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  1. Trump's New Travel Ban Order. Nolan Rappaport

    The White House

    Office of the Press Secretary

    For Immediate Release
    September 24, 2017

    President Donald J. Trump Strengthens Security Standards For Traveling to America

    “Our government's first duty is to its people, to our citizens -- to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values.” – President Donald J. Trump

    NEW PROTECTIONS: President Donald J. Trump is taking key steps to protect the American people from those who would enter our country and do us harm.

    • Earlier this year, the President signed Executive Order 13780, which asked the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop a new minimum baseline for how much information sharing with foreign nations is required to determine whether their nationals seeking entry into the United States present security threats to our Nation.

      • The new baseline furthers the aims of the Executive Order by ensuring our border and immigration security is adequate to protect the safety and security of the American people.

    • New requirements on issuing electronic passports, sharing criminal data, reporting lost and stolen passports, and sharing more information on travelers will help better verify the identities and national security risks of people trying to enter the United States.
    • Additionally, foreign governments will have to work with the United States to identify serious criminals and known or suspected terrorists, as well as share identity-related information and exemplars of documents such as IDs and passports.
    • When foreign governments share information about individuals coming to the United States, the dedicated men and women of our homeland security and intelligence agencies can work to identify and block threats from reaching America’s shores.

    PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS PUT OUR NATIONAL SECURITY FIRST: This action to protect our national security builds on Executive Order 13780, which
    President Trump signed in March.

    • Executive Order 13780, which President Trump signed on March 6, 2017, suspended entry into the United States for foreign nationals of six countries of concern, giving the Federal Government time to review our procedures for screening and vetting people seeking to come to our country.
    • The President signed Executive Order 13780 pursuant to his constitutional and statutory authorities, including section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which provides that the President may “suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens” whenever he “finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.”
    • Executive Order 13780 required the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a review of other nations’ information-sharing practices regarding their nationals traveling to the United States, and to recommend improvements in a report to the President.
    • The Department of Homeland Security has worked closely with other Federal departments and agencies to review current vetting and information-sharing practices.
    • The Secretary of Homeland Security submitted the required report to the President this month, and the President is now acting in response to the Secretary’s recommendations.

    HIGHER STANDARDS FOR IMMIGRATION SECURITY: The Trump Administration worked in good faith with foreign governments to implement
    minimum security

    • Despite best efforts of the United States, several countries remain currently inadequate in their identity-management protocols and information-sharing practices or present sufficient risk factors that travel restrictions are required.
      • As a result, certain travel limitations and restrictions will be placed on nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen, by President Trump’s September 24 proclamation, until we are sure that we can conduct proper screening and vetting of those countries’ nationals.
        • These travel limitations and restrictions are a vital tool for enforcing adequate information sharing requirements and necessary for the security and welfare of the United States.

      • These limitations and restrictions are conditional, and these countries can, under this Executive action, improve their information-sharing practices and receive relief from the limitations and restrictions.
      • The President has also determined that while Iraq should be subject to great screening security, entry restrictions are not warranted under the September 24 proclamation.

    • The Trump Administration shared these new requirements with foreign governments in July, and countries that did not have adequate information-sharing practices in place were given 50 days to make necessary improvements.
    • A number of nations that were not in compliance worked quickly and diligently to improve, such as increasing their information sharing with the United States or improving their reporting of lost and stolen passports.
      • Many of those countries are now in compliance.

    A majority of Americans support President Trump’s efforts to safeguard our Nation from those who would do us harm.

    • A July 2017 Politico/Morning Consult poll found that “a clear majority of voters”—60 percent--support President Trump’s Executive Order on travel restrictions.

    Congress, the Obama Administration, and the courts have all recognized the need for enhanced security and vetting.

    • Following the 2015 terror attacks in Paris, Congress passed, and President Obama signed, bipartisan legislation restricting access to the visa waiver program for foreign nationals who had previously traveled to Iraq, Syria, Iran, or Sudan.
    • The Obama Administration began implementing these policies in 2016, and later expanded these provisions to include certain individuals who had visited Libya, Somalia, or Yemen.

    PROTECTING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: Trump Administration officials have repeatedly spoken about the importance of the travel Executive Order for our Nation’s safety, and enforcing our Nation’s ability to ensure its own security.

