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  1. Senate bill is a threat to sanctuary cities. by Nolan Rappaport





    Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) recently introduced the State Sponsored Visa Pilot Program Act of 2017, which would allow the states to establish and manage their own guest worker programs for nonimmigrant workers, investors, and entrepreneurs.

    According to Johnson, “We need to recognize that a one-size-fits-all federal model for visas or guest workers doesn’t work. Let the states manage the visas, allocate them to the industries that need the workers, set prevailing wage rates.”

    This program would blur the distinction between federal and state immigration responsibilities and require information sharing to an unprecedented extent, which would eliminate the justification for sanctuary cities. The states could no longer claim that enforcement was a solely federal responsibility.

    How many visas?

    The bill would allocate 5,000 renewable three-year visas for each state and give them a share of 245,000 additional visas which would be distributed on a population basis. Also, the guest workers would be allowed to bring their spouses and children, and there would not be a limit on the visas for family members. Thus, the program could bring more than a million aliens to the country each year.

    Read more at

    http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-bl...rnd=1497390843

    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 06-14-2017 at 12:12 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Trump Comes Under Fire From Base for Continuing DACA. A Good Argument to Support His Muslim Ban in the S. Ct.? Roger Algase

    In marked contrast to his hard line policies toward most other aspects of immigration, Trump is continuing to approve new DACA applications and renewals of expiring DACA permits at about the same pace as the Obama administration.

    The right-wing Washington Times newspaper reports that the Trump administration has angered immigration opponents in his voter base by approving more than 17,000 new DACA "amnesties" and more than 100,000 DACA renewal applications during the first three months of 2017. (These figures would also include the first three weeks of January when President Obama was still in office.)

    The same paper also reports that DHS Secretary John Kelly is asking Congress to take action to make the DACA program more permanent.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...conservative-/

    According to the same report, the president is coming under attack from some of his own supporters for not following through on his campaign promise to cancel DACA on his first day in office. They are arguing that, at the very least, he should "freeze" the program by refusing to grant any new DACA applications or to approve extensions pf DACA permits which are expiring.

    From an immigration advocate's perspective, however, the president should be commended for breaking this particular campaign promise. This might also be at least some reason for hope that it will lead to his breaking many other anti-immigrant campaign promises in the future.

    To the best of my knowledge, the president's lawyers have not yet used the DACA approvals as an argument in support of their contention in various federal courts to the effect that Trump's campaign statements should not be considered as evidence of his intention in signing the Muslim ban executive orders, the latest version of which is now before the US Supreme Court.

    While I do not normally offer legal advice to Donald Trump (and have not yet received any requests from him for such advice, so far as i am aware) the president's apparent reversal on DACA (so far) might be one of the best arguments that could be made to support his contention that the Supreme Court should disregard his long record of anti-Muslim campaign statements in ruling on the legality of his six Muslim country entry ban executive order.

    One might also hope that many other of Trump's immigration campaign promises will end up in the dustbin of US immigration history. This remains to be seen.
    ___________________________________
    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 visas and green cards.

    Roger's main practice areas include H-1B specialty occupation and O-1 extraordinary ability work visas; and green cards through labor certification and opposite sex or same sex marriage. Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 06-13-2017 at 01:28 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Trump's War on Immigrants Puts Americans in Fear as Anti-Muslim Hate Spreads and DOL Intimidates H-1B Employers. Roger Algase

    Update, June 13:

    A June 13 POLITICO story reports that according to multiple studies, Donald Trump's appeal to racial and religious prejudice among less educated white voters, especially directed against Muslims, immigrants and African-Americans, played a much greater role in his electoral college victory than economic or trade issues.

    Despite the fact that Trump is reportedly infuriating some of his hard-right white supremacist voter base by continuing DACA approvals at the same pace as Obama (see my June 13 ilw.com post), most of his immigration agenda is doing nothing to disappoint expectation of the voters whose racial and religious prejudices put Trump in the White House.

    http://www.politico.com/story/trump-...muslims-239446

    How could anyone have guessed?

    My original comment follows:

    What Uttara Choudhury, a writer for Forbes India, has, with a great deal of justification, called Trump's "War on Immigrants"

    http://www.khabar.com/magazine/cover...-on-immigrants

    is now spreading to create anxiety and fear among more and more American citizens as well.

    In one of the two latest developments, The Guardian reports that an anti-Muslim group, obviously inspired by the president's attempts to ban almost 200 million Muslims in first seven and then "reduced" to six countries from entering the United States, launched "anti-Sharia" hate rallies throughout the United States on June 10.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...-rights-groups

    The Guardian writes:

    "The rallies have been organized by Act for America, which claims to be protesting about human rights violations but has been deemed an anti-Muslim hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The demonstrations prompted security fears at mosques across the country and come at a time when hate crimes against Muslims are on the rise."

