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  1. Tang Dynasty: China's Golden Age Of Immigration - 13 Centuries Ago. By Roger Algase

    In the February 16 issue of Immigration Daily, I wrote a post about an ancient Roman ideal of welcoming immigrants, at least as imagined by the greatest of all Roman epic poets, Virgil, in his Aeneid. In this post, I will look at another ancient society, Tang Dynasty China (618 - 907) which was not only open to a great variety of immigrants in fact, not just in poetry, but which owed much of its splendor and achievement to its welcoming attitude toward people of many different ethnic groups, cultures and religions.

    First, a disclaimer: While I have had at least some brief exposure to ancient Roman literature and the Latin language, I have no expertise whatsoever in Chinese history, culture or languages, ancient or modern. Therefore almost everything in this post dealing with Tang Dynasty China is taken from a fascinating, but anonymous, article on a website called entitled (somewhat misleadingly, in my view) The Exoticism in Tang (618-907). See:

    The article begins with a quotation from a poem that sets the stage for the theme of foreign influence in Chinese society during the Tang Dynasty, which has long been regarded as a golden age by China scholars. The poem, by Tang Poet Yuan Chen, includes the following lines:

    "Ever since the Western horsemen began raising smut and dust / Fur and fleece, rank and rancid, have filled Hsien and Lo. / Women make themselves Western matrons by the study of Western makeup; / Entertainers present Western tunes, in their devotion to Western music."

    There can be no doubt that China in the Tang Dynasty was a great civilization - the greatest of its time and one of the greatest that the world has ever known: The above article states:

    "Peace and prosperity prevailed during Tang. Population tripled from the 630's to 755, when nearly 9 million families and 53 million people were recorded. It was a century of low prices and economic stabilization and an age of movement, when settlers migrated in great number. Around the 8th century, the capital of the Tang Dynasty was the biggest, wealthiest and most advanced city in the world...and was the center of the largest empire on earth. While London was just a market town of a few thousand people, Ch'ang-an and its suburbs [contained] around two million people."

    Who were these inhabitants? They included very diverse groups of people.

    "Tang welcomed other cultures and other people. Chinese life and Chinese art had been touched by strong foreign influences during the Tang Dynasty. One would pass people from almost everywhere in the streets. Merchants from Central Asia, with think beards, sold wine in goatskin bags. Blond women shopped in the market. Religious pilgrims from Central Asia or India wandered the streets in sandals. Settling into the life of Chang'an, the visitor would discover a culture as sophisticated as that in a modern global center like New York or Paris."

    The article provides further details:

    "Most of the foreigners who came to China during [the] Tang Dynasty were Turks, Uighurs, Tocharians, Sogdians, and the Jews in the north [compared] to the Chams, Khmers, Javanese and Sinhalese who crowded the south. In both places, there were many Arabs, Persians and Indians."

    Tang Dynasty China was open to foreign influence in many different fields of life, including music, literature, sports, fashion and cuisine:

    "Music, arts and sports were part of both life and death in this affluent Tang society. They were enriched by importation. During the 8th Century, Central Asiatic harpers and dancers were enormously popular in Chinese cities. Turkish folk songs were introduced and had influence on some Chinese poems...Today Chinese names for many instruments betray their foreign origin...

    The artists of [the] Tang loved to show the gods and saints of alien places and the sculptors loved horses and alien faces...

    "Fashions in the two capitals, Chang'an and Loyang, tended to follow Turkish and east Iranian styles...The most extreme enthusiasm for foreign customs was reported when the prince Li Cheng-Chien, [Emperor] Tai -Tsung's son, preferred to speak Turkish [rather] than Chinese and erected a complete Turkish camp on the palace ground, where he lived and dressed like a Turk."

    In no area was Tang Dynasty China more open to foreign influence than in matters of religion. Paul S. Ropp, Professor of History at Clark University writes in his book China in World History (Oxford University Press, 2010):

    "The Tang capital, Chang'an, was one of the world's great global crossroads. All types of religious groups were to be found there, including Indian, Japanese, Korean and Tibetan Buddhists, Persian priests, Nestorian Christians, Zoroastrians, and merchants from many parts of the globe..."

    If the Tang Dynasty had had an F-1 student visa, the educational institutions of that time would no doubt have been busy issuing I-20 forms. The article states:

    "To the great learning center called the National Academy, students came from Koguryo, Paekche, Silla [all three located in present day Korea] Japan and Tibet to study Confucianism, Buddhism, literature, art and architecture. Some competed with the Chinese in civil service examinations. Some adopted Chinese names and served the Tang court."

