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  1. O'Malley Stsnds Up for the Diversity Visa, and African Immigrants. By Roger Algase

    This post is a continuation of my July 15 comments about former Maryland Governor and current Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley's proposals for immigration reform as contained in his 8-page manifesto: Welcoming New Americans To Rebuild The American Dream. My following comments will focus his proposal to overhaul the legal US immigration system, contained in the last page of his manifesto.

    As is to be expected in a document which devotes only one page to legal immigration, compared to six pages to its unauthorized counterpart (not counting the first, introductory page) Governor O'Malley offers less in the way of specific proposals to reform the legal immigration system.

    But, just as in the case of his proposals to reform the enforcement system relating to unauthorized immigration, O'Malley zeros in on some of the features of current laws or proposals which are arguably the most influenced by anti-immigrant prejudice, rather than sound or rational policy considerations.

    For example, in his discussion of reforming the system for dealing with unauthorized immigration, O'Malley, as I mentioned in my last post, focuses on the need to reduce the number of people subject to the 3 and 10 "unlawful presence" bars to admissibility, an especially harsh feature of the 1996 IIRIRA statute.

    As I have pointed out previously, IIRIRA was enacted in response to a "backlash" against the 1965 immigration reforms which had ended 40 years of discrimination against immigrants who were not from Western Europe. IIRIRA was also hardly a shining example of American democracy in action; it was rammed through Congress at the very last minute without debate or discussion, and attached to a veto-proof "must pass" military appropriations bill only a month before that year's presidential election.

    It would have taken an enormous amount of courage to veto that bill, which was signed by President Clinton.

    Also in the context of unauthorized immigration, Governor O'Malley calls for the end of a host of due process violations and similar abuses involving detention, removal and other enforcement policies which are arguably more reflective of anti-immigrant hysteria than of any real respect for basic rights under the rule of law.

    Governor O'Malley's approach to reforming legal immigration reflects the same boldness and precision in combating proposals which, on their face, have more to do with pandering to prejudice than they do with making our immigration system more equitable and workable.

    I begin with his last proposal: Protect the Diversity Visa. This may seem like a small thing; there are only 55,000 of these visas issued every year. This is not about the fate of millions of unauthorized immigrants of hundreds of thousands of foreign skilled and professional workers held up by antiquated and grossly inadequate H-1B or immigrant visa quotas which date from the last century, but are no more relevant to our society and economy today than they would have been if they had been established in the Middle Ages.

    But as O'Malley points out, about half of the diversity lottery winners each year come from Africa. This is a far cry from the predecessor of the diversity visa, which was originally known as the "AA-1" program and was meant to benefit European, and especially Irish, immigrants exclusively. ("AA" meant "adversely affected" and referred to European immigrants who had lost their privileged position prior to the 1965 immigration reform).

    Now that this program has morphed into one that is truly based on diversity, especially by making it easier for African immigrants who do not belong to the highly educated, privileged elite in their countries to come to America, there is a movement afoot to kill this entire program.

    Shamefully, eliminating this visa was one of the provisions included in the bipartisan S 744 Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill which passed the Senate in 2013. As everyone will recall, this bill was promptly pronounced "Dead on Arrival" in the House.

    One would like to think that the opposition by House leaders to taking up S 744 was motivated by a desire to protect African and other non-white immigrants by keeping the diversity visa in place. Perhaps one day a scholar at Fox News, the Heritage Foundation, or Center for Immigration Studies will come up with evidence to this effect and share it with the rest of us.

    In the meantime, Governor O'Malley should be commended for battling to keep this visa, instead of throwing an entire continent under the bus.

    To be continued in an upcoming post.
    Roger Algase is a New York lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping primarily skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards for more than 30 years. Roger believes that success in immigration cases depends not only on thorough knowledge of the law, but also on building relationships of trust and understanding with the clients whom he is dedicated to serving.

    His email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 07-23-2015 at 03:48 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Merkel Wants to Hug Young Refugee - Before Deporting Her. By Roger Algase

    Huffington Post reports on July 16 that Angela Merkel tried to console a teenage Palestinian girl on television after telling her that she would be deported because there isn't enough room for her in Germany.

    After hearing Merkel say that Germany can't cope with all the people who want to come from Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, or from Africa, the young woman began to cry, and Merkel rushed over to give her a pat on the back. telling the TV moderator that she wanted to give the refugee a hug.

