visa overstay

Sessions Shuts Down Stealth Amnesty

WASHINGTON Attorney General Jeff Sessionss has ordered an end to a longstanding practice of immigration judges (IJs): administratively closing cases to make them disappear from the docket. Immigration judges did this so often in past administrations that the procedure amounted to a vast amnesty-by-stealth for deportable aliens. When an alien’s case is administratively closed, the alien gets to stay in the United States until the case is reopened—and most such cases, once closed, are never reopened.

The Attorney General noted that out of fourteen briefs he received from various groups, the brief of the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) was the only one to oppose administrative closure. Again and again, this lopsidedness in briefing is the reality in these cases, with dozens of groups pushing open borders, and IRLI, standing alone, advocating enforcement.

Agreeing with IRLI’s brief, the Attorney General noted that no statute or regulation confers general authority on IJs to employ administrative closure. And Sessions declined to grant IJs this authority. Instead, he expressly overruled prior Board of Immigration Appeals cases that had recognized it.

Sessions’ ruling means that IJs will be unable to use administrative closure except in certain narrow circumstances where its use is provided for in regulations. As for cases that previously have been administratively closed, Sessions ordered that they must be reopened if either party that is, either the Department of Homeland Security or the alien so requests. Thus, his ruling ends stealth amnesty going forwward, and frees the government to roll back the massive stealth amnesty that has already happened.

“We are pleased that the Attorney General agreed with us and not the thirteen briefs on the other side,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “This ruling chokes off an abuse that has gone on far too long: letting deportable aliens stay by making their immigration cases just disappear. Immigration Judges undoubtedly are overworked,” Wilcox added, “but they are charged with applying our immigration laws, and have no authority simply to erase deportable aliens’ cases from the docket. Now the administration’s duty is clear: to step up, recalendar these prior cases, and finally bring them to a conclusion.”

The case is Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018).

In extraordinary public negotiation with Congress, Trump promises to sign DACA bill

WASHINGTON — President Trump promised Tuesday to sign what he called a "bill of love" to extend protections to 800,000 immigrants who entered the United States illegally as children — if Congress can work out the details.

"You folks are going to have to come up with a solution," Trump told 25 lawmakers in a remarkable televised negotiation at the White House. "And if you do, I'm going to sign that solution." 

But funding for a wall along the border with Mexico remains a sticking point, as Trump insisted that border security remain a part of any deal. 

Lawmakers are under a March 5 deadline — imposed by Trump — to come up with a legal fix to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA, as it's known, is now the main stumbling block holding up a wide range of other Trump administration immigration priorities. 

Conservative Republicans in the House want to link DACA to Trump's request for $18 billion for a border wall. That would give immigration talks even more urgency, as the spending bill must pass by Jan. 19 to prevent a government shutdown. 

So Trump and his top advisers sat down Tuesday with 25 members of Congress — 16 senators and nine representatives, 15 Republicans and 10 Democrats. And in an unusual move, the White House opened nearly an hour of the meeting to the press.

More: Trump demands Democrats cave on border wall before DACA fix

More: Trump: DACA will be 'terrific' if Democrats back his own immigration plans

More: Each day, 120 'dreamers' lose protection from deportation

The Republicans came with a common talking point: Congress needs a permanent fix to immigration enforcement, or else have to deal with the issue again. Democrats said the urgency of saving DREAMers from deportation meant that extending DACA must take priority.

The so-called DREAMers are the children of immigrants who remained in the country illegally — growing up as Americans but without the legal status. Obama's solution was to use his enforcement discretion to give up to 800,000 DREAMers a quasi-legal status, but the Trump administration has said Obama exceeded his authority and that any fix must come from Congress.

Trump said repeatedly on Tuesday that he would sign any bill Congress sends him to make that deferred action program legal. But then he later clarified that such a bill must also include border security measures, including funding for a border wall.

"A clean DACA bill, to me, is a DACA bill where we take care of the 800,000 people," he said. "We take care of them and we also take care of security. That's very important."

Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., the number two Democrat in the Senate, expressed optimism that such a deal could get done.  

