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  1. Millions of noncriminal, undocumented aliens face deportation without a hearing before an immigration judge. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty

    President Donald Trump experienced some failures with his immigration policies during his first 100 days in office, but it would be a mistake to underestimate him. He has made major changes in enforcement policy.

    Destruction of the Home Free Magnet.

    President Barack Obama focused his immigration enforcement efforts primarily on aliens who had been convicted of serious crimes or who had been caught near the border after making an illegal entry, and he protected aliens here unlawfully who were not in a priority category.

    His administration’s enforcement policy memorandum required ICEofficers to obtain permission from a Field Office Director before arresting a deportable alien who was not in a priority category.

    This created what I call a “home free magnet.” Aliens wanting to enter the United States illegally knew that they would be safe from deportation once they had reached the interior of the country unless they were convicted of a serious crime. This was a powerful incentive to do whatever was necessary to enter the United States.

    President Trump destroyed this magnet with tough campaign rhetoric and his Executive Order, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, which greatly expanded enforcement priorities. No deportable alien is safe under President Trump’s enforcement policies.
    This seems to have improved border security already.

    In April 2017, CBP reported a sharp decline in the number of aliens apprehended along the Southwest border, and in the number of aliens who were found inadmissible at ports of entry. In March,

    Read more at this link.

    Originally published 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.

    Updated 08-04-2017 at 10:00 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Buffalo Chief Counsel Office Closure for Move to New Offices

    by , 05-05-2017 at 09:19 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    I have been contacted by Buffalo's Chief Counsel Carla Hengerer who advises that as of 12:00 noon today until May 10, 2017 their Buffalo office located at 130 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, New York will be closed due to a move to their new office location at:

    Buffalo Office of Chief Counsel
    250 Delaware Avenue
    7th Floor
    Buffalo, NY 14202

    Chief Counsel's office located at the Buffalo Federal Detention Center in Batavia, New York will be unaffected by the move, and in the interim Deputy Chief Counsel Carol Bridge may be contacted regarding cases scheduled before the Court in Buffalo. Be aware there will be no phone service in Buffalo during this time.

    Chief Counsel Hengerer also advises that trial attorneys will be attending court in Buffalo, and that motions for continuances for scheduled cases will not be filed due to the down time.
  3. Trump's Deportation of Mother and 5-Year Old Child to Gang-Ridden Honduras Recalls Euripides' Drama 2,400 Years Ago. Roger Algase

    The Trump administration's extreme deportation policies (continuing, to be sure, on a path already laid down by President Obama) are back in the headlines again with the DHS's cruel and heartless deportation of a Honduran mother and her five-year old child were were seeking asylum in the US back to their gang-infested country under circumstances where the chances that they could be killed were very real.

    This led to frantic efforts by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) to save the mother and child from deportation, and an angry retort from DHS Secretary John Kelly telling the Senator in effect to shut up and let the DHS get on with its program that could lead to deporting 11 million people.

    See also:

    The lack of humanity of the Trump administration in its zeal to expel millions of mainly Hispanic, Asian and Middle Eastern immigrants from the United States as quickly as possible was anticipated by the great ancient Greek dramatist Euripides (ca. 480 - 406 B.C.) some 2,400 years ago (in 431 B.C.) in one of the most famous of all his works: Medea.

    The deportation "proceeding", as Euripides describes it, is as follows:

    Medea, a foreign-born woman who is married to Jason, a prominent Greek aristocrat and who therefore has legal resident status in the city of Corinth, Greece, is being divorced by her husband so that he can marry the daughter of the local tyrant, Creon, instead.

    This causes such great anguish to Medea that the people around her are concerned, not only for her own mental stability and well-being, but for the safety of the two young children that she had with Jason and who are living together with her.

    Just as Medea appears on stage to vent her own grief and frustration at being betrayed by her husband, in walks the tyrant Creon himself, who makes the following announcement to Medea:

    "You, Medea, scowling with rage against your husband, I order you to leave this land and go into exile, taking your two children with you, and instantly! I am the executor of this decree and I will not return home again until I expel you from the country."

    Medea, arguably anticipating American-style deportations in the 21st century A.D., immediately asks for a stay of deportation, which Creon grants, but only for one day.

    She also points out that she is a non-criminal alien, (just as any good lawyer would no doubt have argued if she had had one), but Creon answers that he considers her a threat to public safety, specifically his own and his daughter's safety, due to Medea's anger over the breakup of her marriage. He adds:

    "It is better for me to incur your hatred now, woman, than to be soft now, and regret it later."

    Could there just possibly be a parallel between Creon's assumption that Medea is likely to commit a criminal act because of her circumstances, and the assumption of the Trump administration that entire classes of immigrants, such as 100 million Muslims from six Middle Eastern and African countries, or immigrants from Mexico and by extension all of Latin America, are likely to commit crimes if they are allowed to enter or stay in the United States merely because of their countries of birth or citizenship?

