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  1. How Will Supporters of Trump's Authoritarian Control Over Immigration React When America Elects Muslim President With Same Broad Powers? Roger Algase reports that in the state of Michigan, despite Donald Trump's attempts to demonize and stir up hatred against Muslim and Middle Eastern immigrants, there is a slew of candidates running for office this year with Muslim and Middle Eastern backgrounds, including many immigrants. That state might even be about to elect America's first Muslim governor, Democratic candidate Abdul El-Sayed.

    The above site reports:

    "A report by the Detroit Free Press ound at least 24 candidates running in Southeast Michigan are immigrants of first generation Americans. Half of them have roots in the Middle East or Arab countries, 8 are immigrants or the children of immigrants from South Asia and three have roots in Nigeria or Senegal."

    No one can predict, of course, how many of these candidates will win, but it does make it worth while to focus on the fact that, as America become more diverse despite Donald Trump's desperate attempts to turn this country backward 100 years to the time of whites only immigration, the United States could one day elect a Muslim president.

    In fact, I will go out on a limb and make a prediction that America inevitably one day will have a Muslim president - even if people in my generation (born during the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt) might no longer be around to see it or write comments about it.

    In fact, according to many reports, there are already many millions of Americans, particularly in one of our two great political parties, who are convinced, as an unshakable article of faith, that we already have had a Muslim president - up until January 19, 2017 - by the name of Barack Obama.

    For younger readers, it may also be very easy to overlook how much a a fuss there was when the US elected its first Catholic president, John F. Kennedy, in 1962, less than 60 years ago.

    The prospect of a Muslim president, however, should make the same people who were so overjoyed when the Supreme Court, in Trump v. Hawaii in effect ruled only two months ago, that the current president has virtually the power of a dictator to ban Muslims from entering the United States merely by repeating the magic words "national security" often enough, step back and start asking themselves some questions.

    What happens, for example, if a Muslim president uses the same virtually unlimited authoritarian power which the Supreme Court gave Trump to favor, say Palestinian immigrants over Jewish ones from Israel, using Trumped up "vetting" pretexts or any other ones that come to hand.

    I am not saying that a Muslim president would do this - this is just a hypothetical example. My only point is that the same unlimited presidential powers over immigration which Trump's supporters are now demanding, or enabling, for him to use in order to keep America white, could also one day be used for other purposes that these same Trump supporters might be less than overjoyed about.

    Therefore, it would be useful to look at the rush to bestow authoritarian control over immigration - especially legal immigration - without seeking Congressional approval, on Donald Trump. or at his rush to grab such control - in more detail in order to see which path it could be leading our immigration system, and our democracy, along.

    This examination, which I will be continuing in forthcoming comments, can only begin in one place - Trump's furious attempt to use presidential power up to the hilt in order to reverse a half century of progress toward racial equality in our immigration system and turn this country back toward the whites only system that we had for 40 years beginning on 1924.

    A good staring points for this discussion is a January, 2017 Boston Globe article with a detailed history and analysis of the racial thinking which led to the infamous "Nordics - only immigration act of 1924 - and which is being repeated today by the Trump administration - only with Muslims, Africans and Latino immigrants as the main targets instead of the - in the bigots' own words - "inferior racial stock" Jews, Italians and Eastern Europeans of a century ago. See:

    Trump's anti-immigration playbook was written 100 years ago. In Boston.

    Another good starting point for this discussion is a June 25 Brookings Institution article:

    Trump reveals 'zero tolerance' for democracy.

    Both of these articles make clear that America cannot go down back down Donald Trump's long and well-traveled road of racial and religious bigotry and hatred as the basis of our immigration system, if we want to keep our now mortally threatened democracy.

    Roger Algase, a New York immigration attorney and graduate of Harvard College anf Harvard Law Schhol who has been practicing in this field for 40 years. is a lawyer with two obsessions: obtaining legal visas and green cards for mainly skilled and professional immigrants; and writing about the dangers to America's immigration system and democracy from the current administration's pursuit of ethnic cleansing against non-white immigrants - both legal and unauthorized, as well as their American children.

    Roger's email address is

    Updated 08-11-2018 at 12:26 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Withdrawn

    This comment has been withdrawn pending revision.

    Updated 08-07-2018 at 07:33 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Even with no new arrests, it would take four years to eliminate immigration court backlog. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty Images

    Credible fear findings in expedited removal proceedings are plummeting, and this may just be the beginning of a campaign to reduce the demand for asylum hearings.

    In expedited removal proceedings, aliens are deported after an interview with an immigration officer, without further proceedings, unless they express a fear of returning to their own countries.

