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  1. Think Trump is the first president to be hard on undocumented immigrants? Think again. Nolan Rappaport

    I found the following video clip while doing research for my next article, which will be on Trump's legal immigration plans. You might be surprised by who is making these remarks.

    Or if you would rather just read the statement ----

    All Americans, not only in the States most heavily affected but in every place in this country, are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants. The public service they use impose burdens on our taxpayers. That's why our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders more by hiring a record number of new border guards, by deporting twice as many criminal aliens as ever before, by cracking down on illegal hiring, by barring welfare benefits to illegal aliens. In the budget I will present to you, we will try to do more to speed the deportation of illegal aliens who are arrested for crimes, to better identify illegal aliens in the workplace as recommended by the commission headed by former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws. It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it.

    Posted by Nolan Rappaport
  2. California 'sanctuary state' bill is illegal, but also ineffective. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty

    Activist Dolores Huerta claims that California needs to enact the California Values Act, Senate Bill 54 (SB 54), as a counterweight to Texas’s draconian law banning sanctuary cities in that state and President Donald Trump’s “xenophobic agenda to deport millions of people.”

    I disagree. While I can understand why Huerta dislikes Texas’s sanctuary city law, it is an exaggeration to call it “draconian.” And Trump is just enforcing immigration provisions that were written by Congress and signed into law by previous presidents. If those laws are xenophobic, the solution is to lobby Congress to change them.

    Making California a sanctuary state will not stop Trump’s enforcement efforts. But it would violate federal law and make California ineligible for certain types of federal grants.

    Legislative Counsel’s Digest of SB 54.

    SB 54 would repeal existing law which requires the police to notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when there is reason to believe that a person arrested for a violation of specified controlled substance provisions may be an alien.

    It would, with some exceptions, prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from using their resources to investigate, detain, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes.

    Read more at ---

    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.

  3. Hawaii Federal Judge Enjoins Administration From Banning Muslim Grandparents of US Citizens or Refugees with Resettlement Agency Ties. Roger Algase

    Update, July 14, 8:54 pm:

    In reaction to the Hawaii federal District Court decision described below further limiting the scope of the president's six country Muslim ban order to permit grandparents of US citizens and refugees with ties to US resettlement organizations into the United States, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has vowed to appeal the ruling to the US Supreme Court.

    POLITICO reports Sessions' statement as follows:

    "By this decision, the district court has improperly substituted its policy preferences for the national security judgments of the Executive Branch and the directive of the Supreme Court."

    A reading of the rationale for the Hawaii District Court's decision, as quoted below, shows no intention on the part of that court to "substitute its own policy preferences" but merely to strike down an irrational distinction which the administration made, without any foundation, justification, or sanction from the Supreme Court, to exclude grandparents of US citizens from the list of relatives who are exempt from the ban for reasons that cannot possibly be linked to national security, but have everything to do with the often announced intention of the president and his openly Islamophobic top advisers, Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller, to keep as many Muslims from entering the United States as the courts will let them get away with.

    While this may not be apparent on the surface of Sessions' remarks, his own well publicized support (in a 2015 immigration "Handbook" for Congressional Republicans) for returning to the dark, bigoted days of the infamous 1924 "Nordics only" immigration act, also raises well-justified suspicions that Trump's Muslim ban is also just the first step in a wider administration policy aimed at major cutbacks in non-white immigration from all over the world.

    On a lighter note, if readers will forgive a brief aside from the immigration area, Reuters reports that Trump has now hired Washington lawyer Ty Cobb, who is said to be related to his namesake, one of America's most famous baseball players of all time, to take charge of White House attempts to deal with the cascading Russia scandals relating to alleged attempts to compromise our electoral system, among many other allegation of possible wrongdoing involving Russia by Trump or the people around him.

    Ty Cobb is no doubt a top lawyer, but what is his batting average?

    My original comment appears below.

    In a rebuke to the Trump administration's attempt to interpret the Supreme Court's June 26 decision temporarily allowing it to uphold parts of the president's six Middle Eastern and African Muslim country citizen's entry ban order ("Muslim ban", for short, not the misleading and inadequate term "travel ban" often used by the media and, recently, by the president himself) as widely as possible, Judge Derrick Watson of the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii issued an injunction on July 13 which prohibits the federal government from barring grandparents of US citizens from entering the US pursuant to the Muslim ban on the grounds that they allegedly lack "close ties" with the United States within the meaning of the above Supreme Court ruling.

