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  1. Trump Uses NY Terror Attack as Excuse for More "Extreme Vetting", Calling for Cancelling Diversity Visa, and Boosting the RAISE Act. Roger Algase

    The following has been revised and updated as of November 1 at 9:46 am.

    When a deranged "lone wolf" gunman killed 56 people and injured almost 500 others in the recent Las Vegas attack, pro-NRA politicians and spokespersons rushed to try to silence calls for stricter gun control laws by condemning gun control advocates of "politicizing" the attack.

    Similarly, when one of the worst periods of back to back devastating hurricanes in recent history caused catastrophic devastation in Texas and Puerto Rico as well as severe damage in Florida, not to mention virtually wiping out some smaller Caribbean Islands, people who even mentioned the possibility of looking into the connection with climate change were pilloried for trying to "politicize" the sufferings of millions of people in those storms.

    However, in the wake of a Halloween day truck attack in lower Manhattan by another deranged apparent lone wolf, a legal immigrant from Uzbekistan who killed 8 people and injured 11 others while claiming to have done so in the name of ISIS, the president of the United States has lost no time in trying to politicize this equally horrific and vicious attack, which could have been much worse except for the prompt action of heroic New York police officers, by calling for even more "extreme vetting" of immigrants as a result.

    The far right, white nationalist supporting Breitbart News, run by Trump's erstwhile top immigration adviser Stephen Bannon, has also lost no time using the New York attack as a pretext to call for ending the Diversity Visa, which has become a popular vehicle for immigration from Africa and Asia, and which white supremacist politicians have been seeking to abolish for a long time.

    Trump himself is now also calling for the diversity visa to be cancelled as part of his support for the RAISE Act, which has been designed to favor white, European immigrants over those from other parts of the world under the guise of "merit-based" immigration.


    This is not to play down the horror and danger from this attack, which mirrors similar ISIS-inspired terror attacks in Europe, and took place in an area full of schools and young children decked out in Halloween costumes. The area that the perpetrator chose for the attack is also of great significance for hundreds of thousands, or millions, of legal immigrants in New York from every part of the world.

    The New York Federal Building, where hundreds, if not thousands, of immigrants go to every day for immigration interviews or other immigration activities, is only a few blocks from the end of the route on Chambers Street, where the attack took place.

    Another building of importance for thousands of immigrants applying for green cards and other immigration benefits was the USCIS fingerprinting facility at the beginning of this savage and inhuman murderer's route of violence and destruction near Houston Street.

    The above is not to deny the critical importance of screening immigrants who come to this country and of taking all possible steps to protect America's national security. But Trump's "extreme vetting" has, in practice, turned out to be little more than a code word for banning Muslim immigrants, using national security as a pretext. There is also good reason for concern, that in the words of the National Iranian American Council:

    "...the Muslim ban was but the first step in a wider initiative to implement Islamophobic, racist and xenophobic policies that pander to the desires of Trump's white supremacist base".

    Inevitably, one can predict that the New York attack will also be used as an excuse for white nationalists who want to make drastic cuts in immigration from Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa by enacting measures such as the RAISE Act (see above) extending Trump's Muslim ban (which now applies only to countries from which no terrorist attack in the United States has ever been launched) and ramping up Trump's mass deportation agenda, including his border Wall against Mexican and other Latino immigrants.

    Certainly, everything must be done to combat and eradicate the monstrous, inhuman madman of ISIS and their followers, as well as other apostles of violence and hate against America and the American people.

    But has the Trump administration's spending so much energy, time and resources on such things as court battles to prevent Muslim grandparents of American citizens from visiting the US, or in the latest horror, sending government agents to a hospital to take a disabled 10-year old Mexican girl into custody immediately after surgery as part of the president's mass deportation agenda, really made America a safer place?

    If the president really cares about the safety of America, he should direct his focus on real national security threats, of which there are plenty, rather than using national security as a pretext to make America whiter.

    It is also sad to see the president of the United States use the deaths of eight innocent people (5 of whom were themselves foreign visitors to the United States) in this latest attack as a vehicle for promoting his own white nationalist anti-immigrant agenda.
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards for more than 35 years.

    Roger's practice is concentrated primarily in H-1B specialty occupation and O-1 extraordinary work visas, and in green cards through Labor Certification (PERM) and through marriage and other family relationships. His email address is

    Updated 11-01-2017 at 08:53 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Trump Seeks Authoritarian Power to Ban Immigrants - and Silence Journalists. Will Our Democracy Survive? Roger Algase

    Fox News columnist Juan Williams comments in The Hill as follows about Trump's latest attacks on journalists for writing "whatever they want to write":

    "Clearly the president has an authoritarian bent when it comes to journalism. His latest comments fit in with past labeling of straight news reporters as 'dishonest', 'scum' and 'enemy of the American people.'"

