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Blog Comments

  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    What about Trump's promise that only "criminal aliens" would be arrested and deported? Anyone who believes that promise might just as well believe that Trump's ban against entry by citizens of seven Muslim countries is also supported by a presidential finding that the tiny perscantages of Christians and Jews living in those countries pose a danger to the United States, along with the Muslims. and that Muslims are not being targeted specifically even though they are 99 percent of the population in most or all of these countries.

    Let's keep George Orwell out of our discussion.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Are we supposed to believe this statement? Does Matt believe it?

    If the Trump administration is really planning to focus on dangerous criminals for deportation as its priority, instead of casting a much wider dragnet, why did the White House and DHS (allegedly) order ICE to cancel its scheduled meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss and answer questions about the raids?

    Isn't the cancellation one more indication, along with his claim in the 9th Circuit Muslim ban case that his power to make "national security" decision over immigrant entry to the US is "unreviewable", that Trump intends to rule as a dictator over immigration, not as the leader of a democracy?

    Roger Algase
    Attornney at Law
  3. MKolken's Avatar
    You mean like when Obama used the NSA to spy on Americans?
  4. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    In Donald Trump's America, the Constitution-Free Zone may soon be expanded to include the area indicated in light grey on Matt's map of the US, as well as the dark brown area - in other words, the entire United States of America - as Trump expands his one-man rule to include all aspects of American law and life, beginning but not ending with immigration.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-13-2017 at 11:59 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  5. leveymg's Avatar
    Now for the potential hellish future by mere agency reinterpretation of procedure, without even the need to publish new regulations. Since by statute the criteria applied to determine whether an EWI who entered within the previous two years is subject to expedited removal is solely up to the discretion of DHS, the present guidelines could be changed by a nod of Mr. Trump's head. Or, whomever is determining immigration policy that day. If the whim is to "be tough," anyone who fits the statutory profile no matter where they may be located in the interior could be immediately detained and removed with no access to counsel. All without any review. I wonder if this 9th Circuit panel understood the implications of this ruling.
  6. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Some history on expedited removal proceedings.

    Such proceedings were established in 1996 by IIRIRA because aliens were showing up at a port of entry, asking for asylum, and being paroled into the country pending the scheduling of an asylum hearing before an immigration judge. The problem. They absconded. IIRRIRA greatly minimized the problem by limiting asylum hearings to aliens who have apparently genuine persecution claims.

    Nolan Rappaport
  7. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Matthew, THE EO provides authority for case-by-case waivers of the ban and the suspension of the refugee program.

    (g) Notwithstanding a suspension pursuant to subsection (c) of this section or pursuant to a Presidential proclamation described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.

    Nolan Rappaport

    (e) Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest -- including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship -- and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.
  8. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Matt, do you still think that President Obama was the Devil Incarnate on Deportation, worse than whom even Plato or Parmenides would not have been able to envision in their world of forms?

    Or are you now reserving judgment on that question, at least until Trump sends in his special Sturmabteilung "Task Force" to break down doors in Buffalo and everywhere else in our Nation of Immigrants in the middle of the night and drag screaming immigrants who may have overstayed their visas by a couple of days off to his immigration detention center gulag, modeled on the one that his model of democratic rule, Vladimir Putin, is building in Russia?

    Oh, and Matt, also, do you think that prosecutorial discretion would be in such big trouble if Hillary Clinton were occupying the White House right now (as the majority of American voters in the past election cast their ballots for her to do)?

    Just asking for your thoughts out of idle curiosity.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 01-30-2017 at 07:09 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  9. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    No safety net is no doubt accurate, but given the numbers of deportable immigrants that exist, in relation to deportation resources, whether one is in a priority class or not can make a big difference in how long a deportable immigrant actually stays in the US.

    Moreover, Trump has announced that he is giving priority to "criminal aliens" (if they are already deportable on other grounds, such as EWI or overstay), in order to make the public think that he is tough on crime (and terror) above all else rather than focusing on race or religion in his immigration policies.

