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  1. Trump Calls for DACA "Bill of Love". But He Wants to End Visa Programs for Black Immigrants From "Shithole Countries". Roger Algase

    Update: January 16, 5:00 pm.

    A correction to my comment below quoting the president of the United States' racist comment about Haitian and African immigrants may be in order. According to a January 15 report in The Guardian, Trump may have used the term "shithouse" countries instead of "shithole" countries in referring to the above parts of the world.

    I always try to quote the president and anyone else I mention in my comments correctly, and I apologize to readers if I quoted Trump inaccurately by saying that he accused black immigrants of coming from "shithole" countries, when he reportedly might really have said "shithouse" instead.

    My previous comments follow:

    Update, January 11, 11:01 pm:

    As reported by nearly every major news outlet in America, Trump hot a new low in deranged racist ranting against immigrants of color when he made the following comment at a January 11 White House meeting on DACA and related immigration issues:

    "What do we want Haitians here for?
    Why do we want all these people from Africa here? Why do we want all these people from shithole countries?...We should have people from places like Norway."

    Before Trump's above horrifying, venomous attack on black immigrants, which revealed the full, despicable depths of Trump's racist views and how they underpin his entire immigration agenda, while dragging all of America into the cesspool of hatred in the depths of Trump's own dark psyche, I wrote the following comments, which Trump has now just made obsolete with his vile expression of hate against immigrants of color.

    My original comment is as follows:

    In an open, bipartisan, televised White House meeting on January 9, Trump showed a remarkable and welcome example of democracy in action by appearing to welcome suggestions on immigration by Senators and Representatives on both sides of the immigration issue and suggesting that the two parties are not far apart on a solution for DACA and even a larger Comprehensive Immigration Reform Deal.

    Trump also called for a "Bill of Love" on DACA.

    The meeting did a great deal to dispel the closed-off, rigid, authoritarian image of a president with an inflexible white nationalist bias against immigrants from non-European parts of the world which Trump has built up during the past 2 and a half years in many of his other statements and actions as a presidential candidate and president.

    Perhaps most encouraging of all for immigration advocates, Trump drew withering criticism from columnist Ann Coulter, a strong opponent of all immigration from what she has called the "Third World", i.e. non-European countries. Coulter tweeted that Trump's "DACA lovefest" hurt him more than anything in a recent book by journalist Michael Wolff which questions the president's mental stability, as The Guardian also reports in the above story.

    However, a closer look at the details of the meeting, as also reported above, shows that if Coulter was afraid that Trump was changing his support for an agenda of reducing immigration to the US from outside Europe, she did not have much to worry about.

    According to the same news story:

    "[Trump]...said that a compromise must include an end to the family-based immigration policy, which he refers to as 'chain migration', and the elimination of the 'visa lottery' program, which he mischaracterized as an initiative that allows countries to 'give you the people they don't want.'"

    This continues Trump's recent policy of attacking and demonizing millions of legal family immigrants and Diversity Visa lottery immigrants who have come to the United States in the past few decades and made major contributions to American society. Yes, there are no doubt a small number of these immigrants who have committed crimes, with a crime rate that, according to some studies, is lower than that of native born US citizens.

    And two members of these immigrant groups, one family-based immigrant who came to the US as a child and later on became radicalized and killed 8 people in a terror attack; and another, radicalized, Diversity Visa immigrant, who tried to commit a terror attack are now being held up as examples by the president of the "danger" allegedly presented by some 30 or 40 million family immigrants and more than a million Diversity Visa immigrants who have used these two visa programs.

    As noted immigration law professor and former USCIS general counsel Stephen Legomsky wrote in an opinion piece discussed in ny January 9 Immigration Daily comment, this makes no sense at all. Neither does Trump's wild and delusional claim that the deranged lone wolf immigrant who ran over and killed 8 people recently in New York had sponsored 22 or 23 of his relatives for immigrant visas make any sense.

    As I also pointed out in a previous
    Immigration Daily comment, even the well known anti-immigrant advocate Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, who basically supports Trump's immigration agenda, said that Trump's claim was impossible or made no sense.

    What is the real reason why Trump and many of his fellow Republicans want to end "Chain Migration?

    Dana Lind explains on on December 29, 2017:

    "For people whose biggest fear regarding immigration is that immigrants will change the face of America - that they'll trample the country's 'traditionally' white, Christian majority - there's little more potent than the idea of immigrants bringing over huge families, replanting their communities whole in American soil."

    For the past half century, ever since the landmark 1965 immigration reform law abolished the openly racist "national origins" immigration quotas of the 1924 immigration act which had cut off immigration from most parts of the word outside of norther Europe, family immigration has been the foundation of America's immigration policy.

