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  1. Undocumented and Unaccounted For: A Definitive Podcast Explainer About #WhereAreTheChildren

    by , 06-01-2018 at 01:38 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via NPR's Latino USA:

    A report released last week about authorities losing track of almost 1,500 young immigrants has caused a lot of reactions. The young migrants are asylum seekers who arrived at the U.S. border without their parents, and were later released into the custody of guardians or sponsors. Recently, the government admitted that they havenít been able to reach almost 1,500 of those sponsors, drawing concerns that the kids could be at risk. This disclosure has raised the question: what is the governmentís role in making sure these kids are safe?

  2. Trump's Inhuman Tearing Immigrant Children Away From Their Mothers Recalls Separation of Jewish Children Under the Nazis. Roger Algase

    Update: June 2, 1:11 a.m.

    To watch a horrifying video of an unauthorized immigrant mother being torn away by US Border Patrol agents from her screaming, crying children as part of Donald Trump's campaign of fear and terror against Latino and other non-white immigrants, see:

    My earlier comment follows:

    As the storm of outrage grows over the Trump administration's policy of causing unspeakable anguish to Latino and other non-white immigrant families by tearing screaming innocent young children away from their parents at the US border, see: America's Voice, May 31,

    Trump is "Gratuitously Embracing Cruelty"

    and as experts warn about the terrible lifetime psychological scars that these children will suffer as a result of Trump's unbelievably cruel efforts to stop mainly Central American families from seeking asylum in the United States - see: Physicians for Human Rights

    Children Must be Protected, Not Lost


    Stop the Abuse of Immigrant Children in U.S. Custody

    it is worth remembering that this is not the first time that governmental policy of a large and well known country has been responsible for large-scale separations of young and vulnerable children from their families. It has all happened before - under the Nazis.

    In 1965 (the same year, coincidentally, that America's openly racist, Nordics-only, 1924 "national origins" immigration act - which Adolf Hitler claimed inspiration from writing in Mein Kampf, and which A.G. Jeff Sessions, who is now a key player in the child separation agenda, also praised as a Senator nine decades later, was finally repealed), during a brief visit to Germany, I sat down with a couple of German friends whom I had become acquainted with while they were living in the US, and asked them why ordinary Germans didn't do more to try to stop the Nazi extermination of the Jews.

    They vigorously argued that the German people did not know the full extent of the Holocaust because it was concealed from them. Moreover, any German who had spoken out would have done so at the risk of his or her life.

    Donald Trump is not a mass murderer, not an antisemite, not a Nazi and not a follower of Adolf Hitler. Nor, to be fair, did abuse of children and their parents in immigration detention originate with Donald Trump. President Obama has a lot to answer for on that score also.

    But the Obama administration, so far as is known, did not engage in systematically ripping young children apart from their mothers in order to scare families from trying to enter the United States, or as a matter of vindictive rage out of frustration at an increase in illegal entry numbers, as Trump is reported to have expressed in acrimonious exchanges with his own DHS Secretary.

    There can be no doubt that Donald Trump is carrying out a policy at the US border which goes against the most elementary notions of basic humanity and is doing so out of intentional cruelty in order to terrify Latino and other brown immigrants from coming to the United States, including people who may have a right under our laws to pursue asylum claims in this country.

    This policy not only disgraces America and our most fundamental values of protecting families and the rights of children, but it also, very arguably, violates US laws against torture and international law, in the form of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    I will discuss these provisions in a future comment. America is not Nazi Germany, and the horrors of Donald Trump's child separation policy are on full view - literally, on Youtube.

    The American people have the freedom, the right, the capacity and the obligation to stand up and speak out against this atrocity which is now happening before our very eyes.

    The fact that there were inexcusable abuses of children in immigration detention while, for the most part, being held together with their families under President Obama is not an answer - not an excuse - for Donald Trump's deliberate, purposeful, inhumanity.

    For more on the differences between President Obama and Donald Trump on family separation at the US border, see Kristie de Pena of the Niskanen Center, May 31:

    What everyone has gotten wrong about family separation

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 06-02-2018 at 09:54 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Attorney as Counselor; Attorney as Cheerleader

    It's not easy to be an asylum seeker these days. Between the government's efforts--often disingenuous--to undermine asylum claims, the long delays, and the unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles, the process has become more stressful and more unfair than at any time in recent memory.

    Some people just weren't meant to be cheerleaders.

    It's also become more difficult for attorneys who represent asylum seekers. Given the government's unpredictability, we canít easily advise our clients or evaluate their cases. It's also harder to help them understand the process and to predict how long they will wait for an interview or a decision. In other words, it's more difficult to serve as a counselor for our clients.

    It's also more difficult to offer our clients encouragement and hope. The long delays and hostile environment have made the asylum process (and the immigration process in general) more stressful. Clients need a sense of hope, and they need to feel someone is on their side. Hence, attorney as cheerleader.

    Fulfilling both jobsócounselor and cheerleaderóis not easy, and at times, the two roles can be contradictory. So how can we as lawyers provide honest counsel and still offer our clients hope?

