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    Published on 07-28-2015 11:53 AM

    Factors to be Considered in the Exercise of Discretion

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    Published on 07-28-2015 11:45 AM

    Analysis of Immigration Subcommittee's Sanctuary Cities Hearing

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    Published on 07-27-2015 01:53 PM

    Share Terrorism: When Reality Meets Unrealistic Expectations

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    U.S. law enforcement is under incredible pressure to thwart every terrorist plot, an impossible task as made clear by the July 16 attack on a military recruiting station and a Navy Reserve center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The attack underscores the reality of the current terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland.

    It shows that the most likely type of attack to occur inside the United States is one launched by a lone assailant or a small cell working under the leaderless resistance operational model. This shift to leaderless resistance first began with the white supremacist movement in the late 1980s. Animal rights, environmental activist and anarchist groups soon followed suit. Although jihadist ideologues began discussing the concept as early as 2004, it wasn't until 2009 that jihadist groups such as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula began to actively promote the concept to jihadists residing in the West. The Islamic State adopted the leaderless resistance strategy in September 2014.

    Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, the shooter killed by police in the Chattanooga attack, is the prototypical leaderless resistance assailant. He had no known connection or even communications with a jihadist group. He plotted and launched his attack alone and, judging from interviews with his friends and family members, gave very little indication of his impending plans. He was apparently self-radicalized and reportedly influenced in some part by the preaching of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born ...

    Published on 07-27-2015 01:39 PM

    Scott Walker's Short-Sighted Views on Immigration Policy

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    16936138081_b160c56ce6_k
    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has just become the 15th candidate to announce his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination. His public statements and policy choices as Governor demonstrate a policymaker lacking a clear and consistent view on immigration, who also used his budget authority as Governor to take higher education out of the reach of undocumented students in Wisconsin.

    With respect to his views on a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, the Associated Press reports that his view have changed over time:

    “As early as 2002, Walker supported creating a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living in the country illegally. Now he doesn’t. He attributed the shift to his conversations with border-state governors and voters nationwide. “

    His views now seem to closely reflect the failed enforcement-first strategy of past candidates like Mitt Romney. When interviewed by ABC News over the weekend he said: “My position on immigration is simple. Secure the border, enforce the laws.”

    Published on 07-24-2015 11:19 AM

    Some 3-Year Work Permits Being Recalled by USCIS

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    This week, the federal government announced that it would take more aggressive steps to retrieve 2,600 3-year DACA grants, including launching home visits for a small number of people. This move stems from developments in Texas v. United States, the legal challenge to expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA).

    Background.

    Expanded DACA and DAPA were announced in a memo by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. Among other things, that memo says that effective November 24, 2014, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was to begin issuing 3-year DACA grants to people who meet the requirements for the original DACA program. And that’s exactly what the government did. In fact, after that date, USCIS issued roughly 108,000 3-year DACA grants in the form of work permits. Then, on February 16, 2015, Andrew Hanen, the conservative judge presiding over Texas v. U.S., handed down a preliminary injunction that ordered a temporary halt to the implementation of expanded DACA and DAPA. That injunction, ...

    Published on 07-24-2015 10:43 AM

    By the Numbers: Does Immigration Cause Crime?

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    The alleged murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco by illegal immigrant Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez has reignited the debate over the link between immigration and crime. Such debates often call for change in policy regarding the deportation or apprehension of illegal immigrants.

    However, if policies should change, it should not be in reaction to a single tragic murder. It should be in response to careful research on whether immigrants actually boost the US crime rates.

    With few exceptions, immigrants are less crime prone than natives or have no effect on crime rates. As described below, the research is fairly one-sided.

    There are two broad types of studies that investigate immigrant criminality. The first type uses Census and American Community Survey (ACS) data from the institutionalized population and broadly concludes that immigrants are less crime prone than the native-born population. It is important to note that immigrants convicted of crimes serve their sentences before being deported with few exceptions.

    However, there are some potential problems with Census-based studies that could lead to inaccurate results. That’s where the second type of study comes in. The second type is a macro level analysis to judge the impact of immigration on crime rates, generally finding that increased immigration does not increase crime and sometimes even causes crime rates to fall.

    Type 1: Censuses of the Institutionalized Immigrant Population

    Butcher and Piehl examine the incarceration rates for men aged 18-40 in the 1980, 1990, and 2000 Censuses. In each year, immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than natives with the gap widening each decade. By 2000, immigrants have incarceration rates that are one-fifth those of the native-born.

    Butcher and Piehl wrote another paper focusing on immigrant incarceration in California by looking at both property and violent crimes by city. Between years 2000 and 2005, California cities with large inflows of recent immigrants tended have lower violent crimes rates and the findings are statistically significant. During the same time period, there is no statistically significant relationship between immigration and property crime.

