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  1. "Chain Migration" and Visa Lottery Originally Promoted White Immigration. That Changed, So Trump and GOP Now Want to Abolish Them. Roger Algase

    If the Federal Government shuts down beginning on January 20, the first anniversary of Donald Trump's inauguration as President, there can be little doubt that one of the main causes, if not the only one, will have been the president's persistent refusal to agree to a DACA solution that does not also met his repeated demand the "Chain Migration" (a pejorative term for family immigration for parents and siblings of US citizens) and the Diversity Visa Lottery must be abolished.

    Despite the efforts of Trump supporters to obfuscate or downplay the effect of Trump's horrific "shithole" (or was it "shithouse"?) comment on January 11, which was made in the course of Trump's reported angry rejection of a DACA proposal by a group of Senators which would NOT have ended family immigration or the Diversity Lottery, Trump has attacked both these programs so many times, and so pejoratively, that there can be no serious doubt that his opposition is based on race.

    As recently as January 17, two days before the shutdown deadline, the Daily Mail reported that Trump and his Republican supporters were still adamant about ending the Diversity lottery and cutting back on legal family based immigration, (which Trump has referred to several times, most recently in a December 29, 2017 tweet, as "horrible"), as the price for agreeing to a solution for DACA recipients - who are in a desperate situation only because Trump unilaterally cancelled their program four months ago, effective in March of this year.

    Beyond question, these two programs have become symbols of immigration in general from non-white areas of the world. For that reason, they have come under fierce attack from white supremacist spokesmen and politicians, politely referred to as immigration "conservatives" or "hard liners", whom Trump looks to and relies on as his "base".

    But "Chain Migration" and the Visa Lottery were not always identified with immigration from non-white parts of the world. Both were originally instituted for the purpose of maintaining the predominantly European focus of immigration and makeup of America's population.

    In order to understand this, we need to look at the history of the landmark 1965 immigration reform law which abolished the openly racist, "Nordics"-only immigration act of 1924, and which has formed the foundation of America's immigration policy for the past half century.

    A January 13 article by Alison Durkee on explains this history clearly and succinctly as follows:

    "Trump and [Arkansas Republican Senator Tom] Cotton's attacks on the 'un-American' program, however, ignore the fact that it was conservatives who imposed family-based immigration in the first place. Their intention, though, was to keep the country dominated by white Europeans, and has since backfired and led to the transformation of the US."

    The article continues:

    "The U.S. first adopted its emphasis on family immigration in the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, also known as the Hart-Celler Act. This was a transformative piece of legislation that abolished a prior system of national origin quotas that heavily favored Europeans...While the Democrat[ic]-led act was initially based aound skills and education that would be 'eapecially advantageous' to the U.S., a last minute political compromise was struck to assuage conservatives who wanted the U.S. to remain predominantly populated by white Europeans: family-based immigration."

    To be continued in a future installment.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 02-18-2018 at 09:20 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Re-Registration Period Now Open for Salvadorans with TPS Ending in September 2019

    by , 01-18-2018 at 12:17 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under El Salvador’s designation who want to maintain their status through the effective termination date of Sept. 9, 2019, must re-register between Jan. 18, 2018, and March 19, 2018.

    Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documents, have been published in the Federal Register and on

    All applicants must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. Applicants may also request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by submitting a completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, at the time of filing Form I-821, or separately at a later date.

    Both forms are free for download on USCIS’ website at

    USCIS will issue new EADs with a Sept. 9, 2019, expiration date to eligible Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs. Given the timeframes involved with processing TPS re-registration applications, however, USCIS recognizes that not all re-registrants will receive new EADs before their current EADs expire on March 9, 2018. Accordingly, USCIS has automatically extended the validity of EADs issued and currently valid under the TPS designation of El Salvador for 180 days, through Sept. 5, 2018.

    On Jan. 8, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen determined that the statutory conditions supporting El Salvador’s TPS designation on the basis of an environmental disaster are no longer met. Secretary Nielsen made her decision to terminate TPS for El Salvador after reviewing country conditions and consulting with appropriate U.S. government agencies. To allow time for an orderly transition, she also delayed the effective date of the termination for 18 months from the current expiration date of March 9, 2018. As a result of the delayed effective date, El Salvador’s TPS designation will end on Sept. 9, 2019.

