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  1. From an Asylum Attorney to the Green Party's Jill Stein: Hillary Clinton Is Not the S

    Dr. Jill Stein is the Green Party's presumptive nominee for President of the United States. In a recent appearance on Democracy Now!, she argued that there was little difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump:

    Trump says very scary things—deporting immigrants, massive militarism and, you know, ignoring the climate. Well, Hillary, unfortunately, has a track record for doing all of those things. Hillary has supported the deportations of immigrants, opposed the refugees—women and children coming from Honduras, whose refugee crisis she was very much responsible for by giving a thumbs-up to this corporate coup in Honduras that has created the violence from which those refugees are fleeing. She basically said, "No, bar the gates, send them back." You know, so we see these draconian things that Donald Trump is talking about, we actually see Hillary Clinton doing.



    Dr. Stein says that, people are "very quick to tell you about the terrible things that the Republicans did, but they’re very quick to forget the equally terrible things that have happened under a Democratic White House.... It’s time to forget the lesser evil, stand up and fight for the greater good."


    I am a member of the Green Party. I am also an attorney who represents immigrants and asylum seekers. My clients have fled persecution in the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. They are not people who have the luxury of idealism. They are people whose loved-ones have been killed by war and terrorism. Many of my clients have been attacked or threatened with death. Their first priority is to keep their families and themselves alive. By leaving everything behind--family members, friends, homes, careers--in order to find safety in America, they have already chosen the lesser evil that Dr. Stein speaks about.


    We are now almost at the start (!) of the general election season. Are the two major candidates for President really the same, as Dr. Stein argues? My clients don't think so. They are genuinely afraid of Donald Trump and of what he represents. When Mr. Trump threatens to ban Muslims from the United States, or when he refers to Mexicans (and Americans of Mexican decent) in a racist manner, my clients wonder whether there is a future for them in this country.


    One of my clients is a women's rights activist from Afghanistan. Will she be able to reunite with her young children, or will they be prevented from coming to the U.S. because of their religion? Other clients are a Syrian couple, both doctors, whose first child died in the war. Will they be able to keep their second child safely in the United States, or will they be forced to leave? What about my Iraqi client who was kidnapped and tortured by terrorists? Or my Pakistani-journalist client whose step-father was murdered in retaliation for the family’s democratic political views? And what about my Honduran client who was shot in the head by members of MS-13 because he refused to join their gang? If Mr. Trump had his way, I imagine all these people—and many more—would be blocked from seeking refuge in our country.


    Contrast this with Hillary Clinton. Dr. Stein points out that Ms. Clinton supported a coup in Honduras that supposedly helped create the current refugee flow from that country, and that Ms. Clinton favors detention of asylum seekers, including families with children, who arrive at our Southern border. Based on the evidence I have seen, Dr. Stein's claim about the coup is dubious: Violence was rising in Honduras before the coup, and it continued to rise after the coup. It is very difficult to pin the current waive of migration to the coup (or to credit Ms. Clinton with causing it). As for the detention of families at the border, I have yet to see a solution to this problem that is practically and politically viable. Should we simply throw open our border to all comers? My sense is that the large majority of Americans would oppose such a move. I personally think we should be using more alternatives to detention, but this is a policy tweak; not a complete solution. A leader’s first priority must be to protect our country. How that can be achieved without control of our border, I do not know. In sum, the "lesser evils" discussed by Dr. Stein are difficult policy choices, and reasonable people can differ on the solutions.


    More important than her previous policy positions are the positions Ms. Clinton would likely take if elected President. The Democratic Party has moved to the left, and whatever policies Ms. Clinton advances will be determined largely by where the party stands politically. On immigration, it is in a different universe from the Republican Party and from Mr. Trump, whose hardline stance on immigrants is well known. For Dr. Stein to argue that the two candidates’ positions on immigration are similar is like saying that black is the same as white (ok, maybe it's more like saying that dark gray is the same as light gray, but you get the idea).


    I have been a member of the Green Party for over 15 years. I support many of it's policies. But I have found it very difficult to support the top-down strategy that seems to have characterized the party since at least 2000, when Ralph Nader siphoned off votes from Al Gore. I have always felt that the Green Party should focus on state and local races. A "revolution" (whatever that means) will not come from the top down--it will come from the bottom up. So while I believe the Green Party should run a national campaign in order to raise awareness on various issues, I also believe it should ultimately endorse the Presidential candidate that represents the "lesser evil." In the current election, that candidate is Hillary Clinton. There are major differences between her and Donald Trump, and those differences may determine whether people like my clients live or die. I hope Dr. Stein will keep such people in mind as we move through this election campaign.

