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Has Donald Trump already been elected president using the alias of Barack Obama? One might think so, based on the administration's announcement that it will conduct additional deportation raids in May and June against several hundred more of the most vulnerable and helpless immigrants of all - Central American mothers and children trying to escape intolerable gang violence in their home countries.
Reuters reports that DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson "was concerned about the most recent uptick in border crossings" and is ordering the raids to "deter" more refugees from showing up at the US border while fleeing for their lives and those of their children.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have both strongly condemned the raids.
Is Obama giving us a preview of what could happen to terrorize and rip apart millions of immigrant families, not just hundreds, if Trump is elected president?
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards. Roger's email address is email@example.com
Updated 05-14-2016 at 12:56 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law, PLLC
In two recent decisions, U.S. v. Golden Employment Group, Inc., 12 OCAHO nos. 1274 and 1277 (2016), the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) found Golden Employment Group, a staffing company, committed 465 Form I-9 violations and was ordered to pay $209,600. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sought a penalty of $305,525.
Inspection and Notice of Intent to Fine
After ICE served a Notice of Inspection on Golden Employment, the company requested and received an extension of time of three days to respond to the NOI; thus, all I-9s and documentation were due on April 15, 2013. Later, in May and June 2013, Golden Employment presented additional I-9 forms and supporting documentation to ICE.
Thereafter, ICE issued a Notice of Intent to Fine (NIF) alleging the violations in eight separate counts. Count I alleged Golden Employment failed to timely prepare and/or present 125 Form I-9s; count II alleged the company failed to prepare or present 265 Form I-9s for its employees; counts III, IV, and V were similar and alleged the company failed to ensure five employees properly completed section 1 and the company failed to complete section 2 and/or section 3, the company failed to ensure 22 employees properly completed section 1, and the company failed to properly complete section 2 and/or 3 of the I-9 form for 73 employees. Counts VI through VIII made similar allegations of the failure to timely prepare or present I-9 forms for 15 employees.
In April 2014, ICE served a Notice of Suspect Documents alleging the I-9 forms of 433 employees could not be verified as work-authorized. The company only contested seven of the 433 employees and ICE found those arguments to be without merit. Thus, all 433 employees were terminated by Golden Employment.
In serving the NIF, ICE determined that Golden Employment had an error rate of 35% and set the baseline penalty at $605 per violation. It treated the size of the company as a mitigating factor (somewhat surprising due to the hundreds of employees employed) and the seriousness of the violations as an aggravating factor. Thus, the penalty remained at $605 per violation.
Golden Employment’s Defenses
In its defense, Golden Employment’s owner, Paul Hughes, stated “he was led to believe that submissions could continue after April 15, 2013 to demonstrate compliance with the regulations.” When questioned where he obtained that belief, Hughes could not name the ICE auditor or officer nor produce any letters, emails or memorandum to support his assertion. Golden Employment asserts if these “late-filed” I-9 forms were considered, its error rate would be substantially reduced; thus, the baseline penalty would be substantially reduced and its penalty would be $63,250. OCAHO found this defense to be meritless.
Golden Employment also asserted approximately 50 employees worked less than 24 hours for the company; thus, it had no obligation to obtain a completed I-9 form for these employees. OCAHO held there is no statute, regulation, or case law to support this proposition; rather, the case law concerns where the employee was terminated before the third day of employment, when section 2 of the I-9 form must be completed by the employer. But the number of hours worked over a period of days does not relieve a company of its I-9 obligation, especially when the employee has reached the third day of employment. However, Golden Employment was relieved of any liability for failure to complete section 2 of the I-9 forms for those 29 employees, who worked less than three days from their first date of employment.
Golden Employment also asserted its use of E-Verify on five employees excused its failure to complete an I-9 form for these employees. This defense is without merit because the E-Verify program “does not purport to insulate an employer from the necessity of proper I-9 completion.”
Overall, Golden Employment was found liable 140 violations concerning the failure to timely present I-9 forms, 236 violations for failure to prepare I-9 forms, and 89 violations for failure to properly complete I-9 forms.
OCAHO determined Golden Employment was entitled to the 5% mitigating factors of no history of I-9 violations with ICE or its predecessor, good faith in the investigation and no evidence that it knowingly employed unauthorized workers. The latter two findings appear to be are contrary to OCAHO case law which states good faith must be shown before the issuance of the NOI and the mere presence of unauthorized workers, knowingly or unknowingly, creates a 5% aggravating factor for those unauthorized workers.
In conclusion, OCAHO assessed $500 each for the 236 violations of failure to prepare or present I-9 forms and $400 each for the 229 violations for failure to timely prepare I-9 forms or committing paperwork errors. Thus, the total penalty was $209,600 or approximately a 1/3 decrease in ICE’s proposed penalty.
