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Recent Blogs Posts

  1. Will Bannon's Ouster Stop Trump's March Toward Imposing a Whites Only Immigration Regime on America? Roger Algase

    The media are now consumed with the news on August 18 that Donald Trump has suddenly (or maybe not so suddenly - there were warning signs according to many reports) fired Stephen Bannon as his senior strategist.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/0...e-house-241792

    Since Bannon, by all accounts, played a major role in Trump's Muslim ban and many other of his policies adversely affecting immigrants from non-white parts of the world, if not actually being the chief architect of these policies, there is speculation that Bannon's ouster may signify a big reversal for Trump on immigration, or at least a halt in his progress toward a whites-only immigration regime, as shown most recently in Trump's support for the RAISE Act.

    As I have mentioned in a recent comment, white supremacist leader Richard Spencer, who has added to his notoriety by his role in organizing the neo-nazi Charlottesville demonstration on August 12 has praised the RAISE Act as "awesome", and looking at this bill which would drastically cut all immigration from outside Europe it is easy to see why he thinks so. See:

    http://blogs.ilw.com/entry.php?10067

    However, it could also be possible that Trump, whose record during the presidential campaign, not to mention as president, has been full of disparaging remarks and hostile actions against Latinos, Muslims and other non-European immigrants, no longer needs Bannon and is now capable of imposing a whites-only immigration agenda on America without him.

    However, any analysis of what Trump's immigration policies might be without Bannon has to begin with a look at what Trump's policies in this area have been with Bannon.

    An excellent place to begin this examination is with a February 28 article in the L.A. Times by Brian Bennet entitled:

    The real goal of Trump's executive orders: Reduce the number of immigrants in the U.S.


    http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-n...228-story.html

    As the following discussion will show, the word "immigrants" in the title of Bennet's article should be taken to mean: "non-white immigrants".

    To be continued.

    Updated 08-18-2017 at 08:18 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. BIA and Reprehensible Determinations

    In Matter of J-G-D-F-, 27 I&N Dec. 82 (BIA 2017), the BIA has ruled that the Oregon crime of burglary of a dwelling is a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) even though a defendant can be convicted of burglary under the Oregon statute for entering or remaining in an unoccupied home. The Board's analysis is somewhat confounding, ultimately favoring a categorical conclusion that is clearly to the disadvantage of those in the respondent's position.

    (In one fell swoop, the BIA rejected the respondent's request for withholding and deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) on the basis that the respondent failed to identify an acceptable particular social group as the reason for the threat to his life or freedom and fear of torture, ruling that, "he asserted that he would be targeted by criminals because he would be recognized as someone who has lived in the United States for a long period of time based on his clothing and accent. However, this proposed group lacks particularity, because it is amorphous and lacks definable boundaries. As described, the proposed group could include persons of any age, sex, or background." Id. at 86.)

    There are two central issues presented: Does the Oregon statute in question and, if divisible, the crime of which the respondent was convicted under the Oregon statute, amount to a generic burglary? Assuming it amounts to a burglary, is the crime of which the respondent was convicted a CIMT, involving reprehensible conduct and some degree of scienter?

    A few comments in response to the precedential aspects of this decision are warranted.

    A conviction of the crime of burglary does not make removal inevitable, not only because there may be post-conviction remedies available, but because the underlying offense is not necessarily a crime involving moral turpitude or an aggravated felony conviction.

    As we know, burglary convictions must be analyzed according to the state law under which the crime is defined. The elements of the offense described under state law must match the elements contained in the generic definition of burglary, i.e., unlawful entry into or remaining in a building or structure with the intent to commit a crime. Taylor v. U.S., 495 U.S. 575 (1990).

    The respondent argued that the statute was overbroad. Although the respondent asserted that “a violation of the statute does not necessarily involve reprehensible conduct or a culpable mental state since it does not require that a defendant unlawfully enter a dwelling or intend to commit a crime involving moral turpitude at the time he or she enters the building,” id. at 83, the BIA rejected the respondent's arguments.

    The BIA concluded instead that the statute was divisible “with respect to whether a first degree burglary offense involved entering or remaining unlawfully in a dwelling, as opposed to a building other than a dwelling.” Id. at 84-85. Cf. Mathis v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2243,2249 (2016) (deeming a statute to be divisible if “it list[s] elements in the alternative, and thereby define[s] multiple crimes”)

    Under section 164.205(2), the term “dwelling” means a building which regularly or intermittently is occupied by a person lodging therein at night, whether or not a person is actually present. However, the BIA ruled that the statute was not divisible as to whether the building was occupied or not, cutting of any examination of the record with respect to that aspect of the crime.