    First, I have found that even clients in the most dire circumstances appreciate hearing the unvarnished truth about their cases. Especially in the beginning, when it is time to evaluate the case and present the client her options, it is important not to sugarcoat the odds of success or gloss over potential obstacles. I sometimes have a tendency towards pessimism when I evaluate a case, as I donít want to give the client unrealistic expectations. I also want the client to know what she is up against, so she can make her own decisions about how to proceed.

    Also, of course, it is very important for the client to understand the problems in the case. Is there a one-year bar issue? Or other bars to asylum? Are there potential credibility problems? Is there important evidence that will be difficult to obtain? All this we need to know, so that the client and the lawyer together can prepare the strongest possible case.

    The client needs to understand the process of seeking asylum, in all its dysfunctional glory. He needs to know how long a case might take, and whether it will likely be referred to court. He also needs to know about the limits of what we lawyers know. The fact is, the system is a mess. Even people working within the system often cannot predict how long a case will take, and lawyers like me certainly donít know. We have to convey this uncertainty to the client, so he can understand the range of possible events. With the most accurate (albeit limited) information available, the client can make the best possible decisions for himself and his family.

    In short, it is very important that the client understand his situation as clearly as possible, so he can prepare his case, make informed decisions, and have some sense of his prospects for success. But once the client understands the case and decides to go forward, he needs support and hope. He needs to feel that success is possible, and that he wonít be stuck forever in limbo. This is where the cheerleading comes in.

    The process of seeking asylum is long (despiteóor maybe because ofóLIFO). Itís also grueling. Many clients want to forget about the bad things that happened to them back home. But for those mired in asylum-land, they cannot put traumatic events behind them. Also, many asylum seekers are separated from their families, which is particularly difficult and stressful for those with young children. Thereís also the overall uncertainty of not knowing whether you can stay in the U.S. or you will have to leave. Should you buy a house? Build a life? What if your case is denied and you lose it all? Any human being living through such uncertainty will feel stress, but itís even worse for asylum seekers, many of whom have suffered trauma, and whose family members may still be in danger. People in this situation need hope.

    There is a school of thoughtówhich was already outdated when I was in law schoolóthat the clientís emotional needs are not the attorneyís problem. If the client needs a shoulder to cry on, he should find a friend. Or a therapist. It doesnít help that we lawyers donít receive much training in counseling, and that weíre usually super busy and donít have time to sit and listen to the clientís troubles. There's also the issue of attorney burn-out. Getting too emotionally involved in a case can lead to more stress and less objectivity, which is not good for the lawyer, or, ultimately, for the client. Despite all this, lawyers can offer clients hope and positivity in order to help them get through the difficult process of asylum.

    How to do this? One way is to focus on aspects of the case that are within the client's control: Obtaining evidence and witnesses, preparing the affidavit, applying for the work permit, trying to expedite or short-list the case. Much of the asylum process cannot be influenced by the client (or the lawyer), and so taking steps that are within the client's power at least gives her a sense of agency.

    We can also encourage clients to live their lives as normally as possible: Get a job, go to school, get married, have children. To the extent possible, it is better to build a life, instead of allowing the uncertainty of an asylum case to rule your day-to-day existence.

    Finally, we can try to emphasize the positive aspects of the case. Once the client is going forward with the case and understands the challenges, there is no point in focusing on the negative. If it's very unlikely that your client can overcome the one-year bar, for example, do everything possible to help the client demonstrate an exception to the bar, but once that is done, offer the client some encouragement: Some Immigration Judges or Asylum Officers will interpret the bar more liberally, maybe the client will get lucky, etc.

    These are difficult times for asylum seekers in the U.S. As attorneys, we have to continually push ourselves to be more compassionate and more patient. I know personally how difficult that can be, but if we want to best serve our clients and stand up to the forces against them, that is what we must do.

    Originally posted on the Asylumist:
    Tags: asylum, lawyer Add / Edit Tags
  4. Company sues Competitor for Employing Undocumented Workers

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

    American Elite Molding LLC (AEM), a manufacturer based in Crestview, Florida, is suing a competitor, Advanced Cable Ties Inc. (ACT), for employing undocumented workers, through Twin City Temporaries, Inc., at a Gardner, Massachusetts, plant.

    The lawsuit, filed in Okaloosa County Circuit Court, Florida, is seeking unspecified monetary damages stemming from ACT's alleged use of workers who are not eligible to work in the United States. It specifically states the company has lost contracts and had to lower its prices as a result of ACT's alleged labor practices. AEM categorizes these actions by ACT as unfair competition.

    AEM CEO Bob Sires said about 60 percent of ACT's labor force - almost all the night workers and some of the day workers are undocumented workers supplied by Twin City Temporaries, which is based in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. He further claims Twin City Temporaries brings in workers from Vietnam and other countries and pays them under the table to avoid taxes and payroll costs.

    Sires said Twin City Temporaries approached him a year to a year-and-a-half ago and proposed a similar arrangement with AEM, claiming it could help cut labor costs. AEM rejected this arrangement. Sires claims after this, he realized AEM started losing a couple of clients' accounts to ACT, after ACT began using Twin City Temporaries.

