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On April 10, my Immigration Daily comment appeared concerning an ancient Greek word for people who answer (krites in ancient Greek) from under (hypo in ancient Greek) the mask, i.e actors or dissemblers, from whence comes the English word "hypocrite".
While that comment dealt with the hypocrisy inherent in Trump's military strike against a Syrian airfield used to launch a war crime in the form of a chemical attack, while refusing to admit victims of that and many other Russian-backed Syrian crimes against humanity into the United States as refugees, Trump's Justice Department is bringing arguments before a federal judge in California in Sanctuary Cities litigation which can also, for an entirely different reason, qualify as answering from under the mask in the above sense of hypocrisy.
In essence, while Trump and his A.G., Jeff Sessions, have been making dire threats to cut off all federal funds to "Sanctuary" jurisdictions which refuse to toe Trump's hard line against mainly Mexican and other non-white immigrants, the Department of Justice is now arguing before a federal court in San Francisco that the court should not issue an injunction against this threatened retaliation by the federal government because Trump purportedly isn't really planning to do anything at all to cause harm to the plaintiff Sanctuary Jurisdictions, San Francisco and Santa Clara County, California. See:
This kind of hypocritical argument, no doubt, would have earned the DOJ a first prize in dissembling if it had been made during a dramatic performance at a classical Greek festival in ancient Athens.
At issue is the threat that both Trump and A.G. Jeff Sessions have made to cut off all federal funding for cities and other jurisdictions which refuse to cooperate with Trump's mass deportation agenda, an agenda which is both unprecedented and alarming in the scope of its reach and the number of people targeted, according an 18-page internal DHS memo which has now been obtained by the media calling for major increases in both personnel and prison space which would make Trump's "Deportation Force" a grim reality and a threat to the basic civil rights and freedoms of both immigrants and American citizens alike (as I have written previously in my discussion of INA Section 274).
For more details on the DHS memo, see:
However, in its argument opposing the above plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction preventing the Trump administration from cutting off all federal funds to them, the DOJ's lawyers are now contending, according to the above SF Chronicle news report, that there is no plan to cut off all federal funds, but only to cut off DHS funds, which allegedly are in an inconsequential amount as far as the plaintiffs are concerned.
Therefore, the DOJ argues, an injunction is unnecessary and inappropriate, since the plaintiff Sanctuary Jurisdictions would purportedly not suffer any substantial harm from losing only the DHS funding.
The hypocrisy behind this argument is self evident. Obviously, if an injunction is denied by the Court, the federal government will be free to cut off all funding to the two plaintiffs, just as Trump and Sessions have been threatening to do all along.
One can be sure that this type of deceptive "bait and switch" argument would have been well understood by the audiences of the great Greek dramatists, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, in ancient Athens as they watched the under (hypo) the mask actors give their answers (krites).
The California federal lawsuit is not the only litigation in which the hypocritical Trump administration is answering from under the mask, however.
POLITICO reports that on April 18, a federal judge in Washington will hear testimony from advocacy groups for Iranians in the U.S., including US citizens claiming that their basic rights are being infringed by Trump's latest Muslim ban executive order. The report states:
"The plaintiffs include women planning weddings in the U.S. and trying to bring their parents from Iran, medical researchers concerned that if they return home they won't be able to come back, and members of the LGBT community seeking refugee status because of anti-gay discrimination in Iran."
The Trump administration claims that barring Iranians from the United States is necessary to protect America against terror attacks, even though most, if not all, of the Iranians coming to the US are doing so to escape from discrimination and lack of political freedom in their country, not because of any support for its government's harsh Islamist ideology. For further details see:
Once again, if this drama were playing itself out in ancient Greece, instead of in U.S. federal court litigation ca.2017, the audience would no doubt have applauded the skillful hypo-krites of the actors dissembling from under the mask.
However, the hypocrisy of lack of good faith in the Trump administration's arguments in these two federal court cases is not even the main issue at stake. This issue is only an introduction to the central question in all the ligation already underway or still to come over both the Muslim ban and the Sanctuary City issues.
This central issue is whether Trump will continue to try to hold himself above the law and claim virtually the same powers as a dictator over immigration; or whether, as Euripides has one of his characters say ironically in his famous tragedy Medea, Trump will, eventually, learn that even the occupant of the White House has the obligation to "understand justice and the rule of law"(diken epistasai nomois te chresthai, in Euripides' ancient Greek orginal).
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants receive work visas and green cards. Roger's email address is email@example.com
Updated 04-26-2017 at 10:53 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
This comment will continue my discussion of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' directive to all US Attorneys to increase the number of criminal prosecutions of, not only immigrants, but also American citizens, who "harbor" or "assist" unauthorized immigrants under INA Section 274 (8 U.S.C. 1324). I began this discussion in my Immigration Daily comment appearing om April 12.
In that discussion, I pointed out that while Section 274 is generally used to prosecute immigrant smugglers, its language is so broad that it could be used against almost anyone who has any type of contact with someone whom he or she might have reason to believe could be in the United States without legal status - i.e. almost anyone who is not white or who speaks with a foreign accent (or does not speak English at all).
I will illustrate exactly how broad this statue is in my forthcoming discussion of the 2011 Federal District court case of U.S. v. Costello (S.D. Illinois).
