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  1. Trump Backs "Merit Based" Legal Immigration Cuts in "RAISE" Act, Whose Main "Merit" for Supporters is Fewer Minority Immigrants. Roger Algase

    Donald Trump. the same president who only a few months ago signed a "Buy American, Hire American" executive order directly aimed against the H-1B specialty worker visa program, has now unveiled a hypocritical proposal, in the form of a Senate bill introduced by two if his strongest Republican Senate supporters and known as the "RAISE" Act to reduce lower skilled legal immigration in America by eliminating certain family-based green card categories, abolishing the diversity visa lottery entirely (a program which particularly benefits immigrants from Africa), and cutting annual refugee admissions in half.

    For details, see:

    Despite Trump's well-publicized attacks against H-1B and by extension all high skilled immigration, he and the two Senators, Cotton and Perdue, are calling their bill, which is obviously intended to and very likely could in reality drastically cut back on legal immigration from Latin America and other non-white areas of the world, a "merit-based" immigration proposal.

    It is easy to see the "merit" in this proposal for Trump and his white nationalist supporters - many fewer legal immigrants from Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, by rolling back the race and religion neutral immigration system that America has had (at least in principle) for the past 50 years, and going back to the time of the notorious Nordics-only "national origins" immigration act of 1924, if not to the equally bigoted Chinese and other Asian exclusion laws beginning in the late 19th century.

    In a typical Trumpian blend of hatred and falsehood directed against mainly non-European legal immigrant population, the president introduced the bill as follows according to the above news item:

    "Instead of today's low-skilled system - which is a terrible system where anyone comes in, people who have never worked, people that are criminals, anyone comes in, we want a merit based system."

    Once again, the president never loses an opportunity to conflate immigration, even legal immigration in this case, with crime.

    There are also some exceptions to his attempts to demonize and stir up animosity against both legal and unauthorized immigrants - witness the 70 cooks, waiters, and other less skilled workers whom Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort is sponsoring for H-2B visas, as I have written about in a recent Immigration Daily post.

    As long as they have the "merit" of helping Trump's businesses keep their costs down against his competitors, we can safely assume that these particular low skilled workers will be welcome in the United States.
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, Roger has been helping skilled and professional workers from many diverse parts of the world, without regard to ethnic or religious background, but based only on their qualifications, obtain work visas and green cards.

    This is consistent with America's most fundamental values as a nation of immigrants. Roger's email address is

    Updated 08-06-2017 at 09:30 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Arizona and Maryland Become 9th and 10th States to Join E-Verify RIDE

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law PLLC

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    Arizona and Maryland have become the ninth and tenth states to join the Records and Information from DMVs for E-Verify (RIDE) Program. RIDE is an E-Verify initiative, in conjunction with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, linking the E-Verify system with participating state driverís licensing agencies. The prior states joining RIDE were Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

    RIDE allows E-Verify to validate the authenticity of driverís licenses and state identification cards presented by employees as I-9 form identity documents. The RIDE program attempts to mitigate the risk of fraud by comparing the data from the card with data supplied by statesí motor vehicle agencies. If E-Verify is not able to match the license or ID card to data within the DMV, the employer will receive a Tentative Non-confirmation (TNC) indicating the issue and must give the employee a Further Action Notice and opportunity to meet I-9 demands. In this manner, RIDE is designed to boost the accuracy of employment eligibility verification in E-Verify
  3. Ohio Mother of Four Set for Deportation After Traffic Violation

    by , 08-02-2017 at 09:17 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    So much for deporting bad hombres.

    Via ABC News:

    An Ohio woman, a mother of four, was scheduled to be deported on Tuesday after authorities discovered her immigration status during a traffic stop last month.

    Beatriz Morelos, who has lived in Painesville, Ohio, just east of Cleveland, for nearly two decades, was arrested for driving without a license last week, according to city records, which is when officials discovered that she has been living in the country illegally and turned her over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    She is scheduled to be deported on Tuesday to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, which is in an area that the U.S. Department of State warns travelers to avoid ďdue to violent crime, including homicide, armed robbery, carjacking, extortion and sexual assault,Ē according to its website.

