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  1. Trump's fast-tracked deportations may be only solution to backlog. By Nolan Rappaport




    © Getty

    An alien who seeks admission to the United States without valid documents can be sent home without a hearing, and, this does not apply just to aliens at the border. An undocumented alien may be viewed as “seeking admission” even if he has been living here for more than a year.

    But for immigration purposes, words mean whatever the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) says they mean.

    Section 235(a)(1) of the INA says that an alien who is in the United States but has not been “admitted” shall be viewed as an applicant for admission for purposes of this Act. And section 101(a)(13) of the INA says that the terms "admission" and "admitted" mean a lawful entry into the United States after an inspection and authorization by an immigration officer.

    This makes it possible for DHS to use expedited removal proceedings to deport undocumented aliens who already are in the United States without giving them hearings before an immigration judge, which is necessary now because the immigration court is experiencing a backlog crisis.


    As of the end of August 2017, the immigrant court's backlog was 632,261 cases, and the immigration court has only 330 immigration judges. The backlog is getting larger every year because the judges are not even able to keep up with the new cases they receive each year.

    Read more at http://thehill.com/opinion/immigrati...al-solution-to

    Published originally on The Hill.

    About the author. Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years; he subsequently served as an 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.






  2. New Deportation Cases of Unaccompanied Children Plummet Under Trump

    by , 10-18-2017 at 06:53 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Syracuse University's TRAC:

    These detailed case-by-case Immigration Court records trace court proceedings on removal orders sought by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for unaccompanied children (UAC) who have been apprehended by the agency. The data, current through August 31, 2017, was obtained and analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University from the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) under the Freedom of Information Act.

    The surge in unaccompanied children attempting to enter the country peaked during FY 2014 when there were 56,691 new child cases filed in the Immigration Court. More recently, in FY 2016, there were 48,401 new juvenile cases. This year has seen new UAC court cases plummet. During the first eleven months of FY 2017 court records show only 21,398 new cases.

    Click here for the full report.
  3. The Attorney General's Jaundiced--and Inaccurate--View of Asylum

    In a speech last week to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (the office that administers the nation's immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals), Attorney General and living Confederate Civil War monument, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, set out his views on the asylum system, asylum seekers, and immigration attorneys.
    Jeff Sessions speaks to an audience at the Executive Office for Immigration Review.


    Sad to say, Mr. Sessions described the asylum system in largely negative terms, and said not a word about the benefits that our country derives from offering asylum.

    While he views our asylum policy as "generous," and designed to "protect those who, through no fault of their own, cannot co-exist in their home country no matter where they go because of persecution based on fundamental things like their religion or nationality," Mr. Sessions feels that our generosity is being "abused" and that "smart attorneys have exploited loopholes in the law, court rulings, and lack of resources to substantially undermine the intent of Congress."

    Mr. Sessions also lambasts "dirty immigration lawyers who are encouraging their otherwise unlawfully present clients to make false claims of asylum providing them with the magic words needed to trigger the credible fear process."

    Indeed, Mr. Sessions believes that our asylum system is "subject to rampant abuse and fraud." Because the system is "overloaded with fake claims, it cannot deal effectively with just claims."

    First, it's quite sad that our nation's chief law enforcement officer would have such a jaundiced view of asylum. The idea that asylum is merely a generous benefit we offer to refugees, and that we receive nothing in return, is simply false. I've written about this point before, but it bears repeating. Asylum was created during the Cold War as a tool against the Soviet Union. We offered refuge to people fleeing Communism, and each person who defected to the West served as a testament to our system's superiority over our adversary.

    Now that the Cold War has ended, asylum still serves our strategic interests. It demonstrates our commitment to those who support and work for the values we believe in. It is tangible evidence that America stands with our friends. It gives our allies confidence that we will not let them down when times become tough. It shows that our foundational principles--free speech, religious liberty, equality, rule of law--are not empty words, but are ideals we actually stand behind.