    Of course, the president had nothing to do with organizing these rallies, which were the work of a private group exercising its unquestioned right to free speech under the same First Amendment which it is trying to prevent American Muslims, not only immigrants, from relying on to protect their Constitutional right to freedom of religion.

    But there cannot be the slightest scintilla of doubt as to who was the inspiration behind these public manifestations of religious hatred which knows no boundaries of citizenship and does not distinguish between American and foreign citizens. As The Guardian also reports:

    "The Saturday rallies in Chicago occurred near a building developed by Donald Trump. Giant letters spelling out 'Trump' loomed on the high-rise over the more than 100 protesters...

    A small group also stood at a nearby George Washington monument, chanting, 'America First!' Some wore red hats with Trump's campaign slogan, 'Make America Great Again'."


    The Guardian also makes clear in its story that the anxiety and fear created by these Trump inspired hate demonstrations affect not only Muslim immigrants, but American citizens too:

    "Concerns within the Muslim American community have risen since the election of Donald Trump, whose campaign routinely drew upon Islamophobic comments."

    Meanwhile, in another, not by any means unrelated development, the US Department of Labor issued a June 6 statement full of threats and intimidation against employers of H-1B and other highly skilled immigrants in which the DOL directs agencies to "aggressively confront" alleged visa program "fraud and abuse".

    See:

    US Secretary of Labor Protects Americans, Directs Agencies to Aggressively Confront Visa Program Fraud and Abuse

    https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/release...opa/2017/06/06

    In other words, the US Department of Labor, which plays a crucial role in implementing visa programs for high skilled foreign workers and the Americans who employ them, is now, under the direction of the Trump administration, turning into their adversary.

    In an ominous warning to US employers who do not fall in line with the DOL's stated goal to "promote" the hiring of Americans (a goal not expressly contained in most of the statutes relating to NIV work visas, or even in many of the green card visa programs, the most notable exceptions being PERM labor certifications, and H-1B hiring by "dependent employers" or "willful violators" only - not most H-1B employers), the DOL is raising the threat of "aggressive" enforcement, including greater resort to criminal sanctions, against whatever it may see as "fraud and abuse".

    In other words, the DOL appears to be warning American employers as follows, in essence.

    "Yes, the law allows to you hire skilled foreign workers, but if you try to follow that law, you will do so at your own risk and peril."

    Reading the text of the DOL's above June 6 announcement, it is difficult in some places to tell the difference between the language of the notice and a typical Donald Trump immigrant-scapegoating campaign statement.

    The announcement includes statements such as the following, which follow a tone very different from the normally neutral and objective language that federal agencies usually use in issuing guidance or making policy announcements regarding various legal issues, immigration-related or otherwise:

    "Entities who engage in visa program fraud and abuse are breaking our laws and are harming American workers, negatively affecting Americans' ability to provide for themselves and their families."


    Any resemblance to a typical Trump campaign statement warning about the alleged dangers of all immigration, legal and illegal, skilled and unskilled, is, one can be quite sure, purely intentional.

    This is, of course, in addition to the fact that the president's avowed interest in protecting the living standards of US workers by threatening and intimidating other Americans who wish to employ skilled foreign workers according to law reeks of hypocrisy and bad faith, in the light of his budget proposals which would destroy the social safety net on which the standard of living of millions of American workers depends, while taking away their health insurance, and making severe cuts to job training programs which would make it easier for Americans to be hired in better-paying jobs.

    http://www.npr.org/2017/05/23/529711...-advocates-say

    What is the message common to both the increase in demonstrations of open anti-Muslim hatred, fueled by Trump's inflammatory campaign rhetoric leading up to his Muslim ban executive orders and subsequent intemperate attacks on, not only U.S. federal judges who opposed these orders, but even his closest fellow anti-immigrant advisers such as A.G. Jeff Sessions, who tried to persuade him to "water down" the Muslim ban, on the one hand, and his administration's attempt to demonize American H-1B employers as purveyors of "fraud and abuse" on the other?

    Uttara Choudhury puts it in her above article as follows:

    "There's little doubt that Trump has fueled anger against minorities and people who look different."

    As her article shows in chilling detail, this can take the form of hate crimes directed against Muslims, or even non-Muslim Indians who may be mistaken for Muslims because of their attire.

    And it can also take the form of, to quote the DOL's choice of words,"aggressive confrontation" against the H-1B visa program and other high-skilled worker visas used primarily by immigrants from India and other parts of Asia.
    __________________________________
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Roger has more than 35 years experience representing skilled and professional immigrants with work visas and green cards.

