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  1. Trump's New Muslim Entry Ban Is No Different From 1920's "National Origins" Exclusion of Catholic, Jewish and Asian Immigrants. Roger Algase

    Update, March 8, as of 11:52 am:

    The intent to discriminate against Muslim immigrants and visitors because of their religion in Trump's new six country entry ban, which is so obvious as to be beyond dispute, based on the essentially fraudulent nature of Trump's terror justification, as well as the historical record of exclusion of Catholic and Jewish immigrants using similar arguments discussed below, raises serious Constitutional problems concerning freedom of religion for Americans, not only citizens of the six Muslim countries directly affected.

    University of Chicago law professor Eric Posner writes:

    "The constitutional policy is easy to understand. We might think that a temporary travel ban that burdens people from Muslim countries could be justified, despite unequal treatment on the basis of religion, by even a moderate security risk. We might also think that a travel ban with weak procedural protections could be justified by an emergency. But where the ban both burdens a particular religion and does so without giving people sufficient procedural protections, the security justification must be significant rather than moderate."

    http://ericposner.com/president-trum...ion-of-claims/

    My original comment follows:

    Donald Trump's new March 6 executive order banning entry by citizens of six (instead of the previous seven - Iraq having been dropped from the list) countries with close to 99 per cent Muslim populations remedies some of the more egregious abuses of the earlier, now revoked January 27 ban, but it does nothing to change the basic premise of the original order that people belonging to the Muslim religion in general pose an inherent danger to the United States and should not be allowed in.

    The new order exempts US permanent residents from the ban and provides for waivers in the cases of other immigrants from the affected countries who also have certain ties with the US or urgent reasons for seeking entry, such as medical treatment, but it still blocks an estimated 150 million people in the six countries, almost all of whom just happen to be Muslims, from coming to the United States as visitors or on temporary work or student visas.

    This is despite the continued failure of the Trump administration to provide any reliable evidence that citizens of the banned countries have actually been engaged in any acts of terror in the United States, something which seriously undermined any claim of good faith or justified use of presidential discretion in the original order, as was pointed out by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and other federal courts which reviewed that order.

    A legal writer for Slate, Dahlia Lithwick, discusses this issue in detail in her article:

    Trump's new travel ban is full of bogus evidence and sketchy claims

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

    On this issue, I will let her article speak for itself rather than repeating her analysis here.

    Instead of being based on any genuine threat to the United States coming citizens of the six listed countries in general, Trump's latest order reflects the same prejudices, scapegoating and demonization of a targeted religious group that led to the exclusion of Catholic and Jewish immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe in the notorious 1924 Johnson-Reed Immigration Act, signed by President Calvin Coolidge.

    This law barred almost all immigrants throughout the world (except from North and South America, known as the "Western Hemisphere" in that statute), but instead of explicitly doing so on the grounds of religion or race, it used the pretext of doing so on the basis of "national origins" - exactly as Trump is doing now in order to bar Muslims from the United States.

    To give an example, in the 1924 law, the annual immigration quota for Germany, one of the largely Protestant "Nordic" countries favored by the statute, was approximately 50,000. In contrast, the annual quota for Catholic Italy was about 3,000, less than one tenth of the total for Germany.

    The annual quota for Russia, where large numbers of Jews resided, was also about 3,000. (I am not suggesting that Donald Trump is likely to discriminate against immigrants from Russia - this could be one big difference from 1924!)

    Asian, Middle Eastern and African immigrants were not exactly welcome under the 1924 quota system either. The annual quotas for China, Japan and India, fo example, were exactly 100 immigrants from each country!

    No objective analyst or historian of that period could seriously argue that these skewed quotas were motivated by anything other than the most blatant kind of racial and religious prejudices, even though Jeff Sessions, then a Senator and now Trump's attorney general, misleadingly tried to defend the 1924 law as allegedly nothing more than a device to tighten the labor market in favor of American workers in a January, 2015 "Handbook" circulated to fellow Congressional Republicans.

    To appreciate the full force of the ethnic and religious scapegoating and prejudices that formed the background of the 1924 immigration act, one has to turn to the work of the Dillingham Commission, led by a fiercely anti-immigrant Republican Senator, Paul Dillingham, which was active from 1907 to 1910, and left behind a monumental 41 volume report issued in or about 1911.

