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Has Trump Administration Lost All Compassion Within Its Immigration System? – OpEd

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To be sure, if there was any major reason to support the Donald Trump Presidential Administration, one of the chief reasons would be that he is a successful New York City and international businessman, having amassed billions and billions of dollars as a savvy, intelligent, compassionate and creative man who has employed tens of thousands of workers and created a huge fortune and dynasty building various lucrative projects and real estate ventures all over the world.

But the problem may not be with the President or his understandable policies against rampant and uncontrolled illegal immigration or the continued presence of criminal illegal aliens in the United States, but rather with the men and women that he has placed into powerful positions to run the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”), Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), Executive Office for Immigration Review (“EOIR”), Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) thereon, and even further with the underlings who have been appointed under those individuals.

Many immigration lawyers, practitioners, and immigrants themselves have reported a massive uptick in seemingly dishonest behavior and underhanded tactics within the U.S. Immigration System all across the country, wherein immigrants applying under various immigration categories are being summarily denied, delayed, obstructed, cheated or otherwise rejected for Work Authorization (Employment Authorization Documents, or “EAD”) when they would normally, in the past few decades under previous administrations, be granted these automatically, when their underlying applications filed at the same time (concurrently) would provide for these EADs right away, even without the need for filing fees.

To be certain, these affected immigrants are not the horrific types of immigrants being paraded about in the conservative media and press, such as gang members, criminal illegal aliens, or other non-sympathetic illegal aliens, but rather, these affected immigrants are people that fall into sympathetic categories such as domestic violence survivors under the Violence Against Womens Act (“VAWA”), Victims of Crime under the U Visa category, Victims of Human Trafficking with T Visa applicants, Political Asylum/Refugee applicants with cases pending 6 months or more, and even people marrying U.S. Citizens under the (c)(9) immediate visa priority date category.

Many immigration lawyers and practitioners, as well as their clients, have reported a massive increase in certain bizarre new “tactics” being used by the USCIS and their workers against people that would normally receive a work authorization card immediately upon filing.

Dishonest, illegal and unethical tactics being used by the USCIS and its employees include such behavior such as (1) taking up many months before issuing arbitrary denials and decisions, or (2) taking and cashing their filing fee checks and then rejecting their applications for strange arbitrary reasons, or (3) demanding filing fee checks when none are required, (4) advising applicants to mail them back into the different incorrect addresses, (5) splitting up concurrently filed petitions so that the work authorization application portion is refused and rejected first, and then turning to the underlying visa application giving them the right to work authorization getting accepted and stamped with a “receipt date notice,” (6) confusing cross-mailed notices designed to create rifts and conflicts by and between immigrants and their lawyers/practitioners to destroy and sow distrust in the attorney-client relationship hoping that the immigrant will simply “give up” or “go bankrupt” and then “self deport,” (7) losing files altogether, and (8) other truly bizarre acts.

Unfortunately, this causes these immigrants (vast majority who have never been arrested or have no criminal record whatsoever) to be forced to become criminals in that they must find new ways to survive and thus work illegally, without a lawful and bona fide Work Authorization Card, creating a whole new class of “criminal immigrants” in order to feed themselves and their families, and then they become “ripe” to be arrested, prosecuted, deported, and have their families split up by vulture-like and ravenous Immigration Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) agents who seem to literally be waiting at their doors or at the companies that dared to hire them in the first place.

This practice by the USCIS also seems to be literally “cutting off the government’s nose to spite its own face” by denying massive amounts of tax dollars (hundreds of billions) that would be raised by the U.S. Government when these people are allowed to work legally, and thus pay their fair share of much needed taxes and revenue needed by the government – the employers would pay as these taxes are automatically deducted and calculated by the government if the immigrant worker has a legal work permit and has a social security number, so even unscrupulous employers would find it difficult to dodge income and other types of employee taxes.

Even the Immigration Courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) are not immune from some of these dirty underhanded tactics, sometimes sending confusing notices and letters designed to throw the immigrant and their lawyers/representatives into disarray by inconsistently denying and then accepting jurisdiction, rejecting properly filed motions and pleadings and filings repeatedly for various ridiculous reasons, delaying and obstructing case progress and litigation, splitting up remedies for relief and purposefully obfuscating case conclusion, employing mean-spirited, incompetent, and nasty court, clerk and DHS Counsel personnel to scare or intimidate immigrants and their representatives, and other behavior patterns designed to harm immigrants – and all of this has nothing to do with former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions imprudently and possibly illegally took the power away from Immigration Judges to “close” or “terminate” immigration deportation proceedings when it would be unreasonably futile, expensive, disruptive, or frankly idiotic to continue to try and deport immigrants who have solid legal remedies and reasons to remain within the United States.

The above described troubling issues don’t even address the splitting up of families at the border, but that has also been apparently going on for many years, pre-dating the Trump Administration.

If anything, Trump’s presidency has addressed this issue by trying to reunite broken up families one by one, but this is by no means an easy or cost-effective feat, and the results of such a policy for many decades has wreaked untold havoc, hardship, pain, suffering and trauma that no one administration could ever hope to fix – truly a human rights blemish on the United States of America for generations to come, as these broken up families, traumatized children and their offspring, and even sympathetic Americans, will never forget that this had occurred on U.S. Soil.

So to that end, the U.S. Government, and especially its Immigration Service, needs to do a much better job of tackling these humanitarian issues, lest the country lose sight of the fact that it was a nation built by people leaving other countries to become immigrants, run by immigrants, and allowed to prosper by its immigrants.


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Rahul Manchanda

Rahul Manchanda

Rahul D. Manchanda, Esq, was ranked among Top Attorneys in the United States by Newsweek Magazine in 2012 and 2013. Manchanda worked for one of the largest law firms in Manhattan where he focused on asbestos litigation. At the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL”) in Vienna, Austria, Mr. Manchanda was exposed to international trade law, arbitration, alternative dispute resolution, and comparisons of the American common law with European civil law.

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