Thursday, March 29, 2012

Terrorist Sleepers?

Vast Inflows of Middle East Immigrants, Visitors May Put U.S. at Risk

The possibility of an attack on Iran to stop its nuclear weapons program, and the Iranian retaliation such an attack might prompt, again highlight the potential national security consequences of a sustained period of mass immigration.

A new Center for Immigration Studies report examines recent admissions of immigrants and temporary visitors from selected countries from the broader Middle East whose citizens could be involved in Iranian attacks on domestic targets in the United States, including Iran, its neighbors, and other countries with Shia populations. It finds a disconnect between current immigration policies and national security needs. While a number of important security-oriented improvements have been made to our screening systems, the sheer volume of the annual inflow of visitors and permanent residents has created a “haystack” so large as to overwhelm even the most sophisticated pre- or post-admissions screening or targeted enforcement programs.

The report is online here. Key findings include:

 *   In just a single year, 2010, the U.S. admitted more than 300,000 visitors and immigrants from 16 selected countries. These individuals were admitted as non-immigrant visitors, refugees, asylees, or permanent residents.

*    Nearly 58,000 of these were admitted as permanent residents. The vast majority of permanent admissions from high-risk countries were on the basis of marriage to a U.S. citizen or as a refugee or asylee. Both of these categories are notorious for high fraud rates.

 &   Over the last decade, well over 2.5 million people were admitted from these high-risk countries, with the largest numbers coming from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Iran. These numbers have been trending up over the last decade.

*    These numbers suggest a shift away from the mindset that a more restrictive admissions policy and consistently robust immigration law enforcement is a necessary component of national security.

The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820,  Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076.  Email: Contacts: W.D. Reasoner, Bryan Griffith,, (202) 466-8185

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States.  The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization

Canadian Immigration minister plans reforms to foreign credential recognition

In an effort to address issues surrounding foreign credential recognition, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has proposed a plan to assess skilled workers before they arrive in Canada.

For instance, immigrants applying to come to Canada as federal skilled workers would have their education credentials verified by a third party.

If adopted, the plan would give newcomers a sense of how their credentials stack up against someone with a similar Canadian education. It's also expected any new policy would screen out those who don't have adequate levels of education.

Kenney ultimately hopes it will address the problem of immigrants arriving in Canada only to discover they can't work in their respective field.

"Our government is building an immigration system that is focused on economic growth and ensuring that all Canadians, including immigrants are able to contribute to their maximum capacity," Kenney said Wednesday. "By having their foreign education credentials assessed before their arrival to Canada, foreign skilled workers will have a better sense of how their credentials fit into the Canadian labour market and will be able to contribute their full skill set to the economy more quickly."

The pre-arrival assessment does not guarantee the applicant will find work in Canada commensurate with their skills, nor does it guarantee they'd become licensed in their field.

That would require a more in-depth assessment by a professional regulatory body in the jurisdiction in which they intend to settle.


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