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  1. Immigration Lawyer Slams Obama over Human Rights Record

    by , 09-26-2016 at 09:54 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    I saw the following post written by immigration lawyer Amy Maldonado and received permission to republish it:

    Three days ago, at the UN Refugee Summit, President Obama said, "To slam the door in the face of these families would betray our deepest values. It would deny our own heritage as nations, including the United States of America, that have been built by immigrants and refugees. And it would be to ignore a teaching at the heart of so many faiths that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us; that we welcome the stranger in our midst.Ē

    At the same summit, the United States successfully pushed to delete language in a nonbinding declaration on the treatment of refugees that said children should never be detained. Apparently, our Presidentís words donít apply at home, where in the Berks Family Prison, there are children as young as 15 months, and children that have been detained with their mothers for more than a year, and families continue to be detained at the Karnes and Dilley private prisons in Texas.

    It has been more than a year since "family detention" was declared unlawful by a federal judge Dolly Gee, and more than a year since the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued its scathing report calling for an end to family detention. And the Obama Administration continues to flout the law and violate the human rights of asylum seekers in this country.

    I voted for this President. I know how important it has been to have the first black president take office. I wanted to enthusiastically support him, even when I disagreed with his policies. But what we got with President Obama was the worst President for immigrants IN MY LIFETIME. The draconian immigration laws that I have practiced under for my entire career were signed into law by President Clinton in 1996, and even his DOJ entered into the Flores Settlement Agreement (based on a case originally filed in 1986) to end the abusive detention of immigrant children, which remains in effect to this day (President Obama's Administration began violating it in 2014).

    I am no longer a Democrat.
  2. Obama Steps Up Deportation of Haitians

    by , 09-26-2016 at 09:34 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Statement by Secretary Johnson Concerning His Directive to Resume Regular Removals to Haiti

    For Immediate Release
    DHS Press Office
    Contact: 202-282-8010

    Following the tragic January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) temporarily ceased removing Haitian nationals to Haiti. On April 1, 2011, ICE announced the resumption of removals on a limited basis of Haitians with final orders of removal and convicted of a serious crime, or who posed a national security threat. Since that time, the situation in Haiti has improved sufficiently to permit the U.S. government to remove Haitian nationals on a more regular basis, consistent with the practice for nationals from other nations.

    Yesterday I directed that, effective immediately, enforcement decisions with respect to Haitian nationals should be, consistent standard practice, guided by my memorandum dated November 20, 2014, ďPolicies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants.Ē These policies prioritize the removal of convicted felons, individuals convicted of significant or multiple misdemeanors, and individuals apprehended at or between ports of entry while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States.

    Consistent with law, individuals who express a fear of return to Haiti will be screened by a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asylum officer to determine whether they possess a credible fear of persecution or torture. Those determined to have a credible fear will be referred to immigration court for removal proceedings where they may apply for asylum or other forms of relief.

    Haitian nationals currently covered by Temporary Protected Status are unaffected by this change in policy. Specifically, those Haitian nationals who have been continuously residing in the United States since January 12, 2011 and currently hold TPS may remain in the United States and are not subject to removal. These TPS beneficiaries also remain eligible for employment authorization. TPS for Haitian nationals has been extended through July 22, 2017.

    DHS will continue to promote safe, orderly avenues for Haitian nationals seeking to immigrate to the United States, including through Haitian Family Reunification Parole, which allows certain beneficiaries of approved family-based petitions to be paroled into the United States up to two years before their visa priority date becomes current.

    DHS and the Department of State are working with the Government of Haiti and other key partners to resume removals in as humane and minimally disruptive a manner as possible.

    # # #

    Last Published Date: September 22, 2016

    Updated 09-26-2016 at 10:03 AM by MKolken

  3. Could Law Against "Harboring" Immigrants Send Millions of Americans to Jail? Roger Algase

    Update: September 27, 10:00 am:

    Immigration issues per se played almost no role at last night's (September 26th) initial presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

    However, the issue of foreign trade agreements did receive a lot of discussion, and Donald Trump showed the same disturbing trend to scapegoat foreigners or foreign countries for most, if not all, the problems of America, that he often does when discussing immigration issues (as in his August 31 Arizona speech, which was full of blame against legal, not only illegal, immigrants for America's job related and other economic problems).

    In last night's debate, for example, Trump repeatedly blamed China and its alleged currency manipulation for American job losses, and at one point, even claimed that every country in the world was taking advantage of the United States economically.

    He also blamed some of America's strongest allies, such as Japan and NATO countries, for allegedly not paying their fair share of the expenses for their defense incurred by the United States.

    Trump's obsession with blaming foreigners for America's problems, whether relating to the economy, crime or national security, certainly explains why his opponents often call him "xenophobic".

