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  1. USCIS Approves 70 H-2B Workers for Trump's Florida Resort. What Happened to "Hire American" and the RAISE Act? Roger Algase

    Supporters of Donald Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" and RAISE Act "Merit-Based" immigration policies will no doubt be gratified to know that USCIS has now approved 70 H-2B visa petitions for foreign maids, cooks and servers at the president's world-famous Mar-a-Lago resort in South Florida, according to The Hill.

    Of course, there are always those who will misunderstand or fail to appreciate the president's noble efforts on behalf of protecting American jobs, and who will carp and snipe at him no matter what he does in pursuit of this worthy goal.

    For example, according to the same report, a local employment agency claims that there were more than 5,000 local workers available for the positions that have now been filled by H-2B workers, even though this visa requires a showing that there are no qualified US workers for the offered jobs.

    The news report does not say whether the H-2B workers were approved without a hitch, or whether Mar-a-Lago's lawyers had to struggle with any of the unprecedented number of RFE's which USCIS has been issuing this year, for employment based and other cases, 85,000 so far, according to one report.

    To be sure, RAISE Act proponents may be puzzled over the question of how hiring another 70 less skilled foreign workers fits in with the Trump's widely touted support for "Merit-based" immigration, i.e. favoring high-skilled workers only.

    But politicians and others who are sharpening the knives against family immigration and the Diversity Visa; who favor the Muslim ban and cutting refugee admissions to the vanishing point, as well as lobbying against skilled worker visas such as H-1B and L-1, can at least take comfort from the fact that, according to another report, all of the 70 sponsored H-2B workers are from Europe (Romania) and the Caribbean (Haiti).

    Evidently, none of them are from Asia, Africa, Latin America or the Middle East, which are the areas of the world that have benefited the most from the non-discriminatory immigration policies of the past 50 years, and which would be hurt the most by the agenda which Trump and his top immigration advisers have been trying to turn into reality.

    But let us put aside these nitpickings and join together in RAISING our glasses in a toast and wishing Trump well in his choice of foreign workers to fill the 70 H-2B positions:

    Congratulations, Mr. President!

    Buy American, Hire American!

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 11-05-2017 at 06:48 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. We don't need a terrorist attack to know diversity program has to go. By Nolan Rappaport


    A few days ago, a 29-year-old terrorist drove a rented pickup truck down a busy bicycle path in New York City, killing eight people and injuring a dozen more. The terrorist, a native of Uzbekistan, came to the United States in 2010 through the Diversity Visa Program (program) according to press reports. Uzbekistan is a large, majority-Muslim country located north of Afghanistan.

    The next day, President Donald Trump said he wants congress to terminate the program.

    Trump is not the first to want to end this program, and it is not just a partisan desire. The bipartisan Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, S.744, that the Senate passed in 2013 would have ended the program if it had not been rejected on other grounds in the House.

    S.744 was introduced by “the Gang of 8,” which included Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.); Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), author of the original DREAM Act; and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

    What is the Diversity Visa Program?


    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 11-03-2017 at 11:27 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Trump, Echoing Hitler, Condemns Courts as Too Weak to Deal With NYC Terror Attack and Tries to Undermine Independent Justice System. Roger Algase

    Comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler is something that should only be done with great caution and as an absolute last resort by anyone responsible observer who is concerned with the facts, rather than invective and sensationalism for its own sake It is a comparison that should be used only in extreme circumstances, where there is a clear and present danger to democracy.

    Unlike Hitler, Donald Trump is not a mass murderer; he does not bear any animus toward the Jewish people; he does not want to conquer the world; he does not subscribe to Hitler's extreme theories of racial superiority; he does not have a private group of thugs or police force such as Hitler's SA or Gestapo; and he has not (yet) sent anyone to a concentration camp (despite having pardoned Joe Arpiao, who boasted about his own "concentration camps" for Hispanic immigrants).

    However, with a great deal of reluctance and qualification, I am compelled to make the above comparison by Trump's continuing reaction to the New York City terror attack by a lone wolf radicalized Muslim immigrant whom Trump himself quite accurately called as "deranged", and Trump's attempt to use this attack as a vehicle for exploiting hatred toward minority immigrants in order to undermine the rule of law and destroy American democracy.

