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If Democrats insist on chain migration, they'll kill the DREAM Act. By Nolan Rappaport

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced recently that they had reached an agreement with President Donald Trump to pursue legislation that would protect the participants of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which is being phased out. They also agreed to enact border security measures that would not include building a physical wall.

But problems have arisen since that agreement was reached. Both sides have declared additional conditions.

In a letter to her Democratic colleagues about the meeting with Trump, Pelosi said, "Any solution to the challenge facing the DREAMers must include the DREAM Act sponsored by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard," i.e., the DREAM Act of 2017, H.R.3440, which is identical to a DREAM Act in the Senate, S.1615.

The House bill has 199 cosponsors, but only four are Republicans, and the Senate version only has three Republican cosponsors. The bill Pelosi supports has no more chance of being acceptable to Trump than the American Hope Act of 2017(effectively, this is another version of the DREAM Act), which I refer to as the False Hope Act.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said at his weekly news conference that House Republicans won't "bring a solution to the floor that does not have the support of President Trump," and Trump has made his own demand that is as problematic for passing legislation as Pelosi’s.

Trump made ending chain migration an additional condition when he tweeted:

Read more at -- http://thehill.com/opinion/immigrati...-the-dream-act

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
.







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Updated 09-24-2017 at 06:18 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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Comments

  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    While Nolan certainly does not share their views, the term "Chain Migration" is a pejorative epithet used against primarily Latino and Asian immigrants and associated with Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)-designated hate groups such as FAIR and CIS.

    https://www.mediamatters.org/researc...ise-act/217512

    According to Trump's tweet as quoted in Nolan's above article, the president also has no compunctions about using this degrading and derogatory term, just as so much of his thinking on immigration in general also happens to coincide with the restrictionist agenda of these two groups, and of other opponents of non-European immigration in general.

    This article would have more credibility if it used a more neutral term such as "family-based immigration" or "family reunification" instead.

    Hasn't family reunification always been recognized as not only a legitimate, but supremely important goal of US immigration policy?

    Wasn't this recognized as a primary goal when most immigrants were white Europeans? Why should this be any different now that most immigrants have a different skin color?

    If I understand Nolan's article correctly, it appears to be arguing that Congressional leaders who want to help the DREAMERS should be willing to agree to eliminating or vastly reducing family immigration, a change which would primarily hurt Latino and Asian families and go against what had always been a cornerstone of our system when white immigrants were concerned, as a quid pro quo.

    No one who believes in America's traditional family values, or that racial equality should be at the cornerstone of our immigration system as it has been for the past 50 years, could possibly be expected to agree to such a Faustian bargain.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 09-24-2017 at 06:37 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I am not taking a position on chain migration per se. My point is that the democrats will not get a DREAM Act through congress if they insist on keeping chain migration. But we know how that will end. They will choose to hold out until they get everything they want. That's why we haven't had a legalization program since IRCA, which was more than 30 years ago.

    Also, the reality is that chain migration isn't a good idea in any case. It has created a backlog of more than 4,200,000 aliens who will be waiting up to 20 years to get a visa....and this is after their visa petitions have been approved. And this would get much worse if several million DREAMers got lawful status and petitioned for their relatives.

    And, Roger, what do you have to say to the four million plus aliens who are waiting patiently to come here legally about giving lawful status to the DREAMers? They do it right, follow the law, and have to wait up to 20 years, and aliens who came here illegally are going to get lawful status?

    Nolan Rappaport
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I am not going to comment further on any statement that uses a derogatory term such as "chain migration" to describe millions of immigrants (most of whom are from outside Europe and are not white) who seek nothing more or less than the opportunity to come to America legally in accordance with existing law - which the president and his supporters want to change in order to slam the gates to America shut against them by adopting legislative proposals such as the Eurocentric RAISE Act, which would take America a large part of the way back toward the openly bigoted whites - only "national origins" immigration act of 1924.

    I am not attributing any prejudice against non-white immigrants to Nolan himself by the use of this term.

    But the origin and connotations of this term come from people and organizations who are on record as opposing non-white immigration and who have never accepted the principle of racial equality in immigration that is embodied on the civil rights era 1965 immigration reform law which has been the basis of US immigration policy for the past 50 years.

    In my opinion, and with all respect that is due to a distinguished immigration law scholar such as Nolan, the term "chain migration" is not a legitimate phrase to use as a basis for a fair and objective discussion of immigration policy, any more than, say, Rep. Steve King's (R-Iowa) insulting and degrading term "drug mules" would be a fair basis for a discussion of DREAMERS.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 09-24-2017 at 08:59 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  4. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Roger, I am quite specific about how I am using the term "chain migration." I say in the article,

    "What is chain migration? Chain migration occurs when an immigrant gets lawful permanent resident status and then sponsors his family members for lawful permanent resident status, and then they sponsor more family members, and so on."