    If they can convince an asylum officer that they have a credible fear of persecution or that it is more likely than not that they will be tortured if they return to their own countries, they will be scheduled for an asylum hearing before an immigration judge.

    An alien’s fear is considered “credible” if it shows a “significant possibility” that he will be able to establish eligibility for asylum or for deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture.

    The persecution has to be on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Otherwise, it will not make the alien eligible for asylum, no matter how serious it might be.

    If the asylum officer rejects the alien’s claim, he can request an administrative review of the officer’s determination, which will be performed by an immigration judge. If the immigration judge rejects the alien’s claim too, he is deported without further proceedings.

    Why it is necessary to expand the use of expedited removal proceedings.

    President Donald Trump’s immigration enforcement program is failing because of an immigration court backlog crisis. If he doesn’t eliminate that backlog soon, the population of undocumented aliens will be substantially larger when he leaves office than it was when he began his presidency.


    Published originally on The Hill.

    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.

  4. Back to 1924? Rivera: Purpose of Trump's Wall is to Make US Less Hispanic; Stephen Miller Plans to Ban Most Non-White Immigrants. Roger Algase

    Immigrant advocacy group ThinkProgress reports that popular Fox News Host Geraldo Rivera has publicly admitted an obvious fact that every single politician, media reporter and immigration analyst in America, from the president on down, of course has to know, but has been unwilling to say in public, because of a taboo against speaking the truth on this issue which no one is apparently willing to break.

    This fact is that Donald Trump's border Wall has little or nothing to do with preventing drug cartels or criminal gangs from coming to America, despite Trump's attempts to vilify all Latino immigrants as MS-13 "animals". Instead, it has everything to with what Rivera euphemistically calls putting a stop to America's "changing demographic makeup", i.e. keeping Latino and other brown immigrants out of the US.

    This is Rivera's statement made in the course of a Fox News segment, as the above site reports:

    "The wall, I think, will cut down on the 'Juan and Maria,' the fruit picker, the you know, the babysitter, the lawnmower, the dishwasher - those immigrants will be, I think, kept out by the wall."

    Rivera added:

    "Psychologically,we need the wall on the southern border because we are scared that the demographic makeup of the country is changing...There are so many people coming in, We need some enforcement."

    At least Rivera is being honest when he says that the opposition to immigration isn't about crime or the economy (where would America be without agricultural, child care and food service workers?) but it is about skin color and keeping America white.

    Rivera's comments apply not only to the Wall, but to Trump's entire immigration agenda, which, as I have shown in numerous previous comments, has the same purpose. And, with all due respect to this well-known TV figure, there appears to be something missing in his sense of history.

    This is not the first time that America has built a "Wall" against immigrants in order to stop changes in this country's demographic makeup. We once had such a "Wall", known as the "National Origins" immigration act of 1924. This law, which remained on the books until 1965, among many other things kept out thousands of Jewish refugees who were trying to escape the Nazis. Many of those refugess died in Hitler's ovens and gas chambers as a result.

    The same openly bigoted law also barred Italian, Polish, and all other Southern and European immigrants, as well as most other immigrants of the world who were not from the "Nordic" countries of Western Europe in order to preserve America's perceived "demographic makeup".

    Today, Trump and his supporter rant and rave about "MS-13". They would do well to study up a little more on the history of another MS - the MS St. Louis.

    This was a ship carrying Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in 1939 which was barred from landing in the US and forced to return to Hitler's Europe. Most of the passengers subsequently died in Nazi extermination camps - so America could maintain its "demographic makeup."

    The above is only one of countless examples showing that appealing to hatred and prejudice to keep minority immigrants out of the United States on whatever pretexts is nothing new - nor has it by any means disappeared, as Donald Trump's current speeches and actions are continually showing.

    Greg Sargent sums up these policies as follows in his July 13 Washington Post column with the title:

    Trump's cruelty and hate are creating a defining moment for Democrats

    "We know from three years of public and private statements from Trump that the desire to keep away desperate people fleeing horrible conditions - and the efforts to cut legal immigration, and the thinly veiled Muslim ban - are rooted in white nationalism, bigotry and hate."

    (I do not have a direct link - please go to Google to access.)

