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Recent Blogs Posts

  1. Asylum Outcomes Continue to Depend on the Judge Assigned

    by , 11-21-2017 at 10:40 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Syracuse University's TRAC:

    The outcome for asylum seekers continues to depend on the identity of the immigration judge assigned to hear the case. If you, for example, were one of the 6,922 asylum seekers whose cases were decided in the San Francisco Immigration Court over the last six years, the odds of denial varied from only 9.4 percent all the way up to 97.1 percent depending upon the judge you had. For the 1,233 individuals whose cases were heard by the Newark Immigration Court, the odds of denial ranged between 10.9 percent all the way up to 98.7 percent depending upon the judge you appeared before. Stated another way, the odds of being granted asylum could be as high as 90 percent or as low as 3 percent in these two courts depending upon which immigration judge you were assigned.



    Click here to view a particular judge's report.
  2. Illegal Border Crossing Surging Again

    by , 11-21-2017 at 10:20 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)


    Via The Washington Times:

    The Trump administration reinstated a de facto catch-and-release policy for illegal immigrants nabbed crossing the border in Texas, with Border Patrol agents being told Wednesday not to even bother turning them over for speedy deportation because there was no bed space, a top agent said.

    The problem, said Brandon Judd, an agent and president of the National Border Patrol Council, is that illegal immigration has surged once again after dipping during the early months of President Trump’s tenure.


    Click here for the rest of the story.

    Updated 11-21-2017 at 10:22 AM by MKolken

  3. The Secret Refugee History of Casablanca

    This month marks the 75th anniversary of the Hollywood classic Casablanca. The move has been acclaimed as one of the great films of all time, and in my (correct) opinion, it contains the greatest scene in movie history (more on that later).


    French refugee Madeleine Lebeau: "Vive la France!"

    Probably, you know the basic story. It's 1942. France has fallen to the Nazis, and some French colonies, including the city of Casablanca in Morocco, are under Vichy control (the Vichy government of France collaborated with the Nazis). Refugees, freedom fighters, Nazis, smugglers, and numerous others pass through Rick's Café in Casablanca. Many are seeking papers to escape to Portugal and then to freedom in the New World (the film's technical director, Robert Aisner, actually took this route himself after he escaped from a German prison camp).

    Rick--the owner of the café--is an American ex-patriot (played by Humphrey Bogart) whose loyalties through much of the movie are ambiguous. One day, Rick's former lover Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) appears with her husband, resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), and Rick and Ilsa have to make some relationship decisions ("Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine."). If you don't know how the movie ends, I'm not going to tell you here--you should see it for yourself (and you can thank me later).

    What's less well-known about Casablanca is that many of the actors in the film were themselves refugees. Of 75 people who had bit parts and larger roles in Casablanca, almost all were immigrants of one kind or another. And of the 14 who got screen credit, 11 were foreign-born. Here is the story of some of them:

    Conrad Veldt was a well-known German actor who opposed the Nazis and left Germany with his Jewish wife in 1933. Before he departed, he had to complete a questionnaire about his race. Even though he was not Jewish, he listed himself as a Jew. The government offered him an opportunity to divorce his wife and align himself with the Nazis, but he refused. Mr. Veldt moved to Britain where he performed in anti-Nazi films. He eventually came to the United States, where he wanted to help persuade the U.S. to enter the war. Mr. Veldt donated the better part of his personal fortune to Britain to assist with the war effort. He played Major Strasser, the primary bad guy in Casablanca.


    S.Z. Sakall and his wife Anne Kardos became American citizens in 1946: "Mama and I are happy, happy people today."

    Lotte Palfi played a desperate woman selling her jewels to raise money. In her only line in the film, she asks for "just a little more, please?" Ms. Palfi was a leading stage actor in German, but fled in 1934 because she was Jewish. She hoped to find success in America, which she viewed as a "melting pot" where the "great majority of the people... had emigrated from other countries." So she initially thought her German accent "shouldn't be any hindrance to [her] acting career." "Of course," she wrote, "I couldn't have been more wrong." Ms. Palfi married fellow Casablanca actor Wolfgang Zilzer (who grew up in Germany and only learned of his American citizenship when he was trying to secure a visa to escape from Europe). The couple divorced after 50 years when he wanted to return to Germany at the end of his life and she refused to go back.

