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Letters of the Week: September 6 - September 9

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  1. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    I just posted a comment on an article claiming that illegal entries across the border with Mexico are at a 12-year low. The 12-year low claim is based on apprehension figures, not how many illegal crossings have occurred. The border patrol doesn't know how many illegal crossings are occurring. This will be easier to understand if I explain the origin of the apprehensions count standard.

    Years ago, someone at CBP decided that the way to stop aliens from crossing the border illegally was to place large groups of border patrol agents at the locations where most of the crossings are made. In effect, they would act as scare crows. The illegal crossers would look across the river, see a large group of border patrolmen, get scared, and go home. What do you think happened? If you said anything other than, they crossed somewhere else, you are wrong. After a few months of this, the border patrol realized that they weren't catching as many people as they did before operation scarecrow (my term) went into effect. Instead of realizing that the aliens were going around and between the locations with the scarecrows, they concluded that fewer crossings were being made and announced that the new program was a success.

    Years later, when I was writing a border security bill with help from the president of the national border patrol union, he told me about this practice and insisted on prohibiting it in the bill. If you are curious, it's section 102, Elimination of fixed deployment of US Border Patrol Agents in the Rapid Response Border Protection Act of 2005. https://www.congress.gov/bill/109th-congress/house-bill/4044/text

    I don't think the scarecrow strategy is still being used, but CBP is still using the number of apprehensions as the basis for deciding whether illegal entries are going up or down.
    Updated 09-06-2016 at 07:01 PM by Nolan Rappaport
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Thanks to Nolan (and to Donald Trump and his supporters), we are hearing a great deal about how "aliens" (a word which derives from the Latin alienus, meaning not only "foreign", but "different", "strange" and "hostile", and which should be banished forever from our immigration laws if we are to have true immigration reform), are "flooding" into this country (Trump's term, not Nolan's) illegally (and, according to Trump's August 31 Arizona speech, also legally, which is for him is just as bad if not even worse); committing crimes, allegedly supporting terrorism, and "stealing jobs" or "suppressing wages" of American workers.

    Even though Nolan is a distinguished immigration law scholar who knows as much about the past and present of immigration in America as anyone else, we do not see very much discussion in his articles about the enormous contributions that immigrants from every part of the world have made and are continuing to make to America's society, economy and culture, or about America's values and traditions as a nation of immigrants.

    I do not see a great deal in Nolan's articles about the fact that almost all of us who call ourselves Americans are immigrants, in the sense that we are the children or grandchildren of immigrants, including Trump himself, whose grandparents were immigrants and whose wife is an immigrant (whose compliance with our country's immigration laws, or alleged lack of same, at the beginning of her modelling career in America is still shrouded in mystery).

    Even one of America's leading immigrant persecutors-in-chief, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, in whose Maricopa County turf Trump chose to make his latest August 31 anti-immigrant rant, is the child of an immigrant - from Italy, which was once considered just as "undesirable" as a source of immigration (according to the 1924 Johnson-Reed Immigration Act) as Trump thinks that Mexico and the Middle East are now.

    I happen to live in New York, just a mile from Trump International Hotel and Tower in Manhattan's Columbus Circle (not to be confused with Trump Tower, his headquarters, on Fifth Avenue).

    Walking from my home to that building is one of the most beautiful walks anywhere in the world, on a street facing Central Park, one of New York's greatest treasures, where on any given day, one can see thousands of people from every country on earth, speaking dozens, if not over a hundred, different languages, and adhering to a great variety of religions, or to no religion at all.

    Without immigration, this area, and all of New York City, America's greatest city and on ene of the greatest cities in the world, would be a virtual ghost town.

    Donald Trump says that he wants to make America great. Then he must support immigration, because that is what has made America great and will continue to do so.

    Perhaps Nolan might wish to focus his great scholarship and erudition on the positive side of immigration a little more often, instead of sharing with us a constant stream of alleged immigrant illegal entry, crime, terrorism and American job destruction.

    Instead of looking at immigrants as "aliens" in the sense of "different", "strange", "other" or "hostile", we should heed the words of the great Latin poet Lucan, writing in the time of the infamous emperor Nero 2,000 year years ago (when, as it happened, Rome was torn by fear and prejudice against Syrian immigrants in particular - as I will write about in more detail in my own ilw.com blog shortly), who advised:

    Inque vecim gens omnis amet ("May all nations have affection for each other.") If we want to keep America truly great, this statement should be the eternal, unshakable, foundation of our immigration policy.