    Now, he has in effect defined millions of people who are not criminals under our law because they have never been convicted of any crime as criminals, for prioritization purposes. This will certainly help with using immigration enforcement as a means of ethnic cleansing, but it different from prioritizing the real criminals, as Trump had promised to do.

    This also adds an element of George Orwell to Trump's enforcement plan that was not present in Obama's policy. It is this idea of making words (in this case "criminal alien") and reality - as opposed to, for example, his delusional fantasy about "millions" of people allegedly having voted against him "illegally" -

    mean whatever Trump wants them to mean that makes Trump's presidency a danger to our democracy like none other this country has ever faced before.

    However, this is not to say that it would be a bad thing if most or all of Trump's promises turn out to have been lies.

    I, for one, am not convinced that the Mexican wall will ever be built. You yourself, Nolan, have given many sound reasons why this would not be feasible or make much sense.

    Nor am I convinced that there will ever be a Muslim registry. Trump's promise to abolish DACA on the first day of his presidency was clearly not fulfilled, and some of his supporters on the Alt-Right are reportedly quite upset about this.

    But when Trump changes his mind about something (as every president has the right to do). he quite often denies that he ever had the original intention in the first place. This shows an adversarial relationship with reality which is a dangerous sign in the psychological makeup of any individual, and is exceptionally dangerous when that individual holds the most powerful office in the world.

    I am very far from being alone in having these concerns, According to the legendary Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, even some officials in Trump's own party are questioning his stability.

    We saw one of many examples one could name of this tendency when, after many years, Trump finally gave up his birther attacks on Obama, and then falsely blamed Hillary Clinton for the attacks instead of himself.

    However, if Trump abandons the Wall, the Muslim registry and mass deportation and wants to blame Hillary Clinton (or the New York Times or CNN) for originating these ideas instead, I will not complain - as long as Trump does in fact abandon these proposals.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 01-26-2017 at 09:35 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  10. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    Matt, there is one very big difference in priorities here, as I discuss in detail in my own blog comment in this same issue of Immigration Daily, January 26.

    Obama's priorities (as you list them above) were for deporting people who were convicted of crimes, while Trump's include people who have merely been charged with crimes but not convicted. Under our law, someone is innocent until proven guilty.

    But Trump is treating even those legally innocent people as criminals for deportation priority purposes (assuming, of course that they are already deportable as EWI's or visa overstays).

    Of course, trashing the presumption of innocence might not be such a big deal

    It has only been part of the Western legal tradition for the past 1,700 years, ever since the time of the Roman emperor Julian.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    I don't understand what you are getting at? Are you suggesting that people who aren't deportable will be deported because they are in a priority category? It's a safe assumption that Trump intends to deport all deportable aliens. The interior executive order says in several places that he is not going to exempt any groups. The priorities are just an effort to try to get the criminal aliens first. Unlike the Obama administration, there is no safety in not falling under one of Trump's priorities.

    Nolan Rappaport
  11. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    There are major differences between Obama's enforcement policies and Trump's, such as in the amount of difficulty required for the officer in the field to know who to arrest. And under Obama arresting someone not in a priority category required high level supervisory approval. In fact, there was a law suit by ICE officers (or were they CBP officers?) over sanctions for guessing wrong on who to arrest.

    The bottom line for Trump enforcement is try to arrest criminals if you can, but pretty much everyone is fair game. Bad policy? Maybe, but bear in mind that no one will be deported unless he is deportable under the INA, no matter what Trump's policies are.

    Nolan Rappaport
    Updated 01-26-2017 at 05:51 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  12. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Matt, there is one very big difference in priorities here, as I discuss in detail in my own blog comment in this same issue of Immigration Daily, January 26.

    Obama's priorities (as you list them above) were for deporting people who were convicted of crimes, while Trump's include people who have merely been charged with crimes but not convicted. Under our law, someone is innocent until proven guilty.

    But Trump is treating even those legally innocent people as criminals for deportation priority purposes (assuming, of course that they are already deportable as EWI's or visa overstays).

