A Goulash of Immigration Policy Tidbits

By David North on December 16, 2016

Here’s a collection of immigration-related news items, each of which can be described relatively briefly:

Trump and Tuition at Canadian Colleges. Canadian university officials are contemplating an increase in the tuition to be charged to international students, an informant told me the other day.

The reason: they think they can do so because President Trump’s rhetoric may well discourage some alien students from coming to the U.S. and to think about heading to Canada instead. Thus the higher demand for slots would permit higher tuition for aliens in Canada.

It will be useful to look at what happens to admissions of alien students next fall in the two countries. My source has a grant to study the interaction of immigration policies and student flows in the two nations and I talked to him after he spent a couple of months in Canada.

Insurers: Be Wary of EB-5. It is heartening to see some big institutions that have been profiting from EB-5 get their fingers burnt. Publicly. There are now at least two insurance companies that had insured their customers against EB-5 fraud that have been zapped.

In one earlier case, the EB-5 middlemen had sold alien investors – who were about to lose their half million investments – insurance policies against such losses, with the same middlemen collecting placement fees. In the other, more recent, case, the alleged crooked middleman had purchased a policy saying that if he got into trouble the insurer would pay his legal bills. In both cases the insurance companies were betting that EB-5 was operating fairly. Both lost, big time.

Out west, in the first and older case, EB-5 investors, working through the Idaho Regional Council, purchased insurance policies from Life Partner Holdings Inc, that were supposed to guarantee their investments. To make a long story short, the investments failed, and as the 100 policies sold by LPH came to fruition, that Texas firm was pushed into bankruptcy hurting many more people than just the alien investors. For more on this operation, see this from EB5Info.

Back east, as a by-product of the Vermont EB-5 disasters, middleman Ariel Quiros is in deep trouble with both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Vermont state government, and has been running up substantial legal fees. He has recently sued Ironshore Indemnity, a Minnesota insurer, for two million dollars worth of his legal bills; we probably won’t know how this plays out for a while, as the court case is a new one.

Only 820,000 Criminal Aliens. I guess we don’t have to worry about criminal aliens in the U.S. any more. There are, and I quote a report from the Urban Institute:

“Some estimates say that there are only 820,000 undocumented immigrants with criminal records in the country.” (Emphasis added)

Those cheerful souls at UI were arguing against the concept that the number might be higher, and noted that some of the 820,000 “have likely committed relatively minor crimes.”

They missed the point, I guess, that an illegal alien with a shoplifting record, for example, is an illegal alien who does not belong here in the first place.

The total, 820,000, incidentally, is more than the population of each of four of our states: North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming. In short, a very large number indeed.