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  1. Sessions Threatens to Prosecute Americans who "Harbor" Immigrants in the New "Trump Era". Is Police State Coming Closer? Roger Algase

    Update bulletin, April 12, 1:30 pm:

    Now it's official. On April 11, the Attorney General's office released a memo calling on all federal prosecutors to:

    "...consider for prosecition any case involving unlawful transprtation of harboring of aliens. or any other conduct prescribed pursuant to 8 U.S.C. Section 1324..." (Italics added.)

    (See news item April 12.)

    As I have mentioned below and in previous Immigration Daily comments, and will explain further in forthcoming comments, this refers to INA Section 274, an extremely broad statute which makes it a felony for anyone, including a US citizen, to "assist" someone who is remaining in the US without permission.

    Conceivably, this could include providing legal advice, medical assistance, advocacy or help of any kind to anyone who might turn out to be or could be suspected of being an unauthorized immigrant.

    It could also, not inconceivably, include failing or refusing report such a person to ICE for arrest and deportation.

    Is America on the way to its own version of the 1936 German Nuremberg laws which made it a crime for non-Jewish Germans to engage in certain types of activities or associations with Jews?

    Will the "New Era" of Donald Trump which Sessions mentioned in his April 11 Arizona speech start to resemble the "New Order" in Germany 80 years ago?

    My original comment follows:

    In an April 11 speech at the Mexican border, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who as a fiercely anti-immigration Senator, issued an immigration "Handbook" for Congressional Republicans in January 2015 containing high praise for the 1924 Immigration Act which excluded most of the world from immigrating to the US except for people from Northern Europe, announced that:

    "This is a new era. This is the Trump era."

    What, other than the highly unfortunate resemblance between "new era" and the "New Order" announced by the German government some 80 years ago, exactly does this mean?

    One thing that Sessions made clear is means as that unauthorizied immigrants themselves are not the only targets of Trump's immigration actions, but that American citizens who "harbor" or "transport" them will be prosecuted.

    The reference is to INA Section 274, and extremely broad statute which, while primarily directed against immigrant smugglers, also make it a federal felony to "harbor" or "assist" an authorized immigrant in remaining in the the United States.

    As the above Phoenix New Times report quotes Jeanne Atkinson, Director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), as saying, the statute "applies to everyone" who might provide help.

    As Atkinson puts it:

    "You could be talking about a grandma taking a grandchild to the doctor."

    The same article also quotes Brent Wilkes, executive director of LULAC as follows:

    "They're trying to crimininalize and make it a felony to pursue the American dream."

    The above report also states, with regard to Wilkes' comment:

    "The intent of going after people who harbor or transport undocumented immigrants is to intimidate them and increase fear among the undocumented community, he [Wilkes] said."

    One might add that it is not only immigrants who could have a great deal to fear from Sessions' threat to launch criminal prosecutions under INA Section 274.

    Any American who lends any kind of assistance to, or even associates with, someone who might turn out to be in the US without legal status, or who fails to report someone whom he/she knows or has reason to suspect may be here illegally to ICE for deportation could also. according to the language of the statute, be subject to prosecution.

    In that case, comparisons between Trump's police state New Era and the New Order in Germany eight decades ago would not be by any means accidental or inappropriate.

    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer who has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants receive work visas and green cards for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Roger's email address is

    Updated 04-12-2017 at 12:30 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. End fraud-laden visa program for mostly-Chinese investors. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty

    Last week, federal authorities raided a Los Angeles-area business suspected of organizing a $50,000,000 visa fraud scheme for Chinese immigrants. Allegedly, the business took money from more than 100 Chinese investors for bogus business projects, allowing them to improperly obtain U.S. green cards. Three of the investors were fugitives wanted by the Chinese government.

    From California to Vermont, fraud is part of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5 program), established by Congress in 1990.

    The program offers lawful permanent resident status to foreign investors and their families to encourage them to invest in new businesses here that will benefit our economy and create jobs for American workers but the program is rife with complications.

    Has EB-5 achieved its objectives?

    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) observed at a recent March hearing on the EB-5 program that it is “riddled with fraud and abuse and has strayed away from the program Congress envisioned when it created the program decades ago.” The program “is in desperate need of reform.”

    Read more at --

    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. When Will Trump Take Off the Mask of Hypocrisy and Admit Syrian Refugees Under International Law? Roger Algase

    In ancient Greece, actors wore masks and were therefore known as people who were under (hypo in ancient Greek) masks from which they answered (krites in ancient Greek). Actors were also considered as dissemblers, which led to the origin of the English word "hypocrite".

