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  1. Trump Moves Toward Dictatorship: Threatens to Ruin WP/Amazon Chief's Business, Prosecute Oakland Mayor, for Opposing Immigration Agenda. Roger Algase

    When I was growing up, a U.S. president, who, coincidentally, shared the same first four letters of his last name with America's current president, famously wrote a letter threatening to punch a Washington Post music critic in the nose (among other places) because the critic had panned the singing performance of the president's daughter, Margaret Truman.

    But there is quite a big difference between a never carried out presidential threat to punch a newspaper music in the nose and an actual ongoing attempt by a president of the United States to use a major instrument of the government, in this case, the United States Post office, to destroy the multi-billion dollar business of a major newspaper publisher because of the latter's opposition to the president's policies, including among the most important targets of criticism, that president's immigration agenda.

    Yet this is exactly what Trump is attempting to do to Jeff Bezos, owner of both and the Washington Post, in retaliation for that newspaper's criticism of Trump's policies and performance as president, including, as a key element of that paper's opposition, Trump's assault on both legal and unauthorized immigration from mainly non-European, non-white parts of the world.

    And there is an even bigger difference between President Harry Truman's expression of outrage and a threat by Donald Trump to prosecute a local government official, in this case the mayor of Oakland, California, for resisting this president's mass deportation agenda.

    Trump's attempt to use the vast power of the federal government to destroy the business of the Washington Post's owner for criticizing Trump's administration, and his threat to prosecute Libby Schaaf, the mayor of Oakland, for refusing to fall in line with his ethnic cleansing deportation agenda directed against Latin American and other immigrants of color who are not from"countries like Norway" are not the actions of the leader of a democratic country that honors the rule of law. They are the actions of a dictator.

    It is not only Latin American, Muslim, African and other immigrants from outside white Europe who are the victims of Trump's attempt to impose his own racial prejudices and/or those of his right wing supporters on America through dismantling the programs and protections which have allowed millions of immigrants ranging from highly skilled H-1B workers to Diversity Visa lottery winners with only a high school education to come to the US legally in the past decades, and through spreading fear and terror in minority communities throughout America through his ethnic cleansing mass deportation agenda for non-criminal immigrants.

    The ultimate losers are the American people, whose almost 250 year-old experiment in democracy is now in danger of being wiped out.

    For the full story on Trump's attempts to bully the USPS into doubling the package delivery rates for Amazon in an obvious attempt at revenge against Bezos for the Washington Post's vocal opposition to Trump's anti-immigrant agenda and many other policies as president, see, Washington Post, May 18:

    Trump personally pushed postmaster general to double rates on Amazon, other firms

    (Available though Google - I do not have a direct link.)

    And for more details about Trump's threat to prosecute Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for "obstruction of justice" (a charge that Trump himself has been under investigation for the past year by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in a non-immigration related context) for allegedly refusing to cooperate with an ICE raid as part of Trump's mass deportation agenda, see:

    To be sure, the United States has not yet reached the point where critics of the president suddenly disappear in the middle of the night to be locked up on orders from the top or, allegedly, die by poisoning, as in the case of Russia (whose purported role in helping Trump win the presidency is still very much part of the Mueller investigation which is obviously causing Trump so much Angst).

    But the above news items leave no doubt that America is moving toward that direction in the "Donald Trump Era" - one which now includes a new CIA director who has had great difficulty overcoming allegations of complicity in torture.

    In view of Trump's open advocacy of using torture against people he perceives as dangerous during his presidential campaign

    could Trump's appointment of Gina Haspel to this powerful and influential position be another, not so veiled, warning to media figures and politicians who might be thinking of speaking out against Trump's plans to purge America of non-white immigrants, about what might happen to anyone who opposes this agenda in the non-so distant future?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 05-19-2018 at 07:21 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. The State of Immigration Enforcement by Alex Nowrasteh

    by , 05-18-2018 at 10:27 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via the Cato Institute's Alex Nowrasteh:

    "Criminal removals are for those who are convicted of crimes, mostly nonviolent and nonproperty offenses such as violations of immigration law. Much of the fear today is that the Trump administration will increase the removals of noncriminal illegal immigrants. While they certainly are targeted, the number and percentage of noncriminal removals are barely changed in 2017 compared to 2016 (Figure 1). The number of criminal removals climbed by about 11,000 and noncriminal removals by about 3,000 in 2017 relative to 2016. "

    Click here for more analysis.
  3. Sessions Moves to Destroy Immigration Court Independence in Order to Rubber Stamp Trump's Mass Deportation Agenda. Roger Algase

    As further evidence that Trump's racially motivated immigration agenda of stopping people whom he calls "animals" (otherwise known as Latino or other non-white immigrants) from entering the United States, and expelling those who are already here as fast as possible (see my May 17 Immigration Daily comment) is taking America on the road to dictatorship, Trump's AG, Jeff Sessions, is quietly destroying the independence of the Immigration Court system and converting it into a rubber stamp for Trump's mass deportation agenda.

