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Carl Shusterman's Immigration Update

Dreamers Should Not be Held Hostage to An Ugly Anti-Immigration Agenda

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The clock is ticking for the Dreamers. Last September, President Trump, in response to the threat of a lawsuit by 10 Republican Attorney Generals, announced that DACA would be ended on March 5, 2018. He stated that he would be pleased to sign legislation which would benefit Dreamers, and that 6 months was plenty of time for Congress to pass a bill.


Since then, this deal has been kicked down the road again and again. The present deadline of February 8 is rapidly approaching and instead of a deal being on the horizon, the President is now demanding that Congress adopt an extreme anti-immigration agenda as the price for helping the Dreamers. He insists that Congress must appropriate $25 billion for a border wall with Mexico and fund the hiring of many thousands of new CBP and ICE officers as well as hundreds of new Immigration Judges and ICE attorneys.

But that’s only the beginning.

His biggest demand has nothing to do with DACA or even immigration enforcement. It involves appeasing anti-immigration extremists by dramatically curtailing legal immigration to the US. He wants to reduce the number of green cards granted each year by over 40%.
What about the millions of relatives of US citizens who have been playing by the rules and have been waiting in line for years or even decades to get green cards?

Under Trump’s plan, they would be thrown under the bus. Our country would cease to honor its commitment to upholding our immigration laws.

The President characterizes this plan as a “fair compromise”. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. There is widespread agreement in Congress and among the American people that a law should be enacted to allow the Dreamers to continue to live and work in the US. However, depriving millions of people who have waited in line for many years of their legal right to reunite with their families in the US, is a cruel imposition which is supported only by a small anti-immigrant fringe in the President’s own party.



President Trump’s cover for this deceit is that we should have a “merit-based” immigration system, not one based primarily on family relationships. This sounds good. We could abolish the visa lottery and the family-based sibling category and give these visa numbers to the employment-based categories. Yet the legislation that Trump is demanding in exchange for helping the Dreamers would drastically cut family immigration and do also nothing to increase employment-based immigration. Instead, it would simply throw hundreds of thousands of green cards into the trash bin each year.
What is the “merit” in this?

His proposal is unworthy of our country and our people, almost all of whom are either immigrants or the descendants of immigrants. We are a country which prides itself on judging people according to their individual merits rather than on the basis of their race, religion or nationality. Yet, the agenda that Trump is supporting is reminiscent of the restrictionist immigration laws of the 1920s which were designed to prevent hundreds of thousands of Catholic and Jewish families from immigrating to the US. Now, the aim is apparently to greatly reduce the number of immigrants from Asia and Latin America.

The President should be ashamed to hold the Dreamers hostage to such an ugly and un-American piece of legislation.

Congress should pass, and the President should sign, the DREAM Act, a bill which has been introduced in every Congress since 2001, and not let the Dreamers be held hostage to an extreme anti-immigrant agenda.

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Updated 03-09-2018 at 05:11 PM by CShusterman

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Comments

  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Carl asks, "What about the millions of relatives of US citizens who have been playing by the rules and have been waiting in line for years or even decades to get green cards?"

    I can answer that question. Trump's framework states that the elimination of chain migration would apply prospectively, not retroactively. The four million aliens with approved visa petitions will be fine.

    Frankly, I disagree with everything Carl says. My views can be found in an article the Hill published less than a week ago, If Dreamers get a deal, it will be because of Trump, not Schumer. http://thehill.com/opinion/immigrati...mp-not-schumer.

    I have a question for Carl. The Democrats could have passed a DREAM Act during Barack Obama’s administration without any cooperation from the Republicans. It was entirely up to them. From January 2009 to January 2011, they had a large majority in the House, and until Scott Brown’s special election in 2010, they had a supermajority in the Senate. They passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) without a single Republican vote in the House or the Senate.

    Nolan Rappaport
    Updated 02-02-2018 at 05:48 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    OK, Nolan, we got the point. Maybe the Democrats could and should have passed immigration reform that would have protected the DREAMERS almost a decade ago. So, arguably, they blew it then.

