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  1. We don't need a terrorist attack to know diversity program has to go. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty

    A few days ago, a 29-year-old terrorist drove a rented pickup truck down a busy bicycle path in New York City, killing eight people and injuring a dozen more. The terrorist, a native of Uzbekistan, came to the United States in 2010 through the Diversity Visa Program (program) according to press reports. Uzbekistan is a large, majority-Muslim country located north of Afghanistan.

    The next day, President Donald Trump said he wants congress to terminate the program.

    Trump is not the first to want to end this program, and it is not just a partisan desire. The bipartisan Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, S.744, that the Senate passed in 2013 would have ended the program if it had not been rejected on other grounds in the House.

    S.744 was introduced by “the Gang of 8,” which included Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.); Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), author of the original DREAM Act; and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

    What is the Diversity Visa Program?


    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 an 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 20 years.

    Updated 11-03-2017 at 10:27 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Trump, Echoing Hitler, Condemns Courts as Too Weak to Deal With NYC Terror Attack and Tries to Undermine Independent Justice System. Roger Algase

    Comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler is something that should only be done with great caution and as an absolute last resort by anyone responsible observer who is concerned with the facts, rather than invective and sensationalism for its own sake It is a comparison that should be used only in extreme circumstances, where there is a clear and present danger to democracy.

    Unlike Hitler, Donald Trump is not a mass murderer; he does not bear any animus toward the Jewish people; he does not want to conquer the world; he does not subscribe to Hitler's extreme theories of racial superiority; he does not have a private group of thugs or police force such as Hitler's SA or Gestapo; and he has not (yet) sent anyone to a concentration camp (despite having pardoned Joe Arpiao, who boasted about his own "concentration camps" for Hispanic immigrants).

    However, with a great deal of reluctance and qualification, I am compelled to make the above comparison by Trump's continuing reaction to the New York City terror attack by a lone wolf radicalized Muslim immigrant whom Trump himself quite accurately called as "deranged", and Trump's attempt to use this attack as a vehicle for exploiting hatred toward minority immigrants in order to undermine the rule of law and destroy American democracy.

    In my comment in the November 2 Immigration Daily, I focused on Trump's attempt to use this horrendous attack which killed 8 innocent people, six of whom were foreign visitors to the US, and spread horror and terror throughout Lower Manhattan, where thousands of children were getting ready to celebrate Halloween, as an instrument of promoting a white supremacist immigration agenda - including support for abolishing the Diversity visa and enacting the Eurocentric RAISE Act.

    Today, I will focus on the other side of the coin of Trump's anti-immigrant attacks - namely the acute threat to America's democracy raised (no pun intended) by Trump's assault on the judicial system, which is the cornerstone of the freedoms that define the essence of America and what it means to be an American.

    In this regard, there is no choice except to point out the clear and unmistakable comparison with Trump's statements about our judicial system and Hitler's assault on the judiciary after taking power in Germany.

    I refer to Trump's comment about the upcoming prosecution of the terror "suspect", Saipov, following up on Trump's previous threat to send him to Guantanamo, which is the nearest thing that America has to a concentration camp (so far): POLITICO reports Trump as saying the following about prosecuting Saipov through America's regular system of justice in the federal courts:

    "We need quick justice and we need strong justice - much quicker and stronger than we have right now. Because what we have right now is a joke and it's a laughingstock. And no wonder so much of this stuff takes place."

    The last sentence is the most ominous of all, as it in effect blames the courts for "so much of this stuff", i.e. terror attacks. This is also not the first time that Trump has made this accusation, as shown in his reactions to the unfavorable court decisions concerning his Muslim ban executive orders.

    But the above statement as a whole is straight out of Adolf Hitler, who called democracy itself a joke. This is how the US Holocaust Memorial Museum describes Hitler's attitude toward the courts in reaction to the Reichstag Fire attack in 1933 by another "lone wolf" assailant, which Hitler blamed on Jews and political opponents, just as Trump is making more than a million mainly Asian and African Diversity Green card beneficiaries scapegoats for the New York Halloween terror attack:

    "Hitler determined to increase the political reliability of the courts. In 1933 he established special courts throughout Germany to try politically sensitive cases. Dissatisfied with the 'not guilty' verdicts rendered by the Supreme Court (Reichsgericht) in the Reichstag fire trial, Hitler ordered the creation of the People's Courts (Volksgerichthof) in Berlin in 1934 to try treason and other important 'political' cases."

