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  1. Trump Uses "Caravan" of Honduran Asylum-Seekers in Mexico as Excuse to Play to White Supremacist Base. Roger Algase

    A "caravan" of about 1,000 desperate mainly women and children asylum-seekers from violence-ridden Honduras, which has one of the highest homicide rates in the world, is now reportedly stuck in Mexico while on its way to the United States border to seek admission.

    This has given Trump yet another opportunity to stir up fears and animosity against brown immigrants among his white supporters, and to call for even more draconian anti-immigrant measures, including sending the National Guard to police the Mexican border in the absence of Congressional funding for the demagogic border wall proposal with which he began his presidential campaign almost three years ago.

    For a report on the alleged influence of two leading figures who have frequently been criticized by immigration supporters as being associated with white supremacist anti-immigrant ideology, presidential adviser Stephen Miller and right wing columnist Ann Coulter, on Trump's decision to send the National Guard to the Mexican border, see:

    CNN Editor at Large Chris Cillizza makes the following comment about Trump's use of the would-be migrants, who present no evident danger whatsoever to the United States, to promote his agenda of playing to the prejudices and xenophobia of his white supporters in a September 2 article:

    Donald Trump's latest dog whistle on immigration is more like a scream

    In Cillizza'a words:

    "The just-below the surface message is this. White people made this country great. Brown people are flooding in. They pose an existential threat to your daily life and what the future holds for your children. If you don't fight back now, you may lose everything...

    There's no question that talk of invading immigrants rallies the Trump base. Ditto calls for the need for a wall."

    No further explanation of the motivation behind Donald Trump's immigration agenda is necessary, other than to point out that building a wall against immigrants is just one example of how playing to fears and prejudice against people of a different ethnicity, color or religion from the majority has enabled dictators to seize power throughout modern history, as is happening today in Hungary.

    While no one could reasonably claim that all, or even most, of 1,000 of the individuals in the above "caravan" who are trying to reach the US border to bring asylum claims under an immigration law which Trump has condemned as "dumb" and "ridiculous" but is nonetheless still the law of the land, his attack on the caravan people is no means an isolated occurrence.

    It is clearly part of the strategy of calling for abolition of the same kind of legal family immigration which enabled Trump's own mother and grandfather to immigrate to America from Europe; and which, very recently, has also allowed his wife's parents to do the same thing, simply because most of the many millions of immigrants who have benefited from this program over the past few decades were not from white parts of the world.

    It is part of the same strategy of trying to eliminate the diversity green card lottery, which no US politicians complained about when it was limited mainly to white immigrants from Europe, but which Trump is now trying to demonize because most of the immigrants who benefit from it now are from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

    It is the same strategy that has led the Trump administration to cancel TPS for immigrants from a number of non-white countries, to terminate DACA (much as Trump, in the style of George Orwell, tries to blame this on the Democrats), to lower the number of refugees to a trickle; and to throw more administrative roadblocks in the way of approvals for various legal immigration benefits, ranging from H-1B skilled worker visas to family-based green cards.

    Therefore, while the caravan people, on the surface, may appear to be a group of women and children who are so anxious to escape intolerable conditions in their own country that they may be trying to come to the US without proper qualifications for admission, in a larger sense, they represent millions of other people from every part of the world whom Trump wants to deprive of the opportunity to come to America legally merely because they have the "wrong" skin color or practice the "wrong" religion.

    In that sense, the caravan people represent the ideals of equality, fairness and justice in our immigration system that America has stood for since 1965, when the whites-only "national origins" 1924 immigration act which, literally as well as in spirit, restricted US immigration to what Trump now favors as "countries like Norway", over what he now calls the "shithole" countries of Africa, the Caribbean and Central America, was abolished.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 04-12-2018 at 06:17 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Somali Men Deported After Alleging Beatings, Other Concentration-Camp Style Abuses in ICE Detention in Order to Block Investigation. Roger Algase

    In a recent CPAC speech, Donald Trump infamously compared Muslim and other immigrants to "snakes".