    But you skip over that explanation and obsess over the term, never addressing any of the points that I make or answering the questions I raise. But I guess that is the value of political correctness. It permits you to talk about the words people use instead of responding to what they are saying.

    Nolan Rappaport


    Updated 09-25-2017 at 12:23 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  5. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Nolan's definition of the pejorative term "Chain Migration", which everyone knows is a racially charged dog whistle referring to Latin American immigrants and other immigrants of color, is highly misleading in any event. When a US citizen or lawful permanent resident sponsors a family member for a green card, there is in many cases a long quota waiting period before that family member can immigrate.

    Then, after the family member finally does make it to the US, there is often another long waiting period, which can be up to 20 years for some countries, before that second family member can sponsor another relative to immigrate.

    The RAISE Act, which is the latest attempt to eliminate "Chain Migration", would prevent US citizens from sponsoring their own parents or adult children. This is not "Chain Migration" by any fair or rational definition; this is striking at the heart of the family relationship itself.

    No one knows this better than a leading and respected immigration specialist such a Nolan himself.

    What is the real objection by the restrictionist groups to both family immigration (which they claim is "unproductive") and employment immigration (which they claim "steals American jobs")?

    It is, at bottom, demographic. These groups and their leaders have never accepted the change in America's population brought about by the 1965 immigration reform act from an overwhelmingly white, Christian majority nation to a racially diverse, multi-ethnic, multi-religious (and yes, multilingual) one made up of people with many different skin colors. For an excellent analysis and discussion, see: POLITICO:

    The 1965 Law That Gave the Republican Party Its Race Problem

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/sto...ump-gop-214179

    That is the big complaint of the "Alt-Right", of Breitbart News, of Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller, not to mention Rep. Stephen King (R-Iowa), Ann Coulter, former KKK leader David Duke and many other White Nationalists and other right wing extremists whose thinking has had, up to now, far too much influence on the Trump administration.

    Ending or sharply limiting "Chain Migration" (i.e. family immigration from Latin America, Asia, Africa and everywhere else outside of Europe) is a key part of their agenda as they try to turn back America's immigration clock - or order the demographic waves to turn away from America's shores, like King Canute.

    This is what the controversy over "Chain Migration" is really about.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 09-25-2017 at 08:49 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  6. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    Nolan's definition of the pejorative term "Chain Migration", which everyone knows is a racially charged dog whistle referring to Latin American immigrants and other immigrants of color, is highly misleading in any event. When a US citizen or lawful permanent resident sponsors a family member for a green card, there is in many cases a long quota waiting period before that family member can immigrate.

    Then, after the family member finally does make it to the US, there is often another long waiting period, which can be up to 20 years for some countries, before that second family member can sponsor another relative to immigrate.

    The RAISE Act, which is the latest attempt to eliminate "Chain Migration", would prevent US citizens from sponsoring their own parents or adult children. This is not "Chain Migration" by any fair or rational definition; this is striking at the heart of the family relationship itself.

    No one knows this better than a leading and respected immigration specialist such a Nolan himself.

    What is the real objection by the restrictionist groups to both family immigration (which they claim is "unproductive") and employment immigration (which they claim "steals American jobs")?

    It is, at bottom, demographic. These groups and their leaders have never accepted the change in America's population brought about by the 1965 immigration reform act from an overwhelmingly white, Christian majority nation to a racially diverse, multi-ethnic, multi-religious (and yes, multilingual) one made up of people with many different skin colors. For an excellent analysis and discussion, see: POLITICO:

    The 1965 Law That Gave the Republican Party Its Race Problem

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/sto...ump-gop-214179

    That is the big complaint of the "Alt-Right", of Breitbart News, of Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller, not to mention Rep. Stephen King (R-Iowa), Ann Coulter, former KKK leader David Duke and many other White Nationalists and other right wing extremists whose thinking has had, up to now, far too much influence on the Trump administration.

    Ending or sharply limiting "Chain Migration" (i.e. family immigration from Latin America, Asia, Africa and everywhere else outside of Europe) is a key part of their agenda as they try to turn back America's immigration clock - or order the demographic waves to turn away from America's shores, like King Canute.

    This is what the controversy over "Chain Migration" is really about.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Roger still isn't responding to what I said. I will repeat my self in case he has just forgotten my comments.

