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  1. Letters of the Week: January 15 - January 21

  2. From Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" Speech to Trump's DREAMERS Betrayal and Racism Against Non-White Immigrants. Roger Algase

    Fifty-five years ago, in 1963, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. one of the greatest Americans in all of our history, and whose birthday we celebrate today, gave his immortal "I Have a Dream" speech as part of the famous civil rights "March on Washington".

    I was not present at that speech and I never had the privilege of meeting Dr. King or hearing him speak in person. But, as a young Harvard Law School graduate working in the law office of Dr. King's close friend and adviser, attorney Clarence B. Jones, I had the privilege of forming a small connection of my own with this speech.

    I prepared the application to copyright the speech as part of a lawsuit filed on Dr. King's behalf by Mr. Jones' office over the right to use the speech for commercial purposes, and I also assisted in a very small way in the drafting the complaint in that lawsuit (King v. Mr. Maestro, 224 F. Supp. 101 SDNY, 1963).

    While Dr. King was successful in that case, and Judge Inzer Wyatt's decision showed Dr. King a great deal of respect, I will never forget the condescending way in which the Judge described Dr. King at the beginning of his ruling as follows:

    "Plaintiff, a highly educated negro clergyman..."

    The implication, at least as I interpret it, is that it was unusual for a black person to be highly educated at that time, and it no doubt was, given the fact that racial segregation laws were still in force in many Southern states and the 1965 Voting Rights Act had not yet been enacted.

    Though immigration was not a well publicized legal or political issue as it is now - I do not remember hearing the word "immigration" used even once during the entire time I was in law school - the openly racist, white Europeans only, 1924 "National Origins" Immigration Act was still the law of the land. It was not repealed until 1965, two years later.

    But it would be fair to say that America was profoundly changed by Dr. King's "I have a Dream" speech. With that speech, his dream of racial equality for all people became part of America's culture and society - as a legitimate aspiration. This was despite the fierce opposition and persecution that he encountered at the hands of white supremacists, including some within the US government, who labelled him as a "demagogue" and even a "communist sympathizer", ultimately leading to his assassination in 1968.

    On January 12, Donald Trump, as president of the United States, paid homage to Dr. King's ideal of the equality of all people, regardless of race or country of birth.

    But is the president following Dr. King's spirit of racial justice and equality today? Sadly, the answer has to be that, rather than following Dr. King, Trump is trying to undo the progress toward racial equality which Dr. King gave his life for, not only with regard to immigration in general and a different group of DREAMERS, namely DACA recipients, in particular.

    To be continued.

    Updated 01-16-2018 at 09:43 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. "Shithole" Slur Against Black Immigrants Recalls Racist 1924 Law, Shows Authoritarianism and Undermines Integrity of Adjudications. Roger Algase

    On January 12, Donald Trump issued a statement in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. including the following words which will be welcomed by all Americans who believe in racial justice and equality:

    "Today we celebrate Dr. King for standing up for the self-evident truth that Americas hold so dear, that no matter what the color of our skin, or the place of our birth, we are all created equal by God."

    Trump did not say whether his laudable comment about all people being equal regardless of their place of birth applies to immigrants from Haiti or African "shithole countries." as in his widely reported January 11 remarks which have created a storm of worldwide condemnation.

    See also: The Guardian:

    'There's no other word but racist'

    Meanwhile, academics have been pointing out the connection between Trump's comment that America needs immigrants from Norway, rather than Haiti and Africa, and the openly racist 1924 Johnson Reed immigration act which Trump himself may not have yet had time to bone up on while reportedly spending many hours watching Fox News and other TV channels every day, but which the RAISE Act authors, Senator's Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and David Perdue (R-Georgia) must undoubtedly be familiar with, and which Trump's own AG, Jeff Sessions, had high praise for as a Senator in 2015 (along with Adolf Hitler, writing in Mein Kampf nine decades earlier).

    For example, Ana Minian, assistant professor of history at Stanford University, is quoted by as saying the following about Trump's Janusry 11 "shithole" statement:

    "What he [Trump] said was basically a form of eugenics - in which he's saying, 'This is the population we want: people from places like Norway.' White people. We don't want people from African countries or from Haiti. That's what's really symbolic here."

    She then goes on to discuss how Trump's comment related to the openly racist 1924 "national origins" immigration act.