    This comparison may have had more meaning than intended for some Somali men detained by ICE in a private immigration prison where sadistic beatings by guards, lack of running water, and in one case, appearance of a live rattlesnake in a detainee's bed which the guards failed to take action against and the detainees had to kill themselves were among the reported allegations of abuse.

    The above story also reports that the men were quickly deported before any meaningful investigation into their claims of abuse could be conducted.

    What does this report say about the rule of law and respect for basic human rights when brown immigrants are concerned in Donald Trump's America? And if this can happen to immigrants, how safe will the freedom and democracy that American citizens take for granted continue to be under this president and his administration?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 04-05-2018 at 09:46 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Immigration judge quotas will not eliminate the backlog crisis. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty Images

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions has established performance goals for the immigration judges in an effort to deal with the immigration court backlog crisis. In addition to meeting at least half of the deadlines for specified types of cases, judges will have to complete at least 700 cases-a-year to receive a “satisfactory” performance rating. They currently average 678 cases-a-year.

    The National Association of Immigration Judges opposes the performance goals. Among other things, they point out that the current backlog cannot be attributed to a lack of productivity on the part of judges, and the imposition of quotas and deadlines on judges will impede justice and due process.

    But here’s a better reason to oppose the quotas: Session’s performance goals are not an effective way to deal with the backlog crisis.

    As of March 5, 2018
    , there were approximately 350 judges, and the immigration court had 684,583 pending deportation cases.

    If the judges do 700 cases-a-year, it will only dispose of approximately 245,000 cases-a-year. At that rate, it would take almost three years to eliminate the backlog … if there are no new cases. But there will always be new cases.

    Sessions also will hire more judges, but the problems the immigration court is having with the current judges should be addressed first to determine whether the selection process needs to be changed.


    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.

    Updated 04-04-2018 at 12:58 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Immigration Judges Condemn Sessions' Imposition of Quotas for Deciding Cases. Is Trump's DOJ Moving Toward Assembly-Line Deportation? Roger Algase

    Update, April 4, 11:02 am:

    An April 4 article in warns that the Trump administration's attempt to pressure immigration judges into rushing their decisions and not giving immigrants time to obtain lawyers or prepare their cases properly, in order to speed up deportations in support of the president's racial immigration agenda, may backfire by clogging up the federal courts with even more immigration-related litigation, as was the case when G.W. Bush's AG, John Ashcroft, tried a similar strategy in the wake of 9/11. See Amanda Marcotte's April 4 article:

    Jeff Sessions' new "quotas" for immigration judges: Pathway to mass deportation?

    My original comment follows:

    While the president continues to rant on Twitter about "dumb" and "ridiculous" immigration laws - presumably those which give asylum seekers at the US border the right to a hearing in the United States before being turned back - there is a new development with dangerous implications for the integrity and independence of the immigration court system, and for due process and the rule of law in general in America. Jeff Sessions' Department of Justice, which is responsible for that system, has, for the first time, imposed a case resolution quota for immigration judges of 700 per year, amounting to about 3 cases a day for each judge.

    This means that finishing cases quickly will take priority over deciding them fairly and with full respect for due process of law, and that the courts will risk being turned into an assembly line to rubber-stamp Donald Trump's mass deportation agenda.

    The American Bar Association Journal reports that Immigration Judge A. Ashley Tabaddor, the president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, has criticized the quotas as:

    "an egregious example of the conflict of interests of having the immigration court in a law enforcement agency."

    She also warned that immigration judges may begin to make decisions based on concern about keeping their jobs, rather than based on what is legally correct, and that the DOJ has now:

    "...compromised the integrity of the court."

