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  1. Independent Judiciary Has Been the Main Protection Against President's 100 Day Assault on Immigrants and America's Freedom. Roger Algase

    As the 100th day of one of the most anti-immigrant presidencies since the time of Calvin Coolidge almost a century ago has now come and gone, some commentators have pointed out that the actual changes that Donald Trump has made in immigration-related actions so far, as opposed to tough talk, are not as great as pro-immigration advocates had expected and feared.

    There are a number of good reasons to support this view that one can point to. Citizens of the six (originally seven) 99 percent Muslim countries whom Trump shocked America and the world by trying to ban from entering the US on dubious "national security" grounds" are still able to apply for visas to travel to America and use their visas to enter this Nation of Immigrants.

    Threatened mass deportation of millions of Hispanic and other minority immigrants who are already in the United States has not yet taken place, and, according to some reports, total deportation figures are not significantly higher than during the same periods under President Obama.

    Threatened cutoffs of federal funding for "Sanctuary Cities" have not yet taken place; American citizens are not being prosecuted or going to jail for living together with their unauthorized immigrant husbands, wives or parents, or for failing to turn their loved ones over to ICE for deportation, as would be the case in a truly fascist or totalitarian country.

    Trump has not even rescinded President Obama's DACA program, and he has come under fire from extremists in his own party, such as Representative Steve King (R-Iowa), for not doing so (as I have previously written about).

    In the area of skilled worker immigration, the president's much publicized "Hire American" executive order only called for government "studies" of the way that H-1B is working, rather than attempting to make any substantive changes in this program, which is one of the most important linchpins of our entire employment-based immigration system.

    At first glance, therefore, one might have the impression that on immigration, the new administration's bark has been far worse than its bite during the first 100 days.

    But the overall picture for immigrants under what AG Jeff Sessions recently called the "New Era" of Donald Trump is not anywhere as rosy, or harmless to the safety and security of immigrants, or the rights of Americans who support them or advocate for them, as the above would indicate.

    To be continued.

    Updated 04-30-2017 at 08:41 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Why Congress is hesitating to extend the Immigrant Investor program.

    © Getty

    Last week, federal authorities raided a Los Angeles-area business suspected of organizing a $50,000,000 visa fraud scheme for Chinese immigrants. Allegedly, the business took money from more than 100 Chinese investors for bogus business projects, allowing them to improperly obtain U.S. green cards. Three of the investors were fugitives wanted by the Chinese government.

    From California to Vermont, fraud is part of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5 program), established by Congress in 1990.

    The program offers lawful permanent resident status to foreign investors and their families to encourage them to invest in new businesses here that will benefit our economy and create jobs for American workers — but the program is rife with complications.

    Has EB-5 achieved its objectives?

    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) observed at a recent March hearing on the EB-5 program that it is “riddled with fraud and abuse and has strayed away from the program Congress envisioned when it created the program decades ago.” The program “is in desperate need of reform.”


    Published originally on The Hill and previously on

    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. He also has been a policy advisor for the DHS Office of Information Sharing and Collaboration under a contract with TKC Communications, and he has been in private practice as an immigration lawyer at Steptoe & Johnson.

  3. Restaurant Owner Going to Prison for Harboring Undocumented Workers

    By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law PLLC

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    An owner of two restaurants in Ukiah, California, Yaowapha Ritdet, was sentenced to serve 24 months in prison for harboring for profit and corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the internal revenue laws. According to documents filed with the court, Ritdet hired Thai nationals who were illegally present in the United States to work at her restaurants, Ruen Tong Thai Cuisine and Walter Café. Ritdet underpaid these employees, paid them in cash, and instructed them not to speak to anyone about their immigration status. Ritdet also did not pay employment taxes on the cash wages. Ritdet filed false individual income tax returns for 2007 through 2011 that underreported the gross receipts, sales, and income she received from her two restaurants.

    In addition to prison, Ritdet was ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to pay approximately $567,755.65 in restitution, including $70,768 to underpaid employees and $496,987 to the Internal Revenue Service.
  4. Texas Bill Could Allow Criminal Charges Against Police Who Do Not Comply With ICE Detainers, Putting America's Basic Freedoms at Risk. Roger Algase

    The Guardian reports that the Republican-dominated Texas legislature, apparently taking its cue from the Trump administration's harsh policies toward unauthorized immigrants and attempts to cut off funds for Sanctuary Cities, may be about to pass a bill which, according to the newspaper report:

    "...puts sheriffs and other police chiefs at rusk of criminal charges and other serious sanctions if they do not help the federal government enforce immigration laws by complying with requests to detain immigrants. There are also civil fines for non-cooperation by local entities including campus police departments."

