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  1. Trump's "Mexican" Judge Helped To Destroy Drug Cartel. Roger Algase

    As outrage over Donald Trump's claim that US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over two lawsuits against Trump University is biased against Trump purely by virtue of US-born Judge Curiel's Mexican Ancestry, continues to grow (see below), NBC news reports that Judge Curiel helped to bring down a dangerous Mexican drug cartel and may have been targeted by the cartel for assassination.

    The June 1 report states:

    "When Curiel was part of narcotics enforcement, he helped to bring down the Mexican criminal organization run by Benjamin Arellano Fellx, who was arrested in 2002 and convicted of running a violent and deadly drug cartel between the US and Mexico.

    Before Felix' arrest, the Los Angeles Times reported that Curiel had been a possible target by the cartel when a top lieutenant was arrested and claimed in a bugged conversation that he was given the go-ahead to assassinate the U.S. prosecutor."

    If Trump's genuine concern is making immigration enforcement more effective, rather than simply using racial attacks to try to destroy anyone who opposes him, as the National Hispanic Bar Association and Slate Magazine's William Saletan allege in their following quoted remarks, it would seem curious for Trump to pick a target who may have risked his life to stop drugs from coming into to the United States from Mexico.

    It is one thing for Trump to go after "illegal" immigrants. But why (as also in the case of Sen. John McCain), does he also like to attack American heroes?

    Updated 06-04-2016 at 08:08 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Trump's "Conflict of Interest" Could Bar Minority Judges in Many Cases. Roger Algase

    Update, June 3, 4:30 pm:

    House Speaker Paul Ryan, only one day after endorsing Donald Trump for president, has now criticized Trump for his racially based attack against U.S> District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel. Referring to Trump's remark that Judge Curiel has a "conflict of interest" in presiding over the lawsuit against Trump University, because of the Jusge's "Mexican heritage", Ryan said, according to POLITICO:

    "Look, the comment about the judge the other day was just out of left field for my mind...It's reasoning I don't relate to. I completely disagree with the thinking behind that."

    The same report also quotes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as having reservations about Trump's racial attack as well, saying:

    "...these attacks don't serve the candidate very well at this point"

    If only Republican leaders still had the courage to stand uo against the Frankenstein figure who is about to become their official presidential candidate. The fact that they don't, or have given up whatever guts and moral sense that they had until recently in this regard in the name of expedience and desire to win an election at any cost, may turn out to be America's tragedy in November.

    Trump is certainly no Hitler, but Trump still has the potential to destroy American democracy, and his reprehensible racial attack on a federal judge whose decisions in Trump's own case, in which he is a defendant,Trump disagrees with, is just one more evidence of this.

    The half-hearted, timid statements of the above two Republican Congressional leaders remind one of the "decent" Germans who opposed Hitler in the early 1930's but were afraid to speak out against him until it was too late.

    For the POLITICO story, see:

    My original post follows:

    In typical Trump style, in response to outrage in the legal community as well as among Latinos and most others who believes in racial equality, over his comment that the federal judge in the Trump University lawsuit, Gonzalo Curiel, is biased against Trump because the (US-born) judge is a "Mexican", Trump has taken his racial invective one step further. This has disturbing, if not frightening, implications for the independence of the judiciary, and for the future of our democracy, if Trump is elected president.

    The Hill reports late on June 2 that Trump is now accusing Judge Curiel of having a "conflict of interest" in this case, merely because of his "Mexican heritage". The Hill quotesTrump as having told the Wall Street Journal that Curiel's background is relevant because of Trump's stand against illegal immigration. According to Trump:

    "I'm building a wall. It's an inherent conflict of interest."

    The implications of this latest racial insult against a federal judge are simply mind-boggling. Previously, as also reported by The Hill in the same article, Trump had accused Judge Curiel of being biased against him based on an action that the judge took in the case, i.e. allowing the lawsuit to move forward rather than dismissing it on a motion for summary judgment.

    Trump had accused the judge of taking this adverse action because of the judge's ethnicity, something which alone is enough to disqualify Trump to be in charge of all federal court litigation as president, including picking Supreme Court and other federal judges.

    But Trump's latest "conflict of interest" charge implies that no judge of Mexican or by extension Latino ancestry (as Trump has also referred to Judge Curie as an "Hispanic") is qualified to sit in any case involving Trump himself, purely because of ancestry, not on the basis of anything that the judge may have done or said.

    (Judge Curiel's actual opinions on illegal immigration are unknown, so far as i am aware, and in any event, immigration is not the subject matter of the Trump University lawsuit.)