    How does that justify Trump's attempt to abolish a legal immigration system now which has been open to people from the entire world for the past half century and replace it with one which, by eliminating a major part of family immigration (not to mention the diversity lottery) would turn our system back in the direction of the openly bigoted, "countries like Norway" only 1924 national origins immigration act which Adolf Hitler wrote about so enthusiastically 9 decades ago in Mein Kampf, and which Trump's own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, also praised in his "Immigration Handbook" only 3 years ago (though ostensibly for different reasons)?

    Is it right to hold almost 2 million young people who were brought to this country through no fault of their own hostage to Trump's attempt to abolish one of the key pillars of non-white immigration, which has enabled 30 or 40 million immigrants from Asia, Latin America and Africa to come to America legally and contribute to our society in the past half century?

    Why, in a December 29, 2017 tweet, did Trump call this method of family immigration "horrible"?

    Does the United States have a president who gets upset and angry when immigrants come to the US who have a different skin color from those of people in "countries like Norway?

    That kind of racial thinking would be the most "horrible" thing of all, especially coming from the chief executive of the United States of America.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-02-2018 at 06:26 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    The Democrats didn't "blow it." They chose not to do it. And it is important to figure out why. Is it because they only bring it up when there is a political benefit to bringing it up? And a related question. When they do bring it up, why do they do it with bills or proposals they know will be rejected and then refuse to accommodate the objections? These are important questions, particularly when you and Carl blame Trump or the Republicans generally for not be willing to help the Dreamers.

    And when are you going to provide non-racist reasons for your opposition to increasing white immigration? Saying you don't want them here because they are from "openly bigoted, 'countries like Norway'" sounds racist to me.

    Just list three, non-racist reasons why we shouldn't allow more white immigrants to come to the US.

    Nolan Rappaport
    Updated 02-02-2018 at 06:55 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  4. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I would respectfully invite Nolan to read the latest study from the Center for Global Development showing that white immigration would also be reduced, not increased, by Trump's proposal to abolish "Chain Migration" - just not as much as non-white immigration. Please let me know if a link to that study is needed.

    Moreover, even though the RAISE Act, which Trump supports, would favor European immigrants over all others, all immigration would be cut in half. Thousands of potential European immigrants who would have no difficulty coming to the US under current law would be barred through lack of ability to be sponsored by US citizen siblings or adult children, or of sufficient worldwide visas.

    Indeed, Trump's own German grandfather and his Scottish mother would have been unable to immigrate to the United States under Trump's proposal to abolish "chain migration", because they both came to this country to join their siblings.

    If Nolan would like to send Trump a letter protesting against the president's support for cutting the number of white immigrants by eliminating large parts of family immigration (a/k/a "chain migration") and slashing the number of worldwide immigrant visas in half, I would be glad to join Nolan as a co-signer.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-02-2018 at 08:34 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  5. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Now you are agreeing to complain about Trump cutting the number of white immigrants. Interesting. But that's not what you have been talking about in your ILW.com comments. You have been talking about Trump being a white supremacist who wants to lower nonwhite immigration and increase white immigration. If your real concern was the reduction of immigration generally without regard to color, why have you been calling Trump a white supremacist?

    And why were you complaining about increasing immigration from "bigoted" countries like Norway?

    Nolan Rappaport
    Updated 02-02-2018 at 10:08 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  6. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    With all due respect to Nolan, he does not seem to have read my above comments with his usual care and thoroughness. I have never said or implied that Norway was a "bigoted" country. Nor have I ever opposed increased immigration from Norway or anywhere else.

    I have only opposed Trump's bigoted statement that we should accept immigrants from "countries such as Norway" to the exclusion of immigrants from "shithole" countries where people have darker skins, as well as his support for an immigration agenda which would go a long way to achieving that result.

    America once had a law like that, from 1924 to 1964, which had generous immigration quotas for people from Norway and other northern European countries but excluded immigrants from most of the rest of the world.