    And what kind of justice did Hitler's special courts provide? The USHMM continues:

    "...the People's Court became part of the Nazi system of terror, condemning ten of thousands of people as 'Folk Vermin' and thousands more to death for 'Volk Treason'."

    To be sure, Trump has already, without any trial yet taking place, called for the death penalty for only one person, and no one can dispute that this might be entirely justified if a court of justice so rules after affording the terror suspect the due process which our legal system provides.

    But the death penalty is not the issue here - the issue is whether America will continue to have a system of justice that is not dependent solely on the will of Donald Trump, just the German courts depended on the will of their Fuehrer.

    Trump's use of the New York attack in service of his agenda of exploiting fear and hatred against not only Muslim, but all minority immigrants; and as an excuse for his assault on America's entire system of justice, comes straight out of Adolf Hitler's playbook. No one who cares about preserving America's democracy can ignore this comparison.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 11-03-2017 at 08:23 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Trump's Diversity Visa Demagoguery is One More Step on the Road to Guantanamo. Was NYC Attack America's Reichstag Fire? Roger Algase

    Update: November 2, 2:36 pm:

    For more on how Trump is using demagogic assaults on immigrants in order to undermine democracy and the rule of law in America in the wake of the October 31 New York City terror attack, see Washington Post, November 1:

    Trump seizes on N.Y. attack to push immigration and vetting policies

    (Sorry, I do not have a link - please go to Google)

    Trump's attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is also supporting Trump's threats to substitute Guantanamo for the rule of law in America, and his cynical attacks on the Diversity Visa, even though, up until October 31, (to the best of my knowledge) there had not been a single incident or charge involving terrorism against the more than a million immigrants from all parts the world who have come to the US with this visa since it was initiated in FY 1995 (see below).

    The following comment has been revised as of November 2 at 9:43 am:

    Few people were surprised when Donald Trump tried to use the horrific terror attack in Lower Manhattan by an openly ISIS inspired young US permanent resident man who reportedly came to the US through the diversity visa green card program as an excuse to call for that visa to be abolished.

    To mention the history of that visa briefly, it was originally known as the AA-1 program in from 1992 to 1994, with the avowed purpose of boosting white European immigration - which had supposedly been "Adversely Affected", (hence "AA") by the 1965 immigration reform act - which abolished the openly whites only "national origins" quotas of the 1924 immigration act.

    I had some familiarity with the AA-1 green card lottery myself, because in what, as I recall, was the last year of that program, I filed a number of applications under that program, which was almost entirely limited to designated white European countries, with special preferences for Ireland and Poland within that system.

    (Most of my own AA-1 clients were from two Asian countries, Japan and Indonesia, which were, if my memory is correct, the only non-white countries in that entire program - maybe Indonesia was picked because Congress might have thought it was still a Dutch colony - who knows)!

    But the point is that the AA-1 green card program was openly intended to boost immigration from white countries. Even though that visa was no more "merit-based" than the world wide, race-neutral Diversity Visa (DV program) which succeeded it beginning in Fiscal Year 1995. i do not remember hearing any complaints that AA-1 visa, which was almost only for white countries with few exceptions, was bad for America because almost anyone could apply, regardless of level of skills or education.

    These complaints began to be heard only after the DV-1 visa, which was open to countries in every part of the world, succeeded it. To claim that the green card lottery visas have never had anything to do with race or skin color, both pro and con, and that the same considerations have nothing to do with the push by Trump and his white nationalist base to abolish this visa, under which over a million almost entirely peaceful law abiding immigrants have come to America without a single terrorist incident until this one, is a simple and outright hoax - a cynical fraud.

    For a full history of the AA-1 and DV green card lottery programs, see.

    Andowah A. Newton:

    Injecting Diversity into U.S. Immigration Policy: The Diversity Visa Program and the Missing Discourse on its Impact on African Immigration to the United States

    38 Cornell International Law Journal 1049 (Issue 3, Article 18) June 3, 2005

    But the biggest danger in Trump's demagoguing the NYC terror attack as an excuse to abolish a visa program which has become a symbol for immigration from Asia and Africa, as opposed to Europe, which had never before been connected with terror in any way, and which has long been under attack from white supremacists, is that the racism at the heart of Trump's immigration policies could lead directly to full fascism in America.

    Trump's attempt to use the NYC attack to justify his return to the racial skin color-based immigration policies which governed America for most of our immigration history at least up until 1965 is also another step on his road to overthrowing America's democratic institutions and seizure of absolute power.

