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  1. Is Anti-Immigrant Hostility Turning Europe Back Toward Fascism? And What About America? Roger Algase

    An October 22 POLITICO article warns about the dangerous consequences that the growing European right-wing nationalist movement, fueled by fear and animosity toward immigrants fleeing war, terror and dictatorship in the Middle East and Africa could have for Europe in the wake of the recent elections in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, where another right wing billionaire, Andrej Babis, has just been chosen as prime minister.

    The POLITICO story begins:

    "Czechs this weekend elected a new prime minister who heaps scorn on the European Union and says his country shouldn't have to accept a single refugee. Germany just sent a radical far-right party to parliament for the first time since the days of Adolf Hitler. And Austrians just gave the anti-immigrant Freedom Party their [sic] biggest share of the vote since 1999...

    Nationalist parties now have a toehold everywhere from Italy to Finland, raising fears the continent is backpedaling toward the kinds of policies that led to catastrophe in the first half of the last century."

    But Europe is not the only continent which may have good reason for concern about a turn toward the 20th Century fascist policies which ultimately led to WW2, the Holocaust and the deaths of 60 million people.

    Prejudice and animosity toward Middle Eastern, Latin American, Asian and other non-white immigrants also helped to elect a US president who is now undermining democratic institutions by attacking and trying to control the courts, the news media, the voting system, and any other entity or person standing in the way of his taking absolute power. Meanwhile, in the latest development, his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, darkly hints that he may try to jail opposing journalists, and that he might also try to prosecute Sanctuary City officials who oppose Trump's mass deportation agenda.

    Regarding Sessions threat to send journalists to jail, while Trump calls for the licenses of media which run negative stories about him to be "revoked", see:

    Certainly, the following statement by a frail, 90-year old Harry Belafonte at a speech in Pittsburgh on October 20 may admittedly be somewhat extreme. Commenting on the election of Donald Trump. Belafonte reportedly said:

    "...the country made a mistake and I think the next mistake might very well be the gas chamber and what happened to the Jews [under] Hitler is not too far from our door."

    But behind the obvious exaggeration (one hopes) of the above statement (and the fact that Trump is targeting Muslims, not Jews) there is a clear and unmistakable warning: Just as exploiting fear and prejudice against immigrants could be leading toward a resurgence of fascism in Europe, anti-immigrant sentiment in America could be turning this country in the direction of dictatorship here at home.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 10-22-2017 at 11:21 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Trump's Latest Muslim Ban Order is Only One Part of His Ongoing Attempt to Bring Back America's White Supremacist Immigration Legacy. Roger Algase

    The following will expand on my October 5 post dealing with Trump's attempt to bring back America's long history of bigotry and discrimination against non-white immigrants in our legal system. This comment will discuss this issue mainly from the standpoint of the Muslim ban executive orders, based on a thorough and perceptive analysis of US immigration law history by Christopher Petrella, lecturer in cultural studies at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

    This article, entitled:

    Trump's travel ban is firmly rooted in our history of racist immigration policies

    was published on January 30, right after Trump's first Muslim Ban executive order. His subsequent Muslim ban orders, including his most recent one, now blocked nationwide by federal district judges in both Hawaii and Maryland, and which has, almost in the spirit of farce, entirely abandoned the "terror sponsorship" pretext for his two previous orders by adding countries which were never on any terror sponsorship list (including Chad, one of Americas best allies in fighting against terrorism in Africa), as well as many other immigration-related developments, make this article even more relevant and timely than it was when it appeared almost ten months ago.

    The link is:

    Petrella begins with the following summary of his article's content:

    "While many of us are outraged over Trump's executive order - one indisputably tethered to white nationalism and Islamophobia - it is worth remembering that the president's actions do not constitute an aberration in America's immigration history."

    Petrella continues:

    "On the contrary, racial, national origin and religious immigration quota systems have long been integral to America's approach to regulating the freedom, movements and rights of non-white people and bodies. Such laws have been aimed at protecting the religious and racial purity of whatever is indexed in a given moment as best representing the most undefiled form of American nationalism.