First, however, let us look at what Sessions' real objective is, in all probability, in planning to increase the number and scope of prosecutions under this wide ranging statute. Is his main purposes to make America more law-abiding, as he claims?
Or is his real goal (also supported by Trump's plan to increase his "Deportation Force" to police state proportions, as described in alarming detail in an April 12 story in the Washington Post with the title: Trump Administration moving quickly to build up nationwide deportation force ) to set back racial equality in America by almost 100 years by bringing back at least the spirit, if not that exact letter, of the 1924 Johnson-Reed Immigration Act which cut off immigration to the US from most parts of the world other than the "Nordic" countries of Western Europe?
In two very recent statements, Sessions has heaped lavish praise on this law, whose openly "national origins" immigration quotas were the foundation of America's immigration system for four decades until the law was finally abolished in 1965 during the civil rights era.
Is this era of movement toward racial justice and equality, the era of Martin Luther King Jr., now over, to be replaced by what Sessions himself, in his recent speech in Nogales, Arizona, called the "Trump era" - an era of racial inequality and repression?
The Atlantic quotes Sessions as saying the following about the 1924 law in a December, 2015 with - not surprisingly - none other that Stephen Bannon himself, then the head of Breitbart News:
"When the [immigration] numbers reached this high in 1924, the president and congress changed the policy, and it slowed down immigration significantly, we then assimilated through the 1965 [sic] and created the really solid middle class of America, with assimilated immigrants, and it was good for America."
When I see this statement, I cannot help but be reminded of the ironic song:"I am easily assimilated." from Leonard Bernstein's famous musical Candide, which deals with the persecution of the Jews during the Spanish Inquisition.
(Another famous song from that same Musical is called: "What a wonderful day - for an Auto da Fe.")
The above references to persecution of the Jews are by no means irrelevant to Sessions' above comment.
Jewish immigrants were only one of the many non-"Nordic" ethnic groups of the world who were almost totally banned from immigrating to the US under the 1924 law that Sessions has expressed so much admiration for.
Eastern European, Middle Eastern, Asian and African immigrants were also almost entirely barred. Therefore, when Sessions used the term "assimilated" above, the immigrants he was referring to were almost exclusively white, Protestant, citizens of Northern European countries.
Nor can Sessions possibly plead ignorance of the contents and purpose of the 1924 law which he has shown so much admiration for - not only in December, 2015 but also in January of that same year, when his office published an immigration "Handbook" for Congressional Republicans containing similar statements in support of the 1924 Immigration Act.
For a link to the full text of this manifesto, which blames immigrants for just about every problem facing America today, just as a certain German Leader screamed "Die Juden sind unser Unglueck" eight decades ago (English translation should not be necessary for anyone who has the slightest knowledge of European history between 1933 and 1945). see:
Jeff Sessions has been accused of many things. But being ignorant of American immigration history and of the real purpose of the 1924 law (which, for example, allowed approximately 50,000 immigrants a year from Germany, approximately 34,000 from Great Britain, and exactly 100 immigrants a year each(!) from India, China, Japan and most other countries of the Middle East, Asia and Africa) is not one of them.
In my forthcoming comment, I will return to INA Section 274 and show how it could, and in all likelihood will, be used as a means to stifle opposition to the above objective of returning America closer to the time of this 1924 law, and intimidating, not only "Sanctuary City" mayors and police chiefs, but millions of ordinary Americans from associating with, having even the most normal kinds of dealings with, or lending any kind of support to the Latin American, Middle Eastern, Asian, African and Caribbean immigrants who are being made to feel less and less welcome and more and more threatened in the "Donald Trump era" of America.
If Jeff Sessions carries out his program of expanding prosecutions under INA Section 274, once again, as was the case for 40 years beginning almost a century ago, non-European immigrants will not be so "easily assimilated" in Donald Trump's America.
Nor might millions of Americans who have any kind of association or contact with unauthorized immigrants, let alone advocating on their behalf or helping them in any way to assert their rights, be so easily acquitted.
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants, from divese parts of the world, receive work visas and green cards without regard to ethnicity, color or religion.
Roger's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated 04-15-2017 at 01:03 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
by Maria Schneider
USCIS had begun notifying applicants and petitioners when their attorney’s Form G-28 has not been accepted.
The G-28 form is filed by the attorney with the case to notify the USCIS that the applicant or petitioner has a lawyer and that the lawyer should be notified of any updates on the case.
Previously, when USCIS did not accept Form G-28, neither the attorney nor the client was notified of the rejection. The immigration application or petition was simply processed without an attorney on the case.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association raised this issue with USCIS on several occasions, but it was not until the past year that USCIS advised that it was planning to start notifying applicants or petitioners when the G-28 was rejected.
On March 7, 2017, USCIS announced that it has added the following language to receipt notices when a G-28 was not accepted with an application or petition:
A valid G-28 was NOT received with your case. If you wish to be represented, please contact your attorney or accredited representative to submit follow-up G-28 to the USCIS location where your case is pending. For more information on filing G-28, please visit http://www.uscis.gov/forms/filing-your-form-g-28.
The receipt notices that include the above language will only be issued for cases that were filed at a lockbox facility. Cases that are directly filed with a local office will not contain the G-28 notice.
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