    Of course, trashing the presumption of innocence might not be such a big deal

    It has only been part of the Western legal tradition for the past 1,700 years, ever since the time of the Roman emperor Julian.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 01-26-2017 at 03:53 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  13. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Once there were 99 ostriches. They heard the 100th ostrich approaching, and they said to each other: "Quick! Let's hide before he sees us"!

    Then all 99 ostriches buried their heads in the sand. Shortly after, the 100th ostrich arrived. Very puzzled, he looked around.

    "Hey", he said out loud, "Where is everybody?"

    Was that ostrich named Donald Trump? Matt's above article seems to be written on that assumption.

    Otherwise, what would be the point of rehashing (for the umpteenth time) the immigration policy shortcomings (real as they may be, to be sure) of Barack Obama, who no longer has one ounce of power over immigration, while ignoring Our New Chief Executive, who, less than a week after taking office, has already taken the first step toward building his Wall of anti-Mexican hate; who is reportedly preparing an edict barring the most vulnerable people of all from our shores - refugees - in utter contempt of America's moral and legal obligations under international law; who is also reportedly getting ready to bar all immigrants from certain Muslim countries, in a turn back our immigration law of almost 100 years ago which did the same thing to Catholics and Jews; and. most shocking and horrifying of all, who threatened earlier today, on January 25, 2017 to impose martial law in Chicago, which just happens to be high on the list of self-proclaimed Sanctuary Cities.

    Eventually, one assumes, the 99 ostriches finally took their heads out of the sand.

    It is time for America's immigration advocates - and for everyone who cares about the survival of our democracy in Donald Trump's America - to do the same.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 01-25-2017 at 09:46 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  14. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    That's what Priebus says. Has Bannon signed on yet? Has Sessions? More to the point, has Our New President done so?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  15. MKolken's Avatar
    Roger, facts are stubborn things.

    Via Bryan Johnson:

    First, 22 Democratic Senators voted in favor of making “IIRIRA” law. Some of these so-called pro-immigration reform Senators include Senator Harry Reid, Feinstein, and Leahy.

    88 House Democrats voted in favor of making “IIRIRA” law. Only a slight majority at 92 voted against.

    The Democratic party was overwhelmingly anti-immigrant in 1996 and was just as responsible as the GOP, if not more, for the millions of families destroyed because of the horribly anti-immigrant IIRIRA.

    Although there were more Republicans overall in favor of the 1996 laws, the Democrats were their willing partners. Almost half of the Democrats in Congress votes “Yay.”
    Updated 01-20-2017 at 01:59 PM by MKolken
  16. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Matt, that question is an exact example of the kind of revisionist immigration history I am talking about. You must certainly know that IIRIRA was as far away as possible from being a bipartisan measure.

    To the contrary, it was rammed through Congress by the Republican majority in the dead of night in late September (30th, if I remember correctly) as an attachment to a veto-proof omnibus appropriations bill (including, if my memory is correct military appropriations).

    This was done in order to avoid any meaningful discussion or debate on the bill. If President Cinton had vetoed IIRIRA, he would have had to veto the whole bill and would have been at great risk of losing the presidential election which took place only a little over a month later.

    It is easy, with 20 years of hindsight, to say that Clinton should have had the courage to stand up and do the right thing by vetoing the bill anyway.

    Instead, he caved in and even tried to pretend that he has played some role in making parts of the bill a little less horrible for immigrants.

    Cowardice and political expediency? Yes - like almost every other president in our history. Bipartisan measure? - No.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  17. MKolken's Avatar
  18. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    It has become something of a parlor game to blame Obama's various immigration policy shortcomings (of which there are admittedly plenty) for the rise of Donald Trump.

    But this leaves out at least two decades of Republican anti-immigrant legislation and proposals, beginning with IIRIRA enacted in 1996, the Sensenbrenner House immigration bill of 2005 (HR 4437) which would have effectively criminalized the entire immigration system, as well as the discredited (but perhaps soon to be revived?) state immigrant persecution laws such as Arizona's infamous SB 1070 and Alabama's even worse SB 56 (which Senator Jeff Sessions admires so much), and the Republican blocking of every attempt at CIR, to name just a very few out of many.

