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  1. Famous Russian Immigrant: Trump "Reminds Me Of The Soviet Union". Roger Algase

    Mikhail Baryshnikov, the famous Russian dancer who defected from the Kirov Ballet in 1974 and became a naturalized US citizen in 1986 has released a video stating that Donald Trump reminds him of "dangerous totalitarian opportunists" who have driven people like him out of their countries, according to an August 16 POLITICO report.


    In a video released by an organization backing Hillary Clinton, Baryshnikov said:

    "Forty-two years ago I left a country that built walls to come to a place without them. But today, as a citizen of the United States, for the first time, I'm hearing rhetoric that reminds me of the Soviet Union of my youth, where it was a crime, and continues to be a crime, to be different."

    Baryshnikov, who says that he has never publicly endorsed a candidate before but is now endorsing Hillary Clinton, stated:

    "The America I love welcomes people of all nations, all religions, and supports all forms of human expression. America welcomed me, an immigrant, and that welcome has made my life possible."

    He also said:

    Hundreds of thousands of people like me have fled from countries led by dangerous totalitarian opportunists like Donald Trump. Don't let that happen to ur beautiful United States of America."

    As if to underscore Baryshnikov's warning, Al Baldasaro, an adviser to Trump on veterans affairs stated on July 20 that

    "Hillary Clinton should be put in a firing line and shot for treason"

    because of her alleged mishandling of the Benghazi incident.


    Isn't that what they used to do to political opponents in the Soviet Union?
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Fore more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards. Roger's email address is

    Updated 08-17-2016 at 06:47 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Federal Judge Asked to Compel Disclosures About Deportation Interment Camps

    by , 08-16-2016 at 08:32 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    For Immediate Release
    August 15, 2016,

    Contacts: Armando Carmona,, 951.966.6500; Angela Chan,, 503.358.2795 (press only)

    Immigrant Rights Groups Ask Federal Judge to Compel DHS Disclosures About Embattled Jail-Based Deportation Program
    Pressure Grows on Obama Administration to Reconcile Conflicting Messages About Immigrant Rights, Criminal Justice Reform, and Transparency

    New York City – In response to the refusal of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide information about promised reforms to its controversial jail-based deportation program, immigrant rights groups asked a federal judge Monday to compel urgent disclosures required under the Freedom of Information Act. The move comes as President Obama’s history of broken promises on immigration and transparency is coming into sharper focus in his final months in office, and he seeks to turn attention to criminal justice reform.

    In November 2014, DHS formally ended the disgraced Secure Communities (S-Comm) deportation program, relying on entanglement with local law enforcement, and announced a new program, the Priority Enforcement Program, or PEP. Many of the details that led to the revolt against S-Comm were initially kept secret by the government and only uncovered as the result of prior FOIA litigation. Now DHS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) again seek to keep from public disclosure—for years—critical information about its modified jail deportation program even as evidence increasingly suggests that the new program suffers from the same fatal flaws that led to the termination of S-Comm, and as there are increased calls for police to cease actions undermining police-community relations.

    Tom Fritzsche, clinical teaching fellow at the Immigration Justice Clinic of the Cardozo School of Law, stated: “The Obama Administration has refused to provide basic information about a program that has radically altered not only immigrants’ relationship with local police, but also local law enforcement’s relationship with ICE.”

    In support of the motion to urgently release information, the organizations provided more than a dozen declarations from lawmakers, organizations, and victims of the divisive program. These statements detail the devastating impact of the program on individuals, families and communities. In one declaration provided to the court, Xochitl Hernandez, currently imprisoned and facing deportation in Adelanto, California, described being taken into custody by ICE after an arrest by the LAPD, even though she does not fit any of DHS’ stated deportation priorities.

    Policymakers explained the pressure imposed by DHS on lawmakers to toe the line regardless of legitimate concerns, the utter lack of oversight, and DHS’ blatant violations of its own rules. Cook County Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” García affirmed to the court that DHS “imposed public pressure” to urge his county to abandon a local policy intended to preserve family unity and protect against violations of the rights of immigrants.

    New York City Council Member Carlos Menchaca added, “It is very important that we as New Yorkers have accurate information about how immigration enforcement is operating in our city. As chair of the immigration committee, I have serious concerns that PEP is continuing to harm communities.”