    Click here for more of the story.
  4. Trump's Attempt to Demonize and Urge Brutality Against All Minority Immigrants in His MS-13 Gang Speech is Not a Joke. Roger Algase

    In the latest attempt by the president to avoid responsibility for his own inflammatory statements, his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, claimed on July 31 that Trump's July 28 speech in Long Island New York, urging immigration officers and local police to be "rough" with arrested gang members suspects (and by extension all immigrants, see below), was just "making a joke".

    If that was true, it could only be called a sick joke, one made at the expense of millions of Hispanic and other minority immigrants.

    But of course, anyone who actually reads his remarks or watches the video of the speech can see beyond any reasonable doubt that the speech was not a joke, but a deadly serious attempt to use the MS-13 gang to demonize, humiliate and urge violence against all non-white immigrants.

    While almost all of the press coverage of Trump's MS-13 speech focused on the issue of the president's endorsement of police brutality in general, something unheard of coming from a president of the United States (at least during my lifetime, beginning while Franklin D. Roosevelt was still president), but not by any means unheard of coming from fascist dictators such as Mussolini or Franco

    most of the media stories tended to downplay the connection which Trump tried to draw between MS-13 gang members and Latino and other minority immigrants in general, including the millions who have no criminal records whatsoever.

    However, one commentator on, an attorney by the name of Raul A. Reyes, who is also a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors, has shown the courage and the honesty to describe Trump's attack for what it really is - an attempt to demonize all Hispanic immigrants, not just members of criminal gangs who should, of course, be given top priority for deportation if found guilty of any crimes.

    Reyes' article is called:

    The real message in Trump's MS-13 speech

    Reyes writes, in plain words that it is hard to refute in good faith:

    "'We've started nipping it in the bud,' he [Trump] declared, referencing crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. He proudly referred to the comments made on the day he announced his presidential run, when he called immigrants from Mexico drug dealers and rapists - in a sense doubling down on the bigoted remarks that offended many Latinos."

    Reyes continues

    "Then again, that was Trump's real message. He wasn't on Long Island solely to take aim at MS-13, let alone announce any specific plans (beyond deportation) for eliminating them. Trump was on Long Island to conflate undocumented immigrants with crime once again and ti use demonization to try to justify his administration's harsh and inhumane deportation policies."

    While no one would attempt to justify or excuse the horrible murders that have in fact been committed by MS-13 gang members, Reyes emphasizes, in his conclusion, that they and other criminal immigrants are not the ultimate targets of Trump's rhetoric. or of his actions:

    "Meanwhile, immigration agents are detaining and deporting moms and dads of American kids, pastors and DREAMers. In fact, according to the government's statistics, immigration arrests are up by about 40%. This increase, however, has been driven by arrests of folks without criminal records; arrests of undocumented immigrants without criminal records [have] spiked by more than 150% since January. This is the reality of immigration enforcement that the Trump administration does not want to call attention to..."

    In other words, Trump is stirring up fear of criminal immigrants from Central America in order to justify mass deportation of millions of Hispanic and other minority immigrants who have been involved in no criminal activity whatsoever.

    This is not a new tactic. Dictators the world over, and throughout history, have tried to stigmatize and demonize targeted immigrants and other minority groups as criminals or dangers to security in order to force them to leave, or otherwise do away with them.

    This has been the case ever since (if not long before) the emperor Tiberius expelled the Jews and followers of Isis (the Egyptian goddess, that is) from Rome in 19 A.D. on the pretext of engaging in alleged subversive activities of one kind or another - historians have never been sure of exactly what they did to incur the emperor's wrath.

    But, obviously, in reading comments of both ancient and modern historians on this incident, it would appear that Tiberius expected to gain in some way from expelling members of these evidently unpopular minority groups.

