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  1. In a Time of Hate, My Refugee Clients Give Me Hope

    As an ordinary citizen, it is not easy to decide the best way to confront a Nazi march. Show up to peacefully protest? That might give additional attention to the other side. Protest violently? Not only could that elevate the Nazis, it might also de-legitimize the resistance to the Nazis (even those who peacefully resist). Ignore them? That might be viewed as condoning their views. Reasonable people can differ about what to do, at least as far as the peaceful responses are concerned.


    As a great American philosopher once said, "I hate Nazis."

    But when you are a public figure, especially an elected official, the decision about how to respond is clear: First, ensure safety and free speech. Second, denounce the evils of Nazism and make it plain that Nazis, Klan members, and anyone who might march side-by-side with such people are un-American, illegitimate, and unworthy of a seat at the table of public discourse.

    Fortunately, the vast majority of our country's elected leaders knew what to say in response to the Nazi march last weekend. But unfortunately, there was one important exception--our President, Donald J. Trump. To me, Mr. Trump's contemptible silence, followed by a reluctant "denunciation" of the Nazis, followed by a denunciation of the "denunciation" is an utter disgrace. It is a green light to Nazis. It is yet another attack on common decency and on our shared national values. It is complicity with Nazism. By the President of the United States. (As an aside, one of my lawyer-friends at the Justice Department told me--perhaps half jokingly--that she wanted to post a sign in her office that reads, "Nazis are bad," but she feared it might get her into trouble--that is where we are under Mr. Trump.)

    Frankly, I am not particularly worried about the Nazis themselves. They certainly can do damage--they murdered a young woman and injured many others. But they do not have the power or support to threaten our democracy. This does not mean we should take them for granted (few would have predicted Hitler's rise when he was sitting in prison after the Beerhall Putsch), but we should not be unduly fearful either.

    On the other hand, I am very worried about our President's behavior. His governing philosophy (perhaps we can call it, "trickle down histrionics") is poisoning our public debate, and it weakens us domestically and internationally. Thus far, his incompetence has served as a bulwark against his malevolence, but that can only go on for so long (see, e.g., North Korea). So there is much to be concerned about.

    Here, though, I want to talk about hope. Specifically, the hope that I feel from my clients: Asylum seekers, "illegals," and other immigrants. There are several reasons my clients give me hope.

    One reason is that they still believe in the American Dream. Despite all of the nastiness, mendacity, and bigotry coming from the White House, people still want to come to America. They are voting with their feet. Some endure seemingly endless waits, often times separated from their loved ones, in order to obtain legal status here. Others risk their lives to get here. They don't do this because (as Mr. Trump suggests) they want to harm us. They do it because they want to join us. They want to be part of America. My clients and others like them represent the American ideal far better than those, like our embattled President and his racist friends, who disparage them. When I see my country through my clients' eyes, it gives me hope.

    My clients' stories also give me hope. Most of my clients are asylum seekers. They have escaped repressive regimes or failing states. Where they come from, the government doesn't just tweet nasty comments about its opponents, it tortures and murders them. The terrorist groups operating in my clients' countries regularly harm and kill noncombatants, women, children, and even babies. My clients have stood against this depravity, and many of them continue to fight for democracy, justice, and human rights from our shores. My clients' perseverance in the face of evil gives me hope.

    Finally, I have hope because I see the courage of my clients, who refuse to be cowed by the hateful rhetoric of our Commander-in-Chief. Since the early days of his campaign, Mr. Trump has demonized foreigners and refugees, and after he was sworn in as President, these individuals were the first to come into his cross hairs. If he can defeat people like my clients, he can move on to new targets. But many refugees and asylum seekers have been subject to far worse treatment than Mr. Trump's bluster, and they are ready to stand firm against his bullying. Their fortitude encourages others to stand with them. And stand with them we will. The fact that vulnerable, traumatized people are on the front lines of this fight, and that they will not surrender, gives me hope.

    I have written before about the tangible benefits of our humanitarian immigration system. It demonstrates to the world that our principals--democracy, human rights, freedom, justice--are not empty platitudes. It shows that we support people who work with us and who advance the values we hold dear. When such people know that we have their backs, they will be more willing to work with us going forward. And of course, that system helps bring people to the United States whose talents and energy benefit our entire nation. Add to this list one more benefit that asylees and refugees bring to our nation in this dark time--hope.

    Originally posted on the Asylumist: www.Asylumist.com.
  2. They Got Hurt At Work — Then They Got Deported

    by , 08-17-2017 at 06:22 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via NPR:

    At age 31, Nixon Arias cut a profile similar to many unauthorized immigrants in the United States. A native of Honduras, he had been in the country for more than a decade and had worked off and on for a landscaping company for nine years. The money he earned went to building a future for his family in Pensacola, Fla. His Facebook page was filled with photos of fishing and other moments with his three boys, ages 3, 7 and 8.

