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  1. Democrats Were Right to Refuse Deal Over Trump's Demagogic Wall Symbol of Anti-Immigrant Hatred, White Supremacy and Dictatorship. Roger Algase

    Update: 5:45 pm, March 22:

    Dara Lind writes a perceptive article in on March 22 pointing that it may not only be the Democrats who are "reining" Trump in on his vindictive anti-immigrant agenda, with his demands for not only his border wall of humiliation and contempt for Mexican and other non-white immigrants, but for hiring more ICE arresting agents and building more prison space for immigrants; but that the Republicans may be getting tired of Trump's anti-immigrant agenda too, or at least tired of enabling it through a spending bill.

    My original comment appears below.

    In some previous comments, I have been critical of the Democrats for not fighting harder to include protection for Dreamers in the latest budget deal which has been reportedly agreed to by Congressional leaders in both parties, even if this meant agreeing to funding for Donald Trump's border wall. The final version of the spending bill, according to the latest report, includes little if any money for the wall.

    It also includes no protection for the Dreamers. This has been presented as a big defeat for Trump, who had, again according to news reports, had at one point threatened to veto the funding bill unless it contained more wall money, and was also reportedly offering the Democrats a DACA deal in exchange - apparently without his previous condition of requiring draconian reductions in non-white family immigration and elimination of the Africa-friendly diversity visa lottery.

    Why do I now believe that the Democrats did the right thing in refusing any such deal? To answer that question, here are a couple of hypothetical questions:

    1) Suppose that a US president (not Trump - he is not in the least anti-Jewish) were to offer full protection for Dreamers, including US citizenship, in return for tearing down the Statue of Liberty and building a huge swastika in its place.

    2) Or instead, suppose that a different president, again, not Trump, were to offer protection for the Dreamers in return for agreement to a law cancelling Martin Luther King's birthday as a federal holiday and declaring that day as "Dred Scott Day" instead, in honor of the infamous 1857 Supreme Court decision declaring that people of color were legally inferior to white people and could never become US citizens.

    What Senator or Representative in either party, or immigrant advocate of any variety, in his or her right mind would ever agree to either of the above hypothetical proposals, no matter how much one might genuinely care about the Dreamers and their future?

    But the motivation behind Trump's border wall is essentially the same as the motivation would be behind the above two hypothetical proposals. No analyst or expert that I am aware with has claimed that Trump's wall is necessary for any genuine security purpose. At bottom, it is nothing more or less than a symbol of anti-immigrant hate and white supremacist demagogy.

    Trump has made this clear in numerous statements about the wall. Moreover, the wall is also a symbol of dictatorship. From the moment that he first called for wall construction in June 2015 in a speech attacking Mexican immigrants in general, legal as well as illegal, as "criminals", "rapists" and drug dealers, to his March 13 speech last week at the Mexican border implying that drug cartels are all that Mexico has to offer to the US (in addition, of course, to the MS-13 gang). Trump's wall proposal has become a symbol of hatred and contempt against not only the people of Mexico, but against all Latin-American and other non-white immigrants.

    During his campaign, Trump admitted as much himself, when he attacked Judge Curiel, an American-born jurist of Mexican parentage (who had previously distinguished himself by fighting against Mexican cartels) as allegedly biased against Trump because Trump wanted to build a wall on the Mexican border.

    Regarding Trump's March 13 trip to look at border wall "prototypes", the Sierra club issued a statement accusing Trump of "pushing an agenda...rooted in injustice and racism."

    But this is not the only objection to Trump's border wall.

    From the time that the epic poem Gilgamesh praised the walls of the ancient Mesopotamian city of Uruk more than 4,000 years ago; and including Virgil's praise of the altae moenia Romae ("high walls of Rome") in his tribute to Rome's first imperial autocrat, Augustus, 2,000 years ago; up to the wall that Hungary's autocrat, Victor Orban, has recently been constructing to keep African and Middle Eastern refugees out of his country, boundary walls have almost always been the symbol of authoritarian rule, not democracy.

    One invariably thinks of the Communist Berlin Wall and the Nazi Warsaw Ghetto Wall of extermination in our own very recent time.

    Is this the right image to define what America means in the 21st Century? The Democrats were right to say no to Donald Trump about the wall.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 03-22-2018 at 06:09 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Why downplay costs of illegal immigration if California is so sure of the benefits?


    Updated 03-22-2018 at 09:25 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. USCIS Again Suspends H-1B Premium Processing. Will This Mean More RFE's Showing Hypocrisy of Trump's "Merit-Based" Immigration Claim? Roger Algase

    For the second year in a row, USCIS has announced that it is temporarily suspending premium processing for H-1B petitions as the new cap-subject filing season for FY 2019 fast approaches.

    The announced reason for these suspensions was to enable USCIS to finish processing long-delayed H-1B cases and to reduce processing times overall.

    But last year, the main effect of suspending Premium Processing was, very arguably, to give USCIS examiners more time to write burdensome, often unnecessary, and in some cases that I can attest to personally in my own H-1B practice and will discuss in detail in a forthcoming comment, openly biased or at least egregiously incompetent RFE's and denial decisions.

