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  1. San Juan Mayor Condemns Trump's Slow Disaster Aid to 3 Million US Citizens. Meanwhile, DHS Was Busy Arresting DUI Immigrants Nationwide. Roger Algase

    Update, October 1, 6:34 pm:

    Another gripping article describing Trump's insensitivity and lack of concern for the suffering of 3 million Hispanic American citizens in Puerto Rico is one dated September 29 by an Afghan woman activist, Sonali Kolhatkar, entitled

    Trump's Cruel Indifference to Puerto Rico

    This article graphically details the full story of the indifference, delay and lack of concern in Trump's response to Hurricane Maria.

    This lack of care or interest, if not open hostility and contempt for the 3 million American citizens in Puerto Rico whom the federal government is supposed to be helping - see below - are in sharp contrast to the speed and focus with which Donald Trump has issued and vigorously defended one executive order after another against various immigrant minorities; whether Muslims and refugees in his entry ban orders, Latinos in his stepped up arrest and deportation orders and cancellation of DACA; South Asian IT specialists and other highly skilled professionals from diverse parts of the world in his "Hire American" executive orders - not to mention a hurricane of hostile, openly biased RFE's obviously intended to undermine whatever commitment to fair decision making for skilled immigrant petitions may still remain in Donald Trump's DHS - which I will comment about further separately - and which are clearly aimed at aimed at ultimately destroying the H-1B visa program; as well as in Trump's support for the RAISE Act, which would take America's legal immigration sytems a large part of the way toward bringing back the Europeans-only immigration system that was in effect from 1924 until 1965.

    "Cruel" would therefore also be an apt term to describe Trump's overall policies toward Latino and all other immigrants of color since taking office as president up until the present. It would in fact be a gross understatement.

    "Inhuman" - defined as a fundamental lack of respect for the basic rights and human dignity of non-white immigrants, would also not be an entirely inappropriate word to describe most, if not all (he has, commendably, shown some empathy for and interest in helping DACA recipients, even as he has cancelled the foundations of their legal status in America) of the president's immigration policies.

    would also be an apt term to describe Trump's unprincipled attack on the Mayor of San Juan over her desperate pleas for more federal help for the 3 million non-white Americans of Puerto Rico whose lives have been devastated in the humanitarian disaster caused by Hurricane Maria - an attack with not only political, but arguably, in the case of the president, also medical implications which are beyond the scope of these comments.

    For the latest news stories concerning the president's intemperate (if not deranged) attacks on Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz for daring to ask for more and faster federal help for the people of this island, which has long been a US possession since 1898 and whose inhabitants have been US citizens for the past 100 years, see:


    See also:

    This last, January 29, article discusses the president's:

    "Scapegoating...,degrading, ridiculing and demeaning rivals and critics..." as a "psychological warning sign"

    in the opinion of many psychiatrists.

    Much as immigration lawyers and other professionals would like to do so, since it is not our field, it is becoming more and more difficult to ignore the effect of issues which may be affecting the president's mental health on the lives of millions of minority immigrants and their families who are currently living in the United States or who wish to visit, work or live in the nation of the Statue of Liberty.

    My previous update and original comments follow:

    Update, September 30, 12:16 pm:

    In a September 30 tweet showing even greater insensitivity, verging on outright contempt, toward the 3 million Hispanic Americans whose lives have been devastated by the worst natural disaster in Puerto Rico's history, Trump took time off from his weekend golf game at his New Jersey resort to lash out at the mayor of San Juan for her message calling for more federal help and warning that her people were dying from lack of food, water and electricity. He blamed:

    "Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help."

    In his comment, Trump also stated that Puerto Ricans "want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort."

    In other words, the 3 million American citizens of Puerto Rico, instead of receiving fast and sufficient help from the president, are receiving insults with unmistakable racial overtones and are, in effect, being blamed for their own misfortune.

    With this kind of lack of even the slightest vestiges of humanity on the part of the Chief Executive of the United States, is it any surprise that he is also blind and deaf to the suffering his administration is inflicting on potentially millions of minority immigrants through his mass arrest and deportation agenda, and his ban on entry by Muslims from targeted Middle Eastern and African countries, as well as all but a handful of refugees from around the world?

