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  1. Immigration Opponents Are Concerned That Trump Might Fire Sessions. Would AG's Departure Make Life Any Better for Immigrants? Roger Algase

    Few US politicians have been more consistently anti-immigrant than Trump's embattled Attorney General and former Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions. This is why anti-immigrant conservatives are anguished at the thought that Trump might force Sessions to resign.

    One commentator, David Leach, writing in the right wing publication blames the pressure coming from Trump against Sessions on alleged objection to Sessions' immigration policies by Trump's "liberal" daughter and son in law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner:

    "Could it be that Jared and Ivanka are now driving Trump's immigration agenda? If so, wouldn't it make sense that they would want Sessions gone due to his tough approach to illegal immigration? And if that is true, wouldn't it explain Trump's aggressive attacks against his Attorney General?"

    While the above may easily be dismissed as pure conspiracy theory, the leaders of well established immigration restrictionist organizations, such as the famously misnamed Center for Immigration Studies, which is at least much committed to lobbying against immigrants as it is to doing research, as well as Numbers USA, are also agonizing over the possibility that firing Sessions or pressuring to resign might indicate that Trump is going "soft" on immigration.

    Rosemary Jencks, a spokesperson for this latter organization is quoted as follows in another right wing anti-immigrant publication,

    "Attorney General Sessions has proven beyond any doubt his commitment to enforcing the law, and particularly the immigration laws that have been neglected for decades to the detriment of American workers."

    Supporters of AG Sessions, who has a long record of hostility to immigration as a Senator, including support for the same "Nordics"- only 1924 immigration law that Adolf Hitler also praised some 90 years earlier in Mein Kampf (see Sessions' January, 2015 immigration "Handbook" for Congressional Republicans), and who has lost no time putting a mass deportation agenda into effect against Latino and other mainly non-white immigrants in what Sessions himself as called the "Trump Era", need not worry that Donald Trump has suddenly turned into a strong defender of immigrant rights without regard to any particular immigrant's race, color or creed.

    If Trump's views on immigration were so flexible, malleable, or free from what the 4th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, in an overwhelming 10-3 en banc decision determined as a matter of fact to be Trump's "animus" against at least one class of minority immigrants (Muslims), he would never have appointed Jeff Sessions as Attorney General in the first place.

    Anyone who thinks that firing Jeff Sessions as AG would bring about the slightest moderation of Trump's attempts to stoke hatred of non-white immigrants in a manner with at least some faint resemblances to a certain German dictator's tirades against the Jews in the 1930's should read the following New York Daily News summary of Trump's horrifying July 25 speech at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio:

    "Tuesday night, Trump gave what may very well be the most vicious, despicable, anti-immigrant speech he has delivered since he first announced his campaign for the presidency. Speaking before a raucous crowd in Youngstown, Ohio, Trump referred to immigrants as "animals" who "slice and dice" beautiful young American girls with knives because they want them to die slowly. Trump then openly proclaimed that he wants his ICE agents to be 'rough' with immigrants moving forward, saying 'we're not doing it in a politically correct fashion, we're doing it rough'."

    Was Trump's praise of the use of violence by ICE against immigrants intentionally meant to remind his listeners of another violent armed group, known as the S.A. which helped its leader gain and keep power in Germany during the 1930's?

    See Bob Dreyfuss writing in The Nation on March 14, 2016:

    Trump's Storm Troopers and the Possibility of American Fascism

    (Sorry, I don't have a direct link - please go to Google):

    As the above article also makes clear, Trump does not have an SA, and there is no indication that he has taken any steps to build one or has any intention of doing so.

    But Trump does have ICE, and he spoke during the campaign of building a "deportation task force". By glorifying the use of force by ICE, is his goal anything other than to instill the same fear of state violence in America's immigrant communities that the German dictator instilled in all of the people in his country though his paramilitary S.A.?

    There are few signs, if any, that Sessions' departure from the Trump administration would give America's Hispanic and other non-white immigrants any reason to feel safer or less under suspicion and attack, including the use of officially sanctioned violence against them, than they do right now in the "Trump Era".

