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I appeared on FOX & Friends. Here is the footage for those who missed it:
Updated 03-03-2017 at 08:51 AM by MKolken
Donald Trump's February 25 executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security to publish a list of crimes committed by immigrants, and his February 28 speech calling on DHS to create an office dealing with the victims of immigrant crime, recall some of the darkest periods in both American and world history when members of targeted ethnic groups, such as African-Americans in the US and Jews in Germany were stigmatized as "criminals" by the media and/or the government.
A comprehensive report in The Atlantic entitled: Trump Turns Unauthorized Immigrants into Scapegoats takes us back to some of this infamous history of racial attacks which most Americans thought we had put behind us, until Trump began his presidential campaign by demonizing Mexican immigrants as "criminals", "drug dealers" and "rapists" and calling for U.S. entry ban on Muslims from everywhere in the world (now reduced to seven countries - for the moment) as "terrorists". See:
In the above article, The Atlantic, citing historical information provided by a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, and which information is also familiar to many Americans, especially those who had already reached adulthood at the beginning of the 1960's civil rights era, reminds us that:
"Using crime to incite hatred has a long history in the United States...for at least a century after the end of slavery, northern newspapers generally identified African-Americans accused of committing crimes as 'negro' or 'colored'. "Southern newspapers generally referred to the offender as a 'negro criminal' in bold.
African-Americans were not the only group stigmatized as criminals in America.
The Atlantic continues:
"Government crime statistics reflected ethnic and racial fears too. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, notes Muhammad, when native-born Americans were growing alarmed by mass immigration from Southern and eastern Europe, big city police forces broke down crime statistics by European nationality."
At this point it is worth noting that several studies, including one mentioned in the above article, show that crime rates among immigrants are lower than among native-born Americans. While there has been some unsubstantiated speculation that these studies may be "incomplete", see:
no one has convincingly refuted their conclusions.
The most disturbing historical precedent of all, however, was in the Nazis' attempt to single out and demonize Jews as criminals, especially in the notorious Der Stuermer publication, whose publisher, Julius Streicher, was later convicted and executed as a war criminal after the end of WW2.
The Atlantic reports:
"...the Nazi newspaper Der Stuermer ...published readers' accounts of Jewish crimes...Hitler's ministry of Justice ordered prosecutors to forward every criminal indictment against a Jew so the ministry's press office could publicize it."
Of course, no one could rationally accuse Donald Trump of advocating either anti-Semitism or genocide, and it is not my purpose to make any such suggestion.
But there is a very troubling similarity between using accusations of crime to stigmatize and scapegoat targeted groups of people in the past, and Trump's attempt to stir up animosity against immigrants in America by doing what amounts to the same thing today.
Attorney at Law
Updated 03-23-2017 at 04:38 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
The VOICE office announced by President Trump in his SOTU speech on Tuesday night is the most disturbing, offensive, and misplaced priority he could have chosen to address the pressing need for immigration reform.
Moreover, it astonishes me how anyone with an understanding of the reality of the overwhelmingly positive immigrant contributions to our workforce, our communities, and our society as a whole could applaud such folly. It is mind-boggling that a person who purports to understand immigration law can honestly praise its introduction. Cf. N. Rappoport, Opinion Contributor, The Hill, “On immigrant crime, Trump's right. Americans deserve more data” (3/1/17).
Establishment of such a new office panders to unsubstantiated, and in fact, soundly refuted, fears of an immigrant crime wave, and fosters public hysteria that is utterly unfounded. Are there serious crimes committed by immigrants? Yes, although very few are violent offenses. They generally involve violations of state, not federal, law, and they are duly prosecuted and punished in our courts, without regard to the perpetrator’s immigration status. Any claimed value to the victim in connecting ICE to removable aliens for “information” is pure fantasy.
Moreover, proportionately, the immigrant crime rate is minimal compared to the crimes committed by the native population in the United States. See Ewing, W and Rumbaut, R., SPECIAL REPORT The Criminalization of Immigration in the United States, http://www.americanimmigration council.org/research/criminalization-immigration-united-states. A federal program for victims of crime committed by an immigrant as opposed to a United States citizen, erroneously propagates the destructive misconception that immigrants are mostly criminals. Cf. Spenkuch, Jörg L., Understanding the Impact of Immigration on Crime, 16 American Law and Economics Review 1,177-219 (2014), https://doi.org/10.1093/aler/aht017.
As leading scholar on immigrants and crime, Professor Ruben G. Rumbaut has stated,
"It [the VOICE office] will serve further to drive up fear and to sigmatize entire immigrant populations as criminals, using rare anecdotes to publicize misleading claims, even though every research study over many decades shows exactly the opposite: immigrants, including the undocumented, have the lowest crime (both violent and property crimes) and the lowest incarceration rates in the US."
What is more, the policy changes anticipated since President Trump’s inauguration may dismantle much needed agency resources that support implementation of critical humanitarian and domestic violence efforts, such as VAWA and other critical programs that have been part of DHS's portfolio. Those are the most important victim support resources that are needed. Information collection and communication can be achieved easily and made available to victims, policymakers, and scholars alike through accurate agency reporting.
There are more than adequate local police programs, as well as private and faith-based programs, available to victims of all crime in their communities. That is where victims will find the information and restitution they may seek. One would think an administration that seeks to reduce the the federal bureaucracy and rely upon the states to address all but those problems that demand federal intervention would shrink from imposing a duplicative and unnecessary venture that is likely to offer little more than one night of celebrity in a television audience.
Trump’s self-indulgent VOICE office paints a target on the backs of honorable, hard-working immigrants - and others who look like immigrants - in our population. He may derive satisfaction from the publicity of such a pointless gesture, but the office’s establishment does nothing to reform a deeply broken system that victimizes immigrants and citizens alike each day that nothing is done to reform it.
c.2017 Lory D. Rosenberg
This will come as no surprise to any of the regular readers of this blog, but to those new to the table, the immigration "court" in Atlanta is a problem.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that "Atlanta Immigration Court judges are failing to uphold ethical standards that ensure immigrants receive fair and impartial treatment – failures that warrant an investigation, according to the findings of a project by the Southern Poverty Law Center SPLC and Emory University School of Law."
A letter was forwarded to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) documenting prejudicial statements, a lack of courtesy and professionalism, a disinterest in proceedings, hostility towards immigrants, a disregard for legal arguments and standards, and a 98% denial rate on asylum applications, among others.
Immigration Judge Jonathan Pelletier responded to a courtroom discussion between attorneys about a point of law by saying, “I won’t listen” – indicating a disregard for the basic principles of law. Nearly all observers of Judge Earle Wilson’s courtroom reported that during hearings he routinely leaned back in his chair, placed his head in his hands and closed his eyes. He held this position for more than 20 minutes as a woman seeking asylum described the murders of her parents and siblings.
Click here to read the letter.
Updated 03-02-2017 at 02:48 PM by MKolken
In his speech last night to a joint session of congress, President Donald Trump mentioned that he has “ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to create an office to serve American Victims. The office is called VOICE — Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement. We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests.”
According to an article this month in Scientific American, immigration-crime research over the past 20 years has corroborated the conclusions of a number of early 20th century presidential commissions that found no backing for an immigration-crime connection. In fact, the literature demonstrates that immigrants commit fewer crimes, on average, than native-born Americans.
But did the researchers have the information they needed to substantiate those conclusions?
Read more at --
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 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.
Updated 03-02-2017 at 12:11 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs