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  1. GLOBAL COMPACT FOR SAFE, ORDERLY AND REGULAR MIGRATION. July 11, 2018

    We, the Heads of State and Government and High Representatives, meeting in Morocco on 10 and 11 December 2018, reaffirming the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants and determined to make an important contribution to enhanced cooperation on international migration in all its dimensions, have adopted this Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration

    PREAMBLE


    1. This Global Compact rests on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
    2. It also rests on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the other core international human rights treaties1; the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, including the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children and the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; the Slavery Convention and the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery; the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification; the Paris Agreement2; the International Labour Organization conventions on promoting decent work and labour migration3; as well as on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the New Urban Agenda.
    3. Discussions about international migration at the global level are not new. We recall the advances made through the United Nations High-level Dialogues on International Migration and Development in 2006 and 2013. We also acknowledge the contributions of the Global Forum on Migration and Development launched in 2007. These platforms paved the way for the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, through which we committed to elaborate a Global Compact for Refugees and to adopt this Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, in two separate processes. The two Global Compacts, together, present complementary international cooperation frameworks that fulfil their respective mandates as laid out in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which recognizes that migrants and refugees may face many common challenges and similar vulnerabilities.
    4. Refugees and migrants are entitled to the same universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, which must be respected, protected and fulfilled at all times. However, migrants and refugees are distinct groups governed by separate legal frameworks. Only refugees are entitled to the specific international protection as defined by international refugee law. This Global Compact refers to migrants and presents a cooperative framework addressing migration in all its dimensions.
    5. This Global Compact is a milestone in the history of the global dialogue and international cooperation on migration. It is rooted in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and informed by the Declaration of the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development adopted in October 2013. It builds on the pioneering work of the former Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration and Development, including his report of 3 February 2017.
    6. As a contribution to the preparatory process for this Global Compact, we recognize the inputs shared by Member States and relevant stakeholders during the consultation and stocktaking phases, as well as the report of the Secretary-General, “Making Migration Work for All”.
    7. This Global Compact presents a non-legally binding, cooperative framework that builds on the commitments agreed upon by Member States in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. It fosters international cooperation among all relevant actors on migration, acknowledging that no State can address migration alone, and upholds the sovereignty of States and their obligations under international law.


    Read more at https://www.un.org/pga/72/wp-content.../migration.pdf


    Posted by Nolan Rappaport

    Updated 07-15-2018 at 11:21 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Trump's Racist Assaults on Migrants for "Changing" Europe's "Culture" Echo Nazis, While USCIS Moves to Destroy Legal Immigration System. Roger Algase

    The following comment has been revised as of July 16 at 4:34 pm.

    As I have made clear many times in my previous comments, I have never claimed that Donald Trump is a Nazi, a fan of Hitler, an antisemite or a supporter of genocide or mass murder against anyone or any group of people. This would be as far from the truth as one could imagine.

    What I am contending is that in his attacks on Latin American, Muslim and black immigrants, while attempting to demonize and vilify them as dangerous outsiders who threaten the stability, welfare and even existence of America as a country, this president is using tactics, and even language, which bring back at least echoes of Nazi attacks on the Jews and other "outsiders" who were accused of "poisoning German culture" .

    See: US Holocaust Memorial Museum extract: Defining the Enemy. (I cannot find a working link; please go to Google to access.)

    See also historian Richard J. Evans writing in The Nation as follows (on February 28, 2017):

    "In speech after speech, Hitler and the other leading Nazis attacked the Jews who, they claimed, had orchestrated the efforts...to destroy Germany's military prowess and cultural purity."

    https://www.thenation.com/article/th...roy-democracy/

    Obviously, Trump's attacks on brown immigrants are not in any way leading to mass murder or anything remotely approaching it. But his demonization and dehumanization of non-white immigrants have already lead to at least one appalling human rights violation, the forced separation and incarceration of young children torn away from their parents.

    While some children have already been released from the cages and shackles where many had been confined by the Trump regime in an effort to punish and intimidate their parents in the name of "deterrence", some others may never be reunited; and America has already has already suffered damage to its fundamental values as a nation of justice, basic compassion and humanity which might take years, or decades, to recover from.

    With the above as introduction about events that are already past, why are Trump's latest racist rants against African, Middle Eastern and other non-white immigrants in Europe so full of ominous implications of American immigration policy and Rule of Law right now?

