless in Cook County

By W.D. Reasoner, April 18, 2012

A few days ago, my colleague, Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, sent me a news article from The Chicago Tribune.

The article, originally published October 30, 2011, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and is quite interesting. It lays out the phenomenon of individuals — aliens, all — who have fled from serious criminal charges in the metropolitan Chicago area to return to their home country of Mexico, where they live openly despite the existence of felony warrants against them and apparently without fear of being located or extradited. It's a troubling indictment of an apparently broken system where U.S. state, local, and federal officers don't seem to be doing much to bring these individuals back to face trial. Read more...

Dear Reader: Please Encourage USCIS Do the Right Thing!

By David North, April 17, 2012

This is a suggestion to my readers on how you can help USCIS do the right thing with a document that is absolutely vital to the employer sanctions program.

The agency is in the middle of revising Form I-9, the form used about 70 million times a year by newly hired workers. Its purpose, though you might not know it from reading the form, is to keep illegal aliens (unauthorized workers) away from U.S. jobs. Read more...

"I Absolutely and Entirely Renounce and Abjure ..."

By Mark Krikorian, April 17, 2012

DHS reported recently that 694,193 foreigners became Americans last year — up a little from 2010 but down a little from 2009. The naturalization statistics prompted me to take a look at the civics test that prospective citizens have to take. The test was revised a few years back, and applicants have to get six out of 10 questions correct to pass. The 10 questions are selected from a master list of 100 questions, all online. Here’s one of the questions, followed by the answer: Read more...

A Little Bit of Nationalism, Please: Or Which of Those Are U.S. Firms?

By David North, April 17, 2012

We all know that the presence of too many nonimmigrant workers results in serious economic harm for resident workers, both citizens and green card holders.

Whether the alien workers are toiling in the fields or designing software, they take jobs at lower wages than residents and are usually more docile than Americans, so they get the jobs and our countrymen do not. People within the 99 percent are the ones who get hurt.

But how might temporary foreign workers adversely effect American stockholders? People who may well be in the 1 percent. Read more...

EB-5's Institutional Allies Give the Program a Hard Time

By David North, April 16, 2012

It's bad enough when the critics attack, but when your allies go after you, as they have on the immigrant investor (EB-5) program recently, look out!

The controversial, selling-batches-of-visas-for-half-million-a-pop program took it on the chin recently from such normally pro-migration forces as the op-ed page of the New York Times and a privately owned website for EB-5 news that routinely favors the program. Read more...

DHS Has Nothing Good to Say About the Border, Again

By Janice Kephart, April 16, 2012

I wonder how unimpressive the Secretary of Homeland Security can continue to be on borders? I got the answer this week: amazingly unimpressive. The latest? Every Friday or Monday the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) puts out a bulletin of its latest activities. I scour it every week hoping to find some initiative the Secretary has launched that really will improve security. Unfortunately, most of the time the secretary is breaking ground on a new facility somewhere, giving an award to a trusted employee, or simply relating congressional testimony of the week. Rarely do I find substance. Read more...

Key to the Latino Vote?

By James R. Edwards Jr., April 16, 2012

A new poll by the Pew Hispanic Center has found that Latinos are more politically liberal than other Americans. This survey says 30 percent of Latinos report holding liberal or very liberal political views. That contrasts with just 21 percent of other Americans who have the same views. Read more...

K-12 Education Systems May Be Losing Interest in H-1B

By David North, April 16, 2012

Recently, various types of evidence have emerged that show K-12 education is losing interest in hiring foreign teachers through the H-1B nonimmigrant worker program.

The inherent disadvantages of the program from the points of view of both students and unemployed U.S. teachers were described in two fairly recent CIS reports: "K-12 + H-1B = ? A First look at the Implications of Foreign Teacher Recruitment" and "The Grim World of Some H-1B Teachers". Read more...

Removing "The Righteous Mind" from the Immigration Debate

By Jerry Kammer, April 13, 2012

In his fascinating new book, The Righteous Mind, University of Virginia social psychologist Jonathan Haidt probes the issue of why "we are so easily divided into hostile groups, each one certain of its righteousness." If I were teaching a course on U.S. immigration policy, it would be at the top of the reading list. Read more...

More on the Innards of H1-B Program: Indenture Starts in OPT Period

By David North, April 13, 2012

It is well known that many H-1B workers are, in effect, indentured by employers who have filed to obtain green cards for them — they are nominally free to leave, but it can be hard to keep your resident alien application alive after leaving the employer who set it in motion.

But, as I have learned recently in conversations with would-be H-1B workers at a major D.C.-area university this spring, the feeling of indenture starts even earlier. Read more...

