Update, May 24, 7:47 pm:

The Washington Post reports on May 24 that th Trump/Miller administration has carried out its threat to force out L. Francis Cissna as USCIS director and replace him with an avowed anti-immigrant zealot, former Virginia A.G. Ken Cuccinelli. Trump had complained that Cissna was not "tough enough on (legal, nonwhite) immigrants

Look for even more biased and unfair USCIS RFE's and denials of legal immigration petitions and applications from now on. This could make a mockery of any semblance of fairness or due process in entire legal immigration system.

Democratic leaders must overcome their timidity and cowardice, and start investigating Trump's bigoted, tyrannical assault on non-white legal immigration without further delay.

By original comment follows:


More than 60 years ago, in 1957, then Senator and future president John F. Kennedy wrote a popular book about famous Americans in history called "Profiles in Courage" Will therer one day be a chapter about Nancy Pelosi and her timidity about having the House investigate Trump for impeachment one day be the subject of a chapter in a book called Profiles in Cowardice? See: POLITICO (May 20)

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/20/nancy-pelosi-impeachment-1336587

Investigating Trump for impeachment becomes more urgent with every passing day as his utter contempt for democracy and even the most basic foundations of human rights becomes more obvious - the latest example being his threat to pardon alleged war criminals.in Iraq. See: slate.com:

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/05/trump-war-crimes-pardons.html

But one does not have to look to that, or to the Mueller report, or to any of many other numerous events outside the immigration area which might allegedly be grounds for opening an impeachment investigation of Donald Trump. There are many possible grounds based on his attempts to subvert or even openly defy the immigration laws alone, including those relating to legal immigration, not only unauthorized immigration.. Geoffrey A. Hoffman, director of the immigrant rights clinic at the University Houston Law School, describes these in a January 25 article in the Yale Journal of Regulation called:

How Trump Era Immigration Enforcement Violates the Law

https://yalejreg.com/nc/how-trump-era-immigration-enforcement-violates-the-law-by-geoffrey-a-hoffman/


The author lists three examples of lawlessness by the trump administration:

1. Humanitarian (asylum) cases

2. Employment-based cases,

3.Family-based cases


Hoffman lists the two examples of the Trump's administration's attempt to defy or circumvent existing U.S. asylum law, as follows:.

a) The Matter of A-B decision by Trump's former attorney general, Jeff Sessions, which sought to completely redefine the definition of "refugee" in a way contrary to existing law. This was done by requiring proof that the home country government had failed to prevent violence against the group which the asylum claimant belonged to, rather than merely being "unable or unwilling" to control the violence, which is what the statute says.

b) Trump's proclamation that only persons who come into the US through a lawful point of entry have the right to apply for asylum in the US. As Hoffman points out, and as federal district judge Jon S. Tigar ruled, in a November, 2018 decision, this proclamation was in direct violation of the INA.

My only comment is that when a president of the United States openly defies or tries to circumvent the laws of this country on any issue, Congress is not only justifies, but very arguably mandated under our Constitution to investigate this as grounds for impeachment.

This is especially true when a president openly claims the powers of a dictator over immigration, as Trump did in this instance by citing INA Section 212(f). While this is admittedly a very broad statute, whose Constitutionality has never been questioned (to the best of my knowledge) though it very arguably should be. not only the district court, but even the right-wing dominated Supreme Court, refused (so far) to agree with Trump's claim of virtually unlimited power under this statute.

Hoffman also mentions, without further discussion, many other humanitarian immigration issues in which Trump is trying to "unilaterally change the rules".. These include DACA, TPS, and the contiguous territory ("Remain in Mexico") rule for asylum seekers.

By failing to begin an impeachment impeachment investigation the House leadership is not only condoning the president's lawlessness, but is putting our democracy in acute danger of extinction.

For further discussion of these human rights related issues, I refer readers to Hoffman's full article.

Hoffman next takes up the issue of employment-based immigration.

With regard to H-1B visas, Hoffman cites new rules requiring greater specificity in H-1B job descriptions and the employer's need to hire a foreign worker which are found nowhere in the H-1B statute. One could mention many other strategies that the Trump administration is using to delay or deny H-1B petitions unreasonably, and without the slightest basis in law - even as that same administration hypocritically tries to use "merit-based" immigration as an excuse to gut legal immigration through family relationships or by less skilled workers.

Trump's war on H-1B in particular requires a full separate comment, which I will be posting shortly, along with some suggested ways that H-1B petitioners can counter the administration's attempt to roll back or destroy this program.

With regard to adjustment of status (green card) applications, he mentions the new requirement of interviews in all such cases, which have "increased processing times" and slowed applications to a crawl.

As a lawyer whose own adjustment of status clients are now having to wait for up to 7 months just to get work permits while they are waiting for their green cards (as opposed to the previous 2-3 months, I can attest to the hardship that the Trump administration is senselessly and vindictively inflicting on qualified people who are faithfully complying with our immigration laws and whose only offense is that they might not come from "Countries like Norway."

I will continue my discussion of Trump's attempts to gut employment-based and family legal immigration in Part 2 of these comments. As Hoffman states in his article:

"The administration's 'America First' ideology has fully pervaded its treatment of immigrants both lawful and unlawful.'

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law