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  1. Trump's Supreme Court Pick, Neil Gorsuch, Has Upheld Judicial Power to Protect Immigrants' Constitutional Rights. Roger Algase

    In the wake of the nationwide Furor over the January 27 Muslim and refugee ban order of America's new Leader, Donald Trump, a ban which is so broad and which has such weak factual justification that there may be a good argument to the effect that Trump has exceeded even his admittedly very broad legal power to ban immigration under INA Section 212(f) - a topic I will be writing about in more detail shortly in an upcoming comment - there has been an understandable reaction by people who believe that Trump can do nothing positive on immigration, and that everything he does that might affect immigrant rights must be opposed knee-jerk style.

    This kind of thinking includes opposition to the nomination of US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, announced on January 31. For the reasons below, opposing this nomination would be a big mistake.

    The reality is that Judge Gorsuch is on record in an important recent decision as standing up clearly and strongly for the power of the judiciary to resist attempts by the executive (in that case, the Obama administration) to infringe basic Constitutional rights of immigrants facing deportation. That decision is Gutierrez-Brizuela v. Lynch (10th Cir. August 23, 2016). In order to access a link to the full decision, see:

    http://reason.com/blog/2017/02/01/go...migrants-right

    The views expressed by Judge Gorsuch in his decision (and his concurring opinion supplementing his own majority opinion!) are an important and doubtlessly much needed antidote to the attempts to rewrite large parts of our immigration system by executive order which are now coming out of the White House, evidently influenced by advisers such as Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions - discussed in my January 30 immigration Daily comment.

    In my next comment, i will present a detailed discussion of the above decision, which strongly attacks the Chevron doctrine of judicial deference to agency interpretation of its own regulations, no matter how unreasonable the interpretation may be, at least when applied in the immigration context.

    This discussion will show that Judge Gorsuch, at least within the area of immigration (other issues being beyond the scope of this site):

    a) Strongly believes in the separation of powers and rule of law and legal principles as a bulwark against the arbitrary rule of one branch of the government (or one person - the president), as opposed to using the law in order to impose any given ideology or attain a desired result, and,

    b) Is clearly aware of and responsive to the hardships and and difficulties that immigrants encounter when their basis Constitutional rights are infringed, and is willing to resist attempts by the executive branch to ignore or trample on those rights.

    Donald Trump may have now appointed exactly the kind of Supreme Court Justice who is best equipped to keep Donald Trump's current and anticipated future immigration excesses in check.
    _____________________________
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been practicing primarily in the area of work visas and green cards for skilled and professional immigrants for more than 35 years.

    Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 02-02-2017 at 05:55 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. OSC Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against J.E.T. Holding

    By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

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    The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) (just renamed the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice) reached a settlement to resolve claims that J.E.T. Holding Co. Inc. discriminated against U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and certain work-authorized immigrants in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). J.E.T. is a company based in Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), where it operates a restaurant, bowling alley and amusement center.

    The investigation found evidence that for approximately the first five months of 2016, J.E.T. engaged in a pattern or practice of refusing to hire U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and other work-authorized individuals for several dishwasher positions. OSC concluded that J.E.T. failed to consider qualified U.S. citizen applicants and others based on their citizenship or immigration status because of a preference for hiring non-immigrant foreign workers with CW-1 visas. The CW-1 visa grants temporary work authorization to its beneficiaries and is only available in the CNMI.

    Under the terms of the settlement, J.E.T. will pay a civil penalty of $12,000, establish a backpay fund of $40,000 to compensate qualified claimants for any lost wages through a claims process, train its workers on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, and be subject to department monitoring.
  3. Visa Issuance from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen Suspended

    by , 01-30-2017 at 03:33 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The following via the US Embassy Djibouti:

    Updated on 28 January 2017


    Urgent Notice: Per U.S. Presidential Executive Order signed on January 27, 2017, visa issuance to aliens from the countries of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen has been suspended effective immediately until further notification. If you are a national, or dual national, of one of these countries, please do not schedule a visa appointment or pay any visa fees at this time. If you already have an appointment scheduled, please DO NOT ATTEND your appointment as we will not be able to proceed with your visa interview.

  4. Trump's immigration ban Executive Order is clumsy, but perfectly legal. By Nolan Rappaport


    © Getty

    President Trumpís Executive Order (EO) titled ďProtecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,Ē has produced a storm of protest. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement on Friday that ďthere are tears running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty tonight.Ē

    What is in this EO that is so upsetting?

    The EOís stated policy is ďto protect the United States and its citizens from foreign nationals who intend to commit terrorist attacks in the United States.Ē

    It directs the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence to determine what information is needed from any country to decide whether one of its nationals who is seeking admission to the United States is who he claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.

    Read more at
    http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blo...erfectly-legal

    Originally published in the Hill.

    Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an Executive Branch Immigration Law Expert for three years; he subsequently served as the 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.









  5. Senators Request Investigation into DHS Implementation of Trumpís Executive Order

    by , 01-30-2017 at 11:52 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    January 29, 2017
    Contact: Sean Savett (Duckworth), (202) 256-2935
    Monica Garcia (Durbin), (202) 224-7028

    Duckworth & Durbin Request Immediate Investigation into Department of Homeland Securityís Implementation of Trumpís Executive Order

    [CHICAGO, IL] Ė U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the U.S. Department of Homeland Securityís (DHS) Office of Inspector General to immediately initiate an independent investigation into the agencyís potentially illegal implementation of President Trumpís executive order. This rushed and poorly drafted Trump Administration initiative endangers our national security by limiting travel from certain Muslim-majority countries, and it may violate long-standing immigration law in its treatment of legal permanent residents by undermining vital rights like due process and equal protection that are guaranteed by the United States Constitution. On the day after the executive order was issued, approximately 18 people were detained at OíHare International Airport, including several legal permanent residents.

