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  1. Trump: 1965 Reform Law "Outdated"; Legal Immigration Needs Big Cutback. Roger Algase

    It is always nice, I suppose, when someone makes a prediction that doesn't result in having to eat one's words. In my August 31 Immigration Daily post, I predicted that Donald Trump would offer America a fabulous, wonderful, new immigration system - but without any immigrants. After reading the full text of his speech, it looks as if i wlll not have to eat those words. This full text is available at;

    Immigration reform without immigrants, or at leas a lot fewer than we have now,, is exactly what Trump proposed in his August 31 Phoenix, Arizona immigration speech. Anyone who predicted that Trump might show any moderation, "softening" or balance on immigration in order to reach out to minorities or to a wider segment of the electorate will have plenty of his or her own words to eat.

    One could have guessed that Trump would make an anti-immigrant speech that would "Trump" even his previous rants against Latino, Muslim and other minority immigrants by his choice of location - Phoenix, Arizona, home of Maricopa county sheriff Joe Arpaio, arguably the most prominent anti-immigrant law enforcement officer in America, who is now in trouble with the federal court system over his alleged illegal ongoing racial profiling of Latinos.

    Arizona, as no one will forget, was the home of the notorious SB 1070 immigration enforcement law that was later thrown out in large part by the Supreme Court as an intrusion on federal supremacy over immigration.

    And Trump did not disappoint the most extreme elements in the anti-immigrant movement who have been at the heart of his campaign support, such as Senator Jeff Sessions, (R-Alabama) who appeared on stage with him.

    Columnist Ann Coulter, who is notorious for her disparaging comments about Latino, Muslim and other "third world" immigrants, and former KKK leader David Duke also reportedly gave Trump's Arizona speech rave reviews - and it is not hard to see why. See:


    I will not go into detail here about Trump's blaming immigrants, for the umpteenth time, for all the problems of America - crime, terrorist threat - job loss; or about the draconian enforcement measures that he once again reiterated - the Wall; Mass Deportation Task Force; reinstating programs such as Secure Communities, which have created so much fear in immigrant communities; ban on visas from mainly Muslim countries, and an ideological test for entering the US, to name only a few.

    I will focus only on his proposals for "reforming" legal immigration - to eliminate or drastically reduce the number of future immigrants, with disturbing references to the 1965 immigration reform law that, without expressly saying so, contain hints of wanting to return to the white supremacist "national origin" immigration quotas of the bigoted Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924.

    As will be shown in the Part 2 of this comment, it is worth asking whether there would be any legal immigration left at all under a Trump administration.

    To be continued in Part 2.
    Roger Algase is a New York 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 from diverse parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards. Roger's email address is

    Inque vicem gens omnis amet ("May the people of all nations love each other.." - Marcus Annaeus Lucanus)

    Updated 09-05-2016 at 11:22 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. The Most Important Question on the I-589 Asylum Form

    If you're reading this blog, you're probably already familiar with the form I-589, Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal. Whether your case is in Immigration Court or the Asylum Office, this is the form that you use to apply for asylum, withholding of removal under INA § 241(b)(3), and relief under the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
    "You should have listed all your names on the immigration form, Superman. Or should I say, Clark Kent, Kal El, or Man of Steel?"

    At the beginning of the asylum interview or the court case, the applicant has an opportunity to make corrections to the I-589. It's not a problem to make corrections, and generally, correcting errors on the original form does not reduce the likelihood that the application will be granted. In the worst case, the applicant will need to explain the mistake(s), but even this is fairly rare.

    You might think that the most important questions on the I-589 are the ones on page 5 related to why you need asylum. It makes sense, since that is the whole point of the form. But, au contraire, in asylum world, things that make sense are rarely the correct answer. The questions about asylum are generally easy to answer on the form, and you have ample opportunity to elaborate on your answer in an affidavit or at the interview.