    "What is also an important takeaway out of this message from Trump is that it takes us back to an earlier period, 1924, when the National Origins Act passed...

    It [the 1924 act] gave a percentage of allowances for people to come, giving preference to Northern Europe, discriminating against Southern and Eastern Europe, and completely barring immigration from Asia."

    Professor Minian also states:

    "In 1965 we moved away from this National Origins Act, and part of what it means to say 'we don't want people from these countries' is moving back to that very racist law that existed."

    Of course, it is not just a few execrable (no pun intended!) words that Trump said on January 11 that are taking this country back to the bigoted days of the 1924 immigration act, but his entire whites-only immigration agenda.

    Abolishing the Diversity Visa lottery, which has been exceptionally helpful to African immigrants, and limiting family immigration to the immediate nuclear family, which would sharply reduce immigration from all areas of the world outside Europe (and very possibly in some parts of Europe as well - talk about "collateral damage"), and passing the RAISE Act, which would limit immigration to people from countries where English is widely understood and college education widely available - i.e. Europe, is just another way of skewing America's immigration system in favor of white immigrants and against immigrants from "shithole countries", i.e. non-white ones.

    By making his horrific, bigoted statement on January 11, the president merely took the fig leaf away from the real purpose of his entire anti-immigrant agenda, and made clear for the entire world to see that not only the proposals mentioned above, but also his actions as president - the Muslim Ban, DACA cancellation, TPS cancellations, mass deportation dragnet and "Hire American" attacks on the same, predominantly Asian, skilled immigrants whom Trump claims to be favoring in his "Merit-Based" RAISE Act are not aimed at Making America Great Again, but at Making America White Again.

    What is especially alarming about Trump's immigration comments is not only the obvious and crude racial bigotry, at the heart of his entire immigration agenda, which Trump openly expressed on January 11 in the course of rejecting any DACA solution that does not include his whites-only immigration proposals mentioned above (as well as his Border Wall of humiliation directed against Mexican and other Latin American immigrants), but the authoritarian way in which he claims the right to impose this bigoted agenda on America merely by holding the office of president.

    On January 14, Trump tweeted the following:

    "I, as President, want people coming into our Country who are going to help us become strong and great again, people coming in though a system based on MERIT. No more Lotteries! #AMERICA FIRST'"

    Look at the first words: "I, as President, want people coming into our country who...".

    To be sure, the executive branch has great power over immigration, but not the power to write the immigration laws. This power belongs only to Congress, not the Will of the Leader, as in in Russia, North Korea or Nazi Germany.

    There was also another leader who wanted only "strong" people in his country. The world knows what he did with the "weak" ones. The above slogan "America First" was once the rallying cry of that leader's supporters in the United States. His name was Adolf Hitler.

    See: Washington Post, January 20, 2017:

    President Trump's 'America First' slogan was popularized by Nazi sympathizers.

    (I do not have a link - please use Google to access,)

    This is not to say that the president of the United States is anti-Semitic or a Nazi sympathizer himself. Certainly, he is not. But his above words have quasi-fascist associations that imply danger ahead for America's democracy.

    So does his white supremacist immigration agenda, as summarized in his openly racist January 11 remarks which, as the above The Guardian news article describes, have drawn world-wide condemnation.

    There is also another, more immediate danger to our society and to the rule of law in the president's bigoted comment about African and Haitian immigrants. This involves compromising the independence and integrity of our legal immigration system.

    Both immigrants and American citizens who may be sponsoring them for legal visas or green cards have the right to assume that their applications or petitions will be adjudicated fairly, based only on the law and facts of each case, by immigration examiners.

    But what happens now if an applicant or petition beneficiary is from Haiti or Africa, regions which Trump has now designated as "shitholes" and which he obviously means to rule out by calling for "Merit-based" immigration which will make America "Strong" and "Great"?

    Everyone in America, including immigration examiners, knows that these are are just code words for "White".

    How much fairness and freedom from political control of adjudications and Haitians, Africans, or any other non-white applicants/beneficiaries hope for from immigration examiners who know that the head of the government which pays their salaries and puts food on their table does not want these particular people in the country under any circumstances because of the countries they come from and the color of their skins?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 01-14-2018 at 09:33 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Donít bother with GOP DACA bill Ė Trump already has a winning plan. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty Images

    Democrats are demanding a bill to save 790,000 DACA participants who are facing uncertainty about whether their program will be allowed to continue, and have threatened to block passage of a funding bill needed to prevent a partial government shutdown if their demand is not met. The deadline for the funding bill is Jan. 19.