    S.Z. Sakall played Carl the waiter in Casablanca. He was a Hungarian Jew who worked on stage and screen in his native country, and also in Austria and Germany. He lost three sisters and many other relatives in the Holocaust. Known for his comedic performances and his shaking jowls (one of the Warner brothers made him adopt the nickname "Cuddles"), Mr. Sakall achieved success in Germany using broken German, and in America using broken English. He arrived in the U.S. just before the war, in May 1939, and appeared in 30 movies between 1940 and 1950. Mr. Sakall was immensely proud of his United States citizenship, and kept his naturalization documents on the mantel in his living room.

    Hans Twardowski played a German officer in Casablanca. He began his career as a supporting actor in The Cabinet of Doctor Calgary, but had to flee Germany because he was gay. In the U.S., Mr. Twardowski was type-cast as a Nazi, and never worked as an actor after the war ended, but he always dreamed of returning to the stage.

    Helmut Dantine played a young Bulgarian husband trying to earn travel money at the roulette table. In Austria, he led an anti-Nazi youth movement, and was rounded up after Hitler annexed his country in 1938. Mr. Dantine was only 19 years old. He spent three months in a concentration camp before he managed to get released based on family connections and medical reasons. His parents immediately sent him to Los Angeles, where they had a family friend. In the U.S., he worked as an actor and a producer.

    Peter Lorre, born Laszlo Lowenstein in Hungary in 1904, played Ugarte, a black marketeer who hands Rick the letters of transit that Victor and Ilsa need to escape from Casablanca. Mr. Lorre moved with his family to Austria when he was young, and he began his career there. He eventually migrated to Germany where he acted on stage and screen. His breakout role was as a killer in Fritz Lang's 1931 film M. With Hitler's ascension to power, Mr. Lorre left Germany in 1933, and made his way to France, Britain, and eventually, the U.S., where he settled in Hollywood.


    Anti-Nazi actor Conrad Veidt played a Nazi in Casablanca.


    Marcel Dalio
    , who played Emil the croupier, had been a star in French cinema (Rules of the Game and La Grande Illusion), but fled the country ahead of the Nazi invasion (he was Jewish and feared persecution). The Vichy government used Mr. Dalio's image to depict the stereotypical Jew on propaganda posters, but in the U.S., he was reduced to playing minor roles. Upon learning of the posters, he quipped, "At least I had star billing on the poster." Mr. Dalio was promoted to playing Renaud (in the movie, this character was Renault) on the short-lived and largely forgotten Casablanca television serious (1955-56). Mr. Dalio's mother and sisters were murdered at Auschwitz.

    Madeleine Lebeau was the French woman seen crying (real tears) and shouting "Vive la France" during the greatest scene in movie history. In real life, she was a citizen of France who married Marcel Dalio when she was 16, and then fled the country with him after the German invasion. Their marriage was short-lived, and Ms. Lebeau returned to Europe after the war, where she continued to act in France, Britain, and Spain. She died last year at age 92--the last surviving named cast member in Casablanca.

    Seventy-five years after its release, Casablanca is recognized as one of the great films of all time. The emotion brought to the movie by so many real-life refugees from Nazism certainly contributes to the film's power. Indeed, refugees helped shape the movie, and the movie helped shape our vision for the war (critic Pauline Kael once opined, "Our image of the Nazi was formed by the Jewish refugees").

    Finally, the undisputed greatest scene in movie history: A group of Nazi officers is singing a patriotic German song at Rick's café. They are--they believe--the masters here. Resistance leader Victor Laszlo notices the men and marches over to the house band. He tells them to play le Marseille, the anthem of free France. The band looks to Rick, and he has another decision to make--keep out of it, or get involved. See what happens here.

    Originally posted on the Asylumist: www.Asylumist.com.
    Tags: history, movies Add / Edit Tags
  4. Termination of Temporary Protected Status For Haiti

    by , 11-21-2017 at 09:19 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Release Date:
    November 20, 2017

    For Immediate Release
    Office of the Press Secretary
    Contact: 202-282-8010

    WASHINGTON— Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced her decision to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti with a delayed effective date of 18 months to allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on July 22, 2019. This decision follows then-Secretary Kelly’s announcement in May 2017 that Haiti had made considerable progress, and that the country’s designation will likely not be extended past six months.

    The decision to terminate TPS for Haiti was made after a review of the conditions upon which the country’s original designation were based and whether those extraordinary but temporary conditions prevented Haiti from adequately handling the return of their nationals, as required by statute. Based on all available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, Acting Secretary Duke determined that those extraordinary but temporary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist. Thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated.