    "ACT misleads the relevant marketplace by disingenuously attempting to convey a wholesome image of its workforce where, in reality ... over sixty percent of ACT's workforce is ineligible to work in the United States," the lawsuit says. The lawsuit also claims that AEM hires only legal workers and pays them in accordance with applicable labor laws.

    This lawsuit is extremely unusual and is a new twist on what employers, which employ undocumented workers, must fear. I wonder if Immigration & Customs Enforcement reads the newspaper and serves a Notice of Inspection on ACT. I will keep you informed on this lawsuit.

    For answers to many other questions related to immigration compliance, I invite you to read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book that I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and is available at
  5. Trump Borrows From Hitler's Playbook Against Jews by Scapegoating Latino Immigrants as Criminals and Calling Pelosi an "MS-13 Lover". Roger Algase

    In his latest May 29 attack on House Minority Leader Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as someone who "loves MS-13"

    Donald Trump is using a strategy right out of Adolf Hitler's playbook of dehumanizing and scapegoating the Jews as "criminals" who "stabbed Germany in the back" during WW-1 and were allegedly responsible for all of that country's problems.

    To be sure, Trump is not anti-Jewish, does not support genocide or mass murder, and is not an admirer or follower of Hitler or the Nazis. Comparisons between Trump and the German Fuehrer need to be used sparingly and with a great deal of qualification.

    But just as Hitler used long standing hatred and prejudice against Germany's tiny Jewish minority, dating back to the Middle Ages, in order to take absolute power in Germany, there are many disturbing signs that Trump is now doing the same thing with Latino, Muslim and black immigrants to accomplish the same goal in America.

    Peter Beinart, contributing editor at The Atlantic and associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York, writes as follows in that magazine:

    "...the Nazi newspaper Der Sturmer ran a feature called 'Letter Box' which published readers accounts of Jewish crimes. When the Nazis took power, the German State did something similar. Frustrated by the failure of most businesses to participate in a boycott of Jewish businesses in April, 1933, Adolf Hitler's government began publicizing Jewish crime statistics as a way of stoking antisemitism.

    The lists of alleged Jewish criminals appearing in Der Stuermer, whose publisher, Julius Streicher, was later executed as a Nazi war criminal, were a very dangerous precedent for Trump's VOICE program of publishing lists of crimes (including absurdly trivial ones such as trespassing and, in one case, "Peeping Tom") which arrested Latino and other mainly non-white immigrants has been charged with, even if not convicted of.

    While VOICE was soon abandoned, MS-13, which only a tiny percentage of immigrants are connected with and some of whose members are not immigrants at all, but US citizens, appears to be taking its place as one of Trump's handy tools for promoting hatred against non-white immigrants.

    Beinart also explains:

    "Trump's allies may believe that sneaking into the United States, or using a fake social security number to get a job, predisposes people t rob, rape or kill. So if Trump's goal is increasing public safety, publishing a list of crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants is irrational. It is like publishing a list of crimes committed by people with red hair.

    If, however, Trump's goal is stigmatizing a vulnerable class of people, then publicizing their crimes - and their crimes alone - makes sense. It's a tactic that bigots have used [for] more than a century.

    Using crime to incite hatred has a long history in the United States."

    Beinart concludes:

    "Trump's defenders might also argue that crime by unauthorized immigrants deserves special attention because, if the US enforced its immigration laws, it wouldn't occur at all. But even if it were possible to entirely prevent illegal entry into the United States...what's the point of publicizing crimes that illegal aliens commit except to incite hatred against them, and those Latinos legally in the United States who get mistaken for them?"

    Beinart's above comments do not deal specifically with Trump's use of MS-13. But everything he says about publicizing other crimes allegedly committed by Latino immigrants applies to MS-13 as well.

    As Long Island WINS quotes one Latino community organizer who protested against Trump's demagogic, publicity-seeking MS-13 "Roundtable" in that community:

    "Long Island has fought against racism for African-Americans. it has fought against prejudice against Catholics, against Jews, so I can tell you that Long Island will overcome the hatred against immigrants."

    Democracy in Germany was not able to withstand Adolf Hitler's stigmatizing and dehumanizing the Jews as "criminals" and subhumans (Untermenschen, in German) who were allegedly responsible for all of Germany's problems. As the Nazi slogan went:

    "Die Juden sind unser Unglueck" ("The Jews are our misfortune.")

    Will America's democracy be able to survive Donald Trump's relentless attacks on Latino and other non-white immigrants as "criminals," "terrorists" and "stealers of American jobs"?

    The example of Nazi Germany, and of many other dictatorships around the world where authoritarian rulers have taken power by exploiting hatred against immigrants or other unpopular minorities, warns us that unless we, as Americans, stand up for immigrant rights and against attempts by Trump and his supporters to use prejudice against Latino and other non-white immigrants for their own purposes, we should not be so sure that our democracy will survive.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 05-31-2018 at 01:07 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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