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  1. Letters of the Week: July 31 - August 6

  2. It's Not Just Trump. America's Immigration System Has Been in Conflict With Basic Human Rights for a Very Long Time. Roger Algase

    In the "Donald Trump Era" it is easy to assume that America's 45th president, who has defined his immigration policies to date by extreme measures against vulnerable minority immigrants - excluding almost 200 million potential immigrants or visitors from six Muslim countries because of their nationality - which happens to be co-terminus with their religion, as less than one percent of the population of these countries belong any other faith - and ramping up arrests, mass deportation and expedited removal of mainly Latin American immigrants as fast as he can, while preparing to build a Wall of hatred and humiliation against Mexicans in particular along our Southern border, is in a class by himself when it comes to animosity toward minority immigrants.

    Even apart from his actions against non-European immigrants, Trump's attempts to demonize various minority immigrant groups as "criminals" "rapists" "drug dealers", "gang members" and - his "Trump" card, "terrorists" and "haters" of America, who, according to his most recent speeches in Ohio and New York State, deserve "rough" treatment from immigration and police officers, including possibly having their heads cracked open, is causing many people to think that he has sunk to new depths of hatred and prejudice against non-white immigrants.

    Therefore, a reminder from a writer who is well versed in the history of our immigration system that abuses against the basic human rights of unpopular immigrant groups are not new, but that they are built into our legal system in large part through the pernicious "plenary power" doctrine which the Supreme Court first developed in the era of the infamous Chinese and other Asian exclusion laws beginning in the 1880's; and that Donald Trump is not the cause of this abusive system but its result, is timely and well worth serious consideration.

    The writer I am referring to is Anis Shivani, in his new series in dated July 30 and entitled:

    A radical new approach to the immigration "problem": Beyond left and right, Trumpism and neoliberalism - Part one

    Shivani introduces his viewpoint as follows:

    "Our federal immigration policy began about 125 years ago in an exclusivist and racist vein, targeting the Chinese, then the Japanese and other Asians, and after that southern and eastern Europeans, before moving on to Mexicans as the prime targets of exclusion for about 100 years, where we remain today with the recent addition of Muslims and Arabs as special targets."

    He continues, in a paragraph with direct relevance to the legal battle taking place over Trump's Muslim ban executive order which is currently awaiting further action by the Supreme Court:

    "The judicial branch has historically granted the executive great leeway to do as it wishes on immigration, considering it (quite wrongly, I think) an area of foreign policy passing under what's known as the 'plenary power' doctrine. Though there have been times, in periods of liberal ascendancy, when there has been pushback against plenary power, the idea is inherently connected to the way federal immigration policy came into being and was conceptualized in the early going, which renders it difficult to get away from. If the judicial branch, in the wake of the Trump administration's expected assault on immigration, takes a restraining posture, it would actually be a deviance from, rather than a continuation of, historical precedence."

    Shivani then goes right to the heart of his contention:

    "We have come to an impasse at last, after 125 years of misguided federal immigration policy, where there is no way out of our current moral panic, but to recognize the immigration crisis as a human rights catastrophe of historic proportions, ranking up there with the greatest known tragedies toward mass populations, and to address it as such rather than resting hope in any of the so-called reform measures that do not get to the bottom of the human rights tragedy."

    Calling America's current turn toward mass exclusion and mass deportation of unpopular Muslim, Latino and other non-white minorities one of the "greatest known tragedies toward mass populations" may admittedly seem like hyperbole and exaggeration to anyone familiar with the Holocaust and Rwanda genocide, but one does not have to agree with Shivani's exact language in order to appreciate his point.

    This point, quite clearly, is that amid all the discussion of immigration as a security issue, a law enforcement issue, an economic issue, or even in the words of Trump's recent bombastic "Europeans ueber alles" immigration speech in Warsaw, a "cultural" issue or one involving differences of "civilizations", the basic reality of immigration and immigration law and policy is that it deals with human beings (and yes, immigrants, even when charged with crime, are human beings, Mr. President, not "animals" as per Trump's July 28 speech in Brentwood, New York).

    All human beings have certain basic rights, including immigrants. Shivani writes eloquently and in detail about what these rights are, and how our immigration laws should afford them greater recognition.

    I will continue my discussion of Shivani's views on this topic in forthcoming comments.
    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 obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger's practice focuses primarily on H-1B (specialty occupation) and O-1 (extraordinary ability) work permits, and on green cards through labor certification (PERM) and through opposite sex or same sex marriage.

