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A CIS Weekly and CIS Announce update on publications, blogs, and other information from the Center for Immigration Studies.

New from the Center for Immigration Studies, 5/16/16


What's Happening at the Center
In our latest report on the fiscal costs of immigration, we find that the average household headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) uses 41 percent more in welfare subsidies than the average native household. Welfare costs for immigrants from Central America and Mexico are 86 percent higher. The greater consumption of welfare dollars by immigrants can be explained in large part by their lower level of education and larger number of children compared to natives. Over 24 percent of immigrant households are headed by a high school dropout, compared to just 8 percent of native households.

Recent Activities
Publication
1. The Cost of Welfare Use By Immigrant and Native Households

Blogs
2. OPT Case Headed Back to District Court
3. It Ain't Over 'til the Alien Wins
4. A Blundering Bad Guy in Vermont and Other EB-5 Notes
5. ICE Announces the Arrest of 84 Criminal Aliens – but What Else Should We Be Asking?
6. No, Deporting Illegal Immigrants Would Not Make Americans $600 Billion Poorer
7. Yet Another Indian-Exploits-Indian Case of H-1B Fraud
8. New Yorker Surprise: Understanding for Trump's Appeal Among the White Working Class
9. Should We Be Satisfied That Immigrants Are "A Better Class of Underclass"?
10. Problems with the Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor Programs
11. The Wise Use of Prosecutorial Discretion, Expressed in a Single Sentence
12. DHS Uses WW II to Open the Gates for More Aging Filipinos
13. Transfer of Visa-less Cubans to U.S. Border Continues
14. How Predators Get Admitted with Their Prey During Humanitarian Crises
15. DHS Excels at Locking the Barn Door Long after the Horse Has Been Stolen
16. One Inspirational Story Doesn't Blot Out Realities of Illegal Immigration
17. On Federalism, States' Rights, and the Power of Coercion
18. Good News / Bad News on OPT


1.
The Cost of Welfare Use By Immigrant and Native Households
By Jason Richwine
CIS Backgrounder, May 2016
http://cis.org/Cost-Welfare-Immigrant-Native-Households

Excerpt: In September 2015, the Center for Immigration Studies published a landmark study of immigration and welfare use, showing that 51 percent of immigrant-headed households used at least one federal welfare program — cash, food, housing, or medical care — compared to 30 percent of native households. Following similar methodology, this new study examines the dollar cost of that welfare use.

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2.
OPT Case Headed Back to District Court
By John Miano
CIS Blog, May 16, 2016
http://cis.org/miano/opt-case-goes-back-district-court

Excerpt: The latest in the 8-year-old legal saga of Optional Practical Training (OPT) is that the D.C. Circuit Court has dismissed the case. This is not as ominous as it might sound. The effect is that the case goes back to the lower court, the D.C. District.

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3.
It Ain't Over 'til the Alien Wins
By Mark Krikorian
CIS Blog, May 15, 2016
http://cis.org/krikorian/it-aint-over-til-alien-wins-0

Excerpt: "Immigration cases — like old soldiers — seem never to die."

That's the opening line of the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in a recent case that exemplifies the relentless war on America's borders being waged by immigration lawyers and their illegal-alien clients.

This is an utterly conventional case, like thousands of others that clog the courts, the result of "serial attempts to revisit a final order of removal" (a deportation order), in the words of the ruling. The alien plaintiff's 20-year campaign of lies and immigration fraud shows what our immigration-enforcement system is up against.

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4.
A Blundering Bad Guy in Vermont and Other EB-5 Notes
By David North
CIS Blog, May 13, 2016
http://cis.org/north/blundering-bad-guy-vermont-and-other-eb-5-notes

Excerpt: Multiple EB-5 developments — all discouraging for the program's backers — are coming hard and fast as the September 30 termination of the main part of the program looms.

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5.
ICE Announces the Arrest of 84 Criminal Aliens – but What Else Should We Be Asking?
By Dan Cadman
CIS Blog, May 13, 2016
http://cis.org/cadman/ice-announces-arrest-84-criminal-aliens-what-else-should-we-be-asking

Excerpt: I admit to spending several minutes pondering before I committed the following blog to writing. This is because when an agency does something good you want to applaud it, thus encouraging more of the same. But under the Obama administration, serious issues — particularly immigration issues — have become so politicized, convoluted, and messy that nothing is ever as it seems.

On May 11, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the round-up of 84 criminal aliens, all of whom had serious offense histories. These are the kind of people you want to see off the streets of our communities. Various news media dutifully reported the arrests (see, for instance, here and here).