    By his airstrikes against the Syrian airbase which the Russia-backed Assad regime used to launch its crime against humanity in the form of poison gas attacks against Syrian civilians, including young children, Donald Trump struck a blow in favor of and sent a strong message of support for human rights.

    But unless he follows international law and starts admitting the victims of Assad's gas attack, hospital bombings, and other atrocities too numerous to mention, the president will inevitably be open to charges that his airstrikes were just a mask and that underneath the mask, he is nothing more than a play actor - a hypocrite.

    The following will begin a series of discussions of international conventions which the US is a party to and which require the president to take action to admit Syrian victims of one of the world's worst human rights abusers to the US. This discussion is based on an article by Freedom House entitled:

    Syrian Refugees: A Primer on International Legal Obligations

    I will begin with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which, as Freedom House explains, was adopted in 1948 by the UN General Assembly in connection with the UN Charter. All 193 member states are bound by the UN Charter.

    Article 14 provides:

    Everyone has the right to seek and enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

    This right may not be invoked in the case of persecution genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

    One can justly ask what "non-political" crimes did the Syrian babies who were buried by their father after they died in Asaad's gas attack carry out? What acts did they commit that were contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations?

    What threat did these, or the estimated up to half million other innocent Syrian civilians who have died in Assad's shelling, aerial attacks blockades, prisons and torture chambers pose to the peace and security of the United States?

    Is it not time for the president to come out from under his mask of hypocrisy toward Syrian refugees, put an end to the play-acting, and answer the demands of America's moral and legal obligations to begin admitting them to the United States under international law?

    To be continued in forthcoming comments.
    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 from diverse parts of the world receive work visas and green cards.

    Roger's email address is

    Updated 04-17-2017 at 03:15 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Why Trump's Mass Deportation Raids Keep Bringing Back Dark Memories From 20th Century US Immigration History. Roger Algase

    Update: April 10, at 2:15 pm:

    The notorious Palmer Raids against workers seeing higher wages, left wing sympathizers and immigrants a century ago, which helped lead to America closing its borders to most of the world's immigrants outside of northern Europe,as discussed in my comment below, are by no means the only precedent in 20th century history for Trump's mass roundups and deportations of Latino and other minority immigrants which are now causing so much fear in immigrant communities coast to coast throughout America.

    See Washington Post, April 10:

    Marine Le Pen: France 'not responsible' for deporting Jews during Holocaust

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

    Nevertheless, during this year's Passover Holiday, many people may be asking:

    "What makes Trump's immigrant roundups and deportations different from all other roundups and deportations?"

    Let us hope we never have to find out. But one difference that already stands out is in the sheer enormity of the number of people whom Trump has announced that he is targeting - 11 million.

    Even President Obama deported "only" about 2.5 million.

    My original comment follows.

    There seems to be no letup in Trump's immigration raids, which are continuing to strike fear and terror in cities large and small throughout America, as shown by the latest (April 5) report dealing with Austin, Texas.

    Nor is there any letup in the dark, highly disturbing 20th century precedents that these raids inevitably recall in the immigration history of the United States. Independent writer Richard Silverstein, who also uses the title "Tikun Olam" (Hebrew for "Repairing the World") describes the notorious 1920 "Palmer Raids", in the wake of the 1919 "Red Scare".

    "In 1919, the Bolsheviks overthrew the Czar and instituted a revolutionary government led by Lenin...Western powers sought in vain to save the old order by sending in expeditionary forces to stop the Bolsheviks. The political and financial elites also feared mass uprisings.

    In the U.S., workers began demanding higher wages and improved working conditions...They began to deman unions and struck thousands of factories and plants. The U.S. Communist party was also founded in 1919...

    Silverstein continues:

    "Onto this stage stepped Pres. Wilson's Attorney General, Mitchell Palmer. Responding to anti-immigrant hysteria then rampant, he founded the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover and began a series of raids on radicals, labor activists and immigrants...

    The raids took place as follows, as Silverstein describes:

    "In January of 1920, federal agents broke into the homes of suspected anarchists without search warrants, jailed labor leaders, and held about 5,000 citizens without respecting their right to legal counsel."

    As the above writer also relates, it did not take long before immigrants as well experienced the effect of the anti-left hysteria as evidenced in the Palmer Raids, which:

    "...led, several years later, to the 1924 Immigration Act. It meant a virtual closure of this country's doors to immigration...Instead of 'lifting our lamp beside the Golden Door, we extinguished it."

