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  1. Trump's Latest "Animals" Attack on Latino Immigrants Shows Clear Racial "Animus". This Could Mean More Court Setbacks for his Agenda. Roger Algase

    Update, May 20, 9:26 pm:

    See also, Juan Escalante:

    It's not just rhetoric. Trump's policies treat immigrants like me as animals

    Update, May 19 at 2:56 pm:

    For anther comment on how Trump's dehumanizing "animals" attack endangers all immigrants, not just gang members, see The Atlantic:

    Update, May 17 at 1:26 pm:

    For a great comment on the inhumanity of both Trump's racial attacks on Latino and other non-white immigrants and the unspeakable cruelty of his border family separation agenda, see Republican columnist Jennifer Rubin's excellent column in the May 17 Washington Post:

    Republicans are blowing their cover on DACA

    (I do not have a working link to this article - please go to Google to access.)

    As Rubin puts it very succinctly, "America is sullied" by Trump's vilification and treatment of immigrants and by those who support this agenda.

    My original comment appears below:

    When the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals famously struck down Trump's Muslim Ban executive order last year on the grounds that it was motivated by unconstitutional "animus" against Muslim immigrants based on their religion, Trump's lawyers tried to defend his Islamophobic statements as mere campaign rhetoric which should be disregarded, now that he is the president, not just a candidate.

    This defense will certainly not be available if immigrant advocates try to use Trump's much more recent statements referring to mainly Latino immigrants as "animals", including what one news outlet, not without justification, called his latest "racist anti-immigrant rant" at a May 16 White House meeting.

    While Trump's defenders and opponents will no doubt spend a lot of time and ink arguing over whether Trump's latest attempt to emulate Adolf Hitler by demonizing and dehumanizing a targeted group of people was aimed only at MS-13 gang members. or at mainly Latino unauthorized immigrants in general (and what difference does it make? The Nazi editor of Der Sturmer, Julius Streicher, used to publish lists of Jewish "criminals" and was later executed for war crimes as a result), the federal courts are already looking into the question whether Trump's ongoing expressions of hatred against Latino and other non-white immigrants may be used to invalidate parts of his deportation agenda, not only his Muslim ban orders.

    POLITICO legal analyst Josh Gerstein reports that the issue of whether Trump's cancellation of DACA was motivated in part or in whole by prejudice against Latino immigrants is now being looked into by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Gerstein reports as follows:

    "Disparaging remarks that President Donald Trump made about Latinos and Mexicans surfaced Tuesday [May 15] at a key appeals court hearing on the Trump administration's bid to end the program protecting so-called Dreamers - immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

    As a three-judge 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel considered whether to lift an injunction ordering the government to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Program, Judge John Owens repeatedly raised the question of whether racial bias played a part in the decision to wind down DACA."

    Gerstein's report continues:

    "Owens formulated his questions in constitutional terms, asking about
    'equal protection' claims, but a lawyer for DACA recipients jumped at the chance to talk about Trump's inflammatory statements.

    'The president both before and after he took office referred to individuals from the very countries they're coming from as drug dealers, as druggies, as criminals, as bad individuals,' said Mark Rosenbaum of Public Counsel."

    This exchange took place the day before Trump's latest assertion (though by no means the first one) that at least some Latino immigrants were not even human beings. One can only wonder how this latest expression of "animus" toward non-white immigrants will play out in the course of a pending ACLU lawsuit against Trump's brutal, if not openly sadistic, plan to separate immigrant children from their parents at the US border in order to "deter" unauthorized entry, or in other lawsuits which may very likely be filed in the future against other parts of Trump's agenda of limiting immigration to the US from non-white parts of the world and expelling millions of non-white immigrants from the US.

    For a report on the ACLU lawsuit, see:

    One point is beyond dispute, however. If one wants to use the term "inhuman" in the immigration context, that term is not appropriate to use about people from any country who may wish to come to or remain in the United States, no matter how much Donald Trump may be bothered by their ancestry, race or religion.

    The word "inhuman" applies much more readily to Trump's mass deportation and exclusion agenda in general - whether against Latino mothers seeking asylum for themselves and their children, Muslim refugees trying to escape war and persecution in the Middle East, or African and Haitian immigrants whom Trump wants to keep out of the United States because their skin color is not as light as that of people in "Countries like Norway."