    Trump's attempts to demonize tens of millions of legal family immigrants and over a million legal immigrants who have come to the United States through the Diversity Visa as "criminals" and "terrorists" because of the actions of exactly two individuals only who have used these visas is just one more part of his agenda of moving back toward the almost exclusively whites only immigration regime of 100 years ago.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    To be continued

    Updated 01-16-2018 at 04:59 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs


    by , 01-09-2018 at 12:07 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    McClatchy reports that the Trump Administration has backed down from a threat that would have eliminated the ability of H-1B workers with long-pending green card cases to extend their H-1B status beyond 6 years. They had previously reported that the Trump Administration was considering the change to H-1B extensions.

    In a recent MU Law blog, we outlined the reasons that such a policy change was contrary to law. We explained that The Trump Administration would have lost if challenged in court. While Section 104 of AC21 might provide arguable cover for a Trump policy change, by law Section 106 of AC21 could not have been changed. Therefore any policy change to Section 104 would have simply resulted in USCIS granting H-1B extensions in one-year increments.

    McClatchy quotes an unnamed USCIS official who confirms our analysis and the analysis of many members of the business immigration bar:

    “What we can say, however, is that USCIS is not considering a regulatory change that would force H-1B visa holders to leave the United States by changing our interpretation of section 104(c) of AC-21, which provides for H-1B extensions beyond the 6 year limit,” the agency told McClatchy. “Even if it were, such a change would not likely result in these H-1B visa holders having to leave the United States because employers could request extensions in one-year increments under section 106(a)-(b) of AC21 instead.”


    Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at and You can also visit us on Facebook, Twitter and LinknedIn.
  3. Business Owner Goes to Jail for Fraudulent H-1B Scheme

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

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    The owner of two employment staffing companies was sentenced in federal court to 52 months in prison and a $50,000 fine for engaging in a scheme to submit fraudulent H-1B petitions for foreign workers. Previously, Sunitha Guntipally had pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud, obstruction of justice, use of false documents, mail fraud and witness tampering.

    Judge Lucy Koh stated the defendant’s conduct undermines respect for our legal immigration system and does tremendous damage to our institutions and affects the rights of others to immigrate to the United States.

    Guntipally and her husband, who own employment staffing companies DS Soft Tech and Equinett, and two co-conspirators submitted more than 100 fraudulent H-1B petitions to foreign workers to be placed at companies that either did not exist or never received the workers, according to federal prosecutors. The U.S. attorney’s office said the applications were intended to create a pool of H-1B beneficiaries who could then get hired by other companies, thereby unfairly giving Guntipally and her co-conspirators an advantage over other competing employment staffing firms.

    This case is another example of individuals being criminally liable for immigration law violations. For more information about immigration compliance issues, I invite you to read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, which I co-authored and is available at
  4. Waiting Is the Hardest Part

    The asylum backlog--both in court and at the asylum office--is years long. Hundreds of thousands of applicants are waiting, seemingly forever, to present their cases and to receive decisions. Many of these people are separated from children and spouses. Even for those who are not separated from family, the lengthy waits and uncertain outcome can have a serious psychological impact. Indeed, the human tragedy of the asylum backlog is apparent to anyone involved with the system.

    Some liminal spaces are more fun than others.

    A recent article by Professor Bridget M. Haas, Citizens-in-Waiting, Deportees-in-Waiting, Power, Temporality, and Suffering in the U.S. Asylum System, helps quantify the psychological suffering of those who wait. Prof. Haas followed 26 asylum seekers from seven countries between 2009 and 2012. Only four of the study participants received asylum from the Asylum Office. Twenty-two were referred to court, and the majority of those had their asylum cases denied. Seven of Prof. Haas's subjects left the U.S. or were deported during the period of her study.

    The Professor's findings largely comport with what you might expect--

    For asylum seekers, my data demonstrate that the liminality associated with asylum—of being “betwixt and between” a particular status or identity—is best understood not as a time of transition but rather as a time of rupture, as “a discontinuity of subjective time, in which powerful forces operate to change perceptions of time, space, and personal values.” The discontinuity wrought by asylum-seeking manifests as suspended life.

    In other words, the uncertainty of the waiting period leaves asylum applicants unable to move forward with their lives. They are literally stuck waiting. The problem seems to be compounded by the disconnect between asylum seekers’ expectations and the reality of the asylum process—

    Most participants had expected the asylum process to last “a couple of days” or “a matter of weeks.” That the process... would be such an arduous and protracted one was beyond their imaginations. Before filing an asylum application... participants had not conceived of a scenario in which their stories and personal histories would be denied credibility or be deemed undeserving of protection…. Ultimately, the disjuncture between expectations of treatment in the United States and the reality they faced was a source of confusion and distress for asylum seekers.

    Prof. Haas characterizes the asylum waiting period as one of "existential limbo” where "the very viability of their lives [is] in a state of profound uncertainty." This manifests in different ways, including "extreme anxiety," "powerlessness," and even suicidal thoughts. Asylum applicants had a "sense of being beaten down" by the process. They felt "hopelessness, despair, and futility." Many felt traumatized by the wait, and "experienced waiting itself... as a form of violence," which "inflict[ed] enduring psychic distress." Also, "waiting in limbo was understood as traumatic because of the life-and-death stakes it inhered for asylum seekers and the profound anxiety this produced."