H-1B Concentrated in a Few High-Wage States

By John Miano, April 13, 2012

While examining the Labor Condition Applications for H-1B visas for my previous CIS Backgrounders "H-1B Visa Numbers: No Relationship to Economic Need", and "Low Salaries for Low Skills: Wages and Skill Levels for H-1B Computer Workers, 2005", and "The Bottom of the Pay Scale: Wages for H-1B Computer Programmers", it was apparent that H-1B workers are highly concentrated in a few states. At the time, unfortunately, the nature of the data made it difficult to quantify where the workers were actually going.

Recently, however, released admission data, including the state of destination, which gives a picture of the density of H-1B workers. Read more...

H-1B Program, with a Couple of Deserved Black Eyes, Opens Filing Season

By David North, April 12, 2012

The H-1B nonimmigrant program for high-tech and other professional workers bears a couple of prominent bruises as the FY 2013 filing season opens.

While network TV routinely ignores abuses in the immigration system, today's full-throated "CBS This Morning" treatment of the misuse of H-1B and B-1 visas was a welcome exception to the rule. Read more...

Romney Said What About Immigrants?

By Stanley Renshon, April 12, 2012

In an otherwise mundane story by Dan Balz of the Washington Post concerning Mitt Romney's shift of focus to the president after Rick Santorum dropped from the Republican primary race, we find this observation, "He [Romney] also faces potentially major problems among Hispanics because of his positions on immigration and the harsh language he used to describe them during the GOP debates." Read more...

A Savvy Terrorist with a Quality Fake ID Can Breach Airline Security

By Janice Kephart, April 12, 2012

Since investigative reporter Josh Bernstein filed his story, "License to Terrorize: Failure to safeguard against sophisticated phony IDs leaves opening for bad guys to slip through air security", the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has neither responded to nor acknowledged the report, and refused Bernstein an interview. Read more...

A Study in Light and Dark: How ICE Has Implemented the Secure Communities Program, in the Field and at Headquarters

By W.D. Reasoner, April 11, 2012

During the European Renaissance, Italian masters developed the term chiaroscuro to describe studies of strong contrasts — based on the juxtaposition of light and dark — in their drawings and paintings. The term is still used today and in fact its context has broadened to encompass other things, including the printed word, when the literature in question is reflective of such strong contrasts. Read more...

DHS Report Confirms ICE Officers Use Secure Communities Properly

By Jessica Vaughan, April 11, 2012

A new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) internal audit of ICE's implementation of Secure Communities finds that, contrary to critics' allegations, the program is effective in identifying criminal aliens and that ICE officers are not being overzealous in selecting aliens for removal. If anything, officers are erring on the side of not pursuing removal of criminal aliens when warranted.

Among the highlights of the report:

Massachusetts Suffering More Crime by Not Complying with REAL ID Legal Status Check

By Janice Kephart, April 11, 2012

A few weeks ago I received a call from Fox News/Boston about increasing reports of crimes committed by illegal aliens with Massachusetts-issued driver's licenses. Investigating how illegal aliens were getting legitimate licenses, Fox News found my report on REAL ID compliance and noticed that Massachusetts is one of only five states not actively checking legal status before issuing driver's licenses. Read more...

National Commissions on Immigration, 1907-1997

By Otis Graham, April 10, 2012

Some public policy issues are so complex and controversial that Congress and president on occasion acknowledge that they cannot craft legislation or administer policy in the usual way. They may be drawn to the advice of a 1955 poem from Punch magazine by Geoffrey Parsons with a Gilbert and Sullivan lilt that runs:

If you're pestered by critics and hounded by faction
To take some precipitate, positive action
The proper procedure to take my advice is
Appoint a commission and stave off the crisis.

Immigration Issue Playing in Big Blue State

By James R. Edwards Jr., April 10, 2012

When you think of Massachusetts, you probably think of liberal lions like the Kennedys, Tip O'Neill, Barney Frank, and Michael Dukakis. So when Bay State Republicans start running an ad against Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, for being soft on immigration, it might just get your attention.

Well, that's what's happening!

The Green Card Top 20 for 2011

By Jerry Kammer, April 9, 2012

The Department of Homeland Security has just released statistics on the 1,062,040 legal residents admitted to the United States during 2011. Once again, Mexico is by far the leading recipient of green cards, with 143,446. The list below shows the other countries in the top 20, which together received 63.2 percent of the green card total. Read more...

Canada Shows the Way: Closes Files on Backlogged Immigrant Applications

By David North, April 9, 2012

What do you do with a backlogged set of immigrant-worker applications at a time of high unemployment? In the United States such queues just keep growing, but not in Canada. Read more...