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  1. Trump Uses "National Security" as Excuse to End 1965 Racially Equal Immigration Law, Impoverish Middle Class and Advance Dictatorship. Roger Algase

    In his latest two immigration-related announcements, namely his brief December 16 address followed by a 68 page "National Security" memorandum released on December 18, Trump has escalated his strategy of using "National Security" as a pretext to unravel the landmark 1965 immigration reform law, based on acceptance of diversity and racial/religious equality, piece by piece, and bring back the Europeans only immigration ideology of the previous 1924 Johnson-Reed immigration act and 1890's Chinese exclusion laws.

    First, in the December 16 weekly address which I discussed in a different context in my comment appearing in the December 17 issue of Immigration Daily, Trump tried to label America's entire current immigration system, which is based in large part, but by no means entirely, on family immigration, as a danger to national security.

    This was continued in his National Security Memorandum, which contains a number of references to our current immigration system as being a "national security" threat and inconsistent with the "national interest."

    What is the purpose of trying to stigmatize entire classes of immigrants, such as the millions of people who have immigrated to the US legally in the past several decades under the visa lottery or as family-based immigrants, as dangers to national security without the slightest shred of evidence that this is true?

    And what does Trump mean by the "national interest" that is allegedly in danger under our current immigration system? As I will show in forthcoming comments, Trump's definition of the "national interest" regarding immigration, means admitting legal immigrants from European and other mainly white countries only, and shutting America's doors against immigrants from all other parts of the world.

    This is the only conclusion that can be drawn from Trump's opposition to family immigration and less skilled immigration, which have been enabled millions of immigrants from every part of the world to live and work in US legally for the half century; and his support for the RAISE Act.

    This latter proposal, under the guise of favoring "merit" based immigration (i.e. being white and English-speaking), would return to a Europeans-only immigration system similar to the one that America had for four decades beginning in 1924, until that system was abolished by the 1965 immigration reform law which Trump and his white nationalist supporters are now working so hard to destroy.

    To conclude with a comment which is admittedly beyond the scope of concerns with immigration law only, while Trump claims that his efforts to remake America's entire immigration system and take it back to the white supremacist ideology of the 1920's are part of an "America first" policy, the great majority of Americans, including millions of voters who heeded Trump's anti-immigrant siren song and put him in the White House because of his explicit and implied promises to reverse America's demographic trend toward a more racially and religiously diverse society, are now about to pay a terrible price in terms of passage of the Republican tax bill.

    This bill, with its huge tax giveaways to Trump's billionaire campaign donors such as the Koch brothers, will create enormous federal budget deficits which Trump and his supporters are already planning to make up by cutting back or eliminating Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other safety net programs on which most Americans, in one form or another depend.

    Then, America will become like the 1920's once again; not only in immigration policy, but in our entire society, with the super-wealthy on top and the great majority of Americans living a much more precarious existence than they do today.

    The only difference between now and the 1920's is that Trump is now attempting to make the broad authority and freedom from Constitutional restraints, which the courts have granted to the executive branch in immigration policy ever since the 1880's Supreme Court Chinese exclusion law cases, as a model for moving America closer to dictatorship in all aspects of our governmental and legal systems.

    But this topic is for another day.

    With the above thoughts, I wish all readers a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah and a Happy New Year.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 12-20-2017 at 10:35 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Trump Continues Attempt to Abolish 1965 Racially Diverse Immigration Law and Bring Back Bigoted 1924 Law by Attacking Family Immigration. Roger Algase

    On December 16, Donald Trump, in his weekly address,

    continued his demagogic attempts to use a recent terror attack and a second attempted terror attack in New York by deranged, apparently radicalized, Muslim immigrants acting on their own as a pretext for promoting his larger agenda of ending the racially diverse immigration system that America has had for the past half century.

    He did so by attacking family immigration, which is the foundation of America's 1965 law that abolished the white supremacist immigration quotas in the 1924 "national origins" immigration law. The 1924 law, in turn, inspired Adolf Hitler, according to Hitler's own statement in Mein Kampf.

    See: The Guardian: Hitler's debt to America

    90 years later, then Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) who is now Trump's attorney general, had high praise for that same bigoted 1924 law which Trump and his white nationalist supporters are now trying to bring back in principle, if not in the exact letter.

    In his December 16 address, Trump began by saying

    "Our current immigration helps special interests, but hurts American workers, taxpayers and national security."

    It is difficult to imagine more cynical and misleading statements on every topic mentioned than the ones contained in this single brief sentence.

    First, what does Trump mean by the "special interests" which are allegedly benefited by the current immigration system?

    Those "special interests", according to Trump. are the tens of millions of immigrants from every part of the world who have been able to come to America during the past 50 years under the 1965 law's non-discriminatory system based in large part on family immigration.

    These "special interest" immigrants were mainly people who would have been barred from America under the 1924 law because they were from Asia, the Middle East and Africa, or because they were Jews and Catholics from Eastern and Southern Europe rather than citizens of the "Nordic" countries favored by the 1924 law.

    In other words, Trump is, in effect, calling all Asian, Middle Eastern and African immigrants who have immigrated to the US legally over the past half century members of "special interests"!

    This kind of openly racial dog-whistle may make Trump's white nationalist and alt-right supporters happy, but it is particularly reprehensible in view of the fact that Trump himself has considerable expertise in serving the real special interests - most recently the wealthy individual and large corporate campaign donors who will benefit most from huge Republican tax cuts that threaten the continued existence of Social Security, Medicare and many other government programs that are vitally important to many millions of middle class and working class Americans. With regard to the dangers to Medicare and Social Security in particular, see:

    Trump also says that immigration in its present form "hurts American workers". How much does this cynical comment reflect any real concern for American workers, millions of whom will be devastated by Trump and his party's tax "reform" boondoggle for the super-wealthy that could wipe out social safety net and healthcare protections for millions of American families?

    How much concern are Trump and his party showing for protecting the union benefits, minimum wages, equal pay protections and safety/environmental protections that safeguard the health and lives of American workers?

    About the same amount of concern that Marie Antoinette showed for her starving people whom she told to "eat cake."

    The hypocrisy in Trump's attempt to demonize mainly non-white immigrants for the effects of his own administration's and party's economic policies on ordinary Americans goes beyond appalling.

    And as far as alleged harm to American taxpayers arising from admitting legal immigrants from diverse parts of the world, not just primarily Europe as was the case before 1965, the president's timing in making this remark could not possibly be worse. According to many news reports, The president and his party are now in the process of ramming through a tax bill which would vastly enrich the wealthiest campaign donors at the expense of millions of ordinary wage earners, who would either get minimal tax relief, or actually see their taxes go up.

    A September 29 article about an earlier version of the bill (that was not essentially different from what is known about the current version) in the respected business magazine Forbes, not known as a left wing or partisan publication, says it all in the title:

    Despite Promises To The Contrary, Trump Tax Plan Heaps Biggest Benefits On The Rich

    Blaming an immigration system which has been relatively open to immigrants from all over the world, not just mainly Europe, for the past 50 years for the harm that the tax bill that the president is actively trying to help push through Congress will do to ordinary Americans is the worst form of demagogy.

    (Since this is not a site that deals with tax issues except as they relate to immigration, I will not go into any further discussion of this point raised by the president in his above speech.)

    The above does not by any means deal with the worst part of Trump's speech, which is the part blaming immigrants for national security problems.

    I will have more to say about Trump's short but seriously misleading and deceptive December 16 address, and its ominous implications for future immigration policies under his presidency, in a forthcoming comment.

    Updated 12-18-2017 at 12:36 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Trump Recalls Worst of the Worst Campaign Demagoguery vs. Mexican Immigrants by Calling Diversity Immigrants "Worst of the Worst". Roger Algase

    Way back in June 2015, before we all got used to Donald Trump's anti-immigrant rants, he shocked the conscience of America and the world, by launching a hate-filled attack against Mexican immigrants as "criminals", "rapists" and drug dealers, beginning with the charge that Mexico is "not sending their best" people to the United States.

    At that time, at least Trump had the excuse that millions of the Mexican immigrant targets of this racist attack were in the United States without authorization, so he could claim with justification that they had broken the law. Moreover, even though calling them all "criminals", "rapists" and drug dealers was nothing more than a vicious lie, Trump could point to the fact that at least a small percentage of Mexican immigrants do in fact fall into the above categories (even though studies seem to agree that the crime rate among unauthorized immigrants is actually lower than it is among native born American citizens).

    Now, Trump has gone even beyond his reprehensible 2015 attack on Mexican immigrants.

    Using very similar language, Trump is now demonizing over a million people from all over the world who have immigrated to the US legally in the past 2 decades under the diversity green card visa lottery program and, so far as available reports indicate, have caused few if any problems in America. (The only reported exception, so far as anyone is aware, is the one single radicalized lone wolf immigrant who carried out his own personal terror attack in New York on October 31. See also the report cited below.)

