With a Note from the Boss, Illegals in Kansas Get Tax Refunds

By on March 21, 2017
The state of Kansas' finances are in tatters, but it nonetheless explicitly allows illegal aliens, using criminally obtained Social Security numbers, to receive state income tax refunds. There is a minor catch — the SSN thief has to have a note from his or her employer if the use of the bad SSN is noticed by Kansas tax collectors before the refund can be paid.So, on one hand, an illegal alien worker who uses a phony SSN can get money from the state, money that might have gone to the state's beleaguered schools, while simultaneously a double standard has been set for employers: A knowing employer of an illegal can preserve a tax benefit for his illegal workers (thus lessening pressure on him to raise wages) while the unknowing (and perhaps innocent) employer of other illegals gets no such indirect benefit.

Academic Freedom and the Economic Impact of the H-1B Program

One of the virtues of working with some very big organizations is that they can produce excellent economic research on, say, the H-1B program, while ignoring the organizations' own extensive use of that very same program. Harvard University, for example, employs George Borjas, who is highly critical of the H-1B program and has been for years, even though Harvard itself hires large numbers of H-1Bs. For his latest take on H-1B, and how it would fare in Congress if it covered lawyers as well as techies, see here.

EB-5 Takes Two (Unpublicized) Body Blows with Bi-Coastal Overtones

The EB-5 (immigrant investor) program took two body blows, neither well publicized, earlier this week, after taking a drubbing in a House Judiciary Committee hearing last week. This week's reverses both had bi-coastal angles. In the first, yet another EB-5 fraud case emerged in the state of Washington; it was announced (and denounced) by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Foreign Worker Visa Fees Shouldn't Subsidize Labor Market Abuse

One of the management tools potentially available to the government in the immigration field is the size of the fees that it charges for adjudicating employer petitions. At the very least, the size of the fees should meet the standards of the law (31 USC 9701), which I discuss below, and should not encourage the overuse of foreign workers to the detriment of resident workers. The past administration did not accept the second concept at all, but perhaps the new one will.

Winning in Court Often Does Little for the Opponents of Immigration Abuse

While it is good that some citizens and corporations are hauled into court for immigration violations, all too often — despite the nature of their actions — the violators get off with slaps on the wrist.While there are countless cases of this kind, let me touch on just one recent criminal case and one recent civil case, both in the federal courts, and the unfortunate decision pattern of an obscure agency with an interesting name, the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) in the Department of Justice.

Coded Signals from USCIS, on a Friday afternoon, about H-1B and EB-5?

Perhaps I am wrong, but I think the new leadership of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sent us coded messages Friday afternoon about the Trump administration's plans for the H-1B (alien worker) and the EB-5 (immigrant investor) programs. Friday afternoon is the classic timing of government announcements when the government does not want them to secure too much attention. I know, because in a previous life I, too, played that game.