    Arguably, however, because of Sessions' own record during the past six months as Trump's immigration hatchet man, putting Trump's mass deportation agenda into reality,

    attacking sanctuary cities

    and devising deceptive and meretricious arguments in federal court to try to hide the true purpose of Trump's Muslim ban orders

    immigrants might have something to gain if Trump's uncontrolled rage (oulomenen, to use the Greek word for Homer's immortal description of the anger of Achilles in the opening lines of the Iliad) against Sessions for respecting the rule of law by recusing himself from the investigation against Trump's alleged improper Russia connections makes Sessions' position so unbearable that Sessions has no choice but to resign, or if Trump simply fires him. See, July 25:

    Trump's strategy - troll Sessions to get to Mueller (Opinion)

    But there is a principle that is even more important to the American people, and to immigrants as well, than whether Sessions, or some other Trump appointee as Attorney General, is tasked with carrying out the details of Trump's attempt to take America back to the white supremacist immigration system of 1924, which remained in effect for four decades until 1965.

    This is the principle of the independence of the Justice Department, and ultimately the rule of law itself in America. As POLITICO Magazine writes on July 27:

    "In that event [if Sessions is forced out] Democrats [and, one might also mention, immigrants] surely won't cry for Sessions, whom they generally regard as a throwback to a not-so-distant apartheid past. But many liberals do feel bound to protect norms and institutions that seem everywhere under threat in the age of Trump..."

    One of those "norms and institutions" is something known as democracy, which is now under threat as never before in America in the "Donald Trump Era".

    If Jeff Sessions, who, no matter how anti-immigrant he may be, has so far maintained his independence from Trump by refusing to let himself be used as a tool to protect Trump from investigation into the president's alleged illegal Russian political or business connections by a duly appointed independent counsel, is forced out and replaced by a new Attorney General more willing to do Trump's bidding by throttling any investigations by an independent counsel into alleged misconduct or abuse of power by the president, America will be one more giant step on the road to renouncing democracy in favor of one-man dictatorship.

    There is no possible scenario in which immigrants, any more than American citizens, could benefit from this dreaded, but very possible, transition.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 07-28-2017 at 07:45 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. President Trump’s 101-Year Deportation Plan

    Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong had their five-year plans. Nikita Khrushchev had his seven-year plan. And now President Trump has a 101-year plan. That’s how long it will take to deport the country’s 11 million undocumented residents if current trends continue.

    Happy Birthday! Now, get the hell out of my country!

    The most recent statistics on case completions in Immigration Court show that the Trump Administration has issued an average of 8,996 removal (deportation) orders per month between February and June 2017 (and 11,000,000 divided by 8,996 cases/month = 1,222.8 months, or 101.9 years). That's up from 6,913 during the same period last year, but still well-below the peak period during the early days of the Obama Administration, when courts were issuing 13,500 removal orders each month.

    Of course, the Trump Administration has indicated that it wants to ramp up deportations, and to that end, the Executive Office for Immigration Review or EOIR--the office that oversees the nation's Immigration Courts--plans to hire more Immigration Judges ("IJs"). Indeed, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, the Attorney General (at least for now) announced that EOIR would hire 50 more judges this year and 75 next year.
    Assuming EOIR can find 125 new IJs, and also assuming that no currently-serving judges retire (a big assumption given that something like 50% of our country's IJs are eligible to retire), then EOIR will go from 250 IJs to 375. So instead of 101 years to deport the nation's 11 million undocumented residents, it will only take 68 years (assuming that no new people enter the U.S. illegally or overstay their visas, and assuming my math is correct--more big assumptions).

    But frankly, I'm doubtful that 68 years--or even 101 years--is realistic. It's partly that more people are entering the population of "illegals" all the time, and so even as the government chips away at the 11,000,000 figure, more people are joining that club, so to speak. Worse, from the federal government's point of view, there is not enough of a national consensus to deport so many people, and there is significant legal resistance to Mr. Trump's immigration agenda.