    Roger's practice is concentrated mainly on H-1B specialty worker and O-1 extraordinary ability work visas, and on skilled and professional worker green cards through PERM labor certification; and green cards through both opposite sex and same sex marriage. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 06-13-2017 at 10:34 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Does Trump's Alleged Obstruction of Justice in the Comey Firing Undermine His Muslim Ban Legal Defense? Roger Algase

    Does the bombshell testimony of James Comey on June 8 about the pressure that the president allegedly put on him prior to firing him in order to influence the FBI investigation of alleged illegal ties to Russia have anything to do with with the administration's attempt to defend the legality of the president's "Travel Ban" order (to use his own tweeted description of his order barring almost 200 million citizens of six almost 100 per cent Muslim countries from entering the United States)?

    For a summary of Comey's devastating testimony concerning possible obstruction of justice by Trump in trying to impede or influence the FBI investigation of his top aides, (discussed in more detail below) see:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/0...ictment-239310

    According to the distinguished young legal scholar Joshua Matz, a former Harvard Law Review editor, law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, and author of an amicus brief that was filed with the 4th Circuit on behalf of a group of Constitutional law scholars, the Comey firing could have everything to do with the Muslim Ban (which is the most accurate term of all - how could banning 200 million Muslims for whatever reason be anything other than a "Muslim Ban"?) litigation.

    Why is this so? Matz explains in a May 9 article in The Guardian commenting on the president's "National Security" argument in favor of the ban as follows:

    "It's true, of course, that the president typically enjoys a judicial presumption of good faith and regularity. But surely there comes a point where reliance on this rule amounts to judicial abdication - and Trump's continuing bad faith and irregularity suggest we have crossed that Rubicon. Even if we haven't, the nature of presumptions is that they can be rebutted, and here the evidence of Trump's bad faith toward American Muslims is overwhelming."

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...slative-branch

    However, it is one thing to make a finding of presidential bad faith which is directly connected to the subject of litigation actually before the court.

    But could alleged presidential bad faith in an unrelated matter, in this case the firing of James Comey in order to stop or impede an FBI investigation into possible illegal ties with Russia by the president and/or his top officials, also be relevant to the question of whether the president acted in good faith in the Muslim ban case which is now before the Supreme Court?

    Matz, in another article written the day after the one quoted above, argues that it could be relevant.

    In a May 10 article entitled:

    Why Firing Comey Guts DOJ's Main Defense of the Muslim Ban


    https://takecareblog.com/blog/our-on...e-comey-firing

    Matz writes:

    "Having fired the man in charge of significant national security and intelligence policies - and having done that while that man led a criminal investigation involving foreign influence at the highest levels of the U.S. government - Trump has unquestionably forfeited any claim to a presumption of regularity or good faith.

    I expect that the judges of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and their law clerks, are paying close attention to these events. Norms of judicial rhetoric likely wouldn't permit any mention of Comey in an opinion. But it's inconceivable to me that the Comey firing won't frame their reactions to Trump's insistence that presumptions of deference compel them to uphold his Muslim ban."


    At the time when Matz wrote the above, the Muslim Ban case was still under review by the 4th Circuit, and James Comey had not yet issued his devastating Congressional testimony about Trump's overt and blatant attempt to interfere with the FBI investigation even though he did not expressly order Comey to halt it.

    A reading of the relevant statute shows why it will not be an easy task for the president and his defenders to make the words "Obstruction of Justice" disappear from the discussion of his firing of James Comey, not as a political phrase, but as a legal one.

    18 U.S.C. Section 1503 provides in relevant part:

    (a) Whoever...by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).

    The above makes it obvious that the statute does not require that someone actually impedes an investigation, such as by ordering the head of the FBI to drop the matter, but only that that the person "endeavors to influence" it.

    No one who has the slightest familiarity with the plain words of the English language can argue with the obvious fact that if James Comey's June 8 testimony is to be believed, the president's alleged statements to him in Oval Office conversations were, at the very minimum, attempts to influence the FBI investigation.

    As Matz's above quoted statements make clear, the heart of the administration's arguments in defense of the Muslim ban is the presumption of regularity based on the theory that the president is carrying out the normal responsibilities of his office, not only with regard to a particular alleged "National Security" finding in an immigration-related matter, but also, in his oath of office, to follow and obey the laws of this country in general, including the criminal laws of the United States.

    If the Supreme Court is faced with evidence raising very serious doubts about whether the president is in fact carrying out the above responsibilities of his office in a matter as important as this one, even if it is not directly related to the immediate issue at hand, how can the Court be expected to give the president the benefit of any presumption of regularity or good faith that normally might come with the high office that he now occupies, no matter what the subject of the litigation in question might be?

