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  1. It's Not Only About DACA: Trump's Racist Ideology is a "Burning House" for America's Legal Immigration System. Roger Algase

    Now that Congress has passed and the president has signed a bill to end the shutdown and reopen the government until February 8, the media are now full of articles speculating about whether the Democrats "caved" by agreeing to funding the government for another three weeks, in exchange for a vague promise by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow debate on a measure to save DACA recipients from deportation.

    If there ever turns out to be a Pulitzer Prize for silly and irrelevant reporting on immigration, this kind of comment will certainly deserve to win the prize hands down. The issue is not whether the Democrats "caved" by not taking a harder line on DACA - something that they still have to power to do in other three weeks and therefore have not given away in the slightest.

    The real issue is that as long as Donald Trump is president, there will never be a law enacted to protect the DREAMERS or preserve DACA. He will never sign such a law. The idea that he would do so is nothing more than a mirage held out to lure immigration advocates into an agreement that would destroy most, if not all, of the race-neutral, color-blind, immigration system that America has had for the past 50 years based on family reunification.

    Instead, Trump's agenda is aimed at bringing America back closer to the openly racist, "Nordic countries only" immigration law of 1924 which was abolished in 1965 as part of the civil rights movement to obtain equal justice for people of color in all aspects of our law and society - including immigration.

    While it might very well be assuming too much to think that Trump himself has any knowledge of this legal history, he inadvertently recalled it by stating on January 11 that America needs more immigrants from Norway and fewer from Africa. That is exactly (among other things) what the "National Origins" immigration act of 1924 - which both Adolf Hitler and, 90 years later, Trump's attorney general Jeff Sessions wrote about enthusiastically, provided.

    The Lotus Sutra, one of the most famous and best known of all of the ancient Buddhist writings, includes the following parable (in Chapter 3, translated by Burton Watson):

    "Shariputra, suppose that in a certain town in a certain country there was a very rich man. He was far along in years and his wealth was beyond measure. He has many fields, houses and menservants. His own house was big and rambling, but it had only one gate. A great many people - a hundred, two hundred, perhaps as many as five hundred - lived in the house. The halls and rooms were old and decaying, the walls crumbling, the pillars rotten at their base, and the beams and rafters crooked and aslant."

    The passage continues:

    "At that time a fire suddenly broke out on all sides, spreading through the rooms of the house. When the rich man saw the huge flames leaping up on every side, he was greatly alarmed and fearful and thought to himself, I can escape to safety through the flaming gate, but my sons are inside the house enjoying themselves and playing games, unaware, unknowing, without alarm or fear. The fire is closing in on them, suffering and pain threaten them, yet their minds have no sense of loathing or peril and they do not think of trying to escape."

    The house in that parable could be compared to the old, crumbling structure of racial and religious prejudice in America's immigration history going back, if not earlier to the Supreme Court's notorious 1857 Dred Scott decision ruling that people brought to America or descended from people who had been brought to America as slaves from places in Africa which Donald Trump, less than two weeks ago, referred to as "shithole countries", could never be US citizens because of the color of their skin.

    This decaying house of bigotry with its rotting pillars also dated back to the time of the anti-Irish Know-Nothings and the Chinese exclusion laws of the middle and second half of the 19th century. It also inlcuded the 1924 immigration law mentioned above which not only cut off all immigration from Asia, the Middle East and Africa, but also discriminated against immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe and added to the death toll in Hitler's gas chambers and ovens by barring Jewish refugees from finding safety in the United States in the 1930's and during WW2.

    While large parts of this rotting edifice were torn down by the 1965 reform law which abolished the racist national origin quotes of the 1924 law, part of this decaying building remained in the form of a white supremacist "backlash" leading to the harsh anti-immigrant provisions of IIRIRA in 1996.

    Now this rotting edifice of prejudice and hate against non-European immigrants has caught on fire with the attempts by Trump and his advisers such as Jeff Sessions and Sessions' former aide Stephen Miller (as well as, formerly, Stephen Bannon) to undo the 1965 immigration system based on racial equality by eliminating or sharply reducing family immigration, which was at the heart of the 1965 law.

    The children trapped inside the burning house and largely unaware of the danger facing them are today's legal immigrants from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East and other would be immigrants from outside of white Europe who have come to or are hoping to come to the US though family reunification or the Diversity Visa lottery, which Trump and is white nationalist supporters also want to eliminate.

    To be continued.

    Updated 01-23-2018 at 05:39 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. The shutdown is not over DACA. By Nolan Rappaport

    Perhaps Trump is wrong about "fake" news, but he certainly is right that immigration issues are being distorted.

