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  1. 2017 News? Trump Nullifies SCOTUS Dec. Striking Down Muslim Exec. Order. Roger Algase

    Update: February 13, 6:45 pm:

    Like every other American, I am saddened to hear of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, an influential jurist who strongly believed in what he stood for and argued his positions forcefully. It goes without saying that had more of his opinions been majority ones rather than dissents, some of the laws affecting fundamental rights of immigrants would be very different today from what they actually are now.

    It is also a sad commentary on the state of polarization in America today that there is virtually no chance that the Senate will allow President Obama to perform his Constitutional function of picking Justice Scalia's successor.

    The condolences of all Americans go out to Justice Scalia's family.

    Update: February 13, 2:30 pm:

    The New York Times reports that Donald Trump is running a new campaign ad highlighting the father of an American teenager who was killed by an illegal immigrant.


    Of course, such a despicable crime must be condemned and punished, and the nation's sympathy goes out to the family of the victim, and those of other similar victims.

    If the father of the unfortunate young man thinks that supporting someone who is trying to win the presidency by using this young man's death in order to stir up hate against millions of innocent immigrants is the best way to honor his son's memory, that is of course his choice as a parent to make.

    I am not sure that it is the choice that every parent facing such a terrible situation would make.

    My original post follows:

    Could the following be a news story next year?

    "President Trump: 'I Won't Be Dictated To By Supreme Court Women, Jews And Mexicans'

    December 12, 2017:

    President Donald Trump announced today that he is nullifying last week's US Supreme Court 6-3 decision written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg striking down his three executive orders aimed at preventing the "Islamization" of the United States as unconstitutional. (Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a stinging dissent arguing that it was not the 'original intent' of the authors of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for America 'to be governed by Sharia law' and that the president had not only the power, but the duty to "take care" that this did not happen.)

    The first of the executive orders, all of which were issued the day after his inauguration as president in January, 2017, barred all Muslims, including US citizens, from entering the United States until further notice, in fulfillment of his 2016 campaign promise.

    The second one ordered the immediate deportation of all Muslim 'aliens' in the US and set up a special paramilitary task force to carry out the order. The third order stripped all naturalized Muslims of US citizenship, retroactive to the date of naturalization.

    In making his announcement, Trump said:

    'I have consulted with Secretary of State Sarah Palin, Attorney General Kris Kobach, Solicitor General Greg Abbott, Homeland Security Secretary Joe Arpiao and USCIS Director Ann Coulter. They tell me that there's a bunch of very good lawyers in their departments who all agree that the authors of the Constitution didn't intend for this country to be run by a collection of women, Jews and Mexicans on the Supreme Court who think that wearing black robes gives them the right to turn America into an Islamic Caliphate.'

    'If I let people like that push me around, we won't even have a country any more. I really don't know what the hell this little handful of un-elected lawyers thought they were doing.'

    President Trump was evidently referring to the fact that three of the members of the Supreme Court's liberal bloc, including two of the three women, are Jewish. His use of the term "Mexicans" on the Court is an apparent reference to Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is of Puerto Rican parentage.

    Opposition to the president's action in single-handedly attempting to nullify a Supreme Court decision was swift and vigorous. From his native Calgary, Canada, where former Texas Senator Ted Cruz relocated shortly after President Trump took over the White House in order to avoid threatened prosecution for entering the US by falsely claiming be an American citizen, he issued the following statement:

    'President Trump's action today makes me so glad I was able to get my Canadian citizenship back and come to Canada safely. Millions of other Americans should be so lucky.'

    And from Beijing, where President Trump's Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, fled immediately after the 2016 presidential election in which Mr Trump won every state except for Hawaii (whose result Trump has refused to recognize on the grounds that Hawaii is not really part of the US) and where her application for asylum in China is still reportedly under consideration, announced:

    'i'm not giving up. You'll be hearing from me again in 2020'.

    In a late-breaking development, President Trump also announced that he is starting construction work immediately on the 'Biggest, most gorgeous, wall you've ever seen' along the entire US-Canadian border.

    He added:

    'Any other bimbos, losers or low-energy pussies who think they can get away with criticizing me by getting the hell out of America and escaping to Canada are going to have another think coming.'