That's great, as far as it goes, but a really enterprising reporter would have followed up with a few questions:

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6.
No, Deporting Illegal Immigrants Would Not Make Americans $600 Billion Poorer
By Jason Richwine
CIS Blog, May 13, 2016
http://cis.org/cis/no-deporting-illegal-immigrants-would-not-make-americans-600-billion-poorer

Excerpt: The American Action Forum (AAF) published a study last week arguing that the U.S. economy would lose as much as $623 billion in labor output if illegal immigrants were deported. The AAF portrayed this as a major economic loss for Americans, and a credulous media went along with it. "Tremendously expensive," according to Townhall. "Economic havoc," proclaimed Politico. "A devastating blow," said The Week.

There is a serious misunderstanding here. The AAF report claims only that illegal immigration has increased economic output by up to $623 billion. It does not show that natives get that money. In fact, the vast majority of the economic gains from immigration are captured by immigrants themselves in the form of wages, so most of the $623 billion that would be "lost" currently goes to illegal immigrants, not to Americans.

One way to see the difference between the size of the economy and the income of natives is to imagine that every American gets cloned, and the capital stock doubles to match the larger workforce. The American economy would be twice as large as before, but Americans would still have the same per capita income. The cloning would therefore be "good for the economy" in the sense that GDP has doubled, but the pre-existing population would be no better off.

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7.
Yet Another Indian-Exploits-Indian Case of H-1B Fraud
By David North
CIs Blog, May 12, 2016
http://cis.org/north/yet-another-indian-exploits-indian-case-h-1b-fraud

Excerpt: Last week one of my informants sent me an article headlined "US: 4 Indian-Americans charged with H-1B fraud".

Since I had written a blog post a few days earlier involving five Indian-Americans in a case of H-1B fraud, my initial assumption was that the headline writer simply had the wrong number of culprits.

It turned out, however, that the five earlier ones were in Virginia, while the four current ones were in California. Two completely separate cases, but with many of the same characteristics...

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8.
New Yorker Surprise: Understanding for Trump's Appeal Among the White Working Class
By Jerry Kammer
CIS Blog, May 12, 2016
http://cis.org/kammer/new-yorker-surprise-understanding-trumps-appeal-among-white-working-class

Excerpt: The New Yorker is the native habitat of Upper West Side provincialism and post-national cosmopolitanism. Its writers tend to approach the working-class world as if they are anthropologists embarked on a study of a primitive tribe in the South Pacific. Working-class conservatism is seen as a cause for astonished fascination, like cannibalism among the savages.

So imagine my shock as I read in the current issue reporting by George Packer about Donald Trump s popularity with the middle-aged white working class, which Packer describes as "the base of the [Republican] Party".

Packer writes that this group "has suffered at least as much as any demographic group because of globalization, low-wage immigrant labor, and free trade. Trump sensed the rage that flared from this pain and made it the fuel of his campaign."

What a surprising, non-New Yorker-like contrast to last summer's nine-page, very New Yorker-like takedown of Trump supporters that was titled "The Fearful and the Frustrated". Author Evan Osnos fixated on the anxieties of a series of white nationalists, using crime statistics and academic studies to belittle their concerns. Osnos provides only scant acknowledgement of working class trauma, noting on page eight of his nine-page story that in recent decades "nobody has been hit harder than low-skilled, poorly educated men." He made no room for metrics that document the damage and relate it to immigration.

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9.
Should We Be Satisfied That Immigrants Are "A Better Class of Underclass"?
By Jason Richwine
CIS Blog, May 11, 2016
http://cis.org/cis/should-we-be-satisfied-immigrants-are-better-class-underclass

Excerpt: On Monday, CIS published my new study comparing the welfare consumption of immigrant and native households. It shows that immigrant households consume an average of about $6,200 worth of welfare dollars, while native households consume about $4,400. The main reasons for the difference are the lower level of education and greater number of children in immigrant households.

This new report is CIS's second analysis of the Census Bureau's Survey of Income Program Participation. The first study (released last September) focused on participation rates, showing that 51 percent of immigrant households used some form of welfare. Now we are able to quantify the costs associated with that participation.

Both reports elicited a large amount of media attention. In fact, the new report was at one point even more popular on Facebook than Justin Bieber (at least for some users), which is surely something to be proud of.