    "I am not taking a position on chain migration per se. My point is that the democrats will not get a DREAM Act through congress if they insist on keeping chain migration. But we know how that will end. They will choose to hold out until they get everything they want. That's why we haven't had a legalization program since IRCA, which was more than 30 years ago.


    Also, the reality is that chain migration isn't a good idea in any case. It has created a backlog of more than 4,200,000 aliens who will be waiting up to 20 years to get a visa....and this is after their visa petitions have been approved. And this would get much worse if several million DREAMers got lawful status and petitioned for their relatives.


    And, Roger, what do you have to say to the four million plus aliens who are waiting patiently to come here legally about giving lawful status to the DREAMers? They do it right, follow the law, and have to wait up to 20 years, and aliens who came here illegally are going to get lawful status?"

    Nolan Rappaport
  7. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Still waiting for Nolan to mention or respond to the real issue in the "Chain Migration" controversy - namely the move by this administration and at least some other Republican leaders back toward the whites only immigration system that America had between 1924 and 1965.

    Unless and until Nolan is willing to deal with the race issue, which is the only real motive behind the "crusade" (I prefer the term "jihad") by right wing Republicans and their white nationalist supporters to cut back or eliminate family immigration, it will be impossible to have a meaningful discussion.

    Any other discussion of what Nolan insists on calling "Chain Migration" and which our laws and most other immigration experts refer to as "family immigration" would be meaningless.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 09-25-2017 at 12:00 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  8. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    Still waiting for Nolan to mention or respond to the real issue in the "Chain Migration" controversy - namely the move by this administration and at least some other Republican leaders back toward the whites only immigration system that America had between 1924 and 1965.

    Unless and until Nolan is willing to deal with the race issue, which is the only real motive behind the "crusade" (I prefer the term "jihad") by right wing Republicans and their white nationalist supporters to cut back or eliminate family immigration, it will be impossible to have a meaningful discussion.

    Any other discussion of what Nolan insists on calling "Chain Migration" and which our laws and most other immigration experts refer to as "family immigration" would be meaningless.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Roger is still refusing to respond to my comments. Interesting that he says any views of chain migration that differ from his are "meaningless." You have to agree with him that chain migration is racism or your views are worthless.

    Roger has no skin in this game. It won't hurt him if a DREAM Act is not passed. So he can afford to adhere blindly to his "it's racism" view without consequences.

    But I care about the young immigrants who were brought here as children. I don't want them to lose out on a DREAM Act because the democrats insist on hanging on to chain migration, a practice that has resulted in such an unrealistic demand for visas that more than four million people are waiting up to twenty years for a visa to become available.

    Any guesses on how much longer that four million person line will get if the DREAM Act Pelosi is demanding is enacted?

    At some point, USCIS will have to stop accepting visa petitions.

    Nolan Rappaport
  9. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    It is hard to have a productive discussion with someone who refuses to accept the plain common meaning of the main term in his own article, to wit: Chain Migration. Nolan has to know as well as any other immigration expert that this term is often used pejoratively, as a term of contempt or opprobrium, against Latino and other non-white immigrants.

    This is not to say that this term always had a negative connotation, it originally did not. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was used to describe the phenomenon in which one or two European immigrants, say from Italy, would immigrate to America from a particular town or village, and then other people from the same village, or clan, hearing of their example, would follow them.

    This could well describe the migration patterns of my own Jewish ancestors, who came to America in the late 19th Century from a small group of cities or towns in Eastern Europe with high immigration flows to the US.

    As long as the term "Chain Migration" was taken to refer to white, European immigrants, it did not normally have a negative connotation, according to my research.

    Now that most immigrants are Latino, Asian, African, Caribbean or Middle Eastern, this has changed.

    In my next reply to Nolan, a continuation of this one, I will quote an example of this from one knowledgeable source, Priscilla Huang of the National Asian Pacific Woman's Forum, who obviously knows just as much about this issue as Nolan does, if not more.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 09-26-2017 at 08:11 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  10. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    It is hard to have a productive discussion with someone who refuses to accept the plain common meaning of the main term in his own article, to wit: Chain Migration. Nolan has to know as well as any other immigration expert that this term is often used pejoratively, as a term of contempt or opprobrium, against Latino and other non-white immigrants.

    This is not to say that this term always had a negative connotation, it originally did not. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was used to describe the phenomenon in which one or two European immigrants, say from Italy, would immigrate to America from a particular town or village, and then other people from the same village, or clan, hearing of their example, would follow them.

