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  1. Federal Judge Halts Trump's Attempt to Betray Over 100 Iraqi Christians by Deportation Back to Danger or Death. Roger Algase

    The Guardian reports on June 22 that a federal judge in Detroit, Mark Goldsmith, has put a 14-day temporary hold on attempts by ICE to deport over 100 Iraqi Christians, many of whom have minor criminal convictions for which they finished serving their sentences long ago, to Iraq, where they face danger of severe persecution or even death at the hands of ISIS.

    The Detroit area Iraqis are now being incarcerated far away from their homes and their attorneys at an ICE detention center in Youngstown, Ohio, in an evident betrayal of Trump's campaign promises to protect Christians and other Middle Eastern religious minorities from persecution.

    See also: POLITICO, June 13:

    Also, see my June 14 comment on Trump's raids against Iraqi Christians.

    What could have possibly caused Trump to turn against a group of people who are arguably the most vulnerable of any in America to the same religiously inspired terrorist persecution and murder that Trump is now using as an excuse to justify his Muslim entry ban orders?

    As the ACLU's complaint in the above lawsuit, Hamama v. Adduccci (E.D.Michigan) states:

    "5. U.S. law prohibits the removal of individuals to countries where they would face a likelihood of persecution or torture. Yet despite the clear danger that many of these individuals face in Iraq, ICE is attempting to deport them based on outstanding removal orders that do not take into account of intervening changed circumstances which should entitle them to protection."

    One answer would be that Trump's promises to protect Christianity and Middle Eastern Christians in particular were never meant seriously. See a February 11 article by Lebanese American University teacher Halim Shebaya entitled:

    Is Trump a saviour for Middle Eastern Christians?

    Or is he a false prophet?

    The immediate reason, as also reported in the media, was Iraq's decision to reverse its previous policy of refusing to accept deportees from the US, as part of an apparent deal to be taken off the original list of seven Muslim countries whose citizens were banned from entering the United States.

    But there is a strong argument to be made that the deeper reason is Trump's own glorification of his mass deportation policies and evident desire to create a legacy as the president who expelled more Middle Eastern, Latino, Asian and black immigrants from America than any other U.S. president in history.

    As the great Iraqi poet, Al-Mutanabbi, wrote over 1,000 years ago:

    Wa taazumu fi 'ayn assaghir assagharuha,

    Wa tasgharu fi 'ayn al azim al-azaimu.

    "Small people think that their small actions are great,

    And great people think that their great actions are small."

    (I apologize for any imperfections in transliteration or translation - I am not a classical Arabic scholar.)

    Few people (other than, no doubt, top Trump administration officials such as Stephen Bannon and Jeff Sessions, who have both advocated a return to the Europeans-only policies of the infamous Johnson-Reed "national origins" immigration act of 1924) would argue that the president's attempt to expel up to 11 million unauthorized immigrants from America, no matter what the cost might be in human suffering, puts him among the second group of people whom this famous medieval Iraqi poet described above.

    The only comfort one can take is that the "Donald Trump Era" of persecution against minority immigrants in America will not last forever; and one day this country will return to its ideals and values as a nation that welcomes immigrants without regard to ethnicity, color, or religion; as embodied in the Statue of Liberty, and in the 1965 immigration reform law which is now under such great attack from the president's above inner circle of immigration advisers, and from Trump's supporters in the white nationalist movement.

    As Hafez, a world-famous poet from what is now a Middle Eastern country which Trump still has on his banned list, Iran, wrote in Persian in the 14th century:

    Yusofe gomgashte baz ayad be kanon: qam machor.

    Kolbeye ahsan shavad roozi golestan: qam machor.

    "Joseph, who was lost, will return to Canaan: do not grieve.

    The house of sorrows will turn into a garden: do not grieve."

    Could there possibly be a better description of immigration policy in Donald Trump's America?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 06-25-2017 at 04:52 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Trump's Muslim Entry Ban Orders Were Issued in Good Faith - If You Believe That Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries. Roger Algase

    Many years ago, I heard the following joke:

    An American who is seeking the true meaning of life hears that a certain sage living at the top of a mountain in the Himalayas has the answer. So the American decides to visit him.

    After a long and arduous trip, full of danger and difficulty, the American finally reaches the top of the mountain and comes face to face with the sage.

    "Tell me, Oh Sage, what is the true meaning of life?",

    the American asks.

    The sage goes into deep meditation, for what seems like hours, and finally addresses the visitor.

    "Life", the Sage answers, "is just a bowl of cherries."

    The American visitor is outraged.

    "What are you talking about?" the visitor asks,

    "After all the trouble and expense I went through to come here, nearly risking my life, just to see you, are you now telling me that life is just a bowl of cherries? What kind of scam is that?"