    So what is the most important question on the form? It's the question that appears on page 1, near the very beginning of the form, in Part A.I., question 6: "What other names have you used (include maiden name and aliases)?" What's so important about this question, you ask. I will endeavor to explain. But first, a bit of background.

    Every asylum applicant must undergo a background check. The check is a bit of a mystery, but it involves a biometrics check and a name check. The background check also involves multiple data bases, and it can be quite time consuming--some people wait years for the completion of their checks. Theoretically--and hopefully--the background check will be completed before the interview or the court case. That way, the applicant can receive a decision shortly after being interviewed. If the check is not complete, or if new information arises at the interview and the check must be augmented, the case will be delayed--possibly for a very long time.

    In my office, for example, we have dozens of clients who have been interviewed, but are still waiting for decisions in their cases. Some have been waiting for weeks or months; the longest delayed applicants have been waiting over two years! Most of these delays seem to be because the security background checks are not complete. For people who are single, or whose spouse and children are with them in the United States, the wait may be tolerable (stressful and unpleasant, but tolerable). For people who are separated from their spouse and children, the wait is horrific. How can a mother or father be apart from small children for months or years? Yet this is what many applicants are enduring today.

    Which brings us back to the question about "other names used." If you fail to include every name you have used in your life, the Asylum Office may have to start the security background check all over again for any names that you add to the form during your asylum interview or your court case. So while it is not a problem to correct this question, adding a new name to the form could cause months (or more) of delay. For this reason, it is important to include any and all names you have used when you first submit the form.

    Your name on the I-589 (Part A.I., questions 3, 4, and 5) is generally your name as it appears on your passport. So what "other names" should be listed on the form? You should include the name on your U.S. visa, including the notorious "FNU" or "first name unknown," which often appears on US visas for people who have only one name. If you have a maiden name, include that. Also, list any different spellings of your name that you (or others) have used. If you have nicknames, pseudonyms or aliases, list those too. Of course, if you have ever changed your name, list all previous names you have used. If you ever list your name as "son of" or "daughter of," include that. Finally, different countries and cultures have different naming conventions. Sometimes, a person's name is the given name, followed by the father and grandfather's name, or a tribal name. You should list all iterations of your name.

    It is important to answer all questions on the I-589 form as completely and as accurately as possible. But the question about "other names used" is particularly important. If you forget to include all the names you have used, it could cause additional long delays in your case. To paraphrase the immortal Dr. Seuss, "Be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray, or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea, make sure to include all your names on the I-589 form. Then you'll be off to great places. So, get on your way!"

    Originally posted on the Asylumist:
  3. OCAHO Orders Restaurant, Which Kept No I-9 Forms, to Pay Over $33,000

    By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

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    In a very interesting decision which involved the smuggling of individuals into the United States to work for restaurants, the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) ordered Para Tacos La Chilanga to pay $33,379.50. See U.S. v. Para Tacos La Chilanga, 12 OCAHO no. 1286 (2016).

    Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) started this case before the issuance of the Notice of Inspection (NOI); rather, it started with meeting with one of the restaurant’s employees, who stated nine employees working at one of the restaurants were undocumented, were paid in cash and had money deducted to pay for their smuggling fees. One of these undocumented workers confirmed this information, including he was smuggled into the United States. Another undocumented worker stated one of the restaurant owners assisted with smuggling him into the United States and garnished wages to pay for the smuggling fees. Thereafter, ICE served a search warrant at one restaurant location and consent searches at the other restaurant location. The searches led to detention of eight employees, who admitted to undocumented status.

    Only after ICE had gathered all of this information did it serve the restaurant with a NOI. In response, the employer provided no I-9 forms or any employment records. The only employment records provided to ICE were through a search warrant and consisted of two notebooks which listed employee’s names and days worked.

