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Recent Blogs Posts

  1. 'Politically correct' NY Times hides horror of female genital mutilation. By Nolan Rappaport


    © Getty

    The New York Times does not use the term “Female Genital Mutilation” (FGM) in its article about a Michigan doctor who is being prosecuted for allegedly performing that procedure on two seven-year-old girls. The Times calls the offense, “genital cutting,” despite the fact that the prosecution is based on a federal criminal provision entitled, “Female genital mutilation.”

    If convicted, the doctor can be sentenced to incarceration for up to five years.

    According to Celia Dugger, the Times’ Health and Science editor, “genital cutting” is a “less culturally loaded” term than “FGM.” It will not widen the “chasm” between “advocates who campaign against the practice and the people who follow the rite.”

    For reasons that are inexplicable to me, Dugger seems to think that there can be a legitimate difference of opinion on whether it is right to mutilate the genitals of a seven-year-old girl.

    Also, her euphemism, “genital cutting,” makes FGM sound less horrific, which is a disservice to the victims and to the people who are trying to stop the practice.

    Political correctness serves a valid purpose when it prevents a person from unnecessarily or unintentionally offending others, but I do not understand why we should be sensitive to the feelings of people who subject seven-year-old girls to genital mutilation.

    Read more at---
    http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blo...female-genital

    Published originally on The Hill.

    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.





  2. Immigration Convictions Drop 16 Percent Under President Trump

    by , 04-26-2017 at 10:23 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Syracuse University's TRAC Immigration:

    The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during February 2017 the government reported 4198 new immigration convictions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 16.7 percent over the previous month.

    The comparisons of the number of defendants convicted for immigration-related offenses are based on case-by-case information obtained by TRAC under the Freedom of Information Act from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (see Table 1).


    When monthly 2017 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was down (-16.3%). Convictions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that convictions of this type are down 27.4 percent from levels reported in 2012.

  3. Prosecutions for Immigration Crimes Down Substantially Under Trump

    by , 04-26-2017 at 10:17 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Syracuse University's TRAC immigration:

    The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during February 2017 the government reported 4301 new immigration prosecutions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 7.4 percent over the previous month.

    The comparisons of the number of defendants charged with immigration-related offenses are based on case-by-case information obtained by TRAC under the Freedom of Information Act from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (see Table 1).


    When monthly 2017 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of filings was down (-14.7%).

    Prosecutions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are down 26.2 percent from levels reported in 2012.


  4. COULD PRES. TRUMP REPLACE THE H-1B LOTTERY WITH A PRIORITIZATION SYSTEM BASED ON SALARY?

    by , 04-26-2017 at 09:25 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    One interesting legal question is whether the Trump administration could change the way that H-1B cap-subject petitions are allocated. Under the current system, if the H-1B cap is reached the USCIS conducts a random lottery of all H-1B cap petitions that are filed during the first week of April.

    There is no Congressional authority for the H-1B lottery. One federal court has said that USCIS’ implementation of an H-1B lottery is reasonable because Congress did not instruct the USCIS what to do if the H-1B cap when oversubscribed. This case, Walker Macy v. USCIS, was just decided earlier this spring and is now on appeal.

    The Trump administration says that it seeks reform to “help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.” Could the Trump administration attempt H-1B reform by replacing the H-1B lottery with an H-1B prioritization system based on the “most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries?”

    My read is that it cannot. As noted in the Walker Macy case, “when Congress is silent about a particular agency (or judicial) interpretation for a long period of time after that interpretation while repeated amendments have been passed, this demonstrates legislative acquiescence to the interpretation.” In other words, the fact that the USCIS has long been using an H-1B lottery is compelling.

    The random process of the H-1B lottery is also fundamentally fair since it treats all timely-filed H-1B petitions identically. Surprising to some, Congress has not spoken on the need to prioritize the “most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries”. In fact, Congress has set forth a different standard.

    An H-1B is appropriate if a US employer is paying at least the prevailing wage of the occupational classification. There is nothing in the Congressional statute that favors employers who pay a greater wage. Therefore, it is dubious whether the Trump administration can implement this change to the H-1B lottery without Congressional action.


    Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com and www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  5. Federal Court Blocks Sanctuary Cities Executive Order as Arguing in Good Faith Becomes the Latest Casualty of Trump Era. Roger Algase

    As the Trump administration continues its assault on Muslim and Latino immigrants through unilateral executive orders without going through the democratic process of seeking Congressional approval as contemplated by America's Constitution, and as it tries to marginalize the judicial branch by making personal attacks on judges who stand in the president's way on immigration, a decision issued by a federal judge in San Francisco on April 25 concerning Trump's executive order against Sanctuary jurisdictions shows that the latest casualty of this new policy is the expectation, which is at the heart of our legal system, that parties to a litigation will make arguments that are in good faith.

