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  1. The difference between 'DACA' and 'Dreamers': A primer. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty

    The government shutdown ended Monday when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) promised to take up an immigration bill that would protect an estimated 800,000 Dreamers from deportation under an open amendment process, if the Democrats would agree to end the shutdown. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y) said that pledge was enough for his caucus to accept a three-week government funding bill, which passed on a vote of 81-18.

    But what do the parties really intend to take up? A DACA-fix for the 690,000 current participants or a DREAM Act to provide a path to citizenship for 2.7 million undocumented aliens?

    And who are the Dreamers?

    DREAM Act advocates typically claim that Dreamers are undocumented immigrants who were brought here illegally as children and have grown up in America knowing nothing about their own countries, but that does not describe the eligibility requirements for the DREAM Act or for DACA.


    The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was established in June 15, 2012, when DHS announced that aliens who had been brought to the United States illegally as children and met other criteria would be considered for temporary lawful status with work authorization.


    Published originally on The Hill.

    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.
  2. Letters of the Week: January 22 - January 28

  3. ICE Targeted 7-Eleven Stores for “Silent Raids”

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

    As discussed in my prior blog entry ( that Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement (ICE) would be targeting a national food service chain, ICE delivered Notice of Inspections (NOIs) (sometimes referred to as “silent raids”) at 98 7-Eleven stores nationwide on January 10, 2018 demanding to see the I-9 forms of all employees. Furthermore, ICE detained 21 employees.

    The 7-Eleven stores involved are in 17 states, including California, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas. 7-Eleven, Inc. issued a statement stating each of the stores is a franchise, who is “solely responsible for their employees, including who to hire and verifying their eligibility to work in the United States.” Furthermore, it stated that the franchise agreements of franchisees “convicted” of violating immigration laws, have been terminated.

    ICE referred to their recent actions as a “follow-up” of a 2013 investigation that resulted in the arrests and convictions of five franchise owners in New York and Virginia for harboring undocumented workers and wire fraud. Because of these convictions, it spawned the largest forfeiture in ICE history – forfeiture of franchise rights to 14 stores, forfeiture of five houses, valued at $1.3 million, and restitution of over $2.6 million for back wages stolen from employees. See my blog entry ( for October 6, 2014 for more details on the 2014 convictions.

    Thomas Homan, acting director of ICE, issued a statement – “Today’s actions send a strong message to U.S. businesses that hire and employ an illegal workforce: ICE will enforce the law, and if you are found to be breaking the law, you will be held accountable.”

    One of the unique aspects of the delivery of NOIs is the detention of 21 employees. In the Obama administration, which issued thousands of NOIs every year, ICE would not normally detain workers at the time of the NOI; rather, ICE would issue a Notice of Suspect Documents to the employer stating the named employees’ documentation did not demonstrate work authorization. Then the employer gave the employee an opportunity to provide “new” documentation. If employees were unable to provide valid documentation, the employer had to discharge the employees or face penalties. However, at no point in this process did ICE seek to detain undocumented workers.

    Homan had previously stated ICE was going to detain undocumented workers during NOIs and now we know how ICE is going to accomplish this. Unless ICE can establish that the employer was aware or should have been aware of the workers’ undocumented status, the employer will not face civil penalties or criminal penalties. In ICE’s previous actions toward 7-Eleven franchises, it established knowledge of undocumented status.

    After the indictments and convictions of the store owners in New York and Virginia in 2013 and 2014, 7-Eleven’s corporate office stated it would “take aggressive actions to audit the employment status of all of its franchisees’ employees.” However, 7-Elevens recent statement appears to try and wash their hands of any responsibility or liability for the franchisees’ actions.

    I will keep you abreast of future developments in the case. For a review of ICE’s civil and criminal actions against employers as well as other employer immigration compliance issues, I invite you to read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book that I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and is available at
  4. Trump Uses DACA as Bait (or Cynical Blackmail) to Undermine Racial Equality and Restore White Supremacy in U.S. Legal Immigration System. Roger Algase

    Update, January 23 at 8:51 pm:

    For the latest confirmation from the White House that Trump will not sign any DACA or DREAMER related legislation that does not also include drastic cuts in or elimination of legal immigration visas which have benefited tens of millions of immigrants from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East over the last few decades and made America a more racially diverse country, see The Hill:, January 23:

    My original comment appears below:

    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 Trump is using DACA as bait, if not actual blackmail. to persuade immigration supporters to agree to a proposal to abolish family reunification and the Diversity Visa lottery. These two programs have enabled 30 or 40 million immigrants to comet to the United States from Asia, Africa and Latin America during the past 50 years (in the case of family immigration) and more than a million immigrants, many of them from what Trump calls the "shithole" countries of Africa, during the past 20 years in the case of the visa lottery.

    Abolishing these two programs is and essential part of Trump's agenda 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.

    For more details on how Trump is cynically using DACA as bait (or blackmail) to try to force DACA supporters to agree to massive cuts in legal immigration from non-white parts of the world as a price for agreeing to legislation to help the DREAMERS, see Jamelle Bouie's article in

    See also Jane Coasten's even more detailed and comprehensive analysis in

    And for a report on the latest Republican House proposal to make draconian cuts in legal immigration from non-European areas of the world in exchange for DACA relief see:

    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 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 quotas 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 discrimination 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, and pushing to cancel the Diversity Visa lottery which has benefited immigrants from every part of the world for the past two decades.

    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, and their sponsors, supporters and advocates.

    There is considerable awareness and activism by immigration supporters of specific immigration issues such as DACA, the Muslim Ban, Refugee restrictions, Sanctuary Cities, etc.. But there is much less realization that America's entire system of legal immigration is now on fire thanks to Donald Trump, and it will burn down if this fire of racial hatred and intolerance continues to spread.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 01-24-2018 at 08:23 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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