As of March 5, one thousand people a day will lose their temporary status, Durbin said. “Lives are hanging in the balance. We’ve got the time to do it,” Durbin told Trump.

"We feel that we can put together a combination for the future of DACA as well as border security," said Durbin, sitting to Trump's right. "We want a safe border in America, period, both when it comes to the issues of illegal migration, but also when it comes to drugs and all these other areas."

But Republicans also want two other issues on the table: elimination of the diversity visa lottery program and family-based "chain migration." 

"Yes, we’ve got to do DACA, and I agree with you 100%," said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. "But if we do not do something with the security, if we do not do something with the chain migration, we are fooling each other that we solved the problem."

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, who was not in the meeting, said he was encouraged by Trump's more productive tone. "The fact that he limited things to just the four areas that were talked about — something we have been seeking for a while to see what the limits are—was a very good sign," he said.

More: How Trump's wall pledge is complicating a DACA bill for 'Dreamers'

After the reporters left, Trump showed even more flexibility, said Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. — especially on the issue of how much money he wants for the border wall.

“I went in very skeptical that anything would be accomplished, but the biggest part of the meeting — the best part — is what the president did actually a little more explanation of what the wall actually means to him,” said Flake, who has been a frequent critic of the president in the past. “The wall is really a fence.”

Tuesday's meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House was scheduled to be closed to reporters, but opened up on short notice. It quickly became perhaps the most extended open discussion between the president and congressional leaders since President Barack Obama's Blair House summit on health care eight years ago. Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., called it "the most fascinating meeting I’ve been involved with in 20-plus years in politics."

"I like opening it up to the media," Trump said. "Because I think they're seeing, more than anything else, that we're all very much on a similar page. We're on the same page."

The open negotiation also came amid growing questions about Trump's command of the issues following the release of a tell-all book last week. Often sitting with his arms crossed and directing the conversation, Trump delved into immigration policy with occasional tangents into earmarks, military spending and whether Oprah Winfrey will run for president. ("I don’t think she’s going to run," Trump said.)

After 55 minutes, Trump finally gave the signal for aides to usher reporters out of the room. "Thank you all very much. I hope we gave you enough material. This should cover you for about two weeks," he said.


 

Importing high-tech students and workers

 
A former Senior Special Agent with 30 years of INS service warns that “The notion of flooding America with increasing numbers of foreign high-tech students and foreign high-tech workers is a ‘Lose/Lose’ for America and Americans.”
 
Michael Cutler, writing on the Californians for Population Stabilization website, points out the problems in admitting large numbers of high-tech students who may or may not plan to use their knowledge for peaceful endeavors.  He notes that:
 
“ …today more than 500,000 foreign students are enrolled in universities in the United States to study the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curricula.
 
“While not all of these students are studying disciplines that have a direct nexus to nuclear technology, many disciplines do intersect with aerospace and nuclear technology. 
 
“Foreign students are permitted to engage in Optional Practical Training to put their education to use and learn how to apply what they have learned in the classrooms and university laboratories in the ‘real world.’ Sometimes these students work for companies that engage in military-related work. …”
 
China sends the second largest number (152,002) of foreign students to the U.S. after India which leads with 173,258, according to current statistics. 
 
Cutler says that China provides technical assistance to North Korea, a country continuously hostile to the U.S.
 
As well as endangering national security, the over-use of student and employee visa programs hurts U.S. citizen workers, which unfortunately is not a concern of some business interests.  Cutler quotes this testimony to Congress in 2009 by Alan Greenspan, the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank:
 
“…Greatly expanding our quotas for the highly skilled would lower wage premiums of skilled over lesser skilled. Skill shortages in America exist because we are shielding our skilled labor force from world competition. Quotas have been substituted for the wage pricing mechanism. In the process, we have created privileged elite whose incomes are being supported at noncompetitively high levels by immigration quotas on skilled professionals. …”
 
Should immigration policy serve to increase profits for businesses or to protect the safety and well-being of citizens?
 
Besides the safety factor, foreign students have a high rate of overstaying their visas.
 
Click here to read Cutler’s entire article,  America Undermines Its National Security By Educating Its Adversaries.
 
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