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Blog Comments

  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Jason, I don't see this situation the way you do. I wrote decisions for the Board for 20 years, so I am very familiar with the AG's authority to set precedents for the Board. There is an office within the Department that does the analysis and writes the decision for the AG. It handles difficult policy issues of all kinds for the AG. I had a friend in that office. He got a phd in philosophy at MIT before he went to law school. Extremely bright. It's a very high level policy office. I think you will realize that when you read their decision. Which isn't to say that I expect you to agree with it.

    The AG normally doesn't use that authority. I only know of it happening when the Board is screwing up badly. I could give you examples if you are interested.

    Incidentally, I don't recall an AG requesting amicus briefs before. Sessions is going out of his way to make sure that his staff gets as much input as possible from interested parties. I mean other than the alien and the gov't attorneys who handled the case.

    If you are planning on submitting a brief, don't get caught up in the facts of the case. This isn't about that case. The case is just the vehicle that Sessions is using to clarify asylum law in an area that the Board has failed to clarify adequately.

    I don't know what Sessions intends to do in the current situation, but I can make a good guess. The immigration judges have caused a major problem with asylum cases. The results of an asylum application vary widely depending on which judge the alien draws. You probably would think it's great that many judges grant asylum in a high percentage of their cases and terrible that many deny asylum in a high percentage of their cases. But I think you will agree that this is a problem, and the Board has not done anything about it.

    The Board should be providing guidance on asylum law and making sure that the judges are applying the law properly. In fact, that's the reason for having a Board.

    I think Sessions has selected an asylum claim that the judges are not handling properly so that he can have his staff write a precedent that will provide the judges with the guidance they need to handle the cases properly. In other words, do what the Board should already have been doing with all of the asylum issues that come up frequently. If I am right Sessions will continue to certify cases for his review until the judges are applying the law correctly.

    Incidentally, the Board is not a statutory body. It was created by the AG's office with regulations. If Sessions can't get the Board to do provide the judges with the guidance they need, there's a good possibility that he will eliminate the board by promulgating new regulations to replace it with some other type of appellate body.

    I don't mean the Article One court system the judges and now the Federal Bar Association have been advocating for more than a decade. I am absolutely sure that he is not going to favor rewarding the board members or the judges with higher status and more pay as federal judges.

    Nolan Rappaport
    Updated 03-14-2018 at 10:20 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    In the latest news, an ICE official in San Francisco has just resigned over alleged pressure from Sessions and ICE director Homan to lie about the effects of California's Sanctuary policies.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    For my latest comment about another lawsuit dealing with a different, but not unrelated, aspect of how Trump's white supremacist immigration "enforcement" policies are leading the United States closer toward dictatorship, see my March 12 post about the ACLU's lawsuit against the Trump administration's inhuman policy of separating asylum-seeking parents in detention from their young children by holding the children in facilities that are hundreds, or in one case, two thousand miles, away from the parent:

    See also The Guardian's report on this shocking abuse of fundamental human rights by Donald Trump's DHS:

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 03-12-2018 at 12:04 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  4. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    And for more details on California's resistance to Trump's authoritarian attempts to conduct ethnic cleansing against non-white immigrants by expelling as many as possible, see the following link to a Washington Post March 7 report:

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  5. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    For a different perspective from Nolan's conclusion above, see my March 10 comment dealing with the danger to America's democracy posed by the Trump/Sessions strategy of trying to de-legitimize judges who stand up against Trump's white supremacist immigration agenda:

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

  6. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Readers who are interested in Nolan's above article will also certainly want to read Garrett Epps' thoughtful and incisive analysis of last week's terribly unfortunate Jennings v. Rodriguez 5-3 Supreme Court decision effectively upholding the indefinite detention of asylum-seekers and other unauthorized immigrants in what is becoming the American version of a Soviet-style gulag.

    The danger of Trump's mass arrest and deportation dragnet, which is now playing out in California and elsewhere, is not only in its agenda of taking America's immigration system back to the white supremacist pre-1965 regime through mass deportation of Latino, Asian and black immigrants, but in its undermining the Fifth Amendment rights which are at the basis of our democracy itself.