    This could well describe the migration patterns of my own Jewish ancestors, who came to America in the late 19th Century from a small group of cities or towns in Eastern Europe with high immigration flows to the US.

    As long as the term "Chain Migration" was taken to refer to white, European immigrants, it did not normally have a negative connotation, according to my research.

    Now that most immigrants are Latino, Asian, African, Caribbean or Middle Eastern, this has changed.

    In my next reply to Nolan, a continuation of this one, I will quote an example of this from one knowledgeable source, Priscilla Huang of the National Asian Pacific Woman's Forum, who obviously knows just as much about this issue as Nolan does, if not more.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Do you even read my replies to your comments? For the third time, respond to what I am saying.

    "I am not taking a position on chain migration per se. My point is that the democrats will not get a DREAM Act through congress if they insist on keeping chain migration. But we know how that will end. They will choose to hold out until they get everything they want. That's why we haven't had a legalization program since IRCA, which was more than 30 years ago.


    Also, the reality is that chain migration isn't a good idea in any case. It has created a backlog of more than 4,200,000 aliens who will be waiting up to 20 years to get a visa....and this is after their visa petitions have been approved. And this would get much worse if several million DREAMers got lawful status and petitioned for their relatives.


    And, Roger, what do you have to say to the four million plus aliens who are waiting patiently to come here legally about giving lawful status to the DREAMers? They do it right, follow the law, and have to wait up to 20 years, and aliens who came here illegally are going to get lawful status?"

    Nolan Rappaport
  11. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    These hackneyed arguments, based on trying to play one group of immigrants of against another, sound at least a little like some of those from the repertory of groups such as FAIR and CIS, which are opposed to any and all immigration (at least by immigrants who fail to comply with the these groups' basic requirement of having a white skin and European ancestry - which Trump also supported at least indirectly in his recent Warsaw speech). They are not worth responding to.

    I am not implying that Nolan himself has any prejudices against non-white immigrants - clearly he does not.

    But both his use of arguments with at least some resemblance to those made by certain groups which do show a history of prejudice (as some of them were founded by an openly racist advocate, John Tanton), as well as of the pejorative term "Chain Migration" which is generally regarded today as an insulting and disparaging term used to refer to non-European immigrants, something that Nolan must surely know, fatally weaken whatever validity his arguments might otherwise have (which is not very much to begin with).

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 09-26-2017 at 02:18 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  12. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Roger, when are you going to read my article and the responses I have made to your attempts to divert attention to your favorite topics?

    I will make it easier for you by focussing on the main point of my article.

    I haven't made any arguments. I have pointed out that Trump and the democratic leaders reached a tentative agreement on a deal for a DREAM Act, and then a day or two later, both sides made additional demands that destroyed their deal.

    Pelosi is insisting on a DREAM Act that would make legalization available to more than 3 million illegal aliens, and Trump is demanding an end to chain migration. If neither side withdraws its demands, there is not going to be a DREAM Act, and many of the DACA participants are going to be deported.

    So what is your solution? To prattle about how offensive the term "chain migration" is. Fine, Roger, for the sake of argument, I will concede that you would be justified in plunging a dagger into the heart of anyone who uses that horrible word in your presence. Is that enough? Now, tell me how that resolves the deadlock in the negotiations for a DREAM Act.

    Nolan Rappaport
    Updated 09-26-2017 at 02:36 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  13. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    OK, these are reasonable questions which I will try to answer. Yes, I think it would be crazy for the Democrats to insist on a broad legalization program for unauthorized immigrants as the price for an agreement to grant relief to 800,000 DREAMERS. That would be in effect the same as saying that they don't want to make any deal at all with the president.

    I have never argued that everything the president does is evil just because he is named Donald Trump.

    If he is open to a reasonable deal, the other side should be willing to respond in kind.

    However, throwing benefits for legal immigrants which are already in the law as written now, in the form of family immigration green cards, under the bus, would be just as unreasonable a demand for Trump and the Republicans to make as legalization for 3 million unauthorized immigrants would be for the Democrats to make.

    In my view, a better and more realistic negotiating basis might be to eliminate the DV lottery in return for a deal to protect the DREAMERS.

    I am in favor of the DV lottery myself, but the Democrats were willing to agree to eliminate it before as part of the Senate-passed CIR deal.

    Obviously, both sides have give up something that is dear to their hearts on immigration if there is going to be any deal.

    I am sure that Trump must feel the same way, and he has already forgotten more about how to make deals than most of us could ever learn in a lifetime, as the old saying goes.