    The Sage looks at the visitor with a very puzzled expression. Finally he says:

    "Do you mean to say that life
    isn't just a bowl of cherries?"

    This story comes to mind every time I see someone claim that Donald Trump's Muslim ban executive orders were not issued in bad faith.

    Anyone who thinks that either the first version of the ban order, which Trump now states that he regrets having withdrawn, or the current version which is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, meets the standard of being "facially legitimate and bona fide" set forth in Justice Blackmun's majority opinion in Kelindienst v. Mandel (1972), and also meets the requirement of being free from an "affirmative showing of bad faith" announced by Justice Kennedy in his plurality opinion in Kerry v. Din (2015); or who contends that the courts had no power to look behind the face of these orders into the issue of whether the president issued them in good faith, might just as well argue that life is just a bowl of cherries.

    The one argument makes about the same amount of sense as the other - i.e. none at all.

    I will discuss the above two definitive Supreme Court cases in more detail in a future 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 visas and green cards.

    Roger's main areas of practice include H-1B specialty occupation, O-1 extraordinary ability and J-1 trainee work visas; and green cards through labor certification (PERM) and through opposite sex or same sex marriage. Roger's email address is

    In his many years of immigration law experience, Roger has found that careful planning, thorough knowledge of the law and persistent efforts based on mutual collaboration and understanding between lawyer and client are the keys to success. Immigration is not just a bowl of cherries.

    Updated 06-24-2017 at 08:11 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Could Trump's Silence on Twitter in Response to Attack Against London Mosque Worshippers Hurt His Muslim Ban Case in the Supreme Court? Roger Algase

    Earlier this month, after Donald Trump unleashed a "tweetstorm" in an attempt to defend both his original seven Muslim country entry ban order and what he himself called the "watered-down" six Muslim country version, the media were full of statements by legal experts, such as law professor Josh Blackman of the University of Houston, warning that the president was undermining his own legal argument to the effect that the order was a national security measure, not motivated by "animus" toward Muslims as members of a religion or a desire to discriminate against them.

    For one of many press reports dealing with this subject, see the New York Times June 5 article:

    However, remarkably, Trump abstained from Twitter entirely and issued no personal statement when Muslims were the victims of an attack, such as the one on June 19 in Finsbury Park in London. (The US State Department did issue an official response condemning the attack.)

    The president's uncharacteristic decision to stay away from Twitter and not to issue any personal statement about the latest London attack, has, however, set off a storm of criticism against him in the press for being ready to condemn Muslims in general whenever a Muslim is the perpetrator of a terrorist attack, but remaining silent when Muslims are the victims of one.

    A June 20 article by Christian Christensen in The Guardian, for example, states as follows:

    "Donald Trump didn't send out a tweet after the terrorist attack in Finsbury Park in London that killed one and injured many more. His silence after this attack was markedly different from his immediate, fevered, tweeting after numerous other terrorist attacks in Europe - and that matters.

    For Trump, it's clear that this wasn't the right kind of attacker and these weren't the right kind of victims."

    Just in case that there could be any possible doubt as to what the author meant by the above comment, he continues:

    "In the case of Finsbury Park, Muslims injured by a white Christian man are not 'worthy' of attention because they do not serve Trump's larger project of the demonization of Muslims, refugees and immigrants...Nor do they serve the interests of portraying white Christian Europe (and by association, white Christian America) as the bastion of all that is decent and good."

    Strong and eloquent words, but what do they have to do with Trump's Muslim country entry ban executive order, affecting almost 200 million people, more than 99 percent of whom are Muslims, who, according to its terms, are barred from even applying for visas to enter the United States without any showing or reason to suspect that they might have terrorist sympathies or connections?

    At the heart of Trump's legal defense of this order, and its now withdrawn seven Muslim country predecessor, before various federal courts, has been the contention that his numerous, openly Islamophobic campaign statements, such as his December 2015 call for a worldwide ban on entry to the US by Muslims from every country (including originally US citizens as well), and his statements such as the one that Islam allegedly hates America, should be ignored for litigation purposes because they were supposedly only pre-election talk.

    According to this argument, Trump deserves to be treated as a leopard who suddenly changed its spots from the day that he took over the office of the presidency, and that none of his previous statements (which a 4th Circuit judge found to be "dripping" with "animus" and religious intolerance against Muslims) count any more.

    To the contrary, according to the arguments which Trump's Justice Department has been making before various lower federal courts and the Supreme Court, these statements should be consigned to an Orwellian "Memory Hole" as described in the famous, and all too prescient novel 1984.