    To understand this, we need to look at three factors - first, what Trump actually said about non-white immigrants in Europe; second, how this compares with, not only Nazi attacks on the Jews, but with the language that US white supremacists are currently using against brown immigrants; and third, what this means for current US immigration policy in the light of recent drastic changes in handling petitions and applications for legal immigration benefits recently announced by USCIS, and AG Jeff Sessions trashing of the Rule of Law in asylum cases, both of which will be discussed in detail in my forthcoming comments.

    The following will show that, in Donald Trump's America, even legal immigrants who do not happen to be from "Countries like Norway", but who have darker complexions, are facing - not mass extermination by any stretch of the imagination, but mass exclusion from the US instead; while millions of other brown immigrants face the threat of mass expulsion, and the democratic rights and freedoms of the American people are in danger of mass extinction.

    I will begin with what Trump has actually been saying about Muslim and other non-white immigrants in Europe.

    First, the following, from a comment Trump made to a British newspaper only a few days ago while he was in Brussels, just befor leaving for the UK:

    "I think what has happened in Europe is a shame. Allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame. I think it changed the fabric of Europe and, unless you act very quickly, it's never going to be what it was and I don't mean that in a positive way...I think you are losing your culture. Look around."

    https://www.alternet.org/trumps-clai...-be-challenged

    Next, there is his June 18 tweet, as quoted in thinkprogress.org:

    "The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe is allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!"

    https://thinkprogress.org/trump-immi...-8080be2c9287/

    "Culture" of course is not just an historical term that was one of the many used by the Nazis to attack the Jews. It is very much in use today as an open synonym for race by today's white supremacists, especially among those who refer to themselves as the "Alt Right". The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) explains as follows:

    "American Indentitarians such as Richard Spencer claim to want to preserve European-American (i.e. white ) culture in the U.S. As Michael McGregor, a writer and editor for Radix wrote in an article in the publication, Identitarians want "the preservation of our identity - the cultural and genetic heritage that makes us who we are'".

    https://www.adl.org/resources/backgr...hite-supremacy

    Donald Trump certainly knew who his audience was when he talked about the alleged danger of legal as well as unauthorized immigration to "European culture" in the above remarks.

    This was not the first time that Trump has preached thinly coded white supremacy to a European audience - for consumption by his American supporters.

    He did the same thing almost exactly a year ago, in a July 6, 2017 address in Warsaw, Poland focusing on the supposed threat from outside to Europe's "civilization" and "bonds of common ancestry", in a fiery speech which some commentators at the time equated with the 19th Century German "Blood and Soil" (Blut und Boden) ideology that became a centerpiece of Nazi propaganda as well.

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/st...victory-215353

    Three other things stand out about Trump's above two remarks:

    First, the Big Lie, without which, it seems, almost none of Trump's statements of any kind relating to immigration would be complete.

    ThinkProgress
    comments about Trump's above tweet as follows:

    "Multiple studies have shown that, despite the increase in immigration to parts of Europe over the past few years, the number of crimes committed by migrants and refugees is still low."

    This parallels similar reports of US studies which conclude that the violent crime rate among immigrants in the US, including unauthorized immigrants, is not any higher than among native-born American citizens.

    https://www.npr.org/2018/05/02/60765...-violent-crime

    and, according to some reports, may even be significantly lower:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...tion-myth.html

    Second, as mentioned above there are the disturbing and ominous parallels between Trump's attacks on non-white immigrants, both in Europe and the US, and the Nazis attacks against the Jews as destroyers of German "culture".

    Third, and most dangerous of all for the future of racial equality and democracy itself in America, is that way that both the DOJ under Attorney General Jeff Sessions and DHS Chief Kirstjen Nielsen are combining to turn America's entire system of asylum law into one ruled by authoritarian diktat rather than by any principles of due process or judicial independence. See, America's Voice, July 13:

    Attorney General Sessions and DHS Secretary Nielsen Join Force Again, This Time to Close the Door on Asylum

    (Link not available, please go to Google to access.)

    In a move that is even more dangerous for immigrant rights, USCIS is now threatening applicants for legal immigration benefits with deportation, in a matter that could undermine or even destroy a major part of America's legal immigration system as we now know it. See, America's Voice:

    USCIS Transforming Itself From Immigration Benefit Agency to an ICE Deportation Feeder Operation

    http://bit.ly/2zK2Hku

    Both of these topics will be the subject of my forthcoming comments.
    __________________________
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been practicing primarily in the area of visas and green cards for skilled and professional immigrants for more than 35 years.