    Trump's comment that immigrants from "countries like Norway" are superior to immigrants from Africa and Haiti is a return back toward the bigoted spirit of that law.

    The president's comment was also, I am quite sure, just as offensive and insulting to the people of Norway, who are not themselves bigoted or prejudiced, as it is to the countries of Africa and other non-white parts of the world.

    Moreover, the fact remains that Donald Trump and his supporters in Congress are supporting changes in the law which, according to expert opinion I refer to below, would reduce the actual numbers of future white immigrants to the US, not increase them, even though the real goal is to reduce non-white immigration even more. If Nolan is in favor of increasing, rather than reducing, immigration to the United States from Norway and other white countries of Europe, he should be opposing Trump's agenda just as much as I am.

    Just so that Nolan can check the figures I am relying on to show that the agenda of Trump and his supporters would significantly reduce, not increase, immigration from white countries, I refer to an analysis by the Washington-based Center for Global Development showing what the ethnic results would be if the Goodlatte "Securing America's Future Act" H.R. 4760, which is similar though not identical to the Senate RAISE Act which Trump supports, becomes law.

    According to this study, white immigration to America would decrease from present levels by 34.6 percent.

    Asian immigration would decrease by 40.2 per cent; Pacific immigration would go down by 42.3 percent, black immigration would go down by 63.9 per cent and Hispanic immigration would be reduced by 58.2 percent.

    To be sure, this means that white immigration would fall less than immigration in any of the non -white categories, but how could that possibly be interpreted as an increase in white immigration?

    Only George Orwell's characters would make such an absurd argument.

    The study is available at:

    https://www.cgdev.org/blog/how-trump...ical-estimates

    Nor could anyone argue that the Goodlatte bill (and its Senate counterpart, the RAISE Act) do not discriminate against any group because everyone would lose out. Surely no one with Nolan's distinguished reputation as an immigration law authority would ever make such an argument, in view of the figures showing that black and Hispanic immigration would be cut twice as much as white immigration in terms of percentages.

    The fact that thousands, or, over time, potentially millions, of white European families would also be at risk of being torn apart by Trump's immigration agenda, to give just one example of this "collateral" damage", does not make the proposals that Trump supports any less bigoted, in view of the fact that the percentage of black and Hispanic families which would suffer would be twice as large (and in terms of absolute numbers, much larger still) compared to the families from "countries like Norway" which would be affected.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-03-2018 at 09:51 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  7. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    With all due respect to Nolan, he does not seem to have read my above comments with his usual care and thoroughness. I have never said or implied that Norway was a "bigoted" country. Nor have I ever opposed increased immigration from Norway or anywhere else.

    I have only opposed Trump's bigoted statement that we should accept immigrants from "countries such as Norway" to the exclusion of immigrants from "shithole" countries where people have darker skins, as well as his support for an immigration agenda which would go a long way to achieving that result.

    America once had a law like that, from 1924 to 1964, which had generous immigration quotas for people from Norway and other northern European countries but excluded immigrants from most of the rest of the world.

    Trump's comment that immigrants from "countries like Norway" are superior to immigrants from Africa and Haiti is a return back toward the bigoted spirit of that law.

    The president's comment was also, I am quite sure, just as offensive and insulting to the people of Norway, who are not themselves bigoted or prejudiced, as it is to the countries of Africa and other non-white parts of the world.

    Moreover, the fact remains that Donald Trump and his supporters in Congress are supporting changes in the law which, according to expert opinion I refer to below, would reduce the actual numbers of future white immigrants to the US, not increase them, even though the real goal is to reduce non-white immigration even more. If Nolan is in favor of increasing, rather than reducing, immigration to the United States from Norway and other white countries of Europe, he should be opposing Trump's agenda just as much as I am.

    Just so that Nolan can check the figures I am relying on to show that the agenda of Trump and his supporters would significantly reduce, not increase, immigration from white countries, I refer to an analysis by the Washington-based Center for Global Development showing what the ethnic results would be if the Goodlatte "Securing America's Future Act" H.R. 4760, which is similar though not identical to the Senate RAISE Act which Trump supports, becomes law.