    Salvadorans with TPS may wish to consult with qualified immigration attorneys or practitioners about their eligibility for another immigration status or benefit, or whether there is any other action they may want to take regarding their individual immigration circumstances.

    For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), and Facebook (/uscis).

    - USCIS -
  3. The One-Year Asylum Filing Deadline and What to Do About It

    The law requires that people who wish to seek asylum in the United States file their applications within one year of arriving here. See INA § 208(a)(2)(B). Those who fail to timely file are barred from asylum unless they meet an exception to the rule (they may still qualify for other—lesser—humanitarian benefits such as Withholding of Removal and relief under the United Nations Convention Against Torture).

    If you arrived in the U.S. on this day, you are still eligible to apply for asylum, even if it seems like a hundred years ago.

    So why do we have this rule? And what are the exceptions?

    Congress created the one-year bar in 1996. Its ostensible purpose is to prevent fraud. If you really fear return to your home country, the theory goes, one year should be enough time to figure things out and get your application filed.

    For most people, I suppose that this is true—they can ask questions, find help, and file for asylum within a year. But this is easier for some than for others. People who are less educated, people whose life experiences have taught them to mistrust and avoid authority, people who are isolated and socially disconnected, people who are depressed; such people might have a harder time with the one-year bar (and of course, many of these characteristics are common among asylum seekers). Others will have an easier time: Well-educated people, people who speak English, people who have a certain level of self-confidence, and people who are engaged with the community.

    There are also certain populations that seem to have difficulty with the one-year rule. At least in my experience, many LGBT asylum cases were filed after the one-year period. I suspect there are several reasons for this. For one, an immigrant’s primary connection to mainstream America is her community in the U.S. But if she is afraid to reveal her sexuality to her countrymen living here, and she cannot get their help with the asylum process, she may be unable to file on time. Also, there is the coming-out process itself. People in certain countries may not have even conceptualized themselves as gay, and so the process of accepting their own sexuality, telling others, and then applying for asylum may be lengthy and difficult.

    Asylum seekers like those discussed above are sometimes blocked by the one-year rule, but in these cases, the rule is not preventing fraud; it is harming bona fide applicants.

    Where the rule seems more likely to achieve its intended purpose is the case of the alien who has spent years in the United States without seeking asylum, and now finds himself in removal proceedings. Such aliens often file for asylum as a last-ditch effort to remain in the U.S. (or at least delay their deportation). Many people from Mexico and Central America are in this position, and the one-year rule often blocks them from obtaining asylum (in addition, such applicants often fear harm from criminals; this type of harm does not fit easily within the asylum framework and contributes to the high denial rate for such cases).

    Although there may be situations where the one-year bar prevents fraud, the vast majority of immigration lawyers—including this one—think it does little to block fake cases, and often times prevents legitimate asylum seekers from obtaining the protection they need. In short, we hate this rule, and if I ever become king, we will find other, more effective ways, to fight fraud. Until then, however, we have to live with it.

    So for those who have missed the one-year filing deadline, what to do?

    There are two exceptions to the one-year rule: Changed circumstances and extraordinary circumstances. See INA § 208(a)(2)(D). If you meet either of these exceptions, you may still be eligible for asylum. Federal regulations flesh out the meaning of these concepts. See 8 C.F.R. §§ 208.4(a)(4) & (5). First, changed circumstances--

    (4)(i) The term “changed circumstances” … refer to circumstances materially affecting the applicant's eligibility for asylum. They may include, but are not limited to: (A) Changes in conditions in the applicant’s country of nationality or, if the applicant is stateless, country of last habitual residence; (B) Changes in the applicant’s circumstances that materially affect the applicant’s eligibility for asylum, including changes in applicable U.S. law and activities the applicant becomes involved in outside the country of feared persecution that place the applicant at risk; or (C) In the case of an alien who had previously been included as a dependent in another alien’s pending asylum application, the loss of the spousal or parent-child relationship to the principal applicant through marriage, divorce, death, or attainment of age 21.

    (ii) The applicant shall file an asylum application within a reasonable period given those “changed circumstances.” If the applicant can establish that he or she did not become aware of the changed circumstances until after they occurred, such delayed awareness shall be taken into account in determining what constitutes a “reasonable period.”

