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  1. Forcing 1-Year-Old Babies to Defend Themselves in Immigration Court is Beyond Cruel and Insane. It Might be Crime Against Humanity. Roger Algase

    The following comment has been expanded and updated as of July 9 at 8:59 am:

    Every president leaves behind a legacy, or at least is remembered for one or a very few things in particular.

    Donald Trump seems to be doing everything possible to make sure that, more than any other president in our history (since he did not start this travesty, but is instead putting previous abuses on steroids) he will be remembered, not only as the president who was so obsessed with keeping Hispanic and other non-white immigrants out of the United States that he tore more than 2,000 young children from their parents and put them in shackles, cages, empty office buildings and desert tents, but the president who forced one-year old children to bone up on US immigration law sufficiently to be able to defend themselves before judges in deportation hearings.

    And, as reports, his administration is doing so after, in many cases, the parents of the children involved have already agreed to accept deportation after being lied to by DHS officers who told them that once deported, they would be reunited with their children. It now appears that many of these deported Central American parents might never be reunited with or see their children again.

    The above horrifying report raises a perfectly legitimate question as to whether "removal hearings" under the above conditions deserve to be called judicial or legal proceedings at all, at least as these have been understood during the 5,000 years during which proceedings under the name of law have been recorded throughout human history, beginning with ancient Egypt and Babylonia

    or whether America's current immigration court proceedings involving young children should more properly be called a crime against humanity, as a June 23 article in the Harvard Crimson suggests. See:

    Should We Send Trump to the Hague?

    For more about the ramifications of Trump's child separation policy, which has now been officially cancelled, but which is still causing what may be irreparable damage to many Central American and other non-white immigrant children and their families, see The Guardian, June 5:

    I will leave it to Donald Trump. Jeff Sessions and Stephen Miller, the architects of this regime's immigration agenda, to answer this question.

    However, while they are figuring this out, it is also important to note that these terrible abuses, this cruel mockery of any concept that has ever gone under the name of Rule of Law, are not isolated policy decisions. They are part of a larger picture of a president, and his administration, who are determined to roll back a half century of progress toward racial justice and equal opportunity for immigrants to America from all parts of the world, not just white Europe, as was the case under the openly bigoted 1924 "Nordics-only" national origins immigration act which Sessions had such high praise for in his immigration "Handbook" for Congressional Republicans authored in January, 2015, only three and a half years ago.

    The crying, screaming babies and other terrified young children who are being dragged into immigration court after being torn away from parents whom they might never see again and told by the Trump regime that they have to represent themselves in front of often confused immigration judges, who could never have imagined while they were in law school that they would ever have to preside over such a travesty, are only part of a larger picture.

    This larger picture also includes potentially hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of other immigrant families who are facing the prospect of being split up by Trumps' assault on legal immigration from countries which are "not like Norway" - his attempt to abolish extended family immigration and the Diversity Visa; his revocation of TPS for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who have been living in America peacefully and productively for many years but lack the president's essential immigration requirement of having a light-colored skin; his DACA cancellation; his Muslim Ban which has just been upheld by a Supreme Court which is now on the point of becoming even more right wing and authoritarian as we speak; and even Trump's hypocritical attempts to make employment-based H-1B and other legal visas and green cards much more difficult - unless, of course, the sponsored immigrants happen to be working at Mar-a-Lago.

    And the crying, screaming devastated young children who are now being dragged into immigration court without parents, without lawyers (in many cases) and without the faintest idea of what is going on or ability to stand up for themselves, are only the beginning of a movement which, based on Trump's campaign statements and those of many of the anti-immigrant zealots who helped him gain the presidency despite losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by almost 3 million votes, could very soon lead to millions of American-born children - and adults, losing their birthright US citizenship - again for having the "wrong" skin color.