    Huffington Post reports that in his latest exercise in demagoguery, Trump gave a speech in Quantico, Virginia on December 15 making the following accusations, according to its article:

    "President Donald Trump on Friday accused foreign nations of manipulating a visa lottery program to send the United States their 'worst of the worst' - a complete misrepresentation of how the State Department's program actually works."

    The Huffpost's report continues

    "In fact, foreign leaders have zero control over the entrants or the winners of the diversity lottery. Nor do they control the vetting process, which requires the same security checks as many other immigration paths to the US."

    The article then goes on to quote Trump's exact words, as follows:

    "You think the country is giving us their best people? No...What kind of a system is that? They come in by a lottery. They give us their worst people, they put them in a bin. But in his hand when he's picking them is really the worst of the worst. 'Congratulations, you're going to the United States.'"

    The appalling falsity of calling these immigrants, many of whom are now US citizens and are therefore just as much Americans as Trump himself, drew the following comment from David Bier of the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute (which cannot be called a left, liberal or immigrant advocacy organization by any stretch of the imagination), according to the same Huffpost article:

    "'t's beyond insulting - it's totally malevolent...I can't wrap my mind around the fact that the fact that the president just told the entire world that these million people are the worst of the worst, to use his expression. It's not true."

    There is simply no rational basis for claiming that the visa lottery program can be manipulated or used by terrorists to come into the United States; and of the million or more people who have immigrated to the US legally under this program, only one other person besides the October 31 attacker has ever been suspected of having terrorist sympathies or intent, according to available information.

    What then, is the real reason for Trump's malicious and delusional attack on the DV visa lottery program? The answer is simple: Before 1994, when the predecessor to this program, known as the AA-1 visa lottery, was in effect, there were no attacks on the program from immigration opponents (much less from Donald Trump himself).

    At least I do not recall hearing any objections to the AA-1 lottery from anyone in Congress or the media, even though I was personally familiar with the program and represented clients seeking to immigrate under that program myself.

    Why were there no objections to that program - no claims that the countries involved were sending their "worst" people to the United States under that program and no calls (that I can remember at least) to abolish that lottery as being harmful to the United States?

    The reason is clear. The AA-1 visa lottery, unlike its successor, the current DV program, was almost entirely limited to European and other predominantly white countries. The only countries on the list that were not predominantly white were Japan and Indonesia.

    It was only when the green card lottery became open to people from countries in every part of the world and the great majority of immigrants under the program came from outside Europe, as is the case now under the DV-program, that it started coming under attack. According to the latest statistics, if I am not mistaken, some 40 percent of the successful lottery immigrants each year come from Sub-Saharan Africa, and most of the rest come from Asian and Latin America.

    Therefore, the evidence is simply inescapable that the attempt to eliminate the DV lottery is part of a larger agenda to reduce or eliminate many, if not all, visa programs which have enabled millions of non-white immigrants to come to the US legally over the last few decades. This agenda includes ending what Trump and his supporters derogatorily call "chain migration" (as in the above Huffpost article also), and which everyone else calls reuniting families; ending or reducing less skilled immigration (except for H-2B cooks and gardeners working at Trump's own resorts, of whom he sponsored around 70 this year alone); and attacking skilled immigrant visas popular with well-educated Asian immigrants especially, such as H-1B, under the president's so-called "Buy American, Hire American" executive order and by other means.

    This is not to mention Trump's various versions of the Muslim Ban orders; his cancellation of DACA; and his support for the RAISE Act, which would once again make Europe the center and focus of all US immigration categories, in a throwback to the openly racist "national origins" immigration act of 1924 which excluded immigrants from Asia, Africa and the Middle East entirely and also barred most of the world's Jews - thereby eventually adding to the death toll in the Holocaust.

    What is particularly disturbing about Trump's immigration policies, of which the proposal to abolish the Diversity Visa is only one small part, is not merely the white supremacist ideology that underlies his policies. Trump is certainly not the first Republican politician in the past 20 or more year to pursue this type of agenda.

    But few of these other immigration opponents, even those who have been the strongest advocates of reducing immigration, have pursued this agenda with the openly expressed venom, falsehoods and hatred toward minority immigrants which Trump has in effect made his trademark, and for which his presidency may be remembered more by future historians than any other single feature.

    The above is not to say that a lottery is necessarily the best way to select permanent resident immigrants, any more than it makes any sense to use a lottery as a standard for selecting H-1B skilled workers, as is currently the case due to the long standing refusal by Congress to consider any attempt to make enough visas available under this program to meet the demand for skilled foreign workers by US employers

    But the question is not what is the best way to select immigrants. It is whether considerations of how best to pick immigrants should be distorted by the kind of openly racial antagonism, vilification and, yes, cruelty that Trump has exhibited toward immigrants from Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and other non-white parts of the world without let-up from the time he announced his candidacy for president up until the present time.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 12-18-2017 at 09:43 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Like it or hate it, Trump’s immigration enforcement is failing. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released its FY2017 immigration enforcement report. It indicates that President Trump has reduced the number of illegal border crossings, but it shows no progress at all on reducing the number of undocumented aliens who are in the United States already.

