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  1. Could America Turn Back Toward the Coolidge Era "Nordics-Only" 1924 Act Immigration Quotas in the Coming Years? Roger Algase

    Update: January 20, 1:13 pm:

    This is from President Trump's nationalistic, "America First" inaugural speech:

    "We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and Hire American."

    What does mean for the future of legal immigration in Donald Trump's America?

    Will "Hire American" become a cover slogan for "Make America White"?

    See my comment below about the support by Jeff Sessions, Trump's Attorney Genral designate, for bringing back shameful "Nordics-Only" immigration quotas of the 1920's in the name of protecting American workers.

    My original comment appears below:

    This comment will continue and expand on a topic I introduced in my January 4 comment: How secure will the future of employment-based immigration be under Jeff Sessions as the new Attorney General?

    In my previous comment, I referred to an immigration "Handbook" that Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), now to become the new Attorney General, prepared and distributed to his fellow Congressional Republicans in January, 2015, outlining his views on immigration policy objectives which he believed should be given priority. See:

    On page 10 of his "Handbook", Sessions made reference to a 1920's Coolidge era law which, ostensibly, had its main purpose as tightening the labor market in order to boost wages of American workers that had been driven down by too large an influx of immigrant workers.

    The reality is, that as anyone who has the slightest knowledge of US immigration history knows full well, the main purpose of that law, the Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924, was to exclude most, if not all, immigrants who were not from the "Nordic" countries of Western Europe, in pursuit of openly racial goals.

    No one could possibly know the background and history of that law better than Attorney-General designate Sessions himself, who, according to virtually all media reports, is one of Trump's closest advisers on immigration and who, as Attorney General, will have enormous power over America's immigration system.

    First, let us look at Sessions' own statement in his "Handbook", possibly one of the most disingenuous statements made about a major piece of immigration legislation by any politician or other public figure in modern times:

    On page 10 of the Handbook, Sessions states:

    "There had been a great wave of immigration in the four decades leading up to the Coolidge administration. This substantial increase in the labor pool had created a loose labor market that tilted the balance of power to large employers over everyday workers."

    Let us pause at this point and ask whether Sessions, who claims to be so concerned about whether immigration has "tilted the balance of power to large companies over everyday workers" , has ever supported legislation protecting the rights of everyday workers in dealing with employers of any size, such as the right to join labor unions.

    The answer is a resounding no, according to the AFL-CIO:

    Sessions continues (on page 10 of his Handbook) as follows:

    "Coolidge believed it was rational and sensible to swing the pendulum back toward the average wage-earning American."

    Certainly Coolidge "swung the pendulum back". But it was not swung back toward raising the wages or living standards of American workers. There is little if any historical evidence that this was a genuine concern for Coolidge, who had become famous for his union busting tactics against the Boston police in 1919 as Governor of Massachusetts.

    The "pendulum" that Sessions is talking about in his above statement was instead swung back toward orienting America's immigration system back toward northern Europe and putting an end to or reversing the great wave of Italian, Jewish and eastern European immigration which had taken place during the previous four decades, beginning in the 1890's.

    This is why, as shown in more detail below, the "national origins" immigration quotas imposed under the 1924 law were based on the relative ethnic origins of America's population, not in 1920, the most recent census year before the law was passed, but in 1890 (!) 30 years earlier and before the big increase in Catholic and Jewish immigration from southern and eastern Europe had begun.

    After signing the Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924 (more details about which appear below), Coolidge issued a proclamation. (See note 1, below) fixing the annual immigration quotas for immigrants who were born in the various countries of the world (other than "Western Hemisphere" countries, which were not affected by the quotas and did not account for a high percentage of US immigration at that time) according to the following typical examples:

    a) Germany: 51,227
    b) India: 100
    c) Great Britain and Northern Ireland: 34, 007
    d) China: 100
    e) Sweden: 9.561
    f) Japan: 100
    g) Norway: 6,443
    h) South Africa: 100

    Of course, as everyone knows, including, without the slightest possible doubt, Sessions himself, these obviously racially "tilted" quotas were not only biased against immigrants from Asia and Africa - they also almost entirely excluded immigrants from eastern Europe, with its large Jewish population and from mainly Catholic Southern Europe.

    The annual quota for Catholic Italy, for example was 3,845, about one tenth of the quota for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the annual quota for Russia, home to many Jews, was only 2,248, about 4 percent of the annual quota for Germany.

    (One can safely guess that immigration policies toward Russia may be considerably more generous under our new president than they were under President Coolidge!)

    Most of the smaller countries of southern and eastern Europe were also limited to law's minimum per country quota of 100 immigrants to the US per year.

    Why was there such an enormous bias in favor of the "Nordic" countries of Western Europe? As is beyond any serious dispute, and as Attorney-General designate Sessions cannot possibly be unaware, this was because of the racial thinking which was so prevalent in America of Coolidge's time.

    This is explained succinctly, and at the same time in great detail, in an article by Tanya Kateri Hernandez of Fordham Law School in 76 Oregon Law Review 731 (1997) with an extremely lengthy title beginning as follows:

    Construction of Race and Class Buffers in the Structure of Immigration Controls and Laws...

    For the abstract, see:

    Hernandez writes: (76 Or. L Rev. at 740):

    "The Immigration Act of 1924 restricted immigration on the basis of national origin and set quotas which favored immigrants from northern and western Europe. The legislation was tied to the rise of the pseudo-science of eugenics.

    During the House hearings on the Act, genetic theories concerning the superiority of White Nordic persons and the inferiority of all others were the prominent arguments for selective immigration. Representative Robert Allen of West Virginia stated: 'The primary restriction for the alien stream, however, is the necessity for purifying and keeping pure the blood of America.'"