    To summarize, Trump's "animals" comment about Latino immigrants leaves him open to the possibility of more federal court findings of animus against non-white immigrants which could, conceivably, jeopardize much of his inhuman anti-immigrant agenda.
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world receive work visas ad green cards for more than 30 years.

    Roger believes that immigration law must be looked at, first and foremost, from the perspective of racial justice and human rights. His email address is

    Updated 05-20-2018 at 08:30 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. What Happens When Asylum Is Granted?

    With all the bad news related to refugees and asylum seekers, I thought it might be nice to discuss something positive: What happens when an asylum case is granted?

    One of my clients celebrates her asylum grant.

    The fact is, despite the best efforts of the Trump Administration, people are still winning their cases. They are winning affirmatively at the Asylum Offices, and defensively in the Immigration Courts. There are some differences between an affirmative and a defensive grant, and we’ll talk about those first.

    If an applicant wins at the Asylum Office, she receives a letter indicting that asylum was granted. The date on the letter and the date of the asylum grant are usually not the same. To find the date that asylum was granted, look in the body of the letter on the first page. It will indicate that “asylum was granted on” a certain date. This is the date that matters for purposes of applying for a green card and obtaining certain government benefits.

    If asylum is granted in Court, the Immigration Judge will issue an order stating that asylum is granted. If the DHS attorney appeals, the case is not over, and will have to be adjudicated by the Board of Immigration Appeals. But if DHS does not appeal (or if the BIA has already indicated that asylum must be granted), then the case is over and the applicant has asylum. There is one more step that the applicant must take in order to complete the process. The person must bring his approval order and photo ID to USCIS, which will issue an I-94 indicating that the person has asylum, and will also create a new Employment Authorization Document ("EAD"). You can learn about that process here (check the link called post-order instructions).

    As soon as asylum is granted, you are eligible to work in the United States, even if you do not have an EAD (see Working in the United States). You can also get an unrestricted Social Security number by contacting the Social Security office.

    A person who wins asylum can file an I-730 petition for her spouse and children. To qualify for an I-730, the marriage must have existed prior to the date that asylum was granted. For a child to benefit from an I-730, the child must have been under 21 and unmarried at the time the asylum application was filed. If the child turned 21 before the asylum case was granted, he is still eligible to benefit from the I-730. However, if the child married after the case was filed, he is not eligible to bring his own spouse and children to the U.S. through the I-730 process.

    One year after asylum is granted, the alien may file for her lawful permanent residency ("LPR") (her green card) using form I-485. We used to advise people that they could file for the green card 30 days prior to their one-year asylum anniversary, and this used to work. But then we filed a green card application early, and USCIS rejected it. Since then, we have advised our clients to wait one full year before filing for their residency. Principal asylum applicants do not generally receive a green card interview, but dependents usually do. When you receive the LPR card, it will be back-dated by one year (so if you get the card on May 21, 2018, it will indicate that you have been an LPR since May 21, 2017). You can apply for U.S. citizenship based on the earlier date listed on the card.

    A person who wins asylum can obtain a Refugee Travel Document using form I-131. This document is valid for one year and is used in lieu of a passport, but there are some limitations. For example, returning to the country of feared persecution can result in termination of asylum status or lawful permanent residency (I wrote about this here). Also, not every country will accept the RTD as a travel document, so you have to check with the country's embassy in advance.

    People granted asylum may also be eligible for certain government benefits, including referrals for short-term cash and medical assistance, job development, trauma counseling, and English as a Foreign Language services. The Office of Refugee Resettlement has a state-by-state collection of agencies that can help with these and other services (once you identify agencies near you, you have to contact them directly). For those granted asylum affirmatively, the Asylum Office sometimes holds meetings to explain the benefits available to asylum seekers. You would have to ask your local Asylum Office about that. Be aware that after the case is granted, you have a very limited time to access most services, and so the sooner you reach out to provider organizations, the better.

    Asylees are eligible to attend university (asylum applicants who have an EAD are also eligible to attend most universities). In many cases, universities offer in-state tuition to people with asylum. There may also be scholarships available. You would have to reach out directly to the university to learn more about tuition discounts and scholarship money.

    Asylees also have certain legal obligations. If you are a male asylee (or a dependent) between the ages of 18 and 26, you must register for Selective Service. LPRs and citizens are also required to register. Also, like everyone else, asylees have to pay taxes and follow the law.