    I read a news article this morning which indicates that the government shutdown is over the fact that DACA negotiations have failed, but that is not what is happening.

    The Democrats complain that Trump put the DACA participants in jeopardy of deportation when he terminated the DACA program, but when the Gang of Six met with Trump, they were not negotiating for a continuation of the DACA program, which would just protect them from deportation by continuing their temporary legal status. They were negotiating for a DREAM Act, which would make legalization available to millions of undocumented aliens.

    A fix as simple as continuing Obama's DACA program legislatively would be fairly easy to work out in meetings between key representatives from both parties, but a DREAM Act is major legislation that needs to go through the legislative process where it would be subject to the checks and balances of Committee hearings and markups.

    See my article, "Democrats out of order on DREAM Act,"

    Updated 01-21-2018 at 11:05 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Shutdown Was Caused by Trump's Assault Against Non-White Legal Immigration, Not Democrats' Backing of "Unchecked Illegal Immigration". Roger Algase

    Update, January 21 at 8:36 pm:

    A January 20 article by Dylan Scott on also gives support to my view, explained in detail in my original comment below, that the government shutdown was not caused by alleged Democratic support for "unchecked illegal immigration", as Trump claimed without the slightest basis in fact in an inflammatory tweet with obvious racial overtones over the weekend.

    Instead, the shutdown was caused by the president's insistence, egged on by Republican opponents of non-white legal immigration such as Senator Tom Cotton (Ark.) that any relief for DREAMERS must be tied in with major changes in the legal immigration system that would sharply reduce the number of visas available for brown-skinned immigrants from what the president called "shithole" countries such as Haiti and the countries of Africa, and instead favor Norway and other white European countries in a return toward the racially motivated "National Origins" immigration act of 1924 which Adolf Hitler so much admired that he wanted to use it as a model for Germany.

    In his article, Scott describes the efforts of moderate Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (S.C.) to work out a deal with Senators from both parties that would have funded the government temporarily while providing for a Senate vote on DACA within the next three weeks. However, according to this report, Graham's efforts have so far been frustrated by Cotton and some fellow Republican Senators who want to reduce or cut off immigration from non-white parts of the world and who have Trump's ear.

    The article quoted Cotton as saying the following about the 2016 election:

    "The American people, and especially Republican primary voters, made it clear that they wanted Donald Trump's vision of immigration policy, not Lindsay Graham's."

    The reality is that 3 million more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton's vision of immigration policy than Donald Trump's. But, that observation aside, we all know what Senator Cotton is referring to when he talks about Trump's "immigration vision". It is the vision that Trump gave voice to on January 11, in which America's immigrants come from white countries only - not the "shithole" countries where people have darker skins.

    The article is at:

    Update, January 21 at 3:00 pm:

    During the January 20-21 weekend, the president continued to try to distract attention from his repeated insistence on abolishing two of the most essential programs which, together, have enabled tens of millions of dark-skinned, non European, immigrants to come to the US legally in the past decades, namely, family reunification and the Diversity Visa lottery, as the price for agreeing to a DACA legislative solution.

    He did this in the most untruthful and pejorative way imaginable - namely by blaming the Democrats for illegal immigration, using extreme language which was apparently intended to de-legitimize the opposition party entirely - something that in many countries would be a prelude to dictatorship.

    This statement included one authorizing a campaign ad by an outside group accusing Democrats who oppose his immigration agenda of being;

    "complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants"

    This was in addition to his tweet, discussed in my original comment below, that:

    "The Dems just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked."

    For a link to both of these comments, which are so full of animosity and removed from reality as to give ammunition to the growing number of professionals and other commentators who are questioning the president's mental health - something that is far beyond the scope of this site and my own qualifications - see:

    My original comment follows:

    Donald Trump is now continuing
    the inflammatory falsehoods about non-white immigrants which have characterized every stage of his campaign and presidency from the beginning up until now by accusing the Democrats of causing the government shutdown which began on January 20 because they allegedly want "unchecked illegal immigration", according to a report in The Hill.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. To be sure, the Democrats have been insisting on protection for DACA recipients as the price for their agreement to keep the government open. But Trump himself has stated many times that the DREAMERS need legal protection from Congress. He has himself repeatedly called on Congress to provide such protection - after he created the crisis in the first place by cancelling DACA.

    Recently, Trump even called on Congress to pass a "Bill of Love" for DREAMERS.

