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Letters of the Week: July 5 - July 8

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  1. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    The National Conference of State Legislatures
    Report on 2015 State Immigration Laws

    State lawmakers continued tackling immigration issues in a range of policy areas in 2015. Enacted legislation dealing with immigration increased by 26 percent in 2015, with 216 laws enacted compared to 171 laws in 2014. The number of resolutions rebounded to 274 in 2015 after last year?s plunge in activity to 117 resolutions.


    Education. Seven states?Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah?added portions of the federal naturalization exam to high school civics curricula and testing requirements. Georgia allowed local boards of education to require instruction on America?s founding philosophy and principles, including the founding documents, federalism, and transformational movements such as civil rights and the contribution of immigrants to American society. Oregon allowed students exempt from nonresident tuition to access state financial aid. Nevada established a State Seal of Biliteracy program.

     Identification documents. North Carolina ended the use of consulate or embassy documents, other than a valid passport, to determine a person?s identification or residence for government or law enforcement purposes. The law also prohibits identity documents created by individuals, organizations or localities unless expressly permitted by the General Assembly.

     Licensing. Illinois allowed the Illinois Supreme Court to grant licenses to practice law for individuals who have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) and have work authorization. Wyoming repealed a provision requiring bar applicants to be U.S. citizens. Nebraska allowed driver?s licenses for DACA recipients. Utah amended existing driving privilege cards to require applicants to submit fingerprints, photograph and a waiver to participate in certain criminal records databases.

     Health. California allowed health care for all children regardless of immigration status.

     Human Trafficking. Tennessee provided for training of law enforcement officers directly involved with human trafficking on civil and immigration remedies and community resources. Texas extended the Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force.

     Law Enforcement. Illinois required foreign nationals who are arrested or detained to be informed of their right to have their consular officials notified. Tennessee allows permanent legal residents who are honorably discharged veterans to be employed as a police officer. North Carolina prohibited cities and counties from adopting sanctuary ordinances that would limit enforcement of federal immigration laws.

    Task Forces. Louisiana created a task force to study the impact of illegal immigration on Louisiana taxpayers. Oregon established a task force to investigate immigration consultant fraud. Texas created an advisory committee to examine and recommend revisions to any state laws pertaining to juvenile records. Texas also established an Advisory Council on Cultural Affairs in the Office of the Governor.

     Resolutions. Seven states adopted 13 resolutions seeking action from Congress or the Administration. These include requesting support for immigration reform (California, Nevada); reimbursement for state costs of securing the border with Mexico (Texas); alternatives to detainment of immigrant families seeking asylum (New Mexico); expedited family reunification for Filipino veterans of World War II (Hawaii) and entry for disabled veterans of the South Vietnamese Army (California). Four states?California, Delaware, Illinois and New Jersey? passed resolutions proclaiming June as Immigrant Heritage Month.

     Refugees. South Carolina required the Department of Social Services to provide information regarding the resettlement of refugees in Spartanburg, S.C. to ensure accountability and transparency of the expenditure of public funds. Texas required meetings to be held in the communities proposed for refugee placement with representatives, local governmental entities and officials, and other stakeholders. The California Senate urged the president to dramatically increase the number of Syrian refugees allowed into the United States of America. Michigan urged the president of the United States to allow an additional 25,000 refugee visas for displaced Iraqis, with preference for placement in state. New Hampshire recognized the contribution of Bhutanese refugees to New Hampshire, and requested the U.S. government to work diligently on resolving the Bhutanese refugee crisis.

     Texas was the most active state in 2015 with 84 resolutions and 15 laws followed by California with 66 laws and 2 resolutions.
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    July 4, the date that America was founded, is of course one of the most important, if not the most important, dates in this country's history.

    Another very significant date, beginning this year, is now July 5, the date that the threat that Hillary Clinton would be prosecuted over her email affair was finally removed by FBI Director James Comey.

    There is no point in going into the details of Hillary's emails as Secretary of State; clearly there are many things about the way she handled this that cannot be justified.

    But the essential point is that Hillary Clinton is the only person in the United States standing between America and a Donald Trump dictatorship, a regime that he has been promising over and over again would be one of tyranny and torture (though not of anti-Semitism - there are enough reasons to be scared of a Trump presidency without making up something that Trump has no history of doing or advocating - yes, he is a bigot and a racist - against Latinos, against Muslims, and arguably also against Asians - but there is little or no evidence that he has ever picked out the Jewish people as his targets).

    Hillary Clinton is now free to continue her campaign to preserve America's freedom and democracy. By avoiding the threat of prosecution, she has dodged a very big bullet. America has dodged an even bigger one.