    Finally, asylees and LPRs must inform USCIS whenever they move to a new address. You are required to do this within 10 days of the move. You can notify USCIS of your new address by mailing them form AR-11 or filing it electronically. Either way, keep evidence that you filed the change of address form.

    Especially these days, I view every asylum win not only as a victory for the individual, but also as a victory for our country. Whether our leadership understands it or not, our nation is defined in large part by how we treat those coming to us for refuge. So if you have been granted asylum in the U.S., thank you for still believing in the American Dream--it helps the rest of us keep believing as well. And of course, Welcome to the USA!

    Originally posted on the Asylumist:
    Tags: asylum, granted Add / Edit Tags
  3. Rally Calling for Support for the One Day To Protect New Yorkers Act

    by , 05-16-2018 at 08:47 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    On May 22nd, the Immigrant Defense Project, Fortune Society, and over 100 advocates and elected officials, are heading to Albany to hold a rally calling on the legislature to support the One Day To Protect New Yorkers Act – a bill that would reduce the maximum sentence for a Class A Misdemeanor by just one day, from 365 to 364.

    This small change would give federal immigration judges the authority to exercise discretion in more deportation cases and would protect thousands of New Yorkers facing harsh immigration consequences stemming from a misdemeanor offense.

    Please help us spread the word about the rally, and raise awareness of the bill, which could save many vulnerable individuals from being permanently separated from their families and communities. Here's the social media toolkit with sample messaging and graphics to share with your networks.


    by , 05-16-2018 at 08:32 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    by Maria Schneider

    USCIS has recently issued two updates that impact F-1 students.

    Unlawful Presence

    On May 11, 2018, the USCIS issued a policy memorandum that changed the rules regarding unlawful presence for F-1 students. Unlawful presence begins to accrue once a foreign national has stayed beyond the end date on his/her I-94 card. Because F-1 I-94 cards do not have an end date, but show D/S (duration of status) as the term of stay, unlawful presence did not apply to F-1s.

    As of August 8, 2018, individuals in F, J, and M status who fail to maintain their status will start accruing unlawful presence on or after the date of one of the following events:

    • The day after DHS denies the student’s request for an immigration benefit with a formal finding that the student violated status while adjudicating the benefit request;
    • The day after the student’s I-94 expires;
    • The day after an immigration judge or in certain cases, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), orders the student excluded, deported, or removed;
    • The day after the student no longer pursues a course of study or authorized activity, or the day after the student engages in unauthorized activity (e.g. unauthorized employment); or
    • The day after the student completes his/her course of study or program, including any authorized CPT or OPT plus any authorized grace period.

    Individuals who have accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence are generally subject to a 3 year bar of re-entry to the US. Individuals who accrue more than 365 days of unlawful presence are generally subject to a 10 year bar of re-entry to the US.


    In April 2018, USCIS updated its website regarding STEM OPT extensions to indicate students are not permitted to engage in STEM OPT at third party worksite locations. No formal policy memo or update was announced regarding this change.

    The 2016 STEM OPT Rule requires only that the student be a bona fide employee of the employer signing the I-983 training plan. The I-983 does require that the student “receive on-site supervision and training” but does not specify if the employer must provide this supervision.

    This issue has been raised with DHS and members of Congress through industry groups and the American Immigration Lawyers Association and is currently under review.

    Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at and You can also visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinknedIn.
  5. Trump Administration Preparing to Take Refugee Children from their Mothers

    by , 05-16-2018 at 08:15 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Reminiscent of the Obama administration's strategy of jailing refugee mothers with children fleeing violence in deportation internment camps to "send a message," the Trump administration has decided to up the ante. The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration intends to rip immigrant children from the arms of their mothers when they arrive at our borders and detain them on military bases. It should be noted that both policies are merely varying degrees of horrific.

    From The Washington Post:

    According to an email notification sent to Pentagon staffers, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will make site visits at four military installations in Texas and Arkansas during the next two weeks to evaluate their suitability to shelter children.

    The bases would be used for minors under 18 who arrive at the border without an adult relative or after the government has separated them from their parents. HHS is the government agency responsible for providing minors with foster care until another adult relative can assume custody.

    Click here for more.

    Updated 05-16-2018 at 08:36 AM by MKolken

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