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Author: Matt O'Brien

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Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.

The New York Times and the Nonexistent DHS Corruption “Scandal”

The New York Times recently ran a piece smearing immigration enforcement authorities entitled “The Enemy Within: Bribes Bore a Hole in the U.S. Border.” It purports to be an exposé on bribes of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees and contractors. It also hints that the Trump administration’s plans to gain control of our borders will be nixed by complications arising “from within” border control agencies, namely corrupt immigration officers. The clear implication is that DHS officials are easily bribed and will readily sacrifice national security and public safety for personal gain. The only problem: The numbers paint a...

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Tolerated Stay, Open Borders and National Security

When the current incarnation of the European Union (EU) was formed, a number of member states agreed to eliminate their internal borders, creating a region called the Schengen Zone (named after the town in Luxembourg where the agreement was signed). Anyone admitted to any Schengen country is admitted to all of the nations within the zone. For example, travelers fly from New York to Paris and are admitted to France – they are then free to cross the Border from France to Belgium and Belgium to Germany without any further inspection by immigration officials. Ironically, most of Europe is now wondering how Anis Amri was able to move so easily throughout Europe. Amri is the Tunisian national suspected of stealing a tractor-trailer and mowing down shoppers at Berlin’s Christmas Market. He left his native country fleeing an armed robbery warrant and entered the Schengen Zone through Italy by claiming to be a refugee. Despite being inadmissible under EU immigration law, he was granted “tolerated stay” status. Theoretically temporary, this category is used for aliens who are inadmissible, but who can’t immediately be expelled, due to administrative or political (often political correctness) concerns. In some cases, “tolerated stay” recipients are given cash benefits and housing, at taxpayer expense. The combination of “tolerated stay” status and open borders agreements allows known public safety and national security threats to move freely throughout...

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Immigration and the Rule of Law

When it suits their purposes, mainstream media pundits are fond of pointing out that the United States is a nation founded on “the rule of law.” The comment is usually offered up in support of some overly broad argument in favor of legislation contracting a fundamental liberty. However, very few talking heads seem to have any idea what a commitment to the rule of law really means. In a nutshell: The rule of law is the principle that everyone in the United States should be held accountable to a uniform body of laws that is fairly applied and enforced....

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Somalia: Vetting is Not a Game

The Conservative Review recently reported that the United States has admitted even more refugees from Somalia than it has from Syria: 3,014 for FY17 and 8,000-10,000 per year for the last two decades. According to Lifezette.com, Somali refugee resettlement is up 250 percent under the Obama administration, totaling almost 100,000 Somali refugees since 9/11. The unrestrained admission of Somali refugees is part of a disturbing trend in U.S. immigration policy: prioritizing the resettlement of refugees ahead of the security interests of the American public. As FAIR has previously noted, successful vetting of any aliens is dependent upon access to...

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We Won’t Succeed at Making America Great Again Until We Become Great at Making Americans Again

Assimilation has become a dirty word. From their mansions in gated communities, the denizens of Hollywood and high-tech billionaires preach diversity, cultural relativism, and inclusion. But those of us who live on the ground just scratch our heads and wonder what nation on Earth is more inclusive than the United States?  Our message to immigrants isn’t “Stay home, we don’t want you.” Rather, it is “Come here with something to contribute, and a desire to adopt American values, and we’ll give you a chance at the life you’ve only dreamed of.” One of the major problems the American public...

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President Trump Must Keep His Immigration Promises

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