Thursday, March 27, 2014

As We Have Been Trying To Trying To Tell Congress For Months!

Analysis of ICE data: Amnesty is already in effect for nearly all illegals who are already here

According to a three-page analysis from Jeff Sessions’s office: The good news is, at least ICE is prioritizing correctly. Illegals who’ve committed serious criminal offenses are the first out the door, followed by people caught at the border trying to sneak in and those caught inside the U.S. after having been deported before. The other 99.92 percent who are already here are, however, apparently here to stay, unless/until a Republican president sends down the order to restart deportations among that group. And given the GOP leadership’s icy panic about further alienating Latino voters, the odds of that are near zero.

Remember this the next time amnesty shills like Luis Gutierrez screech that Obama is the “deporter-in-chief.”

Since two-thirds of [the 368,000] removals [last year] were not interior deportations but border apprehensions, let’s focus on the 133,000 removals that are more commonly understood as deportations. Of the 133,000 interior removals in FY13, ICE reports 82%, or 110,000, were convicted criminals (see breakdown here). ICE further reports that 80,000 of the 110,000 were convicted of a felony (including 53,000 convicted of one or more aggravated felonies). The remaining 30,000 were convicted of a crime less than a felony but in most cases, according to ICE, had also either absconded or re-entered the country illegally after being deported (a felony). Altogether, 60% of all convicted criminals removed by ICE had either been previously deported and returned to this country whereupon they committed a crime, or had been released after being apprehended by immigration authorities and fled, becoming a fugitive.

So, we are left with roughly 23,000 interior removals which, according to ICE, don’t have a known criminal conviction in the U.S. on their record. Of those 23,000, ICE reports that 13,000 are either fugitives or habitual offenders/previous deportees. That leaves only 10,000 removals out of 368,000 removals — or just 2% —who were seemingly removed/returned for immigration crimes without additional serious offenses such as being felons or fugitives. However, according to the National ICE Council, many of these were security red flags for other reasons (for instance, they had been in and out of jail for serious offenses without a conviction) and the field office was able to overcome “prosecutorial discretion” to secure a removal.

As previously established, of the 12 million current illegal immigrants and visa overstays, approximately 0.2% were removed who did not have a criminal conviction and approximately 0.08% were removed who were not habitual offenders/previous deportees or convicted criminals.

Less than two weeks ago, under heavy pressure from immigration activists, Obama ordered a review of ICE’s deportation policies to make them more “humane.” Maybe, as Sessions suspects, that means dropping even those cases involving immigration fugitives and people who’d been deported previously, which would reduce the number of deportations of non-criminal illegals to near zero. Or maybe O will go the whole nine yards and follow the Chuck Schumer plan, which would spare illegals from deportation if they would qualify for legal status under the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill. We may yet reach the point of executive power grabs, in other words, where not only isn’t Obama enforcing laws that Congress has passed, he’s enforcing laws that haven’t passed. And if you’re trying to find comfort in the fact that O has said repeatedly that he doesn’t have the authority to stretch immigration laws any further towards formal amnesty, remember: When it comes to executive overreach, he says a lot of things he doesn’t mean.

By the way, House Democrats are bringing a discharge petition to the floor today to try to force a vote on immigration reform. Remind me again why Republicans are opposed to it. If a de facto amnesty is already in effect and it’s certain that a Republican president won’t undo Obama’s actions for fear of a political backlash, what exactly is the reason to keep fighting formal legalization? The fix is in.

Reprinted from blog entry by AllahPundit as published in

Ben Ferro

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Questionable Claims And Promises Being Made In Support Of Mass Legalization

Fibbing about immigration reform is part of the amnesty-for-everybody agenda

Honesty from advocates would be a refreshing change

Like most Republicans, I oppose a mass amnesty for illegal aliens. I think it unjust that aliens who are engaged in lawful work or study should be ordered, along with their families, to return home when their visas expire while the illegal aliens who worked or studied beside them are invited to stay for the rest of their lives.

Even so, as a father and grandfather, I can imagine the heartbreak of middle-aged parents being forced to restart their lives in the impoverished, crime-wracked countries from whence many came. In short, I feel sorry for them. I expect that most citizens who tell opinion pollsters they support amnesty for illegal alien families are unmoved by political and economic arguments. Instead, like me, they just feel sorry for them.

Why has natural human sympathy for families in distress, found among Americans of all political persuasions, not led to more progress on immigration reform? House Speaker Boehner blames it on his caucus’ “distrust” of President Obama, but legalization advocates who genuinely care about the plight of the undocumented need to realize that conservative distrust is not limited to the president. These advocates have cast doubt on their own motives and intentions by promoting their amnesty-for-everybody agenda with misleading claims and false promises. A few examples:

“Back taxes.” President Obama has repeatedly asserted that “legalization” is not “amnesty” because legalized aliens will have to pay “back taxes” before adjusting their status. As with his infamous promises about Obamacare, the president should have read the bill before reciting his talking points. The Senate’s legalization bill does require that “back taxes” be paid, but “back taxes” are then cleverly defined as taxes that have been “assessed.” Since taxes are “assessed” only when reported on a tax return or discovered during an Internal Revenue Service audit, illegal aliens who never filed a tax return and never got caught have no “back taxes” to pay.

“Record deportations.” Democrats belittle “enforcement-first” Republicans, claiming that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has deported more illegal aliens under Mr. Obama than under any other president. How can this be, when the ICE union’s president has stated in sworn testimony to Congress that ICE officers are “regularly prohibited” by Obama appointees from arresting illegal aliens? The answer is “fuzzy math.”