    (Lucan was, unfortunately, forced by Nero to take his (Lucan's ) own life at the young age of 25 for reasons that had nothing to do with immigration. Lucan was importunate enough to have beaten Nero in a poetry contest! There were other, allegedly more substantive, reasons as well.)

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 09-09-2016 at 11:52 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  3. Julian Ortuondo's Avatar
    Meanwhile, this old American senior teacher is still stranded overseas with my spouse, simply because she is Colombian and cannot get home to the US even as a tourist to meet with friends, kids and family... Nero was a peacekeeper, compared to our immigration officers and consuls. Shame on us, Americans…
  4. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    Thanks to Nolan (and to Donald Trump and his supporters), we are hearing a great deal about how "aliens" (a word which derives from the Latin alienus, meaning not only "foreign", but "different", "strange" and "hostile", and which should be banished forever from our immigration laws if we are to have true immigration reform), are "flooding" into this country (Trump's term, not Nolan's) illegally (and, according to Trump's August 31 Arizona speech, also legally, which is for him is just as bad if not even worse); committing crimes, allegedly supporting terrorism, and "stealing jobs" or "suppressing wages" of American workers.

    Even though Nolan is a distinguished immigration law scholar who knows as much about the past and present of immigration in America as anyone else, we do not see very much discussion in his articles about the enormous contributions that immigrants from every part of the world have made and are continuing to make to America's society, economy and culture, or about America's values and traditions as a nation of immigrants.

    I do not see a great deal in Nolan's articles about the fact that almost all of us who call ourselves Americans are immigrants, in the sense that we are the children or grandchildren of immigrants, including Trump himself, whose grandparents were immigrants and whose wife is an immigrant (whose compliance with our country's immigration laws, or alleged lack of same, at the beginning of her modelling career in America is still shrouded in mystery).

    Even one of America's leading immigrant persecutors-in-chief, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, in whose Maricopa County turf Trump chose to make his latest August 31 anti-immigrant rant, is the child of an immigrant - from Italy, which was once considered just as "undesirable" as a source of immigration (according to the 1924 Johnson-Reed Immigration Act) as Trump thinks that Mexico and the Middle East are now.

    I happen to live in New York, just a mile from Trump International Hotel and Tower in Manhattan's Columbus Circle (not to be confused with Trump Tower, his headquarters, on Fifth Avenue).

    Walking from my home to that building is one of the most beautiful walks anywhere in the world, on a street facing Central Park, one of New York's greatest treasures, where on any given day, one can see thousands of people from every country on earth, speaking dozens, if not over a hundred, different languages, and adhering to a great variety of religions, or to no religion at all.

    Without immigration, this area, and all of New York City, America's greatest city and on ene of the greatest cities in the world, would be a virtual ghost town.

    Donald Trump says that he wants to make America great. Then he must support immigration, because that is what has made America great and will continue to do so.

    Perhaps Nolan might wish to focus his great scholarship and erudition on the positive side of immigration a little more often, instead of sharing with us a constant stream of alleged immigrant illegal entry, crime, terrorism and American job destruction.

    Instead of looking at immigrants as "aliens" in the sense of "different", "strange", "other" or "hostile", we should heed the words of the great Latin poet Lucan, writing in the time of the infamous emperor Nero 2,000 year years ago (when, as it happened, Rome was torn by fear and prejudice against Syrian immigrants in particular - as I will write about in more detail in my own ilw.com blog shortly), who advised:

    Inque vecim gens omnis amet ("May all nations have affection for each other.") If we want to keep America truly great, this statement should be the eternal, unshakable, foundation of our immigration policy.

    (Lucan was, unfortunately, forced by Nero to take his (Lucan's ) own life at the young age of 25 for reasons that had nothing to do with immigration. Lucan was importunate enough to have beaten Nero in a poetry contest! There were other, allegedly more substantive, reasons as well.)

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Roger, what does this have to do with my comment about how DHS determines whether illegal entries are going up or down?
  5. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    The term "alien" is used and defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    Sec. 101. [8 U.S.C. 1101] (a) As used in this Act-
    ..............................


    (3) The term "alien" means any person not a citizen or national of the United States.
  6. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    It is precisely because the term "alien" is part of our immigration law, as my post attempted to make clear, that I proposed that this term should be "banished forever from our immigration laws."

    Obviously, this would require amending our current immigration laws. I never claimed that this pejorative and degrading term is not part of our laws now. It definitely is - and that is what needs to be changed.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  7. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    How did a term that is part of our law and has been used in administrative and federal judicial decisions for many years become a pejorative and degrading term?
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