    My earlier comment appears below:

    In the latest chilling example of Trump's putting action against Hispanic and other minority immigrants ahead of taking care of even the most desperate needs of minority Americans, The Guardian reports on September 29 that the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, has called the Trump administration's slow response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria "Close to Genocide", as ships containing desperately needed food and water remain stranded in ports because of lack of federal government coordination and transportation in transporting supplies to the 3 million American citizens living in that US Territory. See:


    According to the above report, Mayor, Cruz, referring to Trump's alleged lack of urgency in relief efforts, said:

    "...the world will see how we are treated not as second class citizens but as animals that may be disposed of. Enough is enough."

    (It is worth recalling in this context that the president himself referred to Hispanic immigrants as "animals" in a recent Long Island, NY speech condemning gang violence.)

    But the widespread criticism of the president for the federal government's slow and inadequate response to the worst natural disaster that has ever hit this island of 3 million Spanish-speaking Americans does not mean that his administration was failing to pay attention to hundreds of Latino and other minority immigrants in the US mainland.

    Even as the desperation and sense of despair was growing among millions of Americans in Puerto Rico without electricity, food or water in a situation which Trump blamed on that island's "debt crisis" and, in an absurd and ignorant statement even more devoid of care or empathy, the "Atlantic Ocean"; the DHS was busy conducting nationwide arrests targeted against cities and at least one entire state (Massachusetts) which have declared themselves "Sanctuary Jurisdictions".

    The arrests involved 498 immigrants, most of whom, we can be quite sure, were Latino, and virtually all of whom, if past practice is any guide, can be presumed to have come from non-white areas of the world.

    317 of the arrested immigrants, according to ICE, had been charged with or convicted of various crimes. The crimes listed were overwhelmingly minor ones, with DUI (86 arrests) being the leading charge by far.

    While there were, to be sure, a few more serious crimes on the list of those arrested, such as robbery, rape, assault and drug trafficking, some of the other crimes or alleged crimes on the list included: Public order crimes, Trespassing, and, most dangerous of all to America's safety and security, "Peeping tom".

    Americans, and especially minority Americans, will be highly reassured to know, one can be quite sure, that while their government, and their president, were evidently too preoccupied with other matters to move quickly and effectively to relieve the suffering of millions of their Spanish-speaking fellow citizens in Puerto Rico, the Donald Trump administration did not forget or neglect to conduct nationwide arrests in order to protect America against the threat of Hispanic and other minority immigrant DUI drivers, trespassers and peeping toms.
    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, from diverse parts of the world, obtain work visas and green cards. Roger's email address is

    Updated 10-02-2017 at 07:17 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Visas for Muslim Ban Countries Down 44%, While Puerto Rican Americans Are Still Without Power or Water. Roger Algase

    POLITICO reports that, according to its own study, visa issuance from the six Muslim countries that have been on Trump's entry ban list for most of this year (still, euphemistically and misleadingly called a "travel ban" by most of the media) is down 44 per cent despite the fact that, at least from January to June, 2017 most of the ban provisions had been struck down by various federal courts.

    The POLITICO study gives many concrete examples of specific visa refusals or long delays whose only purpose seems to be discouraging citizens of the countries concerned, even those who have visited the US before without incident, from even applying for visas. See:

    Meanwhile, according to The Hill, 146 Democratic leaders have called on Trump to use more military and other assets to help the non-white, non-European American citizens of Puerto Rico recover from the worst natural disaster in their history.

    It appears that Trump has been more vigilant and successful at keeping non-white immigrants who belong to a disfavored religion out of the United States than he has been in helping millions of American citizens of color in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands overcome the severe hardships that they are now undergoing from Hurricane Irma.

    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, from diverse parts of the world, obtain work visas and green cards. Roger's email address is

    Updated 09-30-2017 at 09:59 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Trump Puts "Americans First" for Immigration. But the Hurricane-Hit Americans of Puerto Rico Are Coming Last. Roger Algase

    As is so often the case, The Guardian, which has been among England's top newspapers for almost 200 years, put Donald Trump's weak response to the catastrophic damage caused to Puerto Rico by Hurricane Irma more succinctly than almost any US media managed to:

    "But it took the president five full days to respond to the plight of the US territory. When he finally did so on Monday night, his comments were so devoid of empathy that it started to spark new controversy.