    In my comment in the November 2 Immigration Daily, I focused on Trump's attempt to use this horrendous attack which killed 8 innocent people, six of whom were foreign visitors to the US, and spread horror and terror throughout Lower Manhattan, where thousands of children were getting ready to celebrate Halloween, as an instrument of promoting a white supremacist immigration agenda - including support for abolishing the Diversity visa and enacting the Eurocentric RAISE Act.

    Today, I will focus on the other side of the coin of Trump's anti-immigrant attacks - namely the acute threat to America's democracy raised (no pun intended) by Trump's assault on the judicial system, which is the cornerstone of the freedoms that define the essence of America and what it means to be an American.

    In this regard, there is no choice except to point out the clear and unmistakable comparison with Trump's statements about our judicial system and Hitler's assault on the judiciary after taking power in Germany.

    I refer to Trump's comment about the upcoming prosecution of the terror "suspect", Saipov, following up on Trump's previous threat to send him to Guantanamo, which is the nearest thing that America has to a concentration camp (so far): POLITICO reports Trump as saying the following about prosecuting Saipov through America's regular system of justice in the federal courts:

    "We need quick justice and we need strong justice - much quicker and stronger than we have right now. Because what we have right now is a joke and it's a laughingstock. And no wonder so much of this stuff takes place."

    The last sentence is the most ominous of all, as it in effect blames the courts for "so much of this stuff", i.e. terror attacks. This is also not the first time that Trump has made this accusation, as shown in his reactions to the unfavorable court decisions concerning his Muslim ban executive orders.

    But the above statement as a whole is straight out of Adolf Hitler, who called democracy itself a joke. This is how the US Holocaust Memorial Museum describes Hitler's attitude toward the courts in reaction to the Reichstag Fire attack in 1933 by another "lone wolf" assailant, which Hitler blamed on Jews and political opponents, just as Trump is making more than a million mainly Asian and African Diversity Green card beneficiaries scapegoats for the New York Halloween terror attack:

    "Hitler determined to increase the political reliability of the courts. In 1933 he established special courts throughout Germany to try politically sensitive cases. Dissatisfied with the 'not guilty' verdicts rendered by the Supreme Court (Reichsgericht) in the Reichstag fire trial, Hitler ordered the creation of the People's Courts (Volksgerichthof) in Berlin in 1934 to try treason and other important 'political' cases."

    And what kind of justice did Hitler's special courts provide? The USHMM continues:

    "...the People's Court became part of the Nazi system of terror, condemning ten of thousands of people as 'Folk Vermin' and thousands more to death for 'Volk Treason'."

    To be sure, Trump has already, without any trial yet taking place, called for the death penalty for only one person, and no one can dispute that this might be entirely justified if a court of justice so rules after affording the terror suspect the due process which our legal system provides.

    But the death penalty is not the issue here - the issue is whether America will continue to have a system of justice that is not dependent solely on the will of Donald Trump, just the German courts depended on the will of their Fuehrer.

    Trump's use of the New York attack in service of his agenda of exploiting fear and hatred against not only Muslim, but all minority immigrants; and as an excuse for his assault on America's entire system of justice, comes straight out of Adolf Hitler's playbook. No one who cares about preserving America's democracy can ignore this comparison.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 11-03-2017 at 09:23 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Trump's Diversity Visa Demagoguery is One More Step on the Road to Guantanamo. Was NYC Attack America's Reichstag Fire? Roger Algase

    Update: November 2, 2:36 pm:

    For more on how Trump is using demagogic assaults on immigrants in order to undermine democracy and the rule of law in America in the wake of the October 31 New York City terror attack, see Washington Post, November 1:

    Trump seizes on N.Y. attack to push immigration and vetting policies

    (Sorry, I do not have a link - please go to Google)

    Trump's attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is also supporting Trump's threats to substitute Guantanamo for the rule of law in America, and his cynical attacks on the Diversity Visa, even though, up until October 31, (to the best of my knowledge) there had not been a single incident or charge involving terrorism against the more than a million immigrants from all parts the world who have come to the US with this visa since it was initiated in FY 1995 (see below).

    The following comment has been revised as of November 2 at 9:43 am:

    Few people were surprised when Donald Trump tried to use the horrific terror attack in Lower Manhattan by an openly ISIS inspired young US permanent resident man who reportedly came to the US through the diversity visa green card program as an excuse to call for that visa to be abolished.