    According to this study, white immigration to America would decrease from present levels by 34.6 percent.

    Asian immigration would decrease by 40.2 per cent; Pacific immigration would go down by 42.3 percent, black immigration would go down by 63.9 per cent and Hispanic immigration would be reduced by 58.2 percent.

    To be sure, this means that white immigration would fall less than immigration in any of the non -white categories, but how could that possibly be interpreted as an increase in white immigration?

    Only George Orwell's characters would make such an absurd argument.

    The study is available at:

    https://www.cgdev.org/blog/how-trump...ical-estimates

    Nor could anyone argue that the Goodlatte bill (and its Senate counterpart, the RAISE Act) do not discriminate against any group because everyone would lose out. Surely no one with Nolan's distinguished reputation as an immigration law authority would ever make such an argument, in view of the figures showing that black and Hispanic immigration would be cut twice as much as white immigration in terms of percentages.

    The fact that thousands, or, over time, potentially millions, of white European families would also be at risk of being torn apart by Trump's immigration agenda, to give just one example of this "collateral" damage", does not make the proposals that Trump supports any less bigoted, in view of the fact that the percentage of black and Hispanic families which would suffer would be twice as large (and in terms of absolute numbers, much larger still) compared to the families from "countries like Norway" which would be affected.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Roger says, “With all due respect to Nolan, he does not seem to have read my above comments with his usual care and thoroughness. I have never said or implied that Norway was a "bigoted" country.”

    I copied this from one of your comments, “by eliminating a major part of family immigration (not to mention the diversity lottery) would turn our system back in the direction of the openly bigoted, "countries like Norway"”


    Roger says, "I have only opposed Trump's bigoted statement that we should accept immigrants from "countries such as Norway" to the exclusion of immigrants from "shithole" countries where people have darker skins,"

    Why would eliminating chain migration favor white immigrants to the exclusion of nonwhite? Are you saying that we have so few white immigrants that any reduction would primarily impact nonwhite immigrants, or what?

    Roger says, “America once had a law like that, from 1924 to 1964, which had generous immigration quotas for people from Norway and other northern European countries but excluded immigrants from most of the rest of the world.

    Nothing Trump has proposed would change the per country limits on immigration.

    Roger says, "Trump's comment that immigrants from "countries like Norway" are superior to immigrants from Africa and Haiti is a return back toward the bigoted spirit of that law.”

    Roger seems to be unable to separate written policy statements from off the record remarks during conversations that were not intended to be public.

    The rest of Roger’s comments complain about the RAISE Act and Goodlatte’s bill.

    Nolan Rappaport
  8. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    In my previous comment, when I used the phrase: "openly bigoted 'countries like Norway'" which Nolan quotes above, the word "bigoted" obviously referred to Trump's statement, not to "countries like Norway" which I put in quotation marks to indicate that this was the president's phrase, not mine. This should be clear to any ilw.com reader.

    There is no basis whatsoever for claiming that I have ever made such a demeaning comment about Norway, the Norwegian people, or the citizens of any "country like Norway".

    Turning back to Trump's utterly reprehensible "shithole" comment with its disparaging of black immigrants which has drawn world-wide condemnation and outrage, Nolan can try to explain this comment away as purely a "private" statement.

    But Trump's statement is still "dripping with animus" as the 4th Circuit stated about Trump's Muslim ban - another expression of presidential animosity against non-white, non-European immigrants.

    Moreover, even though Trump's statement itself may have been made in the course of "private" negotiations on a vital policy issue with a group of Senators, when one looks at two pending Congressional bills which the president has endorsed and are therefore part of his agenda and are directly relevant to our discussion, it becomes evident, for the reasons I have mentioned above, that the president
    s "private" prejudices are also the basis of his policies of attempting to make drastic cuts in legal immigration, especially from Africa, Latin America and other non-white parts of the world.