    It is no accident that two of the president's top immigration advisers, Stephen Bannon (who has just been demoted by being removed from the National Security Council), and the new Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, who is succeeding Mitchell Palmer almost one full century after the Palmer Raids, have both indicated supporf for the 1924 Immigration Act and its policy of cutting off immigration from most of the world other than white, Protestant Northern Europe.

    Curiously enough, Bannon, by way of emphasizing his opposition, not only to immigration, but to America's democracy itself, has also expressed support for Lenin - something that no high US official in Palmer's time would ever have remotely dreamed of doing.

    Maybe this just goes to show that history does not always repeat itself exactly.

    But, even though the Palmer Raids only involved a few thousand people, rather than Trump's stated goal of conducting one of the largest mass expulsions in modern history, namely up to 11 million men, women and children, the Palmer Raids led directly to closing our borders to most of the world, except for European countries inhabited by "Nordic" peoples who were considered to be "genetically superior" according to the "eugenics" theory in vogue at that time.

    It is not a reassuring sign that some of Trump's most influential immigration advisers have expressed support fot the 1924 law which, directly following the Palmer Raids, put that theory into practice.

    Nor it it reassuring that Trump's current deportation raids, along with his attempts to ban over 100 million people from a disfavored part of the world and a religion which he has shown the same animosity toward as another influential tycoon, Henry Ford, once did against the Jews, are leading America back in that same direction - toward 1924.
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School who has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants receive work visas and green cards for more than 35 years.

    Roger's practice is focused primarily on H-1B specialty occupation and O-1 extraordinary ability work visas, J-1 training visas, and on green cards through labor certification (PERM) and opposite sex or same sex marriage.

    His email address is

    Updated 04-10-2017 at 06:37 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Will Trump's Air Strikes Against Assad Lead to any Change in Policy Toward Admitting Syrian Refugees? Roger Algase

    Update, April 9, 2017 at12:54 pm:

    For more comment on Trump's hypocrisy in taking action to retaliate on behalf of Syrian children killed by Assad's barbaric nerve gas attack, while still refusing to let live Syrian refugee children into the United States, see:

    My original comment follows:

    Donald Trump has now launched air strikes against Assad's brutal Syrian regime over what Trump himself accurately called a "cruel" and "barbaric" "horror", namely a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of innocent civilians, including babies, earlier this week.

    For the first time, this would indicate that Trump is recognizing that Syrian civilians are in fact victims, not potential terrorists or threats to US security.

    Will this recognition that not all citizens of banned Muslim countries are a danger to the US, but that Syrians are also human beings, large numbers of whom are suffering under an intolerable, inhuman regime, just as the Jews suffered and died by the millions from poison gas under Hitler while America closed its doors and the rest of the world also stood by, lead to any change in Trump's attempts to ban Syrian refugees from coming to the United States?

    It will be remembered than only slightly over two months ago, in the first version of his Muslim entry ban, Trump singled out Syrian refugees for an indefinite ban, while banning refugees from the rest of the world only "temporarily".

    Then, in the second version of his ban, which was obviously revised in the hope than it would be more acceptable to the federal courts, but which one of the president's top aides, Stephen Miller, announced was intended to serve the same policy objectives, Syrian refugees were banned on an "equal" basis with all other refugees of the world.

    In view of Trump's evident recognition of the real dangers from Syria, including not only ISIS which Trump has repeatedly condemned, but the Syrian regime which has long been bombing hospitals and torturing and murdering countless numbers of its own civilians, and which has now engaged in the same kind of chemical attack against civilians for which Saddam Hussein was executed as a war criminal, is it not now time for Trump to renounce his policy of demonizing Syrian refugees, and to begin admitting them to America in accordance with America's own moral and legal obligations under international law?

    See, Freedom House:

    Syrian Refugees: A Primer on International Legal Obligations

    Otherwise, how will the president avoid the inevitable charges of hypocrisy over his refusal to admit Syrian refugees, even as he takes military action against the regime which bears a major share of the responsibility for creating the refugee crisis in the first place?
    Roger Algase is a New York limmigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School who has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants receive work visas and green cards for more than 35 years.

    Roger's practice is concentrated primarily in H-1B specialty occupation and O-1 extraordinary ability work visas, J-1 training visas, and green cards through labor certification (PERM) and opposite sex or same sex marriage.

    His email address is

    Updated 04-09-2017 at 11:54 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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