    To mention the history of that visa briefly, it was originally known as the AA-1 program in from 1992 to 1994, with the avowed purpose of boosting white European immigration - which had supposedly been "Adversely Affected", (hence "AA") by the 1965 immigration reform act - which abolished the openly whites only "national origins" quotas of the 1924 immigration act.

    I had some familiarity with the AA-1 green card lottery myself, because in what, as I recall, was the last year of that program, I filed a number of applications under that program, which was almost entirely limited to designated white European countries, with special preferences for Ireland and Poland within that system.

    (Most of my own AA-1 clients were from two Asian countries, Japan and Indonesia, which were, if my memory is correct, the only non-white countries in that entire program - maybe Indonesia was picked because Congress might have thought it was still a Dutch colony - who knows)!

    But the point is that the AA-1 green card program was openly intended to boost immigration from white countries. Even though that visa was no more "merit-based" than the world wide, race-neutral Diversity Visa (DV program) which succeeded it beginning in Fiscal Year 1995. i do not remember hearing any complaints that AA-1 visa, which was almost only for white countries with few exceptions, was bad for America because almost anyone could apply, regardless of level of skills or education.

    These complaints began to be heard only after the DV-1 visa, which was open to countries in every part of the world, succeeded it. To claim that the green card lottery visas have never had anything to do with race or skin color, both pro and con, and that the same considerations have nothing to do with the push by Trump and his white nationalist base to abolish this visa, under which over a million almost entirely peaceful law abiding immigrants have come to America without a single terrorist incident until this one, is a simple and outright hoax - a cynical fraud.

    For a full history of the AA-1 and DV green card lottery programs, see.

    Andowah A. Newton:

    Injecting Diversity into U.S. Immigration Policy: The Diversity Visa Program and the Missing Discourse on its Impact on African Immigration to the United States

    38 Cornell International Law Journal 1049 (Issue 3, Article 18) June 3, 2005

    But the biggest danger in Trump's demagoguing the NYC terror attack as an excuse to abolish a visa program which has become a symbol for immigration from Asia and Africa, as opposed to Europe, which had never before been connected with terror in any way, and which has long been under attack from white supremacists, is that the racism at the heart of Trump's immigration policies could lead directly to full fascism in America.

    Trump's attempt to use the NYC attack to justify his return to the racial skin color-based immigration policies which governed America for most of our immigration history at least up until 1965 is also another step on his road to overthrowing America's democratic institutions and seizure of absolute power.

    This is evident from Trump's statement, reported on November 1, that he might send the NYC terror suspect to Guantanamo, because Trump thinks that America's regular justice system is "too slow" and "not strong enough".

    This is pure fascism - when a leader decides that his own will takes precedence over the normal institutions of government - in this case our criminal justice system. This does not mean that the New York terror suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, is a sympathetic case - he is clearly the worst of the worst.

    But if Trump can send Saipov to Guantanamo, then he has the power to send anyone there, whether an NBC or CNN journalist who writes or airs a story that Trump doesn't like, or someone who voted for a local Sanctuary City law - or, possibly, merely supported keeping the DV-1 green card lottery rather than abolishing it and replacing it with Trump's favorite, the Eurocentric RAISE Act.

    Almost exactly one year after his election, the authoritarian instincts which have worried so many Americans about Trump during his campaign and the first 9 months of his presidency, may now be completely unleashed and our democracy extinguished.

    If America goes full fascist under Trump, it will be the end of the road which began with his campaign attacks on Mexican and Muslim immigrants, continued with his Muslim ban and mass deportation orders on becoming the president, and is now being paved with his demagogic attempts to abolish the Diversity Visa and enact the RAISE Act which is heavily skewed toward immigration from white, European countries on a larger scale than the AA-1 visa lottery ever was.

    Could the October 31 attack in New York by an ISIS inspired terrorist with a green card be Donald Trump's Reichstag Fire?
    Roger Algase is a New York attorney 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 obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger believes that America's freedom is based on its diversity, and if the latter disappears, the former will follow soon after. His email address is

    Updated 11-02-2017 at 10:08 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Trump Uses NY Terror Attack as Excuse for More "Extreme Vetting", Calling for Cancelling Diversity Visa, and Boosting the RAISE Act. Roger Algase

    The following has been revised and updated as of November 1 at 9:46 am.