    The author, after briefly referring to two earlier examples of racially motivated immigration legislation - the Naturalization Act of 1790 and the infamous Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, proceeds to discuss the racial ideology which formed the basis of the Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924:

    "The history of U.S. immigration law is squarely based in the ideology of racialized nationalism. In 1920, Harry Laughlin, an eminent eugenicist...testified to the U.S. House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization that 'the character of a nation is determined primarily by its racial qualities.'...The Immigration Act of 1924 was established for the express purpose of limiting the influx of 'dangerous' and dysgenic' Italians, Arabs, eastern European Jews, Asians, and other not-fully-white 'social inadequates.'"

    Petrella then squarely connects this shameful history of legal racial discrimination in our immigration system with the Trump administration by pointing out an obvious link - which I have written about in many previous comments, but which all but a few other commentators have passed over (at least so far as I have seen):

    The Immigration Act of 1924 - a piece of legislation recently praised by Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump's nominee for U.S. Attorney General, dramatically limited the number of immigrants allowed entry into the United States..."

    The RAISE Act, which both Trump and Attorney General Sessions now support so vigorously, unquestionably has the same purpose.

    Petrella then points out the openly racist character of the 1924 act:

    "At the urging of [Madison] Grant [another prominent racial eugenicist of the period] and others, the act did not include any provision whatsoever for immigrants from Asian countries."

    Petrella then concludes:

    "The omission of race-based, national origin and religiously motivated immigration policy history from mainstream discourse leaves us with the false impression [given by] present debates over the so-called exceptional nature of Trump's travel ban from several Muslim nations [that it] has very few precedents in the United States, when in fact there are many in the not so distant past."

    And, near the end of his article, Petrella writes:

    "To responsibly address our relationship to the past - and to eschew the same white supremacist and xenophobic mistakes - contemporary debates about Trump's ban must remind us that we have been down this road before, to disastrous ends."

    In the nearly nine months since the above article was written, America has seen not only two more versions of the Muslim ban, which numerous federal district and circuit judges have struck down again and again, and which awaits an uncertain fate in the Supreme Court, but many other administration policies which are obviously intended to reduce immigration from non-white parts of the world.

    These include the president's support for the RAISE Act and his open attacks on "Chain Migration" (i.e. family-based green card sponsorship from Latin America and other non-European parts of the world); his assault against primarily Asian H-1B and other skilled immigration through policies such as his "Hire American" executive order and the latest USCIS policy requiring personal interviews in all employment-based adjustment of status cases; his "extreme vetting" for even the most routine visa applications; his drastic reductions in refugee admissions, attempts to make asylum more difficult, expanded use of expedited removal and dramatic increase in arrests and incarceration of non-criminal immigrants; cancelling DACA, albeit with some lip service toward support for continuing that program through legislation - if Congress agrees to pass a law to help DREAMERS that would include draconian anti-immigrant proposals which Trump is insisting must be included - the list could go on and on.

    This is without even mentioning Trump's ongoing rhetorical attempts to stir up hatred and fear toward racial and religious minorities by stigmatizing Latino immigrants as "M-13 gang members", his demonizing all Muslims throughout the world as "radical Islamic terrorists"; and last but not least, his attempt to degrade and humiliate, not only Latin American, but by extension all non-white immigrants, by building his centerpiece Mexican Border Wall, in the same tradition as, though obviously for a less sinister purpose than, those of the Communist Berlin Wall and the Nazis' Warsaw Ghetto Wall.

    As Petrella states in his article's final sentence:

    "Rejecting and resisting the idea of a Muslim ban must be one of the many steps in denaturalizing the linkage between whiteness and Americanness, between the history of racial, national and religious exclusion and the full flourishing of U.S. democracy."

    One could, with ample justification, make the same statement, not only about Trump's Muslim ban, but also about the rest of his entire anti-immigrant agenda, almost without exception.
    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 practice is primarily concentrated in H-1B specialty occupation and O-1 extraordinary work visas, J-1 training visas, and green cards through Labor Certification (PERM) and through opposite sex or same sex marriage and other family relationships. Roger's email address is

    Updated 10-22-2017 at 11:38 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Trump's fast-tracked deportations may be only solution to backlog. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty

    An alien who seeks admission to the United States without valid documents can be sent home without a hearing, and, this does not apply just to aliens at the border. An undocumented alien may be viewed as “seeking admission” even if he has been living here for more than a year.

