On March 17, former CIA Director John O. Brennan tweeted the following about Donald Trump's latest alleged attempt to interfere with the functioning of the FBI, which is supposed to be an independent law enforcement agency, and force it to support his political agenda - in this case squelching the Robert Mueller investigation into the administration's alleged corruption, and/or collusion with Russia to sway the 2016 election.

"When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history."

https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/17/polit...ing/index.html

It is not necessary to agree with this strong assessment in order to be concerned about Trump's reported attempts to influence or control government agencies which, in theory, are supposed to be independent of the White House and devoted to enforcing the laws as they are written and objectively interpreted - as shown in the administration's vindictive firing of an Andrew McCabe, an FBI official who was under attack by the president, only one or two days before McCabe would have qualified for retirement benefits for his 20-year government service. For more details, see:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics...he-fbi/555857/

It is a shame that the same John Brennan, instead of also speaking out against the attempt by Trump, who openly supported the use of torture during his presidential campaign, to compromise the independence and integrity of the CIA by picking an alleged torturer, Gina Haspel, as that agency's new chief, instead tried to defend the indefensible in her case.

See the March 16 article by Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights in The Guardian:

Gina Haspel should be arrested - not put in charge of the CIA


https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...vincent-warren

But, while the above events clearly do not directly relate to immigration policy, the same pattern of forcing independent government agencies to become agents for Trump's political agenda, and to show "loyalty" to him personally, rather than to the laws and institutions of the United States, may also be affecting the integrity of the USCIS.

The Washington Post reports that there is a similar battle looming behind the scenes which could, conceivably destroy the independent decision-making powers of the USCIS to determine who is qualified for approval for legal immigration benefits such as work permits and green cards. See, March 16:

U.S. Immigration agency to more closely monitor caseworkers, documents show


The Post reports that Trump's new USCIS director, L. Francis Cissna, who only just recently sent an unmistakable warning sign that USCIS might no longer feel obligated to protect the interests of today's mainly non-European immigrants - see my earlier ilw.com post on this issue

http://blogs.ilw.com/entry.php?10419

may now be trying to set up a special unit within that agency to oversee the work of immigration adjudicators who are considered to be too "lax", i.e. too immigrant-friendly, in their decision-making.

For a direct link to the Post's story, see the following article in The Hill (which also reports a claimed denial of the Post's story by USCIS sources - what a surprise! who could have guessed that the agency would try to deny this story?)!

http://thehill.com/latino/378827-fed...workers-report

If the rule of law gives way to Trump's anti-immigrant agenda to the point that no one can rely any longer on the objectivity or impartiality of USCIS adjudications of applications and petitions for immigration benefits (to the extent that this still exists - openly biased agency denials and RFE's have been around since the Clinton era, as many practitioners in this field can attest), then we might as well not have a legal immigration system at all.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law
algaselex@gmail.com