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  1. White House Supported "RAISE" Act's Drastic Cutback in Legal Immigration is Wish List for SPLC Designated Anti-Immigrant "Hate Groups". Roger Algase

    An August 3 report in Media Matters provides evidence that the so-called RAISE Act (which might more accurately be called the RACE Act or the RUSE Act, and which was introduced by two Republican Senators, Cotton (AR) and Perdue (GA) with Donald Trump's enthusiastic support, and which would drastically cut back on legal immigration, especially from Latin America, Asia and other mainly non-white areas of the world where English is not the native language or widely understood, is little more that a "wish list" for anti-immigrant organizations such as FAIR, Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and Numbers USA.

    All three of these groups have been labelled as "hate groups" by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which has done extensive research on these groups. The above article also alleges that the White House is relying on "junk research" by these groups to defend the RAISE bill. See:

    The White House is relying on hate groups and their junk research to defend the RAISE act.

    According the above Media Matters article, the SPLC has accused FAIR's leaders of making quoted comments about the alleged inferiority of Latino immigrants; CIS 'frequently manipulates data' in its research reports to subvert positive aspects of immigration, and NumbersUSA has not overcome its racist roots, despite its attempts to appear "credible and unbiased".

    All three groups were founded by a white nationalist named John Tanton who, according to the SPLC, believed that in order to maintain American culture, "a European-American majority is required".

    One can hear very distinct echoes of this racist, Eurocentric, viewpoint as it affects immigration policy in Trump's recent Warsaw speech, which was full of white nationalist catch phrases and dog whistles, and which I have also written about.

    The above Media Matters article also provides many examples of the influence that these three SPLC designated hate groups have had on immigration policy in the Trump administration, including a 79-item CIS wish list which has inspired actions such as Trump's VOICE office attempting to stigmatize Hispanic immigrants as criminals.

    The above article contains many other examples of influence by these SPLC- designated "hate groups" on the Trump administration. Let us hope that future historians will not look back on the Trump White House itself as an adjunct to these groups.
    Roger Algase is a New York Immigration Lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from many diverse parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards without regard to ethnicity or religion, but based only on their qualifications.

    This is consistent with America's most fundamental values as a nation of immigrants. Roger's email address is

    Updated 08-06-2017 at 08:33 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Trump Backs "Merit Based" Legal Immigration Cuts in "RAISE" Act, Whose Main "Merit" for Supporters is Fewer Minority Immigrants. Roger Algase

    Donald Trump. the same president who only a few months ago signed a "Buy American, Hire American" executive order directly aimed against the H-1B specialty worker visa program, has now unveiled a hypocritical proposal, in the form of a Senate bill introduced by two if his strongest Republican Senate supporters and known as the "RAISE" Act to reduce lower skilled legal immigration in America by eliminating certain family-based green card categories, abolishing the diversity visa lottery entirely (a program which particularly benefits immigrants from Africa), and cutting annual refugee admissions in half.

    For details, see:

    Despite Trump's well-publicized attacks against H-1B and by extension all high skilled immigration, he and the two Senators, Cotton and Perdue, are calling their bill, which is obviously intended to and very likely could in reality drastically cut back on legal immigration from Latin America and other non-white areas of the world, a "merit-based" immigration proposal.

    It is easy to see the "merit" in this proposal for Trump and his white nationalist supporters - many fewer legal immigrants from Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, by rolling back the race and religion neutral immigration system that America has had (at least in principle) for the past 50 years, and going back to the time of the notorious Nordics-only "national origins" immigration act of 1924, if not to the equally bigoted Chinese and other Asian exclusion laws beginning in the late 19th century.

    In a typical Trumpian blend of hatred and falsehood directed against mainly non-European legal immigrant population, the president introduced the bill as follows according to the above news item:

    "Instead of today's low-skilled system - which is a terrible system where anyone comes in, people who have never worked, people that are criminals, anyone comes in, we want a merit based system."

    Once again, the president never loses an opportunity to conflate immigration, even legal immigration in this case, with crime.

