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  1. Federal Judge in Hawaii rules that Court should not close its eyes to the real motive behind Trump's Muslim ban orders. Roger Algase

    The following comment includes revisions made as of March 17 at 9:02 am:

    A federal district court judge in Hawaii, Derrick Watson, late in the day on March 15, issued a temporary restraining order putting a nationwide hold on Trump's latest version of the ban on entry to the US by some 100 million citizens of six 99 per cent Muslim countries.

    In his opinion, the judge cited a mountain of evidence, both during the presidential campaign and after his inauguration, that the ban was motivated by an intent to disfavor Muslims and their religion, in violation of the guarantee of religious freedom in the first Amendment to the Constitution.

    Trump's history of attacking all Muslims as potential terorists as the motivation for the six country ban and his previous seven country version (which Trump said as recently as March 15 that he wishes he had stuck with!) is so obvious that it cannot be seriously challenged.

    However, Trump's lawyers are now claiming that the court should have disregarded the obvious truth and accepted Trump's alternative version of reality, that the ban is somehow related to national security despite the very thin veneer of evidence to support that claim produced so far, because many of his antt-Muslim statements were made during the presidential campaign, when candidates will say anything and everything to get elected, rather than after he actually took office.

    This ignores the fact that everything Trump has done and said about admitting Muslims to the US is entirely consistent with what Trump said about Muslims and threatened to do to them during the campaign.

    Trump's Orwellian insistence that the courts should disregard the open and obvious hatred of Muslims in which he has been revelling ever since he called for a world-wide ban on Muslim entry to the US in December, 2015, would do more than merely violate the religious freedom guaranteed to all Americans, Muslims not excepted, by the First Amendment to our Constitution.

    In addition to paraphsasing Orwell's famous dictum in Animal Farm that "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." by holding, in effect, that "All religions are equal in America, but Islam is less equal than others", Trump is also, in effect, claiming that, as president, he has the power, as Big Brother did in Orwell's 1984, to declare that "2+2 equals 5."

    Fortunately, not only for America's core value of freedom of religious belief, but also for continued democracy in America, Judge Watson rejected Trump's extreme claim, not only to be the sole determiner of immigration policy but the sole arbiter of reality - what is true and what is false.

    The District Court's decision can be accessed at:

    http://www.vox.com/2017/3/15/1494094...gee-travel-ban
    ________________________________
    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 03-18-2017 at 12:30 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Dershowitz Predicts Supreme Court will Find Travel Ban Constitutional

    by , 03-16-2017 at 09:06 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)


    Famed Constitutional Law Professor Alan Dershowitz believes Trump's executive order banning travel from 6 Muslim majority countries will be easily upheld by the Supreme Court stating "I do not think it's unconstitutional. I think the Supreme Court will uphold it even if Gorsuch is not yet on the Supreme Court. But if he does make it there in time then it will be a clearer victory for the Trump administration in the Supreme Court."
  3. DHS Is Your Friend on Facebook, Whether You "Like" It or Not

    Following the December 2, 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, where the husband-and-wife perpetrators had purportedly become radicalized via the internet, Congress requested that the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") take steps to better investigate the social media accounts of immigrant applicants (the husband was an American-born U.S. citizen of Pakistani decent; his wife was a lawful permanent resident from Pakistan). In response, DHS established a task force and several pilot programs to expand social media screening of people seeking immigration benefits and U.S. visas. DHS also approved creation of a Social Media Center of Excellence, which would conduct social media background checks for the various DHS departments. The Center of Excellence would "set standards for social media use in relevant DHS operations while ensuring privacy and civil rights and civil liberties protections."
    The director of the Center of Excellence, Bill S. Preston, Esquire.
    Last month, the DHS Office of Inspector General released a (clumsily) redacted report detailing the efficacy of DHS's efforts and making suggestions. Due to the incomplete redaction job, it seems likely that the pilot program focused on refugees and perhaps asylum seekers, but the plan is to expand the program to cover all types of immigration benefits.

    The goal of the pilot program was to help develop policies and processes for the standardized use of social media department-wide. "USCIS had previously used social media in a limited capacity, but had no experience using it as a large-scale screening tool." The pilot program relied on manual and automated searches of social media accounts to "determine whether useful information for adjudicating refugee applications could be obtained." It seems that the ability of DHS to investigate social media accounts was limited by technology: At the time the pilot program was launched in 2016, "neither the private sector nor the U.S. Government possessed the capabilities for large-scale social media screening."


    In one portion of the pilot program, applicants were asked to "voluntarily" give their social media user names. USCIS then "assessed identified accounts to determine whether the refugees were linked to derogatory social media information that could impact their eligibility for immigration benefits or admissibility into the United States."

    DHS has also been looking into social media, email, and other computer files of people entering or leaving the United States, including U.S. citizens, and this inquiry is far from voluntary. There have been numerous recent reports of DHS Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") agents demanding passwords for cell phones and computers. The number of people subject to such searches increased significantly at the end of the Obama Administration, and seems to be further increasing under President Trump. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the large majority of people targeted for these searches are Muslim.

    All this means that DHS may be looking at your accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. to determine whether you pose a threat and (possibly) to assess your credibility. They might also gain access to your email and other information stored on your computer or your cell phone. This data could then be used to evaluate your eligibility for immigration benefits, including asylum.


    On the one hand, it seems reasonable that DHS would want to look into social media and other on-line material. After all, it is well-known that terrorists rely on the internet to spread their messages, and as DHS notes, "As the threat landscape changes, so does CBP." Also, most immigration benefits are discretionary, meaning that even if you qualify for them, the U.S. government can deny them in the exercise of discretion. Therefore, if DHS "requests" certain information as part of the application process, and the applicant fails to provide it, DHS can deny the benefit as a matter of discretion.


    On the other hand, the inter-connectivity of the on-line world could yield evidence of relationships that do not actually exists. For example, one study estimates that Facebook users (all 1.6 billion of them) are connected to each other by 3.57 degrees of separation. That means there are--on average--only 3.57 people between you and Osama bin Laden (assuming he still maintains his Facebook page). But of course, it is worse than that, since there are many terrorist suspects on Facebook, not just one (Osama bin Laden). So if you are from a terrorist-producing country, it's likely that suspected terrorists are separated from you by less than 3.57 degrees of separation. Presumably, DHS would take these metrics into account when reviewing on-line data, but you can see the problem--your on-line profile may indicate you have a relationship with someone with whom you have no relationship at all.

    So what can you do to protect yourself?

    First, don't be paranoid. It's nothing new for DHS or other government agencies to search your on-line profile. Since everything posted on-line is, at least in a sense, public, you should be discrete about what you post, and you should be aware that anyone--including the U.S. government--could be reading it.


    What's more problematic is when CBP seizes electronic devices at the border and then reviews emails and other confidential information. This is extremely intrusive and an invasion of privacy. There is also an argument that it violates the Fourth Amendment right to be free of unlawful searches, but generally, people coming and gong from the U.S. have less protection than people in the interior (though I imagine that as CBP steps up the practice, we will see lawsuits that further define Fourth Amendment rights at the border). Knowing that you could be subject to such a search at least enables you to prepare yourself. Don't travel with devices if you don't want them searched. Be careful what you store on your devices and in the cloud.


    Also, if you think you have problematic on-line relationships or derogatory on-line information, be prepared to explain yourself and present evidence if the issue comes up.


    On-line information can affect an asylum or immigration case in more subtle ways. For example, if you state in your application that you attended a protest on a particular date, make sure you got the date correct--DHS may be able to find out the date of the protest, and if your account of events does not match the on-line information, it could affect your credibility. The same is true for more personal information. For instance, if your asylum application indicates you attended high school from 1984 to 1987, that should match any available information on the internet. Mostly, this simply requires that you take care to accurately complete your immigration forms, so that there are no inconsistencies with data available on-line.


    Again, it's not really news that DHS is reviewing social media and other on-line information. It does appear that such practices will become more common, but as long as applicants are aware of what is happening, they can prepare for it.