    This is evident from Trump's statement, reported on November 1, that he might send the NYC terror suspect to Guantanamo, because Trump thinks that America's regular justice system is "too slow" and "not strong enough".

    This is pure fascism - when a leader decides that his own will takes precedence over the normal institutions of government - in this case our criminal justice system. This does not mean that the New York terror suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, is a sympathetic case - he is clearly the worst of the worst.

    But if Trump can send Saipov to Guantanamo, then he has the power to send anyone there, whether an NBC or CNN journalist who writes or airs a story that Trump doesn't like, or someone who voted for a local Sanctuary City law - or, possibly, merely supported keeping the DV-1 green card lottery rather than abolishing it and replacing it with Trump's favorite, the Eurocentric RAISE Act.

    Almost exactly one year after his election, the authoritarian instincts which have worried so many Americans about Trump during his campaign and the first 9 months of his presidency, may now be completely unleashed and our democracy extinguished.

    If America goes full fascist under Trump, it will be the end of the road which began with his campaign attacks on Mexican and Muslim immigrants, continued with his Muslim ban and mass deportation orders on becoming the president, and is now being paved with his demagogic attempts to abolish the Diversity Visa and enact the RAISE Act which is heavily skewed toward immigration from white, European countries on a larger scale than the AA-1 visa lottery ever was.

    Could the October 31 attack in New York by an ISIS inspired terrorist with a green card be Donald Trump's Reichstag Fire?
    Roger Algase is a New York attorney and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, Roger has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger believes that America's freedom is based on its diversity, and if the latter disappears, the former will follow soon after. His email address is

    Updated 11-02-2017 at 09:08 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Reports of Increased Detention of Pregnant Women

    by , 11-01-2017 at 12:13 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    November 1, 2017
    Benjamin Soskin (Roybal-Allard): (202) 225-1766
    Omer Farooque (Jayapal): (202) 450-0088

    Seventy Members of Congress Demand Answers on Reports of Increased Detention of Pregnant Women

    Washington, DC – In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke, co-chairs of the Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform Congresswomen Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) led 68 of their fellow members of Congress in expressing concern about increased detention rates of pregnant immigrant women and recent miscarriages in detention centers across the United States.

    “While it is unavoidable that some women who come into Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or ICE custody will be pregnant, especially in light of the high rates of sexual assault women and girls experience on their journey, attorneys and advocates are reporting a marked increase in the number of pregnant women with serious medical concerns coming to their attention in recent months, and a seeming shift in the agency’s willingness to release pregnant women once the pregnancy is identified,” wrote the members.

    “The detention of pregnant women is cruel, high-risk, and almost never appropriate given the danger it poses to the life of both the mother and her unborn child,” the members continued. “[R]eports of pregnant women in custody and changes to the agency’s use of prosecutorial discretion as prescribed by President Trump’s January 25, 2017 executive orders by nongovernmental organizations and the media leave us concerned that ICE has altered or revoked its policies on the detention of pregnant women.”

    The members are advocating for increased transparency around the treatment of pregnant women in detention and are seeking clarification from DHS on safety procedures, detention numbers and durations of detention for pregnant immigrant women.

    A full copy of the letter can be found below:

    October 31, 2017

    The Honorable Elaine Duke
    Acting Secretary of Homeland Security
    U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    Washington, D.C. 20528

    Dear Acting Secretary Duke:

    We write to express our deep concern about reports of increased rates of detention of pregnant immigrant women across the country. Recent reports indicate that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained nearly 68,000 women in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, of which 525 were pregnant.[1] While it is unavoidable that some women who come into Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or ICE custody will be pregnant, especially in light of the high rates of sexual assault women and girls experience on their journey, attorneys and advocates are reporting a marked increase in the number of pregnant women with serious medical concerns coming to their attention in recent months, and a seeming shift in the agency’s willingness to release pregnant women once the pregnancy is identified. Alarmingly, there have been at least three miscarriages in detention in FY 2017, reportedly due to mistreatment and medical neglect, a cruel trauma that no expecting mother should have to endure.[2]