    One wonders how many Mexican "rapists" Donald Trump will be willing to give hugs to before he deports them if he becomes president. For that matter, there are in all probability no public records showing whether President Obama hugged any of the more than 2 million people he has deported since he has been in office.

    The Huffpost story is at:

    Roger Algase is a New York lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School who has been helping primarily skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards for more than 30 years. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 07-17-2015 at 11:49 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. BALCA Determines that Additional Recruitment Steps are not Bound by the Content Requi

    BALCA Determines that Additional Recruitment Steps are not Bound by the Content Requirements of the Mandatory Recruitment Steps

    The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (“BALCA”) recently issued a decision in which it considered whether the additional recruitment steps that are completed as part of a PERM recruitment effort must meet the content requirements that are imposed on the mandatory recruitment steps. In Matter of Computer Sciences Corporation, the employer submitted a labor certification for the position of “Program Office Senior Manager.” The case was selected for audit and the employer provided documentation of advertisements placed on its website and on a job search website. These advertisements constituted additional recruitment steps for this case and contained the language “willingness to travel; may require work from home office.” The labor certification filed for this position did not list any travel requirement or the opportunity to work from home. The Certifying Officer (“CO”) denied the case on the basis that these additional recruitment steps violated 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(f)(6) because they contained a requirement “which exceed[s] the job requirements or duties listed on the ETA From 9089.” BALCA reviewed the case and stated that “additional recruitment steps include advertisements placed on the employer’s website and on job search websites and, unlike mandatory advertisements, are not bound by the restrictions of [20 C.F.R. §] 656.17(f)(6).” Consequently, BALCA reversed the decision of CO. This case provides welcome clarification that demonstrates that the additional recruitment steps do not have the same content requirements as the mandatory recruitment steps. Nonetheless, the Hammond Law Group suggests that advertisements that are conducted as part of the PERM recruitment effort should not contain requirements or opportunities that are not listed on the Form ETA 9089. This post originally appeared on HLG's Views blog by Cadence Moore. http://www.hammondlawgroup.com/blog/.

  4. Gov. Martin O' Malley Announces Bold, Humane Immigration Proposals. By Roger Algase

    In contrast to the gloom and hatred generated by Donald Trump's headline-grabbing anti-immigrant rants, supported by Ann Coulter's dark warnings about "third-world" immigrants turning America into a "hellhole" inhabited by Latino "child rapists" and Mexicans who are allegedly more dangerous to this country than ISIS fighters, not to mention Patrick Buchanan, the one time advocate for accused Nazi concentration camp guards now turned defender of "Western" (i.e. white) "culture" against Hispanics in our midst; a ray of sunshine and voice of reason, compassion and reality has appeared in the person of former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley, now a Democratic presidential candidate.

    On July 14, Governor O'Malley released a series of immigration reform proposals with the statement that:

    "The enduring symbol of our nation is the Statue of Liberty, not a barbed wire fence."

    See The Hill: O'Malley pledges to create a more welcoming immigration system


    The Hill also quotes O'Malley as follows:

    "We are, and always have been, a nation of immigrants and our immigration laws must reflect our values. That is why we need to reform a system that is callous, irrational, inhumane and unjust by providing immediate relief to millions of New Americans and fighting for immigration reform to bring our neighbors out of the shadows."

    The following is a list of Governor O'Malley's proposals, consisting of eight pages. They can be read in full by clicking on the link new proposal in the above The Hill article. These proposals are examples of both courage and common sense. They are a beacon of hope in our immigration landscape, now clouded over by the specters of bigotry and prejudice.

    Here they are:

    1. Extend deferred action to as many unauthorized immigrants ("New Americans") as possible who are productive, contributing members of society,

    2. Expand the scope of waivers of the 3 and 10 year bars to admissibility. (My take on this is that the 3 and 10 year "unlawful presence" bars were a product of the "backlash" atmosphere of anti-immigrant bigotry that led to the passage of IIRIRA in 1996. The 3 and 10 year bars should be repealed in toto.),

    4. Expand access to naturalization for New Americans,

    5. Expand access to health care for New Americans,

    6. Place narrow limits on the use of detention, so that it will be used only as a last resort,

    7. Restore due process and basic fairness in immigration enforcement,

    8. Disentangle local law enforcement from immigration enforcement,

    9. Respect individual rights while protecting the border,

    10. Enact comprehensive immigration reform,

    11. Overhaul (and protect) the legal immigration system.

    Given the assaults on legal immigration by powerful senators such as Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) with the support of many other Republicans and at least a few Congressional Democrats, as well as the attacks against legal skilled worker immigration by governor and presidential candidate Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin), Governor O'Malley's proposals to protect our legal immigration system and make it more equitable are of particular importance.