    When a deranged "lone wolf" gunman killed 56 people and injured almost 500 others in the recent Las Vegas attack, pro-NRA politicians and spokespersons rushed to try to silence calls for stricter gun control laws by condemning gun control advocates of "politicizing" the attack.

    Similarly, when one of the worst periods of back to back devastating hurricanes in recent history caused catastrophic devastation in Texas and Puerto Rico as well as severe damage in Florida, not to mention virtually wiping out some smaller Caribbean Islands, people who even mentioned the possibility of looking into the connection with climate change were pilloried for trying to "politicize" the sufferings of millions of people in those storms.

    However, in the wake of a Halloween day truck attack in lower Manhattan by another deranged apparent lone wolf, a legal immigrant from Uzbekistan who killed 8 people and injured 11 others while claiming to have done so in the name of ISIS, the president of the United States has lost no time in trying to politicize this equally horrific and vicious attack, which could have been much worse except for the prompt action of heroic New York police officers, by calling for even more "extreme vetting" of immigrants as a result.

    The far right, white nationalist supporting Breitbart News, run by Trump's erstwhile top immigration adviser Stephen Bannon, has also lost no time using the New York attack as a pretext to call for ending the Diversity Visa, which has become a popular vehicle for immigration from Africa and Asia, and which white supremacist politicians have been seeking to abolish for a long time.

    Trump himself is now also calling for the diversity visa to be cancelled as part of his support for the RAISE Act, which has been designed to favor white, European immigrants over those from other parts of the world under the guise of "merit-based" immigration.


    This is not to play down the horror and danger from this attack, which mirrors similar ISIS-inspired terror attacks in Europe, and took place in an area full of schools and young children decked out in Halloween costumes. The area that the perpetrator chose for the attack is also of great significance for hundreds of thousands, or millions, of legal immigrants in New York from every part of the world.

    The New York Federal Building, where hundreds, if not thousands, of immigrants go to every day for immigration interviews or other immigration activities, is only a few blocks from the end of the route on Chambers Street, where the attack took place.

    Another building of importance for thousands of immigrants applying for green cards and other immigration benefits was the USCIS fingerprinting facility at the beginning of this savage and inhuman murderer's route of violence and destruction near Houston Street.

    The above is not to deny the critical importance of screening immigrants who come to this country and of taking all possible steps to protect America's national security. But Trump's "extreme vetting" has, in practice, turned out to be little more than a code word for banning Muslim immigrants, using national security as a pretext. There is also good reason for concern, that in the words of the National Iranian American Council:

    "...the Muslim ban was but the first step in a wider initiative to implement Islamophobic, racist and xenophobic policies that pander to the desires of Trump's white supremacist base".

    Inevitably, one can predict that the New York attack will also be used as an excuse for white nationalists who want to make drastic cuts in immigration from Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa by enacting measures such as the RAISE Act (see above) extending Trump's Muslim ban (which now applies only to countries from which no terrorist attack in the United States has ever been launched) and ramping up Trump's mass deportation agenda, including his border Wall against Mexican and other Latino immigrants.

    Certainly, everything must be done to combat and eradicate the monstrous, inhuman madman of ISIS and their followers, as well as other apostles of violence and hate against America and the American people.

    But has the Trump administration's spending so much energy, time and resources on such things as court battles to prevent Muslim grandparents of American citizens from visiting the US, or in the latest horror, sending government agents to a hospital to take a disabled 10-year old Mexican girl into custody immediately after surgery as part of the president's mass deportation agenda, really made America a safer place?

    If the president really cares about the safety of America, he should direct his focus on real national security threats, of which there are plenty, rather than using national security as a pretext to make America whiter.

    It is also sad to see the president of the United States use the deaths of eight innocent people (5 of whom were themselves foreign visitors to the United States) in this latest attack as a vehicle for promoting his own white nationalist anti-immigrant agenda.
    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 primarily in H-1B specialty occupation and O-1 extraordinary work visas, and in green cards through Labor Certification (PERM) and through marriage and other family relationships. His email address is

    Updated 11-01-2017 at 09:53 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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