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  1. Trump's Border Wall is Racially Divisive and "Environmentally Catastrophic". But It Will Benefit Americans - Wall Street CEO's. Roger Algase

    The following comment has been revised and expanded as of November 18 at 9:26 pm.

    One of the main arguments in favor of Trump's anti immigrant agenda is that ramping up deportations (such as in the case of CBP guards who recently waited outside a hospital room to arrest an undocumented 10 year old Mexican girl with cerebral palsy); barring certain grandparents of Muslim US citizens from entering the US (as Trump's DOJ unsuccessfully argued in favor of doing in federal circuit courts); backing the RAISE Act (which would cut off most family and less skilled immigration from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America); while at the same time Trump seeks to reduce or eliminate H-1B and other high skilled immigration (mainly from Asia) through his "Hire American" executive order, are all meant to benefit Americans.

    This is based on the false and demagogic propositions, which Trump has urged from the time that he began his candidacy with a vicious attack against Mexican immigrants as "criminals", "rapists" and drug dealers up to the present moment, that the interests of "immigrants" (by which he means primarily Latin American, Asian, Middle Eastern and African immigrants - see article below) and American citizens are inherently opposed to each other; and that immigrants are to blame for most, if not all, of America's problems.

    There is no greater sign of Trump's antagonism and contempt toward Latin American and other non-white immigrants than Trump's pet project, his Mexican border Wall. The Wall, even though as yet unfunded, has become a symbol of his policy of inflaming racial tensions and exploiting racial prejudices, just as the Berlin Wall was a symbol of Communist tyranny and the Warsaw Ghetto Wall was a symbol of Nazi genocide against the Jewish people.

    In addition to being a symbol of racial hatred and humiliation, Trump's Wall has also been labelled as "environmentally catastrophic" by, because it would cross through wildlife refuges and national parks, and require waiving dozens of environmental protection laws in the affected areas, including the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Air Act.

    But Trump claims that the Wall, like the rest of his anti-immigrant agenda, will benefit the American people.

    Which Americans might those be? Certainly not the landowners along the American side of the border who are suing the federal government to stop the Wall's destruction of their property.

    Certainly not ordinary working class and middle class Americans, whose minimum wage and union rights are being bitterly opposed by Trump and his GOP supporters, even as they push for legislation which would cause tens of millions of average Americans to lose their health insurance and pay higher income taxes.

    But surely there must be some Americans who are benefiting from Trump's Wall, which is the most prominent symbol of his attempt to move America back in the direction of the 1924 white Europeans only immigration regime which governed US immigration policy for the next forty years until it was finally abolished in 1965.

    But who are these lucky American citizens who will not only benefit from Trump's Mexican Border Wall, but may actually reap a huge bonanza from it? Where can we find them?

    The answer is not so mysterious. We can find the people who may stand to make millions off of the Border Wall - on Wall Street and in the boardrooms of other big companies which are investing heavily in a company which is engaged in build a prototype for Trump's Wall.

    According to a November 16 article in, this company is called Sterling Construction, and it is receiving financing not only from a company owned by far-right billionaire and Trump backer Robert Mercer, but also by BlackRock, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. The latter two companies are also, according to the same story, big financial supporters of the private prison industry, which incarcerates thousands of immigrants in what has been called "nightmarish conditions".

    For further details, see:

    Wall Street Stands to Make a Killing From Building Trump's Border Wall: Report: Hate is profitable for the Mercers, BlackRock, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo

    The Alternet article also warns about "a growing alignment between the financial elite and the white nationalist right". readers may recall another country where a similar "alignment" took place - in 1930's Germany.

    Trump has often been accused of making untruthful statements about immigrants and immigration. But when he says that the American people will benefit from his Border Wall, no one can claim that he is misleading the public. Trump is absolutely right - as long as we are clear about which Americans will be benefiting the most.

    Just in case there are still any doubts about who these Americans are, Alternet quotes one immigration advocate, Ana Maria Archila of the Center for Popular Democracy, as follows:

    "It's always been clear that Trump's border wall had no real benefit or justification - and now it's clear that it could serve to further enrich his wealthy friends."

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 11-18-2017 at 10:38 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Trump's "Hire American" Executive Order is Clearly Against the Law in Many Instances. Why Hasn't it Been Challenged in Court? Roger Algase

    This post will begin a serious of comments devoted to the issue of whether current administration policies are consistent with the obligation of USCIS and other immigration agencies to provide fair decisions on employment-based petitions, based on the applicable laws and regulations, rather than on whether the president would prefer a specific result in keeping with his "Buy American, Hire American" executive order.