Along with the media attention has come pushback from immigration advocacy groups. Fortunately, on an issue often driven by emotion, Alex Nowrasteh of the Cato Institute published a critical commentary almost as dry in tone as the original paper. CIS had mostly the same debate with Cato when it published the last welfare paper, so I'll be brief with the responses.

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10.
Problems with the Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor Programs
By David North
CIS Blog, May 11, 2016
http://cis.org/north/problems-treaty-trader-and-treaty-investor-programs

Excerpt: Last month we published 20 years of data on the E-1 (Treaty Trader) and E-2 (Treaty Investor) nonimmigrant programs. The tables, covering the years 1994 to 2013, show that the number of visas issued in the E-1 category dropped from over 11,000 a year to about 7,000, while issuances of E-2 visas moved in the opposite direction, from about 19,000 to about 35,000 a year. Data for 2104 show E-1 visas at 7,330 and E-2 visas at 36,825.

While the increase in the E-2 program is worrisome for reasons outlined below, there have been no signs that this program, unlike so many others, has been actively promoted by this administration. For example, no new treaties of commerce and navigation, which create these visa opportunities, have been signed during the last eight years.

The two programs deal with different populations. The E-1 (trader) program is largely for the employees of multi-national firms (think Japanese car companies) and their relatives. The E-2 program is for individual alien investors (from treaty nations), their relatives, and here is a problem area the employees of those investors, including substantial groups of ill-paid foreign workers.

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11.
The Wise Use of Prosecutorial Discretion, Expressed in a Single Sentence
By Dan Cadman
CIS Blog, May 11, 2016
http://cis.org/cadman/wise-use-prosecutorial-discretion-expressed-single-sentence

Excerpt: The Obama White House, aided and abetted by Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, has disgracefully taken the concept of prosecutorial discretion to be used sparingly, as an act of ministerial grace and turned it on its head in order to flout the law, undo immigration enforcement, and unconstitutionally infringe on the legislative powers of Congress (see here, here, and here).

We cannot be shed of this eight years soon enough; let's hope that the future does not bode four more years of the same or worse the country cannot sustain it.

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12.
DHS Uses WW II to Open the Gates for More Aging Filipinos
By David North
CIS Blog, May 11, 2016
http://cis.org/north/dhs-uses-ww-ii-open-gates-more-aging-filipinos

Excerpt: The program offers a way around the intent of Congress to place ceilings on immigrant admissions by paroling in these relatives of veterans (who did not serve in our army, but in that of the Philippines). The people who benefit must be on the waiting list created by their relationship to either an elderly or a dead veteran. Most of the principal beneficiaries must have been born before 1960, and thus be at least 56 years of age. They must not only have the correct relationships, they must have secured approved migration petitions based on those relationships. All are in the family categories of potential immigrants and all are on visa waiting lists.

The press release says that the new policy will "allow them to provide care for the elderly veterans or their surviving spouses."

That holds true, except for those who can self-apply on the grounds that they are related to a dead veteran. (The veterans, dead or alive, need not have served during the war, though many of them did; being in the service as of December 30, 1946, a year and some months after the end of the war qualifies them as a war vet.)

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13.
Transfer of Visa-less Cubans to U.S. Border Continues
By Kausha Luna
CIS Blog, May 10, 2016
http://cis.org/luna/transfer-visa-less-cubans-us-border-continues

Excerpt: Today, the first group of 238 Cuban migrants airlifted from Panama reached El Paso, Texas.

On Monday, the government of Panama initiated the airlift of about 4,000 U.S.-bound Cubans stranded in Panama to Ciudad Juarez, the Mexican city opposite El Paso.

Earlier this year, Panama transferred about 1,300 islanders to the U.S.-Mexico border, after Nicaragua and then Costa Rica closed their borders to Cuban migrants without visas passing through on their way north. However, after the airlift was complete, Cuban illegal aliens continued to arrive at the Panama-Costa Rica border.

This second transfer is happening even though the government of Mexico had previously stated that it would not accept another airlift, noting it would confuse the message of promoting safe and orderly migration. According to a press release by the Panamanian government, the latest airlift is being carried out "with the support of the Government of the United Mexican States, as an exceptional, limited solution and, for the last time, to ensure smooth, orderly, and safe transit of such migrants, with observance of respect for their human rights." A joint press release by the Mexican Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs stated that, "Mexico has decided to continue with the exceptional support provided in previous weeks," and, "At the same time, both countries agreed to launch a series of actions to prevent and discourage new flows."