    Some sources have suggested that this last comment may include references to former Fox News Anchor Megyn Kelly and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, neither of whom has been heard from since President Trump took office, and whose whereabouts are currently unknown."
    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 different parts of the world and ethnic/religious backgrounds obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 02-13-2016 at 07:12 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Could Trump's Anti-Immigrant Agenda Lead To Authoritarian Rule? Pt. 2. Roger Algase

    The following will continue a discussion I began in my January 23 post with a similar title to this one. I will start by making clear that it would be wrong to equate all advocacy in favor of restricting immigration as anti-democratic. America has a long history of restrictionist, and even openly racist, legislation dealing with immigration that was enacted through democratic and constitutional means: the Immigration Act of 1924 and the Chinese exclusion laws beginning in 1882 are only two of many examples.

    Arguably, some features of the 1996 IIRIRA, which "celebrates" its 20th anniversary this year, could also be compared with the above two earlier statutes with regard to intent; it is no secret that this measure was enacted as a "backlash" to the 1965 immigration law which abolished "national origin" racial immigration quotas that had been in effect for at least the previous 40 years.

    IIRIRA also was enacted through democratic means; that is if ramming through a wide ranging law with many profound changes in our immigration system in the middle of the night without discussion or debate, and attaching it to a "must pass" appropriations bill a month before a presidential election can be called an example of democracy.

    Moreover, restrictionist organizations and politicians have been around for a long time in America. In the past half century since 1965 their influence has steadily grown, but democracy has survived, and these organizations, except for the most extremist fringe groups such as the KKK, have always advocated working within democratic means.

    Looking at the current presidential campaign, even though many of the Republican candidates, notably Senator Ted Cruz, have adopted hard-line restrictionist policies regarding both legal and illegal immigration, none of them has raised any questions about going outside the constitution or democratic procedures in order to accomplish their goals.

    There is only one exception to the above - an exception which is becoming more and more difficult to ignore by anyone concerned about the survival of American democracy as Donald Trump's chances of being nominated and elected as America's next president continue to grow after his victory by gaining a plurality (not a majority) of the votes in the overcrowded New Hampshire primary.

    What, arguably, makes Trump different from any of the other presidential candidates in this respect? A good place to begin is with the February 10 Washington Post editorial entitled:

    The utter ugliness of Donald Trump's campaign should scare us all

    The editorial states:

    "...Mr. Trump's proposals are pernicious as well as preposterous. There is no way to round up 11 million illegal immigrants an deport them - but no one would want to live in a nation that would attempt such a thing.

    Mr. Trump is mocking the democratic process, not engaging in it. He feels no obligation to explain how he would implement his ideas, and he does not care whether his statements are true. Thousands of Muslims in New Jersey did not publicly celebrate the downing of the World Trade Center in 2001, but Mr. Trump is content simply to repeat the lie. ..Mr. Trump is a hard liner on immigration today, because, when he called Mexicans rapists, he struck a chord."

    The Post's editorial continues:

    "Some may take comfort in his malleability. Once he is in office, they say, Mr. Trump will become a deal maker, susceptible to establishment whisperings and blandishments.

    "In this they deceive themselves, and the evidence lies in the most essential difference between these two outsider campaigns [Trump and Bernie Sanders]: the utter ugliness of Mr. Trump's. To further his ambition, he has gleefully demeaned Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, people with disabilities, blacks nd anyone else he can present as the 'other' as he proceeds to exploit the nation's divisions.

    Finally, in a warning which, based on 20th century European history to be discussed in the next part of this series, should be taken with the utmost seriousness by anyone who cares about the survival of our democracy, The Post concludes:

    "As president he would not be able to deliver on his promises, and it is fearful to contemplate the scapegoats he might find to distract from his failures."

    One might add that the only thing worse might be if Trump does deliver on his promises, and whether he would rely only on democratic means to do so. This will also be discussed further in Part 3 of this series.
    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 different parts of the world and ethnic/religious backgrounds obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 02-11-2016 at 05:45 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. BALCA Overturns Denial Where Mailed in ETA Form 9089 was Denied for Failure to Confir