    When this happens, as it very likely will begin to if Trump survives the Mueller investigation into his assorted alleged scandals, and especially if he wins another term (or, not inconceivably, becomes president for life under our fragile and easily overturned constitution), the screaming babies now being hauled into his deportation courts will very possibly not be the only brown-skinned people in America who may have quite a lot to cry about.
    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 obtain work visas and green cards. His practice is focused on work visas through specialty occupation (H-1B) and extraordinary ability (O-1), as well as green cards through labor certification and through marriage or other family relationships.

    Roger also writes about immigration law from the standpoint of racial equality, equal justice before the law and fundamental human rights, all of which are now under unprecedented attack. His email address is

    Updated 07-16-2018 at 10:17 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Supreme Court Says Foreign Nationals Have No Due Process Rights Here. By Matt O'Brien

    Introductory note. I didn't write this article. Although I think it is correct to some extent, the author seems to have ignored our treaty obligations not to send aliens to countries where they will be persecuted or tortured.

    Contrary to what the liberal media and open-borders advocates say, immigrants are not owed same constitutional protections as regular Americans
    July 5, 2018

    President Donald Trump recently suggested that illegal aliens should be sent back to their countries of origin without hearings and the years of litigation that often follow.

    He branded the current process, which permits illegal aliens to repeatedly contest orders of removal, as “a mockery to good immigration policy and law and order.”

    The mainstream media wasted no time in characterizing his suggestion as a “push to end due process for illegal immigrants.” And multiple news outlets made all manner of wild claims about the so-called rights of illegal aliens. But once again, in an effort to portray the chief executive as a xenophobe, the open-borders lobby has gotten its facts backward.

    Trump is actually right on the mark. Much of the current legal framework for removing illegal aliens from the United States consists of badly reasoned federal district-court decisions, ridiculous settlement agreements, and politically motivated policy decisions.

    The open-borders lobby and its handmaidens in the mainstream media have consistently represented this hodgepodge as a clear articulation of “affirmative rights.”

    But that representation is misleading.

    Illegal aliens are entitled to considerably less immigration due process than their advocates would have us believe.

    And the Supreme Court has been remarkably consistent on this point over the years:

    It is not within the province of the courts to order the admission of foreigners who have no formal, legal connection to the United States. "As to such persons, the decisions of executive or administrative officers, acting within powers expressly conferred by Congress, are due process of law." Murray's Lessee v. Hoboken Land and Improvement Co.; Hilton v. Merritt)

    "It is an accepted maxim of international law that every sovereign nation has the power, as inherent in sovereignty and essential to self- preservation, to forbid the entrance of foreigners within its dominions or to admit them only in such cases and upon such conditions as it may see fit to prescribe." (Ekiu v. United States)

    The United States need only provide an alien with a judicial trial when charging them with a crime and seeking a punitive sentence. (Wong Wing v. United States)

    "Whatever the rule may be concerning deportation of persons who have gained entry into the United States, it is not within the province of any court, unless expressly authorized by law, to review the determination of the political branch of the government to exclude a given alien." (Knauff v. Shaughnessy)

    Unadmitted, nonresident aliens have no right of entry to the United States as non-immigrants, or otherwise. (Kleindienst v. Mandel)


    About the author. Matt O'Brien is the former chief of the national security division within the fraud-detection and national-security directorate at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS). He has also served as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s assistant chief counsel in the New York District. He is currently director of research at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

    Updated 07-08-2018 at 01:17 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. There's a better response to abuse than abolishing ICE. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty Images

    Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has brought the campaign to abolish ICE into the mainstream by adding her support to the cause. She is a prominent Democrat who is a possible 2020 presidential contender. Her support may encourage more high-profile politicians to back the idea.

    President Donald Trump, however, is sure that ICE is not going to be abolished:

    In In any case, it wouldn’t accomplish anything to abolish ICE.

    ICE has two separate divisions, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
    ERO enforces the nation’s immigration laws. It identifies, arrests, and removes deportable aliens.