    And of course, there are the asylees themselves, who contribute to our country with their energy, enthusiasm, and patriotism, often born of their experience living in places that are not safe, and that are not free.

    None of this came up during Mr. Sessions's talk. Perhaps he does not know how our nation has benefited from the asylum system. Or maybe he doesn't care. Or--what I suspect--he views asylum seekers as a threat to our security and a challenge to our country's (Christian and Caucasian) culture.

    The shame of it is that Mr. Sessions is demonstrably wrong on several points, and so possibly he reached his conclusions about asylum based on incorrect information.

    The most obvious error is his claims that "dirty immigration lawyers... are encouraging their otherwise unlawfully present clients to make false claims of asylum providing them with the magic words needed to trigger the credible fear process." Aliens who are "unlawfully present" in the U.S. are not subject to the credible fear process. That process is generally reserved for aliens arriving at the border who ask for asylum. Such applicants undergo a credible fear interview, which is an initial evaluation of eligibility for asylum. While this may be a technical point, Mr. Sessions raised the issue in a talk to EOIR, and so his audience presumably understands how the system works. That Mr. Sessions would make such a basic mistake in a speech to people who know better, demonstrates his ignorance of the subject matter (or at least the ignorance of his speech writers), and casts doubt on his over-all understanding of the asylum system.

    Mr. Sessions also says that our asylum system is "overloaded with fake claims." But how does he know this? And what exactly is a fake claim? In recent years, something like 40 to 50% of asylum cases have been granted. Are all those adjudicators being fooled? And what about denied cases? Are they all worthy of denial? There is, of course, anecdotal evidence of fraud—and in his talk, Mr. Sessions cites a few examples of “dirty” attorneys and applicants. But a few anecdotes does not compel a conclusion that the entire system is “subject to rampant abuse and fraud." I can point to anecdotes as well. I’ve seen cases granted that I suspected were false, but I’ve also seen cases denied that were pretty clearly grant-worthy. While I do think we need to remain vigilant for fraud, I have not seen evidence to support the type of wide-spread fraud referenced by the Attorney General.

    Finally, Mr. Sessions opines that "smart attorneys have exploited loopholes in the law, court rulings, and lack of resources to substantially undermine the intent of Congress." So court rulings undermine the intent of Congress? Any attorney who makes such a statement casts doubt on that lawyer’s competence and devotion to the rule of law, but when the Attorney General says it, we have real cause for concern. Thousands of federal court rulings—including from the U.S. Supreme Court—have interpreted our nation’s immigration laws (and all our other laws too). That is what courts do, and that is how the intent of Congress is interpreted and implemented in real-world situations. Attorneys who rely on court decisions are not “exploit[ing] loopholes in the law,” we are following the law.

    These are all pretty basic points, and it strikes me that when it comes to asylum, Mr. Sessions doesn’t get it. He seems not to understand the role of Congress, the courts, and lawyers in the asylum process. And he certainly doesn't understand the benefits our country receives from the asylum system.

    I’ve often said that President Trump’s maliciousness is tempered by his incompetence. With Attorney General Sessions, it is the opposite: His maliciousness is exacerbated by his incompetence. And I fear that asylum seekers--and our country’s devotion to the rule of law--will suffer because of it.

    Originally posted on the Asylumist: www.Asylumist.com.
    Tags: eoir, sessions Add / Edit Tags
  4. Far Right Islamophobic Parties Set to Take Power in Austria. What Do They Tell Us About Trump's Immigration Agenda? Roger Algase

    Update, October 17, 5:06 pm:

    Judge Derrick Watson of the Federal District Court in Hawaii has blocked implementation of the president's latest version of the Muslim entry ban, except for the two non-Muslim countries on the list, North Korea and Venezuela, which would not have been affected by the ban to any noticeable extent anyway, and which were obviously thrown in to the latest order purely as window dressing.

    In essence the Court ruled that the latest version of the ban does not differ materially from the discredited first two versions, in terms of discriminatory intent against the Muslim religion and abuse of presidential power in issuing the ban.