    • White House Chief of Staff John Kelly: “We cannot risk the prospect of malevolent actors using our immigration system to take American lives.”
    • National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster: “If you can’t screen people effectively to know who’s coming into your country, then you shouldn’t allow people from that country to travel.”
    • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: “It is the President’s solemn duty to protect the American people and with this order, President Trump is exercising his authority to keep our people safe.”

    CHALLENGES FOR CUSTOMS AND CONSULAR OFFICERS: The United States welcomes millions of visitors each year, putting enormous investigatory burdens on our Homeland Security and State Department officers and caseworkers.

    • More than one million immigrants from more than 150 countries are provided with permanent residency in the United States every year with a path to citizenship.
    • The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has an asylum backlog of more than 270,000.
    • Many of those immigrating and traveling to the United States come from areas with serious terrorism concerns, significant instability, substantial stresses on public systems, and other security and safety threats.

    Updated 09-24-2017 at 09:43 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. If Democrats insist on chain migration, they'll kill the DREAM Act. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty

    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced recently that they had reached an agreement with President Donald Trump to pursue legislation that would protect the participants of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which is being phased out. They also agreed to enact border security measures that would not include building a physical wall.

    But problems have arisen since that agreement was reached. Both sides have declared additional conditions.

    In a letter to her Democratic colleagues about the meeting with Trump, Pelosi said, "Any solution to the challenge facing the DREAMers must include the DREAM Act sponsored by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard," i.e., the DREAM Act of 2017, H.R.3440, which is identical to a DREAM Act in the Senate, S.1615.

    The House bill has 199 cosponsors, but only four are Republicans, and the Senate version only has three Republican cosponsors. The bill Pelosi supports has no more chance of being acceptable to Trump than the American Hope Act of 2017(effectively, this is another version of the DREAM Act), which I refer to as the False Hope Act.

    House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said at his weekly news conference that House Republicans won't "bring a solution to the floor that does not have the support of President Trump," and Trump has made his own demand that is as problematic for passing legislation as Pelosi’s.

    Trump made ending chain migration an additional condition when he tweeted:

    Read more at --

    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 09-24-2017 at 07:18 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. It's Not Just the Muslim Ban and Ending DACA. Sessions' Record Shows the Rotten Inner Core of Trump's Agenda. Roger Algase

    As is so often the case, the media are caught up in dissecting the detailed symptoms of Trump's immigration agenda. One of the two most recent examples is his deadly and destructive playing with the hopes and fears of 800,000 DREAMERS by terminating DACA without making clear what he will demand a condition for signing a Congressional replacement, or what he will do if Congress refuses to pass one.

    The other example is in his cryptic statements that his Muslim Ban executive order will be expanded and made more "specific" at the same time, perhaps as early as September 24, the same day that this comment is being written.

    But it has long been a truism that a good physician goes beyond trying to deal only with the surface symptoms of a medical condition, but instead tries to remedy the underlying causes and to treat the illness as a whole.

    In the same way, trying to tinker around with or tweak this or that aspect of a particular Trump administration immigration policy, while still important (as in the cases, for example, of going to court to gain admittance for Muslim grandparents of US citizens, or of lobbying to maintain this or that benefit for DREAMERS as long as possible), can only offer a surface remedy. These efforts do little or nothing to change the underlying condition.

    What is the basic condition in Trump's immigration agenda that immigration advocates need to deal with and try to remedy? This condition is the basic rottenness of white supremacy at the core of the president's immigration policies. Nothing illustrates this better than the record of Trump's attorney general and chief immigration adviser, Jeff Sessions, both as A.G. and as a Senator.

    AMERICA'S VOICE has published a June 13 study of Sessions' record entitled:

    A Session in Hate

    (To access, go to and input the above title at SEARCH)

    Full details about Sessions' long record of hostility against non-white, non-European immigrants are contained in the above article, which is essential reading for anyone who wishes to gain a comprehensive understanding of the motivation behind Trump's anti-immigrant agenda.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 09-24-2017 at 08:01 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Trump Switches His Pretext for Muslim Ban, in Effect Admitting That the Original Excuse Was Fraudulent. Roger Algase

    The following comment has been revised and updated as of September 25 at 2:52 am.

    In yet another example of how the media tend to be blindsided by the various gyrations of the Trump administration's actions against mainly non-white, non European immigrants, while missing the real significance of these moves, early reports are mistakenly describing the president's announcement on the evening of September 25 of the latest yet version of his Muslim entry ban as an "expanded" ban. For one of the better reports, which still misses the main point, in The Guardian, see:

    In fact, as is obvious, even at first glance, the addition of two non-Muslim countries, North Korea and Venezuela, is meaningless. When was the last time that anyone from "Rocketman's" North Korea applied for a visa to enter the US or was admitted to this country? And where exactly is the "US Embassy" in North Korea located?

    In the case of Venezuela, the ban is purely symbolic - limited to government officials and their families. No one will be fooled into thinking that the new ban is now aimed against anyone other than citizens of Muslim countries as a practical matter.

    To underscore this reality, the six Muslim countries on the new banned list are the same as before - only with Chad replacing Sudan. Big Deal.

    But one thing has changed, namely the stated pretext for the new ban. The original pretext was that the banned countries were on a US government terrorism sponsor list - even though no one from any of the countries on the list had ever actually been involved in a terror attack in the US.

    Now, the stated excuse for the ban has changed. The latest rationale is that the affected countries are allegedly not cooperating with US efforts to "vet" their citizens who might be applying for visas in the future.

    Isn't this change in the stated reason for the ban an implied admission that the original pretext for the Muslim ban, the one that the administration used to defend the ban in so many different federal courts, including the Supreme Court was utterly fake, no more genuine than the story of the panhandler in the old French movie described below who suddenly switched from claiming he was blind to claiming instead that he was deaf and dumb?

    At least, one hopes that neither the American public nor the media will remain blind, deaf or dumb to the real significance of Trump's ban against as many adherents as possible of a major world religion as he can demonize, scapegoat and find excuses to keep out of the United States on whatever Trumped-up pretext his administration can concoct.

    My original comment follows:

    A September 22 report in The Guardian indicates that Donald Trump, who has been frustrated again and again by the federal courts in attempting to bar Muslim immigrants from entering the United States, and who vented his frustration last week in a tweet calling for a "larger", "tougher" and "more specific" ban, may be seeking to accomplish that goal with a different strategy by widening the number of affected countries and changing the pretext for imposing the ban.

    It will be remembered that the supposed rationale for imposing his original seven Muslim country ban and its subsequent six country version was that the countries concerned were on a US government terror sponsorship list, even though no one from any of the affected countries had ever been suspected of being involved in a terror attack in the United States.

    The new rationale, according to the above report, may be that the countries concerned are failing to cooperate with US "vetting" procedures by withholding certain information about their citizens from US authorities.

    According to The Guardian and other media, the new ban may be directed against a wider group of countries, but may also be more "specific" in terms of stricter "screening" questions affecting certain visa applicants or classes of applicants, rather, than banning every citizen of the entire country.

    Regardless of changes which may be made in the list of affected countries, in the mechanism for enforcing the ban, or in the pretext for imposing the ban in the first place, Trump's tweet last week made clear that the purpose of the revised ban, if any, would still be the same - keeping as many Muslim immigrants out of the United States as the federal courts will allow him to get away with.

    The Guardian's report is at:

    To this admittedly irreverent observer, Trump's anticipated change in the pretext for the Muslim ban policy, i.e. alleged failure to cooperate with US "vetting" procedures rather than alleged terror sponsorship, reminds me of an old French movie which I saw many years ago.

    In the movie, a panhandler in a crowded Paris neighborhood is soliciting money from passers-by by carrying a large sign saying AVEUGLE ("Blind").

    Suddenly it starts to rain, and everyone runs indoors to take shelter from the downpour, including the panhandler, whose cover of pretending to be blind has now been blown away.

    But as soon as the rain stops, the panhandler, unfazed, emerges into the street again, but this time with his sign turned around to read: SOURD-MUET ("Deaf and Dumb").

    Trump may change his excuses and his mechanisms for barring Muslim immigrants from the United States, but his purpose remains the same - to keep as many adherents of this religion as possible from entering the United States as visitors or immigrants (just as another US statute, enacted almost a century ago in 1924, did with Jewish, Catholic and most non-European immigrants from around the world in a tradition which the Trump administration is following all too faithfully now, but only with some of the targeted ethnic/religious groups changed).
    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 mainly skilled and professional immigrants, from diverse parts of the world, receive work visas and green cards through employer sponsorship or family relationships.