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14.
How Predators Get Admitted with Their Prey During Humanitarian Crises
By Dan Cadman
CIS Blog, May 10, 2016
http://cis.org/cadman/how-predators-get-admitted-their-prey-during-humanitarian-crises

Excerpt: In 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), responding to pressure and threats of a lawsuit, turned over to the National Security Archive (which, despite the name, is an arm of George Washington University, not part of the government) a significantly redacted version of a manuscript prepared by a DOJ lawyer detailing the history of DOJ's Nazi-hunting unit, the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). The manuscript was prepared over the course of several years under DOJ auspices and was edited by Mark Richard, the career deputy assistant attorney general who as a part of his duties oversaw OSI for many years.

But as these things go, someone who was determined to ensure the whole document saw the light of day leaked it to the New York Times, which trumpeted in its November 13, 2010, header: "Nazis Were Given 'Safe Haven' in U.S., Report Says". The Times largely focused on the fact that post-World War II era military and intelligence agencies wanted the manuscript buried behind a bureaucratic stonewall of confidentiality and Freedom of Information Act exemptions as they scrambled to beat the Soviet Union to former Nazis, including scientists such as Wernher Von Braun, of both Peenem|nde infamy and NASA fame, and then having them admitted to the country to work on various secret projects.

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15.
DHS Excels at Locking the Barn Door Long after the Horse Has Been Stolen
By David North
CIS Blog, May 9,2016
http://cis.org/north/dhs-excels-locking-barn-door-long-after-horse-has-been-stolen

Excerpt: The Department of Homeland Security has shown, once again, that it is very good at locking the barn door, not only after the horse has been stolen, but long after the stolen horse has died of old age. In short, it occasionally takes appropriate action, but years even decades too late.

The latest example comes from America's far, far West, the Island of Tinian, in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, just north of Guam in the Pacific. That is the location of the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino; the casino has been closed for several months, and the adjacent hotel is operating, but just barely.

DHS is currently defending, in federal court in the Marianas, its decision not to allow foreign temporary workers to be employed by the casino. DHS had ruled that the casino was "not engaged in a legitimate business" and hence was not qualified to employ the foreign workers.

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16.
One Inspirational Story Doesn't Blot Out Realities of Illegal Immigration
By Jerry Kammer
CIS Blog, May 9, 2016
http://cis.org/kammer/one-inspirational-story-doesnt-blot-out-realities-illegal-immigration

Excerpt: The Quinones story fits well with the theme that shapes much of Ramos's journalism. Ramos, himself an immigrant from Mexico, opines that the United States has a moral duty to accept illegal immigrants. He believes that bigotry is the motivation for those who are bothered by illegal immigration and the problems associated with it. He and his team of correspondents rarely report on the perspective of Americans whose lives have been disrupted by illegal immigration.

Well, as columnist Michael Barone wrote back in 2007: "You don't have to be a racist to be bothered by such things. You just have to be a citizen who thinks that massive failure to enforce the law is corrosive to society."

Now Donald Trump, with his reprehensible, sweeping denunciation of Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, is stoking the outrage of Ramos and others who believe it is wrong for the United States to deport those who cross the border illegally unless they later commit major felonies.

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17.
On Federalism, States' Rights, and the Power of Coercion
By Dan Cadman
CIS Blog, May 9, 2016
http://cis.org/cadman/federalism-states-rights-and-power-coercion

Excerpt:Various media outlets are reporting on a letter sent to the North Carolina governor from the Department of Justice (DOJ) threatening to withhold millions of federal dollars if something is not done to void the recently enacted state statute requiring that, in public places, individuals use bathrooms consistent with the gender reflected on their birth certificates (see here and here).

This is not the only evident use of the coercive powers of the federal government to achieve goals consistent with the "Obama agenda." Something similar has happened with the Department of Education in its oversight of universities and colleges on the matter of sexual violence on campus (see here and here). I do not suggest that sexual violence, or indeed assault of any kind, should be tolerated on campuses; I do question whether the administration is painting with too broad a brush, given that some of the incidents that triggered the massive DOE response of opening hundreds of investigations later proved false.

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18.
Good News / Bad News on OPT
By John Miano
CIS Blog, May 9, 2016
http://cis.org/miano/good-news-bad-news-opt

Excerpt:The lawsuit challenging the regulations designed to transform student visas into a guestworker program has taken a bizarre twist. I and the rest of the Immigration Reform Law Institute team were in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia last Wednesday for oral arguments on the Optional Practical Training Program.

This is a good news/bad news story. I will start with the bad news...

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The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization founded in 1985. It is the nation's only think tank devoted exclusively to research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States.