    An immigration court backlog crisis is making it extremely difficult for him to move new cases through removal proceedings.

    Where enforcement is now.

    Removals have actually gone down under the Trump administration:

    DHS claims this is because fewer aliens are being apprehended in the vicinity of the border, which is where most removals take place. Trump has succeeded in reducing the number of illegal border crossings by reversing the damage President Obama did to border security with his interior enforcement policies.

    When Barack Obama was president, he focused his immigration enforcement efforts on aliens who had been convicted of serious crimes or who had been caught near the border after making an illegal entry, and he protected aliens here unlawfully who were not in a priority category.

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers were required to obtain permission from a Field Office Director before arresting an apparently deportable alien who was not in a priority category.

    This created what I called a “home free magnet.” Aliens wanting to enter the United States illegally knew that they would be safe from deportation once they had reached the interior of the country unless they were convicted of a serious crime. This was a powerful incentive to do whatever was necessary to cross the border into the United States.

    Trump destroyed this magnet with tough campaign rhetoric and his Executive Order, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, which greatly expanded enforcement priorities. No deportable alien is safe under President Trump’s enforcement policies.

    In April 2017, CBP reported a sharp decline in the number of aliens apprehended along the Southwest border, and in the number of aliens who were found inadmissible at ports of entry.

    But border security just keeps new aliens from entering the country illegally. It does not reduce the population of undocumented aliens who are in the country already, and this is where Trump’s enforcement program is failing.


    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.

  5. 4th Cir. Judge: We Cannot "Ignore Reality" of Muslim Ban. Meanwhile, Evidence Grows That Ban Serves Whites Only Authoritarian Agenda. Roger Algase

    Update: December 13, 10:18 am:

    On December 12, the State of Alabama came within an inch of electing Republican Roy Moore, an even more outspoken white supremacist and anti-Muslim bigot and immigration opponent than Iowa Republican Representative Steve King (see below), to the US Senate.

    Among other statements which Moore has made as a candidate and former state Chief Justice are: not only supporting Trump's call to ban all Muslim immigrants in the world from entering the US, but also denying Muslim US citizens the right to hold office because of their religion; abolishing America's constitutional protections against slavery and racial discrimination; and abolishing the constitutional right of women to vote; while making Christianity America's official religion.

    While the mainstream media were euphoric about Moore's narrow loss (apparently by less that a single percentage point as of this writing), Moore has not conceded, and a recount (without an accurate record of scanned ballots - that was prevented by an Alabama appellate court just before the election) that could swing the election to Moore is not yet beyond the realm of possibility.

    Regardless of the final result, the most ominous feature of this election for America's future as a country of democracy and racial equality is that Trump, in opposition to many other Republican leaders in Alabama and throughout the nation who repudiated Moore, endorsed him and actively campaigned for him. This is yet another indication that Trump not only supports Moore's extreme hatred of Muslims, as reflected in Trump's latest entry ban executive order which is still under review by the federal courts, but Moore's entire white supremacist agenda.

    This is one more indication of the changes which may very likely be in store for US immigration policy in the "Trump Era". It is also yet another, and even more graphic, indication of how prejudice against a particular group of immigrants, in this case Muslims, can lead to putting the basic rights of all Americans, as well as the foundations of our democracy itself, in acute danger.

    Update: December 11, 3:45 pm:

    As I predicted below, the White House has lost no time in trying to demagogue this morning's New York subway attack by a suspect from Bangladesh who came to the US on a legal family immigrant visa, by calling for an end to family based "chain migration" - a common derogatory term used by immigration opponents for legal family immigration from Latin America and Asia. See: The Hill: (December 11):

    White House calls for immigration reform after NYC terror attack.

    This continues the president's pattern of holding millions of innocent immigrants responsible for the actions of a few deranged people who are either connected with terrorist groups or, more often, acting on their own.

    My earlier comments appear below.

    Multiple news outlets are reporting that early in the morning of December 11, during the busy rush hour, an explosive device went off at one of Mew York's busiest subway stations, near Times Square. The explosion caused widespread panic and subway disruptions.

    One man. allegedly from Bangladesh, was taken into custody, amid reports of injuries to a few people, including to the suspect himself, according to the Washington Post.

