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  1. DOJ Tells 4th Circuit That Trump's Order Isn't a Muslim Ban While WH Frantically Deletes Uncontrovertable Proof That it is. Roger Algase

    In a move that would make the ancient Greek word Hypokrites (originally meaning actors, or dissemblers - see my May 8 Immigration Daily comment dealing with the Kushner family's pitch to wealthy EB-5 investors at the same time that Donald Trump is promising to crack down on "visa abuses") seem woefully inadequate by comparison, the Trump administration's lawyers argued before the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on May 8 that the president's revised six country (down from the original seven) US entry ban, affecting at least 100 million people, more than 99 per cent of whom just happen by some curious coincidence to be Muslims, is not a "Muslim ban".

    Reuters reports that Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall (apparently with a straight face, though the report doesn't specify) had the temerity to tell the Court, referring to the president's latest order, that "This is not a Muslim ban."

    This brought the obvious rejoinder from one of the judges hearing the case, Barbara Keenan:

    "How is this neutral in its operation as to Muslims?"

    See also:

    But, according to these and other press reports about the argument before the Court, the main issue was not whether the emperor had any clothes or not, since evidently no one took the idea that the executive order was aimed against anyone else but Muslims very seriously, but was rather about whether the Court is authorized to recognize that the emperor had no clothes, or whether only the little boy in the famous Hans Christian Andersen story is permitted to say that.

    According to the DOJ's Kafkaesque argument, the Court is supposed to disregard Trump's clear statements that he wanted to bar Muslims from the US because of their religion, which he made repeatedly during the campaign, because he had not yet been elected or taken the oath of office as president at that time.

    The truth, of course, whether the 4th Circuit ultimately decides to recognize it or not, is contained in the president's December, 2015 statement which continued to appear on his official campaign website right up until the right after the May 8, 2017 court argument itself, when it was suddenly deleted!

    For that story and a direct link to the full December, 2015 Muslim ban statement, see:

    Does the president now expect the 4th Circuit, and the American people, to believe that this statement never existed?

    Much as Trump's Solicitor General may not have wanted the 4th Circuit to pay any attention to the December, 2015 worldwide Muslim ban statement, Trump's White House was not able to make it disappear from history by consigning it to the "Memory Hole" as in Orwell's 1984.

    The entire statement will be reproduced in the second part of this comment. It is impossible to turn one's eyes away from the fact that, far from being merely a formal proposal that all the Muslims of the world should be barred from entering the United States, it is dripping with venom and animosity against the Muslim religion and those who belong to it.

    Based on the actual language, tone and content of Trump's December 2015 statement, it would not be such a great exaggeration to compare it with a much longer and even better known and more publicized manifesto written by a young German politician from prison in 1924 - one which most of the world ignored or downplayed for far too long, and which even its intended victims refused to take seriously until it was too late, as The Times of Israel reminds us in a February, 2016 story:

    (It is, incidentally, no accident that in this book, which it is not necessary to mention by name here since the entire world knows its title, the writer expressed his admiration for the philosophy of racial superiority embodied in a law enacted in the United States that same year, 1924, which by manipulating visa quotas according to national origin, effectively barred Jews and most other immigrants of the world who were not from the "Nordic" countries of Europe from coming to the United States; and that two of Trump's top immigration advisers, Jeff Sessions and Stephen Bannon, have also, within approximately the past two years, expressed admiration and support - while ostensibly claiming to do so for different reasons - for the same 1924 law whose principles and ideology inspired this well-known German writer.)

    For the story about former Senator and now AG Jeff Sessions' support for the infamous 1924 law, see the Southern Poverty Law Center's January 31 Hate Watch column:

    With the above by way of introduction, let us now look at Donald Trump's December, 2015 Muslim ban statement in more detail to see whether it would really be as appropriate to dismiss or ignore it as the president's lawyers are trying to convince the 4th Circuit should be done.

