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  1. The Not-So-Dead-Hand of a Pre-Trump Era Republican Anti-Immigrant Law. Roger Algase

    In September, 1996, almost two decades before Donald Trump began unleashing the anti-immigrant tirades that have led to his nomination as the Republican presidential candidate, a Republican-controlled Congress passed a draconian anti-immigrant law in a late night session, without discussion or debate, by attaching it to a veto-proof military appropriations bill shortly before that year's presidential election.

    The bill was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, the husband of this year's Democratic presidential candidate. This law, which Donald Trump had nothing to do with and cannot be held responsible for, is known as the Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act (IIRIRA). It is still very much in force today.

    This comment will not discuss all of the many features of this law which were meant to curtail immigrants rights and to make legal status in the US harder to obtain, while imposing new and drastic punishment on immigrants who did not have such status. This would take a whole series of comments much longer than this one.

    This law was widely regarded as a "backlash" against the "browning" of America resulting from the 1965 immigration reform act abolishing the whites-only immigration quotas that had been in place for more than 40 years before, since the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924, see:

    Catherine Tactaquin,

    I will provide only two examples of how the not-so-dead-hand of this 20th century law is making life harder for immigrants in the 21st century.

    The first example deals with the affidavit of support requirements for family sponsored immigrants that were introduced by IIRIRA. The second will discuss the notorious, draconian 3-10 year bar for so-called "unlawful presence" in the US.

    These comments do not purport to be an exhaustive analysis of these provisions. They will only illustrate, based on examples from my own clients' experiences, the unnecessary and irrational hardships that are being inflicted on immigrants who are otherwise qualified for legal status in the US and who are leading productive, law-abiding lives in America.

    I will not give any details that would identify the clients mentioned below other than to say that none of them are either Latinos or Muslims, the two groups that Donald Trump has singled out for his strongest and most frequent anti-immigrant attacks.

    To be continued in Part 2.
    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 obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger's practice is concentrated in work visas through H-1B specialty occupation employment, O-1 extraordinary ability, J-1 training, and green cards through labor certification and opposite sex or same sex marriage. His email address is

    Updated 08-24-2016 at 08:20 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Sign the Petition to Free Hunger Striking Mothers in Deportation Jail

    by , 08-24-2016 at 05:31 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    (Photo credit: Doug Kasputin for The Washington Post)

    A group of Central American mothers and children seeking asylum are being unlawfully and indefinitely detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement at a "family detention" center in Berks, Pennsylvania. Twenty-two of these brave women, who have been detained with their children as young as 2 years old for between 287 days to more than a year, began a hunger strike in an attempt to draw attention to their plight, and 17 of them are entering their third week of the strike (four have been released or promised release, and one has had to stop her hunger strike for health reasons).

    The "Madres Berks" started their hunger strike on August 8, 2016, after Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson officially stated that immigration authorities have been “ensuring the average length of stay at [family detention] facilities is 20 days or less.”

    ICE and the Berks county staff have mistreated these mothers and children seeking refuge over the course of their long imprisonment, including sleep deprivation (shining flashlights in their faces every 15 minutes all night long, every night), dragging mothers and children from their beds in the middle of the night for deportation, and much, much more.

    ICE has been retaliating against the hunger striking mothers, including: interference with the mothers access to legal counsel and medical attention for the children; cutting off the mothers' access to computer and internet, presumably to try to prevent anyone from knowing of their plight; threatening them with deportation; and threatening to take custody of their children away from them.

    What you can do to help:

    (1) Sign and share this petition! Use the hashtags #ShutDownBerks, #EndFamilyDetention and #MadresBerks
    (2) Donate! Aldea - the People's Justice Center was established to address legal, medical and social issues surrounding the immigrant community of the greater Reading, Pennsylvania area. Their primary, most immediate project is focused on providing removal defense for every mother and child trapped in family detention in Berks County, Pennsylvania.
    (3) Take action!

    *Contact the President, your U.S. Senators and U.S. Congressional Representatives and ask them to #ShutDownBerks;
    *E-mail Pennsylvania ICE Field Office Director Thomas Decker at and voice your support for the release of these families;
    *Call the Berks County Commissioners at (610) 478-6136 to demand that Berks county cease operating a prison for immigrant children and families seeking asylum for its own profit;
    *E-mail Ted Dallas ( from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, in charge of the WELFARE OF CHILDREN in the Commonwealth and ask why they are allowing the refugee prison to remain open even though the license has been revoked;
    *Support Make the Road Pennsylvania which has been active in this fight; and last, but not least,
    *Send your message of support to the Madres Berks to let them know that they are not alone, and we are supporting them and fighting for their rights and their freedom!

    The #MadresBerks THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!! Together we can #ShutDownBerks!

    This petition will be delivered to:

  3. Trump Denies Any Change in Policy on Mass Expulsion of 12m Immigrants. Roger Algase

    Update, August 24, 10:18 am:

    Donald Trump is apparently continuing to have a debate with himself on whether to stick to his hard line on deporting 12 million unauthorized immigrants, which could put him in the same league, or an even higher one, with Josef Stalin in terms of numbers, see:

    or whether, in Trump's words as quoted in POLITICO, "there can be a softening".