    Originally posted on the Asylumist: www.Asylumist.com.

    Updated 07-07-2016 at 10:54 AM by JDzubow

  2. DINNER AT AILA

    by , 06-15-2016 at 09:24 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    Are you an immigration attorney who is going to the AILA Annual Conference in Las Vegas next week? If so, and if you do not have plans on Thursday evening, please join us for dinner.

    For the last several years a group of AILA lawyers who practice in healthcare have gotten together for a dinner on the Thursday of AILA Annual week. Most years we have about 15 people attend.

    It is a great chance to catch up with old friends (and new ones!). It is a casual event. If you are an AILA attorney who is interested in attending this year’s dinner, please let me know how many will be attending from your group by June 17. Friends, spouses, etc. are also welcome.

    Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at
    www.musillo.com and www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  3. Muslim Immigrant Ban Could Revive 1950's Repression Against US Citizens. Roger Algase

    One of the greatest periods of danger for democracy in America's entire history was the 1950's period when Senator Joseph McCarthy (R. Wisconsin) and the House Committee on Un-American activities relentlessly persecuted people accused of being Communist sympathizers, destroying the lives and careers of many innocent people suspected of left wing views.

    Just in case anyone thinks that Donald Trump's proposal to ban all Muslims in the world from visiting or immigrating to the US would affect foreign citizens only, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is giving us a timely reminder that scapegoating Muslim immigrants from everywhere in the world for the acts of violence in the US by a small number of disturbed, isolated, individuals who happen to be Muslims but are not part of any terror group, can lead to destroying the rights and freedoms of American citizens too, and not only Muslim US citizens.

    The Hill reports on June 14 that Gingrich has proposed bringing back the House Un-American Activities Committee to investigate people who support "Islamic supremacists", and he suggested taking away US citizenship from any "traitor" who pledges allegiance to ISIS.

    Certainly, there can be no doubt that anyone who supports or assists ISIS or any other terror group should be investigated and punished according to law. This is why we have the FBI and our intelligence agencies.

    But the history of the House Un-American activities shows that the committee went far beyond law enforcement and included wide-ranging harassment of people who had unpopular political views. The Hill describes the history of this committee as one of "terror", in which people who were blacklisted by the committee for their political views had no chance to clear their name and could suddenly find themselves without friends and without a job. See:

    http://www.thehill.com/blogs/ballot-...ties-committee

    Does America really want to bring back an era of repression and persecution, this time directed, not against suspected Communists, but against 3 or 4 million loyal, patriotic American citizens who practice the Muslim religion, or against the millions of other Americans who support the Constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms of their Muslim fellow-citizens, just as "pinkos" and Commiesymps" were targeted in the 1950's?

    Are the American people ready to give up our democracy in response to the siren song of some political leaders who seek to gain power by preying on the fears and anxieties of average citizens?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 06-15-2016 at 03:20 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Trump's Address on Terrorism and Immigration: A Recipe For US Fascism? Roger Algase

    Update, June 14, 6:18 pm:

    In a June 14 statement that the word "delusional" would not even begin to be adequate to describe, Donald Trump is now accusing President Obama of "continuing to":

    "prioritize our enemy over our allies, and, for that matter, the American people."

    Is this the way that policy discussions about immigration or any other issue are normally conducted in a democratic society? Or is it rather the kind of irrational, deranged, ranting that we are used to hearing from dictators or would be dictators in authoritarian counties around the world?

    What does a statement like this tell us about how long we could expect America's democracy to survive under a Donald Trump presidency?

    See:

    http://www.thehill.com/blogs/ballot-...merican-people

    For the horrified reaction among Senate Republicans to Trump's above latest unimaginable attack on President Obama over the Orlando shooting, see:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/0...orlando-224339

    My original post follows:

    On June 13, in further reaction to the Orlando shooting, Donald Trump posted an "address" on "Terrorism, Immigration and National Security" on his website. See

    https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-r...ional-security

    As Americans, we must ask ourselves in all seriousness whether this address is not a further step in the Trump campaign that could bring this country ever closer to becoming a fascist dictatorship. Let us take a look at Trump's seven-page statement in detail.

    It starts off, commendably, with a statement of sympathy and solidarity with the victims that no one could possibly argue against:

    "We express our deepest sympathies to the victims, the wounded , and their families.