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

    Updated 03-15-2017 at 11:46 AM by JDzubow

    Tags: cbp, dhs, ice Add / Edit Tags
  4. H-1B CAP: PAST AND FUTURE DEMAND

    by , 03-15-2017 at 09:53 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    This year’s H-1B filing date of April 1, 2017 is coming fast. MU Law predicts that H-1B petitioners certainly will file in excess of 200,000 petitions during the H-1B cap window of April 1-7, 2017. Last year’s record filing total of 240,000 may even be exceeded, although we have had reports of reduced demand this year.

    When the USCIS receives more H-1B petitions than slots available it holds an “H-1B lottery”. Last year, the USCIS held an H-1B lottery because it received over three times as many H-1B petitions as slots available.

    If you are considering filing an H-1B cap-subject petition, MU Law urges you to begin that process now.
    The H-1B is usually associated with IT positons. Most of the H-1B slots are used by IT professionals. Many healthcare professions also qualify for H-1B status, including Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Therapists, and some Registered Nursing positions.

    International workers who are working in the U.S. on an H-1B visa with another cap-subject employer are not subject to H-1B cap. These cases are commonly referred to as “H-1B transfer” cases and may be filed at any time throughout the year.

    Employees that need a "cap-subject" H-1B include:

    * International students working on an EAD card under an OPT or CPT program after having attended a U.S. school
    * International employees working on a TN may need an H-1B filed for them in order for them to pursue a permanent residency (green card) case
    * Prospective international employees in another visa status e.g. H-4, L-2, J-1, F-1
    * H-1B workers with a cap exempt organization
    * Prospective international employees currently living abroad


    Past H-1B Demand:



    Year: H-1B Cap Numbers: Date H-1B Cap Reached:
    H-1B 2003 (FY 2004) 65,000 October 1, 2003
    H-1B 2004 (FY 2005) 65,000 October 1, 2004
    H-1B 2005 (FY 2006) 85,000 August 10, 2005
    H-1B 2006 (FY 2007) 85,000 May 26, 2006
    H-1B 2007 (FY 2008) 85,000 April 1, 2007
    H-1B 2008 (FY 2009) 85,000 April 1, 2008
    H-1B 2009 (FY 2010) 85,000 December 21, 2009
    H-1B 2010 (FY 2011) 85,000 January 25, 2011
    H-1B 2011 (FY 2012) 85,000 November 22, 2011
    H-1B 2012 (FY 2013) 85,000 June 11, 2012
    H-1B 2013 (FY 2014) 85,000 April 1, 2013
    H-1B 2014 (FY 2015) 85,000 April 1, 2014
    H-1B 2015 (FY 2016) 85,000 April 1, 2015
    H-1B 2016 (FY 2017) 85,000 April 1, 2016
    H-1B 2017 (FY 2018) 85,000 April 1, 2017


    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.

    Updated 03-16-2017 at 02:57 PM by CMusillo

  5. Hawaii's case against Trump's travel ban, debunked. By Nolan Rappaport


    © Getty


    Hawaii has filed a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s revised version of his Executive Order, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” on four main grounds:


    1. Hawaii claims the Order violates the prohibition against nationality-based discrimination in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).


    This argument is based on 8 U.S.C. ß 1152(a)(1)(A) of the INA, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of nationality. Hawaii claims that the EO violates this provision by prohibiting nationals of six countries from entry into the United States.

    But this interpretation takes the section out of context. It just applies to the per country levels for the annual allocation of immigrant visas to aliens coming to the United States to live here permanently.


    In the section titled “Numerical limitations on individual foreign states,” it states that “Except as specifically provided in paragraph (2) [family-sponsored and employment-based immigrants] and in sections 1101(a)(27) [special immigrant], 1151(b)(2)(A)(i) [aliens not subject to direct numerical limitations], and 1153 [allocation of immigrant visas] … no person shall … be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person's … nationality.”

    Read more at
    http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blo...l-ban-debunked

    Published originally on The Hill

    About the author
    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. He also has been a policy advisor for the DHS Office of Information Sharing and Collaboration under a contract with TKC Communications, and he has been in private practice as an immigration lawyer at Steptoe & Johnson.





    Updated 03-15-2017 at 09:35 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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