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  1. Refugee in Iconic WWII Photo Dies at Age 92

    On the afternoon of August 14, 1945, George Mendonsa was sitting in a movie theater with his date in New York City. Home from the Pacific Theater, where he served in the navy, Mr. Mendonsa was expecting to return to war and to the long-anticipated (and dreaded) invasion of Japan. Suddenly, the movie stopped, the lights came on, and someone announced that the war was over.
    This is how it looks when a war ends (from the days when wars actually ended).
    The theater goers spilled out into the street. Mr. Mendonsa and his date Rita Petri went to a bar where they imbibed maybe a bit too much. They then returned to the celebration in Times Square.


    The 20-year old Mendonsa had witnessed some horrible sights during his time in the navy. Most recently, he saw two Kamikaze planes destroy an American ship. Over 300 servicemen were killed. Many others were horribly wounded. Mr. Mendonsa assisted at the scene, and witnessed the American nurses tending to the injured.


    As he walked through the square, Mr. Mendonsa caught sight of a woman in a nurse's uniform. In an instant, he grabbed her, swooped her down, and kissed her. The moment was captured by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt and his photo came to symbolize the relief and exuberance that our country felt at the end of World War II (though the continued glorification of Mr. Mendonsa's non-consensual kiss is a bit creepy).


    Although the photo itself became famous, for many years, the people in the photo were unknown. A number of men and women came forward, claiming that they were the ones in the picture. Only in recent years has the mystery been solved (probably).


    It turns out that the woman in the photo (the kissee, if you will) was not a nurse; she was a 21-year old dental assistant from Queens named Greta Zimmer. Ms. Zimmer was also a refugee from Nazi-controlled Austria.


    Margarete "Greta" Zimmer was born on June 5, 1924 in eastern Austria. Her parents, Max and Ida, and her two sisters were Jewish. In the years leading up to World War II, Austria drifted into the orbit of Nazi Germany, and conditions for Jews deteriorated. Then, in March 1938, Austrian Nazis took control of the government. In the same month, German troops occupied the country. Despite the overt anti-Semitism and the increasing danger, the Zimmer family tried to remain in their homeland.


    By 1939, the family's thinking had changed. The danger was mounting and opportunities to leave were disappearing. Max and Ida decided to send their daughters out of Austria, even if they had not secured passage for themselves. One daughter was sent to Palestine. Greta, then 15 years old, and her sister Jo came to the United States (lucky for them, given the strict quota laws in place at the time). The girls hoped that the separation from their parents would be only temporary.


    Relatives in New York welcomed Greta and Jo to the United States. Greta volunteered as an air-raid warden during the war. She took classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology.


    On the day of the photo, Greta Zimmer was working in a dental office near Times Square. All morning, they had been hearing rumors that the war had ended, and after lunch, she went over to Times Square, where she saw a lighted billboard declaring "V-J Day!" As for the kiss, Ms. Zimmer remembered it in a 2005 interview--

    Suddenly, I was grabbed by a sailor. It wasn't that much of a kiss. It was more of a jubilant act that he didn't have to go back. I found out later he was so happy that he didn't have to go back to the Pacific where [he] had already been through the war. The reason he grabbed somebody dressed like a nurse [was because] he felt so very grateful to the nurses who took care of the wounded.

    I'm not sure about the kiss... it was just somebody celebrating. It wasn't a romantic event. It was just an event of "Thank God the war is over."

    After the war, Ms. Zimmer married Dr. Mischa Friedman and had two children. She studied and later worked at Hood College in Maryland. It wasn't until years later that Ms. Zimmer saw the photo and recognized herself in it. She also eventually met George Mendonsa, who by then had married Rita Petri, his date on V-J Day.


    Ms. Zimmer never saw her parents again. They died in Auschwitz. She also lost many other family members during the Holocaust. In all, of 181,000 Jews in Austria in 1938, approximately 65,000 were murdered by the Nazis. Most of the remainder fled the country. Only a few thousand Jews remained in Austria by the end of the war.


    Greta Zimmer Friedman died on September 8, 2016. She was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, next to her late husband, who was a military veteran. She was 92. May her memory be a blessing.