    Reasons for abolishing ICE

    Gillibrand has said:

    "I believe that (ICE) has become a deportation force … and that's why I believe you should get rid of it.”

    She also has said:

    “We believe that we should protect families that need our help, and that is not what ICE is doing today, and that’s why I believe you should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it, and build something that actually works.”

    She seems to be referring to ERO, which can be described as a “deportation force.” It is not apparent why she thinks that is a reason to abolish it, or why she thinks it should be protecting families who need our help.

    Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) has said, ICE is “hunting down and tearing apart families.”

    The Immigration and Nationality Act has provisions that provide relief from deportation, but none that provide a blanket waiver for deportable aliens who have families.


    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 07-07-2018 at 12:28 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Trump Defends White Supremacist Immigration Agenda by Saying it is Needed to Protect US Jobs - Except at Mar-a-Lago. Roger Algase

    As he has claimed countless times, Donald Trump's main justification for his attacks on non-white legal immigration (when he is not busy stigmatizing and vilifying immigrants from Central America, Africa, the Middle East and other "shithole countries" as "criminals", "terrorists" and "MS-13 gang members") is that he wants to move America toward a system of "merit-based" immigration (to be accomplished, evidently, through sending an unprecedented number of H-1B, O-1 and other "merit-based" skilled immigrant petition RFE's and denial notices) in order to protect the jobs and wages of lower-skilled American workers.

    But "putting America first" in terms of immigration does not seem to apply when Trump needs more foreign waiters and gardeners at Mar-a-Lago or his other resorts, as the Washington Post reports on July 5. See:

    Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida seeks to hire 40 foreign workers

    (I don't have a link - please access through Google)

    Therefore, what is the real purpose of Trump's immigration agenda? Eugene Robinson answers this in his own July 5 Washington Post comment:

    Trump can't make America white again

    (Also available through Google.)

    However, if, as Robinson's title argues, Trump can't make America white again through immigration policy, it won't be though any lack of trying.

    At this point, I will interject a personal note: I am often asked by well-meaning friends or colleagues: why focus so much on the racism and authoritarianism in Donald Trump's immigration agenda?

    OK, they tell me, let's concede that the guy is a racist who has little or no respect for democratic principles and is only interested in acquiring more power through exploiting prejudice against immigrants who are not from "countries like Norway."

    Now that we agree on that, isn't it time to get down to the nuts and bolts of immigration details? Aren't there tweaks to EB-5 that we need to talk about, along with the latest immigration court statistics, parsing of USCIS guidance on the definition of an H-1B specialty occupation (especially important to my own clientele), and many other constantly changing immigration details that lawyers need to deal with on a day-to-day basis, along with the broader policy issues?

    My answer would be that these details are important, but focusing on them without considering the broader Trump regime's white supremacist policy goals that motivate them would be a little like the old joke about asking Mrs. Lincoln whether, aside from what happened to her husband, she liked watching the play.

    With the above comment, I will go ahead with a discussion of Eugene Robinson's piece. See also, WP Republican columnist Jennifer Rubin (July 5):

    Trump's racist views have not gone unnoticed:

    To be continued.

    Updated 07-06-2018 at 12:51 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Echoing Hitler, Trump Celebrates July 4 by Praising ICE, CBP for Being "Tough"; Condemns "Weak" Immigration Laws. Roger Algase

    The following comment is revised and updated as of July 5, 9:52 pm:

    Trump's "tough" treatment of Latin American and other non-white detained immigrants has admittedly not yet reached the depths of Nazi concentration camps such as Dachau and Buchenwald, but the differences are becoming harder and harder to notice as time passes, as shown by the latest (July 5) report about horrendous conditions at a California immigration prison where one inmate has already committed suicide.

    In a July 3 pre-holiday rant at a dinner in West Virginia, Trump defended ICE and the Border Control against nationwide criticism and outrage over his brutal family separation policy and latest support for illegal indefinite family detention. In doing so, he continued his attempts to vilify and smear Central American immigrants fleeing intolerable and dangerous conditions in their home countries as all being members of the MS-13 gang.