    Hot on the heels of the dispute he single-handedly provoked over African-American sporting figures protesting racial inequality during the national anthem, Trump effectively blamed the islanders - all of whom are American citizens - for their own misfortune."

    The full story in The Guardian is available at:

    This is not the place to go into the full details of the federal government's efforts, or alleged lack of them, to help the American citizens of Puerto Rico in what has been called the greatest natural disaster in that island's history, where this entire US territory is reportedly without electric power.

    But every news report that I have seen so far, not only the one in The Guardian, indicates that Trump's reaction was a good deal less urgent or caring than his responses to the hurricanes in the white-majority states of Texas and Florida.

    Was Trump really putting "Americans First" when they happened to be Spanish-speaking Latino US citizens in desperate need of federal assistance and empathy from the president of the United States, rather than criticism over their debt crisis, which was also part of his comments (along with a geographically ignorant and absurd statement that it was harder to get help to Puerto Rico because it is allegedly surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean)?!

    Or is "America First", which appears in so many of Trump's immigration speeches as well as in some of his immigration executive orders, nothing more than an empty slogan used to cover his stated agenda of deporting millions of immigrants who. like the people of Puerto Rico, are Spanish-speaking and non-white, but who, unlike them, lack US citizenship; while cutting off the chances for additional millions of Spanish-speaking, non-white immigrants from Latin American countries to come to the United States legally through sponsorship by family members in the US, as demonstrated, among many other things, by his support of drastically restrictive, Eurocentric, immigration proposals such as the RAISE Act?

    (This is not to mention the president's recent tweet promising to end "Chain Migration" - an insulting epithet used by immigration opponents to refer to green card sponsorship of Latin American and other nonwhite legal immigrants through their close family relationships with US citizens or lawful permanent residents, as provided by our immigration laws for the past more than 50 years.)
    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, from diverse parts of the world, obtain work visas and green cards. Roger's email address is

    Updated 09-30-2017 at 10:04 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Trump's New Travel Ban Order. Nolan Rappaport

    The White House

    Office of the Press Secretary

    For Immediate Release
    September 24, 2017

    President Donald J. Trump Strengthens Security Standards For Traveling to America

    “Our government's first duty is to its people, to our citizens -- to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values.” – President Donald J. Trump

    NEW PROTECTIONS: President Donald J. Trump is taking key steps to protect the American people from those who would enter our country and do us harm.

    • Earlier this year, the President signed Executive Order 13780, which asked the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop a new minimum baseline for how much information sharing with foreign nations is required to determine whether their nationals seeking entry into the United States present security threats to our Nation.

      • The new baseline furthers the aims of the Executive Order by ensuring our border and immigration security is adequate to protect the safety and security of the American people.

    • New requirements on issuing electronic passports, sharing criminal data, reporting lost and stolen passports, and sharing more information on travelers will help better verify the identities and national security risks of people trying to enter the United States.
    • Additionally, foreign governments will have to work with the United States to identify serious criminals and known or suspected terrorists, as well as share identity-related information and exemplars of documents such as IDs and passports.
    • When foreign governments share information about individuals coming to the United States, the dedicated men and women of our homeland security and intelligence agencies can work to identify and block threats from reaching America’s shores.

    PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS PUT OUR NATIONAL SECURITY FIRST: This action to protect our national security builds on Executive Order 13780, which
    President Trump signed in March.

    • Executive Order 13780, which President Trump signed on March 6, 2017, suspended entry into the United States for foreign nationals of six countries of concern, giving the Federal Government time to review our procedures for screening and vetting people seeking to come to our country.
    • The President signed Executive Order 13780 pursuant to his constitutional and statutory authorities, including section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which provides that the President may “suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens” whenever he “finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.”
    • Executive Order 13780 required the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a review of other nations’ information-sharing practices regarding their nationals traveling to the United States, and to recommend improvements in a report to the President.
    • The Department of Homeland Security has worked closely with other Federal departments and agencies to review current vetting and information-sharing practices.
    • The Secretary of Homeland Security submitted the required report to the President this month, and the President is now acting in response to the Secretary’s recommendations.