    Based upon this evidence, ICE issued a Notice of Intent to Fine (NIF). ICE set the baseline penalty to $935 per violation due to a 100% error rate – no I-9 forms were presented for any employees. ICE enhanced the penalties by 15 per cent based on lack of good faith, seriousness of the violations, and employment of 32 unauthorized workers. Thus, ICE set the penalties at $1075.25 per violation.
    Because there was no issue on the number of violations by the employer, the only issue was the amount of the penalties. OCAHO agreed to the aggravation of the penalties for lack of good faith based upon its failure to keep basic employment records which appeared to be an intentional effort to subvert the I-9 requirements. OCAHO also agreed that the violations were serious.
    As for the employment of unauthorized workers, the lack of records assisted the restaurant. OCAHO found ICE could only prove 10 out of the 32 employees were undocumented. OCAHO stated it understood ICE’s frustration that the lack of documentation caused it not to be able to prove unauthorized status for 22 workers but it had to follow the law.

    Thus, OCAHO ordered the restaurant to pay $33,379.50. As a side note, an arrest warrant was issued for one of the restaurant’s owners for “alien smuggling.”

    This case is a textbook on how an employer should not conduct business. The civil penalties may be the least of the owner’s problems after being charged with “alien smuggling.”
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  4. Venture Capitalists and Immigration Proponents Likely Disappointed by USCIS Proposed

    by , 08-30-2016 at 12:53 PM (Angelo Paparelli on Dysfunctional Government)

    The Department of Homeland Security, through its component agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), has issued a proposed regulation to allow a qualified foreign citizen to gain entry and be employed in the United States if he or she will engage in activities that are likely to “increase and enhance entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in the United States” with a “start-up” entity. The USCIS proposed regulation would not change any other means of gaining work permission under the existing employment-based visa categories, e.g., the EB-5 immigrant investment program, immigrant visa classifications based upon, or exempt from, PERM labor certification, or through family-based immigration avenues.

    Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, parole (an immigration “term of art” having nothing necessarily to do with the criminal laws) is a discretionary grant of permission to enter the U.S. under narrowly prescribed terms. Parole is not a formal “admission” to the country but a specially permitted “entry.” Unlike a green card or work visa — both of which are considered a legal “status” in the United States — parole can be automatically revoked by immigration officials without mandatory notice to the parolee. USCIS proposes that once the application for entrepreneurial parole is approved, the applicant and family members must leave the U.S. in order to be granted parole; they may not change to a nonimmigrant status within the United States.

    USCIS proposes an initial two-year grant of parole to a qualifying “International Entrepreneur,” with one additional three-year renewal allowed. Under the proposal, the entrepreneurial parolee may work only in a start-up entity formed within the last three years in which s/he (a) will play a “central role in the operations and future growth of the entity,” and (b) owns at least a 15 percent interest. USCIS also proposes that the parolee’s spouse and children may be given parole entry, and that the spouse can be granted open-market employment authorization. The entrepreneurial parolee, however, may only be employed by the USCIS-approved start-up entity. USCIS also proposes to amend its Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) to allow a start-up entity to accept an original foreign passport and Form I-94, issued by U.S. Customs & Border Protection with the notation “PE-1,” as a “List A” document of identity and employment authorization.

    The pre-publication version of the rule and its preamble run to 155 double-spaced pages. Once it is published in the Federal Register, expected in the next few days, the public will have 45 days to offer comments. Proving eligibility as an International Entrepreneur will require a $1,200 filing fee, completion of an Application for Entrepreneur Parole (Form I-941) and the submission of extensive evidence. USCIS will review the evidence and give a thumbs-up approval or deny the application with no right of rehearing or appeal.

    In order to qualify, the parole applicant must show that the start-up entity has the “substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.” This can be established through investments from established “U.S. investors (such as venture capital firms, angel investors, or start-up accelerators).” The parole applicant may prove this with evidence that the “entity has received investments of capital totaling $345,000 or more from established U.S. investors with a history of substantial investment in successful start-up entities.” USCIS proposes that aside from the parole applicant, only U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (green card holders) may invest in the start-up. A start-up entity may employ no more than three entrepreneurial parolees, according to the USCIS proposed rule.