    Roger's email address is

    Updated 07-30-2017 at 06:17 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. In Long Island Speech, Trump Glorifies Violence by Immigration Officers, Recalling Eras of European Fascism and US Segregation. Roger Algase

    In a July 28 Long Island NY speech to police officers that recalls not only his incitement to his followers to "rough up" protesters at his own campaign rallies, but also the glorification of violence against racial minorities during both the Nazi era and era of US segregation.

    See, University of Knoxville (TN) Sociology Professor Victor Ray, writing in Newsweek (March 29):

    Trump Coalition Threatens A Return To The Jim Crow Era.

    Donald Trump, in a speech that was ostensibly aimed against the violent Salvadorean-based MS-13 gang, but also included attacks against all, mainly Latino, unauthorized immigrants, including the overwhelming majority who do not have criminal records of any kind, had the following "praise" for US immigration officers, as quoted by the UK's Daily Mail:

    "They're [immigration agents] rough. I don't want to be - say it because they'll say that's not politically correct...You're not allowed to have rough people doing this kind of work...Just like they don't want to have rich people at the head of Treasury, okay?

    "Like, I want a rich guy at the head of Treasury, right? Right?"

    The obvious meaning, which no child over the age of 4 could fail to understand, was that Trump wants "rough" people to serve as immigration agents.

    In view of the president's admonition in the same speech to local police officers to avoid doing anything to protect the heads of arrested Central American gang members from injury while arresting them, and his support for "roughing up" of protesters at his rallies, and the use of torture, during his presidential campaign, it is clear that the United States now has a chief executive who revels in the use of violence as a method of governing, just as Germany had in the case of its chief executive during the 1930's and first half of the 1940's.

    In a different, but not entirely unrelated development, POLITICO reports on July 28 that Kris Kobach, who has a long history of engaging in a different form of "violence", i.e. though legislation which has to a large extent been thrown out by the courts, against the rights immigrants to protect themselves against police state mass deportation policies, as well as against the rights of minority Americans to vote, may be under consideration as the next Homeland Security chief, replacing John Kelly who has just been moved to White House Chief of Staff.

    Such an appointment, if it takes place and passes Senate confirmation, would be yet another loud and clear message from this administration that neither minority immigrants nor minority American citizens are welcome, or can expect to have any protection for their basic rights, including protection against police brutality, in Donald Trump's America.

    For a comprehensive analysis of Kobach's atrocious record of trying to turn hatred of non-white immigrant and US citizen minorities into legal enactments, or as the ancient Roman poet Lucan wrote 2,000 years ago during the time of the emperor Nero:

    iusque datum sceleri ("bestowing legality on infamy")

    see: The New York Times Magazine (June 13):

    The Man Behind Trump's Voter Fraud Obsession
    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 obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger's practice focuses primarily on H-1B (specialty occupation) and O-1 (extraordinary ability) work permits, and on green cards through labor certification (PERM), and opposite sex or same sex marriage.

    Roger's email address is

    Updated 07-30-2017 at 04:19 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Links to my articles on The Hill and on Huffington Post. Nolan Rappaport

  5. DOJís Lawsuit for Discrimination Based on Citizenship Status is Unusual

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law PLLC

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    The Justice Department, through the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER), filed a lawsuit against Louisiana-based companies Technical Marine Maintenance Texas LLC, which provides contract shipyard labor, and Gulf Coast Workforce LLC, a related company, alleging that they violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination against U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens during the I-9 and E-Verify process.

    According to the Complaint, from at least January 2014 until at least July 2017, Technical Marine asked U.S. citizens to produce List B and C documents, such as a state driverís license and Social Security cards, respectively. The statistics showed during this period, Technical Marine obtained List B and C documents from 99.56% of U.S. citizens. On the other hand, Technical Marine asked non-U.S. citizens to produce a List A document, such as a permanent resident card (green card) or employment authorization document. The statistics showed during this period, Technical Marine obtained a List A document from 99.29% of non-U.S. citizens.

    This is an unusual case because the Complaint alleges Technical Marine discriminated against both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens by their requests for certain documentation. In most cases brought by DOJ, the discrimination occurs through the request and receipt of certain document(s) by non-U.S. citizens while U.S. citizens are free to present any documentation from the Lists of Acceptable Documents. Because Technical Marine asked for specific and different documents from U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens, then both actions are alleged as unlawful. Under the INA, all workers, regardless of their citizenship status, must be allowed to choose from among the valid documentation that proves their employment eligibility.

    This Complaint is a reminder to employers Ė do not request specific documentation from employees, regardless of whether they are U.S. citizens or non-U.S. citizens. If you do, you may be investigated by the IER of the DOJ. Such investigations are costly and subject employers to civil penalties and back pay if they are found to have committed this type of discrimination or if employers reach a settlement with the IER.
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