    What, if any, were the legal restrictions on this great influx of people from so many different parts of the world? One thing we can be sure of is that there were no reports of quota backlogs, RFE's, visa petition or labor certification denials, removal proceedings or e-verify, at least so far as I have been able to discover.

    To be continued in Part 2
    Roger Algase is a New York lawyer and graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been practicing employment-based and family-based immigration law for more than 30 years.

    His practice includes H-1B, O-1, and L-1 work visas and J-1 training visas, as well as green cards through labor certification, extraordinary ability and opposite sex or same sex marriage, among other immigration and citizenship cases. Roger's email address is

    Questions and comments are welcome.

    Updated 03-16-2015 at 02:14 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Attempted Suicide, Signs of Child Malnutrition at Family Deportation Jail

    by , 03-11-2015 at 09:33 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    From the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)


    International human rights watchdog the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) and its legal partner in Texas are reporting an attempted suicide last week at Dilley Family Detention Center and signs of malnutrition and dehydration among Central American mothers and small children being held at Karnes Detention Center.

    UUSC and the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), San Antonio, Texas, say the asylum seekers are suffering physical and psychological harm resulting from protracted, unwarranted detention and "prison-like conditions."

    Last week a woman at the Dilley center attempted to take her own life. The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, had been held at Dilley since late December of 2014. In January of this year she and her young child both were found to have favorable credible fear findings, a process which allows for individuals to pursue their asylum cases.

    "This incident is something that could have been prevented, and unless ICE takes action, this incident will repeat itself," said RAICES Executive Director Jonathan Ryan, in reference to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is responsible for the detention centers.

    "In response to the attempted suicide, ICE is still refusing to release the woman, instead choosing to separate the young mother from her child, and is sending her to the Laredo Detention Center," Ryan said.

    "This is inexcusable. This mother should be allowed to reunite with family in New York. She should be provided with much needed support, not extended detention."

    Rachel Gore Freed
    , senior program leader for UUSC's Rights at Risk initiative, interviewed mothers at Karnes Detention Center last week and found conditions that signal "unacceptable treatment and poor food and water quality, particularly for nursing mothers and small children."

    Signs of malnutrition among children, 'hair coming out in chunks'

    "As a human rights lawyer and a parent, I am horrified by what I saw at Karnes," she said. "The refugees said they are offered inappropriate food like hamburgers and the only thing they can stomach is the rice and beans and an occasional tortilla they are provided. A significant number of the children are showing signs of malnourishment.

    "The women I met all told me their hair was coming out in chunks, even that of their children, and that the water has a chemical taste," said Freed.

    RAICES' Ryan said there are several hundred women detained at Dilley to date. The newly opened Dilley facility has capacity for more than 2,000 detainees. Karnes Detention Center presently holds hundreds more women and children, "all of whom are fleeing extreme violence in their home countries," said Ryan.

    "These women, and often very young children, have been the victim of threats on their lives or have seen others close to them murdered. These are very vulnerable individuals who deserve the utmost care, something which the Dilley detention center cannot provide."

    ICE setting bonds up to $15,000

    UUSC and RAICES have also found that ICE has been setting bond rates as high as $15,000 for the women. "To these women, that's the same as no bond, no release," said UUSC's Freed.
    With the help of an attorney, immigrants can request a bond hearing to determine whether ICE’s bond is reasonable. "This is why finding pro bono representation for the women and children is critical," she said.

    Although judges are reportedly determining final bond fees averaging $5,000, Freed said that amount is still too high for most of the women to meet, even with help from outside sources. "That leaves them in limbo, exaggerating the anxiety and fear for their and their children's futures."

    Nationwide petition

    UUSC has issued a nationwide petition, calling on President Obama and the administration to end imprisonment of child refugees and their mothers.
    Treatment 'counter to UN Rights of the Child protections'

    UUSC believes the reports of poor conditions and treatment of the detained Central American mothers and children are counter to the protections of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

    The UNCRC requires parties to ensure that children are detained only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest possible period of time. The U.S. signed the UNCRC but is one of just two U.N. members who have not ratified it. The other non-ratifying member is South Sudan.

