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  1. Trump "Softens" H-1B Stand - Before Reverting Back To Hard Line. Roger Algase

    At the March 3 Republican presidential debate, front runner Donald Trump created some surprises by deviating from the hard line immigration policies that have earned him the support of bitter immigration opponents such as Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), not to mention David Duke, the former KKK leader whom Trump has now finally disavowed.

    In response to questions from Fox News' Megyn Kelly, whom Trump has apparently made peace with after their dust-up last summer, Trump stated that he has "changed" and "softened" his position on H-1B skilled worker visas":

    "I'm changing, I'm changing",

    Trump said. He continued:

    "We need highly skilled people in this country, and if we can't do it, we'll get them in. But, and we do need [them] in Silicon Valley, we absolutely have to have [them]...

    We do need highly skilled, and one of the biggest problems we have is people go to the best colleges...They'll go to Harvard, they'll go to Stanford, they'll go to Wharton, as soon as they get finished they'll get shoved out...

    They want to stay in this country...They want to stay here desperately, they're not able to stay here...

    For that reason we absolutely have to be able to keep the brain power in this country."


    However, just as some hope might have been arising that a "kinder, gentler", more rational and immigrant-friendly "inner" Donald Trump was beginning to emerge, at least with regard to H-1B, Trump posted the following statement on Facebook a few hours later:

    "Megyn Kelly asked about highly skilled immigration. The H-1B program is neither high-skilled nor immigration: these are temporary foreign workers, imported from abroad, for the explicit purpose of substituting for American workers at lower pay. I remain totally committed to eliminating rampant, widespread, H-1B abuse and ending outrageous practices such as those that occurred at Disney in Florida when Americans were forced to train their foreign replacements. I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program. No exceptions."

    ​Well, maybe that last sentence needs a little qualification. Evidently, there are a few exceptions - Trump's own foreign workers, a topic that also came up at the March 3 debate. Trump was asked by Senator Marco Rubio why he hired so many foreign workers at his hotel in Florida when there were "hundreds" of Americans looking for similar jobs.

    Trump's answer that these were only seasonal jobs that Americans don't want, and, besides, all the other hotels in the area were doing the same thing, according to perfectly legal procedures, could just as well been written by almost any pro-immigrant organization (except that these organization would have no doubt explained this more coherently than Trump).

    Will the real Donald Trump on H-1B please stand up?
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants with work visas and green cards for more than 35 years.

    A large part of Rogers' practice focuses on H-1B filings, His long experience with these cases has enabled him to avoid many of the pitfalls that can often lead to H-1B RFE's or denials.

    Roger's email address is

    Updated 03-09-2016 at 01:25 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. BALCA Reverses Denial Based Upon Failure to Include Travel Requirements in Job Order

    The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (“BALCA”) recently issued a decision in Matter of First Tek Technologies, Inc. that reiterated that job orders and advertisements conducted to fulfill the additional recruitment steps for a labor certification case are not subject to the advertisement content requirements specified in 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(f). The employer filed an Application for Permanent Employment Certification for the role of “Programmer / Analyst.” The case was audited and the Certifying Officer (“CO”) denied the case on the basis that the employer’s job order and the advertisement conducted through a job search website “did not include a travel requirements listed on the ETA Form 9089.” The CO cited 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(f) as the basis for the denial. 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(f) applies to “advertisements placed in newspapers of general circulation [and] professional journals.” In reviewing prior case history, BALCA determined that the Matter of Chabad Lubavitch Center and Matter of Symatec Corporation cases established that job orders and advertisements conducted to fulfill the additional recruitment steps are not required to “comply with the detailed content requirements of section 656.17(f).” Thus, the denial was overturned. The content requirements for the advertisements that are conducted as part of a recruitment effort for a labor certification case involve many nuances. The Hammond Law Group is happy to assist employers in drafting appropriate advertisements that meet the Department of Labor’s requirements. This post originally appeared on HLG's Views blog by Cadence Moore.