    POLITICO'S news story and link to the full 40-page decision can be accessed at:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/1...n-order-243875

    Judging from the news story (I have not yet read the full decision), and from court actions regarding previous versions of Trump's Muslim ban, the bedrock American Constitutional principle of separation of powers is still working well enough in this country to prevent Trump from banning immigrants from entering the US solely because of their adherence to a major religion with some 1.6 billion members throughout the world, purely by executive diktat.

    I am not familiar enough with the workings of the Austrian system of government to know whether the courts in that country have enough power to protect against similar religious bigotry on the part of the executive or legislature.

    In all likelihood, especially if the so-called Freedom Party, which was reportedly founded by former Nazis, is invited to join the government along with the equally Islamophobic People's party (see my comments below) there would not be any independent checks on the power of the government to bar Muslim refugees or immigrants.

    We all know where similar attitudes, and lack of effective checks against racial/religious bigotry on the part of a given country's Leadership (Fuehrer) toward a different minority (one which claims descent from the same Middle Eastern patriarch, Abraham, that Muslims also look back to) led to in the past in Europe.

    For this reason, it is all the more essential for the United States to preserve its Constitutional principles of freedom of religion and separation of powers, which are now threatened by our current president as never before, at least in our modern history, if ever.

    My earlier comment appears below.

    The following comment has been updated and expanded as of October 17 at 9:56 am:

    Sebastian Kurz, the 31-year old leader of the right wing Austrian People's Party, has been elected as the next Chancellor of Austria, largely by exploiting fears and animosity against Muslim refugees. His election has raised fears that he may partner with an even farther right wing party with even more extreme anti-Muslim right wing views, the Freedom Party, which was originally founded by ex-Nazis (real ones, not "Neo-Nazis" such as the ones who demonstrated in Charlottesville) in order to form a new government in Austria.

    The possibility that the two right wing parties, which came in first and second in the election by trying to outdo each other in promising harsh action to close Austria's borders to Muslim immigrants, might join together to form a government, was worrying to the leaders of Jewish organizations in particular, given that country's past history.

    Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, issued the following statement regarding the Freedom Party's anti-Muslim immigrant platform:

    "It is sad and distressing that such a platform should receive more than a quarter of the vote and become the country's second party...It is still full of xenophobes and racists and is, mildly put, very ambiguous toward Austria's Nazi past. My only hope is that they won't end up in government."

    http://www.npr.org/sections/parallel...new-chancellor

    Donald Trump also won power in large part by exploiting fear and prejudice against Muslim immigrants. His administration is still fighting in the Supreme Court and other federal courts for the power to ban almost all immigration from a number of almost 100 percent Muslim countries, using constantly shifting pretexts ("terror sponsorship", replaced by "extreme vetting") for the ban.

    For the latest developments in the federal District Court in Maryland concerning the Trump administration's ongoing Orwellian attempts to convince the courts that the latest version of Trump's Muslim ban executive orders is not really a Muslim ban based on religion, just as the WW2 Japanese-American internment order (mentioned by Maryland District Judge Chuang during the October 16 oral argument) was a "ban" based on race, see:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/1...aryland-243840

    Trump is also escalating his rhetoric and executive orders to try to exclude more and more non-white immigrants from every part of the world through his support of the heavily Eurocentric RAISE Act.

    Most recently, he has also launched an assault against family immigration, which benefits legal immigrants who are mainly from Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and which Trump refers to by the same derogatory term "Chain Migration" favored by the Alt-Right, Neo-Nazis and other American white supremacists.

    http://thehill.com/latino/355654-tru...tion-proposals

    For an example of the use of ​"Chain Migration" as a pejorative term referring to family immigration by non-European immigrants, see the following article in the publication American Renaissance, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as having been associated with white supremacist and white nationalist views, See:

    https://www.amren.com/news/2017/09/i...ain-migration/

    and

    https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-h...an-renaissance

    Could the Austrian election be a warning of the direction in which America could be heading - in which the same kind of bigotry against minority immigrants becomes the country's governing policy in the US as is now taking place in that central European one, with all of its dark history from the not-so-distant past?