    The Guardian also reports that in the face of protests against the bill by Democratic legislators, one of whom began a four day hunger strike, another of whom wept as she described her experience as a sexual assault survivor and warned that the proposed law would help criminals, and a third who described the fear and terror she went through as a young girl in a family of unauthorized immigrants, the Republican legislators reacted as follows:

    "...they strengthened the language of the bill to allow law enforcement to ask the immigration status of anyone who is merely detained - for example during a traffic stop - as well as arrested."

    Most ominous of all for those who care about traditional American family values and the welfare of children, the Republican majority:

    "...refused to pass amendments calling for exemptions for young children at school or people in domestic violence shelters."

    All Americans, whether living in Texas or not (and the same article reports that Texas is not the only state considering similar draconian immigration "enforcement" measures) need to think about what it means to live in a country where a state or local government may be able to pass a law so clearly intended to spread panic and dread in Latino and other minority communities, in the same manner that autocratic or totalitarian regimes did to their minority populations in much of the 20th century and are still doing in some places in the world today.

    America was founded in order to be a refuge from this type of persecution against unpopular minorities. Will it now become a country that, under color of law, openly engages in such inhumanity in the era of Donald Trump?

    And it is not only immigrants who could have reason to worry about the effect of the Trump administration's mass deportation agenda on the basic civil liberties and freedoms that Americans have been taking for granted in a democratic society up to now.

    Based on the above news report (as I have not seen the actual text of the Texas bill), American citizens, in this case, state sheriffs and other law enforcement officials, could be at risk of going to prison if they refuse to become participants in this agenda.

    When this is combined with Attorney General Jeff Sessions' warning that officials in Sanctuary Cities could be at risk of being prosecuted under INA Section 274 for refusal to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement activities such as sharing or maintaining immigration status information under 8 U.S.C. Section 1373, or honoring ICE detainer requests, it could turn out that American citizens may have as much, or even more, to fear from the new administration's policies as minority immigrants themselves.

    These policies may or may not be successful in bringing about the demographic changes in the ethnic makeup of America's population so evidently desired by some of Trump's inner circle of immigration advisers, such as Stephen Bannon. But these policies could result in the loss of freedom for the American people to dissent from or oppose whatever orders relating to immigration the president chooses to issue from the White House.
    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 diverse parts of the world receive work visas and green cards.

    Roger's email address is

    Updated 04-28-2017 at 10:58 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Other Than Rhetoric Very Little Has Changed on Immigration

    by , 04-27-2017 at 11:29 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    As the saying goes: Perception is reality.

    Via The Nation:

    "The media has played its own role in fanning the flames. Since Donald Trump entered the Oval Office, news reports have proliferated about rising raids, arrests, detentions, and deportations. These suggest that something new, terrifying, and distinctly Trumpian—something we’ve simply never seen before—is underway, including mass sweeps to deport individuals who would have been protected under the previous administration.

    The numbers tell a different story.

    A Washington Post scare headline typically read: “ICE Immigration Arrests of Noncriminals Double Under Trump.” While accurate, it was nonetheless misleading. Non-criminal immigration arrests did indeed jump from 2,500 in the first three months of 2016 to 5,500 during the same period in 2017, while criminal arrests also rose, bringing the total to 21,000. Only 16,000 were arrested during the same months in 2016. The article, however, ignored the fact that 2016 was the all-time-low
    year for arrests under President Obama. In the first three months of 2014, for example, 29,000 were arrested, far more than Trump’s three month “record.”

    And even though arrests went up during Trump’s first three months in office, deportations actually went down, mostly due to the fact that the number of immigrants crossing the border declined.

    To those who have been following deportation politics in this country, Trump’s policies, as they are now unfolding, have an eerie resonance. They seem to be growing directly out of policies first instituted in the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama."

    Click here
    to read the full article.

    Updated 04-27-2017 at 12:01 PM by MKolken

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