    Originally posted on the Asylumist: www.Asylumist.com.
  2. In 2007 Hillary Clinton Sounded Much Different on Immigration

    by , 09-16-2016 at 09:52 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)


    Here is video from an Iowa town hall in 2007. Hillary Clinton was asked by a member of the audience about her positions on denying driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants and border security.

    Her response included a list of priorities.

    Priority 1. "First you've got to toughen border security." More personnel and technology.

    Priority 2. "Crack down on employers who employ undocumented workers." She called for much tougher sanctions and penalties.

    Priority 3. Help communities get more "financial aid" to help deal with the consequences of a broken immigration system. She stressed that local communities shouldn't have to pay for healthcare, education, and law enforcement required as a result of a broken Federal immigration system.

    Priority 4. Help countries "to the South" create more jobs for their citizens.

    Priority 5. Get people to come out of the shadows by giving them sanctions, penalties, and fines. She said "I want to know who is in this country. I want to keep track of them." She then illustrated her point by comparing the undocumented population to 9-11 terrorists.

    Mrs. Clinton was adamant that people with ANY conviction should be deported without due process. She stated "if they ever committed a crime either in the country they came from or in this country deport them immediately no questions asked." This sounded like a one strike policy. She didn't specify what kind of crime or if the recency of the violation would result in automatic deportation without due process. Mind you, the definition of "criminal alien" under the Obama administration, of which Mrs. Clinton was an integral part of, includes people with traffic tickets, and nonviolent or victim-less crimes.

    The tenets of Mrs. Clinton's reform plan were for the undocumented population to pay fines, back taxes, and try to learn English. There was no path to citizenship, only a path to legalization after a long, long wait. In this regard, she said "they have to wait in line... And maybe in 10 or 15 years they can get legalization... I think that is the ONLY answer."

    Sounds enticing huh?

    Point being, in 2016 if Hillary would have run for President on this platform she would have been a lock for the Republican nomination.

    Updated 09-16-2016 at 04:25 PM by MKolken

  3. Asylum claims of unaccompanied alien children contribute to backlog crisis in our immigration courts. By Nolan Rappaport



    The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008 required screening unaccompanied alien for possible trafficking risks and asylum claims. When former President George W. Bush signed TVPRA into law on December 23, 2008, he observed that it was intended to enhance measures to combat human trafficking. It is very unlikely that anyone anticipated that it would be used to require asylum hearings for tens of thousands of unaccompanied alien children from Central America.

    The immigration courts always have had big backlogs, and the backlogs have continued to grow. The number of cases awaiting resolution before immigration judges as of the end of June 2016, reached a new high of 496,704, and 69,278 of these cases were for unaccompanied alien children. To put this in perspective, this was an average of 1,819 cases for each of the 273 immigration judges. It would take approximately 2.5 years to clear up this backlog even if there were no new cases being filed. But instead of giving priority to removing criminal aliens who pose a threat to our country, the Executive Office for Immigration Review hasprioritized the applications from the unaccompanied alien children.

    I respect the Administration’s efforts to help the children from Central America, but I do not think that the United States should assume sole responsibility for their welfare. In an article I wrote in July of 2014, I pointed out that their plight is an international problem and asserted that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) should be involved in helping them. UNHCR was established on December 14, 1950, by the United Nations General Assembly. Its objective is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. UNHCR has helped tens of millions of people to restart their lives. When I wrote my article, UNHCR had a staff of some 7,685 people in more than 125 countries. They were helping 14.7 million internally displaced persons, 10.5 million refugees, 3.1 million returnees, 3.5 million stateless people, more than 837,000 asylum seekers, and more than 1.3 million other persons of concern.

