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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, 5/9/16


What's Happening at the Center
In her latest report, Senior Researcher Nayla Rush details how the administration is working with the United Nations to fly Central American children directly to the United States to reunite with family members under the guise of refugee resettlement. Eighty percent of the recently resettled 71,000 Central American children were released to sponsors who are in the United States illegally. More than half of the sponsors were parents and many others were siblings, aunts, and uncles. The costly program represents a major legalization program in lieu of congressional legislation.

Recent Activities
Publication
1. Welcoming Unaccompanied Alien Children to the United States: Family reunification disguised as refugee resettlement

Blogs
2. Good News/Bad News on OPT
3. Bill Would Defund CAM, the Stealth Executive Action Program Abroad
4. A Romantic Start that Turned into a $20 Million H-1B Fraud Case
5. The UN's #RefugeeChildren Campaign
6. An Afternoon at Immigration Court
7. Has the Notion of "Executive Action" for Syrian Refugees Even Infected the UNHCR?
8. Some Minor Good News on Visa Mills Accrediting Official Leaves Job
9. On Prosecutorial Discretion and Tired Analogies


1.
Welcoming Unaccompanied Alien Children to the United States
By Nayla Rush
CIS Backgrounder, May 2016
http://cis.org/Welcoming-Unaccompanied-Alien-Children-to-the-United-States

Excerpt: The constant flows of unaccompanied minors from Central America illegally crossing the border from Mexico to the United States have been met with rather welcoming measures by this administration. After trying to fit them under the trafficking umbrella, the U.S. government opted to treat these children as potential refugees. Given the limited scope of the Central American Minors (CAM) Refugee/Parole Program, new mechanisms are being developed with the help of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to process these children in the region and then fly them directly to the United States. The question remains: Why bring these "child refugees" here since UNHCR, among others, stresses family reunion or placement in a family from the child's own culture? Unless, of course, family members are already in the United States and this entire process is nothing but a disguised vehicle for family reunification.

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2.
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. Unfortunately, this takes a lengthy setup.

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3.
Bill Would Defund CAM, the Stealth Executive Action Program Abroad
By Dan Cadman
CIS Blog, May 5, 2016
http://cis.org/cadman/rep-gosar-introduces-bill-defund-cam-obama-administrations-stealth-executive-action-program-a

Excerpt: Although my blog post and the prior writings were focused more on the matter of Syrian and other Middle Eastern and even sub-Saharan migrants queuing up to find their way to the First World, the fact of the matter is that this activist expansion of how the UNHCR (and, for that matter, the Obama administration) chooses to construe the "right" to migrate even when outside the boundaries prescribed by law, is equally relevant to the Americas, as Kausha Luna persuasively shows in her most recent blog post, "The UN's #RefugeeChildren Campaign".

The fact is that generalized violence even civil war, per se forms no basis on which an individual may claim asylum or refuge, a fact both UNHCR and DOS would like us to ignore. Increasingly, aliens have been shoe-horned into meeting the definition of "refugee" or "asylee" through expansive interpretations of what constitutes political opinion (which these days can mean no political opinion whatever as long as you can claim that someone else imputes an opinion to you), or what it means to be a member of a "particular social group."

And, when stretching that rubber band as far as it will go still doesn't get you far enough, there is always extensive application of the immigration parole authority, which has been the subject of much abuse in the past seven-plus years by officials within the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

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4.
A Romantic Start that Turned into a $20 Million H-1B Fraud Case
By David North
CIS Blog, May 4, 2016

Excerpt: The feds charge that $20 million was obtained fraudulently in an immigration scheme that involved hundreds of Asians, and that part of the scam involved a geographic area that our government has ruled to be economically depressed.

Sounds like another EB-5 scandal, right?

Wrong! Most of the money, according to an indictment in the Eastern District of Virginia, came out of the H-1B program, with lesser sums being obtained from Small Business Administration benefits.

The whole thing started out on what I if not the feds regard as a romantic moment.

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5.
The UN's #RefugeeChildren Campaign
By Kausha Luna
CIS Blog, May 4, 2016
http://cis.org/luna/uns-refugeechildren-campaign

Excerpt: This campaign is yet another example of the one-dimensional migration narrative propagated by open borders supporters. While violence is one of the push factors for migration to the United States, the campaign fails to acknowledge other principal push and pull factors, such as better economic and educational opportunities, family reunification, and recent U.S. immigration lenience toward Central American migrants. As my colleague Nayla Rush recently explained, family reunification is a key factor in the migration of Central American minors. Therefore, the assertions of campaigns like the one described above should not be taken at face value. One should evaluate why these minors are really coming to the United States, question labels such as "refugee children," and question policies intended to benefit these presumed refugees.