    ďThe chaotic execution of this [Executive Order] Ö raises serious concerns in regard to whether taxpayer dollars were efficiently and effectively spent, rather than wasted on unwarranted and unjust detentions of lawful permanent residents (LPRs) and others who posed no security threat, and who had already been authorized by the United States Government to enter our country,Ē Duckworth and Durbin wrote. ďWe are deeply concerned by [Customs and Border Protectionís] failure to respond to time-sensitive Congressional oversight inquiries and allegations that the agency refused to permit attorneys to meet with detained LPRs at OíHare and other airports across the country.Ē

    The Senatorsí letter requests an investigation into:

    ∑ How DHS & the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) prepared to implement the executive order and what guidance they provided to the White House during development of it;
    ∑ What guidance and training was provided to CBP employees to make sure the executive order was implemented in a consistent and fair manner that protected the constitutional rights of all detained individuals;
    ∑ How DHS & CBP determined which information to share with the public and whether they kept a list of all detained individuals;
    ∑ Whether CBP officers at airports were informed of the court orders and given instructions on how to comply with them;
    ∑ Whether CBP officers violated any court order. If so, who directed such actions; what will be done to hold violators accountable; and what will CBP do to prevent violations of the rule of law from ever occurring again;
    ∑ What complaints about violations of court orders have been received and how they were resolved.

    ďWe are particularly alarmed by allegations that CBP Officers and potentially other Department personnel, failed to comply with a temporary restraining order Ö that directed CBP to provide detained LPRs at Dulles International Airport with access to attorneys. Such allegations should not be taken lightly and require swift investigative action by your office.Ē Duckworth and Durbin added. ďThe United States Constitution means little if law enforcement agents disregard it, or if Americans are unwilling to defend its principles and respect foundational constitutional rights, from due process to equal protection under the law. The American people are relying on your independent investigators to serve as a check against a powerful law enforcement agency that may be violating the civil rights of LPRs and operating in violation of the law.Ē

    The full text of the letter is as follows:

    VIA ELECTRONIC DELIVERY

    The Honorable John Roth
    Inspector General
    Office of the Inspector General
    U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    245 Murray Lane SW
    Washington, DC 20528-0305

    Dear Inspector General Roth:

    We are writing to request that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) immediately initiate a comprehensive investigation into DHS implementation of ďProtecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States by Foreign Nationals,Ē an Executive Order (EO) signed on Friday, January 27, 2017.

    The chaotic execution of this EO by DHS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel raises serious concerns in regard to whether taxpayer dollars were efficiently and effectively spent, rather than wasted on unwarranted and unjust detentions of lawful permanent residents (LPRs) and others who posed no security threat, and who had already been authorized by the United States Government to enter our country.

    Reports indicate CBP Officers detained LPRs at OíHare for a prolonged period of time with no access to legal counsel. We are deeply concerned by CBPís failure to respond to time-sensitive Congressional oversight inquiries and allegations that the agency refused to permit attorneys to meet with detained LPRs at OíHare and other airports across the country.

    CBPís refusal to allow detained legal permanent residents to meet with legal counsel is especially troubling in light of the determination by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York that it is likely the removal of the detained individuals would have violated their rights to Due Process and Equal Protection guaranteed by the United States Constitution. We are particularly alarmed by allegations that CBP Officers and potentially other Department personnel, failed to comply with a temporary restraining order issued by Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of the United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, that directed CBP to provide detained LPRs at Dulles International Airport with access to attorneys. Such allegations should not be taken lightly and require swift investigative action by your office. We must ensure that CBP is held accountable for following the law and respecting our Nationís system of checks and balances.

    Accordingly, we request that DHS OIG investigate DHS and CBP implementation of the Executive Order signed on Friday, January 27, 2017. Specifically, we request that DHS OIG investigate:

    ∑ How DHS and CBP prepared to implement the EO and what guidance DHS and CBP personnel provided to the White House during development of the EO;
    ∑ What guidance and training were provided to CBP Management and Officers to make sure the EO was implemented in a consistent and fair manner that protected the constitutional rights of all detained individuals;
    ∑ How DHS and CBP determined what information to share with the public;
    ∑ Whether DHS and CBP kept a list of all detained individuals and if not, why not;
    ∑ Whether, when, and how CBP officers at airports nationwide were informed of court orders affecting implementation of the EO, including what specific information and instruction CBP officers were provided regarding compliance with court orders;
    ∑ What steps DHS and CBP took to ensure that all DHS and CBP personnel complied with all relevant court orders;
    ∑ What complaints CBP received regarding its compliance with the relevant court orders and how these complaints were resolved;
    ∑ Whether CPB officers took action that was contrary to any court orders and if so, what actions were taken, where were they taken and who directed such actions;
    ∑ What justifications CBP officers have proffered for any actions contrary to any court orders;
    ∑ What actions CBP has taken, or plans to take, to hold CBP Officers accountable for any violations of a Federal Court order; and
    ∑ Any remedial actions CBP has instituted to prevent any violations from occurring again.

    The United States Constitution means little if law enforcement agents disregard it, or if Americans are unwilling to defend its principles and respect foundational constitutional rights, from due process to equal protection under the law. The American people are relying on your independent investigators to serve as a check against a powerful law enforcement agency that may be violating the civil rights of LPRs and operating in violation of the law.

    If you have any questions about this request, please contact Benjamin Rhodeside on Senator Duckworthís staff at 202-224-2070 or by email at: Benjamin_Rhodeside@duckworth.senate.gov. Thank you in advance for your prompt consideration of my request.

    Sincerely,

    Tammy Duckworth & Dick Durbin
    United States Senators
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