    Roger also writes about immigration law from the perspective of human rights, racial equality and equal justice for everyone before the law, all of which are now under unprecedented attack. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com


    Updated 07-16-2018 at 10:13 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Kavanaugh Ruled That Broad Federal Power Protected US Torturers in Lawsuit by Iraqi Victims. How Will He Protect Immigrants From Abuse? Roger Algase

    In a horrific and disheartening 2009 decision, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump's new choice for the Supreme Court, joined with the Chief Judge of the D.C. Circuit in a 2-1 decision throwing out a civil tort lawsuit by Iraqi victims of the horrendous torture carried out at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison by US military contractors under the G.W. Bush administration.

    Even though the contractors involved were not part of the US military, and there was no allegation that their hideous torture of Iraqi civilians was carried out under the direction of the military or any other US government personnel, Kavanaugh joined Chief Judge Silberman in dismissing the lawsuit as an infringement of broad federal power, in this case, on the "battlefield" (as the two judges evidently referred to the prison's torture chambers).

    Sadly, but very significantly, the only voice in favor of the rights of the tortured, rather than the torturers, came in a dissent in the three- judge panel from Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's choice to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat, whom the Republican Congressional majority did not even allow to have a confirmation hearing.

    The case is Saleh v. Titan Corporation No. 08-7008, decided on September 11, 2009.

    This lawsuit (actually two combined separate cases against different defendants) did not deal directly with immigration issues, but the decision by Kavanaugh and the Chief Judge to the effect that torture victims in effect have no rights in the face of the broad power of the federal government could very possibly show what his attitude may be toward immigrants seeking to protect themselves or recover damages in the federal courts for the abuse and mistreatment they have been subjected to under Trump's inhuman child separation policy (and other egregious abuses, dating back not only to the beginning of his regime, but also to President Barack Obama's administration).

    While the majority decision that Kavanaugh joined was full of lengthy arcane discussions about federal/state preemption law, the basic thrust of the decision was to conflate torture inflicted by private contractors who were not military personnel, not fighting in any battles, and were not even acting under the direction or control of the US military as they inflicted horrible tortures on civilians at a prison removed from any battlefield, with military action itself.

    In the words of the decision:

    "As the Ninth Circuit has explained, the combatant activities exception was designed 'to recognize that during wartime encounters [,] no duty of reasonable care is owed to those against whom force is directed as a result of authorized military action'...

    Yet, it is clear that all the traditional rationales for
    tort law deterrence of risk-taking behavior...are singularly out of place in combat situations, where risk-taking is the rule."

    While the above language is certainly nowhere near the Nazi claim to the effect that "since Germany is at war, we have to kill the Jews, the above kind of argument stands at least at the beginning of the road that leads in that direction. What does torture of civilians by private contractors who are not soldiers and not acting under military direction have to to with military combat?

    This same emphasis on supporting governmental power at the expense of the basis human rights of individuals can just as easily play out in the area of immigration policy, where the Trump administration has been claiming the power to use extreme measures which violate one of the most fundamental of all human rights, namely the bond between parent and child, in support of its policy of "protecting US borders" (against brown immigrants).

    When it comes to dealing with the horrendous effects of this and other human rights abuses carried out with the goal of "deterring" unauthorized immigration by people from what Trump calls "shithole" (i.e. non-white) countries, which side will Justice (to be) Kavanaugh be on - the side of basic humanity, or the side of uncontrolled governmental power?

    My forthcoming post will discuss Judge Merrick Garland's dissent in this case, and show how much America lost in terms of protecting our deepest and most essential human values, and our basic liberties, when the Senate leadership set the stage for Donald Trump to make this crucial Supreme Court appointment, rather than President Obama.
    ____________________________
    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 obtain work visas and green cards. His practice focuses on specialty occupation (H-1B) and extraordinary ability (O-1) work visas; and green cards through labor certification, and through marriage or other family relationships.

    Roger also writes about immigration law from the standpoint of racial equality, equal justice before the law and fundamental human rights, all of which are now under unprecedented attack. Roger's email address is
    algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 07-16-2018 at 06:18 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Can Trump refuse asylum to aliens who make illegal entries? BY Nolan Rappaport


    © Getty Images


    President Trump thinks aliens entering our country illegally should be returned immediately with no judges or court cases.

    This isn’t an idle threat. Vox Media reported the Justice Department is working on draft regulation that would result in “the most severe restrictions on asylum since at least 1965,” according to a source familiar with the asylum process.

    One of the proposed changes would bar aliens who enter illegally from getting asylum — and this is feasible. Asylum is a discretionary form of relief. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) just states that eligible aliens “may” be granted asylum.


    This does not mean that Trump would be able to refuse to consider persecution claims from aliens who have made an illegal entry. They could be eligible for other, mandatory forms of relief.


