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  1. Letters of the Week: July 23 - July 27

  2. Were Putin's State Terror Arrests of Dissidents' Children the Model for Trump's Family Separation Blueprint for a Fascist America? Roger Algase

    The following comment has been revised and updated as of 9:55 am on July 23.

    When dictators prepare to seize absolute power, they first carry out their worst repression and persecution against targeted minority groups who have always been unpopular with the public in their country, or who have become unpopular through being demonized and dehumanized by the regime and its supporters.

    This is how Adolf Hitler used a virulent 19th century form of anti-Semitism, made popular by the opera composer Richard Wagner among many others, to take power in Germany in the 20th Century.

    It is how Stalin and Mao consolidated absolute power in Russia and China by using public resentment and hatred of "capitalists", landowners and other "enemies of the people" as targets and scapegoats.

    It is not a coincidence that Donald Trump is using the same phrase about a free an independent press, or anyone else who opposes him. Nor is it a coincidence that Trump is carrying his worst abuses against his favorite scapegoats - Latino, Muslim, African and other brown immigrants.

    They are his "Jews", his "capitalists" and his landowners. Their persecutions and sufferings are the the stepping stones to his drive for absolute power - his blueprint for a fascist America. The following will show that When Trump met with Vladimir Putin, resulting in widespread condemnation and outrage even among some of Trump's strongest supporters, the issue was not simply whether America's president was being "strong" enough toward the Russian tyrant.

    The far more important issue was that, certainly with regard to carrying out atrocities against targeted opponents by engaging in egregious abuses, arguably amounting to torture, against their children, the connection between Putin and Trump was a meeting of the minds - a study in attempts to seize absolute power by selecting or singling out certain groups of people for persecution.

    Trump's inhuman child separation policy, which was adopted for the express purpose of terrorizing Central American immigrants out of attempting to apply for asylum at the US border, may have been rescinded, but the effects are not over.

    They are certainly not over for the hundreds, or possibly more than a thousand (depending on which report one reads) children who have not yet been reunited with their parents, some of whom may never see their parents again.

    Nor are the effects of this brutal and sadistic policy over for the dozens, or hundreds of children who will be scarred for life. Yuka Verdoner, a psychotherapist and Holocaust survivor who was separated from her parents as a child in order to escape the Nazis, writes about the lasting, lifelong damage that her bother and sister suffered from their childhood separation in the June 18 issue of The Guardian:

    "My brother's second foster family cared deeply about him and has kept in touch with him all these years. Even so, he is almost 80 years old and is still trying to understand what made him the anxious and dysfunctional person he turned into as a child and has remained for the rest of his life."

    She also writes:

    "My younger sister was separated from our parents at five. She had no understanding of what was going on and why she suddenly had to live with a strange set of adults. She suffered thereafter from lifelong, profound depression."

    She also writes, in the same article

    "My grief and anger about today's southern border came not just from my personal life. As a retired psychotherapist who has worked extensively with victims of childhood trauma, I know all too well what awaits many thousands of children, taken by our government at the border...We can expect thousands of lives to be damaged, for many years or for ever, by 'zero tolerance'. We can expect old men and women, decades from now, still suffering, still remembering, still writing in the present tense."

    And she lives no doubt about her conclusion:

    "What is happening in our own back yard today is as evil and criminal as what happened to me and my siblings as children in Nazi Europe."

    And a June 19 comment on the site describes the traumatic effect of Trump's vicious and barbaric policy, which he abandoned only after enormous outrage and pressure from all segments of the American public across the political spectrum, including his own First Lady, as follows:

    "The consequences of Trump's xenophobia are agonizingly clear n reports of migrant children screaming out for their parents, babies crying incessantly, infants housed with teenagers who don't know how to change diapers and shattered and traumatized families."


    Trump's act of state terrorism against children

    The same comment adds:

    "It's no wonder that the American Academy of Pediatrics referred to the Trump administration's policy of separating children from their families as one of 'sweeping cruelty.'"

    To be sure, Trump is not the first leader to engage in this form of horrific inhumanity toward innocent children in order to accomplish a political objective. This is a hallmark practice of fascist and other authoritarian rulers, including a certain Russian chief executive who is not unknown to Trump, and who includes arresting the children of people who oppose him in his bag of tricks to consolidate his power.

    His name is Vladimir Putin, as Masha Gessen explains in the New Yorker magazine May 8 issue:


    Taking Children From Their Parents is a Form of State Terror:

    Further details are contained in the above reports.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 07-23-2018 at 08:55 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. 2nd Circuit Rules Criminal Sale of Marijuana 3rd is not an Aggravated Felony

    by , 07-20-2018 at 09:49 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Hot off the presses:

    Hylton v. Sessions, 17‐1567‐ag (JULY 20, 2018)

    Antoine Hylton, a Jamaican national, petitions for review of the order of the Board of Immigration Appeals, which found him ineligible for cancellation of removal because his prior state conviction for sale of marijuana in the third degree constituted an aggravated felony under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The single issue on appeal is whether the minimum offense conduct under Hyltonís statute of conviction, New York Penal Law (ďNYPLĒ) ß 221.45, is necessarily punishable as a federal felony by the Controlled Substances Act. Because NYPL ß 221.45 explicitly extends to the distribution of less than an ounce of marijuana without remuneration, it is punishable as a federal misdemeanor. 2 Hyltonís crime of conviction is therefore not categorically an aggravated felony. We GRANT the petition, VACATE the opinion of the BIA, and REMAND for further consideration consistent with this opinion.