    We mourn, as one people, for our nation's loss - and pledge our support to any and all who need it."

    And then, after calling for a moment of silence: a welcome statement of tolerance and support that, unfortunately, not all of Trump's Republican colleagues and voters would necessarily agree with, least of all the supporters of North Carolina's notorious transgender bathroom law:

    "Our nation stands together in solidarity with the members of Orlando's LGBT community."

    Unfortunately, after this stirring and heartwarming opening (which neglected, however, for some reason, to mention that most of the victims were Latino - since it was reportedly "Latino night" at the club - maybe Trump didn't know this yet) it is as if Trump had said: "Now let the lies and hatred against immigrants, and Muslims in general, begin."

    Trump's statement continues:

    "A radical Islamic terrorist targeted the nightclub not only because he wanted to kill Americans, but in order to execute gay and lesbian citizens because of their sexual orientation."

    Was the Orlando killer really a "radical Islamic terrorist"?

    The FBI had investigated and interviewed him several times - and concluded that there was not enough evidence of his being a terrorist supporter to warrant further action -or even to stop him from buying a gun, or working as a security guard for a firm which had a federal contract to protect government buildings.

    Nor is there any evidence so far that the killer had any connection with ISIS or other terrorist organization, despite a last minute phone call purporting to pledge allegiance to that terrorist group.

    Even the killer's father, an avowed Taliban supporter, has publicly apologized for his son's killing and said that he has no idea what the motive could have been, other than possible homophobia touched off by the sight of two men kissing. Islamic terrorists, or their supporters, are not known for apologizing for their killings to anyone.

    Based on the evidence that has been publicly released to date, it is impossible to rule out the possibility that the gunman was a mentally disturbed, obviously homophobic, lone wolf, just as the Sandy Hook killer and countless other gun users who take the lives of tens of thousands of Americans every year are written off by the NRA as "lone wolves".

    Indeed, if the Orlando shooter had not been a Muslim, it is highly likely that gay rights and gun control opponents would be calling him exactly that.

    Moving on to his next lie, or at least false innuendo, Trump continues:

    "The killer, whose name I will not use, or ever say, was born to Afghan parents who immigrated to the United States. His father published support for the Afghan Taliban, a regime which murders those who don't share its radical views. The father even said how was running for president of that country.

    The bottom line is than the only reason the killer was in America in the first place was because his family helped him to come here...

    We have a dysfunctional immigration system which does not permit us to know who we let into our country, and it does not permit us to protect our citizens."

    The charge that the killer's parents were allowed into the US because of a "dysfunctional immigration system", or that immigration had anything to do whatsoever with the Orlando mass murder is simply mind-boggling in its duplicity.

    The Orlando killer was 29 years old and was born in America. That means that his parents had to have come here no later than in the mid-1980's when Ronald Reagan was president, both 9/11 and ISIS were still in the future, and the Taliban, or its predecessors, in Afghanistan were regarded by the US administration as allies against a possible Soviet takeover of that country!

    The idea that the Orlando shooter's father was allowed to come to the US because of lax US immigration policies toward Islamic terrorists is simply delusional. When the killer's father was admitted to the US, could any immigration official have predicted that his unborn child might commit a horrible mass murder 30 years later, for whatever motivation?

    As we proceed further into Trump's "address" it will become clearer and clearer, that instead of adopting a rational approach to dealing with the terrorist threat based on the best possible intelligence gathering and screening, and working together with our friends and allies, including those in Muslim countries, to combat radical Islamic extremism, Trump is trying to stir up fear and hatred toward Muslims and immigrants in general.

    He is using Islamophobia and anti-immigrant prejudice to attack and smear his political opponents, while presenting himself as the only person who is "strong" enough to save America, very much as Adolf Hitler did in the case of the Jews in order to seize power in Germany.

    Is America moving in the direction of repeating that history, only with Muslims and other immigrants as the scapegoats instead?

    I will discuss this further in Part 2 of this comment, to follow.
    _________________________________________
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants, from diverse parts of the world and ethnic/religious backgrounds, obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger believes that combating prejudice and discrimination against immigrants by reason of their ethnicity, religion or national origin is essential to maintaining America's democracy and the freedoms that all of us, US citizens and immigrants alike, hold dear. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com








    Updated 06-14-2016 at 06:38 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Letters of the Week: June 13 - June 17

    Please email your letters to editor@ilw.com or post them directly as a comment below.
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