    But for immigration purposes, words mean whatever the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) says they mean.

    Section 235(a)(1) of the INA says that an alien who is in the United States but has not been “admitted” shall be viewed as an applicant for admission for purposes of this Act. And section 101(a)(13) of the INA says that the terms "admission" and "admitted" mean a lawful entry into the United States after an inspection and authorization by an immigration officer.

    This makes it possible for DHS to use expedited removal proceedings to deport undocumented aliens who already are in the United States without giving them hearings before an immigration judge, which is necessary now because the immigration court is experiencing a backlog crisis.

    As of the end of August 2017, the immigrant court's backlog was 632,261 cases, and the immigration court has only 330 immigration judges. The backlog is getting larger every year because the judges are not even able to keep up with the new cases they receive each year.


    Published originally on The Hill.

    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.

  4. Far Right Islamophobic Parties Set to Take Power in Austria. What Do They Tell Us About Trump's Immigration Agenda? Roger Algase

    Update, October 17, 5:06 pm:

    Judge Derrick Watson of the Federal District Court in Hawaii has blocked implementation of the president's latest version of the Muslim entry ban, except for the two non-Muslim countries on the list, North Korea and Venezuela, which would not have been affected by the ban to any noticeable extent anyway, and which were obviously thrown in to the latest order purely as window dressing.

    In essence the Court ruled that the latest version of the ban does not differ materially from the discredited first two versions, in terms of discriminatory intent against the Muslim religion and abuse of presidential power in issuing the ban.

    POLITICO'S news story and link to the full 40-page decision can be accessed at:

    Judging from the news story (I have not yet read the full decision), and from court actions regarding previous versions of Trump's Muslim ban, the bedrock American Constitutional principle of separation of powers is still working well enough in this country to prevent Trump from banning immigrants from entering the US solely because of their adherence to a major religion with some 1.6 billion members throughout the world, purely by executive diktat.

    I am not familiar enough with the workings of the Austrian system of government to know whether the courts in that country have enough power to protect against similar religious bigotry on the part of the executive or legislature.

    In all likelihood, especially if the so-called Freedom Party, which was reportedly founded by former Nazis, is invited to join the government along with the equally Islamophobic People's party (see my comments below) there would not be any independent checks on the power of the government to bar Muslim refugees or immigrants.

    We all know where similar attitudes, and lack of effective checks against racial/religious bigotry on the part of a given country's Leadership (Fuehrer) toward a different minority (one which claims descent from the same Middle Eastern patriarch, Abraham, that Muslims also look back to) led to in the past in Europe.

    For this reason, it is all the more essential for the United States to preserve its Constitutional principles of freedom of religion and separation of powers, which are now threatened by our current president as never before, at least in our modern history, if ever.

    My earlier comment appears below.

    The following comment has been updated and expanded as of October 17 at 9:56 am:

    Sebastian Kurz, the 31-year old leader of the right wing Austrian People's Party, has been elected as the next Chancellor of Austria, largely by exploiting fears and animosity against Muslim refugees. His election has raised fears that he may partner with an even farther right wing party with even more extreme anti-Muslim right wing views, the Freedom Party, which was originally founded by ex-Nazis (real ones, not "Neo-Nazis" such as the ones who demonstrated in Charlottesville) in order to form a new government in Austria.

    The possibility that the two right wing parties, which came in first and second in the election by trying to outdo each other in promising harsh action to close Austria's borders to Muslim immigrants, might join together to form a government, was worrying to the leaders of Jewish organizations in particular, given that country's past history.

    Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, issued the following statement regarding the Freedom Party's anti-Muslim immigrant platform:

    "It is sad and distressing that such a platform should receive more than a quarter of the vote and become the country's second party...It is still full of xenophobes and racists and is, mildly put, very ambiguous toward Austria's Nazi past. My only hope is that they won't end up in government."