    Roger's email address is

    Updated 09-27-2017 at 01:14 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. PERM Perspectives under Trump

    by , 09-22-2017 at 11:13 AM (Joel Stewart on PERM Labor Certification)
    The polices of the Trump Administration are not only to protect American workers but also to enable qualified foreign workers to contribute to the economic development of the United States. The job of gatekeeper falls on the shoulders of the Department of Labor, Office of Foreign Labor Certification, in Washington, DC, and its processing centers in Atlanta, Georgia, and Chicago, Illinois. The labor certification process is designed to determine when and where employment based immigrant visas should be granted.

    Permanent Electronic Record Management (PERM) was begun in 2005 to enable rapid electronic review of applications filed by employers. Previously, long processing backlogs often took five years or more. The PERM process, based on electronic review of attestations and requiring employers to swear under penalty of perjury to the truth of the information presented in the applications, promised to speed things up.

    Prior to filing PERM applications, employers must first recruit for US workers, interview them when appropriate, and prepare reports to document whether there were any able, willing, qualified and available US workers.

    Employers prepare applications electronically with DOL on form 9089. The forms are reviewed by computers that indicate which applications should be immediately certified and which applications, because of non-standard responses or specific areas of concern, need to be reviewed by DOL analysts who assist the Certifying Officer.

    It follows that the key to a timely, successful PERM application is to provide suitable answers to the questions on the form. If it appears that an audit is needed, the employer must submit the entire record file to the Certifying Officer, including a full report documenting all the recruitment steps taken and results of interviews.

    In accordance with the zero-tolerance policy used for electronic review, applications are frequently denied due to simple typographical errors which may seem harmless but will not be excused. The rationale for this is that the PERM process speeds up approvals by operating with great efficiency, even at the expense of denying cases with immaterial errors. DOL’s insistence on this is underscored by a 2008 amendment to the rule which makes it impossible for any PERM applications to be modified, corrected or altered after initial filing.

    PERM applications may also be denied if DOL believes that the job description, duties, minimum requirements, licenses, languages and special skills are not normal in the US. All standards must be accordance with DOL guidance published in the O*Net and the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

    The recruitment steps set forth in The PERM Book demonstrate that the DOL does not follow a single paradigm. Subtle but fatal discrepancies in wording often occur due to different kinds of media engaged in diverse forms of recruitment such as newspaper ads, internal notices within the employer’s organization, job listings in state workforce agencies, employer web sites, job search web site other than the employer's, on-campus recruiting, trade or professional organizations, trivate employment firms, employee referral program with incentives, campus placement offices, local and ethnic newspapers, and radio and television advertisements

    Because employers describe job opportunities differently depending on the type of recruitment, similarity of language is not always possible. If information on the PERM form and recruitment are not a close match, denials may be the unwelcome result.

    The Department of Labor is empowered by the US Supreme Court to provide instructions and guidance as part of its function as an administrative agency, because interpretation of the laws is a necessary function. Attorney Michael Piston prepared an analysis of these powers called, “What is the Law” for the PERM Book III.

    Mr. Piston explains how any of the following criteria, even informal ones, may be used by the DOL to evaluate PERM cases for conformance to the statute:

    a. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA),
    b. Department of Labor (DOL) Regulations
    c. Instructions to Form Eta 9089
    d. Decisions Published by the Federal Court of Appeals
    e. En Banc and Panel Decisions of the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals
    f. Decisions of the DOL Administrative Review Board (ARB)
    g. A Plethora of “administrative guidance”
    h. Agency comments published in the Federal Register,
    i. DOL Answers to Frequently Answered Questions (FAQs),
    j. Minutes from Stakeholder Meetings
    k. Agency Memoranda
    l. Letters from DOL to Attorneys or Members of the Public
    m. DOL Speeches and Answers to Questions at AILA or Other Conferences

    Despite all the complexities, the Department of Labor follows its mandate and approves bona fide cases which are carefully prepared and meet the requirements of the law intended to protect U.S. workers.

    Updated 09-22-2017 at 11:39 AM by JStewart

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