    As recent articles by other attorneys have shown, this issue has been particularly acute this year in the area of H-1B petitions and the hurricane of RFE responses, in many cases of highly questionable competence and objectivity - something which I have also been facing and which I will write about more specifically in upcoming comments.

    But by way of introduction to this topic, I will start with a very basic question: Is the president's "Hire American" immigration policy consistent with the law?

    There are great number of employment based non-immigrant visas (I will leave a discussion of employment-based green card categories for later). A few of them contain requirements intended to benefit US workers specifically - notably in the H-1B prevailing wage and LCA regulations, and in the job creation requirements of E-2 and EB-5 investment visas.

    But, except for the H-1B regulations requiring "H-1B dependent" employers or "willful violators" to recruit US workers first, and for H-2B visas which specifically require a Labor Certification, there are no NIV categories which specifically require US employers to reject a foreign worker in order to "Hire American".

    Despite that fact that Trump's "Hire American" order has no basis in law as a general matter, and actually conflicts with the INA in instances such as the above, USCIS is now issuing RFE's and denials in petitions where the obvious motivation seems to be to prevent US employer from hiring foreign workers on any pretext imaginable, as in a November 15 Immigration Daily article by Cora-Ann V. Pestaina, Esq. dealing with refusal to accept valid expert opinion letters; or, in some of my own cases, outrageously incompetent, distorted or even self-contradictory USCIS interpretations of the crucially important OOH Handbook which make fair and objective H-1B adjudications all but impossible.

    Since the "Hire American" executive order is very arguably encouraging, if not actually directing, such skewed and distorted USCIS decision-making, isn't the time ripe for a court challenge of this order, just as the legality of his Muslim ban immigration order was challenged (on other grounds, of course), with a considerable amount of success to date?

    If the president is allowed to continue to write his own immigration laws or dictate immigration policies through executive orders, especially ones that contradict existing law, without going to Congress for authorization, America's immigration system will be in serious trouble. So will our democracy.
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping clients from diverse parts of the world with H-1B petitions and other employment and family-based immigration applications for more than 35 years. Roger's email address is

    Updated 11-16-2017 at 04:26 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Secure Communities Detainers Not Resulting in More Deportations of Criminals

    by , 11-16-2017 at 08:06 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC):

    Since President Trump assumed office, Secure Communities has been promoted as essential to implement this administration's agenda for ramped up deportations. The agency contends that "Secure Communities has proven to be one of ICE's most important tools for identifying and removing criminal aliens as well as repeat immigration violators."

    However, analyses of the agency's own internal records document that the use of detainers under this program is not living up to these claims. For example, according to the latest available ICE data only about 2.5 percent of Secure Communities removals were connected to the use of detainers sent to local law enforcement agencies. When compared with ICE removals from all sources, this component made up even a smaller proportion -- less than 1 percent of all ICE removals.

    Click here
    for the full report.
  4. How to Get Ready for ICE Audit? (part 1)

    By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

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    As I stated in my blog entry on October 19, 2017, Tom Homan, Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), announced an increase of I-9 Inspections/Audits "by four to five times." What can employers do to decrease their vulnerability to significant penalties if one is audited? There are two things to do which go hand in hand Ė implement an immigration compliance policy and conduct an internal I-9 audit. This blog will focus on drafting and implementing an immigration compliance policy. Part 2 will focus on conducting an internal I-9 audit.

    As an immigration attorney who represents lots of companies in immigration compliance matters, one of the first questions I ask a new client is whether they have a written immigration compliance policy. Unfortunately, a vast majority of the companies say no or point to one paragraph in their employee manual.

    Why should a company have an immigration compliance policy? There are many reasons but one of the most important is to identify the person in charge of immigration compliance. Itís amazing how often that simple question is met with uncertainty. As we all know, if someone does not take ownership over a policy that policy will flounder.

    Here are other items that should be in an immigration compliance policy:
    1. Determine whether copies of documents should be retained;
    2. Determine whether the company should use E-Verify;
    3. Determine if the company is required by state or federal law to use E-Verify or FAR E-Verify;
    4. Zero tolerance policy for employment of individuals who cannot comply with work authorization rules;
    5. Timing and procedures for regular internal I-9 audits to be conducted;
    6. Rules on which management has access to I-9 records;
    7. How often is training required for employer representatives, who are completing I-9 forms;
    8. Define the required retention policy of I-9 forms Ė 1 year from employeeís termination or 3 years from original hire, whichever is longer;
    9. Rules for working with outside contractors;
    10. Re-verification procedures for employees with Employment Authorization documents;
    11. Set protocols for interacting with government officials if ICE or another federal agency shows up at worksite; and
    12. Policy on no discrimination of applicants/employees based on their lawful immigration status Ė citizenship, permanent resident, etc. or national origin.