    There can not be any serious doubt that Donald Trump is attempting to do the same thing in moving ahead with the mass deportation of some 11 million Latino and other minority immigrants, and that MS-13 is nothing more than a pretext.

    This is the real message of Donald Trump's July 28 Long Island, NY MS-13 speech.

    For more details about Tiberius' expulsion of Jews and Isis followers almost exactly 2,000 years ago, see:
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School who has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards for more than 35 years. Roger's email address is

    Updated 08-02-2017 at 10:39 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Employerís Reverifications Violate NLRA

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law
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    As an immigration attorney and former NLRB attorney, I am always fascinated when immigration law and immigration law overlap. That was the case in Cinelease, Inc., JD(SF)-33-77 (July 2017), where an Administrative Law Judge for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found an employer, Cinelease, to have violated Sections 8 (a)(1) and (3) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by actions related to reverifying employeesí work authorization documents.

    The issue of reverification arose after the Teamsters Union filed a petition with the NLRB seeking an election of the companyís warehouse employees. Within two weeks, Cineleaseís operations manager had a meeting with an employee and told how him that his work permit had expired. The employer said they learned of this information from another worker.

    Because of this information, Cinelease contacted their legal counsel, who advised to conduct an internal I-9 audit to verify all employeesí documentation. At that time, Cinelease did not have a procedure in place to conduct such an audit and had not been reverifying immigration documentation. Their immigration counsel gave Cinelease instructions from on how to conduct the audit although Cineleaseís managers and legal counsel could not agree on whether they were told to not re-verify green cards.

    Pursuant to the instructions, Cineleaseís HR manager reviewed all the employeesí I-9 forms and made a list of those employees with expired documentation. The list did not differentiate between expired green cards and expired work permits. (An employeeís green card or permanent residence does not end at the end of the employeeís green card and it is unlawful, under the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA), for an employer to reverify an employeeís green card status.)

    The company-wide audit showed 17 employees out of 165 employees had ďexpired work papers; seven of the 17 employees were warehouse employees. Next, Cinelease began calling in the 17 employees one by one and informing them they had expired work papers and to provide up to date documentation. Some of the employees had not provided updated work permits to Cinelease on a regular basis and only when Cinelease haphazardly requested such. One employee, Hugo Martinez, was unable to provide a current work permit; thus, Cinelease suspended him until December 18, 2016, one day after the NLRB conducted union election.

    Following reverifications of the employeesí documentation, attendance at union meetings declined. The union election ended at a tie. Additionally, the day after the election, suspended employee Martinez was told by Cinelease management that he could take more time to get new documentation.

    In concluding the requests to reverify employeesí employment authorization documents were a violation of Section 8 (a)(1) of the NLRA, the ALJ stated that normally this would not be a violation of the NLRA; rather, it is required under immigration law for work permits. However, the NLRB has previously found this action is unlawful if conducted in retaliation for union activity.

    Thus, the question is whether Cineleaseís actions were retaliatory. As the ALJ stated: ďIt is perfectly clear the documentation was not requested as part of the Respondentís ordinary practice of rechecking work authorizations. Rather, such large-scale rechecks of work authorizations was unprecedented.

    Cinelease argued it was just attempting to comply with immigration law. However, Cinelease also rechecked permanent residents, which under immigration law is prohibited. Even for permanent residents, Cinelease requested reverification of their cards, including those whose green cards had not expired. Ultimately, the ALJ found the reverifications were retaliatory and motivated by anger at the union campaign and Martinez for his union support. Thus, they violated the NLRA.

    The ALJ also found the suspension of Martinez was unlawful. This is interesting in that under immigration law, Cinelease took the correct action when it discovered his unauthorized status. But it did it for retaliatory reasons; thus, the ALJ found a violation. For a remedy, Martinez must provide proof of work authorization before Cinelease can put him back on the payroll.

    It will be interesting to see if Cinelease appeals the ALJís decision. I will keep you informed.
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