    This is what many of Donald Trump's supporters really mean when they worry about the effect of immigration on America's "demographics" due to the fact that most of today's immigrants are coming from non-white parts of the world - a statistic which the Center for Immigration Studies which advocates for substantial reductions in immigration, confirms in a recent report:

    Meanwhile, America's Voice, on June 25, decribes the numerous connections that Trump's top immigration guru (or Svengali), Stephen Miller, has managed to form and maintain even though he is only 32 years old, and on the ominous ways in which these associations, as well as Miller's own racist attitudes toward Hispanics (going back to his high school days, according to many reports) have influenced his plans for putting Trump's own Eurocentric ("Countries like Norway") immigration agenda into action. See Is Stephen Miller a White Nationalist?

    This report leaves no doubt as to the white supremacist ideology which led to the disastrous "zero tolerance" family separation program that has without question left lifetime scars on up to more than 2,000 children, many of whom have still not been reunited with their families after having been held in shackles in dog cages and ICE boxes, in what can only be called as an act of ethnic cleansing which Miller is widely believed to be responsible for and had strongly defended.

    But that was far from being Miller's only plan to keep America white by barring Hispanics and other immigrants of color, legal as well as illegal. In the above cited report, America's Voice lists the full extent of his agenda as follows:

    - Implementing a Muslim bad (which Stephen Miller wrote)

    - Turning away asylum-seekers at the border, even women and children fleeing violence, though this is a violation of international law

    - Separating and detaining children at the United States Mexico border

    - Deporting mothers and fathers who have lived in the US for decades, who have U.S. citizen children, and who have committed no crimes

    - Cancelling temporary protected status (TPS) for the hundreds of thousands of immigrant-Americans that the program protects

    - Drastically reducing the number of refugees admitted by the United States

    - Eliminating the diversity visa

    - Changing 'legal' immigration routes like family migration

    This list did not include, but might well have included, the devastating attack that the Miller/Trump administration is launching against legal skilled and professional immigrants from every part of the world by vastly increasing waiting times, the number of groundless RFE's and other obstacles put in only for the purpose of obstruction and delay in order to discourage and exclude the very same "merit-based" immigrants whom Trump claims to be favoring as an excuse for trying to eliminate most family and all diversity immigration.

    I will be writing about this last feature of the Miller/Trump agenda in more detail beginning in September.

    The above America's Voice report summarizes Miller's role as follows:

    "Stephen Miller has used his position in the Trump White House to push through an anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim agenda that has received praise from hate and extremist groups...

    Miller's troubling ties to white nationalist Richard Spencer and anti-immigrant jate the direct line to power that extremists have in this administration."

    If and when the revulsion of the American people against this administration's white supremacist immigration policies, of which Miler is very arguably the chief architect, reaches the point where impeaching Donald Trump starts to be taken more seriously (as I will also be writing about in more detail next month); surely, appointing someone with Miller's views and agenda, not to mention his role in the child separation policy which has, not without justification, been called a "crime against humanity",* to such a high position and giving him so much control over immigration policy should be included in one of the Articles of Impeachment against the president.

    I wish all readers a good remainder of the month of August and will look forward to resuming my comments in after Labor Day.

    *With regard to whether or not the Miller/Trump/Sessions child separation policy met the definition of a "crime against humanity", a June, 2016 Yale Law School Human Rights Clinic article argues that the way in which the administration of President Obama (whose own cruelties and abuses against detained immigrant families very arguably formed the basis of and paved the way for Donald Trump's inhuman actions - something which does not in any way excuse or justify what Trump is doing now)treated legitimate asylum seekers, including the use of indefinite detention and expedited removal, amounts to this crime. For a further discussion of this issue and link to the Yale Law School analysis, see:
    Roger Algase, a New York immigration attorney and graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, who has been practicing in this field for 40 years, is a lawyer with two obsessions: obtaining legal visas and green cards for mainly skilled and professional immigrants; and writing about the dangers to America's immigration system and our democracy from the current administration's pursuit of ethnic cleaning against non-white immigrants - both legal and unauthorized, as well as their American children.

    Roger's email address is

    Updated 08-10-2018 at 09:48 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Trump Continues Assaults on Immigrants and Democracy; Threatens to Lock up Clinton and Attacks Media While Mimicking MS-13 Stabbing. Roger Algase

    Update, August 4, 5:51 pm:

    For more about the overly fascist implications of Trump's attacks on the media, which, as mentioned below, are coming more and more to resemble Adolf Hitler's attacks on the Luegenpresse (German for "Fake News Media"), see The Guardian's August 3 story:

    'Disgusting news;' Donald Trump whips up crowd anger as he vilifies media

    And for an even more frightening August 4 report in the same paper about how Trump's assault's on non-white immigrants as "criminals", "terrorists" and "animal" gang members who are responsible for all America's problems are resonating with his working class, white, less educated base, just as shouting, screaming, crowds of Hitler's supporters once roared their approval of the Nazi's slogan: "Die Juden sind unser Unglueck" ("The Jews are our disaster.") see:

    My slightly revised original comment appears below:

    The danger to America's democracy, not just the non-discriminatory legal immigration system that we have had for the past half century, becomes more apparent every time Donald Trump makes another speech about immigration, as he did on August 2, at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

    At the rally, Trump once again combined demonizing and vilifying Latino and other non-white immigrants as "MS-13" gang members, despite overwhelming evidence, as shown in numerous studies, that immigrants as a whole, with or without legal status, do not commit crimes at a higher rate than native born Americans.