    DACA provides temporary legal status and work authorization to certain aliens who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents.

    Republicans have introduced a DACA bill, the Securing America's Future Act (H.R. 4760), but the ACLU may be right in describing it as a ďcollection of hard line provisions designed to sabotage, rather than advance, the possibility of a bipartisan breakthrough.Ē

    Highlights from this 414-page bill:

    Legal immigration

    Border security

    Prevent future illegal immigration


    • Provide temporary legal status for the 790,000 DACA participants that would have to be renewed every three years

    The Republicans want these measures to prevent a repeat of what happened the last time they agreed to a major legalization program. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 legalized 2.7 million people in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but by October 1996, the undocumented alien population had reached 5 million and was growing at an average annual rate of 275,000. The enforcement measures that were supposed to prevent illegal immigration in the future were not implemented.


    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

    Updated 01-12-2018 at 05:51 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Trump Shows His Real Immigration Goals by Attacking Haitians, Africans From "Shithole Countries" and Echoing Hitler's Nordics Only Views. Roger Algase

    Update, January 12, 11:48 am:

    Trump has now denied making the despicable January 11 comment described below, which would qualify him for the title of Racist in Chief if accurate. But at least one of the Senators who were there and heard Trump speak in person, Dick Durbin (D-IL), insists that Trump did make the quoted statement in their presence, and Trump himself admits that he used "tough" language.

    Given Trump's tenuous relationship with the truth on immigration (and many other issues) up to now, does anyone believe his denial?

    My original comment follows:

    On January 11, Donald Trump, as reported in every major media outlet in America, made a horrifying comment during a White House meeting on DACA that tore the veil away from the racism behind all his immigration policies. In the course of rejecting a proposed compromise immigration plan by a group of Senators which would have gone at least part of the way toward accomplishing Trump's of reducing legal family-based immigration and eliminating the Diversity Visa lottery, Trump stated as follows:

    "What do we want Haitians here for? Why do we want all these people from Africa here? Why do we want all these people from shithole countries?...We should have people from places like Norway."

    Unlike the case of some earlier racist comments that the president had allegedly made about immigrants from Haiti and Africa, the White House did not deny that Trump made the above despicable slurs. To the contrary, as also reported, a White House spokesman, Raj Shah, actually tried to defend the president's comments. For details, see:

    It would not be an exaggeration to say that Trump's comment, to paraphrase President Franklin Roosevelt's immortal words, will forever"live in infamy" in the history of American immigration and race relations.

    After this, any rational observer would have to be both blind and deaf in order to believe the claims by Trump and his supporters that his immigration agenda is only intended to favor "merit-based" immigration or to protect America against crime and terrorism.

    It is now clear, beyond any possible dispute, that for Trump, "merit-based" immigration means immigration from what used to be called "Nordic" countries by Adolf Hitler, whose immigration policies Trump is now echoing in his latest remarks. As I have pointed out in previous comments, Hitler was a strong admirer of America's own "Nordics-only" 1924 "national origins" immigration act which eliminated almost all immigration from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Southern and Eastern parts of Europe.

    As I have also pointed out in previous comments, Trump's entire immigration agenda is a throwback to the bigoted spirit of that infamous law, which was based on bogus and now thoroughly discredited "Eugenics" theories of racial superiority by white, northern Europeans.

    America's 45th president, to the shame and disgrace not only of himself but of the entire nation, in effect revived those theories in the White House on January 11.

    As David A. Graham writes in The Atlantic on January 11:

    "...Scandinavia has long been a touchstone for white visions of racial purity. The early 20th century Dillingham Commission, which was convened by Congress, concluded that immigration from certain regions was dangerous to American culture, and paved the way for national immigration quotas."

    Trump has now made clear in his latest comment that his vision for America's immigration future is a return to the white supremacist ideology of "racial purity" which was at the basis of the 1924 immigration act. It is now up to Congress and the American people to determine whether Trump will be successful in taking America back to that dark, bigoted time in our history.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 01-12-2018 at 05:53 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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