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

    Please email your letters to or post them directly as a comment below.
  2. Trump Rushes To Blame Refugees For Horrific Attack By Muslim US Citizen. Roger Algase

    Update, June 13, 2:40 pm:

    Even though President Obama has announced that there is no evidence that the Orlando shooter was directed by a larger terrorist network (though he may have been "inspired" by terrorist information over the Internet), Donald Trump has taken his attempts to gain political capital from the shooting that killed 50 people in a gay bar to an unimaginably new low - by claiming that the president himself may have terrorist sympathies!

    Normally, discussion of immigration policy, as with any other policy issue, is based in the merits, pro and con, of whatever proposal is at issue, without regard to personalities or the character of the person making or opposing any given plan.

    But, as he has done in so many other respects, Donald trump is breaking the mold and overturning the normal rules of policy debate, especially on immigration related issues, with wild attacks against an entire nationality (Mexico) and religion (Islam). as well as in his vindictive personal attacks against anyone who opposes him on any issue, for any reason.

    However,calling the president of the United States a terrorist sympathizer so far exceeds the bounds of rational debate that it cannot help but raise questions about Trump's fitness to be in charge of America's immigration system, and of our democracy.

    For the two stories, see;


    Update, June 13, 9:08 am:

    The 3 or 4 million Muslim immigrants and US citizens who are now living in the US peacefully, without any evidence of violence other than for a small handful of apaprently mentally unstable individuals such as the Orlando mass killing suspect, also include Muslims who are gay and who are especially horrified by the attack on a gay night club and death of 50 people on June 12;

    One such person, Samra Habib, writes in The Guardian as follows on June 12:

    "We are now used to the fact, that every time a criminally misguided Muslim commits an act of violence, the entire religion and all its followers are questioned and placed under suspicion in a way that isn't replicated with other faiths. We -and this of course includes queer Muslims, have to take extra care walking down the street at night and entering our mosques for fear of Islamophobic attacks...

    Our thoughts must be with those in Orlando. But over the next few's important to remember that Islam is exploited by religious extremists all over the world, often in attacks committed against other Muslims...

    We're al experiencing the same tragedy together. And I can tell you first hand: being a peace-loving Muslim who is just as angered by homophobic attacks as everyone else isn't out of the ordinary."


    Queer Muslims exist - and we are in mourning too

    June 13, 6:30 am:

    As further confirmation that anti-LGBT hate is very far from being something that was brought to America by Muslim immigrants, but is as "American" as apple pie, see the vile tweet posted by Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R) quoting a Biblical passage to imply that the victims of the horrendous Orlando mass shooting deserved what they got.

    Since homophobia has been almost as popular with the Republican base and many GOP politicians as Islamophobia, if not even more so, one can only wonder whether some of the politicians who are now playing on fears of Islamist terror in the wake of the Orlando night club attack would be paying as much attention to it if the suspect had not been a Muslim and the child of a Muslim immigrant.

    My original post follows:

    Donald Trump has lost no time in exploiting the horrific mass killing in Orlando, the worst mass shooting in US history, by a Muslim US citizen gunman who, according to news reports, had not previously shown any credible signs of connection to radical Islamist terrorist groups, even after several FBI interviews. The suspect had in fact reportedly been working for a large US security firm with a contract to protect federal buildings.

    However, also according to reports, he pledged allegiance to ISIS just before the shooting, and had shown signs of personal mental disturbance in his treatment of his wife and his evident hatred of gays, as related by his father.

    Prejudice and hatred against LGBT people are not exactly unknown among non-Muslim Americans, as the late Justice Scalia pointed out (and even, arguably, endorsed) in his dissenting opinion in the Supreme Court's Lawrence v. Texas decision (2003) striking down a state statute criminalizing gay sexual activity.