    Now suppose thatTrump becomes president and head of the federal government. This means that he would be responsible for every one of the thousands, if not millions, of lawsuits or administrative proceedings involving one or another federal government agency, including but not limited to those involving immigration.

    Would Trump instruct government lawyers to demand that every judge with a Latino name in every single one of these proceedings should recuse himself or herself because a presumed disagreement with Trump over immigration policy, even in a case that had nothing to do with immigration?

    What about these government lawyers themselves? Would a Trump administration refuse to hire them, or fire existing ones on the grounds of "conflict of interest" over immigration policy in the case of lawyers who had Latino names?

    And does having Mexican or other Latino ancestry automatically mean that one has a particular view about immigration policy in general? It is true that most Latinos in America are opposed to Trump's extreme immigration enforcement proposals. But not every Latino is.

    (Current polling indicates that, despite his harsh immigration proposals, 20 percent or more of Latino voters may vote for Trump in the fall. (If it is less than 20 percent, all discussion of what Trump might do as president could turn out to be academic, according to most polling experts, among whom I do not claim to be.)

    The assumption that every American of Mexican or other Latino origin "hates" Trump because of his immigration proposals, or even disagrees with these proposals, is not only absurd, but is the crudest form of racial prejudice. It reminds me of the time (not so long ago) when anti-Semitic haters claimed that every Jew in America had his or her first loyalty to Israel, merely by virtue of being Jewish,

    More recently, it is similar to the Islamophobic message being promoted today by Trump himself, as well as many other politicians, that all Muslims, including US citizens, should be suspected of hating America and put under surveillance or barred from entering this country purely because of their religion.

    Following this line of thought, most, if not all, Muslim-Americans can safely be presumed to be opposed to Trump's proposed ban on entry to the US by Muslims from anywhere in the world.

    Does thai mean that no Muslim judge or administrative official should allowed to preside in any case involving a federal government agency because the judge or other official might have a "conflict of interest" with President Trump based on disagreement over immigration policy?

    Would such a "conflict of interest" mean that no Latino or Muslim should be allowed to work for the federal government?

    To carry these examples a bit further, suppose, hypothetically, that Trump, as he has suggested, becomes president and brings about a settlement on some issue or issues between Israel and the Palestinians by pressuring Israel into concessions that some of its supporters in America might find objectionable and blame Trump for.

    Would this mean that Jewish federal judges or government employees would have a "conflict of interest" in any case involving the federal government?

    This question is not so fanciful. Shortly before being forced to resign over Watergate, President Richard Nixon reportedly asked for a report identifying all federal government employees with Jewish names to put on his "enemies" list.

    (Nor is Trump free from accusations that he himself has made anti-Semitic remarks see:

    Trump Speech To Republican Jewish Forum Just A Series Of Offensive Stereotypes About Jews

    Here is one more example. Trump has used very harsh language against China and other Asian countries on international trade issues, and has threatened drastic tariff increases or similar sanctions against them. Would this give all Asian federal judges or other federal government employees a "conflict of interest" if Trump becomes president?

    Would a federal judge or government employee of any background or ancestry who has ever expressed an opinion or issued a decision disagreeing with President Trump on any issue whatsoever have a "conflict of interest" that would disqualify him or her sitting on any case involving the federal government, or even from working for the federal government?

    If any of the above hypothetical examples were ever to become reality, America could be called many things, but "democracy" would not be one of them.

    To be continued in a forthcoming post.
    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.

    His practice is focused primarily on H-1B specialty occupation and O-1 extraordinary work visas, and green cards through labor certification and opposite sex or same sex marriage. Roger's email address is

    Updated 06-04-2016 at 05:37 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Texas Court Temporarily Blocks Licensing of Deportation Baby Jail

    by , 06-03-2016 at 04:57 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Grassroots Leadership:

    In a major victory for advocates, an Austin judge has issued a temporary injunction prohibiting the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) from issuing a child care license under lowered standards to the nation’s largest immigration detention center - the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.

    The ruling by Judge Karin Crump of the 250th District Court prohibits the agency from issuing a license to the prison, operated by private prison corporation Corrections Corporation of America, until a September hearing to determine whether the agency has the authority to license the Dilley facility and a separate facility in Karnes County, Texas operated by private prison corporation GEO Group. Both facilities detained mothers and their children for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

    A hearing is scheduled this September for the Court to determine whether DFPS is legally authorized to issue a license to facilities that jail children utilizing lowered standards of protection.

    Click here to view the recently filed pleadings in the case.