    See: The Atlantic, March 9:

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 03-10-2018 at 11:01 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  7. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Roger, Do you read my comments? You don't seem to understand anything I say in them.

    Nolan Rappaport
  8. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    However, readers should by no means stop at only reading my comments. They should also read articles such as the March 9 one in the Washington Post by Trump's ambassador to Panama, John D. Feely, who has just resigned, in large part as protest against the president's demonizing and scapegoating of non-white immigrants.

    This is the same agenda that underlies the administration's actions against California's sanctuary policies which Nolan is writing about.

    Much as one might try to slice and dice all these activities in order to create an illusion that they are separate issues, the fact remains that they are all part of an agenda to keep non-white immigrants out, or kick them out, which is not only gaining traction in Donald Trump's America, but in other countries as well.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 03-09-2018 at 06:03 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  9. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Nolan seems to be unable to accept the common subject matter between my comments and his. If he wants to write an article about DOJ anti-immigrant activities in California, do readers such as myself not also have the right to mention related issues, even if my opinions differ in some respects from Nolan's?

    Or are comment spaces only available for people who agree with Nolan on these issues?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    PS: My blogs are well worth reading, too! Readers are cordially invited to check them out to get a different perspective from Nolan's on the same topics (or related ones) that he is offering his own views about.
    Updated 03-09-2018 at 05:42 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  10. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Roger, why do you use the space designated for comments on my articles to advertise your own blogs?

    Nolan Rappaport
  11. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    The DOJ's lawsuit against California over "sanctuary" policies is not the only major lawsuit to be filed in a California federal court this week underscoring the fundamental cruelty and lack of humanity in Trump's attempts to expel non-white immigrants from the US.

    The ACLU has now (on March 9) filed a national class action suit on the District Court for the Southern District of California challenging the appalling DHS practice of separating asylum-seeking parents and children in different detention facilities which in some cases are thousands of miles apart.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  12. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    For some of my thoughts on how the Trump administration's actions against non-white mainly Latin American immigrants in California fit in a with a larger pattern of activity against Middle Eastern and African immigrants in Europe (with some old-fashioned antisemitism, which is never far below the surface in Europe, thrown in), and plans by Israel to deport thousands of dark-skinned immigrants back to the same African continent from which the people of Israel escaped to the Promised Land during the Exodus from Egypt, see:

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 03-09-2018 at 01:03 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  13. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Yes, DUI is admittedly more serious than petty theft or trespassing, which are also being used as pretexts for deporting "criminal aliens" by this administration. But, unless there is an accident resulting in actual harm, most Americans in involved in DUI get a slap on the wrist. Black, Latino and Asian immigrants get deported.

    Road safety is not the Trump administration's priority here.

    While this is not directly related to immigration (in most cases) would Nolan care to tell us where he stands on gun control, something even many Republican politicians, including Trump himself, are finally recognizing is urgently needed for the safety and security of the American people, and which would save thousands more American lives each year than using DUI as just another pretext to make America whiter through increased deportations?

    And if DUI is so serious that it justifies the cruelty of breaking up families and destroying lives that deportation often involves, here's a suggestion that Nolan might want to consider - giving lower deportation priority from deportation to immigrants who can demonstrate that they avoid alcohol - including Muslims, who are forbidden by their religion to drink alcohol entirely.

    Another way of cutting down on DUI by immigrants might be to adopt immigration policies that are more friendly toward immigrants from Muslim countries.

    Then Americans could drive and walk the streets with more assurance of protection against the dreaded scourge of DUI drivers.

    Revoking Trump's latest Muslim ban order would be a step to be considered toward the worthy goal of greater road safety in America.

    To the extent allowed by the Constitution, the Trump administration might also want to institute some kind of program to encourage more American Muslims to attend mosques so that they could receive encouragement from their religious leaders to remain steadfast in their avoidance of the alcoholic drinks which lead to so many tragic accidents every year caused by American drunk drivers of other religious backgrounds.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 03-08-2018 at 07:25 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  14. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    Nolan cites statistics showing that 10,000 people are killed by DUI drivers every year - showing that this is an American problem, not an immigration one.

