When an Immigration Matter Is Handled Well, We Should Say So

By David North on September 10, 2015

Sometimes, despite the odds, something commendable happens within the immigration system and we should take notice.

I ran into two quite separate instances of this lately, one in which the congratulations should be shared by the departments of Justice and Homeland Security, and in the other the kudos go to actors in the EB-5 program.

Asylum. All too often people with dubious claims to asylum manage to secure that status from overworked immigration judges despite questionable claims. But sometimes a combination of sleuthing by DHS and a ruling by the judge (a DOJ employee), on one hand, and the clumsiness of the fraudulent applicant, on the other, leads to an appropriate negative decision.

This story comes to us because a fraud-seeking alien, rejected by an immigration judge, appealed his case to the Board of Immigration Appeals and the decision was made public. BIA upheld the judge's decision.

A citizen of India, known to the court as R-K-K-, arrived in the United States as a tourist, overstayed his visa, and then applied for asylum. His story was dramatic; he said he had been arrested (but never charged) by the Indian police on the grounds that he was consorting with terrorists. They undressed him, beat him about the buttocks, and pulled at his arms and legs (in a presumably painful way). The matter was resolved, he said, when his father bribed the cops.

Needless to say, this was an undocumented event and the Indian police were not called to testify; in such instances the immigration judge has to figure out, usually in an hour or two, if the witness is a credible one. In this case the judge said he was not believable and ordered his deportation.

The reason for this, presumably dug up by DHS, is that R-K-K-'s brother had applied for asylum with exactly the same story some years earlier. The filing by R-K-K- was an exact duplicate of his brother's application both in content and in presentation, including the fact that he had, according to the judge, used the "same syntax and spelling irregularities" used by his brother.

What I find commendable is that DHS figured out that both brothers had filed for asylum and then compared the two applications. I can easily imagine that not happening.

Two items were not covered by the decision: (1) Was the first brother granted asylum? and (2) What, if anything, happened to the "transcriber" who wrote both applications. They should have been deported and jailed, respectively.

EB-5. The other story relates to something I have been seeking for years, which is an EB-5 success story — not in the hotel being built or the stadium being completed, but the alien investor receiving both a set of green cards for his family and getting his money back.

I have read everything I could get my hands on about EB-5 for the last several years and never ran into that such an account. But I often read about aliens losing their investment (as in a Chicago case) or having to wait 11 years for repayment (as in Vermont), both according to Fortune, or losing both the green cards and their investment (as in South Dakota).

The Orange County Register, however, found a Chinese national, Xiaoyu Hou, who invested in an (unnamed) EB-5 project in San Bernardino, Calif., got his money back plus some interest, secured a green card, and ultimately went on to citizenship. Hou had borrowed the money from his mother, who, presumably got repaid as well.

There are thousands of immigrant investors, perhaps ten thousand or more, mostly from China, who have started on Mr. Hou's route, but are not there yet and, in many cases, never will be.