Due to the substantial reduction in the penalties, almost $100,000, the employer smartly litigated the matter. At other times, an employer can reach a resolution with ICE which will substantially reduce the penalties. If ICE refuses to reduce the penalties more than 10% and a substantial amount of money is in dispute, litigation is usually the best course. Of course, part of the decision-making process is the types of violations and your defenses.
by Chris Musillo
On May 4, 2016, the USCIS published a proposed rule that will increase filing fees by an average of 21 percent. The proposed fees for most business immigration filings are in the table, below. The above-link will lead the reader to the full list of proposed increases.
USCIS is taking public comments through July 5, 2016. They last raised their fees in 2010. USCIS fees basically pay for the entire USCIS budget. Very little of the USCIS’ budget comes from federal tax dollars.
Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com and www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
In 2009, the Obama administration vowed to clean up chronic abuse in the deportation detention system after reports of detainees being left to die in cages after suffering untreated injuries and illness. ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton said the administration has "the responsibility to enforce our nation's immigration and customs laws, but we also have a responsibility to ensure the safety, security and well being of the individuals in our custody, and I am committed to both of these tremendous responsibilities."
Two years later nothing changed, and the Obama administration's pledge to clean up the immigration detention system was unfulfilled. Human Rights First (HRF) issued a report entitled Jails and Jumpsuits: Transforming the U.S. Immigration Detention System—A Two-Year Review.
HRF found that:
"...the overwhelming majority of detained asylum seekers and other civil immigration law detainees are still held in jails or jail-like facilities—almost 400,000 detainees each year, at a cost of over $2 billion. At these facilities, asylum seekers and other immigrants wear prison uniforms and are typically locked in one large room for up to 23 hours a day; they have limited or essentially no outdoor access, and visit with family only through Plexiglas barriers, and sometimes only via video, even when visitors are in the same building."
The American Civil Liberties Union also uncovered nearly 200 accusations of sexual abuse of immigrant detainees.
From the ACLU summary:
"Government documents obtained by the ACLU contain nearly 200 allegations of sexual abuse of immigration detainees jailed at detention facilities across the nation since 2007 alone. The documents were obtained from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and ICE. While the information gleaned from the documents likely does not represent the full scope of the problem given that sexual abuse is notoriously under-reported, the documents nonetheless make clear that the sexual abuse of immigration detainees is not an isolated problem limited to a few rogue facilities or to a handful of bad-apple government contractors who staff some of the nation’s immigration jails. According to the documents, while facilities in Texas are the focus of more allegations by far than any other state, sexual abuse allegations have come from nearly every state in the nation that houses an immigration detention facility."
And here we are two terms later.
A complaint has been filed with the Department of Homeland Security by Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) citing 61 cases illustrating a pattern of substandard medical care, and that ICE failed to conduct sufficient oversight of the medical care at Hudson in the Hudson County Correctional Facility (Hudson), located in Kearney, New Jersey. The complaint alleges Hudson has established a pattern and practice of substandard medical care, resulting in delays in cancer diagnoses, rapid weight loss in diabetic patients, and an outbreak of a fungal orbacterial infection, among others. It has been argued that Hudson’s pattern and practice of substandard medical care violates the U.S. Constitution, the New Jersey Torts Claims Act, and ICE’s federal standards.
The type of abuse and neglect cited include:
• Extended delays in responding to detainee requests for medical treatment;
• Repeated failures by medical staff to use language services to communicate with non-English speakers;
• Unlawful co-pay charges assessed by Hudson against people in ICE’s custody;
• Over-medication of detainees with mental health issues, resulting in everything from fatigue to memory lapse to coma-like states;
• Use of shackles when transported to outside hospitals, even for emergency situations;
• Lack of continuity of care for arriving detainees with chronic conditions;
• Failure to provide medication upon release;
• Unwarranted limits on access to necessary medical and mental health treatment, supplies and services;
• Delayed or denied care for serious conditions and diseases;
• Denial of necessary and timely care, or misdiagnoses, for detainees with serious conditions and diseases;
• Denial of medical records; and
• Lack of sanitary conditions, resulting in bacterial infections.
Specific examples were also provided:
• AM, a cancer survivor, was denied ongoing care. Although AM was provided with an outside hospital appointment, he never received the results of the visit or further check-ups after the hospital visit.
• BN, an HIV+ man who also has cancer, was not diagnosed with cancer for over two months. BN had abdominal pain and other symptoms, but the Hudson medical personnel claimed BN had hemorrhoids with no proper examination. After two months of excruciating pain andmultiple requests for medical attention, he was taken to an outside hospital where he was diagnosed with colon cancer.