  3. How Would Immigration Policy Be Decided Under President Trump? By Roger Algase

    This is not a political blog, and I will leave it to the pundits and politicians to opine on whether the results of the March 1 "Super Tuesday" primaries brought Donald Trump closer to becoming the president of the United States or not, or whether there is any chance left of stopping him from becoming the Republican nominee.

    Anyone who is interested in that kind of speculation can easily find it in dozens, if not hundreds, of other places on the Internet. Nor it my intention to speculate on which of Trump's campaign promises concerning immigration he will try to keep if he become president.

    How many unauthorized Latino and other minority immigrants would he actually deport? Will he really build the Wall and make Mexico pay for it? How long would an attempt to impose his ban on entry by Muslims continue?

    Would the Muslim ban include American citizens returning from overseas, in direct violation of the free exercise of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution?

    If anyone other than Trump himself were asked these questions, the only possible answer would be the same one that Tevye gave in the iconic Broadway musical "Fiddler on the Roof", namely:

    "I'll tell you - I don't know."

    Very possibly, Trump himself doesn't know what he would do, and in any event, he has frequently praised the perceived advantages of being unpredictable. Again, this kind of speculation can easily be found on many sites other than this one.

    My concern in this post is not with the details of which immigration policies might or might not be carried out under a Trump presidency, but with how the decisions about which policies to adopt would be made.

    Up to now, and ever since the time of Supreme Court decisions upholding the Chinese exclusion laws beginning in the 1880's (to be brought back more than 130 years later in the form of a Muslim exclusion law under President Trump?), the legal doctrine concerning enacting and enforcing immigration laws and regulations has been that these are the province of the "political" branches of the government, i.e. Congress and the Executive, with little or no interference from the judicial branch, i.e. the courts.

    Leaving aside for now the issue of the role of the courts in reviewing immigration policy, which is arguably greater than it may have have been during the dark period of racial prejudice in our history that gave rise to the Chinese exclusion laws (but see US v. Wong Kim Ark, 1898), where the Supreme Court invalidated an action of the executive branch in excluding the US-born child of Chinese citizen parents as contrary to the Constitution), the main focus today is on the balance between the two political branches of the government in making and executing laws and regulations relating to immigration.

    Without any doubt, the ongoing case of Texas v. US, which the Supreme Court has now agreed to review, constitutes a major test of this balance, involving the extent to which the president can determine immigration policy by executive action without the consent of Congress.

    But what happens if America one day has a president who believes that the will of the American people regarding immigration (among other policy determinations) resides entirely in his own person, and that Congress is either irrelevant or just another inconvenient opponent to be crushed or eliminated?

    Is such a thing possible in America? There may be a hint of what the answer could be under a Donald Trump presidency in the Huffington Post's report concerning Trump's reaction on March 1 to criticism from his fellow Republican, House Speaker Paul Ryan, over Trump's perceived lack of forthrightness in disavowing the support of David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader.

    The Huffpost reports their exchange as follows. First, Ryan:

    "If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican party, there can be no evasion and no games...They must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry."

    And here is Trump's answer:

    "Paul Ryan, I'm sure I'm going to get along great with him. And if I don't, he's going to have to pay a big price. OK?"



    To anyone who has been paying even the slightest attention to the presidential campaign so far, it will be obvious that this is not the first threat of retaliation (or, in the case of protesters at his rallies actual violence that he has encouraged his security people to use) that Trump has made against anyone who disagrees with or opposes him.

    But to engage in this kind of bullying and threats against a well-regarded, highly respected Speaker of the House from his own party (who, it will be remembered, is himself third in line for the presidency), is, arguably, taking the idea of government by intimidation to an entirely new, and very troubling, level.

    What could government under a president who combines a belief in his own infallibility as the sole representative of the will of the people with a willingness to govern by raw power be like? It could be called many things, but democracy would not be one of them.

