Immigration Blog


By Dan Cadman, April 24, 2017

[The blog post below is incorrect - the AP report did, in fact, include the reference to 41 alien voters, though many sites that posted the story used only the beginning part, before that information was reported. Our apologies to AP reporter Jonathan Drew.] Read more...

Let's Have Honest Names for Visa Offices — Change IPO to VSO

By David North, April 24, 2017

The Trump administration says it wants to drain the swamp in Washington; one small backwater in that great big marsh is the practice of giving government programs misleading names and initials.

For example, the immigrant investor program (or EB-5) is run by an entity within USCIS called by the initials IPO. Read more...

SCOTUS Leaves in Place Lower Court Ruling Limiting Rights of Illegal Entrants

By Andrew R. Arthur, April 21, 2017

On April 17, 2017, the Supreme Court denied a petition for writ of certiorari in Castro et al. v. Dep't of Homeland Sec., U.S., 2017 WL 1366739 (2017), a case involving the constitutional rights of a group of aliens who had entered the United States illegally. Although "a variety of considerations underlie denials of the writ" generally, the Supreme Court's denial of the petition in this case leaves in place a circuit court decision that limits the rights of aliens who were apprehended shortly after entering the United States illegally, at least in the Third Circuit. Read more...

Bad News: Department of Agriculture Hires Immigration Expert from the Farm Bureau

By David North, April 21, 2017

In another indication of the differing level of commitment to U.S. workers by the Trump administration, it has been announced that a lobbyist for the American Farm Bureau Federation has been hired by the new Secretary of Agriculture to work on immigration and labor matters.

She is Kristi Boswell, and it is highly likely that she will push to get agribusiness the workers it wants, including foreign workers at the minimal wages it wants to pay. That certainly is the posture of the Farm Bureau, the largest of the agricultural lobbying organizations. Read more...

Is It Time for Magistrate Immigration Judges?

By Andrew R. Arthur, April 21, 2017

As the backlog of pending immigration cases grows, Congress and the Department of Justice (DOJ) should take a page from the federal courts and establish a corps of magistrate immigration judges.

A bit of background: Up until the early 1980s, special inquiry officers, or "immigration judges" were employees within the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). In January 1983, Attorney General William French Smith moved the immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals into the newly created Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) within the Department of Justice (DOJ), giving the immigration judges independence from the prosecuting authority at the time, the INS. Read more...

Let's Have More Wall and Less Gold-Plating

By David North, April 20, 2017

After looking at the proposed building specifications for the proposed border wall, I am worried that we may spend too much money per mile, thus reducing its length.

We need more wall, and less gold-plating.

Trump Administration Cracks Down on Gangs, with Focus on MS-13

By Andrew R. Arthur, April 19, 2017

During remarks to the Attorney General's Organized Crime Council (AGOCC) and the Executive Committee of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) on April 18, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced: "Under President Trump, the Justice Department has zero tolerance for gang violence." The attorney general specifically targeted La Mara Salvatrucha, or "MS-13," stating:

MS-13 has become a symbol of this plague that has spread across our country and into our communities. There are over 30,000 members abroad with their headquarters in the El Salvadoran prison system. According to the National Gang Intelligence Center, MS-13 now has more than 10,000 members in at least 40 states in this country – up significantly from just a few years ago.

Trump, Sessions Provide a Reality Check in Identifying Cause of MS-13 Proliferation

By Joseph J. Kolb, April 19, 2017

President Donald Trump recently blamed Obama's weak immigration policy for the spread of MS-13 around the country and said he is aggressively removing them. This comment comes nearly a week after four young adults were brutally murdered in a park in Central Islip, N.Y., an area on Long Island plagued by MS-13 violence and only some 50 miles from Trump's Manhattan residence. Read more...

Webs of Deception in a Silicon Valley Domestic Violence Case

By Dan Cadman, April 19, 2017

Sir Walter Scott once wrote, "Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive!"

I was reminded of that phrase when a colleague brought to our attention a recent court case out of Silicon Valley, written up in The Daily Beast as "Silicon Valley CEO Pleads 'No Contest' to Abusing His Wife — and Is Offered a Deal for Less Than 30 Days in Jail". Read more...

DHS Court Says to Employer: Four Strikes and You Are NOT Out

By David North, April 19, 2017

The infinite solicitude that some parts of the Department of Homeland Security lavish on exploitative employers of aliens was displayed in a recent adopted (i.e., precedent) decision by its Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), an in-house court.

The employer in question had applied four times to bring in a temporary worker (L-1B) at illegally low wages, promising to pay the alien (in the most recent instance) "43,445 MYR per year. When converted from Malaysian ringgits (MYR) to U.S. dollars, this proffered salary is the equivalent of $13,467.95 per year or $6.47 per hour", according to the decision. This was the sequence of governmental actions in this case: Read more...