    It is a bit unclear how long this "reasonable period" is. A few months is probably (but no guarantee) ok, but six months is probably too long. So if there are changed circumstances in your case, the sooner you file for asylum, the better.

    The regulations also define extraordinary circumstances--

    (5) The term "extraordinary circumstances” … shall refer to events or factors directly related to the failure to meet the 1-year deadline. Such circumstances may excuse the failure to file within the 1-year period as long as the alien filed the application within a reasonable period given those circumstances. The burden of proof is on the applicant to establish... that the circumstances were not intentionally created by the alien through his or her own action or inaction, that those circumstances were directly related to the alien’s failure to file the application within the 1-year period, and that the delay was reasonable under the circumstances. Those circumstances may include but are not limited to:
    (i) Serious illness or mental or physical disability, including any effects of persecution or violent harm suffered in the past, during the 1-year period after arrival;
    (ii) Legal disability (e.g., the applicant was an unaccompanied minor or suffered from a mental impairment) during the 1-year period after arrival;
    (iii) Ineffective assistance of counsel….
    (iv) The applicant maintained Temporary Protected Status, lawful immigrant or nonimmigrant status, or was given parole, until a reasonable period before the filing of the asylum application;
    (v) The applicant filed an asylum application prior to the expiration of the 1-year deadline, but that application was rejected by the Service as not properly filed, was returned to the applicant for corrections, and was refiled within a reasonable period thereafter; and
    (vi) The death or serious illness or incapacity of the applicant's legal representative or a member of the applicant's immediate family.

    Again, if you have extraordinary circumstances, you must file within a "reasonable period." How long you have to file has not been clearly defined, so the sooner you file, the safer you will be in terms of the one-year bar.

    When it comes to asylum, the best bet is to file within one year of arrival. But if you have missed that deadline, there are exceptions to the rule. These exceptions can be tricky, and so it would probably be wise to talk to a lawyer if you are filing late. It is always a shame when a strong asylum case is ruined by a one-year issue. Keep this deadline (emphasis on "dead") in mind, and file on time if you can.

    Originally posted on the Asylumist:
  4. 'Gang of Six' DACA bill is an exploitative political statement. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty

    Last week, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) met with President Donald Trump to discuss a DACA proposal that, according to Durbin, could be released to the public as early as Wednesday. Graham and Durbin are in a bipartisan group of senators that put the plan together, called the Gang of Six.

    President Barack Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to give temporary legal status to aliens who were brought to the United States illegally when they were children.

    There were 690,000 DACA participants when Trump terminated the program on September 5, 2017, with a six-month grace period.

    Trump rejected the Gang of Six’s proposal and criticized the democrats for not negotiating in good faith.

    On Sunday, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), another member of the Gang of Six, defended his Democratic colleagueson the This Week television program. He said the Democrats are negotiating in good faith, and the proposal is bipartisan. Three of the Gang of Six members are Republicans.

    Yet no matter how Flake describes the proposal, it is not a good faith attempt to find common ground with either the majority of congressional Republicans or the president.

    Five of the six senators in the Gang of Six were also in 2013’s the Gang of Eight, which showed the same disregard for majority Republican positions when they moved the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, S. 744, through the Senate.


    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.

    Updated 01-17-2018 at 03:52 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Gallup poll: Immigration a Top Problem for Republicans, Not for Democrats

    Story Highlights

    • Dissatisfaction with government is top problem overall

    • Immigration ties with government as the top problem among Republicans
    • 16% of Republicans vs. 4% of Democrats name immigration as top problem

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Partisan differences are clearly visible in Americans' assessments of themost important problem facing the country. Dissatisfaction with government ranks at or near the top of the list of the country's most important problems for both Republicans (16%) and Democrats(30%), though the percentages differ substantially. But while immigration ties dissatisfaction with government as the top problem among Republicans, it appears much lower on the list amongDemocrats.

    Mentions of immigration among Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP are up to16% from 9% last month, while just 4% of Democrats and Democratic leaners mention immigrationas the most important problem. Immigration-related issues are at the center of congressionalleaders' ongoing efforts to reach a budget deal and avoid a federal government shutdown.


    Submitted by Nolan Rappaport

    Updated 01-17-2018 at 03:51 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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