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  1. Top ICE Official Moving to Largest Private Prison Company In Country

    by , 05-09-2017 at 06:18 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via the Daily Beast:

    Daniel Ragsdale, the official in question, is second-in-command at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal agency tasked with arresting, detaining, and deporting undocumented immigrants. He was temporarily the head of the agency until President Donald Trump named his replacement in January, before becoming the deputy director. Ragsdale is expected to start his new job at GEO Group, the Boca Raton-based private prison company, in a few weeks. It isn’t clear what his new title there will be.

    Click here for more of the story.

    Also see: The Democrats’ Uneasy Connection to Private Profit Deportation Jails
  2. DOJ Tells 4th Circuit That Trump's Order Isn't a Muslim Ban While WH Frantically Deletes Uncontrovertable Proof That it is. Roger Algase

    In a move that would make the ancient Greek word Hypokrites (originally meaning actors, or dissemblers - see my May 8 Immigration Daily comment dealing with the Kushner family's pitch to wealthy EB-5 investors at the same time that Donald Trump is promising to crack down on "visa abuses") seem woefully inadequate by comparison, the Trump administration's lawyers argued before the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on May 8 that the president's revised six country (down from the original seven) US entry ban, affecting at least 100 million people, more than 99 per cent of whom just happen by some curious coincidence to be Muslims, is not a "Muslim ban".

    Reuters reports that Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall (apparently with a straight face, though the report doesn't specify) had the temerity to tell the Court, referring to the president's latest order, that "This is not a Muslim ban."

    This brought the obvious rejoinder from one of the judges hearing the case, Barbara Keenan:

    "How is this neutral in its operation as to Muslims?"

    See also:

    But, according to these and other press reports about the argument before the Court, the main issue was not whether the emperor had any clothes or not, since evidently no one took the idea that the executive order was aimed against anyone else but Muslims very seriously, but was rather about whether the Court is authorized to recognize that the emperor had no clothes, or whether only the little boy in the famous Hans Christian Andersen story is permitted to say that.

    According to the DOJ's Kafkaesque argument, the Court is supposed to disregard Trump's clear statements that he wanted to bar Muslims from the US because of their religion, which he made repeatedly during the campaign, because he had not yet been elected or taken the oath of office as president at that time.

    The truth, of course, whether the 4th Circuit ultimately decides to recognize it or not, is contained in the president's December, 2015 statement which continued to appear on his official campaign website right up until the right after the May 8, 2017 court argument itself, when it was suddenly deleted!

    For that story and a direct link to the full December, 2015 Muslim ban statement, see:

    Does the president now expect the 4th Circuit, and the American people, to believe that this statement never existed?

    Much as Trump's Solicitor General may not have wanted the 4th Circuit to pay any attention to the December, 2015 worldwide Muslim ban statement, Trump's White House was not able to make it disappear from history by consigning it to the "Memory Hole" as in Orwell's 1984.

    The entire statement will be reproduced in the second part of this comment. It is impossible to turn one's eyes away from the fact that, far from being merely a formal proposal that all the Muslims of the world should be barred from entering the United States, it is dripping with venom and animosity against the Muslim religion and those who belong to it.

    Based on the actual language, tone and content of Trump's December 2015 statement, it would not be such a great exaggeration to compare it with a much longer and even better known and more publicized manifesto written by a young German politician from prison in 1924 - one which most of the world ignored or downplayed for far too long, and which even its intended victims refused to take seriously until it was too late, as The Times of Israel reminds us in a February, 2016 story:

    (It is, incidentally, no accident that in this book, which it is not necessary to mention by name here since the entire world knows its title, the writer expressed his admiration for the philosophy of racial superiority embodied in a law enacted in the United States that same year, 1924, which by manipulating visa quotas according to national origin, effectively barred Jews and most other immigrants of the world who were not from the "Nordic" countries of Europe from coming to the United States; and that two of Trump's top immigration advisers, Jeff Sessions and Stephen Bannon, have also, within approximately the past two years, expressed admiration and support - while ostensibly claiming to do so for different reasons - for the same 1924 law whose principles and ideology inspired this well-known German writer.)