    However, the fact that the suspect's father, a legal immigrant from Afghanistan, had expressed support for the Taliban on television and in online videos (while also publicly apologizing for his son's attack and claiming that it had nothing to do with religion) as well as the fact that ISIS has reportedly claimed responsibility for this dreadful massacre, whose victims and their families have the prayers and sympathy of all Americans, certainly raise important and legitimate questions as to the extent, if any, to which the suspect had become radicalized by Islamic terrorist groups.

    Unfortunately, the fact that there may still be a great deal about the motivation for this terrible mass murder that we do not know, and that the FBI has only begun its investigation, has not stopped Donald Trump from rushing to demagogue the loss of 50 people and wounding of at least 53 others, and the anguish and pain of their families, by making political capital of prejudice against Muslims in general, and especially refugees, who have as much reason to fear radical Islamic terror as anyone else, if not even more so.

    Trump's full remarks, including the incredible statement that President Obama should resign and Hillary Clinton should withdraw from the presidential race because of their allegedly inadequate reaction to the attack, and his attempt by innuendo to hold all Muslims responsible, are reported at:

    There can be no doubt that radical Islamic terrorism poses a serious danger to the safety and security of the American people, and that everything possible must be done to identify and root out terrorists, including stopping them from entering the US.

    It is equally important to prevent guns from falling into the hands of mentally disturbed people of any race, religion or nationality in America, and to combat the hatred of LGTB people which obviously influenced the suspect's choice of his target, and which still influences some of our legislation, as in the case of North Carolina's notorious transgender"bathroom law".

    It is no less important to avoid trading away America's democracy to a presidential candidate who claims to be a strongman and the only person who can protect America against terrorist attacks, while stirring up hatred against millions of Muslim US citizens and immigrants alike who practice this religion lawfully and peacefully, without subscribing to the violence and terror promoted by the deranged comparative few who belong to or support radical Islamist terrorist organizations.

    No sane person would have claimed that Jews, or Americans, as a people, were responsible when an American-born Jewish doctor and immigrant to Israel, Baruch Goldstein, killed up to 30 Muslims worshiping at a mosque in that country in 1994.

    While the two cases are obviously distinguishable because there is clearly no such thing as an international Jewish terrorist threat and never has been, there is still no reason to blame over a billion Muslims around the world who have no terrorist sympathies or affiliations for the despicable, inhuman actions of those who are in fact radical Islamic terrorists or who may come under their influence.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 06-13-2016 at 02:35 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Lawsuit Filed in Response to Several Sexual Assaults in Deportation Jail

    by , 06-10-2016 at 09:22 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via The Law Offices of Matthew J. Archambeault, Esq.:


    The Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project and attorney Matthew J. Archambeault announce today they have filed suit against the Berks County Residential Center, its Executive Director and a former guard, among others, in response to several sexual assaults committed by a former guard, Daniel Sharkey, against a woman refugee from Honduras formerly detained at the facility as a result of the Obama Administrationís ramped up family detention program.

    ďE.DĒ, as she is referred to in the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for privacy concerns, fled Honduras in the spring of 2014 with her 3 year old son due to domestic sexual violence. ďE.DĒ and her sonís journey to the U.S. resulted in their detention at the Berks County Residential Center (BCRC), while they were in the custody of Immigration andCustomís Enforcement.

    The BCRC houses families, mostly from Central America, who fled to the US seeking asylum BCRCis a secured facility which houses approximately 90 persons, both adults and children. The BCRCemploys guards to oversee the detainees and to monitor their movements. Immigration detainees are not permitted to leave the facility, and immigration detention centers frequently operate similar to jails and prisons. BCRC is contracted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

    When E.D. arrived to BCRC, guard Daniel Sharkey began the process of ďgroomingĒ E.D., initiating a pattern of sexual abuse that culminated in two sexual assaults in the main womenís bathroom during late afternoon and early evening hours. These attacks were witnessed by at least one of the child detainees housed at the facility. Daniel Sharkey has recently pled guilty to institutional sexual assault against E.D. and is currently serving six to twenty three months in jail.