    There are also some exceptions to his attempts to demonize and stir up animosity against both legal and unauthorized immigrants - witness the 70 cooks, waiters, and other less skilled workers whom Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort is sponsoring for H-2B visas, as I have written about in a recent Immigration Daily post.

    As long as they have the "merit" of helping Trump's businesses keep their costs down against his competitors, we can safely assume that these particular low skilled workers will be welcome in the United States.
    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 skilled and professional workers from many diverse parts of the world, without regard to ethnic or religious background, but based only on their qualifications, obtain work visas and green cards.

    This is consistent with America's most fundamental values as a nation of immigrants. Roger's email address is

    Updated 08-06-2017 at 08:30 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Trump's Attempt to Demonize and Urge Brutality Against All Minority Immigrants in His MS-13 Gang Speech is Not a Joke. Roger Algase

    In the latest attempt by the president to avoid responsibility for his own inflammatory statements, his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, claimed on July 31 that Trump's July 28 speech in Long Island New York, urging immigration officers and local police to be "rough" with arrested gang members suspects (and by extension all immigrants, see below), was just "making a joke".

    If that was true, it could only be called a sick joke, one made at the expense of millions of Hispanic and other minority immigrants.

    But of course, anyone who actually reads his remarks or watches the video of the speech can see beyond any reasonable doubt that the speech was not a joke, but a deadly serious attempt to use the MS-13 gang to demonize, humiliate and urge violence against all non-white immigrants.

    While almost all of the press coverage of Trump's MS-13 speech focused on the issue of the president's endorsement of police brutality in general, something unheard of coming from a president of the United States (at least during my lifetime, beginning while Franklin D. Roosevelt was still president), but not by any means unheard of coming from fascist dictators such as Mussolini or Franco

    most of the media stories tended to downplay the connection which Trump tried to draw between MS-13 gang members and Latino and other minority immigrants in general, including the millions who have no criminal records whatsoever.

    However, one commentator on, an attorney by the name of Raul A. Reyes, who is also a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors, has shown the courage and the honesty to describe Trump's attack for what it really is - an attempt to demonize all Hispanic immigrants, not just members of criminal gangs who should, of course, be given top priority for deportation if found guilty of any crimes.

    Reyes' article is called:

    The real message in Trump's MS-13 speech

    Reyes writes, in plain words that it is hard to refute in good faith:

    "'We've started nipping it in the bud,' he [Trump] declared, referencing crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. He proudly referred to the comments made on the day he announced his presidential run, when he called immigrants from Mexico drug dealers and rapists - in a sense doubling down on the bigoted remarks that offended many Latinos."

    Reyes continues

    "Then again, that was Trump's real message. He wasn't on Long Island solely to take aim at MS-13, let alone announce any specific plans (beyond deportation) for eliminating them. Trump was on Long Island to conflate undocumented immigrants with crime once again and ti use demonization to try to justify his administration's harsh and inhumane deportation policies."

    While no one would attempt to justify or excuse the horrible murders that have in fact been committed by MS-13 gang members, Reyes emphasizes, in his conclusion, that they and other criminal immigrants are not the ultimate targets of Trump's rhetoric. or of his actions:

    "Meanwhile, immigration agents are detaining and deporting moms and dads of American kids, pastors and DREAMers. In fact, according to the government's statistics, immigration arrests are up by about 40%. This increase, however, has been driven by arrests of folks without criminal records; arrests of undocumented immigrants without criminal records [have] spiked by more than 150% since January. This is the reality of immigration enforcement that the Trump administration does not want to call attention to..."

    In other words, Trump is stirring up fear of criminal immigrants from Central America in order to justify mass deportation of millions of Hispanic and other minority immigrants who have been involved in no criminal activity whatsoever.

    This is not a new tactic. Dictators the world over, and throughout history, have tried to stigmatize and demonize targeted immigrants and other minority groups as criminals or dangers to security in order to force them to leave, or otherwise do away with them.

    This has been the case ever since (if not long before) the emperor Tiberius expelled the Jews and followers of Isis (the Egyptian goddess, that is) from Rome in 19 A.D. on the pretext of engaging in alleged subversive activities of one kind or another - historians have never been sure of exactly what they did to incur the emperor's wrath.