    See also my previous April 14 ilw.com comment on this same lawsuit:

    http://blogs.ilw.com/entry.php?9823

    To be sure, this is not the first time that the DOJ has used an argument in a federal court case dealing with one of the president's immigration executive orders that can only be described as meretricious (from the Latin word meretrix - any readers who do not already know the meaning of this word are invited to look it up in the nearest Latin-English dictionary).

    We first saw this strategy in action in the lawsuits over Trump's Muslim ban executive orders, where the administration argued that a presidential order banning entry to the US by people from seven (later changed to six) 99 per cent Muslim countries, affecting over 100 million people whose only "wrongdoing" was being citizens of these countries, was not a ban against Muslims based on their religion.

    This was despite almost a year of Trump's campaign speeches prior to the election promising to ban Muslims worldwide from entering the US, followed by Trump's appointment as president of two unabashedly Islamophobic top advisers, Stephen Bannon and Michael Flynn (who has since left the administration for reasons unrelated to his having called Islam a "cancer" rather than a religion).

    But the bad faith of the DOJ's arguments in two federal courts and before the 9th Circuit that the executive orders in these above cases did not constitute a ban against Muslims as a religion (in other words, to paraphrase Orwell, that 2+2 do not equal 4) was dwarfed by the extent of the bad faith shown in the DOJ's argument before the California federal court in the Sanctuary jurisdictions lawsuit.

    At issue is Section 9(a) of the president's January 27 Executive Order regarding sanctuary jurisdictions which the DOJ, in its argument before the Federal District Court in a lawsuit brought by two such jurisdictions, the City of San Francisco and Santa Clara County, deliberately misrepresented as allegedly having a much narrower purpose than its broad language states, and as the administration has been threatening to pursue against the these jurisdictions outside the courtroom.

    The full decision of the Court can be accessed by going to the POLITICO story about the decision and following the link to the decision itself in that story.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/0...-blocks-237597

    I will begin by quoting Section 9(a) of the president's executive order 13768 (as set forth in the Court's decision):

    (a) In furtherance of this policy, the Attorney General and the [DHS] Secretary, in their discretion and to the extent consistent with law, shall ensure that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 (sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary. The Secretary has the authority to designate, in his discretion and to the extent consistent with law, a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction. The Attorney General shall take appropriate enforcement action against any entity that violates 8 U.S.C. 1373, or which has in effect a statute, policy, or practice that prevents or hinders the enforcement of federal law.

    Before turning (as I will do in my next forthcoming comment on this decision) to the very narrow and limited language of Section 1373, also quoted in the Court's decision, it is important to note two points about the above quoted part 9(a) of the executive order:

    First, 9(a) purports to give the A.G. and DHS Secretary power to cut off, not only funds for specific immigration or other law enforcement programs, but all Federal grants without limitation (except as imposed by the vague and contentious term, which is itself an invitation to endless litigation over this point,"to the extent consistent with law").

    This threat could have a devastating effect on cities and other jurisdictions whose budgets depend to a large extent on federal grants, which is precisely why the administration has been making such threats.

    One such Sanctuary city, Miami, has already caved into a threat by the president to cut off all federal funding unless it cooperates in full with his deportation agenda. See, USA Today, January 26:

    First 'sanctuary city' caves to Trump demands

    (Sorry, I do not have a direct link - please go to Google to access this story.)

    To argue that Section 9(a) of the executive order was intended for any other purpose would make as much sense as arguing the Trump's ban on entry by citizens of the named Muslim countries was really directed only against the fraction of 1 per cent of the population of those countries who happen to be Christians or Jews, and that if any Muslims were affected, that was purely coincidental.

    Even the Trump administration itself has never made such a ridiculous assertion.

    But in its argument before the Federal District Court in this case, even as the administration has been making such dire threats, the DOJ tried to downplay or explain away the scope of the Section 9(a), of the EO, arguing that it was so limited in its purpose that it, in effect, added little or nothing to already existing federal law!

    Where is there even the slightest shred of good faith in such an argument?

    The second broad and intimidating part of the executive order is the phrase, quoted above that gives the DHS Secretary the authority to "designate, in his discretion, and to the extent consistent with law, a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction".

    This could, very possibly, give the DHS the power to label any city, county or state (or university) which takes any action whatsoever to protect one or more immigrants from the full force of Trump's mass deportation agenda as a "sanctuary jurisdiction", a term which is not defined by any law, leading to a cutoff of all federal funds!

    This is an extraordinarily broad provision, one which, arguably, borders more on totalitarian regime practices than on the rule of law in a democracy.

    However, here also, the DOJ tried to misrepresent the intent of this provision, as part of its argument that EO Section 9(a) in effect makes no change in the very narrow existing law on this topic.

    As will be shown in my continuation of this discussion in my next comment on this decision, and in the text of the decision itself which can be accessed through the POLITICO story link provided above, the presiding Judge in this case refused to buy this utterly meretricious (I repeat for emphasis) argument.

    I will continue my discussion of this decision in my forthcoming comment.
    __________________________________
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world receive work visas and green cards for more than 35 years. Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com


    Updated 04-26-2017 at 11:05 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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