    As was widely reported last year, and as I also experienced in my own H-1B practice, there was an unprecedented number of H-1B RFE's issued last year. In my own experience as an H-1B practitioner, most of these RFE's dealt involved specious and unfounded claims by H-1B examiners that offered H-1B positions were not really "specialty occupations" according to the H-1B regulations, even in cases where the occupations has been traditionally recognized as an H-1B specialty occupation by USCIS and its predecessor INS for many years past.

    But regardless of the asserted reason for any specific RFE's, last year's experience indicates that many of them were issued only for the purpose of holding up or even ultimately denying approval of meritorious H-1B petitions.

    Over and above the issue of unnecessary H-1B approval delays or unfounded denial decisions, what does this say about Trump's stated push to limit legal immigration to so-called "merit based" applicants, while eliminating the family-based and diversity-based visas which have enabled tens of millions of immigrants, mainly from non-European parts of the world, to come to America legally over the past several decades?

    If the president is really so much in favor of "merit-based" immigration to the exclusion of most, if not all, other legal immigration, including the family "chain migration" (which he condemned as "horrible" in a December 29 2017 tweet) and the diversity visa lottery (which he also denounced as a danger to US security in his SOTU message) why is his administration throwing so many roadblocks in the way of approving petitions for well-educated, highly skilled H-1B professional immigrants who are clear examples of the "merit-based" immigration which he claims to support?
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 30 years, Roger has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world obtain H-1B and other employment and family-based work visas and green cards.

    Roger's email address is

    Updated 03-21-2018 at 06:01 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Democrats Won't Stand up for Dreamers in Spending Bill, But They Seem OK With Torture. Will Enabling Trump's Agenda Help Immigrants? Roger Algase

    The latest news reports indicate that, once again, the Democratic leaders in Congress are apparently willing to give up the only leverage they will ever have in a Republican-controlled Congress to enact relief for the Dreamers, namely insisting that a DACA solution be included in an omnibus spending bill to avoid a government shutdown at the end of this week.

    The Hill reports that Democratic leaders in both Houses are apparently pulling back from insisting on a DACA solution in the spending bill.

    This would leave Dreamers' protection from eventual deportation in the hands of the right wing majority Supreme Court, or up to the tender mercy of Donald Trump himself. LOL with that on both counts, Dreamers.

    However, while the Democrats may have a problem standing up for the Dreamers in Congress, they seem to have less difficulty in accommodating torture, as shown by POLITICO's report on their evident reluctance to block confirmation of an alleged CIA "black site" torture chief, Gina Haskel, as head of the CIA.

    Whether the notorious division between Democrats who are willing to stand up for principle and those who appear to be more attracted to the siren song of presumed political expediency was responsible for putting Donald Trump, along with his anti-immigrant agenda, in the White House in the first place is beyond the scope of this comment and not a subject for discussion here.

    But now we know many more details than we did in 2016 showing how serious Trump is in pursuing that agenda, which not only involves mass arrest and incarceration, if not yet an increase in deportation, of non-criminal immigrants (or those charged with minor crimes), but drastic cuts in legal immigration affecting mainly non-white parts of the world.

    Therefore, is it not time to ask whether Democrats' playing nice to Trump's agenda is really the best way to protect immigrants from having the race and religion neutral, non-discriminatory immigration system which America has had for the past 50 years dismantled bit by bit, and replaced by a 1924-style system in which only immigrants from "Countries like Norway" to use Trump's January 11 expression, are welcome?

    The argument that caving in to and playing along with Trump's agenda will help immigrants in the current environment is based on tortured reasoning, to say the least.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 03-20-2018 at 08:58 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Trump Finds New Reason to Demonize, Scapegoat and Promote Animosity Against Latin American and Other Minority Immigrants - Opioid Crisis. Roger Algase

    Donald Trump has now found another excuse for promoting his agenda of building a wall against Mexico and attempting to persuade Congress to enact draconian restrictions against legal immigration - which would overwhelmingly impact Latin American and other non-European immigrants most of all - the opioid crisis.

    Against clear evidence from the National Institutes of Health, among other independent sources, that the opioid crisis is caused mainly by over-prescription on the part of large US pharmaceutical companies and not by immigrants, Trump gave a venomous, demagogic March 19 speech blaming the crisis on, among other things "releasing illegal immigrants...back into our communities."

    In contrast, the latest expert US government agency analysis by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) dated March, 2018, gives the following reason for what it calls the "Opioid Overdose Crisis":

    "In the late 1990's, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates. This subsequently led to widespread diversion and misuse of these medications before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive."

    Even Trump's White House recognizes the need to reduce opioid prescriptions. The above report in The Hill states that White House aims to reduce these prescriptions by one third over the next three years.

    What does apparent drug company profiteering from pain-killer abuse by Americans have to do with immigration?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 03-20-2018 at 07:14 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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