    This is not to say that the Supreme Court should refuse to consider Trump's asserted "National Security" justification for the Muslim ban on the merits, for whatever they may be worth.

    But, in the light of the Comey firing and the very serious questions of obstruction of justice by the president which it presents, any claim that the president comes into the High Court with a halo of infallibility, also known as a presumption of regularity or good faith, concerning the Muslim ban or any other matter involving presidential discretion, merely by virtue of the office which he holds, and without any regard to whether he is in fact conducting himself according to the requirements of law which govern that office, has, very arguably, been completely demolished.
    _________________________________
    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 visas and green cards without to ethnicity, religion or national origin, in the true spirit of American fairness and equality which is now under intense attack from the Trump administration.

    Roger's practice is concentrated primarily in H-1B specialty and O-1 extraordinary ability work visas; and in green cards though Labor Certification and through marriage or other immediate family relationship with U.S. citizens. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 06-09-2017 at 10:55 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. "First They Came For the Mexicans": Trump's Attacks on Immigrants Put Democracy in Danger. Roger Algase

    The United States Holocaust Museum contains a famous poem written by the anti-Nazi pastor Martin Niemoeller (1892-1984) which reads as follows:

    "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out -
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out -
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out -
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me."

    There is another famous poem, by Emma Lazarus - one which, more than any other, defines America as the land of Freedom and Equality for all - a poem which has made and still makes America incomparably greater than any presidential campaign slogan on a baseball cap could ever possibly do - enshrined at the base of the Statue of Liberty.

    Will that poem one day before too long be "repealed and replaced" by one which reads as follows?

    "First they expelled the Mexican immigrants - and I did not speak out - Because I was not a Mexican.

    Then they banned the Muslim immigrants - and I did not speak out -
    Because I was not a Muslim.

    Then they went after the high-skilled H-1B immigrants from Asia - and I did not speak out - Because I was not an Asian high-skilled immigrant.

    Then they took away our democracy - and there was no one left who was allowed to speak out.

    Admittedly, our immigration laws give the president and the executive branch which the president controls a great deal of quasi-authoritarian power over immigration policy and enforcement.

    Even though the courts do not normally relish discussing this at any great length in their judicial opinions, the origins of this power date from the time of legislation intended to keep a different unpopular minority of that period out of the United States.

    I refer to the infamous Chinese exclusion laws, as upheld in a series of Supreme Court decisions of which the most notorious, Chae Chan Ping (1889) will forever be as much of a stain on American history as the much better known 1857 Dred Scott decision.

    This doctrine, known as the Plenary Power of the "political branches" of the government - the Executive and Congress - over immigration, is still with us today, In addition to putting decisions about whether to admit foreign citizens to the US largely, if not entirely, beyond the power of the courts to interfere with - see Kleindienst v. Mandel (1972) and Kerry v. Din (2015) it underpins broad authoritarian statues such as INA Section 212(f) which, read literally, gives the president the absolute power of a dictator over the admission of immigrants.

    The same authoritarian thinking also led to another broad statute, INA Section 274, which, again read literally, gives the federal government the power to prosecute and throw into prison anyone who resists or otherwise interferes with a policy of mass expulsion of Latino, Asian and Middle Eastern immigrants, or whatever other "enforcement" measures the president, as head of the executive branch, may choose to institute.

    In the past, in keeping with the spirit of democracy, these extremely broad, authoritarian powers have been used sparingly, with self-imposed limitations, by previous presidents.

    But this is no longer the case under our current president and his (ironically now embattled) chief immigration enforcer, Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Under this administration, the full authoritarian powers of these laws, especially regarding Section 212(f) are being tested. Increasingly, the courts are being called on to decide whether, with regard to immigration, America will continued to be governed by democratic principles, or whether this critically important area of our law and society will be run as a one-man dictatorship by executive order.

    This question is at the heart of what is at stake in the IRAP Muslim ban (because that is exactly what it is - we now have the president's own tweeted statement to confirm this) which is now before the Supreme Court.

    But this leads to a larger and even more important question. If America accepts the principle of one-man dictatorship over immigration, is there any way that authoritarian government can be kept inside this particular bottle, or, like the genie in the world famous Arab epic story Alf Laila wa Laila ("Thousand and One Nights") will the authoritarianism that pervades every aspect of the current presidency (see James Comey's June 9 testimony before Congress relating to what to all appearances amounts to obstruction of justice by the president), not to mention the president's attacks on the courts, the press, Democratic members of Congress whom he has just barred from receiving information from federal agencies, individual critics, and anyone else who stands in his way on immigration or any other issue) escape from the bottle and engulf the rest of our government and society, resulting in America's no longer being counted among the democratic countries of this world?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 06-08-2017 at 07:10 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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