    For more information on implementing an immigration compliance policy and how to conduct an internal I-9 audit in advance of an ICE inspection, I invite you to read my new book, The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, which is available at
  5. Courts Uphold Authoritarian Muslim Ban (in Part) as Trump Moves Toward Dictatorship by Pressuring DOJ to Investigate Hillary Clinton. Roger Algase

    The following comment has been expanded and revised as of November 16 at 2:00 am: is running two recent stories which may appear to be unrelated on the surface, but are in fact both part of the same larger authoritarian picture. This larger picture is the connection between governmental discrimination or persecution of immigrants based on race or religion, on the one hand, and loss of democratic freedoms on the other.

    The first of these two stories deals with November 13 decisions by the 4th and 9th Circuit federal appeals courts upholding the parts of the latest version of Trump's Muslim entry ban order which affect mainly tourists and refugees.

    Even though both orders contain large exceptions, namely for citizens of the six named countries (which include Niger, one of America's most important allies on the African continent in the war against radical Islamist terror!) who already have ties with the United States, the decisions are still a victory for the Trump administration.

    In effect, they uphold the doctrines, urged by the president in defending the various versions of the ban in the federal courts, that it is Constitutionally acceptable to discriminate against immigrants on the basis of their religion in principle (as long as the executive uses the magic words "national security" instead of religion); and even more dangerous for democracy, that, with only a few exceptions, the president has virtually unlimited power to determine which immigrants can enter the US without any effective interference by the courts.

    The second story deals with the response of the Justice Department to demands by Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who is known mainly for his sponsorship of anti-immigrant bills. One of his most recent, for example, would give state and local jurisdictions the power to enact their own immigration enforcement measures.

    This would not only bring back measures such as Arizona's infamous and discredited racial profiling S.B. 1070 law, but would lead to similar laws in every part of the nation, creating fear and chaos in immigrant communities coast to coast. Now, in yet another example of how discrimination and persecution directed again immigrants because of their race or religion of often lead to the overthrow of democracy and the institution of dictatorship, Goodlatte is demanding that the Justice Department appoint a second special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton over allegations that no one up to now has ever found any reason to take seriously.

    The obvious purpose is to retaliate against Clinton for running against Donald Trump for president (and, even worse, winning the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes). In this respect, Goodlatte is in effect acting as a surrogate for Trump, who is also trying to pressure the Justice Department to investigate Hillary Clinton as a distraction from his own problems with special counsel Robert Mueller.

    See: NY Times, November 14:

    'Lock Her Up' Becomes More Than a Slogan

    While this may appeal to Trump's base, who kept shouting "Lock Her Up!" at his rallies, this is not the way democracies work. Democratic countries do not threaten to send political opponents of the ruling party to jail to punish them for losing an election. Dictatorships do.

    It is true that Goodlatte's pressure on the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton (over what?) is not directly related to immigration policy. It is also a fact that that DOJ chief Jeff Sessions, who, as Attorney General, is the loyal chief enforcer of Trump's draconian mass deportation agenda (which it would not be unfair or inaccurate to refer to as ethnic cleansing), may apparently be resisting these calls, as explained in the above news stories.

    Sessions' response shows that harsh governmental action against minority immigrants can still in some cases, still be consistent with adherence to the rule of law.

    But this is the exception. Far more often, singling out racial or religious minorities for persecution has led to dictatorship in the past. One only needs to look at the example of Germany in the 1930's.

    Moreover, Trump's claim of absolute power to ban foreign citizens from the US purely on the basis of his own will is one side of the same authoritarian coin that includes his push to lock up his opponent in last year's election on the other side of the same coin.

    What happened in Germany in the 1930's can happen here. Calling for a criminal investigation of Trump's presidential opponent at a time when his administration is ramping up measures against both legal and illegal immigration by non-white immigrants on almost every front, while claiming before the Supreme Court and lower federal courts that he has unlimited power to bar Muslim immigrants, or any other immigrants he chooses, from entering the United States, threatens to bring America closer to dictatorship.
    Roger Algase is a New York lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants, from many different parts of the world, obtain work visas and green cards for more than 35 years. Roger's email address is

    Updated 11-16-2017 at 09:29 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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