    The United States is a signatory to the UN’s Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.


    Read more at http://thehill.com/opinion/immigrati...llegal-entries

    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. New Sup. Ct. Choice Views President As Emperor. This May Protect Trump From Mueller, But Be Devastating For Immigrants - And Democracy. Roger Algase

    It should be easy for even a casual observer of the Supreme Court and of what passes for the "Rule of Law" in the Trump administration to see why Trump picked D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court stop made vacant by Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement. The most likely immediate reason for this appointment can be summed up in two words: Robert Mueller.

    As Slate's legal analyst Dahlia Lithwick writes on July 10:

    "...Kavanaugh has been extraordinarily transparent - perhaps even too transparent - about his affinity for broad constructions of executive power. Nevertheless, the president - whose administration is currently the subject of a wide-ranging criminal investigation - somehow chose the judge who's most likely to endorse the Trumpian view that this is all a massive with hunt, this despite the gamble that Kavanaugh's selection makes him [Trump] look guilty."

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/...ts-a-gift.html

    However, the issue involved in Kavanaugh's selection goes far beyond what Lithwick pungently - and accurately - describes as follows:

    "The president picked a guy he hopes will hand him a get-out-of-jail-free-card."

    The broader issue is what having Kavanaugh, with his view of virtually unlimited presidential power, on the High Court could mean for America's immigration system - especially the officially color-blind, race and religion neutral one which America has had for the past half century and which Trump, with the support of his two top immigration advisers and enforcers, Stephen Miller and Jeff Sessions, is now fighting so furiously to overturn.

    And beyond that, America's democracy itself could be in acute danger from a president supported by a Supreme Court majority which may now be even closer to putting that president completely above the law, not only with respect to immigration policy, but with respect to to our Constitution, Separation of Powers and our entire system of government.

    To illustrate how confused Kavanaugh appears to be about the difference between a US president and an emperor, here is a quote (from Lithwick's article) from his dissent in a 2011 D.C. Circuit Court case involving the Affordable Care Act:

    "Under the Constitution...the President may decline to enforce a statute that regulates private individuals when the President deems that statute unconstitutional, even if a court has held or would hold that statute constitutional."

    George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin writes the following about Trump's choice of Kavanaugh on July 9:

    "I am far less enthusiastic about Judge Kavanaugh's support for broad executive power in the national security realm. History shows that excessive judicial deference in this field has led to serious abuses. I am also skeptical of Kavanaugh's advocacy of the 'unitary executive' theory - the idea that nearly all executive power must be concentrated in the hands of the president."

    Professor Somin continues:

    "This theory was sound in a period where the scope of executive power was confined to its comparatively narrow original bounds. But it is both dangerous and contrary to the original meaning to concentrate so much authority in one person's hands in an era when the executive wields vastly greater power than was granted at the time of the founding."

    https://reason.com/volokh/2018/07/09...on-the-kavanau

    How might this imperial view of executive power play out in the area of immigration policy in the "Donald Trump Era", especially now that the Supreme Court has just, in effect, ruled that it is acceptable for the president to use "national security" as a fig leaf to cover his program of overt religious discrimination against immigrants seeking to enter the US in its latest Muslim Ban decision?

    What effect would this doctrine of concentrating such great power in the hands of a single Leader have in the case of a president who has criticized America's entire immigration system as the "dumbest" in the world and has threatened to "close up our country" against immigrants from Central America and other places which he blasts as "shithole countries" which are "not like Norway"?

    What happens, for example, if the president, in exercise of this imperial executive power, decides to stop issuing legal visas to immigrants seeking entry in immigration categories which he doesn't happen to favor and is trying to force Congress to abolish, but which are still valid according to the law of the land?

    I refer specifically to the extended family immigration and Diversity visas which Trump obviously hates and has denounced in speech after speech (because they permit immigrants with darker skins than Trump prefers to come to the US), but which cannot by any rational argument be shown to pose the slightest danger to national security.

    I will explore this and other similar questions about the prospect of uncontrolled one-man presidential power over immigration, and its relation to the continued viability of the United States as a democracy, in further detail in a forthcoming comment.
    _________________________
    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 obtain work visas and green cards. His practice focuses on specialty occupation (H-1B) and extraordinary ability (O-1) work visas; and green cards through Labor Certification, and though marriage or other family relationships.

    Roger also writes about immigration law from the standpoints of racial equality, equal justice before the law and fundamental human rights, all of which are now under unprecedented attack. Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com








    Updated 07-12-2018 at 10:59 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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