    What does this have to do with Sessions' baseless and unsubstantiated claim that the main reason for passing the 1924 immigration act was to boost the wages of American workers?

    My next post will show how Trump, if he decides to do so, already has the power under INA Section 212(f) to reinstate the 1924 racial "national origin" immigration quotas, or impose a system resembling it, simply by presidential proclamation.

    This would effectively gut the 1965 immigration reform law which abolished the whites-only immigration regime of a century ago, a reform law which Trump indirectly criticized himself in his August 31 2016 Arizona immigration speech.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 01-20-2017 at 01:17 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Our immigration court crisis will be Trump's lasting headache, by Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty

    A recent editorial in the Washington Post claims that Americaís immigration courts are a ďdiorama of dysfunction.Ē
    The 300 judges have a backlog that totals more than 500,000 cases. The judges are scheduling hearings two and three years in the future. And the courts are places of ďDickensian impenetrability, operating under comically antiquated conditions.Ē
    Perhaps immigration adjudications should be moved from the Executive Branch to the Judicial.

    Read more at --

    Published initially in 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 twenty 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 01-17-2017 at 09:48 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Give DREAMers a break, hardliners a bone with GOP immigration bill. By Nolan Rappaport

    It has been more than 30 years since the passage of the last comprehensive immigration reform bill, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). The main reason for this, probably, is the fact that the Democrats have refused to go along with the Republican demand for effective interior enforcement of our immigration laws.

    IRCA was based on an agreement to create a legalization program for undocumented immigrants who already were in the country in return for interior enforcement measures that would prevent a new group of undocumented immigrants from taking the place of the ones being legalized.

    The Democrats got a legalization program, but the enforcement measures the Republicans were supposed to get were never fully implemented.


    Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) has provided the Democrats with a chance to show that they are ready again to accept a bill that includes effective enforcement measures. He has introduced a bill that combines serious enforcement provisions the Republicans want with benefit provisions the Democrats want.

    To read the rest of the article, go to Ė

    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 twenty 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 01-12-2017 at 10:19 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Mothers Held in Deportation Jail for 17 Months Pen Letter to Obama

    by , 01-12-2017 at 10:20 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Dear Mr. BARACK OBAMA, we are addressing you as a group of mothers who have been locked up for 17 months at BERKS COUNTY RESIDENTIAL CENTER in LEESPORT, PENNSYLVANIA.

    We are 16 families who have come for refuge, protection and help to the United States of America, but we are in a situation where we do not know what is going to happen to us, especially in this new phase of government transition. So we ask you to take conscience and give us the opportunity to finally be free.

    The only offense we committed was to enter without permission to the United States, for the sole reason of protecting the lives of our children from the extreme violence that we live in our countries. We are in a desperate situation.

    The federal court has granted us a stay while our lawyers request the Supreme Court to evaluate our case. Until this Court makes a final decision, we cannot be deported. While we expect the Supreme Court to give fair consideration to the fundamental rights of persons seeking refuge and asylum, we also urge you and your administration to consider the harm that this prolonged detention has caused us, the mothers and children who have lived detained for so long.

    It is not fair to spend 2 Christmases with our children in prison. They are psychologically ill and need specialized medical attention. With our children detained for so long, we, their mothers, feel powerless because they cry and ask us "When will we leave this JAIL?" "When can we have a NORMAL life?"

    All we ask for is an opportunity to present our asylum cases in order to stay in this country. We feel we can not return to our countries of origin. The conditions for women and children in our countries are getting worse every day, and because of this, every day we fear more for our lives and the lives of our children. Besides, we have families and legal advisers in this country ready to support us at every step of this process. We just ask for one opportunity.

    In previous days, we have seen in the news that you pardoned a group of people with criminal records, and we want to emphasize that the only "illegal" thing we have done is to have crossed the Rio Bravo without permission (which we believe we have already paid for, given the long time we have been in detention), to ask for protection for our families.

    The only thing we ask is that you pardon us, just as you did with these other people, you who still have the power to do so, and allow us to reunite with our families, who are waiting for us since 2015.

    We expect a prompt response, thank you in advance.


  5. OCAHO Finds No Jurisdiction Over Case

    By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Office of Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) found it did not have jurisdiction concerning alleging allegations of national origin discrimination and retaliation against a U.S. Army captain. See Windsor v. Captain Landeen, 12 OCAHO no. 1294 (Dec. 2016).

    Washington Younggil Kim Jung Windsor (ďWindsorĒ) sought employment as a recruiter at the U.S. Army Recruiting Command in New York. Windsor was not hired and alleged in a charge with the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) that it was because he is from South Korea. (At this time, Widsor was a lawful permanent resident. He later became a U. S. citizen).

    The OSC dismissed Windsorís charge because it determined it did not have jurisdiction over the U.S. Army. However, the OSC told Windsor that he could pursue a complaint with OCAHO against the U.S. Army and Captain Landeen. Thereafter, Windsor filed a complaint before OCAHO alleging the same facts as he did in his charge with the OSC.

    OCAHO initially determined that despite the complaint being filed against Captain Landeen, it alleged acts of Captain Landeen in his official capacity with U.S. Army. Thus, it reviewed whether a complaint can be brought against the U.S. Army under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    OCAHO found the U.S. Army was a part of the U.S. Department of Defense, a federal agency. Based upon that finding, it determined ďabsent a waiver, sovereign immunity shields the Federal Government and its agencies from suit.Ē OCAHO found no such waiver existed under the INA. Thus, it followed OCAHO caselaw which has held ďfederal government agencies are not amenable to suit under 8 U.S.C. ß 1324bĒ (cases alleging discrimination due to citizenship status, national origin, retaliation or document abuse). Based upon this analysis, OCAHO dismissed Windsorís complaint.
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