    I will do so in the second part of this 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 receive work permits and green cards without regard to ethnicity, religion or country of origin, in the true spirit of America. Roger's email address is

    Updated 05-09-2017 at 04:16 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. As Trump Pursues H-1B "Crackdown" and Poison Pills, Kushner's Family Courts EB-5 Investors. Ancient Greek Actors ("Hypokrites") in WH? Roger Algase

    Whenever Donald Trump has not been busy trying to beef up his deportation force and promote his Southern border Wall plan to make sure that Mexican and other Latino immigrants don't fail to get the message that they are not wanted in America, while trying to bar as many Muslim immigrants from as many countries as thinks the courts will let him get away with from coming to the United States, he has been railing against alleged "fraud and abuse" in the H-1B program.

    As Trump even stated himself in a March 3, 2016 presidential debate with Hillary Clinton during (before suddenly changing his mind after reportedly receiving a phone from his immigration policy Rasputin, then Senator and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions), H-1B has been the gateway to productive lives and careers in the US for many educated, highly skilled and professional workers from India, other Asian countries, and other parts of the world.

    As Trump pointed out at the debate, many of these skilled workers have been educated in US colleges, and it would be unfair and unproductive to send them home after they graduate. See, Washington Times, March 4, 2016:

    For example, on April 3, the first day that cap-subject H-1B petitions were being accepted at USCIS offices for participation in the annual charade known as the "H-1B lottery", USCIS, instead of announcing that the first day of this event's becoming open for business for the coming fiscal year 2018 had finally arrived, chose this normally auspicious day, when its website was certain to have a large number of visits, to issue a warning that the agency was stepping up its efforts to "crack down" on alleged H-1B fraud and abuse.

    Then, on April 18, while almost 200,000 would - be H-1B workers anxiously awaited news as to whether the computer generated roulette wheel had landed on the numbers assigned to their prospective employer's petitions in the "random selection" lottery which had taken place the week before, Trump issued another one of the numerous executive orders which have become the substitute for democratically enacted immigration legislation by Congress in the "New Era" under America's 45th president.

    This executive order directed the federal government to "study" the possibilities of eliminating the H-1B lottery - not in itself such a bad idea. But the replacement suggested in the order was a poison pill selection system which would, in effect limit this category in the future to the "most qualified" foreign workers, i.e. the ones who arguably have the least need for H-1B, since at least some would presumably be eligible for the O-1 extraordinary ability visa.

    Alternatively, the proposed new H-1B selection system which Trump has ordered the concerned government agencies to study would favor H-1B workers with the highest salaries - usually meaning employees with the most seniority and highest ranking on the totem pole of the largest companies.

    Adios, adieu and auf Wiedersehen (The Hindi equivalents alvida or phir melenge would also be appropriate) to any hope of younger, recent college graduates or employees of smaller US companies which can afford to pay the prevailing wages, but not top dollar in order to obtain the talent they need to grow and survive, to obtain this visa which is often essential for their future careers in the United States.

    Even without any change in the actual H-1B rules, one has to ask how fair or unbiased H-1B or any other USCIS adjudications will continue be in the future, if the president continues to appoint unabashed anti-immigrant ideologues such as Julie Kirchner, former executive director of FAIR, which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has labeled as a hate group and which was founded by the openly white supremacist "eugenics" advocate John Tanton, to influential positions within USCIS. See:

    However, even as the president tries to make it harder to receive H-1B status for thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of skilled and educated foreign computer and other specialty workers who may have a wealth of talent and ability, but may be struggling financially under the burden of paying off college loans or simply dealing with day to day expenses in the United States, family members of Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and one of his closest advisers, have no hesitation about soliciting millions of dollars for a luxury real estate project from wealthy investors in another visa program which has come under even more fire from Congressional leaders than H-1B and, arguably, has had bigger problems in countering charges of fraud and abuse.

    I refer to the EB-5 program. The New York Times reports on May 6 that Jared Kushner's sister has been soliciting potential EB-5 investors in Beijing for money for a Kushner family-run project in New Jersey, and has been using the family's White House connections as part of the pitch.

    To be sure, Trump himself has no connection with either the project or Kushner's family's pitch for EB-5 funds, even though The New York Times also reports in the same article that Trump has used EB-5 funds for some of his own businesses.