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6.
An Afternoon at Immigration Court
By CIS, May 3, 2016
http://cis.org/cis/afternoon-immigration-court

Excerpt: The immigration court in the city of Boston is located within a huge, grim, and somewhat dilapidated federal government complex built in the 1960s. The immigration courtrooms are windowless, chilly, and formal, though functional. This juxtaposition between a solid inner layer and the crumbling outer layer is a reasonable metaphor for how the immigration court works: well-intended, capable workers on the inside, but unfortunately saddled with some terribly dysfunctional infrastructure.


During my time at the courthouse, I observed the conclusion of one hearing and three hearings in full. All four cases were arbitrated by Judge Matthew D'Angelo, who has been an immigration judge since 2003. Prior to becoming a judge, he was a counsel for the Department of Homeland Security, detention division.

Judge D'Angelo runs his courtroom with the ease of long practice, and has an air of almost reading off of a script when he speaks. His general level of competence is apparent to all.

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7.
Has the Notion of "Executive Action" for Syrian Refugees Even Infected the UNHCR?
By Dan cadman
CIS Blog, May 2, 2016
http://cis.org/cadman/has-notion-executive-action-syrian-refugees-even-infected-unhcr

Excerpt: Then there is the question of many others who may not be outright terrorists, but whose motives and bonafides are open to question even as they flock across international borders, legally or otherwise, under the auspices of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other international organizations. For instance, Breitbart.com recently carried a story derived from the German newspaper Bild. Photojournalist Daniel Etter was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his picture of the Majids, an Iraqi migrant family arriving on the shores of Greece, the father crying with joy. The father was later interviewed by BBC and showered praise on Angela Merkel for saving this family of Sunni Muslims from having to live under the persecution of majority-Shiite Iraq. Having won the prize, Etter tried to track down the family in Germany, where they had been accepted, to share the happy news with them. He searched in vain. After considerable effort, enterprising Bild reporters discovered that all but one son had returned to Iraq and were living in the city of Erbil; the son who remained was in trouble with authorities for having beaten up an Afghan refugee claimant, for which he was thrown out of the government-sponsored refugee camp where he had been living.

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8.
Some Minor Good News on Visa Mills Accrediting Official Leaves Job
By David North
CIS Blog, May 2, 2016
http://cis.org/north/some-minor-good-news-visa-mills-accrediting-official-leaves-job

Excerpt: Should ACICS be forced out of the picture it would have a more immediate impact on the Corinthians than on the Herguans; without accreditation the Corinthians and other marginal private-for-profit schools would lose the all-important access to federal grant programs.

Loss of the accreditation certainly would not help the Herguan-like institutions, but it would not automatically terminate the ability of such schools to issue the I-20 documents, setting in motion student visas for aliens. This is because, while ACICS has low standards for it accreditations, the Department of Homeland Security has no standards whatsoever. It is perfectly happy to let unaccredited institutions issue the I-20s, and there are hundreds of them.

There is an exception to that statement. Congress will no longer let DHS license flight schools without the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration, but it took the department years to carry out that post-9/11 mandate.

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9.
On Prosecutorial Discretion and Tired Analogies
By Dan Cadman
CIS Blog, May 2, 2016
http://cis.org/cadman/prosecutorial-discretion-and-tired-analogies

Excerpt:Columnist Ruben Navarette recently wrote that he has come to believe that the immigration executive actions undertaken by the Obama administration were a mistake not for the reasons cited by conservatives and pro-enforcement types such as myself, but because the recipients have been fed a meal of crumbs and expected to be as grateful as if they had gotten the steak that they deserved.

Navarette went on to suggest that at the recent oral arguments before the Supreme Court, the advocates who opposed such executive actions did a poor job of making the argument that they actions exceeded the president's lawful authority of exercising prosecutorial discretion. In making his own argument, Navarette resorts to the threadbare analogy of being let off with a warning instead of a ticket by a police officer for a traffic offense. I have heard and read this umpteen times now, and it is still as inapt as the first time I encountered it.

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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.