    Ewing, Martinez, and Rumbaut summarize their findings on criminality and immigration thusly:

    Roughly 1.6 percent of immigrant males 18-39 are incarcerated, compared to 3.3 percent of the native-born. The disparity in incarceration rates has existed for decades, as evidenced by data from the 1980, 1990, and 2000 decennial census. In each of those years, the incarceration rates of the native-born were anywhere from two to five times higher than that of immigrants.

    They continue by focusing on immigrant incarceration rates by country of origin in the 2010 Census. Less educated young Mexican, Salvadoran, and Guatemalan men (poorly educated young men are most likely to be incarcerated) make up the bulk of the unlawful immigrant population but have significantly lower incarceration rates than native-born ...

    Published on 07-23-2015 12:04 PM

    The Effectiveness of Alternatives to Detention for Asylum Seekers

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    Published on 07-23-2015 11:30 AM

    Will Reforms to the EB-5 Program Impact Franchises?

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    Given the EB-5 Regional Center Program’s pending expiration on September 30, 2015, the EB-5 community is anxiously waiting to see what changes and reforms will be made to the Program in order to ensure its re-authorization. One bill—the bi-partisan American Job Creation and Investment Promotion Reform Act of 2015 (aka the Grassley-Leahy Bill) —currently being reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee – proposes to re-authorize the program for five years and to institute sweeping reforms, including enhanced oversight, increased accountability and transparency, and a higher priority for national security while discouraging fraud. (For more details, read our earlier coverage of the proposed Act).

    Franchise EB-5

    There is no doubt that investors and business owners/project developers alike are concerned about how the bill, if implemented, would impact their projects.  Perhaps the most notable change proposed by the Act is an increase in the minimum investment thresholds: from $500,000 to $800,000 for TEA (Targeted Employment Area)[1] investments and from $1,000,000 $1,200,000 ...

    Published on 07-22-2015 02:42 PM

    Leaving TPS Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Going Home

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    Published on 07-22-2015 02:26 PM

    Position Paper Settled v. Unsettled Collateral Estoppel or Topple Signed

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    Published on 07-21-2015 02:32 PM

    Further Consequences to Employers for Immigration Non-Compliance

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    Background

    Since June 2014, the government has introduced various measures to ensure higher standards for, and better compliance with, Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Measures introduced include:

    • The realignment of recruitment requirements based on salary rather than NOC Code [NOC is the National Occupational Classification – a dictionary of occupations organized by levels of job sophistication]
    • The imposition of a ‘transition plan’ requirement for high wage occupations in a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application, to show how the employer will transition the position from the foreign worker to a Canadian. Such plan is to be reviewed for compliance if a later LMIA is sought for the same position.
    • An increased numbers of inspections and audits.

    The government has now announced yet another measure by which it seeks to enforce compliance with the TFWP. Effective December 1, 2015, it will begin imposing ‘Administrative Monetary Penalties’ (AMPs) for non-compliant employers.

    Administrative Monetary Penalties

    As the name suggests, the government will begin imposing monetary penalties for employers who fail to comply with their immigration/labour market ...

    Published on 07-21-2015 02:14 PM

    Opportunity Knocks in Disappointing Decision Vacating Stem Optional Practical Training Rule for Foreign Students

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    Adversity is the mother of progress
    Mahatma Gandhi>>

    I was at first greatly disappointed to find out that a federal district court judge vacated the 2008 STEM Optional Practical Training rule that extended practical training to F-1 students by an additional 17 months. However, if one reads Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (WashTech) v. DHS closely, the decision does not look so bad and provides an opportunity for the Obama administration to further expand STEM practical training, as promised in the November 20, 2015 executive actions for skilled workers

    . 

    Foreign students can receive up to 12 months of OPT upon graduation. In 2008, the Department of Homeland Security under President Bush抯 administration published regulations authorizing an additional 17-months extension of the OPT period for foreign students who graduated in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematical) fields. Plaintiffs WashTech challenged both the 12 month OPT and the STEM OPT. The challenge to the original 12 month OPT rule was dismissed, but on August 12, 2015, U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle vacated the rule that extended OPT by 17 months for a total period of 29 months for STEM graduates. The 2008 rule was published without notice and comment, and the court agreeing with the plaintiffs ruled that the DHS had not shown that it faced a true emergency situation that allowed the agency to issue the rule without notice and comment.

     

    It is disappointing that Judge Huvelle granted plaintiffs standing in the first place on the flimsy ground that they were currently employed as computer programmers, who were a subset of the STEM market. [Contrast this with the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Arpaio v. Obama  two days later dismissing Sherriff Arpaio's standing claim on the spurious ...


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