    This is also a troubling indication as to how Trump might use laws which are already on the books, such as INA Section 212(f), discussed on my recent post, and INA Section 274(a) discussed in my original comment below, to exclude large classes of immigrants (or all immigrants) from the US; and to make life much more difficult and dangerous, not only for millions of immigrants who are already here, but for American citizens who support them or assist them, including, very possibly, giving them legal advice or representation, as will be discussed in Part 2 of my comments on Section 274(a).

    My original post appears below.

    For at least the past 20 years, ever since IIRIRA was rammed through a Republican-controlled Congress as a rider to a must pass, veto-proof omnibus appropriations bill that President Bill Clinton had little choice but to sign into law just over a month before that year's presidential election, Republican leadership has been calling for more and more draconian illegal immigration enforcement measures and for reducing legal immigration in one form or another.

    In 2005, eleven years ago, the Republican-controlled House passed a bill that, H.R. 4437, that would have imposed even more drastic penalties for immigration violations.

    The current Republican standard bearer, Donald Trump, with his calls for mass deportation, a Mexican border Wall, a ban on immigration from some, if not all, Muslim countries and cutbacks in or elimination of legal skilled worker visas and green cards such as H-1B and labor certifications, did not suddenly arise out of nowhere.

    During all this time, however, the general assumption among the public has been that only immigrants will be affected by any tightening of the immigration laws. Americans, to be sure might have a harder time in employing immigrants, and many Americans would lose their spouses, children and other close relatives to deportation if immigration enforcement is increased, but few people talk very much about the chance that millions of American could be could be prosecuted and go to jail for violating the immigration laws, if a president takes power who is determined to stamp out any opposition among to draconian immigration enforcement policies.

    I refer to INA Section 274(a)(1)(A), which provides in relevant part as follows:

    "Any person who-

    (iii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or means of transportation,"

    (shall according to Section B(ii) of the same paragraph

    "be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both."

    At first glance, this statute might appear to be directed only against smugglers, not people who may happen to be living with unauthorized immigrants or engaged on normal, innocent, day-to-day transactions with them.

    But think again. In US v. Costello, 666 F. 3rd 1040 (7th Circuit, 2012), the federal government charged a woman with the crime of violating this statute for picking her boy friend up at a bus station, driving him to her home, and continuing to live with him there as they had been doing for several months previously.

    The district court convicted her, holding, in effect, that simple "sheltering", i.e. letting her boy friend live together with her, amounted to harboring under the statute.

    Judge Posner, writing for a two judge majority of a three judge panel (there was a vigorous dissent by the third judge) adopted a narrower view of the term "harboring" and reversed the conviction.

    On reading Judge Posner's decision, which will be discussed in more detail in Part 2 of this series, one can easily get the impression that Judge Posner may have been influenced less by a literal dictionary definition of the word "harboring" and more by what he saw as the possible consequences of upholding the conviction: He wrote as follows:

    "This connotation enables one to see that the emergency staff at the hospital may not be 'harboring' an alien when it renders emergency room treatment even if he stays in the emergency room overnight, that giving a lift to an alien with a flat tire may not be harboring...and finally that allowing your boyfriend to live with you may not be harboring, even if you know he shouldn't be in the United States".

    In other words, one might paraphrase Judge Posner's opinion to hold that INA Section 274 was meant to take reasonable measures to prevent people from bringing immigrants into the United States illegally, not to introduce fascism, where friends, family members and even casual strangers can go to jail for not turning other friends, family members or other casual strangers over to the authorities for even the most minor immigration violations, or for not acting as agents of the state in ferreting out such violations in order to avoid being charged with "reckless disregard" of someone's lack of legal status in this country.

    To be continued in a future post..
    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 obtain work visas and green cards for more than 35 years.

    Roger's email address is

    Updated 01-08-2017 at 12:47 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs


    by , 09-24-2016 at 10:39 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    What is the new policy?

    All applicants for the FCCPT Type I Certificate must now hold a diploma that says the word “Masters”. If you have a diploma that says “Bachelors” you will not be eligible for the Type I Certificate. Also, an applicant must have at least 202.1 credit hours.

    When does the new policy go into effect?
    It is effective immediately. If you have a pending Application before the FCCPT, they will be returning your Application and issuing you a refund.

    I have heard that the standard may be again raise to a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. True?
    Yes. It is expected that if you apply for the Type I after January 1, that you will need to have a DPT in order to qualify for the Type I.

    But when I graduated from University, the American standard was a lesser degree. Am I “grandfathered in” under the old standard?
    Unfortunately the USCIS is taking the position that the Application filing date is controlling, not the date of graduation.

    I have a Type I that is expiring shortly. Should I be concerned?
    No. Renewals do NOT examine education, only licensure verification and proof of English proficiency.

    Why is the USCIS doing this?
    The USCIS’ decision was predicated on a number of misunderstandings and inaccuracies. USCIS’ decision to terminate FCCPT accrediting these international programs is largely based on flawed assumptions around required coursework hours and degree titles.