    Also, CNN quotes Paul Schmidt, a retired longtime Immigration Judge, as saying that immigration judges will get the message from the Justice Department and that Sessions' efforts to tighten immigration law speak volumes, According to Schmidt:

    "Evaluating someone's performance on the number of cases they close is obviously going to have some effect on the substance of the decisions...You know the boss wants removal orders, not grants - all these things have to have some sort of effect."

    Will A.G. Jeff Sessions, who has shown himself eager carry out Trump's agenda in a number of areas, including mass deportation of Latino and other immigrants of color in order (as many observers maintain) to appease Trump over the president's rage and threats against Sessions for failing to "protect" Trump with regard Mueller's Russia investigations (see the AP's February 28 report):

    next set quotas for how many immigrants Immigration Judges must order deported every year in order to keep their jobs as judges?

    Trump's Justice Department appears to be headed in that direction, in which the due process of law and right to fundamental fairness in court on which America's democracy depends risk being thrown out in Donald Trump's mad rush to deport as many brown-skinned immigrants as possible, as quickly as possible.
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 30 years, Roger has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards though employment and family sponsorship.

    Roger's email address is

    Updated 04-07-2018 at 12:12 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Trump Unleashes Twitter Tirade Against DACA and Mexico, as W. H. Photo Shows Most Interns are as White as Trump's Immigration Agenda. Roger Algase

    Update, April 2 at 3:22 pm:

    According to the latest story in The Guardian about Trump's Twitter Tirades against Dreamers and other Mexican/Central American immigrants, Trump is now claiming that, because of them,"our country is being stolen".

    The racial implications of this and other similar anti-immigrant epithets coming from the president are too obvious and frequent to be ignored by the media any longer. This latest statement is an obvious dog whistle to Trump's white nationalist base that America's "white identity" is being taken away by brown-skinned immigrants, both legal and illegal.

    Such is the foundation of White House immigration policy in the Donald Trump Era.

    Update, April 1 at 9:57 pm:

    For a more complete story about the details of the venom which Trump let loose against Dreamers and Mexican immigrants while on his way to worship on Easter Sunday see, The Guardian:

    Easter tirade: Trump attacks Nafta and says 'No more Daca deal'

    The following comment has been revised and updated as of April 1 at 2:53 pm:

    In his own unique version of the "Easter Spirit of goodwill", Donald Trump lashed out at DACA and Mexican immigrants in general on the morning of April 1 in a tirade of tweets, vowing that there would be no DACA deal and threatening to cancel NAFTA over Mexico's alleged failure to stop "caravans" of illegal immigrants from coming to the United States.

    According to multiple news reports, Trump has been accompanied on his trip to Mar-a-Lago by top immigration adviser, Stephen Miller, who has been widely accused of having white supremacist sympathies and associations. Trump also reportedly had his usual heavy dose of watching Fox News, which no one would claim to be a supporter of immigration from non-white parts of the world, before issuing his anti-Mexican twitter rants.

    One might ask what has happened to the Donald Trump who recently expressed "Love" for the Dreamers and who, according to some of his supporters, is really their "best friend". But this would be a useless question.

    Not entirely by coincidence, the White House has also released a photo of its latest interns, showing only 5 non-white interns out of a total of 91.

    Given Trump's abundant record of venomous attacks on immigrants of color from many parts of the world both as candidate and president; and, in addition to terminating TPS and DACA legal status for hundreds of thousands of non-white immigrants who are already in the US, his push to change the legal immigration system to eliminate family and diversity visas which have helped millions of legal immigrants from Latin America, Asia and Africa to come to the US over the past decades, this latest White House photo could well be looked at as a template for Trump's continuing whites-only agenda for legal immigration.

    For more about the deep roots in America's immigration history of Trump's efforts to skew the legal immigration system in order to Make America White Again, see, (January 18):

    The scary ideology behind Trump's immigration instincts

    Well worth reading and reflecting on in the light of Trump's latest Easter outburst against immigrants of color.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 04-02-2018 at 02:22 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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