• GW broke his leg and had surgery on his leg prior to being put into ICE custody. GW was ableto have a consultation with an outside doctor while at Hudson who said GW is in need of another surgery to “repair a broken internal fixation through the distal tibia and hypertrophicdegenerative changes of the medial malleolus,” among other issues in his leg. ICE has denied him physical therapy and this additional surgery because the “injury occurred prior to ICE custody.”
• FT, an HIV+ man, filed multiple requests for off-site specialty care, but was denied. FT ultimately was unable to participate in his court hearing due to shortness of breath, weakness,and inability to stand up to speak to the judge, forcing his immigration judge in court to call 911 so FT could be taken to the hospital. The hospital determined that he had a pacemaker, and the battery or pulse generator needed immediate replacement. It was replaced at the hospital,but FT has not received follow-up care.
• CP, who suffers from migraines, has been denied appropriate medical care and only receives Tylenol for the migraines, despite the fact there is preventative medication available for migraine sufferers.
• DR, a cancer survivor and diabetic patient, receives insufficient insulin, which has resulted in her rapid weight loss.
• ES suffers from extreme chronic headaches, dizziness and temporary losses of vision.Although he believes he is epileptic, he has not received any diagnostic tests at Hudson.
• HJ, an elderly woman, has lost much of her eyesight since she was detained; yet, she has received no eye and vision examinations, despite requests.
• In addition to these individual cases, approximately 90 percent of the people we work with a resuffering from a toenail fungus and/or bacterial infection that is turning the skin on their feet dark and brown with white spots. We believe this is due to the mold in the bathrooms and lack of appropriate disinfection/cleaning routines in the bathroom areas.
• In addition to these individual cases, multiple people in ICE’s custody at Hudson have told CIVIC that they have received bills for medical services, although Hudson assured First Friends during a recent tour of the facility in April that people in ICE’s custody are not charged for medical care. According to the results of an Open Public Record Act request CIVIC received on March 21, 2016, at least 18 people in ICE’s custody have submitted grievances to Hudson in 2014 and 2015 for unlawful co-pay or other medical charges.
I'm sure Obama will jump right on this in the last six months of his Presidency (right after he is done demagoguing Republicans for wanting to build a wall that Hillary Clinton voted numerous times for).
Updated 05-12-2016 at 08:07 AM by MKolken
The following is written by the Cato Institute's Alex Nowrasteh:
The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) published a report authored by Jason Richwine on the welfare cost of immigration. The CIS headline result, that immigrant-headed households consume more welfare than natives, lacks any kind of reasonable statistical controls. To CIS’s credit, they do include tables with proper controls buried in their report and its appendix. Those tables with proper controls undermine many of their headline findings. In the first section, I will discuss how CIS’ buried results undermine their own headline findings. In the next section, I will explain some of the other problems with their results and headline findings.
CIS’s Other Results
The extended tables in the CIS report paint a far more nuanced picture of immigrant welfare use than they advertised. To sum up the more detailed findings:
“In the no-control scenario, immigrant households cost $1,803 more than native households, which is consistent with Table 2 above. The second row shows that the immigrant-native difference becomes larger — up to $2,323 — when we control for the presence of a worker in the household. The difference then becomes gradually smaller as controls are added for education and number of children. The fourth row shows that immigrant households with the same worker status, education, and number of children as native households cost just $309 more, which is a statistically insignificant difference. The fifth row shows that immigrants use fewer welfare dollars when they are compared to natives of the same race as well as worker status, education, and number of children.” [emphasis added]
All of the tables I reference below are located in CIS’s report.
Table 5 shows that households headed by an immigrant with less than a high school education consume less welfare than native households with the same education level. For every other level of education, immigrant-headed households consume more than natives in the same education bracket.
Table 6 controls for the number of children in native and immigrant households. Immigrant households with one child, two children, and three or more children all consume fewer welfare benefits that the same sized native households. The only exception is that immigrant households without any children consume more.
Table 7 has more mixed results. It shows that Hispanic and black immigrant-headed households consume less welfare than Hispanic and black native-headed households. Immigrant white and Asian immigrants consume more welfare than native households headed by whites and Asians. Table 8 breaks down their results with numerous different controls. When controlled for a worker in the household, the number of children, the education of the head of household, and race, immigrant households consume less welfare.
