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  1. Report: Trump Set to Expand Muslim Ban, Using "Vetting Non-Compliance" Instead of "Terror Sponsorship" as Pretext. Roger Algase

    A September 22 report in The Guardian indicates that Donald Trump, who has been frustrated again and again by the federal courts in attempting to bar Muslim immigrants from entering the United States, and who vented his frustration last week in a tweet calling for a "larger", "tougher" and "more specific" ban, may be seeking to accomplish that goal with a different strategy by widening the number of affected countries and changing the pretext for imposing the ban.

    It will be remembered that the supposed rationale for imposing his original seven Muslim country ban and its subsequent six country version was that the countries concerned were on a US government terror sponsorship list, even though no one from any of the affected countries had ever been suspected of being involved in a terror attack in the United States.

    The new rationale, according to the above report, may be that the countries concerned are failing to cooperate with US "vetting" procedures by withholding certain information about their citizens from US authorities.

    According to The Guardian and other media, the new ban may be directed against a wider group of countries, but may also be more "specific" in terms of stricter "screening" questions affecting certain visa applicants or classes of applicants, rather, than banning every citizen of the entire country.

    Regardless of changes which may be made in the list of affected countries, in the mechanism for enforcing the ban, or in the pretext for imposing the ban in the first place, Trump's tweet last week made clear that the purpose of the revised ban, if any, would still be the same - keeping as many Muslim immigrants out of the United States as the federal courts will allow him to get away with.

    The Guardian's report is at:

    To this admittedly irreverent observer, Trump's anticipated change in the pretext for the Muslim ban policy, i.e. alleged failure to cooperate with US "vetting" procedures rather than alleged terror sponsorship, reminds me of an old French movie which I saw many years ago.

    In the movie, a panhandler in a crowded Paris neighborhood is soliciting money from passers-by by carrying a large sign saying AVEUGLE ("Blind").

    Suddenly it starts to rain, and everyone runs indoors to take shelter from the downpour, including the panhandler, whose cover of pretending to be blind has now been blown away.

    But as soon as the rain stops, the panhandler, unfazed, emerges into the street again, but this time with his sign turned around to read: SOURD-MUET ("Deaf and Dumb").

    Trump may change his excuses and his mechanisms for barring Muslim immigrants from the United States, but his purpose remains the same - to keep as many adherents of this religion as possible from entering the United States as visitors or immigrants (just as another US statute, enacted almost a century ago in 1924, did with Jewish, Catholic and most non-European immigrants from around the world in a tradition which the Trump administration is following all too faithfully now, but only with some of the targeted ethnic/religious groups changed).

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 09-22-2017 at 09:31 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. PERM Perspectives under Trump

    by , 09-22-2017 at 10:13 AM (Joel Stewart on PERM Labor Certification)
    The polices of the Trump Administration are not only to protect American workers but also to enable qualified foreign workers to contribute to the economic development of the United States. The job of gatekeeper falls on the shoulders of the Department of Labor, Office of Foreign Labor Certification, in Washington, DC, and its processing centers in Atlanta, Georgia, and Chicago, Illinois. The labor certification process is designed to determine when and where employment based immigrant visas should be granted.

    Permanent Electronic Record Management (PERM) was begun in 2005 to enable rapid electronic review of applications filed by employers. Previously, long processing backlogs often took five years or more. The PERM process, based on electronic review of attestations and requiring employers to swear under penalty of perjury to the truth of the information presented in the applications, promised to speed things up.

    Prior to filing PERM applications, employers must first recruit for US workers, interview them when appropriate, and prepare reports to document whether there were any able, willing, qualified and available US workers.

    Employers prepare applications electronically with DOL on form 9089. The forms are reviewed by computers that indicate which applications should be immediately certified and which applications, because of non-standard responses or specific areas of concern, need to be reviewed by DOL analysts who assist the Certifying Officer.

    It follows that the key to a timely, successful PERM application is to provide suitable answers to the questions on the form. If it appears that an audit is needed, the employer must submit the entire record file to the Certifying Officer, including a full report documenting all the recruitment steps taken and results of interviews.

    In accordance with the zero-tolerance policy used for electronic review, applications are frequently denied due to simple typographical errors which may seem harmless but will not be excused. The rationale for this is that the PERM process speeds up approvals by operating with great efficiency, even at the expense of denying cases with immaterial errors. DOL’s insistence on this is underscored by a 2008 amendment to the rule which makes it impossible for any PERM applications to be modified, corrected or altered after initial filing.