    But, obviously, in reading comments of both ancient and modern historians on this incident, it would appear that Tiberius expected to gain in some way from expelling members of these evidently unpopular minority groups.

    There can not be any serious doubt that Donald Trump is attempting to do the same thing in moving ahead with the mass deportation of some 11 million Latino and other minority immigrants, and that MS-13 is nothing more than a pretext.

    This is the real message of Donald Trump's July 28 Long Island, NY MS-13 speech.

    For more details about Tiberius' expulsion of Jews and Isis followers almost exactly 2,000 years ago, see:
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School who has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards for more than 35 years. Roger's email address is

    Updated 08-02-2017 at 09:39 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. It's Not Just Trump. America's Immigration System Has Been in Conflict With Basic Human Rights for a Very Long Time. Roger Algase

    In the "Donald Trump Era" it is easy to assume that America's 45th president, who has defined his immigration policies to date by extreme measures against vulnerable minority immigrants - excluding almost 200 million potential immigrants or visitors from six Muslim countries because of their nationality - which happens to be co-terminus with their religion, as less than one percent of the population of these countries belong any other faith - and ramping up arrests, mass deportation and expedited removal of mainly Latin American immigrants as fast as he can, while preparing to build a Wall of hatred and humiliation against Mexicans in particular along our Southern border, is in a class by himself when it comes to animosity toward minority immigrants.

    Even apart from his actions against non-European immigrants, Trump's attempts to demonize various minority immigrant groups as "criminals" "rapists" "drug dealers", "gang members" and - his "Trump" card, "terrorists" and "haters" of America, who, according to his most recent speeches in Ohio and New York State, deserve "rough" treatment from immigration and police officers, including possibly having their heads cracked open, is causing many people to think that he has sunk to new depths of hatred and prejudice against non-white immigrants.

    Therefore, a reminder from a writer who is well versed in the history of our immigration system that abuses against the basic human rights of unpopular immigrant groups are not new, but that they are built into our legal system in large part through the pernicious "plenary power" doctrine which the Supreme Court first developed in the era of the infamous Chinese and other Asian exclusion laws beginning in the 1880's; and that Donald Trump is not the cause of this abusive system but its result, is timely and well worth serious consideration.

    The writer I am referring to is Anis Shivani, in his new series in dated July 30 and entitled:

    A radical new approach to the immigration "problem": Beyond left and right, Trumpism and neoliberalism - Part one

    Shivani introduces his viewpoint as follows:

    "Our federal immigration policy began about 125 years ago in an exclusivist and racist vein, targeting the Chinese, then the Japanese and other Asians, and after that southern and eastern Europeans, before moving on to Mexicans as the prime targets of exclusion for about 100 years, where we remain today with the recent addition of Muslims and Arabs as special targets."

    He continues, in a paragraph with direct relevance to the legal battle taking place over Trump's Muslim ban executive order which is currently awaiting further action by the Supreme Court:

    "The judicial branch has historically granted the executive great leeway to do as it wishes on immigration, considering it (quite wrongly, I think) an area of foreign policy passing under what's known as the 'plenary power' doctrine. Though there have been times, in periods of liberal ascendancy, when there has been pushback against plenary power, the idea is inherently connected to the way federal immigration policy came into being and was conceptualized in the early going, which renders it difficult to get away from. If the judicial branch, in the wake of the Trump administration's expected assault on immigration, takes a restraining posture, it would actually be a deviance from, rather than a continuation of, historical precedence."

    Shivani then goes right to the heart of his contention:

    "We have come to an impasse at last, after 125 years of misguided federal immigration policy, where there is no way out of our current moral panic, but to recognize the immigration crisis as a human rights catastrophe of historic proportions, ranking up there with the greatest known tragedies toward mass populations, and to address it as such rather than resting hope in any of the so-called reform measures that do not get to the bottom of the human rights tragedy."