    Acting Secretary Duke met with Haitian Foreign Minister Antonio Rodrigue and Haitian Ambassador to the United States Paul Altidor recently in Washington to discuss the issue.

    In 2017 alone, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services conducted extensive outreach to the Haitian communities throughout the country. These include but are not limited to community forums on TPS, panel discussions with Haitian community organizers, stakeholder teleconferences, regular meetings with TPS beneficiaries, news releases to the Haitian community, meetings with Haitian government officials, meetings at local churches, and listening sessions.

    Since the 2010 earthquake, the number of displaced people in Haiti has decreased by 97 percent. Significant steps have been taken to improve the stability and quality of life for Haitian citizens, and Haiti is able to safely receive traditional levels of returned citizens. Haiti has also demonstrated a commitment to adequately prepare for when the country’s TPS designation is terminated.

    In May 2017, then-Secretary Kelly announced a limited extension for Haiti’s TPS designation, stating that he believed there were indications that Haiti – if its recovery from the 2010 earthquake continued at pace – may not warrant further TPS extension past January 2018. At the time, then-Secretary Kelly stated that his six-month extension should give Haitian TPS recipients living in the United States time to attain travel documents and make other necessary arrangements for their ultimate departure from the United States, and should also provide the Haitian government with the time it needs to prepare for the future repatriation of all current TPS recipients.

    To allow for an orderly transition, the effective date of the termination of TPS for Haiti will be delayed 18 months. This will provide time for individuals with TPS to arrange for their departure or to seek an alternative lawful immigration status in the United States, if eligible. It will also provide time for Haiti to prepare for the return and reintegration of their citizens. During this timeframe, USCIS will work with the State Department, other DHS components and the Government of Haiti to help educate relevant stakeholders and facilitate an orderly transition.

    Haitians with TPS will be required to reapply for Employment Authorization Documents in order to legally work in the United States until the end of the respective termination or extension periods. Further details about this termination for TPS will appear in a Federal Register notice.

    # # #

    Tags: haiti, tps, uscis Add / Edit Tags
  5. TPS Ends for Haitians Who Didn't "Inherit Western Traditions" From "Ancestors". More Ethnic Cleansing of Non-White Immigrants by Trump. Roger Algase

    The president's white nationalist base supporters received a Thanksgiving gift from his administration on November 20, as Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke announced her decision to end TPS status for some 50,000 Haitians who have been living in the United States after the 2010 earthquake that devastated the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and one that is ill-prepared to receive them back.

    http://thehill.com/latino/361293-dhs...r-60k-haitians

    At least Duke won't have to face the pressure and angry arm-twisting that she reportedly received from White House Chief of Staff (and former DHS chief under Trump) John Kelly when she postponed a decision which would have led to kicking 86,000 Honduran TPS holders out of the United States.

    According to newspaper reports, Kelly berated Duke for a postponing a decision on expelling the Hondurans because it "prevents our wider strategic goal."

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a8047541.html

    What "wider strategic goal" could Kelly possibly have been referring to? For that answer, we only need to look at Trump's recent speech in Poland.

    In a July 6 address "to the people of Poland" in Warsaw, Trump set forth, in a speech loaded with white nationalist dog-whistles, his vision of the kind of immigrants who will be allowed in America under his presidency, to the exclusion of all others, as follows:

    "We write symphonies...We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs...

    What we have...what we've inherited from our ancestors...And if we fail to preserve it, it will never, ever exist again...

    The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive...Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders?

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press...nd-july-6-2017

    Well, sorry about that, Nicaraguans, Haitians and, sooner or later, Hondurans whose TPS status has already been revoked or is awaiting inevitable revocation in the not so distant future, (after a temporary reprieve for Hondurans which reportedly infuriated the White House so much).

    It seems that Central American and Caribbean immigrants just don't seem to fit in with Trump's ideal of the "traditions", "customs" and "ancestors" that, in his view, (white) Europe shares with (white) America and which make it so important for the "civilization" of the "West" to maintain the "will to survive" and to "protect our borders".

    The DHS has given the 50,000 Haitian TPS holders 18 months to leave (and, no doubt, to take their US-born American citizen children with them). Chalk up one more step for this administration down Trump's road of ethnic cleansing of non-white immigrants from the United States.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 11-21-2017 at 06:08 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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