    PERM applications may also be denied if DOL believes that the job description, duties, minimum requirements, licenses, languages and special skills are not normal in the US. All standards must be accordance with DOL guidance published in the O*Net and the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

    The recruitment steps set forth in The PERM Book demonstrate that the DOL does not follow a single paradigm. Subtle but fatal discrepancies in wording often occur due to different kinds of media engaged in diverse forms of recruitment such as newspaper ads, internal notices within the employer’s organization, job listings in state workforce agencies, employer web sites, job search web site other than the employer's, on-campus recruiting, trade or professional organizations, trivate employment firms, employee referral program with incentives, campus placement offices, local and ethnic newspapers, and radio and television advertisements

    Because employers describe job opportunities differently depending on the type of recruitment, similarity of language is not always possible. If information on the PERM form and recruitment are not a close match, denials may be the unwelcome result.

    The Department of Labor is empowered by the US Supreme Court to provide instructions and guidance as part of its function as an administrative agency, because interpretation of the laws is a necessary function. Attorney Michael Piston prepared an analysis of these powers called, “What is the Law” for the PERM Book III.

    Mr. Piston explains how any of the following criteria, even informal ones, may be used by the DOL to evaluate PERM cases for conformance to the statute:

    a. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA),
    b. Department of Labor (DOL) Regulations
    c. Instructions to Form Eta 9089
    d. Decisions Published by the Federal Court of Appeals
    e. En Banc and Panel Decisions of the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals
    f. Decisions of the DOL Administrative Review Board (ARB)
    g. A Plethora of “administrative guidance”
    h. Agency comments published in the Federal Register,
    i. DOL Answers to Frequently Answered Questions (FAQs),
    j. Minutes from Stakeholder Meetings
    k. Agency Memoranda
    l. Letters from DOL to Attorneys or Members of the Public
    m. DOL Speeches and Answers to Questions at AILA or Other Conferences

    Despite all the complexities, the Department of Labor follows its mandate and approves bona fide cases which are carefully prepared and meet the requirements of the law intended to protect U.S. workers.

    Updated 09-22-2017 at 10:39 AM by JStewart

  3. Sessions Continues Administration's Demonizing of Latino Immigrants as Criminals and "Gang Members". Roger Algase

    POLITICO reports on September 21 that A.G. Jeff Sessions, who long ago earned notoriety as the Senate's most vocal anti-immigrant member, and who in a January, 2015 "Handbook" for Senate Republicans lavishly praised the "Nordics"-only 1924 "national origins" act which cut off virtually all immigration from Asia, the Middle East and Africa, as well as Southern and Eastern Europe, continued the Trump administration's campaign against Latino immigrants by attacking unaccompanied minors trying to escape gang violence in Central America as being gang members themselves.

    According to the above report, Sessions called these children "wolves in sheep's clothing". while also calling for Trump's Mexican border Wall to be built.

    Whether any of the more than 13,000 children from Central American countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras who have been admitted to the US under the Department of Health and Human Services' Refugee Resettlement Program are gang members remains to be proven, since Sessions did not refer to any hard evidence to back up his charge.

    One thing is clear, however. America now has an attorney general - and a president - who, as a general matter (despite the president's commendable support for DACA legislation - something that Sessions is unlikely ever to support)

    do not welcome immigration by people of any age from Central or South America (or any other part of the world besides Europe).

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 09-22-2017 at 11:44 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Use of ICE Detainers: Obama vs. Trump

    by , 09-21-2017 at 07:57 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Syracuse University's TRAC:

    The latest case-by-case Immigration and Customs Enforcement data reveal that its use of detainers, commonly called immigration holds, began to increase last year well before either the election or inauguration of Donald Trump. Once President Trump assumed office, detainer usage rose rapidly. By March 2017, the second full month of the Trump Administration, ICE recorded preparing 13,971 detainers - up 31.7 percent from January's level.

    Against a longer time frame, the number of detainers issued in March of 2017 is still slightly lower than during March of 2014. It is also only half the level of six years ago (March 2011) when ICE detainer usage peaked. See Figure 1.

    Click here for the full report.
  5. Federal Criminal Prosecutions Fall Under Trump

    by , 09-21-2017 at 07:26 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Isn't it ironic... don't ya think?

    The top two charges are immigration crimes: 08 USC § 1326 - Reentry of deported alien, and 08 USC § 1325 - Entry of alien at improper time or place; etc.

    Via Syracuse University's TRAC:

    Despite tough talk on cracking down on crime from the President and from Attorney General Sessions, actual criminal prosecutions and convictions secured by federal prosecutors have dropped. The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during the first ten months of FY 2017 the government reported 86,537 new criminal convictions. If this activity continues at the same pace, the annual total of convictions will be 103,844 for this fiscal year.

    According to the case-by-case government records analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, this estimate is down 12.3 percent over the past fiscal year when the number of convictions totaled 118,384. Compared to five years ago when there were 151,129 criminal convictions, the estimate of FY 2017 convictions is down 31.3 percent. And new filings of federal criminal prosecutions are similarly down.

    Click here for the full report.

    Updated 09-21-2017 at 07:29 AM by MKolken

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