    In addition to all this, there is the Trump Administration's modus operandi, which is best characterized as malevolence tempered by incompetence. One statistic buried in the recent deportation numbers illustrates this point. In March 2017, judges issued 10,110 removal orders. A few months later, in June, judges issued 8,919 removal orders.

    This means that the number of deportation orders dropped by 1,191 or about 11.8%. How can this be? In a word: Incompetence (I suppose if I wanted to be more generous—which I don’t—I could say, Inexperience). The Trump Administration has no idea how to run the government and their failure in the immigration realm is but one example.

    There are at least a couple ways the Administration’s incompetence has manifested itself at EOIR.

    One is in the distribution of judges. It makes sense to send IJs where they are needed. But that’s not exactly what is happening. Maybe it’s just opening night jitters for the new leadership at EOIR. Maybe they’ll find their feet and get organized. But so far, it seems EOIR is sending judges to the border, where they are underutilized. While this may have the appearance of action (which may be good enough for this Administration), the effect—as revealed in the statistical data—is that fewer people are actually being deported.

    As I wrote previously, the new Acting Director of EOIR has essentially no management experience, and it’s still unclear whether he is receiving the support he needs, or whether his leadership team has the institutional memory to navigate the EOIR bureaucracy. Perhaps this is part of the reason for the inefficient use of judicial resources.

    Another reason may be that shifting judges around is not as easy as moving pieces on a chess board. The IJs have families, homes, and ties to their communities. Not to mention a union to protect them (or try to protect them) from management. And it doesn’t help that many Immigration Courts are located in places that you wouldn’t really want to live, if you had a choice. So getting judges to where you need them, and keeping them there for long enough to make a difference, is not so easy.

    A second way the Trump Administration has sabotaged itself is related to prosecutorial discretion or PD. In the pre-Trump era, DHS attorneys (the “prosecutors” in Immigration Court) had discretion to administratively close cases that were not a priority. This allowed DHS to focus on people who they wanted to deport: Criminals, human rights abusers, people perceived as a threat to national security. In other words, “Bad Hombres.” Now, PD is essentially gone. By the end of the Obama Administration, 2,400 cases per month were being closed through PD. Since President Trump came to office, the average is less than 100 PD cases per month. The result was predictable: DHS can’t prioritize cases and IJs are having a harder time managing their dockets. In essence, if everyone is a deportation priority, no one is a deportation priority.

    Perhaps the Trump Administration hopes to “fix” these problems by making it easier to deport people. The Administration has floated the idea of reducing due process protections for non-citizens. Specifically, they are considering expanding the use of expedited removal, which is a way to bypass Immigration Courts for certain aliens who have been in the U.S. for less than 90 days. But most of the 11 million undocumented immigrants have been here much longer than that, and so they would not be affected. Also, expansion of expedited removal would presumably trigger legal challenges, which may make it difficult to implement.

    Another “fix” is to prevent people from coming here in the first place. Build the wall. Deny visas to people overseas. Scare potential immigrants so they stay away. Illegally turn away asylum seekers at the border. Certainly, all this will reduce the number of people coming to America. But the cost will be high. Foreign tourists, students, and business people add many billions to our economy. Foreign scholars, scientists, artists, and other immigrants contribute to our country’s strength. Whether the U.S. is willing to forfeit the benefits of the global economy in order to restrict some people from coming or staying here unlawfully, I do not know. But the forces driving migration are powerful, and so I have real doubts that Mr. Trump’s efforts will have more than a marginal impact, especially over the long run. And even if he could stop the flow entirely, it still leaves 11 million people who are already here.

    There is an obvious alternative to Mr. Trump’s plan. Instead of wasting billions of dollars, harming our economy, and ripping millions of families apart, why not move towards a broad legalization for those who are here? Focus on deporting criminals and other “bad hombres,” and leave hard-working immigrants in peace. Sadly, this is not the path we are on. And so, sometime in 2118, perhaps our country will finally say adieu to its last undocumented resident.

    Originally posted on the Asylumist:
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