    Aside from the fact that many of Trump's actions as president, including his appointment to top positions of two of America's leading Islamophobes, Michael Flynn, who has called Islam a "cancer" rather than a religion, and Stephen Bannon, who regards the Christian West as being locked in a "War of Civilizations" with the Muslim world, not to mention Trump's aforesaid "Tweetstorm" over his Muslim ban orders, show the utter meretriciousness of this legal argument (from the Latin meretrix - look it up in the dictionary), the president's studied silence in the face of a brutal terrorist attack directed against Muslims, not by them, gives the lie to any possible contention that his Muslim ban orders were motivated by anything other than hostility toward Muslims as members of a religion in general.

    Whether the Supreme Court will take note of this self-evident reality, or whether it will choose to let itself be blinded to the obvious truth by some concocted legal fiction, is something that America may be finding out shortly, with enormous potential implications for the survival of our democracy.
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer who has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world, without regard to ethnicity, religion or national origin, and in the true spirit of America, receive work visas and green cards for more than 35 years. Roger's email address is

    Updated 06-21-2017 at 03:17 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Trudeau tweets not the answer to Canada's refugee issues. by Nolan Rappaport

    © Greg Nash

    The day after President Donald Trump issued his first travel ban order, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted a message to aliens “fleeing persecution, terror & war.” In addition to the inappropriateness of accusing the president of the United States of religious discrimination, his tweet made a promise that Canada will not be able to keep.

    His tweet was an unqualified invitation to the 65.6 million aliens worldwide who have been displaced from their countries by conflict and persecution. Canada almost certainly will have to turn away many of the aliens who accept the invitation and come to Canada relying on it.
    Some will be disqualified by Canada’s Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States, which requires asylum seekers to apply for asylum in the United States if they enter that country before entering Canada, with some exceptions.

    Also, his invitation includes aliens who are fleeing terror and war, and despite their very real need for refuge, they are not likely to be able to establish eligibility for refugee status or asylum on that basis. According to UNHCR figures, only 22.5 million of the 65.6 million displaced persons are refugees.

    Trudeau’s tweet reminds me of President Jimmy Carter’s invitation to Cuban refugees when he was asked what the government was going to do about the Mariel Boat Lift. On April 20, 1980, Cuban President Fidel Castro announced that he would permit Cubans wishing to leave Cuba to go to the United States. Two weeks later, Carter said that the United States would "welcome the Cuban refugees with open arms and open hearts."

    Read more at --

    Published originally on The Hill.

    About the author.

    Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years; he subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.

    Updated 06-21-2017 at 08:19 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. How Trump's Mass Deportations Are Undermining the Rule of Law and Destroying Our Democracy. Roger Algase

    Update: June 20, 2017

    Anyone who has any doubts about the sheer cruelty of Trump's deportation dragnet, which has so much in common with that of "law enforcement" under totalitarian regimes, or who might be misled by the argument that Trump's deportations are somehow no different from Obama's, should read Slate's June 15 article:

    Days of Deportation

    The article gives 60 typical examples of utterly harmless people, most of them Hispanic, with no major criminal convictions or in many cases no criminal record at all, who were caught at least temporarily in the quasi-fascist nightmare known as

    Immigration enforcement in the age of Trump.

    My original comment follows.

    As democracy in America hangs in a precarious balance caused by Donald Trump's attempt to set himself completely beyond and above the rule of law by threatening to fire special prosecutor Robert Mueller

    See also:

    it is instructive to look at what led to this mortal danger to America's continued existence as a free country governed by law rather than by a one-man dictatorship. See the May 10 article by the respected international journalist Mehdi Hasan:

    After James Comey's Firing, Who Will Stop Trump's Tinpot Dictatorship?

    There can be little doubt that this existential threat to our freedom began with Trump's authoritarian mass deportation agenda aimed at the expulsion and ethnic cleansing of up to 11 million mainly Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern and black immigrants from America.

    First, look at Trump's immigration rhetoric both before and after the November 2016 election in which Trump was resoundingly defeated by Hillary Clinton in the popular vote by almost 3 million votes. Wall Street Journal writer Ana Campoy writes as follows in her well researched May 9 article in Quartz:

    The way Trump talks about immigration is a textbook authoritarian technique for consolidating power:

    "Jason Stanley, a philosophy professor at Yale University and the author of How Propaganda Works, classifies the president's combative immigration speech as 'standard strongman dictator stuff.' Trump employs classic techniques used by authoritarians to convince others to accept their value system of law and order.

    Since the US's current reality doesn't call for law and order [Donald Trump style], Trump must find ways to distort it. [Illegal] Immigration was at historically law levels even before Trump took office. So are crime rates, as fact checkers keep pointing out. Furthermore, research shows there's no connection between the two. Yet in his speech leading up to the November election, Trump described an America under attack from criminal immigrants pouring in through the border - bad hombres, rapists and drug traffickers."