    And while he was imitating MS-13 "animals" in the act of "slicing" (white, of course) American victims, he also threatened (once again) in front of a screaming, shouting, crowd of supporters to "lock up" Hillary Clinton, and attacked a free and independent media as the enemy of America.

    I have made clear in many previous comments that Trump is not a Nazi, not a Hitler supporter, not anti-Jewish and not an advocate of genocide or mass extermination. None of the above accusations could possibly be further from the truth.

    But it is becoming increasingly impossible to ignore the parallels between the German Fuehrer's attacks on the Jews as responsible for all of that country's problems and the extinction of its democracy in 1933, and Trump's attacks on brown immigrants as "criminals" and "terrorists" while also assaulting the foundations of America's freedom - namely a free press and the right to political opposition without being thrown in jail.

    Here are some excerpts from the speech as reported on the site

    First, with regard to demonizing and spewing hatred against Mexican and Central American immigrants as "criminals", "rapists" and "MS-13 gang members":

    "And you remember what I said? They'e sending, I mentioned words - I won't even mention them tonight because there's a lot of young people here - but I mentioned words and everyone thought it was wonderful...Guess what, what I said is peanuts compared to what turns out to be the truth. it's peanuts.

    The report continues as follows

    "At one point, the president took his usual fearmongering about supposedly criminal immigrants to the next level by referring to MS-13 as 'slicers' and 'animals' and mimicking the motions of a person being stabbed."

    The above report also quotes Trump's bizarre accusation against green card lottery recipients as being murderers as follows:

    "Our first lottery winner - let's see, he has seven convictions for death. He's killed nine people. And we're getting him the hell out of our country."

    Never mind that over a million Diversity Visa lottery recipients have immigrated legally and peacefully to America in the past quarter century, and that they are subject to the same criminal and security background checks as all other immigrants.

    Again, while comparisons with Adolf Hitler must always be made with a great deal of caution and qualification, those one cannot avoid being reminded of Hitler's rants against the Jews almost a century ago for allegedly causing the loss of World War 1 by "stabbing Germany in the back".

    In both cases, any resemblance to the truth is totally irrelevant. The point is to gain absolute power by using the Big Lie strategy against a targeted minority.

    As history will also attest, Hitler's attacks against the Jews were ignored or downplayed by many people, including some leaders of the intended Jewish victims themselves, for far too long. As Historian Richard J. Evans writes in The Nation (February 28, 2017) in his article The Ways to Destroy Democracy:

    "Few took Hitler seriously or thought he would actually put his threats against the country's tiny Jewish minority, his rants against feminists, left wing politicians, [gays], pacifists, and liberal newspaper editors, into effect...But within a few months of taking office, he did all of these things - and much more."

    It was all too easy to dismiss Hitlers ravings as only those of one more nationalistic politician trying to grab attention by working up crowds of cheering, screaming supporters (like the ones in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania nine decades after Hitler began his political career) - until Hitler took power and democracy disappeared - along with, ultimately, six million Jews.

    No, Trump is absolutely not an advocate or proponent of mass murder or genocide in any way. shape or form. But his appeal to racial hatred against brown immigrants has ominous implications for the survival of democracy in America, just as Hitler's attacks on Jews and other minorities did in Germany.

    The above ThinkProgress report about Trump's speech states:

    "When Trump mentioned Clinton, the crowd broke out in 'lock her up' chants. Trump responded by saying, 'Some things just take a little longer'. He then complained that his Justice Department 'only wants to go after Republicans. You look at the kind of criminal actions and crime - they only want to go after the Republicans.'"

    To be sure, there are countries of the world where the Leaders do throw their political opponents in jail and order the opposition parties to be criminally investigated. Trump recently met on very friendly terms with two of those leaders - Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un. Is this also America's future?

    Trump's relentless attacks on the independent media indicate that it could very well be.

