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Blog Comments

  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Roger should read the statements from the Senate hearing on, "Canada’s Fast-Track Refugee Plan: Unanswered Questions and Implications for U.S. National Security,"

    Nolan Rappaport

    Updated 02-22-2017 at 02:59 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    According to Roger, Nolan once again suggests that "we have no access to information about Syrian refugees" and therefore Canada does not either. (See the last two paragraphs of his immediately above reply to my latest comment above).

    This ignores the fact that both countries have had an intensive screening process, taking up to two years on the US side...

    Roger seems to be saying that there must be information from within Syria or our government would not take two years doing background screening on Syrian refugees. That reminds me of the joke about the little boy searching through piles of crap in his backyard. When asked what he was looking for, he said, "With all this horse ****, there must be a pony somewhere."

    We don't have an embassy in Syria, and Obama didn't start the two year screening process until the FBI director, the director of national intelligence, and the DHS secretary told the public that they had no one in Syria and therefore no access to information from within that country. Ordinarily, such information is gathered through our embassy in the foreign country, and we don't have an embassy in Syria.

    My guess is that Obama thought the American public would react the way Roger has to the two year screening process. Must be a pony in there somewhere.

    Nolan Rappaport
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Nolan once again suggests that "we have no access to information about Syrian refugees" and therefore Canada does not either. (See the last two paragraphs of his immediately above reply to my latest comment above).

    This ignores the fact that both countries have had an intensive screening process, taking up to two years on the US side, about which full details are available, as Nolan himself admits in his own Huffington Post article which he provides the link to above, and which I have read.

    Nolan argues that no information is available about the refugees from within Syria. Even if this were true, which is unlikely, since that dictatorship no doubt keeps extensive files on its citizens, in keeping with many other dictatorships, and Russia is not the only country with the expertise to hack those records, the information that both American and Canadian authorities have obtained from other sources, including numerous other background an database checks and personal interviews, seems to be serving its purpose quite well, since Nolan has not been able to point to a single incident of violent crime or terrorist acts committed by any Syrian refugees in either the US or Canada.

    This shows that the "national security" argument for banning Syrian refugees is nothing more than a pretense, based on what a federal court called a "nightmare scenario" when Mike Pence tried to stop any Syrian refugees from settling in Indiana, and that the real reason for the ban is to carry out the Trump/Bannon/Flynn agenda of keeping as many Muslims, and especially Muslim Arabs (let's give racial, not only religious, hate and bigotry its due in Donald Trump's America), as possible out of the United States.

    This brings back some of the darkest days in US immigration history, such as when America tried to keep Jewish refugees out of the US under the absurd pretext that they might turn out to be Nazi (or Communist) spies, and thereby added to the death toll from the Holocaust (which is why the ADL and so many other Jewish organizations are supporting the cause of Syrian and other Muslim refugees today).

    It also brings back the equally dark days of the late 19th century Chinese exclusion laws, which were openly based on racial grounds and were upheld by the Supreme Court expressly on such grounds.

    The Chinese exclusion law cases, by the way, are still the basis for the "Plenary Power" doctrine, which is being put forward by Muslim ban and Syrian refugee ban supporters as an argument for trashing the guarantees of religious equality and non-discrimination that are embedded in our Constitution and are the essence of what America means and actually is as a nation.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-22-2017 at 09:11 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  4. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I do not see any point to responding to Roger's comments about my views on screening Syrian refugees. I am not sure that he has read my article. If he had, he should know that I did not say or even suggest that Canada does not have a screening process for Syrian refugees. I don't think he has read the article I wrote on the information available on Syrian refugees either, and I have given him the title and link to that article.

    I have no statistics on how many crimes Syrian refugees have committed. My point is that we should not be letting refugees into the United States that we do not know anything about, particularly when they are from a country that has been on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list since that list’s inception on December 29, 1979. Countries are put on this list when the State Department has determined that they have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.

    And if we have no access to information about Syrian refugees, the fact that our neighbor on the other side of a virtually unguarded border has admitted more than 40,000 of them is troubling.

    If Canada has found a way to get information from within Syria, Canada should enlighten our government.

    Nolan Rappaport

    Updated 02-21-2017 at 11:42 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  5. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    As I read Nolan's article, it gave the impression that Canada doesn't screen the Syrian refugees at all. I hope and trust that No;an agrees that this is not the case.