    And if this happens, will America's democracy be strong enough to survive the effects of a government based on a foundation of racial and religious discrimination, such as that which led to the extinction of freedom in Europe within the living memory of many people today, and which many people are worried could happen again in the near future?

    Or will America go the way of what Senator John McCain (R-AZ), in an obvious reference to Donald Trump and his immigration policies, called:

    "...some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems"

    and which McCain also condemned as

    "unpatriotic as an attachment to any tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history"

    while also saying:

    "We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil." ?

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/16/john-mccain-nationalism-constitution-243848?lo=ap_b1


    Where did the phrase "Blood and Soil" which McCain, in his above remarks, in effect accused the Trump administration as adopting as its policy toward immigrants and other racial minorities in America (including Puerto Rican US citizens, whom Trump is still, horrifyingly, blaming for their own misfortune in the wake of the climate change related worst hurricane in their history),

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/sto...p-maria-215718

    come from?

    Ask the founders of Austria's extreme right wing Freedom Party, which may now be on the verge of becoming part of that country's government.

    They would know what "Blood and Soil" (Blut und Boden in German) means.

    Any readers who do not know the origin of this phrase, which the US Neo-Nazi white supremacists whom Donald Trump was so reluctant to condemn also chanted at their Charlottesville rally, can find out at:

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/12/us/cha...lly/index.html
    __________________________________

    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, Roger has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger's practice is concentrated primarily on H-1B specialty occupation and O-1 extraordinary ability work visas, J-1 training visas and green cards through Labor Certification (PERM) and though opposite sex or same sex marriage and other family relationships. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 10-17-2017 at 08:00 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Call for Reforms to Deeply Flawed Immigration Detention System

    by , 10-16-2017 at 08:14 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    For Immediate Release
    Oct. 16, 2017
    Contact: Rebecca Bryant (SMITH), 202-225-8901 rebecca.bryant@mail.house.gov
    Omer Farooque (JAYAPAL), 202-450-0088, omer.farooque@mail.house.gov

    Representatives Smith and Jayapal Call for Reforms to Deeply Flawed Immigration Detention System

    SEATTLE – Today, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) convened local stakeholders in support of the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act to dramatically reform the injustices in our current immigration detention system. At present, the detention system is driven by private, for-profit corporations that benefit from increased detention efforts, like the GEO Group which operates the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington. This bill moves to end the use of private facilities; repeal mandatory detention; and restore due process, oversight, accountability and transparency to the immigration detention system.

    “We must fix the injustices in our broken immigration detention system,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “As the Trump administration continues to push a misguided and dangerous immigration agenda, we need to ensure fair treatment and due process for immigrants and refugees faced with detention. This legislation will address some of the worst failings of our immigration policy, and restore integrity and humanity to immigration proceedings.”

    “The high moral cost of our inhumane immigration detention system is reprehensible. Large, private corporations operating detention centers are profiting off the suffering of men, women and children. We need an overhaul,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “It’s clear that the Trump administration is dismantling the few protections in place for detained immigrants even as he ramps up enforcement against parents and vulnerable populations. This bill addresses the most egregious problems with our immigration detention system. It’s Congress’ responsibility to step up and pass this bill.”

    In addition to repealing mandatory detention, a policy that often results in arbitrary and indefinite detention, the legislation creates a meaningful inspection process at detention facilities to ensure they meet the government’s own standards. The bill requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish legally enforceable civil detention standards in line with those adopted by the American Bar Association. With disturbing track records of abuse and neglect, DHS has a responsibility to ensure that facilities are held accountable for the humane treatment of those awaiting immigration proceedings.

    Individuals held in our immigration detention system are subject to civil law, but are often held in conditions identical to prisons. In many cases, detained people are simply awaiting their day in court. To correct the persistent failures of due process, the legislation requires the government to show probable cause to detain people, and implements a special rule for primary caregivers and vulnerable populations, including pregnant women and people with serious medical and mental health issues.