    While it is obviously not possible to reproduce the entire report here, I refer readers to a comprehensive summary of its background and conclusions in a 1994 article by John M. Lund entitled

    Boundaries of Restriction: The Dillingham Commission

    University of Vermont History Review vol. 6. December 1994.

    http://www.uvm.edu/~hag/histreview/vol6/lund.html

    I will discuss the salient features of this report as they relate to Trump's current Muslim ban in my 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, Roger has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from various parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards. Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com




    Updated 03-08-2017 at 10:52 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Trump's travel ban legally sound, defensible all the way to SCOTUS. By Nolan Rappaport


    © Getty

    The Trump administration released Monday a revised version of its immigration Executive Order to address the concerns raised in an appeals court decision, but those criticisms were always fundamentally irrational and not based in the text of the Order.

    President Donald Trumpís original Executive Order (EO), Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, was challenged by two states in a U.S. District Court. The District Court preliminarily ruled in the statesí favor and temporarily ordered the government to stop enforcing the EO.

    The government appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and moved for an emergency stay to reinstate the EO pending the outcome of its appeal. The Circuit Court was not convinced that the government was likely to prevail on the merits of its appeal, so it denied the governmentís motion for a stay.

    If Trump had appealed the Circuit Courtís decision to the Supreme Court, he would have been a shoo-in to win. He opted instead to replace the EO with a revised version that, although it responds to the Circuit Courtís decision, is still battered by virtually the same criticism.

    Read more at http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blo...the-way-to-the

    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. He also has been a policy advisor for the DHS Office of Information Sharing and Collaboration under a contract with TKC Communications, and he has been in private practice as an immigration lawyer at Steptoe & Johnson.








  3. H-1B Premium Processing halt is to reduce backlogs; not part of WH attacks on skilled worker, Muslim, other non-European immigrants. Roger Algase

    Update and revisions as of March 6, 2017 at 12:35 pm:

    Trump's new March 6 Muslim entry ban is not much different from the initial failed one, according to the latest reports, with the exception of leaving out Iraq and making clear that permanent residents from the six banned Muslim countries are not affected. Whether these essentially cosmetic changes will induce the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and other federal courts to change their minds about blocking the previous, seven Muslim country ban remains to be seen. See:

    http://www.thehill.com/policy/nation...overcome-court

    My revised previous comment follows:

    Amid all the furor and panic caused by Trump's botched initial attempt to ban visitors and immigrants from seven almost 99 percent Muslim countries from entering the US, added to the fear and confusion caused by his shedding the fig leaf of pretending that his plans for mass deportation of millions of Latino and other immigrants of color would be limited to people with criminal records, it is understandable that the latest USCIS announcement about temporary suspension of Premium Processing for H-1B petitions, which guarantees action on these petitions within 15 days upon payment of an exorbitant extra filing fee ($1,225), is widely perceived as a move to put this visa on the Trump/Bannon/Sessions/Kobach chopping block, along with other programs which have led to large scale non-European legal immigration over the past 50 years, something that is anathema to Trump's above top advisors and his white nationalist/Alt-Right supporters.

    But any assumption that the six month suspension of Premium Processing has any connection with the above larger, and very troubling, agenda (for immigrants and their supporters) would be completely mistaken.

    Yes, Trump's so far failed attempt to ban almost 200 million people from seven countries because of their religion, based on Trumped-up "National Security" pretexts which neither the federal courts nor very many national security experts have taken very seriously, and his open season on deportation for potentially millions of Latino and other non-white immigrants, are alarming and disturbing for those who hope that America will continue as a land of freedom and equality for all people.

    But if one actually reads the explanation for the Premium Processing suspension appearing on the USCIS website, rather than relying on over-hyped media reports written, for the most part, by pundits who do not show much experience with or understanding of the H-1B visa, it will become obvious that the Premium Processing suspension has nothing to do with any larger agenda directed against either immigration in general, or H-1B visas in particular.

    For the full text of the USCIS Premium Processing temporary suspension announcement, which applies only to H-1B petitions, not those for any other categories in which Premium Processing is available, and is not effective until April 3, 2017, the beginning of the filing period for the limited number of cap subject H-1B visas for the coming fiscal year 2018 beginning on October 1, 2017, see:

    https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/us...h-1b-petitions

    This is not to say that such a larger agenda, or agendas, do not exist in the top levels of the Trump administration. There are very good reasons to believe that they do exist, and that they are a real threat to the democratic, egalitarian, color-blind (in principle) America that all of us know and are used to. This will be discussed further in my forthcoming comment.

    But the Premium Processing suspension has nothing to do with any such larger agenda. It is, at least taken at face value, a plan to make the H-1B system work better by devoting more resources and staff to processing the great majority of H-1B petitions which go through the currently seriously backlogged regular processing system, rather then the Premium Processing one.