Table A3 shows that immigrant households with the youngest heads, 29 years old and under, impose a much lower cost than households headed by natives of the same age. Table A4 shows that immigrants impose the greatest welfare costs in their first five years of residency but it decreases afterward and never again rises to that high initial level. Table A5 shows that immigrant-headed working households with less than a high school degree consume less welfare than their native household counterparts. For all other educational groups, the immigrant-headed households consume more than the comparable native-headed household.
Table A6 shows immigrant headed households with children by race. Households headed by Hispanic, black, and Asian immigrants all consume less welfare than their native counterparts. Households headed by white immigrants consume more welfare than white natives.
Table A7 controls for poverty and race. Overall, immigrant households in poverty consume less welfare than native households in poverty. Hispanic and black immigrant households both massively under consume compared to native Hispanics and blacks. White and Asian immigrant-headed households, on the other hand, consume more welfare than native households headed by members of the same race.
Many of the report’s detailed tables that use proper controls undermine their main conclusion. Excluding the bullet points at the beginning, this is a much more careful report than CIS has issued in the past. As a result, the report does come to a more nuanced conclusion than the headlines about it indicate.
Below I will describe in detail some methodological and other issues with the CIS analysis – some of which expand on CIS’s controlled results that were not headlined.
Individual Welfare Use or Head of Household
The CIS report compared all immigrant households and all of their inhabitants, including millions of native-born citizen children and U.S.-born spouses, with all households headed by native-born Americans. Richwine admits that the larger family size of immigrant households accounts for much (not all) of their greater welfare use because those born in the United States are eligible for all means-tested welfare benefits – even though Table 6 shows that immigrant households controlled for children consume a lower level of benefits. A household level analysis does not reveal who receives the benefits, leaving the impression that the immigrants are the intended legal beneficiaries when they are often legally excluded from these programs.
The CIS report should have compared immigrant individuals to native-born individuals for three reasons. First, the number of people in an individual does not vary but the number of people in a household can vary tremendously. The greater number of children in the immigrant household, rather than any different level of individual welfare use, is what largely drove the report’s results.
Second, Medicaid and SSI benefit levels and eligibility are determined on an individual basis, not a household one. Many immigrants are legally ineligible for those programs but their U.S.-born spouses and children do have access. Thus, CIS counts the benefits received by the U.S.-born children even though the immigrants themselves are often ineligible. This gives an inflated picture of immigrant welfare use.
Third, it’s a lot easier and more accurate to compute the immigrant and native welfare costs when they are individuals than it is to work backward from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), budgetary data, and imputations of program costs necessary due to a household analysis.
Cato published an analysis of poor immigrant welfare use that compares individuals. As a result, we can see the immigration or citizenship status, within limits, of the actual welfare users and the amount they consume. The immigrants themselves are almost always less likely to use welfare and consume a lower dollar value of benefits than similar natives – as CIS corroborates in Table A7 of their report.
The immigrant-headed household unit of analysis used in the CIS report presents other problems. As a unit, it is just not as meaningful as it once was. Professor Leighton Ku, director of the Center for Health Policy Research at George Washington University and a nationally recognized expert on these issues, wrote:
“Another problem is the ambiguous nature of what it means to be an ‘immigrant-headed household.’ In the CPS, a head of household is often assigned by the parent who is completing the survey: it could be the husband or wife. Consider an example of a five-person household, consisting of an immigrant male, a native-born wife, two native-born children, and a native-born unrelated person (such as someone renting a room). If the male has been deemed the head of household, this is an immigrant-headed household despite the fact that only one of five members is an immigrant and one (the renter) is not financially dependent on the immigrant. But if the wife was deemed the head of household, this would be a native-headed household, even though one member is an immigrant. Given that many families today have dual incomes and that the wife’s income often exceeds the husband’s, it is not clear if being assigned the ‘head of household’ in the Census form has much social meaning.”
The CIS report included the welfare cost of all the people living in the immigrant-headed household. They make the defensible case that those U.S.-born children should be included because they would not exist in the United States and, therefore, would not consume welfare without the immigrant being here. That’s a fair point, but it also leads to the defensible claim that the welfare consumed by the grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and every subsequent generation of an immigrant should also be included in the welfare calculation. After all, without the initial immigrant, those subsequent welfare consuming native-born Americans wouldn’t be here either.
The choice of researchers is to count just the immigrants and their welfare usage or to count the welfare consumed by the immigrants and all of their subsequent descendants. Influenced by the Texas Office of the Comptroller, Cato decided to measure the welfare consumption of the immigrants themselves and excluded all of the subsequent generations. CIS just counted the immigrants and their U.S.-born children and excluded their subsequent descendants (there are many grandchildren and great-grandchildren of immigrants alive today consuming welfare).
