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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.

New Ideas and Delicious Food

Judicial Watch has released documents showing a conspiracy between the Mayor of Rutland, Vermont, and the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program to conceal plans to bring Syrian refugees to the town. Unfortunately, stealth resettlement has become the standard tactic whenever concerned citizens raise questions about the impact large numbers of foreign arrivals may have on their communities. The authorities in Rutland, however, went a step beyond abandoning their constituents in favor of political correctness. The papers obtained by Judicial Watch also show an attempt to blunt public safety concerns by arguing that refugees inevitably bring “new ideas and delicious food.”...

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Government Insider: “Immigration Vetting System Badly Broken”

A recent report from the Department of Homeland Security found that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) erroneously naturalized almost 900 ineligible illegal aliens due to database errors. All of these individuals were ordered deported but subsequently applied for citizenship using a fake identity. Nearly all are from countries associated with terrorism and high levels of immigration fraud. Several of these fraudulent citizens have already obtained aviation or transportation credentials. This information is disturbing but it simply confirms what those in immigration enforcement have known for years — our immigration vetting system is badly broken. But the availability...

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The Fruitlessness of the “Fruitless Wall” Argument

The current presidential campaign has sparked significant discussion about border walls. Time Magazine ran an article entitled “This Is Why Border Fences Don’t Work.” Politico ran an analogous feature called “The World Is Full of Walls That Don’t Work.” There are literally hundreds of pieces making similar claims. What is the basis for these assertions? The “fruitless wall” argument is usually perched atop a single faulty premise: A false comparison with allegedly failed historical border partitions. These arguments are as conceptually foolish as they are historically erroneous. Almost always, the barriers being referenced weren’t constructed to control immigration. And...

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Naturalization Errors Expose Vetting Problems

“USCIS granted U.S. citizenship to at least 858 individuals ordered deported or removed under another identity when, during the naturalization process, their digital fingerprint records were not available.” So begins “Potentially Ineligible Individuals Have Been Granted U.S. Citizenship Because of Incomplete Fingerprint Records,” a report released on September 19, 2016 by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The report examines United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) vetting of applicants for naturalization. How could USCIS naturalize over 800 criminals from nations with a high incidence of terrorism and immigration fraud who had already...

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The Important Difference Between Assimilation and Integration

Controversial London mayor Sadiq Khan recently toured the United States in support of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Commenting on U.S. immigration policy, Mr. Khan said, “People shouldn’t have to drop their cultures and traditions when they arrive in our cities and countries.” He also stated that he believes in “integration” rather than “assimilation.” Mr. Khan, who is from an immigrant family, raises an interesting point. What is the difference between “integration” and “assimilation”? Assimilation is generally defined as adopting the ways of another culture and fully becoming part of a different society. Whereas integration is typically defined as incorporating...

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President Trump Must Keep His Immigration Promises

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