    Moreover, EB-5 has worked out well for thousands of legitimate investors in genuine projects and businesses. But the Kushner family's pitch to affluent investors in Beijing, (in a secretive meeting where reporters from both the New York Times and the Washington Post were thrown out!) does raise questions of a possible visa-related double standard in the Trump administration.

    On the one hand, the administration takes harsh, draconian, measures against ordinary, non-affluent mainly Hispanic and Muslim immigrants and threatens poison pill changes which could signal the end of the H-1B visa relied on by so many South Asian immigrants.

    At the same time. the family members of one of the president's closest associates, and even the president himself in his own prior business dealings, seek to raise millions of dollars for their own luxury real estate or other business projects by offering green cards to the wealthiest immigrants in a visa program which while completely legal, has not been entirely free from allegations of misuse, as the New York Times article also points out.

    One can only recall the ancient Greek actors who wore masks, and were therefore known as people who answer (krites), from under (hypo), or Hypokrites.

    Are these actors, at least in spirit, active in setting immigration policies in Donald Trump's White House today?
    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 many parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger's practice is concentrated mainly, though not exclusively, in H-1B specialty worker, O-1 extraordinary ability and J-1 trainee visas and Labor Certification (PERM) green cards. His email address is

    Updated 05-07-2017 at 11:44 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. The obsession over the infamous "Travel Ban" diverted attention from the real problem.

    And I expect the real problem to manifest itself any day now.

    Trump’s Seven-country Travel Ban Is Just the Tip of The Iceberg.
    By Nolan Rappaport
    Feb 06, 2017

    Too much attention is being paid to a 90-day travel ban in President Donald Trump’s Executive Order Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States(Order). While it is a serious matter, the temporary suspension of admitting aliens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen into the United States is just the tip of the iceberg. Other provisions in the Order may cause much more serious consequences.

    Section 3(a) of the Order directs the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Secretary of the Department of State (DOS) and the Director of National Intelligence, to determine what information is needed “from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.” This applies to all countries, not just the seven that are subject to the 90-day suspension.

    Those officials have 30 days from the date of the Order to report their “determination of the information needed for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information (emphasis supplied).”

    Section 3(d) directs the Secretary of State to “request all foreign governments that do not supply such information to start providing such information regarding their nationals within 60 days of notification.” Section 3(e) explains the consequences of failing to comply with this request. Note that this also applies to all countries, not just the seven that are subject to the 90-day delay.

    (e) After the 60-day period described in subsection (d) of this section expires, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, ...) from countries that do not provide the information requested pursuant to subsection (d) of this section until compliance occurs (emphasis supplied).

    Read more at --

    Published originally on the Huffington Post

    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.

    Updated 05-08-2017 at 12:12 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Millions of noncriminal, undocumented aliens face deportation without a hearing before an immigration judge.

    On illegal immigration, Trump ends Obama's 'home free magnet'. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty

    President Donald Trump experienced some failures with his immigration policies during his first 100 days in office, but it would be a mistake to underestimate him. He has made major changes in enforcement policy.

    Destruction of the Home Free Magnet.

    President Barack Obama focused his immigration enforcement efforts primarily on aliens who had been convicted of serious crimes or who had been caught near the border after making an illegal entry, and he protected aliens here unlawfully who were not in a priority category.

    His administration’s enforcement policy memorandum required ICEofficers to obtain permission from a Field Office Director before arresting a deportable alien who was not in a priority category.

    This created what I call a “home free magnet.” Aliens wanting to enter the United States illegally knew that they would be safe from deportation once they had reached the interior of the country unless they were convicted of a serious crime. This was a powerful incentive to do whatever was necessary to enter the United States.

    President Trump destroyed this magnet with tough campaign rhetoric and his Executive Order, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, which greatly expanded enforcement priorities. No deportable alien is safe under President Trump’s enforcement policies.
    This seems to have improved border security already.

    In April 2017, CBP reported a sharp decline in the number of aliens apprehended along the Southwest border, and in the number of aliens who were found inadmissible at ports of entry. In March,

    Read more at this link.