    But Trump's War on the media is, in essence, no different from Trump's War on Muslim, Latin American, and other non-white immigrants. Both are the two sides of the same authoritarian coin.

    The same president who claims absolute power to determine what the news media should be allowed to write about him, in violation of the First Amendment freedom of speech on which America's democracy depends, is also claiming in the Supreme Court and lower federal courts that he has the absolute right to determine which immigrants can enter the United States, even to the extent of banning potentially two hundred million Middle Eastern and African immigrants on transparently "Trumped-up" "national security" pretexts because he doesn't like their Muslim religion.

    This also violates the fundamental First Amendment freedoms which are at the heart of our democracy.

    It is true, of course, that the president has broad powers under INA Section 212(f) to ban immigrants whom he determines would be detrimental to the interests of the United States. But that that authority does not "Trump" the Constitution, which does not allow him to make this decision based on religion, at least when the rights of American citizens are also affected.

    This would also be taking America back almost 100 years to the time when another unpopular religious/ethnic minority, Jewish immigrants, were almost entirely banned from the United States using "national origins" methodology, just as in the case of Trump's Muslim country ban executive orders.

    But the authoritarian aspect of Trump's immigration agenda does not end there. Trump also wants to build a Wall to keep out unwanted Mexican and other Latin American immigrants. There is no clearer symbol of dictatorship than this - as shown in modern times by the Communists' Berlin Wall and the Nazis' Warsaw Ghetto Wall.

    Trump is also planning a major expansion of immigration detention centers, in keeping with his agenda of mass deportation of Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern and other non-white immigrants. Will these prisons one day also be filled up with American journalists who write unfavorable news stories about our 45th president and his administration?

    In the ongoing debates over details concerning the future of DACA, H-1B and the attempts to reduce non-white legal immigration through the RAISE Act, lowering refugee quotas and "extreme vetting" ; and over expedited removal, arrests of immigrants at hospitals and other assaults on due process and basic human rights endangered though Trump's mass deportation program, we must not lose sight of the big question - is Trump's immigration agenda only one part of a larger attempt to replace America's democracy with one man rule by a Supreme Leader?

    1:30 pm update, October 30:

    Will Trump be able to silence journalists who are now reporting about the indictments against some of his campaign officials? He may be able to build a Wall against immigrants who have the wrong skin color or religion, but can he Wall off the truth about activities that could threaten his continued presidency?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 10-30-2017 at 02:45 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Sessions Calls Judge "Offensive" and "Disrespectful" for Saying That Ending DACA was "Heartless". But Can't Judges Make Findings of Fact? Roger Algase

    Trump's AG, Jeff Sessions, is continuing the administration's policy of bashing judges who show even an ounce of sympathy or compassion for immigrants by calling out a Brooklyn federal District Court Judge, Nicholas Garaufis, as "offensive" for stating that Trump's DACA cancellation was "heartless".

    According to the above POLiTICO report, Sessions made the following statement in a speech at the right wing Heritage Foundation:

    "...the court said the government 'can't come into court to espouse a position that is "heartless"'. He didn't say it was unlawful. He said, 'I don't like your policy.'...A judge's comments on policy like this is [sic] offensive, and it's disrespectful of the legislative and executive branches [i.e. Donald Trump]...The Constitution gives judges no right to veto a president's actions because they disagree on policy grounds."

    It is certainly true enough that judges have no right to "veto" a legislative or executive action because of a disagreement over policy (even though, as POLITICO also points out, that is, very arguably, exactly what Texas federal District Judge Andrew Hanen did when he struck down President Obama's DAPA/DACA Extension initiative).

    But don't judges have the power to make findings of fact in a litigation? And, as a finding of fact, if not as a conclusion of law, was Judge Garaufis anything other than deadly accurate and on target when he called Trump's DACA cancellation "heartless"?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 10-27-2017 at 01:00 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Canada wakes up to immigration reality after 'refugees welcome' dream. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty

    Justin Trudeau tweeted this message to people ďfleeing persecution, terror & war,Ē which appears to have been a reaction to Trumpís order.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This tweet illustrates the need to be careful about what one says on a social media website. With a few key strokes on his computer, the Canadian prime minister insulted the president of the United States by implying that his travel ban order, which included a suspension of refugee admissions, was based on religious discrimination.

    Also, it gave false hope to desperate, displaced people. People fleeing terror and war are not necessarily ďrefugees.Ē They arenít going to be given refuge on that basis in Canada.