    The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (“BALCA”) recently overturned the denial of a labor certification case that was submitted through the mail on the basis that the employer’s signature on the labor certification established that it was sponsoring the foreign worker. In Matter of La Hacienda Meat Market, Inc., the employer submitted a labor certification for the position of “Buyer / Produce.” The employer mailed the ETA Form 9089 to the Department of Labor because the employer was unable to pre-register electronically with the Atlanta National Processing Center. The mailed-in labor certification included a signature from the President of La Hacienda Meat Market in the employer’s declaration section. The Certifying Officer attempted to contact the employer three times by telephone to confirm sponsorship, but was unable to reach anyone. Consequently, the case was denied. BALCA reviewed the decisions of a number of cases that involved similar fact patterns and determined that “when an ETA Form 9089 is submitted via mail and includes the employer’s sworn statement under penalty of perjury certifying as to the conditions of employment offered, sponsorship is adequately verified.” Thus, the denial was overturned. While it is preferable to submit a labor certification through the online system, this case provides guidance that establishes that an employer’s signature on the ETA Form 9089 is sufficient to confirm sponsorship. This post originally appeared on HLG's Views blog by Cadence Moore. http://www.hammondlawgroup.com/blog/

  4. Islamic Law Is Not An Excuse For Barring Muslim Immigrants From US. Roger Algase

    My distinguished colleague and immigration law scholar, Nolan Rappaport, has posted a video in this week's Letters section of Immigration Daily based on the theme that Muslim immigrants and their children may soon form a majority in the heart of Europe and impose Sharia law on that continent, extinguishing democracy. The video, which was produced by CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network), founded by the well known controversial right wing televangelist, Pat Robertson, features an interview with the leader of an Islamic group in Belgium who wants to do exactly that and who claims to speak for all European Muslims.

    The video, however, also makes clear that his group is a small one that does not represent the overwhelming Muslim majority, whom he accuses of "not being real Muslims" because of their more secular views. The clear intent of the video is to stoke fears that if Europe admits more Muslim refugees, democracy on that continent could be extinguished as early as by 2030 and replaced by a Muslim "fascist ideology", in the words of a non-Muslim commentator who also appears in the video. For the link to the video, please go to Nolan's above-mentioned letter.

    Fears that Muslim immigrants might impose Sharia law in the US have also been expressed in some state legislatures, and may very possibly have led to Donald Trump's win in the February 9 New Hampshire primary. According to the Huffington Post, two thirds of all Republican voters in that primary, including many who did not actually support Trump, stated in exit polls that they favor his proposed ban on admitting any Muslims to the United States.

    Coincidentally, the New Hampshire presidential primary was, according to the Huffington Post and other reports, the first one in American history that was won by a Jewish candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT)

    It goes without saying that America has a long and unenviable history of prejudice against Jewish immigrants, including accusations that they also wanted to impose foreign ideologies, ranging from everything to Communism to "International Zionism" on America. Accusations that Jews favored "imposing Talmudic law" have not been absent from this infamous legacy of hate and abuse.

    Nor is anti-Semitism entirely a thing of the past in America. On February 9, the same day as the New Hampshire primaries, the National Rifle Association came under fire because on of its board members, Ted Nugent, posted a number of vile, openly anti-Semitic photos and comments, which are too despicable to be repeated here verbatim, on his Facebook page alleging that some prominent Jews were behind gun control.



    With the above as background, it is interesting and instructive to note that the traditional religious legal systems of both Jews and Muslims, two of America's most persecuted immigrant groups, past and present, not only have many common features, but also a long history of interaction with and influence upon each other.

    I also want to make clear that my references to Islamic Law, or Sharia Law, are to the real Islamic Law as developed by Muslim jurists and legal scholars over a period of more than a thousand years, not the violent, perverted and barbaric travesties of this system now being used as instruments of murder, torture and oppression by ISIS and other extremist groups and even government officials in certain Muslim countries which shall not be named.

    For a fuller explanation, i turn to an article in the Jewish Virtual Library called: Jewish and Islamic Law, A Comparative Review: The Relationship between Jewish and Islamic Law



    The next part of this series will show how much these two legal traditions have in common.

    To be continued in Part 2.
    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 from many different parts of the world and ethnic/religious backgrounds obtain work visas and green cards. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 02-11-2016 at 01:24 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Could Torture Become America's Immigration Enforcement Strategy? Roger Algase

    Update: February 9 at 9:09 pm:

    Based on early returns from the New Hampshire presidential primary, Huffington Post is running a headline:

    "NH goes racist, sexist, xenophobic"

    As explained in more detail in my comments below about the candidate who is now the projected winner of the NH Republican primary, the headline might well have added "and pro-torture".

    There may be a very dark time, one of the darkest in our entire history, in store for the future of US immigration, and for the future of America.

    Huffpost also reports that according to exit polls, two thirds of NH Republican voters support their leading candidate's proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the US.