    Originally published 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.

  5. Trump's Deportation of Mother and 5-Year Old Child to Gang-Ridden Honduras Recalls Euripides' Drama 2,400 Years Ago. Roger Algase

    The Trump administration's extreme deportation policies (continuing, to be sure, on a path already laid down by President Obama) are back in the headlines again with the DHS's cruel and heartless deportation of a Honduran mother and her five-year old child were were seeking asylum in the US back to their gang-infested country under circumstances where the chances that they could be killed were very real.

    This led to frantic efforts by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) to save the mother and child from deportation, and an angry retort from DHS Secretary John Kelly telling the Senator in effect to shut up and let the DHS get on with its program that could lead to deporting 11 million people.

    See also:

    The lack of humanity of the Trump administration in its zeal to expel millions of mainly Hispanic, Asian and Middle Eastern immigrants from the United States as quickly as possible was anticipated by the great ancient Greek dramatist Euripides (ca. 480 - 406 B.C.) some 2,400 years ago (in 431 B.C.) in one of the most famous of all his works: Medea.

    The deportation "proceeding", as Euripides describes it, is as follows:

    Medea, a foreign-born woman who is married to Jason, a prominent Greek aristocrat and who therefore has legal resident status in the city of Corinth, Greece, is being divorced by her husband so that he can marry the daughter of the local tyrant, Creon, instead.

    This causes such great anguish to Medea that the people around her are concerned, not only for her own mental stability and well-being, but for the safety of the two young children that she had with Jason and who are living together with her.

    Just as Medea appears on stage to vent her own grief and frustration at being betrayed by her husband, in walks the tyrant Creon himself, who makes the following announcement to Medea:

    "You, Medea, scowling with rage against your husband, 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 return home again until I expel you from the country."

    Medea, arguably anticipating American-style deportations in the 21st century A.D., immediately asks for a stay of deportation, which Creon grants, but only for one day.

    She also points out that she is a non-criminal alien, (just as any good lawyer would no doubt have argued if she had had one), but Creon answers that he considers her a threat to public safety, specifically his own and his daughter's safety, due to Medea's anger over the breakup of her marriage. He adds:

    "It is better for me to incur your hatred now, woman, than to be soft now, and regret it later."

    Could there just possibly be a parallel between Creon's assumption that Medea is likely to commit a criminal act because of her circumstances, and the assumption of the Trump administration that entire classes of immigrants, such as 100 million Muslims from six Middle Eastern and African countries, or immigrants from Mexico and by extension all of Latin America, are likely to commit crimes if they are allowed to enter or stay in the United States merely because of their countries of birth or citizenship?

    To add insult to injury, after this "hearing" is concluded, Jason himself appears on the scene after Creon has left, and makes the following helpful comment to Medea about how "fortunate" she was to have been married to him and to have gained lawful immigration status in Greece as a result:

    "First, you now live among Greeks and not barbarians, and you understand justice and the rule of law...").

    (It might not be out of place to add that the ancient Greeks might have used the word hubris to describe that statement, while a modern Israeli might well call it chutzpa!)

    Be that as it may, whether the putting millions of non-criminal immigrants in fear of deportation and the threat of expelling many of them from the United States through expedited removal without the right to any hearing at all is an example of "justice and the rule of law" is a question that Euripides might well be asking if he were alive and writing dramas in America today.

    As to what ultimately happened to Medea and her two children after Creon's deportation order was issued, anyone who is interested can read the play.

    Hint: the outcome was not a good one, even worse for the children than the very real peril which might very well be awaiting the Honduran mother and child who have just been deported from Donald Trump's America back to one of the most violent and dangerous countries on earth.

    Note: The above translations from the ancient Greek are by David Kovacs in the Loeb Classical Library edition: Euripides: Cyclops Alcestis Medea

    Copyright (C) 1994, 2001 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College
    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 diverse parts of the world receive work permits and green cards.

    Roger also studied beginning ancient Greek at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. His email address is

    Updated 05-06-2017 at 08:58 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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