    Moreover, UNHCR had developed a Refugee Protection and Mixed Migration 10-Point Plan of Action which addressed the plight of unaccompanied alien children. It is described in their report, “Children on the Run.” The plan includes methods for recognizing newly merging forms of displacement in Central America and the emergence of international protection issues; ways to strengthen and harmonize regional and national frameworks for ensuring international protection; and measures for addressing root causes.
    I pointed out that Congress could save unaccompanied alien children from the perils of the dangerous trip to the United States by making it possible for unaccompanied alien children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to benefit from the 10-Point Plan with a bill that would exempt them from the removal-hearing requirement in TVPRA and remove any other obstacles to moving them out of the United States. The children could then be moved to temporary locations outside of the United States, which could be chosen by agreement between the Governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and the United States. When the children are safely placed at these locations, UNHCR could screen them to see which ones are eligible for refugee status. The rest of the children could be returned to their native countries when arrangements have been with the governments of those countries to provide safe environments for them.

    I do not know whether my proposal had anything to do with it, but in September 2014, the Obama Administration announced a new Central American Minors(CAM) Refugee Program:
    We are establishing in-country refugee processing to provide a safe, legal and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey that children are currently undertaking to join relatives in the United States.... These programs will not be a pathway for children to join undocumented relatives in the United States.

    I applaud the Administration’s efforts to address this problem, but if the Administration had fully developed the CAM refugee program, as I think it should have, we would not have 69,278 unaccompanied alien children waiting for asylum hearings in the United States, with thousands more on their way, and our immigration courts would not have a 496,704-case backlog. And I worry about the unaccompanied children who made the trip with them who did not reach the United States. What became of them?

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    This article is reprinted with permission from the author. It was originally published by the author on Huffington Post.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/57daaf27e4b0d5920b5b25f0?timestamp=1473983190513


    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 the 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 twenty years. He also has been a policy advisor for the DHS Office of Information Sharing and Collaboration under a contract with TKC Communications, and he has been in private practice as an immigration lawyer at Steptoe & Johnson.

    Updated 09-16-2016 at 12:01 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. OSC Settles with Staffing Company Who Required U.S. Birth Certificate

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

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    The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) reached a settlement agreement with Cumberland Staffing Inc., doing business as AtWork Cumberland Staffing (ACS), a temporary staffing agency located in Cookeville, Tennessee, to resolve an allegation that ACS engaged in citizenship discrimination by requiring a U.S. birth certificate in order to be considered for employment. This requirement discriminated against work-authorized immigrants and naturalized U.S. citizens in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

    The OSC initiated its investigation after a Tennessee resident notified it of an ACS job posting that included a U.S. birth certificate requirement. The investigation found that between December 2015 and February 2016, ACS created and published a job posting stating that applicants for machine operator positions at a client company must present a U.S. birth certificate. The discriminatory posting was published on several job search engine websites during this time period.

    In the absence of a legal basis to do so, such as a law, regulation or government contract that requires U.S. citizenship restrictions, employers, recruiters and referrers for a fee may not limit job opportunities or otherwise impose barriers to obtaining employment based on an individual’s citizenship, immigration status or national origin. By requiring a U.S. birth certificate – a document that only non-naturalized U.S. citizens possess – to be considered for an employment opportunity, ACS’s job posting created a discriminatory barrier for work-authorized individuals, such as naturalized U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, lawful permanent residents, asylees and refugees.

    Under the settlement agreement, ACS will pay a civil penalty of $1,200, remove all specific document requirements from its job postings except where required by law, train staff on proper employment verification and reverification procedures, including attendance at a OSC webinar on anti-discrimination, and ensure that trained staff or legal counsel review future job advertisements.
    The takeaway from this settlement is do not require certain documentation, such as a U.S. birth certificate, that will discriminate against other work-authorized indiduals
  5. Former Mexican President Calls Trump a False Prophet

    by , 09-13-2016 at 10:38 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    File this in the 'for what it's worth' category.

    Via The Washington Post:

    Former Mexican president Vicente Fox said Donald Trump is "a false prophet" in the model of 20th-century Latin American dictators and charged that the Republican presidential nominee was a messianic figure trying to dupe U.S. voters by playing to their fears and worst instincts.

    "Wake up, America!" Fox implored repeatedly in a wide-ranging interview Monday at The Washington Post's headquarters. "I want to warn people here in the United States to watch out for this false prophet that promised gold, that promised paradise, that promised everything."

    Updated 09-13-2016 at 10:43 AM by MKolken

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