    The reality is that both Canada and the US conduct intensive screening, involving multi-layers and multi-databases, taking a considerable period of time.

    Nolan now seems to be admitting that Canada (like the US), has a screening process, but he is now using a different argument - that the available information may not be enough, making it impossible to conduct sufficient screening no matter how long the process takes, how many databases are checked by security personnel, or how many interviews are conducted.

    This red herring argument is not new. it was also used to keep out Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.

    According to available sources, the visa applications for Jewish refugees (for the very few visas that were available in the first place) were so complicated and required so many documents, that even when their Nazi persecutors cooperated in providing the required documents, there was always an excuse for denying the visas.

    By the way, I am still waiting for Nolan's statistics on the number of violent crimes or terror attacks which have been committed by any of the 65,000 Syrian refugees who have been admitted to all of North America (US and Canada combined) so far.

    The number of such incidents that I have seen reported is exactly zero.

    Unless Nolan can provide a different number, one would have to conclude that the Syrian refugee screening procedures for both the US and Canada which Nolan regards as so inadequate have been working pretty well so far, and that the alleged lack of sufficient information about each refugee (either from the home country or from the moon), is just another excuse for keeping refugees of an unpopular religion or an unpopular part of the world, in the opinion of Islamophobic "culture warriors" such as Stephen Bannon or Trump's disgraced former national security adviser (what was his name now?) out of the US.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-21-2017 at 07:20 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  6. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Apparently, Roger did not notice my observation that the value of vetting refugees depends on the availability of information about the refugees, or the link I included to my article on the availability of information about Syrian refugees.

    What do we know about Syrian refugees? (October 12, 2016),

    This problem is not limited to Syrian refugees. That is why President Trump's Executive Order requires key officials in his Administration to determine what information is needed to determine whether it is safe to admit an alien to the US and then to prepare a list of countries that are not willing or not able to provide that information.

    Nolan Rappaport
    Updated 02-21-2017 at 06:49 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  7. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    This article, without expressly saying so, gives the entirely misleading impression that Canada did not screen its 40,000 Syrian refugees before letting them in.

    However, according to the Law Library of Congress, Canada describes its refugee screening process as "thorough" rigorous and multi-staged.

    For details about Canada's refugee policies and screening process, see the Library of Congress,

    It is too bad that Nolan, judging from his article, apparently didn't check as carefully as he might have done to see what the screening for Syrian refugees entering Canada actually is, before writing an article implying that America has a long, open border with Canada which thousands of Syrian refugees who were never screened and whom no one knows anything about will one day be able to cross without being checked.

    This is not fair to Canada, not fair to America and, of course, not fair to the refugees them selves.

    Why don't we leave the hyperbole about all the millions of actual or potential "terrorists", who are "pouring" into the US to Donald Trump, since he does that sort of thing better than anyone else, and stick to the actual facts, which, once again, have a way of turning out to be quite different from some of our 45th president's fantasies when it comes to immigration?

    As an additional thought, would Nolan care to share with the rest of us what the latest statistics are on the number of violent crimes or terrorist acts that have actually been committed by any of the pathetically small number of Syrian refugees (especially on the US side - we should have taken in at least 10 times as many - i.e. 250,000 Syrian refugees, consistent with our values and ideals as a nation of welcome and compassion toward the most vulnerable and most oppressed) whom either President Obama or Prime Minister Trudeau allowed to settle in their respective countries?

    Looking forward to your facts and figures on that, Nolan. It will be very interesting to see if Syrian refugees on both sides of the US- Canada border are really as dangerous as Nolan seems to believe they might be.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-21-2017 at 06:47 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  8. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Where was the presidential finding that Christians and Jews living in the seven targeted Muslim countries pose a danger to the United States?

    If there was such a finding, what is the rational basis for it?

    Matt has to know, as much as anyone else, that banning the tiny percentage of non-Muslims living in the affected countries as well as the the Muslim majority is just a cosmetic gesture to make it look as if Muslims are not the only targets. I doubt if there are very any children over the age of five who would be taken in by that kind of logic. My 8 and 10 year old grandsons would not be fooled, I am quite sure.

    Anyone who seriously thinks that Trump's ban is not aimed at Muslims based on their religion, might just as well believe that Trump is really only planning to deport immigrants who have actually committed crimes, and that he will leave the millions of other unauthorized immigrants who have no criminal records alone.