    Alternatively, the proposed rule suggests that the submitted evidence should include proof of grants or awards of at least $100,000 from local, state or federal government entities that have “provided support for economic, research and development, or job creation purposes.”

    Venture capitalists and foreign entrepreneurs — who have waited since November 2014 to see how USCIS would articulate President Obama’s Executive Action announcing a proposed rule — are likely to be disappointed. They may see the benefit of entrepreneurial parole as too small and too short in duration in return for the effort to establish the proposed rule’s very burdensome and narrow requirements. Moreover, they may be disappointed to learn that the USCIS proposal fails to take into account the harm associated with a revocation of parole (whether based on material business changes or otherwise) and the absence of any administrative or judicial review. Also disappointing is the realization that the proposed regulation offers no pathway to lawful permanent resident status.

    Fortunately, however, if USCIS receives compelling and substantiated comments within the next 45 days, the final rule may become a more viable avenue to jump-start innovation, job creation and economic growth. Only time will tell.
  5. Trump Debates Trump, While Visa Abuse Allegations Against Him Emerge. Roger Algase

    Revised Special Bulletin! - August 31, 10:15 am:

    According to a Mother Jones story, at least four models have alleged that Donald Trump's company, Trump Model Management, brought them to the US to work illegally on tourist visas.

    The same story alleges that Trump's company instructed at least one of the models to lie about her intended activities in the US at the time of immigration inspection, and that the company grossly exploited and took advantage of its models while they were in the US.

    Some of the allegations against Trump's company mentioned in the story could constitute federal felonies, if proven (which they have not been).

    If these allegations turn out to be accurate, what would that say about Trump's own credibility and qualifications to be America's Immigration Enforcer in Chief (or Hypocrite-in-Chief)?

    What would they say about his character and fitness to be President of the United States?

    The full Mother Jones story is at:

    ​See also:

    My original post follows:

    The great debate over mass deportation and other immigration policy issues is continuing, with Donald Trump leading the hard line faction against another presidential candidate who is pushing for a "softening" on deportation and who also happens to be named Donald Trump.

    We may find out more about who will win this debate when one of the Donald Trumps (or maybe both of them) gives what has been heralded as a major speech on immigration in Arizona on August 31. See:

    As the above article shows, Trump is in a hard position - he needs to reach out to Latinos and other minority voters, but he cannot afford to antagonize his influential major boosters such as columnist Ann Coulter or Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who will denounce him as an "open-borders" or "amnesty" sell out if he favors sparing even one Latino or other non-white "illegal" immigrant in America from deportation.

    For whatever it is worth, here is my prediction. Trump will talk about America's wonderful immigration heritage, about how immigration has made this country great, about all the benefits that America is continuing to receive from immigration, and about how much he "loves" immigrants.

    Half way through his speech, Coulter, Sessions and many others in his hard line base may throw fits and have to be carried out from wherever they may be watching.

    But then, I predict, Trump will say that our immigration system is "broken", that it is "flooded" with "illegals", "criminals" and "terrorists", and that the only way to "fix" it is to kick out 11 million unauthorized immigrants and close our doors to most, if not all legal immigration, until "we" (i.e. Trump himself) figures out "what the h--- is going on."

    That, he will conclude, is the only way we can finally have an immigration system that will work, and make America "truly" great again.

    If my prediction is correct, Trump's pitch will be not unlike what some conservatives are now saying about Social Security - that it is going bankrupt, and the only way to "save" it is to privatize it or to cut benefits to the vanishing point.

    In other words, Trump might offer America a vision of a wonderful, really fantastic, immigration system, an amazing one such as America has never had before and that only Donald Trump can create for us.

    The only downside is that it might be one that is almost without immigrants.

    Anyway, this is one observer's prediction about Trump's immigration speech. If I am right, you read it here first. If not, well there are always plenty of other things to read.
    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 email address is

    Updated 08-31-2016 at 12:05 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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