    To add insult to injury, after this "hearing" is concluded, Jason himself appears on the scene after Creon has left, and makes the following helpful comment to Medea about how "fortunate" she was to have been married to him and to have gained lawful immigration status in Greece as a result:

    "First, you now live among Greeks and not barbarians, and you understand justice and the rule of law...").

    (It might not be out of place to add that the ancient Greeks might have used the word hubris to describe that statement, while a modern Israeli might well call it chutzpa!)

    Be that as it may, whether the putting millions of non-criminal immigrants in fear of deportation and the threat of expelling many of them from the United States through expedited removal without the right to any hearing at all is an example of "justice and the rule of law" is a question that Euripides might well be asking if he were alive and writing dramas in America today.

    As to what ultimately happened to Medea and her two children after Creon's deportation order was issued, anyone who is interested can read the play.

    Hint: the outcome was not a good one, even worse for the children than the very real peril which might very well be awaiting the Honduran mother and child who have just been deported from Donald Trump's America back to one of the most violent and dangerous countries on earth.

    Note: The above translations from the ancient Greek are by David Kovacs in the Loeb Classical Library edition: Euripides: Cyclops Alcestis Medea

    Copyright (C) 1994, 2001 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, Roger has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world receive work permits and green cards.

    Roger also studied beginning ancient Greek at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. His email address is

    Updated 05-06-2017 at 08:58 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Credible Fear grant rate under Trump similar to rate under Obama

    by , 05-05-2017 at 08:10 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via NPR's Latino USA:

    The following charts display the yearly summaries of total credible fear workloads, from Fiscal Year 2014 through Fiscal Year 2017. So far, case receipts for FY 2017 (currently at 50,475) and decisions (49,917) are on track to match or exceed the FY 2016 receipts (94,048) and decisions (92,990).

    The first four months of FY 2017 (October-January) saw some of the highest monthly number of case receipts and decisions in the past four fiscal years. In addition, the first full month of President Trump’s term in office (February, 2017) saw 6,148 receipts and 8,264 decisions, a higher number than February, 2016.

    In addition, for the first two full months of Trump’s term (February and March, 2017), 75.3% of decisions led to a fear being established (meaning that immigration court proceedings most likely started), with 11.1% leading to a fear not being established (likely meaning that a person was immediately removed).

    During FY 2016, that rate was at about 79% for a fear being established and 10.6% for a fear not being established. In FY 2015, the fear established rate was 70% and the fear not established rate was 16.7%. In FY 2014, the fear established rate was 72% and the fear not established rate was 18.2%.

    Click here for more of the report.
  5. Senator Johnson Unveils New State-Based Visa Pilot Program

    by , 05-05-2017 at 06:05 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    Via the Cato Institute:

    The idea of regional or state-based visas is not a new one. Indeed, Canada and Australia have each implemented successful variations that provide some valuable lessons and hint at the major economic benefits possible for us in the United States. Adoption of a state-based visa program in America would permit our 50-state governments to craft rules for work visa programs that are more adaptable to local economic conditions than the present one-size-fits-all system run from Washington, D.C. While state governors and state and federal lawmakers are warming to the idea, all that stands in the way here is congressional approval.

    The following press release was issued by U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)

    WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, unveiled a new state-based visa pilot program Wednesday that would allow states to tailor guest worker programs to meet their individual workforce needs. He was joined by U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) who plans to introduce a version of the bill in the House of Representatives.

    “We have a shortage of workers in all different areas of the economy. We need to recognize that a one-size-fits-all federal model for visas or guest workers doesn’t work. Let the states manage the visas, allocate them to the industries that need the workers, set prevailing wage rates. I think states would do a better job of protecting their state workers—American workers—as well as making sure their industries have the people they need to be able to grow,” Sen. Johnson said in remarks about his bill Tuesday.

    Sen. Johnson’s bill, introduced Wednesday, has a broad coalition of support and has been endorsed by:

    • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
    • Bipartisan Policy Center
    • National Foundation for American Policy
    • Americans for Tax Reform
    • Marron Institute of Urban Management
    • American Dairy Coalition
    • WIB Agri-Business Coalition
    • Outdoor Amusement Business Association
    • National Roofing Contractors Association
    • ImmigrationWorks USA
    • Associated General Contractors of America
    • Compete America
    • Cooperative Network
    • National Association of Home Builders
    • South Dakota Dairy Producers
    • Professional Dairy Managers of PA
    • Oregon Dairy Farmers Association

    The full text of the State Sponsored Visa Pilot Program Act of 2017 can be found here.

    Sen. Johnson’s remarks on the bill at a Cato Institute event Wednesday can be found here.

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