    At the same rally, Trump also went into a tirade against

    "the fake, fake, disgusting news"

    and called independent reporters who publish stories that he doesn't like:

    "horrible, horrendous people"

    (similar to language he has used about people who immigrate to the US legally with visas that he doesn't like, including not only Diversity but family visas, and from countries that he doesn't like, such as "shithole" countries in Africa and the western hemisphere where people are not as white as in "Countries like Norway." )

    The above attacks on the media are by now familiar, but that does not make them any less dangerous for our democracy, just as Hitler's attacks on the Luegenpresse (German for "fake news") showed.

    Again, I emphasize that Trump is not Hitler and that the president's verbal assaults on non-white immigrants, political opponents and the media are not in any danger of leading to gas chambers, mass murder or attempted extermination of an entire people. But neither are they idle words to be passed over as we move onto the next story about immigration or some other issue.

    Words have meanings and they have consequences, particularly when they come from someone who possesses the enormous power of the president of the United States (a power which the Supreme Court may rule one day soon is absolute and above the law and Constitution if, as seems likely, Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed for the Supreme Court).

    In the area of immigration, we are already seeing that Trump's attacks on all non-white immigrants as "criminals" "terrorists" and MS-13 gang members are leading to horrendous abuses against people seeking legal rights under our laws - such as asylum seekers and their children who have in some cases, been locked like animals in dog cages and ICE boxes, and who have allegedly been subjected to mistreatment and abuse amounting to concentration camp like conditions under both Donald Trump and his predecessor, President Barack Obama.

    We are also seeing the consequences of Donald Trump's constant verbal demonization and vilification of nonwhite immigrants in his regime's increasingly authoritarian attempts to make drastic changes in America's legal immigration laws - which Trump contemptuously calls the "dumbest in the world" without going through the elected representatives of the American people in Congress.

    I will be writing about these changes in more detail in future comments, but the main ones are already well known to most ilw,com readers such as:

    1) Trump's attempt to intimidate and bully Congress into eliminating the Diversity visa and most family immigration - and obtain money for his totalitarian Wall - arguably not as horrible as Hitler's Warsaw Ghetto Wall or the Soviet Berlin Wall, but still not something consistent with free and democratic countries;

    2) His plans to distort the "Public Charge" inadmissibility rule to make legal family immigration unavailable to all but the wealthiest (and, presumably mainly the whitest) immigrants;

    3) The many ways on which Trump's administration is conduction a hypocritical attack, through biased, politically motivated and legally baseless RFE's on highly skilled legal immigration such as the H-1B visa, while at the same time using a push for"Merit Based" immigration as an excuse for cutting back or eliminating family and diversity immigration. I will have more to say about Trump's assault on highly skilled immigrants, including the best and the brightest of all - extraordinary ability immigrants - in upcoming comments based on my own experiences as an attorney practicing mainly in the high-skilled immigrant field;

    4) The large scale elimination of TPS, refugee visas and asylum options through presidential DHS and DOJ diktat, rather than going through even the facade of a democratic process. Admittedly, ever since the time of the infamous 19th century Chinese exclusion laws, rule over immigration by virtual executive dictatorship has been recognized as the foundation of our legal system; but this raises the issue of why these laws, and the Supreme Court gave so much power over immigration to the executive; and

    5) The vast increase in waiting times for even the most routine legal immigration documents; including but by no means limited to the reported doubling of already very long waiting times for US citizenship applications so that intending new Americans, many of whom have ancestry and skin color disfavored by Trump and his regime, will not have the choice of voting for Trump's political opposition, as many of them might understandably wish to do.

    6) The above and other legal immigration application backlogs will certainly be made even worse by the DHS plan to divert funds from processing and approving pending legal immigration and citizenship applications over to a new "Denaturalization Force" whose only purpose will be to dredge up thousands, if not millions, of US citizenship applications going back almost 30 years and look for technical defects or omissions in an effort to take away US citizenship of these applicants and expel them from this country;

    7) The inevitable movement, which some of Trump's white nationalist supporters are already beating the drums for, to distort and reinterpret the 14th Amendment and late 19th Century Supreme Court decisions, such as Wong Kim Ark (1898) which uphold birthright citizenship for every child born in the United States, regardless of race, skin color or ancestry, and replace it with a system giving mainly white people citizenship rights instead.

    The above authoritarian changes, all planned to be put into effect without Congressional consent, will be America's Nuremberg Laws (which, among other things, took German citizenship away from the Jews). But even though the Jews suffered worst of all, they were not the only ones who lost out when Hitler took absolute power, as Donald Trump is also very clearly aiming toward doing today in America, using immigration as his stepping stone.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 08-04-2018 at 04:52 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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