    The District Judge also enjoined the administration from enforcing the ban order against refugees who have contracts with US resettlement agencies. For the story and a link to the full decision of the Court in this case, Hawaii v. Trump, see:

    With regard to the ban on grandparents of US citizens on the grounds that a grandparent is allegedly not a close relative, the Court held that this interpretation was unreasonable and was contradicted by Supreme Court precedent. The Court cited the Supreme Court case of Moore v. City of E. Cleveland, 431 U.S. 494, 503-04 (1977) where the High Court stated that the:

    "tradition of uncles, aunts, cousins and especially grandparents sharing a household with parents and children has roots equally venerable and equally deserving of constitutional recognition."

    The District Court also cited a plurality opinion in Travel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 63-65 (2000), where the Supreme Court stated:

    "[D]emographic changes of the past century make it difficult to speak of an average American family. The composition of families varies greatly from household to household...In many cases, grandparents play an important role."

    Finally on this point, the District Court, in refreshingly plain language for a judge, stated:

    "Equally problematic, the Government's definition represents the antithesis of common sense....Indeed, grandparents are the
    epitome of common close family members."

    One could also legitimately ask whether distinguishing between grandparents, who are excluded, and parents in law or step relatives, who are permitted to enter the US based on the administration's definition, makes any sense whatever in an executive order that is ostensibly based on national security considerations.

    Has the president made a finding that grandparents of US citizens are more at risk of committing terrorist acts than in-laws or step relatives of US citizens?

    This only goes to show that it is not only the administration's distinction between grandparents and other types of close relatives that makes no sense, but that the entire Muslim ban order, on its face, makes no sense either.

    The purported rationale for the ban order was that the government needs to improve and refine its "vetting" procedures for immigrants from the six targeted countries. But reviewing and enhancing screening and databases for admission of foreign citizens is something that, according to government statements, is going on all the time anyway.

    Where, within the four corners of Trump's current six country Muslim ban executive order, or its seven country predecessor, is there any showing that the danger to America from terrorist acts by citizens of the targeted countries is so urgent and acute as to justify banning almost the entire population of these countries, comprising nearly 200 million people, from entering the United States while the "review" of "vetting" procedures (which of course will last as long as Donald Trump is in office as president - everyone knows that the "temporary" ban is only a cynical joke)?

    Even without looking behind the surface language of Trump's Muslim ban, as the proponents of absolute presidential power over admissions to the US argue that the courts lack the power to do, it is obvious that the ban itself, solely on its face makes little or sense at all - unless the fundamental objective is to prevent as many Muslims as possible from entering the US - including but by no means limited to grandparents.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 07-14-2017 at 09:42 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Trump, Acting Truly Presidential, Intervenes to Allow Afghan Young Women's Robotics Team to Enter US for Competition. Roger Algase

    Update, July 15, 11:02 am:

    The latest news report is that the Afghan young women's robotics team has arrived in the United States to attend the competition after the president's personal intervention to bring them here on parole after they had been refused visas by the US embassy.

    Congratulations, Mr. President! People of good will throughout the whole world support you on this one!

    My original comment appears below:

    POLITICO reports on July 12 that Donald Trump, in a move that is truly worthy of the dignity of his high office and of his election night promise to be the president of all the American people, without regard to race, color or religion, has overruled the US State Department and intervened to allow a team of young women high school students from Afghanistan (whom press reports keep referring to as "girls" - I don't notice that our media call all male high school team members in any field as "boys" very often) to come to the United States through parole to participate in a robotics competition from which they had been barred when the US embassy refused their visa applications.

    POLITICO quotes Dina Powell, the president's deputy national security adviser for strategy as issuing the following statement:

    "We could not be prouder of this delegation of young women who are also scientists - they represent the best of the Afghan people and embody the promise that their aspirations can be fulfilled. They are future leaders of Afghanistan and strong ambassadors for their country."

    POLITICO also comments, accurately and with insight, as follows:

    "Critics had argued that the visa denials sent the wrong message to the people of Afghanistan, where U.S. troops are still fighting Taliban militants who once barred girls from attending school. The denials bolstered allegations that Trump is, via executive orders and other means, trying to impose a ban on Muslims entering the United States. The visa rejections also undercut the administration's insistence that it cares about empowering women globally."

    The same POLITICO story also points out that the robotics team members from Iran, which, unlike Afghanistan, is on the banned list of Muslim countries, were granted visas to attend the competition without any difficulty.