    Donald Trump also won power in large part by exploiting fear and prejudice against Muslim immigrants. His administration is still fighting in the Supreme Court and other federal courts for the power to ban almost all immigration from a number of almost 100 percent Muslim countries, using constantly shifting pretexts ("terror sponsorship", replaced by "extreme vetting") for the ban.

    For the latest developments in the federal District Court in Maryland concerning the Trump administration's ongoing Orwellian attempts to convince the courts that the latest version of Trump's Muslim ban executive orders is not really a Muslim ban based on religion, just as the WW2 Japanese-American internment order (mentioned by Maryland District Judge Chuang during the October 16 oral argument) was a "ban" based on race, see:

    Trump is also escalating his rhetoric and executive orders to try to exclude more and more non-white immigrants from every part of the world through his support of the heavily Eurocentric RAISE Act.

    Most recently, he has also launched an assault against family immigration, which benefits legal immigrants who are mainly from Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and which Trump refers to by the same derogatory term "Chain Migration" favored by the Alt-Right, Neo-Nazis and other American white supremacists.

    For an example of the use of ​"Chain Migration" as a pejorative term referring to family immigration by non-European immigrants, see the following article in the publication American Renaissance, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as having been associated with white supremacist and white nationalist views, See:


    Could the Austrian election be a warning of the direction in which America could be heading - in which the same kind of bigotry against minority immigrants becomes the country's governing policy in the US as is now taking place in that central European one, with all of its dark history from the not-so-distant past?

    And if this happens, will America's democracy be strong enough to survive the effects of a government based on a foundation of racial and religious discrimination, such as that which led to the extinction of freedom in Europe within the living memory of many people today, and which many people are worried could happen again in the near future?

    Or will America go the way of what Senator John McCain (R-AZ), in an obvious reference to Donald Trump and his immigration policies, called:

    "...some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems"

    and which McCain also condemned as

    "unpatriotic as an attachment to any tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history"

    while also saying:

    "We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil." ?

    Where did the phrase "Blood and Soil" which McCain, in his above remarks, in effect accused the Trump administration as adopting as its policy toward immigrants and other racial minorities in America (including Puerto Rican US citizens, whom Trump is still, horrifyingly, blaming for their own misfortune in the wake of the climate change related worst hurricane in their history),

    come from?

    Ask the founders of Austria's extreme right wing Freedom Party, which may now be on the verge of becoming part of that country's government.

    They would know what "Blood and Soil" (Blut und Boden in German) means.

    Any readers who do not know the origin of this phrase, which the US Neo-Nazi white supremacists whom Donald Trump was so reluctant to condemn also chanted at their Charlottesville rally, can find out at:

    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 practice is concentrated primarily on H-1B specialty occupation and O-1 extraordinary ability work visas, J-1 training visas and green cards through Labor Certification (PERM) and though opposite sex or same sex marriage and other family relationships. His email address is

    Updated 10-17-2017 at 07:00 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Trump Threatens to Revoke NBC's License Over Negative Story. Will Immigration Supporters' Free Speech be Next to Come Under Attack? Roger Algase

    In a chilling story which illustrates exactly how much danger America has put itself in by electing a president with unmistakable authoritarian tendencies who exploited fears of crime and terrorism by Latino and Muslim immigrants as the centerpiece of his campaign, POLITICO reports that Trump is now threatening to "revoke" the NBC network's broadcast license because of an unflattering report that it published relating to his alleged plans to increase America's nuclear arsenal.

    While the above story that Trump objected to so much was not related to immigration, will the broadcasting licences of networks or stations that oppose Trump's agenda of mass deportation and exclusion of Latino, Muslim and other non-European immigrants be next on the president's list?

    What kind of retaliation against or suppression of the free speech rights which are the basis of our democracy will Trump propose in the future against immigrant rights supporters, or anyone else who criticizes or disagrees with his deportation agenda, Muslim ban, RAISE Act, Border Wall, defunding Sanctuary Cities, moves to limit or abolish relative sponsorship, H-1B and other family or employment-based legal immigration; or any of his other policies aimed at reducing or abolishing the rights of primarily Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, African and Caribbean immigrants to immigrate to or remain in the United States?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 10-11-2017 at 03:37 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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