    These incidents took place in the middle of the day, in an area well-traveled by both detainees and staff. The complaint alleges that Diane Edwards, the Executive Director of the BCRC, oversaw an environment where guard Sharkey felt empowered to be able to commit these sexual assaults in such a public area.

    E.D. and her three year old son spent close to 8 months in detention, which means Sharkey might spend less time in jail than E.D. spent in comparable jail-like conditions for seeking asylum. Matthew Archambeault, E.D.ís immigration attorney, first learned of the sexual assaults in October of 2014 and immediately and repeatedly requested that ICE release her and her son from the facility where she had been subjected to the sexual abuse. All of these requests were denied. It was not until the conclusion of her immigration hearing in December, shortly before Christmas, that ICE agreed to release E.D.and her son.

    Updated 06-10-2016 at 01:29 PM by MKolken

  4. Does Membership in La Raza Lawyers Association Disqualify Judge Curiel? Roger Algase

    Update, June 10, 11:01 am:

    Here is another example (and perhaps a very likely one) of how the lack of respect for the judicial branch of government that Donald Trump has shown in his racial attacks on Judge Curiel could lead to Trump's disregarding or trying to nullify a court order if he becomes president:

    Suppose that after becoming president, Trump issues an executive order suspending issuance of any further H-1B visas and labor certification green cards (both of which he has pledged to abolish). Suppose, going further, his order also directs USCIS to revoke and cancel all such visas and green cards issued, say, during President Obama's second term in office, i.e. during the last four years.

    Let us suppose that the Supreme Court strikes down this order as an unjustified refusal to carry out an act of Congress (the same argument which is being made against President Obama in the Texas v. US DAPA/DACA litigation) and as a violation of the affected lawfully admitted immigrants' 14th Amendment rights to due process and equal protection of the law; and that the Court directs the Trump administration to continue issuing these visas and green cards, and to reinstate the ones that were illegally revoked.

    Is there anyone in America who seriously thinks that President Trump would obey such a Supreme Court order, thereby avoiding the kind of Constitutional crisis which could well become the order of the day under his administration?

    This question answers itself.

    My original post follows:

    Donald Trump has come under intense and unprecedented criticism for a major party presidential candidate, both inside and outside his own party, for his racial attacks on immigrants and other minorities, and, most recently, for claiming that the presiding judge in the pending civil lawsuits against Trump University. Indiana-born U.S. District Judge Gonazalo Curiel, is unfit to serve in this case, solely because he is a "Mexican" who, by reason of his ethnicity alone, is a "hater" of Donald Trump because of Trump's proposal to build a Wall with Mexico.

    Because Trump claimed that the mere fact that Judge Curiel's ancestry is Mexican, without considering any other factor, automatically makes him biased, it is easy to understand why even many of Trump's own supporters in Congress are denouncing this comment as "racist".

    However, Trump has also tried to justify his attack on Judge Curiel, whose record as a federal prosecutor includes helping to break up a feared and dangerous Mexican drug cartel, by drawing attention to one of the Judge's actions, namely membership in a bar association which has the goal of promoting the interests of Latino lawyers and judges.

    This organization is the California La Raza Lawyers Association (which, contrary to Trump's initial claim, is not affiliated with the National Council of La Raza). It is instructive to look at the goals of this bar association, of which Judge Curiel is a member through its local chapter, to see if there is anything in its stated purpose that would interfere with Judge Curiel's ability to rule fairly in the Trump University case or any other lawsuit,

    Here are the goals of this bar association as listed on its own website (Italics are added below.)


    A. Goals

    The principal goal of the California La Raza Lawyers Association (the "Association" is endorsing candidates for judgeships to ensure the election or appointment of qualified judges to local, state, and federal courts. Consistent with that goal, the Association also seeks to increase the number of Latinos appointed to judgeships. The Association endorses candidates who have demonstrated a commitment to equal treatment of all litigants and who have demonstrated involvement, support and responsiveness to Latino issues, needs and concerns."