    Neither DACA, nor any dispute over illegal immigration in general, was the sticking point that caused the government shutdown. To the contrary, there can be no question that the shutdown was caused by Trump's demand for sharp reductions in legal immigration, affecting potentially tens of millions of immigrants from non-white parts of the world, as the price for an agreement to help DACA recipients.

    On January 11, a small bipartisan group Senators came to Trump with a proposed DACA legislative solution, and that Trump angrily rejected the proposal. His rejection did not have anything to do with DACA itself, or with the DREAMERS.

    Instead, Trump rejected the proposal because it did not include massive cutbacks in legal immigration - specifically, abolishing extended family immigration - pejoratively called "chain migration" by Trump's white supremacist supporters - which has been central to America's immigration system for the past 50 years and has enabled 30 or 40 million immigrants from non-white parts of the world to come the the US legally during this period.

    Attempting to label legal family-based immigration. as well has the Diversity Visa lottery, which which Trump now also wants to abolish because it has been especially advantageous for legal immigrants from what has Trump reportedly called the "shithole countries" of Africa,"unchecked illegal immigration", is nothing more or less than using the Big Lie technique of Adolf Hitler.

    Trump has been using this same technique in many other statements he has made about extended family immigration and the Diversity Visa, in which he has tried to link both of these legal immigration programs to terror and crime without the slightest shred of evidence or justification. Here is an example of the kind of delusional, barely coherent attacks against these two major components of the current version of race-neutral immigration system which has made America truly Great - as a country of immigrants from all over the world past 50 years:

    The following is taken from the transcript of Trump's December 28, 2017 interview with New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt:

    "We have to get rid of chainlike immigration, we
    have to get rid of the chain. The chain is the last guy that killed...the last guy that killed the eight badly wounded people...Twenty-two people came in through chain migration."

    (As I have pointed out in previous comments, even Mark Krikorian of the restrictionist Center for Immigration Studies, which supports Trump's attempt to reduce legal immigration, has said that it is impossible for one person to sponsor 22 relatives to come to the US legally under our current system.)

    Trump then followed up on his fantasies about family immigration with an even wilder and more delusional, divorced from reality, rant against the Diversity Visa lottery:

    "They take the worst people in the country, they put 'em into the lottery, then they have a handful of bad, worse ones, and they put them out. 'Oh, these are the people the United States...'...We're gonna get rid of the lottery, and by the way, the Democrats agree on that. On chain migration, they pretty much agree with me."

    Since his final statement above to the effect that the Democrats mostly agree with him on eliminating these two important legal immigration programs was just as far removed from reality as his venomous attacks on the mainly non-European legal immigrants who benefit from family immigration and the Diversity lottery themselves were, Trump made his position clear (and certainly more coherent, though not less full of poisonous animosity toward non-white legal immigrants) the following day, December 29, 2017, in a tweet aimed expressly at his Democratic opponents:

    "The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & the ridiculous lottery system of immigration, etc. (Italics added.)

    See: ThinkProgess:

    Trump tweets a white nationalist ransom note to immigrants

    When the president told Senate negotiators two weeks later, on January 11, that a DACA deal was "dead" unless they agreed to change the law in order to favor legal immigration from white countries such as Norway instead of African countries or Haiti, he was saying the same thing as he did in above previous tweet.

    The president's insistence on forcing immigration supporters to agree to abolish legal visa categories which have been been used primarily by immigrants from non-white countries, so that he can achieve his stated goal of enabling legal more immigrants to come from Scandinavia in the future and fewer to be admitted from Africa and the Caribbean, is the only reason why we now have a government shutdown.

    As Jamelle Bouie explained succinctly on on January 19:

    "Last week, the president scuttled the deal [to reach a legislative solution for DACA] brokered by Sens. Lindsay Graham and Dick Durbin, following a now-infamous meeting where Trump called both Haiti and various African nations 'shitholes'. Since then, the White House has been silent on what it wants from a deal, even though Trump's priorities are not hard to discern - he wants more white immigrants and fewer immigrants from countries whose citizens are largely black and brown."

    Indeed, one could accurately say that, with few if any exceptions, all of Trump's immigration statements and actions as candidate and president, from his initial slurs of Mexican and Latino immigrants as "criminals" and "rapists"; his Muslim and refugee ban orders; "extreme vetting" of immigrants; ramped-up arrest and deportation dragnet; support for the Eurocentric RAISE Act's emphasis on skilled over family immigration while taking many steps to make H-1B and other skilled immigration visas harder to obtain; and his efforts to slow down legal immigration processing in general: all of these are ultimately aimed at making America's immigration system whiter and more European.