    Is Trump going to wind up following the lead of John Kerry, who during the 2004 presidential campaign, famously said that he had voted for an $87 billion military spending bill before he voted against it?

    Update, August 23, 12:55 pm:

    I almost had to laugh reading a POLITICO report today on how Donald Trump's latest campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, is trying to bob and weave about Trump's latest reversal of his alleged "flip-flop" on mass deportation. See:

    With all due respect to Kellyanne Conway's valiant attempt to make it sound as if Trump might be supporting mass deportation that is not really mass deportation, one has to wonder how long it will be before Trump fires her too.

    The following post has been expanded as of August 23 at 9:54 am.

    In my August 22 Immigration Daily post, I discussed reports that Trump might be planning to back down on his previously announced radical plan to deport up to 12 million mainly Latino, Asian, African and Middle Eastern men, women and children currently in the United States without authorization, something that would be on a scale unheard of in America to date, but which would not have seemed at all unusual to Stalin, Mao Zedong or Pol Pot.

    See the links listed in that post. I also mentioned that this might signify an encouraging change in direction for Trump, even though it might mean throwing overboard some of his most devoted white nationalist followers in the KKK and other similar organizations.

    Unfortunately, Trump has evidently chosen to stick with the anti-immigrant hard liners who have evidently been influencing his immigration policies to date, such as Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL). POLITICO reports on August 22 that Trump has announced that he will not make any change in his previous policy, (which has also been causing fears that police-state tactics would be needed to carry out the deportations).


    Regretfully, I may have to withdraw my previous suggestion that Trump might be moving in the direction of reason, humanity and reality in terms of his policy on mass expulsion of millions of non-white immigrants.

    However, it is also worth noting that, once again Trump spoke ambiguously, as he so often does when talking about immigration policy. On the one hand, he said (according to the above report):

    We're going to obey the existing laws. Now the existing laws are very strong...Obama got tremendous numbers of people out of the country. Bush did the same thing...lots of people were brought out of the country with existing laws. Well, I'm gonna do the same thing."

    Aside from the fact that it is highly unusual for Trump to give credit to President Obama, whom he recently called a "founder" and "MVP" of ISIS, for enforcing the immigration laws, this statement would indicate that Trump indeed plans to go ahead wih mass deportation of everyone in this country without authorization.

    But then, at the same time, he said as quoted in the same POLITICO story:

    "...the first thing we're gonna do, if and when I win, is we're gonna get rid of all of the bad ones. We've got gang members, we have killers, we have a lot of bad people that have to get out of the country."

    Trump also said that immigrants who;:

    "...go around killing people and hurting people" are "gonna be out of this country so fast your head will spin".

    Does this mean that Trump only intends to deport violent or dangerous criminals, something that few could argue with? That would contradict his above pledge to deport everyone, and would make his supporters in the KKK very unhappy one can be quite sure.

    Or is Trump saying that all unauthorized immigrants in the US, 12 million of them, are violent criminals who "go around killing people and hurting people", something that would be an obvious and blatant lie?

    And what does Trump mean, exactly, when he says that he will get people out of this country "so fast your head will spin"?

    No one wants violent or dangerous criminal immigrants in America. But hasn't Trump heard about legal procedures that even the most heinous offenders are entitled to under our laws and our constitution?

    How about little details like criminal trials and deportation proceedings? Does Trump intend to dispense with those and be a law unto himself?

    Since Trump has already announced that he supports torture and supports sending US citizens to Guantanamo (links are not necessary - this is now common knowledge), what new wrinkles might he introduce into the criminal justice or immigration removal proceedings if he does not try to do away with them entirely?

    That kind of fascist thinking would be an even greater danger to America than all of the drug dealers and violent criminal immigrants whom Trump can conjure up in his effort to play to the fears and prejudices of the American people.
    Roge 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 various parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards. Roger's email address is

    Updated 08-24-2016 at 09:20 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. OSC Settles Claim Against Hartz Mountain Industries for Requiring U.S. Citizenship

    By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

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    The Justice Department’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) reached a settlement agreement with Hartz Mountain Industries Inc., of Secaucus, New Jersey, to resolve allegations that the company discriminated against work-authorized non-U.S. citizen job seekers, in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

    The OSC’s investigation found that Hartz discriminated based on citizenship status by publishing a job posting that required applicants for a particular job opening to be U.S. citizens, in violation of the INA. Job postings with citizenship preferences or requirements violate the INA by restricting employment opportunities available to work-authorized non-citizens. While there are exceptions in the INA that allow for specific positions to be subject to citizenship requirements, the position available at Hartz did not meet the criteria.

    Under the settlement agreement, Hartz will pay $1,400 in civil penalties to the United States, train its human resources staff on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, revise its policies on requiring citizenship and other policies, ensure all postings or advertisements are reviewed by a trained individual in employment discrimination or by legal counsel, review its policies and be subject to monitoring by the department for a three-year period.

    Although this type of violation is rarely seen, it can be prevented by legal counsel reviewing a company’s job postings.
  5. Letters of the Week: August 22 - August 26

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