    UUSC's Rights at Risk initiative defends communities on the margins whose rights have been violated during large-scale humanitarian disasters and whose rights have been eradicated by genocide, man-made conflict and forced migration. The international agency seeks to humanize the plight of migrants, decriminalize the movement of those fleeing persecution across borders, and protect the safety and dignity of both refugees and internally displaced persons.


    The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a human rights organization powered by grassroots collaboration, working throughout the United States and more than a dozen other countries worldwide. Since 1940, UUSC has fostered social, economic, and environmental justice, protected civil liberties, worked toward a world free from oppression, delivered aid with dignity, and advanced the rights of people left behind during conflicts and natural disasters.

    Updated 05-29-2015 at 10:46 AM by MKolken


    by , 03-11-2015 at 05:01 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    The Department of State has just released the April 2015 Visa Bulletin. This is the seventh Visa Bulletin of the 2015 US Fiscal Year, which began October 1, 2014. There is once again very positive news for many immigrant visa categories.

    The biggest news is the continued progression of the Philippines EB-3, the Worldwide-All Other (ROW) EB-3 date and the Mexican EB-3 date. These are all now at October 2014, which is the closest to current they have been in many years. This is yet another large progression in dates.

    India EB-2 climbed forward steadily as well. It has moved to September 2007, representing a 2 and a half year increase in the last three months.

    Chinese numbers righted themselves. For two years the Chinese EB-3 has been more favorable than Chinese EB-2. With this Visa Bulletin, Chinese EB-2 is now the better date.

    Employment- Based All Other CHINA - mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
    1st C C C C C
    2nd C 01APR11 01SEP07 C C
    3rd 01OCT14 01JAN11 08JAN04 01OCT14 01OCT14

    Read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at or You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  4. OSC and Hilton Hotels Settle Immigration Discrimination Case

    By Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

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    The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) has reached a settlement with Hilton Worldwide (Hilton) to resolve allegations that Hilton discriminated against a foreign-born worker.

    The settlement comes after an investigation into a complaint that was called-in to the OSC Worker Hotline. OSC’s investigation found reasonable cause to believe that Hilton engaged in citizenship status discrimination - “document abuse”, during the employment eligibility verification process in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Specifically, the department found that a Hilton-owned hotel in Naples, Florida, discriminated against an asylee by improperly rejecting his Social Security card when the hotel reverified his employment authorization.

    The anti-discrimination provision of the INA prohibits employers from rejecting an employee’s work-authorization documents because of the employee’s citizenship, immigration status or national origin. The INA also prohibits employers from specifying documents that employees must present during the employment eligibility verification process, and employers cannot reject documents that reasonably appear to be genuine and relate to the worker.

    Under the settlement agreement, Hilton will pay $550 in civil penalties to the United States; pay $12,600 in back pay to the worker who brought the complaint; revise its employment eligibility verification policies; undergo training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, and be subject to monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices for two years in its owned or managed Florida Hotels.

    This settlement demonstrates that employers, large and small, can benefit from incorporating INA anti-discrimination provisions into a company I-9 Compliance policy, and from conducting immigration compliance training.

    A copy of the Hilton Worldwide settlement agreement can be viewed here.

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Size:  2.9 KB ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bruce Buchanan is an attorney with the law firm of Siskind Susser P.C. - - a full service U.S. immigration law firm representing employers and individuals nationwide for over 20 years. You can also follow this author on social media via Facebook and on Twitter @BuchananVisaLaw .
  5. Report: Detaining Children Results in Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment

    by , 03-10-2015 at 08:57 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture has found that detaining immigrant children results in "cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment." It has been recommended that States that detain children immigrants, such as the United States, should "cease the detention of children, with or without their parents, on the basis of their immigration status."

    The report concluded that:

    • Detention of children should be used only for the shortest possible period of time, only if it is in the best interest of the child, and limited to exceptional cases.
    • States should adopt alternatives to detention for children whenever possible.
    • Minimum age of criminal responsibility no lower than 12 years old.
    • No life sentences without parole for children (and even lengthy sentences can be grossly disproportionate and amount to ill-treatment).
    • No use of restraints for children deprived of their liberty under any circumstance.
    • No solitary confinement for children deprived of their liberty.
    • No death penalty for children deprived of their liberty.
    • No corporal punishment for children deprived of their liberty.
    • No immigration detention (detention of children based on migration status is never in the best interests of child, is grossly disproportionate, and constitutes ill-treatment).
    • Special attention should be paid to children deprived of their liberty in health- and social-care institutions, including in private settings.

    Are you listening President Obama?
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