In recent litigation, the administration was forced to disclose that ICE apprehensions have fallen dramatically since the president took office. ICE deportations have increased only because hundreds of thousands of aliens apprehended at the border, who in the past were returned by the Border Patrol, have instead been turned over to ICE for “deportation.” The president admitted this “deception” during a 2011 roundtable of Hispanic reporters: “The statistics are actually a little deceptive because … we’ve been apprehending folks at the borders and sending them back. That is counted as a deportation, even though they may have only been held for a day.”

“We can’t deport 11 million people.” The vastness of the illegal population supposedly makes them impossible to remove. Yet, when arrested, five out of six illegal aliens return home voluntarily. The problem is not getting them to leave; it is finding them in the first place. To stem future illegal immigration, the Senate bill requires employers to validate the Social Security numbers of new hires through the federal E-Verify system. In fact, through its “no-match” program, the Social Security Administration already knows which employees are using suspicious numbers; it simply won’t share that information with ICE. If Congress made them do so, ICE could then track down most illegal workers already in the country, most of whom would then depart without resort to whips or cattle cars.

“Kids” and “Dreamers.” According to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a recent convert to amnesty: “It is time to provide an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children and who know no other home.” To be sure, the undocumented high school honor student who was brought here as a baby has a compelling argument for merciful application of our immigration laws. However, none of the “Dreamer” proposals on the table require that the alien arrived as a child or was brought here by his parents. A 16-year old who jumped the border to join a Los Angeles street gang is also eligible.

These and other questionable claims and promises in support of mass legalization have gained currency only because of enormous expenditures to promote them through lax or biased media. If any of the interest groups that advocate legalization really want to help the undocumented, they should stop fibbing to the public about immigration reform and become credible partners with Republicans, who are open to humanitarian solutions for the most deserving cases.

Reprinted from an article in the Washington Times by William Chip, who  is an international attorney and a member of the Center for Immigration Studies Board of Directors

Ben Ferro

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Immigration Integrity Group Continues To Advocate Instilling Integrity Into Our Legal Immigration System

Subsequent to last month’s posting of the article entitled Swinging the Door Wide Open: Asylum Fraud, I learned that our former and highly-regarded colleague, Don Crocetti, was among the subject matter experts invited to testify before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.

Don’s testimony, can be accessed here: DON'S TESTIMONY

This testimony addresses numerous abuses and vulnerabilities disclosed by a benefit fraud assessment conducted by USCIS’ Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) Directorate, for which he was the architect and former director.  

As you will see upon reading the testimony, the referenced asylum fraud assessment and several others conducted by FDNS during Don’s tenure as chief never made it through USCIS’ bureaucratic maze of internal review and approval, thus were never finalized and released for public knowledge. [So much for transparency, huh? Surprised?]

Don explained to Congress that a statutory mandate is needed because immigration services components have historically been more focused on increasing production and reducing processing times, than enhancing quality and integrity, which is extremely dangerous in today’s post 9/11 world.

I hope you find Don’s testimony thoughtful and worthy of your time reading it. I encourage you to provide comments on the InsideINS blog, as I believe this subject is very worthy of discussion by the people who know best; you! Also feel free to provide comments directly to Don via the Contact Us tab on his Immigration Integrity 


Ben Ferro

Monday, March 10, 2014

The government considers them "low risk"! Are any immigration violators high risk?

U.S. Has Lost Track Of Tens Of Thousands Of Foreign Students Who Came To Study Then Took Jobs

The federal government has lost track of tens of thousands of foreign students who came to the U.S. to study and then took jobs, often in violation of the terms of their visas, according to a new internal audit.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement doesn’t even consistently collect information or have the tools to monitor all of the foreign students who take part in the optional practical training (OPT) program, the Government Accountability Office said in a new report released late Friday.

“The problems with OPT are extensive and serious. The report not only calls into question the department’s oversight of the program, but also whether such lack of oversight is a serious national security risk,” Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the Iowa Republican who released the report, said in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

Officials who run the Student and Exchange Visitor Program have deemed OPT to be a low-risk program, but the new findings suggest that may be wrong.

Immigration agents told investigators they view the program as a gateway to illegal immigration, since students who are approved are allowed to work not just during their time in school, but also for up to 29 months after they complete their studies.
The agents said that since those students no longer show up for class, both the government and schools have a tough time monitoring whether they are complying with the terms of their visas by working within their field and going home when their time is up.

Indeed, a high percentage of student records don’t even list an employer’s name.

Some concerns raised by investigators about the program were deemed too sensitive to release to the public, and they were redacted from the 46-page report.

Homeland Security officials agreed with the six recommendations investigators made, and said they’ve already taken some steps to find missing documents.
Officials also said they will finish a full risk analysis of schools that may pose a risk of problems by Sept. 30.

OPT was designed to allow foreign students to gain some work experience in their field of study while they are in the U.S. The program allows students to stay for a period of time even after they have completed their study — 14 months for most students, but up to 31 months for those in science, math and technology fields.

As of late last year, about 100,000 of the 1 million foreign students in the U.S. were approved to take part in OPT.

GAO investigators said they found thousands of students whose records show they stayed beyond the time limit.

Their report lists a number of pieces of information that federal authorities don’t accurately track for all students in the program, including employers’ names; whether the job is actually related to their field of study; and job start date and duration.
“By collecting the appropriate information in SEVIS and monitoring such information for compliance, ICE may better position itself to determine whether foreign students approved for OPT are maintaining their legal student visa status while supplementing their education with employment directly related to their areas of study in the United States,” investigators said. “Moreover, having more complete data in SEVIS on foreign students working under OPT could help strengthen ICE’s efforts to identify and assess potential risks to OPT.”

Reprinted from an article in The Washington Times by Stephen Dinan

Ben Ferro