    Calling America's current turn toward mass exclusion and mass deportation of unpopular Muslim, Latino and other non-white minorities one of the "greatest known tragedies toward mass populations" may admittedly seem like hyperbole and exaggeration to anyone familiar with the Holocaust and Rwanda genocide, but one does not have to agree with Shivani's exact language in order to appreciate his point.

    This point, quite clearly, is that amid all the discussion of immigration as a security issue, a law enforcement issue, an economic issue, or even in the words of Trump's recent bombastic "Europeans ueber alles" immigration speech in Warsaw, a "cultural" issue or one involving differences of "civilizations", the basic reality of immigration and immigration law and policy is that it deals with human beings (and yes, immigrants, even when charged with crime, are human beings, Mr. President, not "animals" as per Trump's July 28 speech in Brentwood, New York).

    All human beings have certain basic rights, including immigrants. Shivani writes eloquently and in detail about what these rights are, and how our immigration laws should afford them greater recognition.

    I will continue my discussion of Shivani's views on this topic in forthcoming comments.
    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.

    Roger's practice focuses primarily on H-1B (specialty occupation) and O-1 (extraordinary ability) work permits, and on green cards through labor certification (PERM) and through opposite sex or same sex marriage.

    Roger's email address is

    Updated 07-30-2017 at 05:17 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. In Long Island Speech, Trump Glorifies Violence by Immigration Officers, Recalling Eras of European Fascism and US Segregation. Roger Algase

    In a July 28 Long Island NY speech to police officers that recalls not only his incitement to his followers to "rough up" protesters at his own campaign rallies, but also the glorification of violence against racial minorities during both the Nazi era and era of US segregation.

    See, University of Knoxville (TN) Sociology Professor Victor Ray, writing in Newsweek (March 29):

    Trump Coalition Threatens A Return To The Jim Crow Era.

    Donald Trump, in a speech that was ostensibly aimed against the violent Salvadorean-based MS-13 gang, but also included attacks against all, mainly Latino, unauthorized immigrants, including the overwhelming majority who do not have criminal records of any kind, had the following "praise" for US immigration officers, as quoted by the UK's Daily Mail:

    "They're [immigration agents] rough. I don't want to be - say it because they'll say that's not politically correct...You're not allowed to have rough people doing this kind of work...Just like they don't want to have rich people at the head of Treasury, okay?

    "Like, I want a rich guy at the head of Treasury, right? Right?"

    The obvious meaning, which no child over the age of 4 could fail to understand, was that Trump wants "rough" people to serve as immigration agents.

    In view of the president's admonition in the same speech to local police officers to avoid doing anything to protect the heads of arrested Central American gang members from injury while arresting them, and his support for "roughing up" of protesters at his rallies, and the use of torture, during his presidential campaign, it is clear that the United States now has a chief executive who revels in the use of violence as a method of governing, just as Germany had in the case of its chief executive during the 1930's and first half of the 1940's.

    In a different, but not entirely unrelated development, POLITICO reports on July 28 that Kris Kobach, who has a long history of engaging in a different form of "violence", i.e. though legislation which has to a large extent been thrown out by the courts, against the rights immigrants to protect themselves against police state mass deportation policies, as well as against the rights of minority Americans to vote, may be under consideration as the next Homeland Security chief, replacing John Kelly who has just been moved to White House Chief of Staff.

    Such an appointment, if it takes place and passes Senate confirmation, would be yet another loud and clear message from this administration that neither minority immigrants nor minority American citizens are welcome, or can expect to have any protection for their basic rights, including protection against police brutality, in Donald Trump's America.

    For a comprehensive analysis of Kobach's atrocious record of trying to turn hatred of non-white immigrant and US citizen minorities into legal enactments, or as the ancient Roman poet Lucan wrote 2,000 years ago during the time of the emperor Nero:

    iusque datum sceleri ("bestowing legality on infamy")

    see: The New York Times Magazine (June 13):

    The Man Behind Trump's Voter Fraud Obsession
    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.

    Roger's practice focuses primarily on H-1B (specialty occupation) and O-1 (extraordinary ability) work permits, and on green cards through labor certification (PERM), and opposite sex or same sex marriage.

    Roger's email address is

    Updated 07-30-2017 at 03:19 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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