    Trump's attempt to blame the shutdown on his opponents' alleged support for "unchecked illegal immigration" is a blatant use of the infamous Big Lie technique. It is also part a Europeans-only immigration agenda which tarnishes America's image in the entire world and reflects badly on his fitness to be the president of the United States.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 01-22-2018 at 02:42 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Mayors from seven major French cities write open letter saying they are overwhelmed by the flow of migrants 19/01/18

    Note. While researching an article I am writing on how Hungary is dealing with illegal immigration, I happened upon this article about France. It's sad that the situation had to get to this point. Nolan

    The mayors of seven large
    French cities have appealed to the national government to save them from the 'social emergency' of huge numbers of migrants.

    Local chiefs from Nantes, Lille, Bordeaux, Grenoble, Rennes, Toulouse andStrasbourg wrote an open letter to Parisian officials to beg for relief from the'extreme tension' caused by the arrival of people seeking a new home.

    The mayors - including this year's presidential hopeful Alain Juppť (fromBordeaux) - explained that there had been a 'massive rise in the demand forasylum', with 'several thousand' migrants arriving every month.

    Writing to Le Monde, they added: 'A social emergency. An urgent solidarity. [Our cities] are, on this subject as on others, on the front line.

    'We can not, we must not, resign ourselves to the human, social and health drama of uprooting migrants. Every month, several thousand people arrive inour cities.

    'Integrating those recognized as refugees and helping those who have lost their right of asylum who still remain in our territory is a major issue.'

    The letter further explained that the crisis - of 'a proportion never before known' - was leading to a 'saturation' of core services supplied to migrants such as housing and welfare despite a 'steady increase' in the number of places made available.


    Submitted by Nolan Rappaport

    Updated 01-19-2018 at 04:58 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. "Chain Migration" and Visa Lottery Originally Promoted White Immigration. That Changed, So Trump and GOP Now Want to Abolish Them. Roger Algase

    If the Federal Government shuts down beginning on January 20, the first anniversary of Donald Trump's inauguration as President, there can be little doubt that one of the main causes, if not the only one, will have been the president's persistent refusal to agree to a DACA solution that does not also met his repeated demand the "Chain Migration" (a pejorative term for family immigration for parents and siblings of US citizens) and the Diversity Visa Lottery must be abolished.

    Despite the efforts of Trump supporters to obfuscate or downplay the effect of Trump's horrific "shithole" (or was it "shithouse"?) comment on January 11, which was made in the course of Trump's reported angry rejection of a DACA proposal by a group of Senators which would NOT have ended family immigration or the Diversity Lottery, Trump has attacked both these programs so many times, and so pejoratively, that there can be no serious doubt that his opposition is based on race.

    As recently as January 17, two days before the shutdown deadline, the Daily Mail reported that Trump and his Republican supporters were still adamant about ending the Diversity lottery and cutting back on legal family based immigration, (which Trump has referred to several times, most recently in a December 29, 2017 tweet, as "horrible"), as the price for agreeing to a solution for DACA recipients - who are in a desperate situation only because Trump unilaterally cancelled their program four months ago, effective in March of this year.

    Beyond question, these two programs have become symbols of immigration in general from non-white areas of the world. For that reason, they have come under fierce attack from white supremacist spokesmen and politicians, politely referred to as immigration "conservatives" or "hard liners", whom Trump looks to and relies on as his "base".

    But "Chain Migration" and the Visa Lottery were not always identified with immigration from non-white parts of the world. Both were originally instituted for the purpose of maintaining the predominantly European focus of immigration and makeup of America's population.

    In order to understand this, we need to look at the history of the landmark 1965 immigration reform law which abolished the openly racist, "Nordics"-only immigration act of 1924, and which has formed the foundation of America's immigration policy for the past half century.

    A January 13 article by Alison Durkee on explains this history clearly and succinctly as follows:

    "Trump and [Arkansas Republican Senator Tom] Cotton's attacks on the 'un-American' program, however, ignore the fact that it was conservatives who imposed family-based immigration in the first place. Their intention, though, was to keep the country dominated by white Europeans, and has since backfired and led to the transformation of the US."

    The article continues:

    "The U.S. first adopted its emphasis on family immigration in the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, also known as the Hart-Celler Act. This was a transformative piece of legislation that abolished a prior system of national origin quotas that heavily favored Europeans...While the Democrat[ic]-led act was initially based aound skills and education that would be 'eapecially advantageous' to the U.S., a last minute political compromise was struck to assuage conservatives who wanted the U.S. to remain predominantly populated by white Europeans: family-based immigration."

    To be continued.

    Updated 01-19-2018 at 08:34 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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