    And echoing Adolf Hitler, who told a 1935 Nazi Party rally that German youth must be:

    "...tough as leather, and as hard as Krupp's steel"

    Trump praised the DHS agents for being tough on "MS-13" immigrants - presumably by tearing breastfeeding babies away from their asylum seeking mothers, shackling 4-year old children and locking them in cages, or sending them to desert tents.

    This is what Trump had to say about ICE and CBP in celebrating the spirit of democracy, freedom and equality for all people in America which July 4 stands for:

    "These are tough people...And you have to be tough. And when they have a problem with MS-13 gangs, and all of these others that came in through horrible and weak immigration laws - that surely we're strengthening up, we're going to get them done. We need tough laws, we need fair laws."

    Trump continued:

    "These guys they walk into those areas, they take them out of there so fast - they're not afraid of anything. It is, it's like you're liberating a town...And ICE goes in there, and they go in there and sometimes they have to go in swinging. They don't mind. They're tough."

    Aside from the not-so-faint resemblance of this kind of talk to Hitler's glorification of violence on the part of his "enforcement" apparatus, such as the Storm Trooper and the Gestapo, which he claimed was justified by the alleged danger to Germany from the Jews, Socialists and Communists, just as Trump rants on about MS-13, there is one key point that stand out from Trump's above inflammatory rhetoric:

    This is that, despite Trump's attempt to conflate all Latin American, and by extension other non-white, immigrants with criminal gangs, and illegal immigration in general, his attacks are not limited merely to enforcing existing immigration laws, as some of his defenders like to claim.

    Instead Trump is attacking our current immigration system itself, including our legal immigration laws, as "horrible and weak".

    Nor are these attacks limited to current asylum laws, which Trump and Jeff Sessions have constantly criticized as allegedly too easy and are now trying to rewrite by administrative fiat without going through Congress, as I have discussed elsewhere in a previous comment.

    Neither are Trump's attacks on the legal foundations of our immigration system limited to his recent statement that he wants to abolish the immigration court system, and its judicial process, entirely.

    (Even the German Fuehrer didn't abolish the court system entirely, as Trump wants to do with America's immigration courts, but Hitler instead set up "Special Courts" - Sondergerichte - which he controlled, but which still at least on the surface, operated as real courts.)

    Instead, these are part of Trump's attacks on America's entire structure of legal immigration, including, to give only one of many examples, his furious attempts to abolish the Diversity Visa and what he calls "horrible" extended family immigration (see his December 29, 2017 tweet), which he refers to by the misleading and racist pejorative: "Chain Migration".

    These forms of legal immigration have little or nothing to do with what is taking place now along the Mexican border or with any criminal gangs, but they have a great deal to do with having allowed millions of non-white immigrants to come to the US legally over the past several decades - something which Trump and his supporters are far more interested in putting an end to than they are with stamping out MS-13.

    Therefore, Trump's focus on MS-13 is not just an attempt to eliminate an admittedly dangerous and violent criminal gang. MS-13 is his metaphor for all non-white immigration.

    Nor is any of this new.

    In a forthcoming post, I will discuss a comprehensive study by a group called Political Research Associates showing that Trump's war on non-white immigrants, legal and unauthorized alike, did not by any means start with Donald Trump, but is part of a movement that has been promoted by white supremacist and anti-immigrant groups for at least the past three decades. See:

    Where the White House Gets its Racist Immigration Policies

    This study will show that, despite all the histrionics and rhetoric, Trump's immigration agenda has very little to do with MS-13 and a great deal to do with taking America back in the direction of the whites-only immigration system which this country had prior to 1965, and which many of Trump's most vocal and ardent supporters are so eager to reinstate now.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 07-06-2018 at 01:46 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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