    “DHS’ refusal to provide even basic information regarding its jail deportation program brings to light two of President Obama’s biggest broken promises—his promise to pass immigration reform and his pledge to be the most transparent administration in history,” said Emi MacLean, staff attorney at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. She continued: “In reality, DHS under Obama has used coercion, misinformation, and deception to enlist local police as frontline immigration enforcers.”

    “The President continues to boast that he is deporting ‘felons not families.’ This disregards the reality that felons have families,” said Angela Chan, policy director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus. “PEP further serves to doubly burden immigrant families by fusing together the worst elements of our mass deportation and mass incarceration systems.”

    “The Obama Administration needs to be held accountable for the transparency of its policies,” said Anthony Diana, Partner at Reed Smith LLP who is co-counsel in the case. “Policymakers should have the information they need to effectively establish policies regarding immigration and the criminal justice system. Local communities should be able to access information to protect their residents from the impact of such policies, particularly when there is a fear of potential constitutional violations.”

    The filing Monday comes the week after the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse reported that DHS has failed to live up to its promises in the rocky implementation of PEP—heavily targeting people with no or minimal criminal history and relying disproportionately on requests that local police hold people in custody beyond their release dates, a practice which federal courts have found to violate the constitution under S-Comm. Additionally, California lawmakers are considering a bill, the Truth Act, designed in part to provide greater information to immigrants and communities impacted by the deportation program.

    NDLON, et al. v. ICE, et al. was filed in January 2016 by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus and the Immigration Justice Clinic of Cardozo School of Law. Reed Smith LLP is co-counsel. The complaint is available here.

    Individual declarations that accompanied the motion are available in the following links: Salceda ACLU Fresno Declaration - NDLON v. ICE.pdf Salceda ACLU Fresno Declaration - NDLON v. ICE.pdf Newman Declaration - NDLON v. ICE.pdf Rickerd Declaration NDLON et al v ICE et al.pdf Chuy Garcia declaration - NDLON v. ICE.pdf Menchaca Declaration Declaration NDLON et al v ICE et al.pdf Grosso Declaration_NDLON-v-ICE_DC City Council.pdf Arriaga Declaration - NDLON v. ICE.pdf Lopez NOWCRJ New Orleans NDLON vs ICE_Declaration.pdf Eldridge Letter - NDLON v ICE.pdf Polstein Declaration - FOIA litigation_8_11_16.pdf Kiernan - Declaration NDLON et al v ICE et al.pdf Hussain Declaration NDLON et al v ICE et al.pdf Hernandez Declaration - NDLON v. ICE - FINAL.pdf
  3. Trump's "Extreme Vetting" Destroys American Values, Recalls 1924 Act. Roger Algase

    The following is Part 1 of my comments about Turmp's August 15 "terrorism" speech which, for the reasons outlined in this series, should more accurately be called his "fear-mongering and immigrant scapegoating speech".

    On August 15, Donald Trump tried to revive his flagging campaign, which the New York Times had described as being in deep trouble, causing Trump to lash out with threats to abolish the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of the press. See my August 15 Immigration Daily blog: Legal Scholars Blast Trump In NY Times; Trump Hopes Paper Will Close:

    In order to try to bring his campaign back to life, Trump went back to using what can only be described as his Trump card - stoking fears of terrorist attacks on America and demonizing Muslim immigrants. The full text of his speech can be found at

    Trump began his speech with a recitation of ISIS instigated or otherwise Islamic terrorist linked- linked horrors and atrocities perpetrated in America and Europe. These, unfortunately have not been in short supply.

    However, Trump did not mention the many other ISIS attacks, also outside the "war zones of the Middle East (i.e. Syria, Iraq, Libya and, arguably, Afghanistan), referred to in his speech, attacks which have targeted hundreds, if not thousands, of peaceful, innocent Muslim civilians in places such as Istanbul, Bangladesh, and Indonesia; and which have, together with the Putin-backed Syrian dictatorship, been a major cause of the attempt by four million Syrian refugees to seek safety in Europe.

