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

    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 Peoples 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 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 08:56 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. 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

  3. Democrats, take Trump's DACA deal to save some from deportation. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty

    The White House has released an Immigration Principles and Policies listof things it wants in return for a deal to save the young immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that is being phased out. My hope is that the Democrats will use it as a starting point for negotiations, but that may not happen.

    According to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Trump "can't be serious" about reaching a deal when he starts out with proposals that are "anathema" to the Democrats.

    That is an interesting comment in view of their support for the Senate’s two major immigration reform bills, both of which were an anathema to the Republicans.

    On May 25, 2006, the Senate passed the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, S. 2611. Although it had some bipartisan support, it was opposed by 58 percent of the Senate Republicans.

    Then, on June 27, 2013, the Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, S. 744. This one was written by a bipartisan group of eight senators known as the “Gang of Eight,” but it was opposed by 70 percent of the Senate Republicans.

    Both were dead-on-arrival in the Republican-controlled House.


    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. California sanctuary law, SB 54, violates civil and criminal immigration provisions. By Nolan Rappaport


    On October 5, 2017, California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., approved Senate Bill 54 (SB 54), the California Values Act.

    In a letter to the California State Senate, he says this bill will protect public safety and bring a measure of comfort to families who are now living in fear every day.

    I share the governor’s desire to help the families of undocumented aliens, but this is not the way to do it.

    SB 54’s rejection of immigration detainer requests is appropriate, but the rest of the bill does little more than make it easier for undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States illegally, and it does it in ways that are prohibited by civil and criminal federal immigration laws.

    My point is that the State of California shouldn’t be doing things that are prohibited by federal law or that would be a felony if done by an individual. I am not suggesting that there will or should be an attempt to prosecute Brown or any other California official for the criminal offense.

    Highlights From Legislative Counsel’s Digest of SB 54.

    • SB 54 repeals existing law which requires the police to notify ICE when there is reason to believe that a person arrested for a controlled substance violation may be an alien;
    • Prohibits law enforcement agencies from using their resources to investigate, detain, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes;
    • Directs the California Attorney General to publish model policies and guidance on limiting assistance and the availability of information for immigration enforcement purposes; and designated entities, such as state and local police, will be required to follow them; and
    • Requires the Board of Parole Hearings and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to obtain written consent from aliens before permitting ICE to interview them regarding civil immigration violations.

    ICE Immigration Detainers.


    Published originally on Huffington Post.

    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.

  5. Report: USCIS Director Backs Trump's Demand For Drastic Cuts in Legal Immigration. How Fair Will Future USCIS Application Decisions Be? Roger Algase

    This comment has been updated and revised as of October 8 at 11:19 pm.

    Late on Sunday evening, October 8, the White House released a series of demands as the price for agreeing to a legislative deal to rescue nearly 800,000 DREAMERS who are threatened with deportation as a result of Trump's cancellation of the DACA program.

    According to these reports, the president's demands amount to a virtual wish list of the anti-immigrant organizations, some of which have been designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which have never accepted the immigration reforms instituted by the 1965 immigration act more than 50 years ago, and which are seeking to bring back a system closer to the Europeans only Immigration Act of 1924 discussed below.

    POLITICO reports, for example, that Trump's list of demands includes not only such items as funding for his Mexican border Wall and a cutoff in federal aid to Sanctuary Cities, but also authorization for state and local police to engage in immigration enforcement, leading to the racial profiling of minority immigrants which the Supreme Court invalidated in the case of Arizona's infamous S.B. 1070 law and its counterparts in Alabama and other states, and which Texas has now tried to revive in its recently passed S.B. 4 immigration statute.

    However, in a demand that is even more drastic than the draconian enforcement provisions supported by Trump, the White House is in effect asking for the RAISE Act, which would cause a huge reduction in immigration from outside Europe by, among other things, eliminating key family sponsorship quotas, in the same spirit as that of the 1924 immigration law, to be included in any package to help the DREAMERS.

    POLITICO even quotes the Director of USCIS, Lee Francis Cissna, as saying that the demanded changes in the legal immigration system are "crucial", because, allegedly, "American workers are getting deeply disadvantaged by the current status quo."

    Aside from the fact that numerous independent studies have shown that there is little no truth to the accusation that legal immigrants in general are taking jobs away from or lowering the living standards of American workers, one can only wonder how fair and objective future decisions on petitions and applications before USCIS for work permits, green cards, and other legal status will be by that agency if its director, who is known chiefly for allegedly writing dozens of letters supporting Senator Charles Grassley's (R-Iowa) attacks on both legal and illegal immigration:

    is so strongly opposed to the current immigration laws which he is obligated to enforce as written, and is against such a key part of America's entire legal immigration in principle.

    One could even ask if, for example, the hurricane of H-1B RFE's this year, as well as unusual delays in other immigration cases which are normally approved without any questions (as at least this lawyer is experiencing - I am sure that many other immigration lawyers are as well) is due to any reason other than the influence of pervasive anti-immigrant ideology at the highest levels of the Trump administration.

    Are even the most basic standards of fundamental fairness and the rule of law in legal immigration application/petition decision-making now in danger of being replaced by a rush to return to the white supremacist immigration regime beginning nearly a century ago?

    And if legal immigration applicants can no longer receive fair decisions, based on the laws as written, for their applications, how much longer will the rule of law, on which our democracy depends, survive for American citizens in the Donald Trump Era?

    In some of my previous comments, including my latest previous Immigration Daily comment, published on October 5, I showed that the Trump administration's demonizing of Latin American, Muslim, Asian and other non-white immigrants as "criminals", "terrorists" and "low wage stealers of American jobs" is not a new phenomenon in America. Instead, Trump's anti-immigrant agenda represents a throwback to an earlier period of prejudice against unpopular immigrant groups, notably Jews, Italians and Eastern Europeans, as well as non-white immigrants from the entire rest of the world (except for the Americas and other "Western Hemisphere" countries).

    Attempts to exclude non-"Nordic" immigrants from America culminated in the infamous Johnson-Reed immigration act of 1924 which was to form the basis of US immigration policies for the next 40 years. However, the openly racial prejudices which were embodied in the 1924 law, based on the bogus and long since discredited "Eugenics" theory of that time, and which were co-extensive with the segregation laws against African-Americans and other non-white minorities, along with widespread discrimination against Jews here at home, did not lead to the overthrow of America's democracy.

    To the contrary, despite basing its 1924 immigration law, which Adolf Hitler himself expressed open admiration for writing in Mein Kampf, on the pseudo-scientific theory of "Nordic" racial superiority, America was able to unite and defeat the Nazi menace to world civilization in World War 2. Our democracy was able to survive the legal structure of prejudice and discrimination against both immigrants and minority Americans, and that structure itself was abolished in the Civil Rights era of the 1960's.

    Will America be able to institute a regime of anti-immigrant racial and religious discrimination, such as we are seeing in Donald Trump's speeches, executive orders and other policies aimed at instituting mass arrests, incarceration and ultimate deportation of non-white immigrants, and drastic reductions in their legal entry to the US, a second time without losing our democracy?

    I will return to this question in a forthcoming comment.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 10-09-2017 at 08:51 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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