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  1. California sanctuary law, SB 54, violates civil and criminal immigration provisions. By Nolan Rappaport


    On October 5, 2017, California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., approved Senate Bill 54 (SB 54), the California Values Act.

    In a letter to the California State Senate, he says this bill will protect public safety and bring a measure of comfort to families who are now living in fear every day.

    I share the governorís desire to help the families of undocumented aliens, but this is not the way to do it.

    SB 54ís rejection of immigration detainer requests is appropriate, but the rest of the bill does little more than make it easier for undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States illegally, and it does it in ways that are prohibited by civil and criminal federal immigration laws.

    My point is that the State of California shouldnít be doing things that are prohibited by federal law or that would be a felony if done by an individual. I am not suggesting that there will or should be an attempt to prosecute Brown or any other California official for the criminal offense.

    Highlights From Legislative Counselís Digest of SB 54.

    • SB 54 repeals existing law which requires the police to notify ICE when there is reason to believe that a person arrested for a controlled substance violation may be an alien;
    • Prohibits law enforcement agencies from using their resources to investigate, detain, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes;
    • Directs the California Attorney General to publish model policies and guidance on limiting assistance and the availability of information for immigration enforcement purposes; and designated entities, such as state and local police, will be required to follow them; and
    • Requires the Board of Parole Hearings and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to obtain written consent from aliens before permitting ICE to interview them regarding civil immigration violations.

    ICE Immigration Detainers.


    Published originally on Huffington Post.

    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.

  2. Report: USCIS Director Backs Trump's Demand For Drastic Cuts in Legal Immigration. How Fair Will Future USCIS Application Decisions Be? Roger Algase

    This comment has been updated and revised as of October 8 at 11:19 pm.

    Late on Sunday evening, October 8, the White House released a series of demands as the price for agreeing to a legislative deal to rescue nearly 800,000 DREAMERS who are threatened with deportation as a result of Trump's cancellation of the DACA program.

    According to these reports, the president's demands amount to a virtual wish list of the anti-immigrant organizations, some of which have been designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which have never accepted the immigration reforms instituted by the 1965 immigration act more than 50 years ago, and which are seeking to bring back a system closer to the Europeans only Immigration Act of 1924 discussed below.

    POLITICO reports, for example, that Trump's list of demands includes not only such items as funding for his Mexican border Wall and a cutoff in federal aid to Sanctuary Cities, but also authorization for state and local police to engage in immigration enforcement, leading to the racial profiling of minority immigrants which the Supreme Court invalidated in the case of Arizona's infamous S.B. 1070 law and its counterparts in Alabama and other states, and which Texas has now tried to revive in its recently passed S.B. 4 immigration statute.

    However, in a demand that is even more drastic than the draconian enforcement provisions supported by Trump, the White House is in effect asking for the RAISE Act, which would cause a huge reduction in immigration from outside Europe by, among other things, eliminating key family sponsorship quotas, in the same spirit as that of the 1924 immigration law, to be included in any package to help the DREAMERS.

    POLITICO even quotes the Director of USCIS, Lee Francis Cissna, as saying that the demanded changes in the legal immigration system are "crucial", because, allegedly, "American workers are getting deeply disadvantaged by the current status quo."

    Aside from the fact that numerous independent studies have shown that there is little no truth to the accusation that legal immigrants in general are taking jobs away from or lowering the living standards of American workers, one can only wonder how fair and objective future decisions on petitions and applications before USCIS for work permits, green cards, and other legal status will be by that agency if its director, who is known chiefly for allegedly writing dozens of letters supporting Senator Charles Grassley's (R-Iowa) attacks on both legal and illegal immigration:

    is so strongly opposed to the current immigration laws which he is obligated to enforce as written, and is against such a key part of America's entire legal immigration in principle.

    One could even ask if, for example, the hurricane of H-1B RFE's this year, as well as unusual delays in other immigration cases which are normally approved without any questions (as at least this lawyer is experiencing - I am sure that many other immigration lawyers are as well) is due to any reason other than the influence of pervasive anti-immigrant ideology at the highest levels of the Trump administration.

    Are even the most basic standards of fundamental fairness and the rule of law in legal immigration application/petition decision-making now in danger of being replaced by a rush to return to the white supremacist immigration regime beginning nearly a century ago?

    And if legal immigration applicants can no longer receive fair decisions, based on the laws as written, for their applications, how much longer will the rule of law, on which our democracy depends, survive for American citizens in the Donald Trump Era?

    In some of my previous comments, including my latest previous Immigration Daily comment, published on October 5, I showed that the Trump administration's demonizing of Latin American, Muslim, Asian and other non-white immigrants as "criminals", "terrorists" and "low wage stealers of American jobs" is not a new phenomenon in America. Instead, Trump's anti-immigrant agenda represents a throwback to an earlier period of prejudice against unpopular immigrant groups, notably Jews, Italians and Eastern Europeans, as well as non-white immigrants from the entire rest of the world (except for the Americas and other "Western Hemisphere" countries).

    Attempts to exclude non-"Nordic" immigrants from America culminated in the infamous Johnson-Reed immigration act of 1924 which was to form the basis of US immigration policies for the next 40 years. However, the openly racial prejudices which were embodied in the 1924 law, based on the bogus and long since discredited "Eugenics" theory of that time, and which were co-extensive with the segregation laws against African-Americans and other non-white minorities, along with widespread discrimination against Jews here at home, did not lead to the overthrow of America's democracy.

    To the contrary, despite basing its 1924 immigration law, which Adolf Hitler himself expressed open admiration for writing in Mein Kampf, on the pseudo-scientific theory of "Nordic" racial superiority, America was able to unite and defeat the Nazi menace to world civilization in World War 2. Our democracy was able to survive the legal structure of prejudice and discrimination against both immigrants and minority Americans, and that structure itself was abolished in the Civil Rights era of the 1960's.

    Will America be able to institute a regime of anti-immigrant racial and religious discrimination, such as we are seeing in Donald Trump's speeches, executive orders and other policies aimed at instituting mass arrests, incarceration and ultimate deportation of non-white immigrants, and drastic reductions in their legal entry to the US, a second time without losing our democracy?

    I will return to this question in a forthcoming comment.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 10-09-2017 at 08:51 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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