    Scapegoating a comparative handful of immigrants by deporting them, breaking up their families and leaving their American children without one of their parents (or, often, the family's only breadwinner) for something which is as American as apple pie will not make America any safer from drunk drivers.

    But it will make America whiter, which we can be sure that the Trump administration cares a good deal more about than road safety.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Roger says that drunk driving is "as American as apple pie," so why bother to deport an alien who has been convicted for driving while intoxicated. That is the most irrational argument I have ever heard.

    By the same reasoning, we shouldn't deport aliens convicted of murder either. According to FBI crime statistics, there were
    17,250 murders in 2016. That's considerably more than the 10,000 deaths that were caused by drunken drivers that year. Ergo, murder is as American as apple pie too.

    So Roger would have Congress remove murder from the list of deportation grounds too.

    Incidentally, Trump had nothing to do with making DUI a deportation ground. I was on the House floor when the Republicans added it to a bill. They were outraged by the fact that intoxicated aliens who had managed to escape deportation had killed families in car accidents.

    I had to write talking points for the Democratic members who opposed the amendment. It didn't occur to me to say that drunken drivers killing people on the highway was as American as apple pie. Just as well. I probably would have been fired if I had included that argument in the talking points I wrote that day.

    Nolan Rappaport

    Updated 03-07-2018 at 10:28 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  15. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Nolan cites statistics showing that 10,000 people are killed by DUI drivers every year - showing that this is an American problem, not an immigration one.

    Scapegoating a comparative handful of immigrants by deporting them, breaking up their families and leaving their American children without one of their parents (or, often, the family's only breadwinner) for something which is as American as apple pie will not make America any safer from drunk drivers.

    But it will make America whiter, which we can be sure that the Trump administration cares a good deal more about than road safety.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  16. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    Does this report indicate the level of criminal convictions or charges that immigrants are being arrested for, or is ICE mainly engaged in helping to rid America of the scourge of immigrant DUI's, trespassers, or petty shoplifters?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    I don't know which criminal convictions are being prioritized, but I am sure that deportations are limited to aliens who have been found deportable by immigration judges and are subject to final orders of deportation.

    I take issue with Roger's apparent objection to the deportation of aliens convicted of DUIs.

    According to the US Department of Transportation, "every day, almost 29 people in the United States die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes—that's one person every 50 minutes in 2016. Drunk-driving fatalities have fallen by a third in the last three decades; however, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year. In 2010, the most recent year for which cost data is available, these deaths and damages contributed to a cost of $44B per year."

    For more information, go to

    But apparently, Roger thinks keeping undocumented aliens convicted of DUIs in the country is more important than taking drunk drivers off the road.

    Nolan Rappaport
  17. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Does this report indicate the level of criminal convictions or charges that immigrants are being arrested for, or is ICE mainly engaged in helping to rid America of the scourge of immigrant DUI's, trespassers, or petty shoplifters?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  18. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Nor is Europe the only place outside the US where the skin color of desperate and vulnerable refugees has become a big issue. Israel is now starting to deport thousands of well assimilated, Hebrew-speaking African refugees, who had entered that country to escape imprisonment, torture and war in countries such as Eritrea and Somalia, and who can justly claim to be Israel's "Dreamers", according to a March 5 Washington Post story called The Future of Israel's 'Dreamers' (which I will discuss further in my own upcoming blog comment on this issue).

    How sad that a country that was founded as a refuge for people who know better than any other what it means when the nations of the world close their gates to refugees; and which was established on one of the most basic principles in all of Judaism, namely that "We were once strangers in the land of Egypt", should be expelling people because of the color of their skin.

    For more on the heartbreaking stories of the black people whom Israel is now deporting, and an article on a protest against this by 45 (so far) American rabbis, cantors and rabbinical students, see:


    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 03-06-2018 at 09:04 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  19. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    For a direct link to the latest (March 3)Washington Post story on how "Madness", based on the president'
    s "fundamentally distorted personality" has taken over the White House, see:

    Based on reports such as the above, which is only one of many similar ones dealing with possible mental health issues involving America's chief executive and the world's most powerful leader, it should not come as any surprise that a key piece of Trump's program is a fundamentally distorted immigration policy based on the alleged "merit" of coming mainly or exclusively from the white countries of Europe rather than from the "shithole" countries of Africa and other non-white parts of the world, to use the president's own terminology.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 03-05-2018 at 11:30 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  20. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    No one questions the need to maintain the utmost vigilance against foreign terrorism. Nor has Trump been receiving sufficient credit from the media for the military actions he has launched or supported against ISIS, which has now largely been destroyed.