    For the story about former Senator and now AG Jeff Sessions' support for the infamous 1924 law, see the Southern Poverty Law Center's January 31 Hate Watch column:

    With the above by way of introduction, let us now look at Donald Trump's December, 2015 Muslim ban statement in more detail to see whether it would really be as appropriate to dismiss or ignore it as the president's lawyers are trying to convince the 4th Circuit should be done.

    I will do so in the second part of this comment.
    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 receive work permits and green cards without regard to ethnicity, religion or country of origin, in the true spirit of America. Roger's email address is

    Updated 05-09-2017 at 05:16 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. MS 13 Gang Member with Assault Convictions Removed to El Salvador

    by , 05-08-2017 at 02:42 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

    WASHINGTON – A 35-year-old El Salvadoran man was removed to his home country Friday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers.

    Ingmar Guandique-Blanco, a documented MS-13 gang member, was transferred to the proper law enforcement authorities upon his arrival in El Salvador. Guandique traveled via ground transportation from Virginia to Pennsylvania where he boarded a flight to Alexandria, Louisiana. From there, ICE officers removed him from the United States onboard an ICE Air Operations flight, which departed Alexandria International Airport in Louisiana, and made its way to San Salvador International Airport in El Salvador.

    “Mr. Guandique unlawfully entered the United States, and once here, continued to violate U.S. laws by assaulting innocent victims,” said Matthew Munroe, acting ERO Washington field office director. “As a result of his actions, he has been removed to his home country of El Salvador.”

    Guandique unlawfully entered the United States at an unknown location and on an unknown date. His criminal record is lengthy, dating back to May 2001 when he was arrested on local charges by Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department. In February 2002, he was sentenced to 10 years of incarceration on each of two counts for assault with intent to commit robbery. In February 2011, he was convicted of first degree murder, but after requesting a new trial, his case was later dismissed.

    On June 30, 2016, ERO Washington officers assumed custody of Guandique from the Washington, D.C. Central Detention Facility after the murder charges against him were dismissed. He was subsequently issued a notice to appear in immigration court. On March 3, an immigration judge issued Guandique a final order of removal which enabled ICE to remove him to El Salvador.

    Prior to his removal, Guandique was detained at Farmville Detention Center in Virginia.
  4. Letters of the Week: May 8 - May 14

  5. As Trump Pursues H-1B "Crackdown" and Poison Pills, Kushner's Family Courts EB-5 Investors. Ancient Greek Actors ("Hypokrites") in WH? Roger Algase

    Whenever Donald Trump has not been busy trying to beef up his deportation force and promote his Southern border Wall plan to make sure that Mexican and other Latino immigrants don't fail to get the message that they are not wanted in America, while trying to bar as many Muslim immigrants from as many countries as thinks the courts will let him get away with from coming to the United States, he has been railing against alleged "fraud and abuse" in the H-1B program.

    As Trump even stated himself in a March 3, 2016 presidential debate with Hillary Clinton during (before suddenly changing his mind after reportedly receiving a phone from his immigration policy Rasputin, then Senator and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions), H-1B has been the gateway to productive lives and careers in the US for many educated, highly skilled and professional workers from India, other Asian countries, and other parts of the world.

    As Trump pointed out at the debate, many of these skilled workers have been educated in US colleges, and it would be unfair and unproductive to send them home after they graduate. See, Washington Times, March 4, 2016:

    For example, on April 3, the first day that cap-subject H-1B petitions were being accepted at USCIS offices for participation in the annual charade known as the "H-1B lottery", USCIS, instead of announcing that the first day of this event's becoming open for business for the coming fiscal year 2018 had finally arrived, chose this normally auspicious day, when its website was certain to have a large number of visits, to issue a warning that the agency was stepping up its efforts to "crack down" on alleged H-1B fraud and abuse.