    I am not even mentioning the Wall.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 09-26-2017 at 03:10 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  14. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Yes, I think it would be crazy for the Democrats to insist on a broad legalization program for unauthorized immigrants as the price for an agreement to grant relief to 800,000 DREAMERS. That would be in effect the same as saying that they don't want to make any deal at all with the president.

    But that is what they are saying. And the message has been the same now for more than 30 years.



    I have never argued that everything the president does is evil just because he is named Donald Trump.


    Maybe not, but you have attributed evil intentions to everything he has done on immigration or national security issues.

    If he is open to a reasonable deal, the other side should be willing to respond in kind.

    That's not the standard. Deals are made through compromises that are acceptable to both sides. Reasonableness never matters.



    However, throwing benefits for legal immigrants which are already in the law as written now, in the form of family immigration green cards, under the bus, would be just as unreasonable a demand for Trump and the Republicans to make as legalization for 3 million unauthorized immigrants would be for the Democrats to make.

    You are assuming that chain migration is a good thing that should be preserved. It's not and never has been. It was an incredibly stupid idea to allow relative chains to increase the demand for visas exponentially without making more visas available. We have more than 4 million aliens with approved visa applications who are going to have to wait up to 20 years for a visa. Do you really think we should ignore the shortage of visas and let chain migration continue?

    Or do you think we should just make 4 million plus more visas available. That would reduce the wait for the current batch of aliens with approved visa applications, but what happens when chain migration gets out of hand again, which it certainly would. It would have the aliens who caused the four million plus backlog continuing to file visa petitions, and the four million new immigrants would file their own, and so on.

    The only way chain migration can work is to say the Hell with immigration laws and have an open border.

    In my view, a better and more realistic negotiating basis might be to eliminate the DV lottery in return for a deal to protect the DREAMERS.

    That's already in the RAISE Act, but it's isn't enough to offset even 800,000 visas for the DACA participants, and it would leave the uncontrolled growth of chain migration untouched.



    I am in favor of the DV lottery myself, but the Democrats were willing to agree to eliminate it before as part of the Senate-passed CIR deal.

    I know. That's because they threw the Congressional Black Caucus under the proverbial bus. The Diversity Visa is strongly supported by the CBC. You might be justified in claiming racism on the decision to disregard the interests of the CBC. I think it was probably just an indication that the CBC isn't as powerful as the groups that were able to get what they wanted from that bill.



    Obviously, both sides have give up something that is dear to their hearts on immigration if there is going to be any deal.


    I am sure that Trump must feel the same way, and he has already forgotten more about how to make deals than most of us could ever learn in a lifetime, as the old saying goes.

    I really doubt that Trump cares as much about immigration issues as you think he does.

    Nolan Rappaport
  15. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Maybe it would be better for Nolan to admit and face the reality that "Chain Migration" in the sense of unlimited or uncontrolled family immigration is little more than just a fantasy.

    Example: A USC sponsors his or her brother or sister for a green card.

    After a 10 year quota wait (at the very least) the sibling finally arrives in the US with his or her spouse. After 5 years, the spouse becomes a US citizen and sponsors his or her parents.

    A year or two later, after the necessary petition and visa petition approvals, the parents arrive.

    Five years later, they become citizens and sponsor their siblings, who arrive 10 years after that.

    This might be called "Chain Migration" but it is pretty slow motion "Chain Migration" - over a 30 year or more period.

    And I am not even talking about family immigration from countries such as the Philippines, Mexico, China or India, where the waiting periods are much longer.

    The problem is that, as used by some, mainly Republican immigration opponents, "Chain Migration" really means any kind of legal immigration from non-white parts of the world.

    How is this any different from the language of the restrictionsists who, 100 years ago, were warning about the "hordes" of Jewish, Italian and Eastern European immigrants who were "pouring into" the United States and "destroying" its civilization"?

    That is, until the 1924 national origins quotas immigration act cut off this particular era of "Chain Migration" almost completely, thereby, among other things, adding to the "chain" of Jewish victims that Hitler arranged the "migration" of into his gas chambers and ovens - amounting thousands, if not millions of people who might otherwise have found refuge in the United States - including Anne Frank, whose family was denied a US visa, and who might still be alive today if one had been granted?

    The fact that Donald Trump appointed an attorney general who strongly praised that law less than 3 years ago in a Handbook which he wrote for Congressional Republicans should be of much greater concern to all Americans who believe in racial equality and justice for all, than inventing scare scenarios over how many immigrants might come to the US though family sponsorship 25 or 50 years from now from parts of the world which do not fit in with Trump's vision of the superiority of white Europe as set forth in his recent Warsaw speech.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 09-30-2017 at 10:06 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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