    Click here to read the opinion.
  4. Bowing to Trump's Racist Immigration "Principles", Nielsen Condones White Supremacists as DHS Moves Against Family and Diversity Visas. Roger Algase

    From the moment in June 2015 when Donald Trump announced that he was running for president on a platform of demonizing Mexican immigrants as "criminals", "rapists" and "drug dealers", there has been no doubt that Trump's most basic "immigration principles" have been overt racism and white supremacy.

    This is not to say that anti-immigrant racism originated with Trump - of course it did not. This stain on America and its most fundamental value of equality of all people goes back at least to the time of the infamous late 19th Century Chinese exclusion laws, if not to the pre-civil war Dred Scott decision laying down the "principle" that people of color could not be US citizens because of their race.

    No, Trump certainly did not invent the "principles" of anti-immigrant racism in America. But almost every passng day, there are new indications that these principles are at the foundation of his administration's entire immigration policy. As I discuss below, the "principles" of anti-immigrant racism are now close and closer to becoming official DHS policy under the cowardly leadership of its director, Kirstjen Nielsen, who seems to have abandoned any principles of independence or willingness to stand up to her bigoted boss.

    Trump complains that the non-discriminatory immigration system that America has had for the past half century amounts to the "dumbest" immigration laws in the world. If there were any doubt as to what he means by that, his attacks on non-European immigrants for allegedly making that continent "lose" its "culture", which I have discussed in a recent immigration Daily comment, leave no doubt about his views.

    The latest sign that the Trump administration's fundamental principle of anti-immigrant racism is closer and closer to becoming official DHS policy is shown in two recent news reports. One deals with DHS Secretary Nielsen's shameful and appalling refusal to speak out against white supremacist violence in Charlottesville last year. The other is in a shocking report that without any debate, discussion or Congressional hearings on this issue, the DHS is now preparing new regulations with an expanded definition of "Public Charge" which would virtually abolish family immigration and Diversity visas for all but the wealthiest few.

    For more about Nielsen's humiliating refusal to criticize Charlotteville's racists and neo-Nazis see: America's Voice, July 20:

    See also:

    And to understand how following Donald Trump's racist views actually plays out in determining DHS policy toward immigrants, see the following shocking report on the way that the DHS is making Trump's racist attacks on family based and Diversity immigrants, most of whom are from outside Europe and do not have the white skin color that Trump seems to regard as essential for legal immigration to the US, into official US policy.

    According to a report by American Progress, an affiliate of America's Voice, the "Public Charge" ground for inadmissibility, which was originally enacted for the express purpose of excluding Chinese immigrants for avowedly racial reasons in the late 19th century, is now in the process of being revived and blown way out of proportion by the DHS in order to exclude all but the most affluent applicants for family based and Diversity-based green cards.

    It is no secret that, even though both of these visa programs were originally enacted to boost white immigration, the great majority of their beneficiaries over the past few decades have been from Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, rather than from Europe. This is why these two visas are now in Donald Trump's direct and intense line of fire.

    It is a disgrace, not only for Nielsen personally, but for America and its values of racial equality and justice for all, to see the DHS going along so compliantly with yet another racist plank in Trump's anti-immigrant platform.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 07-22-2018 at 02:44 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Trump was right to ditch UNís plan for handling migrants. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty Images

    The U.S. is the only member of the United Nations (UN) that did not participate in the entire 18-month process for the development of a Global Compact for Migration, which is supposed to be formally adopted in December.

    The process began when the UN hosted a summit in New York on September 19, 2016, to discuss a more humane way to handle large movements of migrants. Barack Obama was the president then. At the end of the summit, all 193 member states signed the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, a 24-page document that provided a blueprint for the establishment of the compact for migrants (and a separate compact for refugees).

    The declaration included numerous provisions that were inconsistent with U.S. immigration policy and the Trump administrationís immigration principles. Consequently, the Trump administration ended U.S. participation.

    Ambassador Nikki Haley, the U.S. representative to the UN, explained in a press release that, ďThe global approach in the New York Declaration is simply not compatible with U.S. sovereignty.Ē America decides how best to control its borders and who will be allowed to enter.

    The Trump administration was right. The compact is a collective commitment to achieve 23 objectives for safe, orderly, and regular migration. Although it addresses problems that need to be resolved, some its proposed solutions would weaken U.S. border security and others would usurp congressional control over the nationís immigration laws.


    Published originally on The Hill.

    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.

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