    Campoy concludes:

    "...Trump is exploiting existing anxieties some [white] Americans feel about immigrants and other minorities to secure their [Americans'] open-ended support."

    In addition to being based on the typically authoritarian lie that a targeted minority or minorities are inherently dangerous to the safety and welfare of the majority - one is reminded of Joseph Goebbels' infamous cry, which is so well known to Holocaust history that translation is not necessary:

    "Die Juden sind unser Unglueck!"

    the mechanism of Trump era deportation itself is based on, and infused with, authoritarian practices not unlike those which the world came to be familiar with under fascism.

    Harvard Ph.D and Guggenheim Fellow Norman Pollack writes the following in his February 24 Counterpunch article:

    Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport

    "Right off the bat we find that aggressive enforcement shall be more inclusive of coverage (any pretext will do, like minor infractions of the law, to start the deportation process) and punitive in execution. As for the full force of the federal government, this makes viable - integral to the machinery and spirit of enforcement - a trickle-down fabric of authority, in which state and local governments are directly involved in the overall process..."

    Pollack continues:

    "The sentence which follows in the [New York Times] article fairly bursts with the entertainment of fascist thought on a sweeping basis:

    'Documents released on Thursday [2-21] by the Department of Homeland Security reveal the broad scope of the president's ambitions: to publicize crimes by undocumented immigrants; strip such immigrants of privacy protections; enlist local police officers as enforcers; erect new detention facilities; discourage asylum seekers and, ultimately, speed up deportations.'"

    Pollack continues:

    "The climate of repression, coming so early in the functioning of the departments and agencies and the administration itself, a warning of what to expect, can be seen in the statement of John Kelly, secretary of homeland security...

    Inculcating fear
    into the body politic obviously invites fast and loose treatment of the rule of law, Trump...already is reaching beyond the constitutional parameters of presidential powers."

    The above may sound somewhat theoretical or abstract, but it brings back some very real childhood memories for Vera Klement, a prominent and accomplished 86 year-old American artist and Holocaust survivor. See: American Prospect

    Begin, Again: Trump Through the Eyes of a Holocaust Survivor

    American Prospect writes:

    "In Trump's calls for the expulsion of millions of undocumented immigrants, Vera hears echoes of her own story. She thinks about the anxieties expressed by Hispanic children who fear their parents will be deported, and recalls her own lost childhood. It was not the reality of the Gestapo's knock on the door that most altered Vera's young psyche (though that reality, when it came, was terrifying enough). It was the way the ever present dread of that knock shifted something fundamental in the home...

    Vera is painfully aware of something else: how marginalizing and demonizing a people changes their relationship in the larger world, and their connections to whom they love."

    American Prospect continues:

    "The president-elect's rendering of all Syrian refugees as potential public enemies...and the assertion of Trump's newly appointed national security adviser, General Michael T. Flynn, that 'fear of Muslims is rational' are also troubling to Vera. She is more aware than most that lives hand in the balance when leaders use such words."

    The above words were written on January 13, one week before Trump actually took office as president and began to make his agenda for mass deportation of Latino and other non-white immigrants and his threat to ban as many Muslims as possible from entering the United States into a totalitarian reality.

    No one would argue with the proposition that Trump is doing everything in his power to implement his authoritarian pledges to expel 11 million mainly Latino immigrants and ban more than 100 million Muslims from coming to the United States because of their religion, just as the Jews were excluded from German society by an authoritarian leader eight decades ago.

    Certainly, despite the appalling cruelty and lack of humanity in the way in which Trump's mass deportation policies are being carried out against Mexicans and other targeted

    does not have the slightest wish or intention whatsoever of committing genocide or exterminating any group or groups of people; and he is clearly interested only in expelling targeted groups from America or banning their members from entering this country, there are still certain parallels that cannot be overlooked between Trump and another leader referred to above.

    That same authoritarian ruler also rose to power by targeting and stoking hatred against an unpopular minority group; and he also demanded absolute "loyalty" from his underlings, just as Trump demanded loyalty from FBI director James Comey prior to firing him and may now be laying the groundwork for firing independent counsel Robert Mueller, something which would eliminate any brakes on the president's power and effectively end democracy in America as we know it.

    If this happens, we can look at Trump's mass deportation of a demonized ethnic group or groups as the catalyst which led to the demise of our democracy, just as the Nuremberg laws anf Gestapo raids against the Jews heralded the end of democracy for all of the people of Germany eighty years ago.
    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.

    Roger's practice is concentrated primarily on H-1 specialty occupation and O-1 extraordinary ability work visas; and on green cards through PERM labor certification and through opposite sex or same sex marriage. Roger's email address is

    Updated 06-20-2017 at 07:47 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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