    Even though there is no reported evidence so far that this was anything other than a "lone wolf" terrorist attack, Trump, we can be sure, will very likely lose little or no time in making demagogic attacks on immigrants from outside Europe and using this latest incident to promote, not only his latest Muslim ban, but also his entire white nationalist anti-immigrant agenda.

    Bangladesh is not on Trump's latest six country Muslim ban list.

    My original comment appears below.

    The following comment has been expanded as of December 10 to include a discussion of the danger that Trump's Muslim ban poses, not only to the Constitutional rights of 2 or 3 million Muslim American citizens to practice their religion without becoming the objects of hatred and discrimination, and to America's entire system of immigration based on the equality of all races and religions; but also to our democracy.

    reports that at oral argument before the full 4th Circuit bench on December 8, Judge James Wynn asked the following question concerning the latest version of Donald Trump's ban on entry to the US by virtually all citizens of six Muslim Countries (often misleadingly and euphemistically called a "Travel Ban" in the media, even though the approximately 150 million affected Muslims are free to travel anywhere they want, except the US):

    "Do we just ignore reality and look at the legality to determine how to handle this case? If the reality is that is the purpose, but the legality allows it, does that make a difference?...If the allegation is that this is an effort to ban Muslims from this country and every statement that is made by the individual who is the president who is making it goes to say that, but it is done in a way to say we did a worldwide review, now its legal?
    ​(Italics added.)

    The big question is whether the Supreme Court will ultimately be willing to recognize this obvious reality, especially in view of Trump's latest retweeting of extremist anti-Muslim hate videos from the UK to his 43 million Twitter followers, which Judge Wynn also referred to in his remarks; or whether the Court will continue to hide behind the surface formality of an alleged "national security review" by the administration.

    Meanwhile, The Hill reports that a pair of tweets by Republican Congressman Steve King (Iowa), one of the most outspoken immigration opponents in Congress, added to the growing evidence that Trump's Muslim ban is only part of a larger whites only immigration agenda.

    One tweet quoted Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who wants to ban all non-white immigration to his country, as saying that:

    "Mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life, but a lower one."

    Another tweet stated:

    "Assimilation, not diversity, is our American strength."

    The same article also reports that in March, King, who has also defended the openly racist former Sheriff Joe Arpaio (whom Trump has notoriously pardoned) tweeted a cartoon of the Dutch right wing extremist anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders plugging a hole in a wall that read "Western Civilization".

    Defending "Western Civilization", of course, has long been a code word among white nationalists for cutting off non-white immigration. Therefore, Trump's own speech in Warsaw, Poland on July 6, stating that protecting the borders of "the West" and defending "Western Civilization" was the most important issue of our time, was an obvious white supremacist dog whistle.

    For the official White House text of Trump's Warsaw speech, with its ominous references to white nationalist rhetoric, see:

    More than being just a white nationalist dog whistle, Trump's Warsaw speech was a strong indication that his Muslim Ban is only the beginning of an agenda leading to banning all non-white immigration. legal and otherwise, from the United States.

    This is also something that the Supreme Court might do well to pay attention to if and when (as is almost inevitable) it hands down a decision on the validity of the latest version of the Muslim Ban.

    Brian Klaas, an expert in democracy and authoritarianism at the London School of Economics, and the author of The Despot's Apprentice: Donald Trump's Attack on Democracy, discusses how Trump is:

    "...careening through the soft guardrails of democracy, shattering them without a second thought"

    and how:

    "...Trump keeps at it. In the process, authoritarian behavior is entering the political mainstream and becoming normalized."

    Among many other examples of growing authoritarianism in America, Klaas gives the following:

    "When Trump first issued a travel ban to seven Muslim majority countries, a little more than a year after calling to ban all Muslims during the campaign, there were spontaneous mass protests at airports across the country. When he issued a slightly modified travel ban a few months later, there was no such immediate response and no protests were sparked at airports. Americans had just accepted it...

    This is one of the most insidious features of authoritarianism: it beats people into submission because you can't fight 100 battles all at once. Citizens are forced to pick and choose. Authoritarian leaders are aware of this fact and they exploit it..."

    Will the Supreme Court, where Trump's lawyers are in effect arguing that he has absolute power to ban any classes of immigrants from the US that he chooses, go along with this authoritarian agenda merely because he intones the magic words "national security"? Or will the Court ultimately stand up for America's first amendment guarantee of freedom of religion for all American citizens, including Muslim ones, and for our democratic principles of ethnic and religious equality?

    We may soon find out.

    To read Klaas' article in full, see:

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 12-13-2017 at 10:18 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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