Medicaid and Obamacare
Differing Medicaid use rates and consumption levels account for over two-thirds of the entire gap between native and immigrant households in their headline results (table 2 of the CIS report). That result is an artifact of the welfare system prior to the implementation of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. This difference will shrink or reverse when native enrollment and use rates rise in response to Obamacare’s mandated 2014 Medicaid expansion and rollout of exchange subsidies.
Reform Welfare or Restrict Legal Immigration – Which is Easier?
CIS seeks to use immigrant welfare use as an argument for cutting legal immigration. Cato, on the other hand, has sought to build a wall around the welfare state and restrict non-citizen access rather than to more strictly regulate the international labor market. When I suggested that CIS concentrate on reforming welfare over further restricting immigration, Richwine said, “[welfare reform is] not a policy change likely to occur in the near future.” That may be true, but legally restricting legal immigration to the United States is even less likely to occur.
Richwine’s explanation for focusing on immigration cuts rather than welfare reform doesn’t stand to scrutiny. Congress has continually increased legal immigration levels since 1965. Congress considered a more restrictive immigration reform in 1996–and it was defeated handily. In the mid-1990s, a high of 65 percent of Americans wanted to decrease immigration and Congress still couldn’t pass such a reform. By mid-2015, only 34 percent of Americans wanted to decrease immigration. The last time the anti-immigration opinion was this unpopular was in 1965 – on the eve of a transformative liberalization.
Welfare, on the other hand, was reformed and restricted in 1996. Furthermore, the publicwants more reforms that limit welfare access and place more restrictions on welfare users. Historical trends and public opinion indicate that welfare reform is more likely and more popular than a severe reduction in legal immigration. Regardless, CIS should join Cato and focus its efforts on restricting immigrant access to welfare rather than spin its wheels in a quixotic quest for a more restrictive immigration policy.
Excluding the Big Welfare Programs
The CIS report only includes some means-tested welfare programs but excludes the rest of the welfare state. Their report includes all immigrants and natives divided by households so it should include all of the welfare state – including the largest portions of Social Security and Medicare. Immigrants pay large surpluses into Medicare and Social Security. Richwine might object to including these programs because age and work history determine eligibility for the programs, so he might want to control for those factors. That is a defensible argument, but it appears CIS thought that such a correction was not appropriate for the report’s headline results because they do not control for the eligibility of the programs. Tables with proper controls are buried later in the paper and the appendix. CIS should at least add Medicare and Social Security to the tables in its appendix.
One of the explanations Richwine gave for this report was “[w]ith the nation facing a long-term budgetary deficit, this study helps illuminate immigration’s impact on that problem.” As the OECD makes clear in its fiscal analysis, it makes little sense to exclude immigrant consumption and contribution to the old-age entitlement programs that are actually driving the long-term debt. If CIS wishes to grapple with the fiscal issues surrounding immigration, there is vast empirical literature on the topic that they should consult.
As a final point, CIS’s headline result should have compared poor immigrant welfare use to poor American welfare use instead of comparing all American households to all native households. The welfare benefit programs analyzed here are all intended for the poor. It adds little to include Americans and immigrants who are too wealthy to receive much welfare.
Net Fiscal Effects
Richwine includes a section in this CIS report where he attempts to defend his 2013 Heritage Foundation fiscal cost estimate that was roundly criticized by economists on the left and right. He makes a lot of confused statements concerning how to measure the fiscal impact of immigration. Instead of rehashing those arguments, here’s one small criticism of his 2013 Heritage paper: It was a 50-year fiscal cost analysis without a discount rate.
When they use appropriate controls in the later parts of their paper and their appendix, CIS reaches much less negative and sometimes even positive results than their messaging indicates. Many of the issues raised in this post may be too wonky for general consumption, but they are important for producing excellent research. Cato has published two workingpapers, a bulletin, a policy analysis, and a book chapter on immigrant welfare use and the broader fiscal effects in which we explain our methods and defend them against criticisms. We even include a literature survey on the topic that discusses the different results from the National Research Council. I invite anybody more interested in these issues to read them.
Special thanks to Charles Hughes for his excellent comments and suggestions on an earlier draft of this blog post.
Alex Nowrasteh is the immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. His popular publications have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, the Houston Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post, and elsewhere. His academic publications have appeared in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, the Fletcher Security Review, and Public Choice. Alex has appeared on Fox News, Bloomberg, and numerous television and radio stations across the United States. He is the coauthor, with Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, of the booklet Open Immigration: Yea and Nay (Encounter Broadsides, 2014).
He is a native of Southern California and received a BA in economics from George Mason University and a Master of Science in economic history from the London School of Economics.
Updated 05-12-2016 at 08:11 AM by MKolken