    But in November 2013, that life began to unravel.

    Click here for the rest of the story.
  3. The RAISE Act and the Charlottesville Rally: Two Sides of the Same White Supremacist Immigration Coin. Roger Algase

    The president has come under intense criticism from leaders in his own party, as well ax wide segments of the American public, for not speaking out more directly against the white supremacist and neo-nazi organizers of the violent Charlottesville rally on August 12. But his reluctance to speak out against them is not surprising. They both share the same white supremacist immigration goals which are embodied in the RAISE Act that is now before Congress.

    Richard Spencer, one of the leading organizers of the rally and a self-styled leader of the "Alt-Right" movement (which is nothing but a euphemism for the neo-nazi movement) had the following to say about the the immigration objectives that he and his supporters are promoting, in an NPR interview in November, 2016, shortly after the presidential election (in which almost 3 million Americans nationwide voted for Hillary Clinton than voted for Donald Trump).

    "Immigration is the most obvious one. And I think we need to get beyond thinking about immigration just in terms of illegal immigration. Illegal immigration is not nearly as damaging as legal immigration. Legal immigration - they're here to stay. Their children are here and so on.

    Spencer continued:

    ​"And I think a really reasonable and I think palatable policy proposal would be for Donald Trump to say, look; we've had immigration in the past. It's brought some fragmentation in the past. It's brought division. But we need to become a people again. And for us to do that, we're going to need to take a break from mass immigration. And we'e going to need to preference people who are going to fit in, who are more like us. That is European immigration.

    http://www.npr.org/2016/11/17/502476...administration

    Is it any surprise that after his openly nationalist Warsaw speech claiming that European culture, "traditions" and "values" are superior to those of all other parts of the world and promising to defend America's borders against all other traditions and values; and his strong support for the RAISE Act, which would cut off or drastically reduce legal immigration from most parts of the world outside Europe, Trump has refused to join almost every other leader in his own party, as well as responsible and decent Americans of every background, ethnicity and political orientation, in issuing a clear and outright condemnation of the Charlottesville rally's white supremacist leaders?

    Also to the surprise of no one, Spencer himself has praised the RAISE Act, saying that it "sounds awesome".

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...b04061313a3090

    Spencer and his fellow white supremacist have also vowed to continue to promote the same agenda which lead to the death of an innocent young woman protester against this movement at the Charlottesville rally, which Spencer called an "amazing, spectacular, demonstration".

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics...olence-w497446

    One can be quite sure that the RAISE Act, which both Trump and the white supremacist leaders whom he has been so hesitant to criticize support so enthusiastically, will continue to be front and center of Spencer's agenda, and that of his fellow "Alt-Right" white nationalists.

    The only question is: how can any of the Republican leaders who, unlike the president have openly condemned the white supremacist Charlottesville rally continue to support the RAISE Act?

    If the responsible Republican leaders are really against bigotry, racism and white supremacy as much as they say they are, how can they permit the RAISE Act to move forward in Congress?
    ________________________________
    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 obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 08-17-2017 at 07:00 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Texas Tortilla Company Convicted of Employment of Undocumented Workers

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law PLLC
    Click image for larger version. 

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    La Espiga De Oro (Espiga), manufacturer of tortillas for distribution to restaurants and businesses, forfeited $1 million because of a felony conviction of conspiracy to induce and encourage unlawful immigration through a pattern and practice of hiring and employing illegal aliens at the Texas tortilla factory. Owners Alfredo Sosa Lira, his wife Lydia Botello-Lira, their daughter Lydia Lira, and night manager Roberto Guerra, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor violations associated with their continued employment of undocumented aliens between October 2011 and August 2015.

    Homeland Security Investigations investigated a series of complaints about the company’s hiring practices. An undercover operation later led to evidence that the company knowingly hired individuals not authorized to work in the United States. In some instances, the company knew that aliens used fraudulent documents to secure employment.

    HSI executed a search warrant at the company in August 2015, which led to the discovery of 10 undocumented workers working there as well as evidence demonstrating that 55% of their employees were not authorized by law to work at the factory. Following the search warrant, the company was charged by criminal complaint and began cooperating with HSI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to revise their hiring practices and implement new procedures to prevent future violations of federal law.

    The company paid $1 million, representing an amount that at least equals the value of property used to facilitate the crime, the value of wages paid to the unauthorized work force and the value of products manufactured and services provided by the illegal workforce during the conspiracy. This money will go directly to immigration authorities to assist them with their future enforcement efforts.
  5. Letters of the Week: August 14 - August 20

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