    Then, on April 18, while almost 200,000 would - be H-1B workers anxiously awaited news as to whether the computer generated roulette wheel had landed on the numbers assigned to their prospective employer's petitions in the "random selection" lottery which had taken place the week before, Trump issued another one of the numerous executive orders which have become the substitute for democratically enacted immigration legislation by Congress in the "New Era" under America's 45th president.

    This executive order directed the federal government to "study" the possibilities of eliminating the H-1B lottery - not in itself such a bad idea. But the replacement suggested in the order was a poison pill selection system which would, in effect limit this category in the future to the "most qualified" foreign workers, i.e. the ones who arguably have the least need for H-1B, since at least some would presumably be eligible for the O-1 extraordinary ability visa.

    Alternatively, the proposed new H-1B selection system which Trump has ordered the concerned government agencies to study would favor H-1B workers with the highest salaries - usually meaning employees with the most seniority and highest ranking on the totem pole of the largest companies.

    Adios, adieu and auf Wiedersehen (The Hindi equivalents alvida or phir melenge would also be appropriate) to any hope of younger, recent college graduates or employees of smaller US companies which can afford to pay the prevailing wages, but not top dollar in order to obtain the talent they need to grow and survive, to obtain this visa which is often essential for their future careers in the United States.

    Even without any change in the actual H-1B rules, one has to ask how fair or unbiased H-1B or any other USCIS adjudications will continue be in the future, if the president continues to appoint unabashed anti-immigrant ideologues such as Julie Kirchner, former executive director of FAIR, which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has labeled as a hate group and which was founded by the openly white supremacist "eugenics" advocate John Tanton, to influential positions within USCIS. See:

    However, even as the president tries to make it harder to receive H-1B status for thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of skilled and educated foreign computer and other specialty workers who may have a wealth of talent and ability, but may be struggling financially under the burden of paying off college loans or simply dealing with day to day expenses in the United States, family members of Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and one of his closest advisers, have no hesitation about soliciting millions of dollars for a luxury real estate project from wealthy investors in another visa program which has come under even more fire from Congressional leaders than H-1B and, arguably, has had bigger problems in countering charges of fraud and abuse.

    I refer to the EB-5 program. The New York Times reports on May 6 that Jared Kushner's sister has been soliciting potential EB-5 investors in Beijing for money for a Kushner family-run project in New Jersey, and has been using the family's White House connections as part of the pitch.

    To be sure, Trump himself has no connection with either the project or Kushner's family's pitch for EB-5 funds, even though The New York Times also reports in the same article that Trump has used EB-5 funds for some of his own businesses.

    Moreover, EB-5 has worked out well for thousands of legitimate investors in genuine projects and businesses. But the Kushner family's pitch to affluent investors in Beijing, (in a secretive meeting where reporters from both the New York Times and the Washington Post were thrown out!) does raise questions of a possible visa-related double standard in the Trump administration.

    On the one hand, the administration takes harsh, draconian, measures against ordinary, non-affluent mainly Hispanic and Muslim immigrants and threatens poison pill changes which could signal the end of the H-1B visa relied on by so many South Asian immigrants.

    At the same time. the family members of one of the president's closest associates, and even the president himself in his own prior business dealings, seek to raise millions of dollars for their own luxury real estate or other business projects by offering green cards to the wealthiest immigrants in a visa program which while completely legal, has not been entirely free from allegations of misuse, as the New York Times article also points out.

    One can only recall the ancient Greek actors who wore masks, and were therefore known as people who answer (krites), from under (hypo), or Hypokrites.

    Are these actors, at least in spirit, active in setting immigration policies in Donald Trump's White House today?
    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 many parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger's practice is concentrated mainly, though not exclusively, in H-1B specialty worker, O-1 extraordinary ability and J-1 trainee visas and Labor Certification (PERM) green cards. His email address is

    Updated 05-08-2017 at 12:44 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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