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  1. Immigration Courts Temporarily Halting Legal Assistance Program for Immigrants Facing Deportation

    by , 04-11-2018 at 10:16 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via the Washington Post:

    The U.S. immigration courts will temporarily halt a program that offers legal assistance to detained foreign nationals facing deportation while it audits the programís cost-effectiveness, a federal official said Tuesday.

    Officials informed the Vera Institute of Justice that starting this month it will pause the nonprofitís Legal Orientation Program, which last year held information sessions for 53,000 immigrants in more than a dozen states, including California and Texas.


    The federal government will also evaluate Veraís ďhelp desk,Ē which offers tips to non-detained immigrants facing deportation proceedings in the Chicago, Miami, New York, Los Angeles and San Antonio courts.


    Click here for more.
  2. Double Standard of Justice: DOJ Suspends Legal Help for Detained Immigrants While Trump Claims to be Above the Law With FBI, Mueller. Roger Algase

    In another move more typical of authoritarian regimes than democracies, the Justice Department has suspended the EOIR's Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) program which provides legal assistance to detained immigrants, even as a reportedly enraged Donald Trump denounced an FBI raid on his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, as "an attack on our country" and escalated Trump's previous threats to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, who, reportedly, may be looking even more closely into Trump's personal business dealings, not just issues of possibly illegal foreign influence and obstruction of justice in connection with the 2016 presidential campaign.

    For more details about the suspension of Vera, which is the only lifeline to legal assistance for thousands of detained immigrants awaiting deportation, see, Washington Post, April 10:

    Justice Dept. to halt legal advice for immigrants in detention

    For an independent comment referring to the Vera suspension as: "Cruelty's fresh new look for spring", which also includes a direct link to the WAPO story, see: wonkette.com

    https://wonkette.com/632448/justice-...ding-legal-aid

    And for an analysis by three distinguished ethics lawyers showing why the FBI raids on Trump's personal lawyer's home, office and hotel were legally justified and what the raids might mean in terms of Trump's own alleged possible involvement, see POLITICO:

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/st...mueller-217841

    and for another view of this issue see: Salon.com

    https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-po...-michael-cohen

    While my comments are focused on immigration only, I am mentioning these other issues in passing only to show the stark contrast between the Trump administration's relentless assault on even the most essential due process rights for immigrants, and his insistence on claiming these rights for himself (beyond their actual scope - the attorney client relationship, for example, does not protect alleged criminal conduct) while trying to shut off any questions about his own dealings as being somehow unpatriotic - an attack on America itself, to use Trump's own words.

    It is as if there were two systems of justice in America, one for immigrants and other targeted minorities which cuts off most or all basic legal rights; and another for Trump and his inner circle, which puts them above the law and makes them subject to no restraint other than the will of the president.

    As Senior Editor Adam Server writes in The Atlantic about Trump's double standard of justice, one for immigrants and another for himself and his associates:

    "Much of the president's rhetoric assumes that the arms of the state are infallible, and that its targets are assumed guilty...He called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States...

    He began his campaign characterizing Mexican immigrants as 'rapists' and drug dealers...and accused Muslims of hating Americans and celebrating acts of terrorism."

    In contrast, Serwer continues:

    "When it comes to Trump's associates, the president becomes a self-styled expert in due process, and a devotee of the idea that one is innocent until proven guilty - or in some cases, even after."

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics...ustice/557708/

    In the case of suspending the Vera legal assistance program for detained immigrants, the hypocrisy of this action, bordering on outright cynicism, is even more apparent in the reason that the DOJ is giving for this decision - to study the program's "cost effectiveness"!

    Penny-pinching over funds for protecting the basic legal rights of immigrants is in stark contrast with the millions of taxpayer dollars that the Trump administration is now being accused of wasting on unnecessary security and first class plane trips for favored inner circle officials such as the scandal-ridden EPA director, Scott Pruitt, with his alleged personal ethics violations

    https://www.vox.com/2018/4/11/172154...corruption-epa

    and Pruitt's even more scandalous attempts to dismantle the EPA at the behest of large polluters and their lobbyists:

    http://thehill.com/policy/energy-env...to-oust-pruitt

    not to mention all the tax money spent on security and related expenses for the weekend trips by the president himself to his Mar-a-Lago golf resort.

    Suspending the vital Vera program on "cost effectiveness" grounds is indeed a cruel joke on incarcerated immigrants, their families, and on all Americans who believe in this country's fundamental principle of equal justice for all, regardless of race, color, religion or national origin.

    For more information about the cruel and devastating effect on thousands of vulnerable immigrants from suspending the Vera program see the following April 11 statement by the ACLU of New Jersey:

    https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#in...2b6c6f6cee0714
    ________________________________
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards for more than 30 years.

    Roger's practice is focused mainly on work visas though H-1B specialty occupation and O-1 extraordinary ability employment, as well as green cards though Labor Certification and marriage or other family relationships.

    Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com


    Updated 04-11-2018 at 06:54 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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