    “The immigrant detention and prison industrial complex breaks down the mental, emotional, and psychosocial development of our communities in various ways. I saw this firsthand when my family member was detained. I believe the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act provides transformative provisions that we have been working toward, to move the immigrant rights movement forward,” said Yvette Maganya, a OneAmerica youth leader and the niece of a survivor of the Northwest Detention Center. “I’ve seen the toll detention conditions have in our community. Our communities are being jailed in inhumane conditions with no accountability. Often they are jailed not because of what they did, but to fulfill cruel, arbitrary quotas. It is wrong to jail immigrants indefinitely with no accountability or oversight. This is why we need the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act.”

    “We are grateful for the leadership of Representatives Smith and Jayapal in ensuring that the rights and dignity of all peoples are respected. NWIRP supports the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act of 2017 that they have introduced and see it as a critical step toward making our immigration detention system more humane and more consistent with fundamental American values,” said Jorge L. Barón of Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

    “The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act is a crucial piece of legislation that introduces a wave of accountability that we desperately need. This officially puts the federal government on notice that we will no longer tolerate the rampant disregard for human life,” said Victoria Mena of Colectiva Legal del Pueblo.

    “Today, we’re facing an extremist expansion of our immigration detention system, which makes the Dignity for Detained Immigrants bill even more imperative. We have continually seen the ways in which conditions in the detention center and the traumatic experience of being detained deters people from fighting their cases. We stand in strong support of this important piece of legislation that sets a new, humane vision to reform our flawed immigration detention system,” said Roxana Norouzi of immigrant rights organization OneAmerica.

    The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act is cosponsored by 60 members of Congress: John Conyers Jr. (MI-13), John Lewis (GA-5), Louise Slaughter (NY-25), Jose Serrano (NY-15), Maxine Waters (CA-43), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Luis V. Gutiérrez (IL-4), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Bobby Rush (IL-1), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-7), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Elijah E. Cummings (MD-7), Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), Danny K. Davis (IL-7), James P. McGovern (MA-2), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), Betty McCollum (MN-4), Raúl Grijalva (AZ-3), Gwen Moore (WI-4), Steve Cohen (TN-9), Keith Ellison (MN-5), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr. (GA-4), André Carson (IN-7), Chellie Pingree (ME-1), Jared Polis (CO-2), Mike Quigley (IL-5), Judy Chu (CA-27), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Bill Foster (IL-11), David N. Cicilline (RI-1), Suzan DelBene (WA-1), Donald M. Payne Jr. (NJ-10), Colleen Hanabusa (HI-1), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8), Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-4), Mark Pocan (WI-2), Mark Takano (CA-41), Marc Veasey (TX-33), Katherine Clark (MA-5), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Ruben Gallego (AZ-7), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Kathleen M. Rice (NY-4), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Dwight Evans (PA-2), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Jamie Raskin (MD-8), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34).

    The legislation is also supported by 52 civil society organizations: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC, Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition, Center for Community Change, The Center for Victims of Torture, Church Council of Greater Seattle, Church World Service, Colectiva Legal del Pueblo, Columbia Legal Services, Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC), DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Democracy for America, Detention Watch Network, Entre Hermanos, FIRM, Grassroots Leadership, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Immigration Equality Action Fund, Indivisible Vashon, Just Detention International, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Make the Road CT, Make the Road New York, Make the Road NJ, MoveOn.org Civic Action, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), National Center for Transgender Equality, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National Immigrant Justice Center, National Immigration Law Center, National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, National Network to End Domestic Violence, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, OneAmerica, Our Revolution,Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), Southern Poverty Law Center, Tacoma Migrant Justice, Tahirih Justice Center, United We Dream, Wallingford Indivisible, Washington Community Action Network, Washington Defender Association, The Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network, Women’s Refugee Commission, 21 Progress, Asian Counseling and Referral Service.

    ###
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