Kris Kobach’s ‘extreme vetting’ test shows his ignorance

The part of the test I find simply hilarious rather than overtly offensive:

Kobach’s proposed question about “equality of men and women”, innocuous though it may seem and tied to an important American civic value though it may be, has a problematic dimension in the context of questioning that would apparently be directed towards religious beliefs.  A number of religions that Kobach presumably does not wish to target do not provide for strict equality of men and women, in the sense of the rights of men and women in a specifically religious context.  Less than a month ago, Pope Francis ruled out the possibility of a woman ever serving as a Catholic priest….Some Christians believe that wives should submit to their husbands.  Could followers of those beliefs truthfully say, under penalty of perjury, that they supported full equality of men and women?


See the full post here.

My experience with sexual harassment and discrimination cases shows that often even men who articulate a view of equality will pass up women for hiring or promotions or ignore their pleas when they’re being harassed.

There is no doubt that a vast amount of men of all religions, and those who have no religion at all, do not see women as equals. Such a test, if answered truthfully, would exclude a massive amount of men, including U.S. citizens if they could be subjected to such questioning.


Worker protections at risk under Trump presidency

Full article at Salon

“Peg Seminario, safety and health director at the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)…expects the Trump administration “will use the full range of its executive authority to reverse, weaken or appeal any of the major rules that have come out of the agencies.”

Worker rights at risk include:


USCIS Final Rule For Certain Employment-Based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs

Copy of Summary of USCIS Final Rule for changes to Employment Based Immigrant and Non-Immigrant categories:

Release Date:

WASHINGTON— USCIS has published a final rule to modernize and improve several aspects of certain employment-based nonimmigrant and immigrant visa programs. USCIS has also amended regulations to better enable U.S. employers to hire and retain certain foreign workers who are beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions and are waiting to become lawful permanent residents. This rule goes into effect on Jan. 17, 2017.

Among other things, DHS is amending its regulations to:

  • Clarify and improve longstanding DHS policies and practices implementing sections of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act and the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act related to certain foreign workers, which will enhance USCIS’ consistency in adjudication.
  • Better enable U.S. employers to employ and retain high-skilled workers who are beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions (Form I-140 petitions) while also providing stability and job flexibility to these workers. The rule increases the ability of these workers to further their careers by accepting promotions, changing positions with current employers, changing employers and pursuing other employment opportunities.
  • Improve job portability for certain beneficiaries of approved Form I-140 petitions by maintaining a petition’s validity under certain circumstances despite an employer’s withdrawal of the approved petition or the termination of the employer’s business.
  • Clarify and expand when individuals may keep their priority date when applying for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence.
  • Allow certain high-skilled individuals in the United States with E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, L-1 or O-1 nonimmigrant status, including any applicable grace period, to apply for employment authorization for a limited period if:
  1. They are the principal beneficiaries of an approved Form I-140 petition,
  2. An immigrant visa is not authorized for issuance for their priority date, and
  3. They can demonstrate compelling circumstances exist that justify DHS issuing an employment authorization document in its discretion.

Such employment authorization may only be renewed in limited circumstances and only in one year increments.

  • Clarify various policies and procedures related to the adjudication of H-1B petitions, including, among other things, providing H-1B status beyond the six year authorized period of admission, determining cap exemptions and counting workers under the H-1B cap, H-1B portability, licensure requirements and protections for whistleblowers.
  • Establish two grace periods of up to 10 days for individuals in the E-1, E-2, E-3, L-1, and TN nonimmigrant classifications to provide a reasonable amount of time for these individuals to prepare to begin employment in the country and to depart the United States or take other actions to extend, change, or otherwise maintain lawful status.
  • Establish a grace period of up to 60 consecutive days during each authorized validity period for certain high-skilled nonimmigrant workers when their employment ends before the end of their authorized validity period, so they may more readily pursue new employment and an extension of their nonimmigrant status.
  • Automatically extend the employment authorization and validity of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs or Form I-766s) for certain individuals who apply on time to renew their EADs.
  • Eliminate the regulatory provision that requires USCIS to adjudicate the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, within 90 days of filing and that authorizes interim EADs in cases where such adjudications are not conducted within the 90-day timeframe



Kris Kobach signals hard line approach on immigration

A couple of days ago Kris Kobach, an immigration restrictionist who helped write Arizona’s “show me your papers” law was photographed with Trump. Incredibly Kobach had a document titled “Department of Homeland Security – Kobach Strategic Plan for First 365 Days” in his hands, uncovered. This document was photographed as well. Closer examination shows that Kobach plans to:

In addition, it appears that Kobach, who not only hates immigrants, but hates when United States citizens vote, wants to suppress the vote nationally making it hard to prevent, or undo, the damage Trump is planning.

The Importance of Becoming a Citizen

Resurrecting my blog in light of the Trump administration who I believe will lead an all out assault on immigrants, people of color, and workers. What follows is an old post from my old blog, slightly updated:

If there is one thing I stress to my clients who have recently become lawful permanent residents it’s the importance of becoming a United States citizen if they intend to stay in the United States.

The reason I make sure my clients are thinking about this issue even though they have just become permanent residents, is that as a resident you have far fewer rights than a United States citizen. In fact, other than basic due process rights under the US Constitution your life in the United States is dictated by the political winds blowing through Washington D.C., which, right now, are ill indeed.

Needless to say, at this moment in United States history, with a Donald Trump’s shadow looming over America, and anti-immigrant forces trailing closely behind, this has become more important than ever.

2o years ago, IIRAIRA was enacted with devastating effects on many lawful permanent residents and their families. It removed forms of relief and created new grounds for removal which were retroactive. In other words, lawful permanent residents were (and are) being removed for acts they committed, or at least said they committed as part of a plea agreement, years ago.

An example is HR4437: this ridiculously harsh bill the House passed in 2005 not only made it an “aggravated felony” to be in the United States without status it made anyone who assists a person who is here without status an aggravated felon as well. This wasn’t only applicable to smugglers as the bill has a separate penalties for those who are assisting for profit. In other words, family members, clergy, attorneys, anyone that may do something (arguably anything as the language of the bill is very broad) that causes the individual to stay in the United States while out of status.

As mixed status families (families with some undocumented members and members who are in the United States legally) are common such a bill would likely create a situation where the undocumented immigrant gets removed but also the family members may be charged with an aggravated felony and subject to removal as well. Being charged with an aggravated felony would likely preclude the family member from seeking any relief from removal and they could be removed no matter how long they have been in the United States.

That bill was never implemented but it is not hard to see how the Trump administration and GOP Congress would push it through now that they are in complete control of all three branches of the United States government.

On the other hand, a US citizen cannot be removed from the United States so this adds another reason why it is important to pursue naturalization if you are eligible and if you intend to remain in the United States