    I will discuss them further in upcoming posts.

    Roger Algase is a New York lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School who has been helping primarily skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards for more than 30 years. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 07-16-2015 at 06:35 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Trump, Coulter, Buchanan: Is Bigotry Affecting Our Immigration Laws? By Roger Algase

    For more than a century, the Anti-Defamation League, which was founded in 1913 to combat anti-Semitism during a time of high Jewish immigration to America, and which has earned the respect of decent Americans everywhere for fighting against all forms of hatred and prejudice ever since, has strongly condemned not only Donald Trump, but also columnists Ann Coulter and Patrick Buchanan (a former presidential candidate) for their attacks on Latino immigrants.

    In a July 1 article, Mainstream Figures Demonize Hispanic Immigrants with Bigoted Rhetoric, the ADL points out that Trump is not alone in spreading hate against Mexican and other immigrants. It also mentions Ann Coulter's latest book Adios America! The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole.

    Aside from its inflammatory title, Coulter's book contains lines quoted by the ADL as follows:

    "How can any immigrant assimilate if Americans refuse to mention their little cultural annoyances such as littering, drunk driving and child rape?"

    The ADL also quotes Coulter as saying that Americans should fear Mexicans more than ISIS terrorists.


    Coulter has gained support from another writer who is well-known for his anti-immigrant views, Patrick Buchanan. According to the ADL, Buchanan wrote the following in his recent column Is Third World America Inevitable?

    "...if the next president embraces amnesty and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, that will mean the end of the Western nation we have been, and the beginning of America's life as what Ann calls, unapologetically, a 'Third World Hellhole.'"

    It is important to note the thrust of what both Coulter and Buchanan are saying (along with Trump). They are not talking about the rule of law, protection of American workers or border security and the need to combat terrorism, which both advocates and opponents of immigration can readily agree are legitimate subjects of discussion for immigration law and policy. Instead, they are stigmatizing immigrants for who they allegedly are - dangerous, inferior people who will destroy America and turn it into a "hellhole".

    When Buchanan, especially, talks about America as a "Western" nation, there can be little doubt that his meaning is another adjective that begins with the same letter as "Western". This is the classic language of hate, little if at all different from the invective that was being used against Jewish, Asian, Eastern European and many other immigrants at the time the ADL was founded.

    It might hardly be a coincidence that both Coulter and Buchanan have been accused of prejudice against Jews, a once persecuted immigrant group which is now generally (though perhaps still not entirely) accepted as part of mainstream American society.

    For a comment on Coulter's alleged views concerning Jews, see an October 14, 2007 article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz entitled Ann Coulter's dream of a Jew-free America.


    Buchanan, for his part, has a long history of anti-Semitic comments, only some of which are mentioned in a September 3, 2008 Huffington Post article: Patrick Buchanan Quacks Like a Nazi Sympathizer.

    Certainly, Donald Trump is not alone in his attacks on Mexican and other Latino immigrants. He has company. Is it good company? Readers will have to judge for themselves.

    Readers may also ask, what is the point of calling attention to bigoted comments about immigration from certain public figures whose influence (one would hope) might be limited to certain sectors of the US electorate?

    The ADL answers this question at the end of its article:

    "Taken together, these comments demonstrate that anti-immigrant rhetoric is not just an issue for white supremacists and other extremists but is very much part of the mainstream. While you have a Constitutional right to be a bigot in this country, there are usually social and economic consequences."

    It should be added that there are legal consequences as well, in terms of adoption of harsh anti-immigrant laws and policies in response to public prejudice against certain immigrant groups, or failure to adopt more immigrant friendly measures such as Congressionally enacted legalization for unauthorized immigrants or an increase in the H-1B cap for skilled workers.

    It may be easy to try to dismiss Trump as a "clown", Coulter as a "publicity seeker" or Buchanan as an extremist. But they have many followers and great potential to move our immigration system backwards in the direction of the discriminatory, unequal and unjust system that it used to be for much of our history. Their influence should not be underestimated.
    Roger Algase is a New York lawyer and graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping primarily professional and skilled immigrants obtain work visas and green cards for more than 30 years. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 07-15-2015 at 04:19 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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