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  • Backgrounder posted December 5, 2011 by Mackenzie Eaglen, Diem Nguyen Super Committee Failure and Sequestration Put at Risk Ever More Military Plans and Programs

    Abstract: The Budget Control Act, which ended the impasse over the debt ceiling and created a Super Committee to identify more deficit reduction proposals, cuts the defense budget by $1 trillion and paves the way for further reductions next year. These cuts come on top of successive rounds of deep cuts in defense dollars and capabilities that Congress and the Obama…

  • Backgrounder posted January 25, 2010 by Diem Nguyen, Jena Baker McNeill Biometric Exit Programs Show Need for New Strategy to Reduce Visa Overstays

    Abstract: Despite Congress's mandate in 2007 that the Department of Homeland Security track all foreign visitors biometrically by June 2009, DHS missed the deadline, and biometric exit, as opposed to the current biographic approach, has proved costly without adding much additional security. Following is a plan on how Congress can break the stalemate--and provide useful…

  • WebMemo posted May 13, 2009 by James Sherk, Diem Nguyen Restricting H-1B Visas Is Bad for Business and the Economy

    Reports have indicated that Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) plan to introduce a bill that would limit the ability of companies to hire H-1B employees.[1] Arguing that H-1B visa recipients are a threat to American workers, their proposal would add new layers of regulation and procedures making it more difficult for companies to hire…

  • WebMemo posted April 7, 2009 by Jena Baker McNeill, Diem Nguyen Help the Economy and Federal Deficit by Raising H-1B Caps

    On April 1 of each year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) starts accepting applications for the H-1B visa. For the past several years, the number of H-1B visa applications has easily surpassed the annual cap of 65,000, sometimes in a matter of days. Even with the economic downturn, the USCIS is still expected to receive enough applications to…

  • WebMemo posted March 6, 2009 by Jena Baker McNeill, Diem Nguyen Enforcing Immigration Laws: State and Local Law Assistance Needed

    On March 4, the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on a GAO report related to oversight of 287(g), a program granting Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) the ability to train state and local police to enforce federal immigration laws. GAO emphasized the need for such increased oversight to better define the role of ICE and state and local law…

  • WebMemo posted March 6, 2009 by Jena Baker McNeill, Diem Nguyen U.S., Canada Working Together on Improving Border Security

    On January 15, the United States Northern Command Joint Task Force-North accidentally released to the public a briefing that expressed concerns over terrorists entering the U.S. from Canada. While the report was taken offline and out of public view shortly thereafter, this briefing is one of many reports centered on U.S./Canadian security policies, including a…

  • WebMemo posted February 20, 2009 by Jena Baker McNeill, Diem Nguyen Reviewing DHS: The International Dimension of Homeland Security

    Since her confirmation, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Janet Napolitano, has been working to acquaint herself with the inner workings of DHS while developing her policy priorities for this new Administration. On January 21, she issued the first in a series of directives requiring DHS to provide her with detailed information on the…

  • Executive Summary posted February 13, 2009 by Diem Nguyen, Matt A. Mayer, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Executive Summary: Next Steps for Immigration Reform and Workplace Enforcement

    Legislative efforts in immigration reform have died off since the debate on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1348), but for the past several years, the Bush Administration did considerable work in advancing immigration reform outside the legislative process. One such effort was to enhance internal enforcement of immi­gration laws. The new emphasis…

  • Backgrounder posted February 13, 2009 by Diem Nguyen, Matt A. Mayer, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Next Steps for Immigration Reform and Workplace Enforcement

    Legislative efforts in immigration reform have died off since the debate on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1348), but for the past several years, the Bush Administration did considerable work in advancing immigration reform outside the legislative process. One such effort was to enhance internal enforcement of immigration laws. The new emphasis…

  • WebMemo posted October 30, 2008 by Diem Nguyen, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Tackling Fraud in H-1B: Work Visas Need Sensible Oversight

    In September, USCIS released the "H-1B Benefit Fraud and Compliance Assessment," where it found that 51 of the 246 sampled H-1B petitions (about 21 percent) were fraudulent. Some examples of fraud are petitions from businesses that do not exist, employers paying less than the required prevailing wage, or visa holders working a different job than what was stated in…

  • Backgrounder posted September 30, 2008 by James Sherk, Diem Nguyen Next Steps for Immigration and Border Security Reform: Restructuring the Work Visa

    Last year, lawmakers on Capitol Hill tried and failed to pass comprehensive immigration and border security reform. The bill died largely because it tried to do too much. Granting amnesty to 12 million ille­gal aliens would cause rampant fraud and a tsunami of applications that would overwhelm America's already over-stretched and backlogged immigration services. Creating…

  • Backgrounder posted June 4, 2008 by Matt A. Mayer, Richard Weitz, Ph.D., Diem Nguyen The Local Role in Disaster Response: Lessons from Katrina and the California Wildfires

    The increasing tendency since 9/11 to look to Washington for every answer regarding disaster response is troubling. The insistence that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) play an ever-expanding role in addressing day-to-day emergency responses is hindering, not strengthening, the agency's ability to prepare for the next national catastrophic disaster. Even…

  • WebMemo posted April 28, 2008 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Diem Nguyen The United States and Mexico: Helping One Another, HelpingOurselves

    The United States and Mexico share almost 2,000 miles of border and many of the same problems, including immigration challenges, inadequate border security, and drug smuggling. The two nations do not adequately collaborate to address these issues, despite common goals: defeating the drug cartels, bringing economic development to Mexico, and finding sensible and…

  • Commentary posted April 23, 2008 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Diem Nguyen Moving Forward to Secure the Border

    Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff has issued two waivers of laws hindering barrier construction and security improvements on the border with Mexico. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has already built 309 miles of border obstacles, and these waivers will facilitate improvements on about 500 miles of border infrastructure. One waiver addresses…

  • WebMemo posted April 17, 2008 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Diem Nguyen Moving Forward to Secure the Border

    Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff has issued two waivers of laws hindering barrier construction and security improvements on the border with Mexico. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has already built 309 miles of border obstacles, and these waivers will facilitate improvements on about 500 miles of border infrastructure. One waiver addresses…