    As I pointed out above, especially in my discussion of the Goodlate House bill, with specific references and links to directly relevant immigration figures and percentages, these proposals would bring about major reductions in total immigration and therefore have a major negative impact on white immigration, potentially tearing thousands, or even millions of European families apart in the future.

    But, based on a reputable study which I also discussed in detail, immigration from non-white parts of the world, especially countries with black and Hispanic populations, would be reduced most of all - twice as much as immigration from Europe, in percentage terms.

    That is what most people would call discriminatory.

    As I have mentioned above, the president has endorsed and is vigorously supporting the Goodlatte "immigration reform" bill and the companion Senate RAISE act
    publicly as well as privately. Nolan cannot dismiss my comments so easily as mere "complaining" if he wants his own views on the president's immigration agenda to be taken seriously.

    See Goodlatte's own January 11 press release:

    Trump Administration Supports the Securing America's Future Act

    (Sorry, my link doesn't seem to work - please go to Google to access the full White House Statement supporting this bill on Rep. Goodlatte's website.)

    Nolan also says that Trump has not proposed any changes in per country quotes for legal immigration.

    No changes?!!

    Is Nolan serious?


    The RAISE Act, which Trump has loudly and frequently "Trumpeted" his support for, involves cutting worldwide immigration in half and making major changes in employment-based immigration by replacing current categories with a point system (clearly intended to favor Europe - and, very possibly Asia also as opposed to Africa and Latin America with their lower access to advanced education).

    The RAISE Act would also eliminate major parts of family immigration and abolish the Diversity Visa lottery entirely, two items which the president has been calling for again and again.

    No change in per country limitations?

    I respectfully suggest that Nolan might wish to read the president's statements in support of this proposed legislation again.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-04-2018 at 05:42 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  9. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Nolan also says that Trump's notorious comment to the effect that he prefers immigrants from "countries like Norway" to immigrants from "shithole" countries such as Haiti and those in Africa was an "off the record remark" that was not intended to be public, rather than a written policy statement. That is certainly true.

    But this statement was not made as a private, casual remark, say, to a friend on the golf course on the way to the 18th hole, or to someone in his family while watching Fox News together; or at the dinner table over a dish of Big Mac Burgers. That would have been reprehensible enough.

    But this statement was made, as I have mentioned above, at a meeting with a key group of Senators from both parties to discuss a crucial policy issue - namely whether the president would be open to considering a proposed DACA solution which had been suggested by that Senatorial group.

    According to all the news reports that I have seen, Trump emphatically rejected this proposal, and made his "shithole" comment in the course of that discussion as a reason for the rejection.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...hole-countries

    I am not making this point in order to comment on the merits of this group of Senators' proposal itself, or whether Trump should have accepted it. There may or may not have conceivably been other, more valid reasons for rejecting the proposal; I am not arguing that point here one way or the other.

    But the fact is that Trump made his infamous comment as the reason, or a main reason, for rejecting this proposal.

    It was a direct signal to a key group of legislators on an important policy issue - a clear message that the president would not sign or consider any proposed DACA solution that did not also discriminate against black African and Haitian immigrants in favor of white immigrants from "countries like Norway".

    This was not a private, offhand remark that was meant to be of no practical effect. It was part of a crucial policy discussion affecting the fate of almost 2 million young people who, in spirit, if not in their paperwork, are just as much American as the American citizens whom Trump has described as "DREAMERS" themselves.

    This same policy discussion also involved issues concerning what the shape and color of immigration in America could be like for the next fifty years - long past the time when Nolan and I can still expect to be around to exchange views on immigration policy or any other topic.

    Therefore, while Nolan is no doubt entirely accurate in saying that this discussion was off the record, there is no basis for implying that the "shithole" statement was separate from, or unrelated to Trump's immigration policy.

    On immigration, as well as on many other issues, words can have enormous consequences.

    They do not always have to be in writing to be effective.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-04-2018 at 09:12 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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