    I am not saying this in order to be partisan, but only to point out a reality that one of our two major parties has (for the most part) stood on the side of diversity, inclusion and racial equality in our immigration system over the past 20 years, while the other party has been the party of the white anti-immigration backlash and attempt to turn America back to a white supremacist pre-1965 immigration system which have now put Donald Trump in the White House.

    Yes, let us criticize Obama's immigration policy evils, of which there are many.

    But that does not justify a revisionist view of the past 20 years of immigration history which would blame the Democrats, rather than his pwn party, for bringing about Donald Trump's America.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 01-20-2017 at 04:42 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  19. MKolken's Avatar
    "Up to now, this law, as is also the case with Section 212(f) has been used sparingly."

    This statement is patently false.
  20. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Despite the large number of deportations and criminal prosecutions for immigration violations, there is every reason to believe that the Obama administration will be looked back on as a golden age of immigrant rights compared to what we can expect under Donald Trump.

    This is because of two not widely known or frequently used statutes already on the books which we are likely to hear about quite a bit more in the coming years of anti-immigrant hatred and repression under the new president and his fiercely anti-immigrant choice for general, Jeff Sessions.

    One of these laws, INA Section 212(f) will give Trump almost unlimited power to bar immigrants or visitors from entering the United States for any reason, including, race, religion, political opinion or any other factor that the president, in his unlimited discretion, decides is detrimental to US interests.

    This statute would not only give Trump the power to ban all Muslims throughout the world from entering the United States, but would also give him the power to exclude anyone coming from designated Muslim countries.

    And not only Muslims - immigrants could also be barred by race, as under the 19th century Chinese exclusion law Supreme Court decisions which have never been overruled and are still the law today (See Kleindienst v Mandel, 1972), or merely because Trump doesn't like their views or they may have said something negative about this notoriously thin-skinned president-elect, who keeps threatening to retaliate against everyone who disagrees with him in every way possible.

    As Justice Douglas suggested in his dissent in Kleindienst, INA Section 212(f) arguably give the president power to exclude an immigrant or visitor for saying the the earth is round, rather than flat.

    How many climate change opponents will be able to get visas to attend scientific conferences in the US in Donald Trump's America?

    Will anyone who has ever complained about Russian-supported human rights violations in Syria or advocated on behalf of Syrian refugees be able to visit America in the new administration?

    Will someone who has been a business competitor of one of Trump's overseas ventures, or has ever said anything critical of Trump, be allowed into the US?

    No one should count on that.

    The other extremely broad statute, INA Section 274, makes it a federal felony to "harbor" or "assist" anyone who is in this country illegally. This law applies to everyone, not just foreign citizens.

    Up to now, this law, as is also the case with Section 212(f) has been used sparingly.

    Under the new immigrant-hating attorney general, with his lass than stellar record on civil rights and race relations in general, could we see a huge spike in prosecutions of American citizens who "assist" illegal immigrants by advocating for legalization, protesting against cruel and inhuman abuses and denial of basic human rights in immigration detention centers, or who provide lodging, medical assistance or even trivial benefits such as car driver or restaurant server tips to anyone without first checking the person's legal status?

    Could millions of Americans who have pro-immigration views or who advocate for more lenient or open immigration policies toward DREAMERS or other people who are in this country without legal status be headed to prison?

    Will American citizens who provide legal advice or support to unauthorized immigrants be safe from prosecution?

    Will American citizens who do not turn their own spouses, parents or other family members in for deportation be charged with committing a felony by our incoming new attorney general, who in his January 2015 "Handbook" for Republican members of Congress, praised the Coolidge administration's 1924 "Nordics" -only immigration law, one of the most overtly racist immigration statutes in our entire history?

    It is not at all inconceivable that America may be about to witness an era of repression against pro-immigration Americans that could make the Russia of Trump's good friend and supporter, Vladimir Putin, seem like a bastion of freedom and democracy by comparison.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 01-07-2017 at 04:25 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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