    It is important to be sensitive to and aware of the larger implications in many of Donald Trump's immigration proposals and actions. Many of these, as I will discuss in my forthcoming comment, are consistent with the goal set forth by top administration advisors such Stephen Bannon, and the embattled Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, of taking America back toward the infamous "Nordics"-only "national origins" immigration law of 1924.

    Indeed, Trump's ban on immigration from seven almost entirely Muslim countries (now reduced to six, see above update) can certainly be regarded as a major step in that direction.

    But that does not by any stretch of the imagination mean that USCIS's attempt to redirect its limited resources in order to deal more effectively with the anticipated deluge of new, cap-subject H-1B petitions during the crucial processing time period between the initial submission date on April 3, 2017 and the beginning of the new fiscal year on October 1, 2017, has anything to do with this larger agenda.

    There is no indication that there is any such connection. __________________________
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards for more than 35 years.

    Roger's practice is concentrated in H-1B specialty occupation, O-1 extraordinary ability and J-1 trainee work visas, and in green cards through Labor Certification (PERM) and though opposite sex and same sex marriage. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 03-06-2017 at 11:39 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. DHS Plan to Separate Asylum-Seeking Children From Their Mothers Recalls Ancient Greek Tragedy - and Dark German WW2 History. Roger Algase

    This comment has been revised as of March 6 at 9:38 am:

    In Medea, written some 2,400 years ago by the famous ancient Greek dramatist Euripides, the tyrant Creon says the following to the main character, Medea:

    "...I order you to leave this land and go into exile, taking your two children with you, and instantly! I am the executor of this decree, and I will not go home again until I expel you from this country."

    (Translated by David Kovacs, Euripides I, Loeb Classical Library, Copyright (C) 1994, 2001 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College)

    Is this any different from Donald Trump's message to mothers and their children making the dangerous journey to the US border in order to seek asylum from drug and gang violence infested countries in Central America?

    How is this chilling edict from almost two and a half millennia ago any different from Trump's threat during the campaign to deport up to 11 million immigrants who lack legal status in the US, and, in violation of the 14th Amendment, to take US citizenship away from their American-born children so they can also be deported?

    My original comment follows:

    In my March 3 Immigration Daily blog comment, I wrote about the disturbing historical memories brought back by Donald Trump's proposal in his February 28 speech to Congress to create an office within the Department of Homeland Security devoted to publicizing crimes allegedly committed by immigrants (VOICE), and his recent executive order along the same lines. See:

    http://blogs.ilw.com/entry/php?9745-...y-Roger-Algase

    If Trump's campaign rhetoric and his recent immigrant roundups and arrests, and his executive orders providing for police-state mass deportation of up to 11 million unauthorized immigrants are any guide, we can be quite certain that Trump's lists of alleged crimes committed by immigrants will be loaded with Mexican and other Latino names, just as executed Nazi war criminal Julius Streicher's lists of "criminals" in his notorious Der Stuermer contained only Jewish names.

    But there is an even more disturbing precedent for a reported plan by Trump's DHS to separate Central American children seeking asylum in the U.S. from the horrific gang violence in their countries from their mothers at the Mexican border.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-us...-idUSKBN16A2ES

    See also:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...aration-border

    The motivations are of course very different, since genocide or mass extermination are obviously just as abhorrent to Donald Trump and his administration as they are to every sane person on this planet.

    But there are still very troubling and dangerous parallels between the reported DHS plan to tear children seeking asylum away from their parents at the US/Mexican border and the Nazis kidnapping of hundreds of thousands of "Aryan-looking" Polish and other Eastern European children from their parents and families as part of the infamous Lebensborn program to create a "master race" during WW2.

    https://familycourtinjustice.wordpre...g-of-children/

    The above site describes the actions taken with regard to the kidnapped children as follows:

    "...the Nazis sought 'racially valuable'children of non-German populations, meaning those with 'Aryan' traits...Kidnapped children were taken by force, and by gunpoint. Force include[d] hunting children down in schools, parks and markets. Police came to homes with guns drawn to seize children."

    To be sure, taking children away from their parents by force and giving the children completely new "Germanic" identities, with no hope that the children would ever see their parents again, as the Nazis did, went beyond merely "separating" parents from their children in order to be in compliance wtih a 9th Circuit Court US Court of Appeals order.

    As Reuters explains, that order prohibits prolonged detention of children arriving at the US border to seek asylum in America, but the court order does not prohibit prolonged detention of their parents who are also seeking asylum while their cases are pending.

    Therefore, according to the the above two reports, ICE, instead of releasing parents and children together pending thir asylum hearings, DHS now plans to release the children to its own custody, while continuing to detain their parents (usually their mothers).