    Of course, Trump has promised that if he becomes president, he will put Hillary in jail. If so, she will have a lot of company - just about anyone who has ever opposed the iron will of our new would be Leader (Fuehrer in German), Donald J. Trump.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Further to my above letter, it is true that Trump has a less than stellar history of re-tweeting messages from neo-Nazi and anti-semitic websites, as well as being slow to disavow support from people like David Duke, the former KKK leader and various neo-Nazi politicians in Europe. See, Moses Frenck, Trump Revels in Neo-Nazi Support (DIversityInc., July 5)

    Trumo has also sometimes used vulgar anti-Jewish stereotypes usually dealing with money, in addressing Jewish audiences.

    But none of this compares with his repeated demonization of Muslims around the world as "terrorists" and calls to ban most or all of them from entering the United States, or his pledge to engage in mass expulsion of and build a Berlin (or Warsaw Ghetto (!) type) Wall against Latino and other non-white immigrants.

    It can be argued, with considerable justification, that Trump is less than sensitive to the feelings and dignity of any minority group in America, or to women, the disabled, or other groups for that matter.

    But, I would argue that simply because a sheriff's badge on one of his tweets happened to resemble a Jewish Star of David for a couple of hours before it was taken down and replaced by a harmless circle, that is not enough to make Trump an anti-Semite.

    The real anti-Semites do not normally raise ambiguities about their feelings or hold back from sharing them with the world, over and over again. Nor do very many of them have a child who converted to Judaism, and with whom they remain on good terms.

    As I suggested above, it is time for our sensationalized, politicized press to get over the endless stories about Hillary Clinton's emails (just as it has mostly done with Benghazi) and to move on to the very grave and real issues facing America, including the survival of our democracy.

    My comment about getting over the Hillary's emails story can also be made about Donald Trump's six-pointed sheriff's badge. If one one want to find stories about the important issues facing America, it is best to look in a different direction.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 07-06-2016 at 01:12 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  4. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    July 4, the date that America was founded, is of course one of the most important, if not the most important, dates in this country's history. Another very significant date, beginning this year, is now July 5, the date that the threat that Hillary Clinton would be prosecuted over her email affair was finally removed by FBI Director James Comey. Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    As usual, Roger and disagree. I have serious reservations about the way FBI director Comey handled the results of the investigation. Does FBI Director James B. Comey?s statement make sense to you? I am asking everyone but Roger.

    Director Comey says that only facts mattered and that the FBI found them in an entirely apolitical and professional way. Maybe, but his statement seems to move in two diametrically opposed political directions.

    First, instead of just concluding that he did not think criminal charges should be brought against Hillary Clinton and explaining why, he goes further and says that ?no reasonable prosecutor? would bring such a case. Why would he say that? I can?t think of any nonpolitical reason. The only purpose it serves is to close the book on the case so it will not continue to a problem for Hillary?s campaign. And it does this at considerable cost. If the Justice Department prosecutors do decide to prosecute, it will be virtually impossible to find unbiased jurors. How can a juror listen to the evidence with an open mind knowing that the FBI director in charge of investigating the case concluded that no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges?

    On the other hand, he criticizes Clinton with comments such as that the investigation indicated that Clinton was extremely careless in handling information that she knew or should have known was highly sensitive, and she used her unsecure email server extensively while overseas, including sending and receiving work-related emails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries making it possible that hostile actors gained access to her email account. This sets her up for impeachment proceedings if she is elected. I was a counsel on the Democratic staff of the House Judiciary Committee during her husband Bill?s impeachment proceedings. I can say with complete confidence that the case against Hillary would be much stronger than the case that was made against Bill.

    Comey?s statement is available at,
  5. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I can understand the anguish of the Trump supporters and Hillary detractors over that fact that the FBI did not find any good reasons for knocking Hillary out the race and installing Donald Trump in the White House by default.

    Now, if Trump's fans want to see him become president, they will have to elect him the way we actually do things in a democracy - at the ballot box.

    I realize that this may be an uphill battle, since every time Trump opens his mouth, something comes out that is even crazier, more vicious and scarier than the previous time - such as Donald's latest charge that both Hillary and President Obama are in effect traitors who want to let terrorists into the US in order to kill Americans - but that is a decision that the GOP delegates will have to make in Cleveland this month.

    Let us hope that they will muster the courage and wisdom to vote their consciences, as many Republican leaders are urging them to do, so that America, which has been a democracy for the past 240 years, will remain a democracy.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 07-06-2016 at 08:37 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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