    Andrew J. Bacevich writes the following in on March 2:

    "Should Trump or a Trump mini-me ultimately succeed in capturing the presidency, a possibility that can no longer be dismissed out of hand, the effects will be even more profound. In all but name, the United States will cease to be a constitutional republic. Once President Trump inevitably declares that he alone expresses the popular will, Americans will find that they have traded the rule of law for a version of caudillismo."


    If Trump is elected, could Congress become cowed and intimidated into total irrelevance, and immigration laws and policies be determined entirely by presidential decree? And if this were to happen, would there be any greater respect or deference for immigration decisions by the US Supreme Court, or would these too be brushed aside as "unrepresentative" opinions by "a bunch of unelected lawyers wearing robes"?

    America might soon have a chance to find out.
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from many different parts of the world and diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger's email address is

    Updated 03-09-2016 at 03:33 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Has America Changed Its Mind on Immigration? Part 1. By Roger Algase

    Here is what a certain well known billionaire business figure and TV celebrity by the name of Donald Trump was saying about immigration only four short years ago, right after the 2012 presidential election:

    "Republicans don't have anything going for them with respect to Latinos and with respect to Asians...

    The Democrats didn't have a policy for dealing with illegal immigrants, but what they did have going for them is that they weren't mean-spirited about it...they were kind...

    He [Romney] had a crazy policy of self-deportation which was maniacal...and he lost all of the Latino vote. He lost the Asian vote. He lost everybody who is inspired to come into this country."



    What has made Donald Trump change his mind? Has America changed its mind on immigration? If so, why?

    In my February 17 comment on this site, I introduced a December 15, 2015 article in the Huffington Post by John Tirman, Executive Director, MIT Center for International Studies, called: The Origins of Intolerance in America.


    Tirman writes:

    "In the last few weeks, the alarming rise of anti-immigrant, xenophobic rhetoric from the right wing has alarmed a large segment of the American people, but equally disturbing is how much support these noxious views are getting from the public."

    As a candidate who called for a more tolerant and inclusive approach toward minority immigrants just a few years ago now appears to be sweeping his way toward the presidential nomination of a party that he then called "mean-spirited" toward immigrants for supporting policies that were nowhere near as harsh as his own current proposals for a Border Wall, mass deportation of 12 million people and a ban on entry to the US by Muslims from every part of the world, it is worth taking a look at Tirman's analysis in greater depth.

    I will do this in the next part of this series of comments.
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from many different parts of the world and ethnic/religious backgrounds obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger's email address is

    Updated 03-01-2016 at 10:27 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Eugenics & Immigration: A Dark Time In History And A Warning For Us Now. Roger Algase

    One of the darkest periods in all of US immigration history was the "Eugenics" movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Most of us have heard of this movement, but few of us may have realized the enormous effect that it had on US immigration policy for such a long time.

    Harvard Magazine, in its March-April 2016 issue, presents a full history of this movement and its deleterious effect on public attitudes toward immigration, which in turn led to restrictive laws excluding Asian, Jewish, Italian, Eastern European and most other immigrants from outside the favored area of northern Europe.

    Ironically, Harvard University, a symbol of America's quest for academic excellence, was one of the main breeding grounds for this backward looking ideology, which was based on the false idea of the inherent superiority of certain races over others, and which eventually turned out to be a major influence in the Nazi genocide.

    The article, by Adam Cohen, is called:

    Harvard's Eugenics Era: When academics embraced scientific racism, immigration restrictions, and the suppression of "the unfit".

    In 2016, when it has once again become acceptable for certain politicians, columnists and other public figures to stigmatize entire groups of immigrants as "criminals", "rapists" "drug dealers" or "terrorists" on no other basis than their ethnicity or religious affiliation, and to propose mass deportation and exclusion of entire groups of immigrants in numbers even larger than anything that could have been imagined in earlier times of restrictive immigration laws, it is instructive to look at the history of the failed "Eugenics" doctrine more closely.

    The link to the Harvard Magazine article is:

    To be continued.
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards for more than 35 years. Roger's email address is

    Updated 02-28-2016 at 08:03 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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