    The purpose, according to the above reports, is to deter Central American parents from bringing their children to the US illegally in order to seek asylum.

    But as the Reuters report explains:

    "Implementing the new policy proposal 'could create lifelong psychological trauma', said Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. 'Especially for children that have just completed a perilous journey from Central America.'"

    Again, obviously, the purpose of the Nazi kidnappings of children, namely creating an "Aryan" master race to replace "racially inferior" untermenschen, i.e. Jews, Slavs and other population groups marked for extermination, was far more sinister than the Trump administration's stated goal of deterring parents of Central American children from bringing the children to the US border illegally in order to file asylum claims.

    But there is one very disturbing common element in these two ostensibly very different programs: a willingness to use innocent children as helpless pawns in order to accomplish strictly political goals -at a cost to the children of creating lifelong psychological damage.

    It also shows that, just as the Nazis exposed the kidnapped children and their parents to the cruelty and inhumanity of family separation and breakup to accomplish their nefarious purposes, the Trump administration, assuming that the above Reuters and The Guardian reports are accurate, eveidently has no hesitation about engaging in an arguably less drastic, but still cruel and inhuman program of tearing children away from their mothers to accomplish its goals.
    ________________________
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College (majoring in Government) and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, Roger has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger also gained an introductory knowledge of ancient Greek and first half of the 20th century German history through his beginning level studies of classical Greek at Phillips Academy, Andover, where he won a school award in that language, and of German at Harvard College, which he completed successfully, but without any particular distinction. He also successfully completed a summer course for visiting secondary school students and graduates in WW2 history given by the University of Paris.

    Rogers' email address is algaselex@gmail.com




    Updated 03-07-2017 at 07:40 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Trump's Immigrant "Crime" List Recalls Attempts to Brand African-Americans, Jews as Criminals in U.S. and Germany. Roger Algase

    Donald Trump's February 25 executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security to publish a list of crimes committed by immigrants, and his February 28 speech calling on DHS to create an office dealing with the victims of immigrant crime, recall some of the darkest periods in both American and world history when members of targeted ethnic groups, such as African-Americans in the US and Jews in Germany were stigmatized as "criminals" by the media and/or the government.

    A comprehensive report in The Atlantic entitled: Trump Turns Unauthorized Immigrants into Scapegoats takes us back to some of this infamous history of racial attacks which most Americans thought we had put behind us, until Trump began his presidential campaign by demonizing Mexican immigrants as "criminals", "drug dealers" and "rapists" and calling for U.S. entry ban on Muslims from everywhere in the world (now reduced to seven countries - for the moment) as "terrorists". See:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics...-crime/518238/

    In the above article, The Atlantic, citing historical information provided by a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, and which information is also familiar to many Americans, especially those who had already reached adulthood at the beginning of the 1960's civil rights era, reminds us that:

    "Using crime to incite hatred has a long history in the United States...for at least a century after the end of slavery, northern newspapers generally identified African-Americans accused of committing crimes as 'negro' or 'colored'.
    "Southern newspapers generally referred to the offender as a 'negro criminal' in bold.

    African-Americans were not the only group stigmatized as criminals in America.

    The Atlantic continues:

    "Government crime statistics reflected ethnic and racial fears too. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, notes Muhammad, when native-born Americans were growing alarmed by mass immigration from Southern and eastern Europe, big city police forces broke down crime statistics by European nationality."

    At this point it is worth noting that several studies, including one mentioned in the above article, show that crime rates among immigrants are lower than among native-born Americans. While there has been some unsubstantiated speculation that these studies may be "incomplete", see:

    http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blo...t-gets-1-thing

    no one has convincingly refuted their conclusions.

    The most disturbing historical precedent of all, however, was in the Nazis' attempt to single out and demonize Jews as criminals, especially in the notorious Der Stuermer publication, whose publisher, Julius Streicher, was later convicted and executed as a war criminal after the end of WW2.

    The Atlantic reports:

    "...the Nazi newspaper Der Stuermer ...published readers' accounts of Jewish crimes...Hitler's ministry of Justice ordered prosecutors to forward every criminal indictment against a Jew so the ministry's press office could publicize it."

    Of course, no one could rationally accuse Donald Trump of advocating either anti-Semitism or genocide, and it is not my purpose to make any such suggestion.

    But there is a very troubling similarity between using accusations of crime to stigmatize and scapegoat targeted groups of people in the past, and Trump's attempt to stir up animosity against immigrants in America by doing what amounts to the same thing today.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    algasele@gmail.com





    Updated 03-23-2017 at 04:38 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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