    Is anyone doing anything to try and change this new policy?
    Yes. There is a concerted effort from stakeholders to educate the USCIS about the problems with its new interpretation and the massive impact on US patients and on internationally-trained Physical Therapists.

    Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at and You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

    Updated 09-25-2016 at 10:54 AM by CMusillo

  5. Does anyone really know how many undocumented aliens there are?

    Pew Research Center (PEW) is the gold standard for estimates on the number of undocumented aliens living in the United States. According to PEW, the overall number of undocumented aliens has held steady since 2009. But are the PEW numbers really reliable? What methodology does PEW use to calculate them? Fortunately, PEW explains its methodology on its website. Its estimates are based on a residual estimation methodology that compares a demographic estimate of the number of immigrants lawfully residing in the country with the total number of immigrants as measured by a survey. The difference is assumed to be the number of unauthorized immigrants. This is easier to understand in the form of an equation.

    Unauthorized Immigrants (U) = Survey, Total Foreign Born (F) - Estimated Lawful Immigrant Population.

    The lawful resident immigrant population is estimated by applying the demographic methods to counts of lawful admissions which are obtained from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Immigration Statistics, with projections to current years, when necessary. Some of the statistics on lawful residents should be very reliable. DHS grants Lawful Permanent Resident status and other forms of lawful status and keeps records of the grants. But it has been estimated that 40% of the undocumented alien population entered as nonimmigrant visitors of various types. This includes aliens who entered as nonimmigrant visitors for pleasure and did not leave when their admission periods expired and other categories of nonimmigrants who violated the terms of their admissions. DHS does not know at any given time how many of the nonimmigrants are still in lawful status.

    The foreign born population includes anyone who is not a U.S. citizen at birth, including those who become U.S. citizens through naturalization. PEW estimates of the total foreign born population are based primarily on government census surveys. It currently relies on the U.S. Census Bureauís American Community Survey. This survey includes questions on race, place of birth, citizenship, and when a person came to live in the United States. It is a nationwide survey designed to provide communities with reliable and timely demographic, housing, social, and economic data every year. About 3.5 million housing unit addresses are selected annually. That may sound like a large number, but it is less that 2% of the more than 180 million addresses in the United States. And the United States population in 2015 was estimated to be 321,418,820 people. These addresses cover every county in the nation. The forms are mailed to the selected addresses, not to individuals. For 2015, the American Community Survey selected 3,540,307 addresses in its survey of housing units and had 2,305,707 final interviews. The American Community Survey also selected 206,630 group quarters facilities, such as college dormitories, nursing homes, and prisons; and had 161,865 final interviews at these locations.

    PEW also has relied on statistics from the March Supplement to the Current Population Survey. But PEW has dropped that survey because the American Community Survey provides a much larger sample size. In 2014, it produced statistics on 360,000 foreign born individuals, and the March Supplement only provided statistics on 26,000 foreign born individuals. PEW has replaced its March Supplement estimates from 2005 onward with American Community Survey-based estimates.

    I have several concerns about PEWís reliance on the American Community Survey. First, I would be very surprised if many households with an undocumented alien are willing to participate in a government survey of any kind; and this one includes questions about race, place of birth, citizenship, and when a person came to live in the United States. An undocumented alien would not have to be paranoid to be suspicious about why those questions are being asked. I encourage you to read a sample of the form and judge for yourself. Second, I do not understand how PEW can make a reliable estimate of the total foreign born population on the basis of a survey that is sent to such a small portion of our population, particularly in view of the fact that the surveys are spread out across every county in the United States, which makes it unlikely that a reliably representative sampling is taken anywhere. In fact, roughly 35% of the 3,540,307 mailings did not result in a final interview. The surveys at group facilities are even less impressive. Who are these people who would not participate in the survey? How different would the results have been if they had participated?

    The problem is not that PEW is using questionable statistics for estimating the lawful immigrant population or that its source of statistics for estimating the foreign born population is unreliable. Math was one of my majors in college. Philosophy was the other. I know that estimates based on such statistics typically are not very reliable. The problem is that PEWís estimates on the number of undocumented aliens in the United States are being used to make important policy decisions. For instance, the illegal immigration situation is much different if PEW is right that the population of undocumented aliens has remained steady since 2009, than it would be if the population actually has increased from five million to 33 million. Another example is legalization. Estimates for the resources and funding needed for a legalization program are based on PEWís estimate of how many undocumented aliens there are. The bottom line is that we need to find a more reliable way to estimate the population of undocumented aliens.

    Published originally in Huffington Post.

    About The Author
    Nolan Rappaport
    was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as anExecutive Branch Immigration Law Expert for three years; he subsequentlyserved as the immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, BorderSecurity, and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee,he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for twenty years. Healso has been a policy advisor for the DHS Office of Information Sharing andCollaboration under a contract with TKC Communications, and he has been inprivate practice as an immigration lawyer at Steptoe & Johnson.

    Updated 09-26-2016 at 04:23 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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