    The records in the instant case contained no equivocation regarding the nature of the respondent's conviction. In fact, once the statute in the instant case was treated as divisible as to “entering or remaining unlawfully,” the record clearly identified the crime of which the respondent was convicted. As the BIA stated expressly, "the judgment and plea agreement for the respondent’s conviction show that he pleaded to “Burglary I” as charged in Count 2 of the charging document, which alleged that the offense occurred 'in an occupied dwelling.'” Consequently, the BIA affirmed the IJ's conclusion that, "according to the respondent’s record of conviction, he was convicted under the prong of section 164.225 that requires entering or remaining unlawfully in a “dwelling” with the intent to commit a crime." Id. at 86.

    But that begs the question.

    Today's decision in Matter of J-G-D-F-, expands on the BIA’s prior precedent in Matter of Louissaint, 24 I&N Dec. 754, 756 (BIA 2009), and distorts the longstanding BIA standard requiring that crimes involving moral turpitude must contain “two essential elements: reprehensible conduct and a culpable mental state,” Matter of Silva-Trevino, 26 I&N Dec. 826, 834 (BIA 2016). Prior to Louissant, the BIA honored the reasonable limitation that a crime was to be considered a CIMT only if the crime accompanying the unlawful entry was itself turpitudinous.

    In Louissaint, the BIA held that the “conscious and overt act of unlawfully entering or remaining in an occupied dwelling with the intent to commit a crime is inherently ‘reprehensible conduct’ committed ‘with some form of scienter.’” Matter of F-G-D-F-, supra. at 87 (quoting Matter of Louissaint, 24 I&N Dec. at 758 (citation omitted)). The rationale underlying this conclusion was the fact that the building was occupied and the victim’s presence involved an expectation of privacy and security. By drawing the conclusion that every unlawful entry of a dwelling, whether occupied or not at the time of the offense, amounts to "reprehensible conduct" the BIA evades prior caselaw which had focused on the specific crime that was intended. Cf. Matter of M-, 2 I&N Dec. 721 (BIA, A.G. 1946).


    c. 2017 Lory D. Rosenberg, www.Loryrosenberg.com

    Updated 08-18-2017 at 05:07 PM by Lrosenberg

  3. And This Supreme Court Justice is Going to Help Decide Whether Trump's Muslim Ban Executive Order is Valid? Roger Algase

    POLITICO reports on August 17 that the newest, Trump-appointed Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at an event to be sponsored in September by the non-profit Fund for American Studies at Donald Trump's D.C. Hotel.

    According to the same report, the hotel, which is frequented by Republican operatives, lobbyists and cabinet officials is already making even than bigger than expected profits as a result of patronage by individuals and groups seeking to influence the administration.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/0...l-event-241738

    By giving the keynote address, Justice Gorsuch will very arguably be helping to boost the business profits of the same president whose Muslim ban executive order, one of the best publicized and most controversial actions of his entire presidency to date, Gorsuch will participate in ruling on the validity of in this fall's Supreme Court term.

    And this is what they call impartial justice?


    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 08-17-2017 at 11:49 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. MU’S MARIA SCHNEIDER TO SPEAK AT ALABAMA STATE BAR ASSOCIATION’S “LAWYER UNIVERSITY”

    by , 08-17-2017 at 10:20 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    Senior Associate, Maria Schneider, will be speaking to attorneys in Birmingham on August 24, 2017 as a part of the Alabama State Bar Association’s Lawyer University.



    Lawyer University is an initiative of the Alabama State Bar that monitors changing economic and technological trends affecting the state’s attorneys and helps the attorneys to obtain the practical skills needed to meet these challenges and trends.



    Schneider will speak on the basics of business-based immigration and the shifting landscape under the Trump Administration. Schneider will be joined by other lawyers, speaking on personal jurisdiction, cybersecurity, and electronic discovery.

    Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at
    www.musillo.com and www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook, Twitter and LinknedIn.