    Click here for more information on the lawsuit.
  4. OSC Settles with Villa Rancho Bernardo Care Center concerning Immigration Discriminat

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

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    The Office of Special Counsel for Immigrated-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), a division of the Justice Department, reached a settlement agreement with Villa Rancho Bernardo Care Center (VRB), a skilled nursing facility in San Diego, resolving a claim of discrimination against work authorized non-U.S. citizens in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

    The OSC’s investigation found VRB discriminated against lawful permanent residents (green card holders) by requiring them to produce specific documents to prove their work authorization, while permitting U.S. citizens to show any valid work authorization documentation they chose. Specifically, during the interview and hiring processes, VRB requested that lawful permanent residents produce a permanent resident card. Lawful permanent residents are not required to show employers their permanent resident cards to work. Rather, like all other work-authorized employees, they can present their choice of valid documentation from the USCIS’s Lists of Acceptable Documents to establish their identity and work authorization. For example, lawful permanent residents can establish their work authorization by presenting a state or federal identification document and an unrestricted Social Security card.

    Under the settlement agreement, VRB will pay $24,000 in civil penalties to the United States, undergo OSC-provided webinar training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA and be subject to monitoring requirements by the OSC for a period of one year.

    Updated 06-02-2016 at 10:56 AM by BBuchanan

  5. Trump Draws More Flak From Legal Experts for Racial Attacks On Judge. Roger Algase

    Update, June 2 at 9:56 pm:

    In his most horrifying and chilling comment yet, Trump has accused US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel of having a "conflict of interest" in the Trump University lawsuit because of the Judge's "Mexican heritage". According to The Hill, Trump claims the Judge's ethnic background is relevant because Trump is "building a wall".

    The implications for an independent judicial branch of government in America if Trump is elected president are devastating. Conceivably, many of Trump's immigration actions as president could become subject to federal court litigation.

    Would government lawyers in a Trump administration argue that every judge in every such case with a Latino name should be disqualified from sitting or ruling in the case because of his or her ancestry? What about Justice Sonia Sotomayor? Would Trump try to have her recuse herself from such a lawsuit if it reached the Supreme Court?

    If she did not so so, would Trump try to have her removed from the bench?

    Could America still call itself a democracy in such an event?


    My original post follows:

    Concern among legal authorities over whether Trump would respect the independence of the judiciary as president continues to grow. as the Washington Post reports on June 1 in its article:

    Trump's personal, racially tinged
    attacks on federal judge alarm legal experts

    (I do not have a link - please go to

    Trump's most recent attack against Indiana-born US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is in charge of the lawsuit against him over his allegedly fraudulent "Trump University", as a "Mexican" and a "hater" is not the first, according to the above story. The Post reports:

    " February...[Trump] told Fox News that Curiel was biased against him because of his controversial immigration comments and proposals, including his promises to build a giant wall on the U.S. Mexico border amd deport 11 million illegal immigrants.

    Trump also said, according to The Post's article;

    I think it has to do with the fact that I'm very, very, strong on the border...Now , he is Hispanic, I believe. He is a very hostile judge to me."

    The Post also reports that a spokesperson for Trump, Katrina Pierson, falsely accused Judge Curiel of being a member of La Raza, and therefore biased against Trump. In fact, Curiel belongs to the San Diego La Raza Lawyer's Association, an unrelated, non-partisan, professional group.

    According to the above article, Luis Osuna, president of the above association, said that:

    "Trump's attempts to discredit Curiel should give voters serious pause, not least because his comments reduce Hispanics in the legal profession to their heritage."

    Osuna was also quoted as saying:

    "Every time these is a comment like this, it is disheartening...It is not, unfortunately, surprising, given the source of the comments. But it displays a complete lack of understanding of the role we have as attorneys and judges and the role we have in upholding the Constitution."

    The same article also quotes Charles Gardner Geyh, a professor at Indiana University's Maurer School of Law, as saying that Trump's comments about Judge Curiel raised an issue of "throwing the judiciary under the bus"​.

    Trump's inexcusable racial attacks on Judge Curiel, which amount to a claim that the Judge's ethnicity in and of itself makes him incapable of rendering a fair decision in the lawsuit against Trump, are just one more indication that the prejudice against Mexicans and other minority immigrants which Trump has made a centerpiece if his campaign can lead to undermining America's entire system of rule of law and government under the Constitution.
    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 primarily focused on H-1B specialty occupation and O-1 extraordinary ability work visas, J-1 training visas, and green cards through labor certification and opposite sex or same sex marriage. His email address is

    Updated 06-02-2016 at 08:56 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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