    Then, after opening with this appeal to fear, and even before turning to any of his proposals to defeat ISIS militarily (which few Americans would disagree needs to be done urgently), Trump immediately turn his verbal guns - not on ISIS' weapons and capacity to organize terror attacks, but on the "hateful ideology of Radical Islam - its oppression of women, gays, children, non-believers" which, he stated, must not "be allowed to reside or spread within our own countries."

    (All bold quotes are taken directly from Trump's speech, as published in the above POLITICO link )

    Therefore, according to Trump, the terrorist enemy must not only be defeated militarily, but ideologically as well. There is, in principle, nothing wrong with this statement. America defeated both fascism and communism by combating their ideologies, not just opposing their weapons (even though, of course, America suffered a crushing defeat in 1975 in our last military conflict with a communist nation).

    But there are two problems with Trump's statement so far. The first is one of massive hypocrisy. Trump talks about "oppression of women [and] gays' as constituting a danger to America's safety.

    As Trump himself has reportedly recently said in a different context: "Give us a break!"

    Maybe someone should remind him that he is the presidential standard bearer of a party that for has been bitterly fighting against women's abortion and other reproductive rights for many many years and is still doing so.

    His party also consistently votes against women's equal pay laws at every possible opportunity, and Trump's own comments during this campaign against various women have been so offensive that, arguably even many people who have been brought up in some societies which have a long way to go in respecting women's rights migt find them shocking.

    And as for oppression of gays, Trump might want to have a chat with his own Vice-Presidential pick, Gov. Mike Pence, who recently signed a law in Indiana allowing private businesses to discriminate against gays on "religious" grounds, and eventually had it repealed only after nationwide outrage threatened to tarnish the image of his state and hurt its businesses (link to be provided).

    He might also want to have a friendly discussion with Republican officials in North Carolina, who have been fighting a last ditch legal battle to uphold that state's bigoted transgender "bathroom" law (link also to be provided).

    As will be shown in Part 2 of these comment, Trump's proposed "extreme vetting" ideological test for immigrants seeking admission to the United States, could result in denying visas to people from various parts of the world (including Europe, which is obviously not the intended target of Trump's proposal), merely because they might happen to believe in essential parts of Trump's own Republican party platform!

    However, as will be discussed in more detail in Part 2, the main danger in Trump's proposal to deny admission to immigrants based on ideology is that it opens the door to excluding immigrants from entire countries or parts of the world where religion or social customs may have features that are perceived to be incompatible with "American Values" whether or not the individual applicant for admission in fact subscribes to such beliefs.

    This would take America back to the days of the bigoted Immigration Act of 1924, when immigrants from entire parts of the world, Including Southern and Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and all of Asia, were presumed to be incapable of adopting "American Values" or assimilating to "American culture".

    In addition to targeted nationalities and regions of the world, entire ethnic or religious groups, notably Jews, were considered at that time to be incapable of becoming fully American, as well as being allegedly dangerous to America because of their presumed ideology.

    Part 2 of these comments will show the very disturbing similarities between Trump's proposed ideological test for immigrants seeking admission to the US, outlined in his above August 15 speech, in the asserted interests of protecting America against radical Islamist terror, and the infamous "national origins" immigration quotas of the 1924 law, which were also adopted in the wake of a fear campaign known to history as the "Red Scare"​.

    To be continued.
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvad Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from various parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards. Roger's email address is

    Updated 08-16-2016 at 09:50 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs


    by , 08-15-2016 at 04:47 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    Musillo Unkenholt LLC (MU Law) is proud to co-sponsor a Cincinnati seminar with Graydon Head, Cincinnati’s premier full-service law firm. The event will be held September 13, 2016 on the campus of Xavier University. The program runs from 7:30 - 10:00 AM and will feature a panel of local Cincinnati business leaders. The seminar is free to attend.

    Join Graydon Head & Musillo Unkenholt as they lead an informative conversation about using immigration to solve staffing supply shortages - and the legal and practical issues that may arise. A panel of experts who have dealt with these situations will share their struggles and successes on using immigration solutions in a tight labor market.

    If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Sam Rossell, 513.629.2727 or via email.

    This program is valid for 1.5 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit

    Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at and You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  5. Letters of the Week: August 15 - August 19

    Please email your letters to or post them directly as a comment below.
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