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  1. As Trump Pursues H-1B "Crackdown" and Poison Pills, Kushner's Family Courts EB-5 Investors. Ancient Greek Actors ("Hypokrites") in WH? Roger Algase

    Whenever Donald Trump has not been busy trying to beef up his deportation force and promote his Southern border Wall plan to make sure that Mexican and other Latino immigrants don't fail to get the message that they are not wanted in America, while trying to bar as many Muslim immigrants from as many countries as thinks the courts will let him get away with from coming to the United States, he has been railing against alleged "fraud and abuse" in the H-1B program.

    As Trump even stated himself in a March 3, 2016 presidential debate with Hillary Clinton during (before suddenly changing his mind after reportedly receiving a phone from his immigration policy Rasputin, then Senator and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions), H-1B has been the gateway to productive lives and careers in the US for many educated, highly skilled and professional workers from India, other Asian countries, and other parts of the world.

    As Trump pointed out at the debate, many of these skilled workers have been educated in US colleges, and it would be unfair and unproductive to send them home after they graduate. See, Washington Times, March 4, 2016:

    For example, on April 3, the first day that cap-subject H-1B petitions were being accepted at USCIS offices for participation in the annual charade known as the "H-1B lottery", USCIS, instead of announcing that the first day of this event's becoming open for business for the coming fiscal year 2018 had finally arrived, chose this normally auspicious day, when its website was certain to have a large number of visits, to issue a warning that the agency was stepping up its efforts to "crack down" on alleged H-1B fraud and abuse.

    Then, on April 18, while almost 200,000 would - be H-1B workers anxiously awaited news as to whether the computer generated roulette wheel had landed on the numbers assigned to their prospective employer's petitions in the "random selection" lottery which had taken place the week before, Trump issued another one of the numerous executive orders which have become the substitute for democratically enacted immigration legislation by Congress in the "New Era" under America's 45th president.

    This executive order directed the federal government to "study" the possibilities of eliminating the H-1B lottery - not in itself such a bad idea. But the replacement suggested in the order was a poison pill selection system which would, in effect limit this category in the future to the "most qualified" foreign workers, i.e. the ones who arguably have the least need for H-1B, since at least some would presumably be eligible for the O-1 extraordinary ability visa.

    Alternatively, the proposed new H-1B selection system which Trump has ordered the concerned government agencies to study would favor H-1B workers with the highest salaries - usually meaning employees with the most seniority and highest ranking on the totem pole of the largest companies.

    Adios, adieu and auf Wiedersehen (The Hindi equivalents alvida or phir melenge would also be appropriate) to any hope of younger, recent college graduates or employees of smaller US companies which can afford to pay the prevailing wages, but not top dollar in order to obtain the talent they need to grow and survive, to obtain this visa which is often essential for their future careers in the United States.

    Even without any change in the actual H-1B rules, one has to ask how fair or unbiased H-1B or any other USCIS adjudications will continue be in the future, if the president continues to appoint unabashed anti-immigrant ideologues such as Julie Kirchner, former executive director of FAIR, which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has labeled as a hate group and which was founded by the openly white supremacist "eugenics" advocate John Tanton, to influential positions within USCIS. See:

    However, even as the president tries to make it harder to receive H-1B status for thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of skilled and educated foreign computer and other specialty workers who may have a wealth of talent and ability, but may be struggling financially under the burden of paying off college loans or simply dealing with day to day expenses in the United States, family members of Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and one of his closest advisers, have no hesitation about soliciting millions of dollars for a luxury real estate project from wealthy investors in another visa program which has come under even more fire from Congressional leaders than H-1B and, arguably, has had bigger problems in countering charges of fraud and abuse.

    I refer to the EB-5 program. The New York Times reports on May 6 that Jared Kushner's sister has been soliciting potential EB-5 investors in Beijing for money for a Kushner family-run project in New Jersey, and has been using the family's White House connections as part of the pitch.

    To be sure, Trump himself has no connection with either the project or Kushner's family's pitch for EB-5 funds, even though The New York Times also reports in the same article that Trump has used EB-5 funds for some of his own businesses.

    Moreover, EB-5 has worked out well for thousands of legitimate investors in genuine projects and businesses. But the Kushner family's pitch to affluent investors in Beijing, (in a secretive meeting where reporters from both the New York Times and the Washington Post were thrown out!) does raise questions of a possible visa-related double standard in the Trump administration.

    On the one hand, the administration takes harsh, draconian, measures against ordinary, non-affluent mainly Hispanic and Muslim immigrants and threatens poison pill changes which could signal the end of the H-1B visa relied on by so many South Asian immigrants.

    At the same time. the family members of one of the president's closest associates, and even the president himself in his own prior business dealings, seek to raise millions of dollars for their own luxury real estate or other business projects by offering green cards to the wealthiest immigrants in a visa program which while completely legal, has not been entirely free from allegations of misuse, as the New York Times article also points out.

    One can only recall the ancient Greek actors who wore masks, and were therefore known as people who answer (krites), from under (hypo), or Hypokrites.

    Are these actors, at least in spirit, active in setting immigration policies in Donald Trump's White House today?
    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 many parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger's practice is concentrated mainly, though not exclusively, in H-1B specialty worker, O-1 extraordinary ability and J-1 trainee visas and Labor Certification (PERM) green cards. His email address is

    Updated 05-07-2017 at 11:44 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. The obsession over the infamous "Travel Ban" diverted attention from the real problem.

    And I expect the real problem to manifest itself any day now.

    Trump’s Seven-country Travel Ban Is Just the Tip of The Iceberg.
    By Nolan Rappaport
    Feb 06, 2017

    Too much attention is being paid to a 90-day travel ban in President Donald Trump’s Executive Order Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States(Order). While it is a serious matter, the temporary suspension of admitting aliens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen into the United States is just the tip of the iceberg. Other provisions in the Order may cause much more serious consequences.

    Section 3(a) of the Order directs the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Secretary of the Department of State (DOS) and the Director of National Intelligence, to determine what information is needed “from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.” This applies to all countries, not just the seven that are subject to the 90-day suspension.

    Those officials have 30 days from the date of the Order to report their “determination of the information needed for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information (emphasis supplied).”

    Section 3(d) directs the Secretary of State to “request all foreign governments that do not supply such information to start providing such information regarding their nationals within 60 days of notification.” Section 3(e) explains the consequences of failing to comply with this request. Note that this also applies to all countries, not just the seven that are subject to the 90-day delay.

    (e) After the 60-day period described in subsection (d) of this section expires, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, ...) from countries that do not provide the information requested pursuant to subsection (d) of this section until compliance occurs (emphasis supplied).

    Read more at --

    Published originally on the 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. 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 05-08-2017 at 12:12 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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