  5. In a Time of Hate, My Refugee Clients Give Me Hope

    As an ordinary citizen, it is not easy to decide the best way to confront a Nazi march. Show up to peacefully protest? That might give additional attention to the other side. Protest violently? Not only could that elevate the Nazis, it might also de-legitimize the resistance to the Nazis (even those who peacefully resist). Ignore them? That might be viewed as condoning their views. Reasonable people can differ about what to do, at least as far as the peaceful responses are concerned.


    As a great American philosopher once said, "I hate Nazis."

    But when you are a public figure, especially an elected official, the decision about how to respond is clear: First, ensure safety and free speech. Second, denounce the evils of Nazism and make it plain that Nazis, Klan members, and anyone who might march side-by-side with such people are un-American, illegitimate, and unworthy of a seat at the table of public discourse.

    Fortunately, the vast majority of our country's elected leaders knew what to say in response to the Nazi march last weekend. But unfortunately, there was one important exception--our President, Donald J. Trump. To me, Mr. Trump's contemptible silence, followed by a reluctant "denunciation" of the Nazis, followed by a denunciation of the "denunciation" is an utter disgrace. It is a green light to Nazis. It is yet another attack on common decency and on our shared national values. It is complicity with Nazism. By the President of the United States. (As an aside, one of my lawyer-friends at the Justice Department told me--perhaps half jokingly--that she wanted to post a sign in her office that reads, "Nazis are bad," but she feared it might get her into trouble--that is where we are under Mr. Trump.)

    Frankly, I am not particularly worried about the Nazis themselves. They certainly can do damage--they murdered a young woman and injured many others. But they do not have the power or support to threaten our democracy. This does not mean we should take them for granted (few would have predicted Hitler's rise when he was sitting in prison after the Beerhall Putsch), but we should not be unduly fearful either.

    On the other hand, I am very worried about our President's behavior. His governing philosophy (perhaps we can call it, "trickle down histrionics") is poisoning our public debate, and it weakens us domestically and internationally. Thus far, his incompetence has served as a bulwark against his malevolence, but that can only go on for so long (see, e.g., North Korea). So there is much to be concerned about.

    Here, though, I want to talk about hope. Specifically, the hope that I feel from my clients: Asylum seekers, "illegals," and other immigrants. There are several reasons my clients give me hope.

    One reason is that they still believe in the American Dream. Despite all of the nastiness, mendacity, and bigotry coming from the White House, people still want to come to America. They are voting with their feet. Some endure seemingly endless waits, often times separated from their loved ones, in order to obtain legal status here. Others risk their lives to get here. They don't do this because (as Mr. Trump suggests) they want to harm us. They do it because they want to join us. They want to be part of America. My clients and others like them represent the American ideal far better than those, like our embattled President and his racist friends, who disparage them. When I see my country through my clients' eyes, it gives me hope.

    My clients' stories also give me hope. Most of my clients are asylum seekers. They have escaped repressive regimes or failing states. Where they come from, the government doesn't just tweet nasty comments about its opponents, it tortures and murders them. The terrorist groups operating in my clients' countries regularly harm and kill noncombatants, women, children, and even babies. My clients have stood against this depravity, and many of them continue to fight for democracy, justice, and human rights from our shores. My clients' perseverance in the face of evil gives me hope.

    Finally, I have hope because I see the courage of my clients, who refuse to be cowed by the hateful rhetoric of our Commander-in-Chief. Since the early days of his campaign, Mr. Trump has demonized foreigners and refugees, and after he was sworn in as President, these individuals were the first to come into his cross hairs. If he can defeat people like my clients, he can move on to new targets. But many refugees and asylum seekers have been subject to far worse treatment than Mr. Trump's bluster, and they are ready to stand firm against his bullying. Their fortitude encourages others to stand with them. And stand with them we will. The fact that vulnerable, traumatized people are on the front lines of this fight, and that they will not surrender, gives me hope.

    I have written before about the tangible benefits of our humanitarian immigration system. It demonstrates to the world that our principals--democracy, human rights, freedom, justice--are not empty platitudes. It shows that we support people who work with us and who advance the values we hold dear. When such people know that we have their backs, they will be more willing to work with us going forward. And of course, that system helps bring people to the United States whose talents and energy benefit our entire nation. Add to this list one more benefit that asylees and refugees bring to our nation in this dark time--hope.

    Originally posted on the Asylumist: www.Asylumist.com.
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