    People fleeing persecution may be refugees, but only if their persecution is based on race, religion, political opinion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group.

    According to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, 65.6 million people have been displaced from their homes by conflict and persecution, but only 34 percent of them are refugees.


    Published originally on The Hill.

    Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years; he subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.

  5. DHS Waits Outside Hospital Room to Arrest Cerebral Palsy Child for Deportation, While Immigration Prison Executives Enjoy Trump's Resort. Roger Algase

    Update, October 27, 11:20 pm:

    Here is what the Washington Post has to say in an October 27 editorial about the horrifyingly cruel treatment described in my original comment below by the Trump administration of an undocumented Mexican 10 year old girl with cerebral palsy who was brought to the US as a baby in the hope of finding better medical treatment for her. (Please go to Google to access the full editorial. I do not have a direct link.)

    "The girl, brought across the Mexican border to Laredo, Texas when she was 3 months old, was being transferred from a medical center in Laredo to a hospital in Corpus Christi when the ambulance was stopped at a border patrol interior checkpoint. Agents allowed the girl and an adult cousin who accompanied her to proceed to the hospital for the child's gallbladder surgery."

    So far, a fairly normal reaction. But then the horror begins. The editorial continues:

    "But several armed border patrol agents, according to the girl's family, were posted outside the operating room and then her hospital room until she was transferred to a federal facility for migrant children. Keep in mind that this is a frightened child who has never been away from her family, that her doctor recommended discharge to a family member familiar with her condition, and that her cousin and grandfather, both legal residents, offered to take care of her."

    The Post continues:

    "...It's unusual for federal agents to detain a child already living in the United States. Who could have possibly imagined that a 10-year old with such disabilities being rushed to the hospital would be the target of federal enforcement? The harm done extends beyond Rosa Maria and her family to other parents who will now have to think about the risk of detention and deportation in deciding to seek medical treatment for their children...

    Is this the image we Americans want for ourselves?"

    This leaves only one final question, which the Post doesn't ask out loud, but which is obviously the real point of the editorial:

    Is this the image that Donald Trump, who began his campaign almost 2 and a half years ago by unleashing a vicious, demagogic torrent of hate against Mexican immigrants as "criminals" and "rapists", and who is now fighting tooth and nail to build a wall of humiliation and contempt along the Mexican border, wants to stamp forever on his presidency?

    Judging by the shockingly inhuman treatment of this seriously disabled child by Trump's Department of Homeland Security, this country's 45th president has no qualms about dragging America further and further down into a cesspool of nationalism and white supremacy in the name of "immigration border enforcement".

    My original comment appears below:

    In yet another example of how no one, no matter how young or sick, is evidently being spared from Donald Trump's program of ethnic cleansing through mass deportation, a 10-year old girl with cerebral palsy, who was brought to the US from Mexico as a 3-month old baby, was apprehended by CBP officers on her way to the hospital for an operation, and is now in custody at a government children's shelter after surgery during which the officers waited outside her hospital room. She is now in danger of being deported.

    Meanwhile, in an indication that deporting seriously ill Mexican children is coinciding with a gilded age for private prison companies with lucrative government contracts, the Washington Post reports that executives of GEO, a major contributor to Trump's campaign, and which has just been awarded a 10-year contract to run a 1,000 bed immigration detention facility that is expected to generate $44 million a year in revenue, held four days of meetings, dinner receptions and golf outings at the luxurious 800-acre Trump National Doral resort last week.

    The same report states that in April, the company, which has hired two lobbyists who were former aides to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, one of Trump's top deportation policy-makers and enforcers, was awarded the first immigration detention facility contract to be issued under the Trump administration.

    No wonder the company's executives (and prison wardens, according to the article!) must have enjoyed their rounds of lavish dinners and golf games. They had good reason to celebrate.

    It has yet to be shown how deporting chronically sick Latin American children will make America a safer or better country. But there can be little doubt about one thing - mass deportation in the Donald Trump era is good business for the private immigration detention industry - and for the president's luxury golf resorts.
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, Roger has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work permits and green cards.

    Roger's practice is concentrated primarily in H-1B specialty occupation and O-1 extraordinary ability work visas, J-1 training visas, and in green cards through Labor Certification (PERM) and through marriage and other family relationships.

    Roger believes that racial or religious discrimination, or lack of fundamental fairness on the part of the government toward any classes of immigrants, affects the rights of all other immigrants as well; and it also endangers the institutions on which democracy for all US citizens depends.

    Roger's email address is

    Updated 10-27-2017 at 11:15 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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