    But radical Islamist terrorism is by no means the only danger to the safety and well-being of the American people and to our democracy.

    The 17 innocent children who were murdered in cold blood at Parkland high school were not killed by a Muslim terrorist - or by an immigrant from anywhere. If the deranged killer who snuffed out their lived with a military-style assault weapon which no civilian should ever have been allowed to own had - or would be owning except to the NRA - been a Muslim - one can be sure that Trump would have been calling for registration, if not actual relocation, of Muslim -Americans and surveillance, if not shutting down, of US mosques.

    If the killer had been an immigrant from any country, one can be sure that Trump would be calling to abolish whatever kind of visa that person, or perhaps his parents, had come to the US with and vilifying thousands or millions of other people who came with that same type of visa as dangers to US safety and security. This is exactly what he did in his State of the Union speech and various other statements with regard to extended family immigration - ignoring the fact that his own mother, grandfather and, just recently, parents in law, came to the US by that same method that he now wants to take away from potentially millions of future primarily Latin American, Asian, African and Middle Eastern immigrants in order to tilt America's immigration system back toward predominance by Europe, as was the case before 1965.

    Yes, we have to be vigilant against external threats to America's safety and democracy. But what about the internal threats, such as the alarming increase in anti-Jewish assaults in America, reportedly almost 2,000, which took place in America last year alone? If these vicious attackers, or even any single one of them, had been screaming "God is Great" instead of some Nazi-style anti-Jewish slogans during the attack or attacks. one can be sure that we would be hearing much more about this from Donald Trump and his supporters who want to close America's borders to all but white, Christian (or Jewish) immigrants.

    Most of all, where are the threats to America's democracy coming from today? Yes, they do come from what is left of ISIS and other anti-democratic, terrorist organizations such as those which are on the State Department list. No one should ignore this very real danger.

    But there is another danger to our democracy as well- one coming from a president of the United States whose actions, even involving his closest and most loyal associates - people who have been devoting their careers to carrying out his agendas in immigration and many other areas - such as John Kelly, Jeff Sessions, Hope Hicks - the list grows almost day by day - can only be politely described as "erratic" - which everyone in Americas knows means the shouting, berating and humiliating directed against real or imagined opponents. All of these are classic signs of possible mental health issues according to professionals who have had the courage to speak out.

    What about the threat to our democracy coming from a chief executive who demands "loyalty" from every government official to himself, not to the Constitution, who attacks an independent press as "enemies of the people" and who calls members of an independent judiciary "so called judges", while calling people who failed to applaud during his State of the Union speech "treasonous"?

    A president who recently joked about wanting to emulate China's president by becoming "president for life" - was this really a joke?

    A president who insists on staging a North Korea or Soviet-style military parade - while he is still under investigation for possible collusion by himself or his staff for with arguably the most dangerous and powerful foreign dictator of all, Vladimir Putin - who unquestionably tried to skew the last election in Trump's favor and who will undoubtedly try to do so again?

    Are these not also dangers to America's safety and democracy?

    If America loses its already fragile democracy and becomes a dictatorship, and future historians ask how this came about, they will no doubt attribute the loss of our country's freedom - at least in part - to the Faustian bargain which immigration opponents made with Donald Trump to put and keep him in the white House as long as he promised to carry out policies which would destroy the legal immigration system which has been open to immigrants from every part of the world for the past half century, without regard to race, color or religion, and replace it with one oriented to white European immigrants only.

    Should not the American people, and our elected representatives be concerning themselves about these dangers to our democracy too, instead of focusing on ways and means accomplishing Trump's agenda of keeping more parents, siblings and adult children of US citizens out of the US because they have darker skin color than the members of Trump's own family who came to America the same way?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 03-04-2018 at 05:08 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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