    One might also ask whether, if young people with the impressive achievements in the face of great difficulties that these team members have shown are not allowed to come to the United States to attend a event that is so directly connected to their accomplishments, what was the point of the US sending troops to Afghanistan in the first place?

    If America were so unwilling to recognize and support these young women, we might just as well have left the Taliban alone to control that country in the first place.

    But this raises the larger issue of Trump's Muslim ban policy. Was the entire purpose of sending so many young American soldiers to die in Iraq and Afghanistan to bring the American ideal of freedom and democracy to the Muslim world, on the condition that no one from that part of the world ever enters America?

    And, further, does not the initial denials of visas to these brave and distinguished you scientists show that the spirit, if not the actual intent, of the president's Muslim ban executive orders is to affect citizens of many other, if not all, Muslim countries of the world - in keeping with his original December 2015 campaign promise?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 07-15-2017 at 10:04 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Trump May Not Be Able to Make Russia Scandal Go Away, But He Can Stop an Iranian Harvard Cancer Researcher From Entering US. Roger Algase

    The latest news reports state that Donald Trump may be fuming with a sense of helplessness over his evident inability to end the growing scandal of so far unproven allegations that his campaign officials, or even his eldest son, may have colluded with, or attempted to collude with, Russia in order to sway the results of last year's election in which Trump was resoundingly defeated by Hillary Clinton in the popular vote.

    But while Trump does not have the power to muzzle an independent press, or to make the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who has been appointed to look into allegations of collusion and possible obstruction of justice, go away without severe consequences to Trump and his administration, Trump does have the power to take action against the most vulnerable people in our society, who have very limited, if any, legal or public relations power to stand up to him - namely immigrants, especially those from the almost 100 percent Muslim countries subject to his latest entry ban order.

    These include Iranian cancer researcher Mohsan Dehnavi, who on July 11, was detained and sent back to Iran by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), along with his family, despite having a valid J-1 training visa and, beyond any reasonable question, strong ties with his sponsoring organization, Harvard University affiliated Children's Hospital as defined in the Supreme Court's June 26 Muslim ban decision.

    For an earlier report, see: Washington Post, July 11:

    Cancer researcher was held at Boston Airport. Now he is being sent back to Iran

    According to the above CBS News report, and other similar reports, CBP is now claiming that sending Denahvi and his family home had nothing to do with Trump's entry ban order, but was because there was "additional paperwork" that needed to be completed in Iran.

    There was no indication as to what that "additional paperwork" might be.

    While there is no proof as yet that Trump's Muslim entry ban order was in fact the reason for Denahvi's being sent back, I cannot help being a reminded of a story, I believe it was by Ring Lardner, that I read many long decades ago about a shady character named "Lefty".

    According to the story (as I recall), the fact that Lefty was in Philadelphia over the weekend, and that there was a murder in Philadelphia during that weekend, did not prove that Lefty committed the murder, but one could not be sure about that either.

    The fact that a cancer researcher from a Muslim country whose work could without any doubt promote the safety and health of America's children was sent home without any clear or reasonable explanation, doesn't necessarily mean that Trump's Muslim ban was the real reason, but, along with reports that other scientific researchers from Iran, including a Harvard Medical School affiliated diabetes researcher, were barred under Trump's initial, since withdrawn and thoroughly discredited, Muslim ban order,

    and that entries to the US from Iran are now reportedly down and US visa interviews in Iran are being canceled and not rescheduled (see above Washington Post story), it certainly raises suspicions that the real reason for sending this accomplished scientist home was not primarily to enforce the laws of, or promote the security of, the United States, but to let as few Muslims into America as possible.

    That this might have been the real purpose for sending Dr. Dehnavi home would be consistent with Trump's numerous, consistent attacks on all Muslims (not just extremists) during the presidential campaign, and the anti-Islam, "Clash of Civilizations" ideology of some of his top presidential advisers, such as Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller,

    as well as his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, (who resigned in disgrace for unrelated reasons).

    Flynn, notably, has called Islam a "cancer" rather than a religion.

    After Fkynn was forced to resign, Trump stated that he regretted firing Flynn and wished he were back in the White House.

    It should not be hard for Dr. Dehnavi and his family, and everyone who cares about the health of our nation's children, to figure out the real reason why he was sent back to Iran, rather than being allowed into the US to conduct his potentially life saving medical research for one of America's top universities, pursuant to the terms of his valid visa.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 07-13-2017 at 10:27 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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