    There will be some people who, inevitably, will draw a comparison with another politician in a certain European country who came to power more than 80 years ago in a free and open election by targeting another group of people belonging to an older faith that is not entirely unrelated to Islam and which recognizes the same patriarch, Abraham, as Muslims do.

    There may be a silver lining, however. Ohio Governor John Kasich, virtually the only Republican presidential candidate (other than the hapless Jeb Bush) who has not tried to divide America by exploiting anti-immigrant hate, appears to be coming in second in New Hampshire - a possible ray of sanity in the gloomy Republican 2016 immigration-related presidential picture.

    Again, I will repeat my disclaimer: It is not the purpose of my comments to endorse any candidate, of any party, for president or any other elected office. However, this does not prevent my expressing disagreement with certain positions that one or more candidates may have taken at various times on immigration-related issues.

    My original comment follows:

    The following post has been completely revised and rewritten as of February 8 at 9:23 am.

    While the media, as usual, focused on trivia in the February 6 Republican presidential debate, such as whether Iowa third place finisher Sen Marco Rubio (Florida) repeated the same canned line about President Obama too many times, a much more disturbing feature has also emerged from the debate.

    This is that all three of the Iowa front runners, Rubio, Senator Ted Cruz (Texas) and Donald Trump, have endorsed the use of torture in one form or another.

    Donald Trump, not surprisingly, was the most outspoken, direct and extreme in his endorsement of torture. One at least has to give him credit for his honesty, compared with opponents such as Cruz, who stuck to the devious and utterly discredited G. W. Bush administration line that waterboarding is OK because it is somehow "not really" torture.

    However, Trump's enthusiasm for endorsing torture of every variety far outweighed his respect for even the most elementary human rights, or for US and international law prohibiting torture in all its hideous forms.

    When asked if he would bring back waterboarding, Trump replied that he would do things that are "a helluva lot worse" than that. Trump tried to justify this by pointing out to the "medieval" style head chopping being carried out against Christians (and other Muslims) today by ISIS and other extremist Islamist groups.

    While no one can argue against Trump's description of these groups as engaging in medieval barbarity, his reference to medieval head chopping is highly one-sided and selective. There is ample historical evidence to show that cutting off the heads of Muslims, or even other Christians who did not share their particular religious views, was widely and enthusiastically engaged in by Christian Crusaders during the Middle Ages. Head slicing in the name of religion was by no means only a Muslim practice.



    This, of course, is not to mention Crusader massacres of European Jews, which it would not be unreasonable to regard as a prelude to the Holocaust more than 800 years later.



    Trump's endorsement of torture was of course based on the assumption that it is necessary in order to fight against terror groups such as ISIS. In the same way, Rubio has endorsed torture by recommending that suspected terrorists should be sent to Guantanamo where we can "find out everything they know".

    Cruz, as usual, was more devious and legalistic, since he would use only waterboarding, not any other method, and then, only under the supervision of higher up officials (maybe the Fuehrer himself?), not lower level torturers.

    But if torture ever comes back into use against suspected terrorists, how can anyone be sure that it will not be used for other purposes as well? For example both Trump and Cruz place the highest priority on mass deportation of 11 million unauthorized immigrants. It is no secret that much, if not most, of their popularity is based on their promises to reduce the number of Latino and other minority non-citizens in the US and prevent additional ones from coming here.

    If torture can be used against suspected terrorists, why can it not also be used in the service of mass deportation? Could America one day become a country in which "illegal immigrants" (or even their "anchor babies") are waterboarded (or even "a helluva lot worse") in order to find out where other illegal immigrants whom they might know are hiding so they can be deported too?

    And why limit the torture to immigrants? Under current law, it is a crime for US citizens to "harbor" unauthorized immigrants or smuggle them in. Legislation which House Republicans have been introducing with some regularity over the past decade or so would greatly expand the criminal responsibility of US citizens for giving assistance to immigrants who are in this country without legal status.

    Why not torture these US citizens too? These would be good questions to ask Donald Trump or any other candidate who supports torture in any of its forms. Megyn Kelley, are you watching?
    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 different parts of the world and ethnic/religious backgrounds obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger believes that prejudice or human rights violations against any group of immigrants are a danger to the rights of all immigrants, as well as to those of US citizens, and to the foundations of our democracy. Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 02-10-2016 at 08:01 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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