    From the above, it is easy to understand why Donald Trump has such a problem with Judge Curiel. Based on his statements and actions throughout his entire presidential campaign against people who oppose or disagree with him, it would appear that the last thing Trump wants is a judge who is committed to equal treatment of all litigants and who is willing to make rulings based on the merits of a case as he sees them without granting Trump any special favors - i.e, a judge whom Trump cannot control.

    It is not only Trump's racist attacks on Judge Curiel, which are merely extensions of Trump's previous attacks against Mexican immigrants as "criminals" and "rapists", that make Trump so dangerous. The greatest danger of all that Trump poses to America's democracy is that even the judiciary, whose independence is at the foundation od America's constitutional system, is subject to his venom and invective if it does not bow down to his will.

    It is is easy to understand why Donald Trump would be so violently opposed to a judge who is a member of a bar association that believes in equal treatment of all litigants.

    If Trump were to become president, would he be willing to respect and abide by an adverse court decision on any issue that matters to him? Suppose, for example, that he tried to enforce his ban on Muslim immigrants through decree, or even though an act of Congress (a branch of the government which we should not expect him to pay much attention to), and the Supreme Court overturns the ban on the grounds that banning foreign citizens from entry purely on the basis of religious affiliation violates the First Amendment rights of their US citizen co-religionists.

    See Kleindienst v. Mandel, 1972, in which Justice the majority opinion left this argument open as a possibility, though it was not successful in that case because of quite different facts. See also Justice Scalia's opinion in Kerry v Din (2014) and the following article in The Guardian: (May 10) by Moustafa Bayoumi:

    As an American Muslim, Donald Trump doesn't scare me. He inspires me to vote: The Republican nominee's campaign traffics in threats, including Islamophobia. But the US is a diverse society now -and mobilizing to oppose radical haters

    Is there anyone who seriously thinks that a President Trump would abide by or follow such a decision, rather than vilifying the Justices voting against him as "under Muslim influence" and "hating America" and announcing that he will "nullify" the decision?

    Or suppose Trump appointed a Supreme Court Justice whom he expected to follow Trump's own orders faithfully, and the Senate voted him down (since it is unlikely that Trump would appoint a woman to the High Court, given his record of statements about women).

    Is it beyond imagination that Trump would retaliate in any way he could against the Senators who opposed him, including possibly even having them investigated, arrested and prosecuted on Trumped up charges (no-pun intended), as in some of the dictatorships that Trump has expressed admiration for, or which his top campaign adviser, Paul Manafort, has an odious record of working on behalf of and trying to defend?

    These are only some of the possibilities for what American "democracy" could be like under Donald Trump, with his assault on the judiciary in the person of Judge Gonzalo Curiel as only the beginning.
    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 educated immigrants from diverse parts of the world and ethnic/religious backgrounds obtain work visas and green card.

    Roger believes that America's diversity is essential to our democracy and that promoting hatred or discrimination against any group of immigrants because of race or religion puts the freedom of all Americans at risk. His email address is

    Updated 06-11-2016 at 01:54 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Soccer Camp Settles H-1B Case for $185,000

    By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

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    An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) approved a settlement between the DOL and Ashley Soccer Camp for $185,000 in a complaint involving coaches hired under the H-1B program. $175,000 was for backpay and $10,000 for civil penalties.

    Ashley Soccer Camp hired 12 soccer coaches under the H-1B program and promised to pay them between $18,000 to $55,000 each year, according to DOL. However, after the coaches came to the United States, the company reneged on these promises, giving some of its employees less than 50% of what was promised.

    This led the soccer coaches to file a complaint with DOL. Thereafter, DOL found the complaint to be meritorious and set the case for a hearing. Before the hearing began, the parties reached this settlement.
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