    If Matt believes that promise, then I would respectfully suggest that he should turn on his screen and take a look at the latest news.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 02-16-2017 at 07:57 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  9. MKolken's Avatar
    Are Jews and Christians also getting their heads cut off in Iran by ISIS?
    Updated 02-16-2017 at 06:50 AM by MKolken
  10. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Because the Jews and Christians don't want groups like ISIS to cut their heads off, I would imagine.

    If Trump concentrated on getting rid of the real terrorists and jihadists, instead of spinning his wheels trying to find ways to keep innocent people like an Iranian baby who needed life saving surgery and an Iraqi translator who risked his life to assist American soldiers, and thousands or millions of other people who mean no harm to America out of the United States because of their religion, America would be a safer country and the world would be a better place.

    Trump's ban reminds me of the famous saying of Abbot Armaud Amalric, who during the massacre of Albigensian "heretics" by Papal Christian soldiers around 1200 at Beziers in southern France, was asked by a soldier how to tell the "heretics" from the "true Christians". He reportedly said:

    "Kill them all - God will recognize his own."

    Trump's attitude is the same, only "Ban then all" instead of "Kill them all."

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-16-2017 at 12:04 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  11. MKolken's Avatar
    Why is it that 99.99 percent of the nationals of Syria and 99.4% of the nationals of Iran are Muslim? Why don't more Jews and Christians live in those countries?
  12. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Matt, I have already explained this in a previous comment. Most, if not all, of the population in the seven countries involved (which are almost certain to be increased of one reads the order carefully) are 99 percent Muslim.

    Yemen, for example, according to Wikipedia, is 99.99 percent Muslim. Yes, according to the same source, there are all of 50 Jews and 3,000 Christians in the country who can't come to America either (without a waiver which would almost certainly be granted). Haven't you ever heard of collateral damage?

    A banned country like Iran, admittedly, is more "diverse" than Yemen.

    Again according to Wikipedia, Iran is "only" 99.4 percent Muslim, not 99.99 per cent.

    Let's get real.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  13. MKolken's Avatar
    Weren't Christians and Jews from those 7 countries also banned from travel?
  14. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I agree with Nolan that Trump's travel ban, while initially directed against people from certain Muslim countries and against refugees, contains language which contemplates the possibility of effectively shutting down much larger parts of America's system for legal entry by foreign citizens from everywhere, not only from Muslim countries.

    As I have argued in several of my own Immigration Daily comments, the Muslim ban is very likely only the first step in a larger Trump/Bannon/Sessions anti-immigrant agenda, aimed at bringing America closer back to the "Nordics"-only 1924 immigration law which the new AG, Jeff Sessions, has praised in a recent (2015) immigration manifesto, and which Steven Bannon's Breitbart News also backed, at least by implication in one of its recent articles.

    The 1924 law which Sessions praised so highly and which Breitbart News expressed such nostalgia for (in an article by former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo), also had at least one other strong supporter - Adolf Hitler, who wrote in Mein Kampf that the US was way ahead of the rest of the world in making race the foundation of its immigration policy.

    However, as I have also explained in more detail in a recent Immigration Daily comment, the fact that the Muslim ban (if upheld by the courts which I think is much less likely than Nolan seems to believe - since America is still America, not yet a country of one man rule iike Russia or North Korea), may and almost certainly would be extended to cut off almost all immigration from outside Europe (with nice big quotas for Russia, to be sure!) does not mean that the current ban is not aimed against Muslims.

    Among other things, the 1924 law banned Jews - but not based on religion - just based on cutting off immigration from the countries that had large Jewish populations.

    That is exactly the same strategy that Trump is now using against Muslims who are hoping to come to the US in his January 27 executive order.

    Ultimately, as long Trump remains in office (unless he is impeached of his Russia ties, for which the departed Michael Flynn is probably only the fall guy, or over his ethics violations or some other abuse of power - stay tuned) the watchwords for immigration in his administration will be: 1924 deja vu, all over again.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-17-2017 at 08:00 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  15. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    Of course the 120-day ban on refugees is going to be extended, in all probability for as long as Trump is in office (If the executive order containing the ban is every reinstated by the courts, which, as long as America continues to be governed by a Constitution, may be a lot less likely than Nolan seems to believe).