    Huffington Post reports that Sessions has used his wide authority over the immigration court system to take three important cases away from the Board of Immigration Appeals. In his first decision issued in these cases, he has sharply limited the power of Immigration Judges to close deportation cases administratively.

    This could speed up the removal of thousands of immigrants who may have valid legal claims to the right to stay in the US, such as through adjustment of status to permanent resident.

    In the words of Jeremy McKinney, national secretary of AILA, this could

    "...deport people who are trying to go through the immigration system the right way."

    Huffpost reports that Sessions has also taken two other important cases away from the BIA to decide on his own, something which attorney generals are allowed to do by law but which power other AG's have used only sparingly up to now. One of the cases could restrict the power of IJ''s to grant continuances, and the other could make asylum much mire difficult.

    As Trina Realmuto of the American Immigration Council states about Sessions:

    "As the attorney general, as the head of the department of justice, as the person who is certifying cases to himself, he needs to be neutral, impartial, and he needs to adjudicate without a political agenda."

    While America is not there yet, Sessions' moves to exert political control over the immigration court system, in violation of the most elementary concept of due process, are an ominous signal that this country could be taking at least the first steps down the road to using the court system as a mere instrument to carry out the will of a dictator, such as was done under the Nazi regime.

    As Russel K. Osgood writes a book review in 28 Cornell International Law Journal, 461, 462 (1995):

    In addition to the changes in substantive law, all aspects of German legal culture were made to conform to Nazi values."

    The above is not meant to imply that either Donald Trump or Jeff Sessions supports Nazi ideology, genocide or antisemitism in any way, shape or form. Clearly, they do not.

    But the history of what took place with the courts under the Nazi regime stands as a warning of what can happen to a country's judicial system, and its democracy, when the objective of removing or excluding large classes of people, in this case, Latino, Muslim, African and other non-white immigrants, takes precedence over judicial independence, constitutional rights, fundamental fairness and the rule of law.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 05-18-2018 at 09:46 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Attorney General Rules on Administrative Closure of Deportation Cases

    by , 05-18-2018 at 07:53 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    For the reasons set forth in the accompanying opinion, I affirm the Board’s order and remand for further proceedings. I hold that immigration judges and the Board do not have the general authority to suspend indefinitely immigration proceedings by administrative closure.

    Accordingly, immigration judges and the Board may only administratively close a case where a previous regulation or a previous judicially approved settlement expressly authorizes such an action. Where a case has been administratively closed without such authority, the immigration judge or the Board, as appropriate, shall recalendar the case on the motion of either party.

    I overrule Matter of Avetisyan, 25 I&N Dec. 688 (BIA 2012), Matter of WY-U-, 27 I&N Dec. 17 (BIA 2017), and any other Board precedent, to the extent those decisions are inconsistent with this opinion.

    Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018)

  5. District Judge Blocks Revocation of DACA based on Misstatements of Fact

    by , 05-17-2018 at 09:45 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Slate:

    On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez shot down the federal government’s efforts to strip Daniel Ramirez Medina of his DACA status. Immigrations [Sic] and Customs Enforcement had arrested and detained Ramirez last year, then falsely claimed that he was affiliated with a gang and attempted to deport him. He filed suit, alleging that ICE had violated his due process rights. Martinez agreed. His order barred the federal government from voiding Ramirez’s DACA status, safeguarding his ability to live and work in the United States legally for the foreseeable future. What may be most remarkable about Martinez’s decision, though, is its blunt repudiation of ICE’s main claim—that Ramirez is “gang-affiliated.” The judge did not simply rule against ICE. He accused the agency of lying to a court of law.

    From the decision:

    Most troubling to the Court, is the continued assertion that Mr. Ramirez is gang-affiliated, despite providing no evidence specific to Mr. Ramirez to the Immigration Court in connection with his administrative proceedings, and offering no evidence to this Court to support its assertions four months later. Dkts. #122-1, Ex. D and #129 at 20:20-21:7. Indeed, the Immigration Judge, after reviewing all evidence submitted by respondent, that Mr. Ramirez was credible, and that he was not in a gang or associated with one.

    Click here
    to read the decision.

    Updated 05-17-2018 at 10:04 AM by MKolken

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