    The state of limbo often prevents asylum seekers from "taking future-oriented actions," such as furthering their education, because of a "sense that these actions would be done in vain if [they] were to be deported."

    All this rings true for me. I observe my clients' suffering first hand, and in some cases--especially for those separated from young children--the damage caused by the asylum process can be worse than the harm caused by the persecution.

    Prof. Haas writes about her subjects' coping methods. She notes that "asylum seekers often engaged in activities that offered a distraction from the pain of waiting." "Other asylum seekers attempted to resist suffering through the refusal to acknowledge the present state of limbo." Still others turn to their religion for a sense of hope.

    These observations align with how I see my clients coping. I also think it is helpful to try to exert some control over the situation. For example, asylum seekers can attempt to expedite their cases. Even if this does not succeed, it provides an avenue for action, which may be better than passively waiting. Asylum seekers can also try to overcome the inertia of limbo by "taking future-oriented actions," even if that is difficult: Take a class, go to therapy, buy a house, start a family. In a case of giving advice that I probably could not accept myself, I advise my clients to live as if they will be staying here permanently. It's not easy, but it beats the alternative (of going insane).

    Finally, Prof. Haas's article has prompted me to think about the concept of "liminality" in asylum. The word "liminal" derives from the Latin "limen," meaning "threshold" or doorway. It refers to the in-between times and places in life.

    In Judaism, and I imagine in many other religions, liminal spaces are often viewed as holy. We place a mezuzah (a decorative case containing verses from the Torah) in the doorway of our home. We get married under a chuppah (a temporary canopy that symbolizes the new home the couple will create). We Jews spent 40 years wandering the dessert in order to transform from slaves to free people. And of course, the Bar or Bat Mitzvah marks the traditional transition from child to adult.

    Who are these rituals for? And how do they help? Prior to the Exodus, when G-d decided to kill the first born sons of Egypt, G-d instructed the Jews to place blood on their door posts, so the Angel of Death would pass over their homes. One rabbinic discourse explores whether the blood was on the outside or the inside of the doors. Was it meant for G-d, the Egyptians or the Jews? I like the idea that the blood was on the inside of the door, that it was meant to remind the Jewish people of why we were being spared, and of the sacrifice that all Egyptians were making for our freedom. I think there is value in such reminders.

    Perhaps by specifically noting these liminal times as transitory, and by recognizing their transformative nature, we can more easily endure the waiting. Whether it is even possible to view the asylum wait time in these terms, I do not know. But one way or another, this period will end. Each of us has only so much control over our own destinies. For asylum seekers, the future is more uncertain than for many others. We are all left to do our best in the time that we have. Put another way, we are all precarious fiddlers on the roof, and so we might as well play the best song that we can.

    Originally posted on the Asylumist:
    Tags: asylum, delay Add / Edit Tags
  5. Law Prof. and Former USCIS Counsel Blasts Trump for Blaming All Immigrants for Acts of Few; as Ethnic Cleansing of Salvadorans Proceeds. Roger Algase

    In a January 4 opinion piece in The Hill, Stephen Legomsky, a former USCIS General Counsel and a distinguished law professor whose textbook on immigration law is in standard use at 185 law schools throughout the United States, strongly criticized Donald Trump for blaming all immigrants for the actions of a few. See:

    Trump lumps all immigrants together at America's risk

    Legomsky gives four examples of Trump's entire classes of immigrants for the heinous actions of one or two only:

    1) Calling for a ban on all Muslim immigrants after a Muslim immigrant and her Muslim USC husband killed some Americans,

    2) Drastically cutting all refugee admissions because some refugees commit crimes,

    3) Calling for repeal of the Diversity Visa program because one diversity visa immigrant committed a terrorist act,

    4) Calling for large classes of family immigration (pejoratively called "chain migration") to be eliminated because ot a terrorist act committed by an immigrant who came to the US as a child in a family visa category.

    Legomsky writes:

    "The absurdity of condemning an entire group because of the actions of a single member seems self-evident."

    He might well have added that this is a time-worn tactic which has been used by dictators and autocrats throughout history, Now, under Trump, stigmatizing and demonizing all immigrants for the actions of a criminal or dangerous few appears about to become the new normal as a basis for America's immigration policy.

    Meanwhile, the Trump administration is moving ahead with its ethnic cleansing of non-white immigrants by revoking TPS for 200,000 vulnerable and desperate Salvadoran immigrants, who will be forced to return to their crime ridden, poverty stricken country, one of the most dangerous in the entire world.

    See, (January 9):

    Donald Trump Goes Full White Nationalist With Salvadoran Decision

    See also, (January 8):

    Trump's attacks on humanitarian immigration just became a full blown war

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 01-09-2018 at 07:53 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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