    HIGHER STANDARDS FOR IMMIGRATION SECURITY: The Trump Administration worked in good faith with foreign governments to implement
    minimum security

    • Despite best efforts of the United States, several countries remain currently inadequate in their identity-management protocols and information-sharing practices or present sufficient risk factors that travel restrictions are required.
      • As a result, certain travel limitations and restrictions will be placed on nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen, by President Trump’s September 24 proclamation, until we are sure that we can conduct proper screening and vetting of those countries’ nationals.
        • These travel limitations and restrictions are a vital tool for enforcing adequate information sharing requirements and necessary for the security and welfare of the United States.

      • These limitations and restrictions are conditional, and these countries can, under this Executive action, improve their information-sharing practices and receive relief from the limitations and restrictions.
      • The President has also determined that while Iraq should be subject to great screening security, entry restrictions are not warranted under the September 24 proclamation.

    • The Trump Administration shared these new requirements with foreign governments in July, and countries that did not have adequate information-sharing practices in place were given 50 days to make necessary improvements.
    • A number of nations that were not in compliance worked quickly and diligently to improve, such as increasing their information sharing with the United States or improving their reporting of lost and stolen passports.
      • Many of those countries are now in compliance.

    A majority of Americans support President Trump’s efforts to safeguard our Nation from those who would do us harm.

    • A July 2017 Politico/Morning Consult poll found that “a clear majority of voters”—60 percent--support President Trump’s Executive Order on travel restrictions.

    Congress, the Obama Administration, and the courts have all recognized the need for enhanced security and vetting.

    • Following the 2015 terror attacks in Paris, Congress passed, and President Obama signed, bipartisan legislation restricting access to the visa waiver program for foreign nationals who had previously traveled to Iraq, Syria, Iran, or Sudan.
    • The Obama Administration began implementing these policies in 2016, and later expanded these provisions to include certain individuals who had visited Libya, Somalia, or Yemen.

    PROTECTING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: Trump Administration officials have repeatedly spoken about the importance of the travel Executive Order for our Nation’s safety, and enforcing our Nation’s ability to ensure its own security.

    • White House Chief of Staff John Kelly: “We cannot risk the prospect of malevolent actors using our immigration system to take American lives.”
    • National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster: “If you can’t screen people effectively to know who’s coming into your country, then you shouldn’t allow people from that country to travel.”
    • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: “It is the President’s solemn duty to protect the American people and with this order, President Trump is exercising his authority to keep our people safe.”

    CHALLENGES FOR CUSTOMS AND CONSULAR OFFICERS: The United States welcomes millions of visitors each year, putting enormous investigatory burdens on our Homeland Security and State Department officers and caseworkers.

    • More than one million immigrants from more than 150 countries are provided with permanent residency in the United States every year with a path to citizenship.
    • The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has an asylum backlog of more than 270,000.
    • Many of those immigrating and traveling to the United States come from areas with serious terrorism concerns, significant instability, substantial stresses on public systems, and other security and safety threats.

    Updated 09-24-2017 at 08:43 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. If Democrats insist on chain migration, they'll kill the DREAM Act. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty

    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced recently that they had reached an agreement with President Donald Trump to pursue legislation that would protect the participants of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which is being phased out. They also agreed to enact border security measures that would not include building a physical wall.

    But problems have arisen since that agreement was reached. Both sides have declared additional conditions.

    In a letter to her Democratic colleagues about the meeting with Trump, Pelosi said, "Any solution to the challenge facing the DREAMers must include the DREAM Act sponsored by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard," i.e., the DREAM Act of 2017, H.R.3440, which is identical to a DREAM Act in the Senate, S.1615.

    The House bill has 199 cosponsors, but only four are Republicans, and the Senate version only has three Republican cosponsors. The bill Pelosi supports has no more chance of being acceptable to Trump than the American Hope Act of 2017(effectively, this is another version of the DREAM Act), which I refer to as the False Hope Act.

    House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said at his weekly news conference that House Republicans won't "bring a solution to the floor that does not have the support of President Trump," and Trump has made his own demand that is as problematic for passing legislation as Pelosi’s.

    Trump made ending chain migration an additional condition when he tweeted:

    Read more at --

    About the author.
    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

    Updated 09-24-2017 at 06:18 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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