    Everybody in America knows that the 120-period is purely cosmetic, and not a serious expression of Trump's real intentions.

    Nolan is certainly far too knowledgeable, experienced and intelligent to believe seriously that Trump has any plans whatsoever to let even a single refugee from anywhere in the world into America as long as he is in the White House, unless he is compelled to by the courts.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    You don't read very carefully, either the Executive Order or my articles. See in particular --

    Trump’s Seven-country Travel Ban Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg (February 6, 2017),

    Nolan Rappaport
    Updated 02-14-2017 at 11:21 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  16. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I am happy for your clients, and I am sure that there will be many more Muslims from various countries around the world who will be granted visas, entry and permanent residence in the early months, or even couple of years, of the Trump administration.

    It is obvious from careful reading of Trump's seven country ban executive order that banning immigrants from Muslim countries is to be done incrementally, with more Muslim countries and Muslim individuals added as time goes on. The order does this in 3 principal ways:

    1) Adding more countries to the banned list on the pretext that they are refusing to provide enough information about their citizens to ensure proper screening,

    2) Provision for uniform screening standards under which all Muslims (and also non-Muslims) would be screened in the same intensive ways that people from the targeted Muslim countries would be

    3) Requiring all Muslim (and even non-Muslim) immigrants and visitors to show that their admission to the US is in the "National Interest" - currently one of the most difficult tests imposed anywhere in the INA, as any NIW green card practitioners can attest.

    There is a parallel. Even in the early years of the Hitler period, and despite the 1936 Nuremberg Laws, many Jews living in Germany were more or less able to survive and lead a "normal". though vastly restricted, life.

    Then came 1938 and Kristallnacht.

    I do not mean to compare Trump's various proposal re: Muslims in America with the Holocaust.

    There is no possible comparison. But just as persecution of the Jews was incremental and took time at the beginning, the same can be expected of persecution of Muslim immigrants and Muslim Americans in the Trump years (without the ghastly "Final Solution" (Enloesung der Judenfrage) that took place in Germany, of course.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-14-2017 at 10:41 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  17. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Of course the 120-day ban on refugees is going to be extended, in all probability for as long as Trump is in office (If the executive order containing the ban is every reinstated by the courts, which, as long as America continues to be governed by a Constitution, may be a lot less likely than Nolan seems to believe).

    Everybody in America knows that the 120-period is purely cosmetic, and not a serious expression of Trump's real intentions.

    Nolan is certainly far too knowledgeable, experienced and intelligent to believe seriously that Trump has any plans whatsoever to let even a single refugee from anywhere in the world into America as long as he is in the White House, unless he is compelled to by the courts.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-14-2017 at 09:49 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  18. MKolken's Avatar
    Muslim ban?

    How is it that in the last three weeks I have had multiple clients who are Muslims gain admission to the United States, one who was granted lawful permanent resident status, one whose expedited removal under Obama was rescinded, one who was paroled into the country despite a previous determination of inadmissibility (also under Obama), and another granted former 212(c) relief despite having both an aggravated felony conviction, and a controlled substance violation. Doesn't look like much of a ban to my Muslim clients. Maybe just to yours?
  19. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Someone who says that Islam is a cancer rather than a religion, as Michael Flynn did, is an Islamophobe by definition. When such a person is in a high policy position that can lead to serious abuses of power such as Trump's Muslim ban (since 99 percent or more of the population in most, if not all, of the affected countries are Muslims) then we need to talk in terms of that reality, rather than hiding behind a false set of euphemisms.

    Whether someone who says that Mexicans are killers and rapists is a racist, or whether someone who admires Hitler is a Neo-Nazi (I am not talking about Trump here - he has never said that) is a neo-Nazi is irrelevant, since I do not use that terminology in my comments.

    In terms of Trump's Muslim ban, as well as with other issues relating to the limits of presidential or executive power over immigration, I have had a great deal to say about the applicable legal points in many of my previous comments, and I will continue to do so, no matter who might or might not agree with me.

    I would even say that if too many people agree with me, then I am not accomplishing my purpose.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-14-2017 at 06:04 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  20. MKolken's Avatar

    I meant that you lose all credibility when you repeatedly call people with whom you disagree racists, Islamophobes, and Neo-Nazis. Stick to legal arguments, if you have them.
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