    On September 26, 2017, a complaint was filed on behalf of several women who either are or were pregnant in ICE custody; some were still in detention at the time the complaint was filed.[3] Given inadequacies in the medical care available and the overall stress and trauma of being detained, it is unconscionable that ICE should detain pregnant women except in the most extraordinary circumstances. Formerly and currently detained pregnant women and their attorneys report that pregnant women receive only the bare minimum of services and accommodations, and are routinely denied extra blankets, additional food, and adequate prenatal care.[4] Pregnant women are referred to outside obstetricians for their care and often endure shackling during transport to and from physicians’ offices, with sometimes horrific consequences.[5] Case examples such as the following illustrate the myriad ways in which detention can be harmful to pregnant women and their children:

    · Teresa, a Honduran asylum seeker, reported to CBP personnel at the San Ysidro port of entry that she was pregnant, in pain, and bleeding. Over the next four days, after she was transferred to ICE custody, she received no medical care despite having a medical intake screening upon her arrival at the Otay Mesa Detention Center. It was not until six days after she initially reported her pain and bleeding to CBP personnel that she was informed that she had miscarried.
    · Jacinta found out she was pregnant while in detention at the Northwest Detention Center. When ICE told her she was being deported, she began to feel anxious and to develop pains and nausea. Several days later, she began to have bleeding. Despite telling medical personal she was in severe pain, Jacinta, was forced to wait over an hour to see a doctor, who ordered her to be transported to a hospital. Because the ambulance was so slow in coming, Jacinta had to be transported sitting up in the back of a patrol car, which made the bleeding worse. At the hospital, she learned she had miscarried.[6]
    · Rosa, a Salvadoran asylum seeker, was detained for months and transferred at least six times to different facilities in the El Paso area despite her asylum claim and complications with her pregnancy. One transfer involved a 23-hour round trip with extremely limited access to food and a bathroom, after which she was hospitalized due to exhaustion and dehydration. While detained, she experienced nausea, abdominal pain, and vomited blood, and she reports that she received insufficient prenatal vitamins and medical care.[7]
    · Laura, an asylum seeker from Honduras, was detained in the South Texas Family Residential Center, one of the two family detention facilities in Texas, together with her five year old daughter. She’d experienced a miscarriage a year earlier after fleeing a gang who had threatened to kill her, and describes her experience in Dilley: “I have vomited four times here at STFRC. I also get headaches and feel dizzy sometimes, probably in part because the food here makes me lose my appetite and it is hard for me to eat when I am depressed. I have not told the doctor about most of this because he has not asked how I am feeling in the three times I have visited him.”
    · Ana,[8] who was pregnant when she was detained at Eloy, became so desperate to get out of detention because she feared it would harm her child that she accepted deportation back into the hands of her abusive partner.[9]

    The detention of pregnant women is cruel, high-risk, and almost never appropriate given the danger it poses to the life of both the mother and her unborn child. That is why ICE issued minimum standards for the care of pregnant women in its custody[10] and, in 2016, issued a memorandum to the field on Identification and Monitoring of Pregnant Detainees that prohibits the detention of pregnant women in all but the most “extraordinary circumstances” and for those who are not subject to mandatory detention.[11] The memo emphasizes the need for regular and appropriate medical care for pregnant women as well as for regular review of the custody determination of pregnant women and whether her continued detention remains “warranted” and “appropriate.”

    Despite these policies, reports of pregnant women in custody and changes to the agency’s use of prosecutorial discretion as prescribed by President Trump’s January 25, 2017 executive orders[12] by nongovernmental organizations and the media leave us concerned that ICE has altered or revoked its policies on the detention of pregnant women. At a minimum, it is clear that oversight and accountability mechanisms designed to ensure the safety of pregnant women are grossly lacking. We therefore seek answers to the following questions, and request that your response be received within 30 days:

    · How many pregnant women were in CBP and in ICE custody on the date this letter was transmitted (10/31/2017) and on the date of the agency’s response? (disaggregated by component agency and between family detention and ICE adult detention facilities)
    · What is the average daily population of pregnant women in CBP and in ICE custody? (disaggregated by component agency and between family detention and adult facilities)
    · How many pregnant women were held in CBP and in ICE custody each quarter beginning with the first quarter of FY 13 to date? (disaggregated by component agency and between family detention and adult facilities)
    · For each fiscal year since FY 2013 to date, what is the average length of stay for pregnant women in ICE custody (disaggregated between family detention and adult facilities)? Please break this down as follows:
    o The number of pregnant women in detention for less than 72 hours
    o The number of pregnant women in detention for more than 72 hours and less than one week
    o The number of pregnant women in detention for more than one week and less than one month
    o The number of pregnant women in detention for more than one month
    o The number of pregnant women in detention for more than two months
    · What is the status of the August 15, 2016 ICE Memorandum on Identification and Monitoring of Pregnant Detainees? Does the memorandum remain in effect? What changes to the memorandum were made or implied by the January 25, 2017 executive orders on immigration and border security? Please provide a copy of the most current form of the memorandum.
    · What is the current policy on the detention, release, or use of alternatives to detention for pregnant women who have passed a credible fear or reasonable fear interview? Does it differ in any way from the above cited policies?
    · What is the current policy on shackling of pregnant women as a form of discipline, during transport and during labor and delivery? Does it differ in any way from the above cited policies?
    · What is the current policy on the use of segregation for pregnant women? Does it differ in any way from the above cited policies?
    · How do CBP and ICE ensure that pregnant women are identified, provided with appropriate care, and considered for release in a timely fashion? What oversight functions exist to ensure compliance with ICE policies on the custody of pregnant women, including policies that require ICE to conduct a weekly review of custody and whether detention continues to be appropriate?

    Thank you for your attention to this concerning issue. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    [1] Roque Planas, Two Women Say They Lost Pregnancies While in Immigrant Detention Since July, Huffington Post (Sep. 27, 2017) available at:
    [2] Id.

    [3] Complaint: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Detention and Treatment of Pregnant Women (Filed Sep. 26, 2017) available at: [hereinafter “Complaint: ICE Treatment of Women”].

    [4] Prison for Survivors: A Report on the Detention of Women Seeking Asylum in the United States, Women’s Refugee Commission (Oct. 2017) available at: [hereinafter “Prison for Survivors”].

    [5] Shackle A Pregnant Woman, Risk a Foreseeable Tragedy, ACLU (Jun. 18, 2015) available at:

    [6] Liz Jones, Her Miscarriage in ICE Detention Raises Questions About Care, KUOW (Jul. 17, 2017) available at:

    [7] Complaint: ICE Treatment of Women.

    [8] Name changed

    [9] Prison for Survivors

    [10] 2011 Performance Based National Detention Standards 4.3 (Medical Care) and 2.11 (Sexual Abuse and Assault Prevention and Intervention), available at:; Family Residential Standards, available at:

    [11] ICE Memorandum on Identification and Monitoring of Pregnant Detainees (Aug. 15, 2016) available at:

    [12] Specifically, the Executive Order on Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements and the Executive Order ( and the Executive Order on Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States (

    Updated 11-01-2017 at 12:17 PM by MKolken

  5. What is Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 3711)?

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law PLLC

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) has introduced the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 3711), which proposes numerous changes to current law, including requiring every employer in the U.S. to use E-Verify or an electronic employment eligibility verification system.

    Here is a summary of the bill’s key provisions:

    • Mandatory employer participation in the E-Verify phased in over a two-year period based on the size of the employer;
    • Conditional job offers, based on passing E-Verify, which is contrary to current law, which prohibits use of E-Verify until a job offer is accepted;
    • Within 6 months of the bill’s enactment, these current workforce employees would have to have their employment eligibility reverified: employees who require a federal security clearance; workers assigned to a federal contract; and federal, state, and local government employee;
    • Beginning 30 days after the bill is enacted, an employer would be allowed to voluntarily use E-Verify to reverify the employment eligibility of any current employee, if the employer reverified all individuals at the same geographic location or employed within the same job category;
    • Employers would also have to use E-Verify, according to the phase-in timeline for employers based on their size, for workers with expiring work authorization;
    • Many documents, that are currently acceptable, would no longer be acceptable for proving employment eligibility;
    • Employers would be relieved of liability for any employment action taken with respect to a worker if the employer had verified the worker’s identity and employment eligibility and relied on information provided by E-Verify in good faith;
    • Would substantially increase penalties for employers who knowingly hired or employed unauthorized workers and who failed to use E-Verify or knowingly submitted false information to E-Verify, but fines for knowingly hiring or employing an unauthorized worker could be waived if the employer established that it acted in good faith;
    • Would preempt states and localities from passing employer sanctions and employment eligibility verification laws; but, it would allow states to use business licensing and similar laws to penalize employers for not using E-Verify. It would also allow a state, at its own cost, to enforce the provisions of the Legal Workforce Act if it followed the federal regulations, rules, and guidance implementing the act.

    I will keep you apprised of any actions taken toward passage of the Legal Workforce Act though it is highly unlikely that this bill will pass the U.S. Senate.
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