The Subtle Subterranean Networks of DC

No, my posting title above does not refer to DC’s excellent Metro system. Instead, this post is about possible cabinet appointments in the coming Trump administration.

In the rumored short list for cabinet picks, the sole name mentioned for Sec. of Labor is Victoria Lipnic, currently EEOC Commissioner. At first glance, it would seem nice of the Trump team to consider an Obama appointee. However, her bio says, “Immediately before coming to the EEOC, Commissioner Lipnic was of counsel to the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP in its Washington, DC, office.” Well, who is that?

Seyfarth Shaw is a large law firm specializing on employment issues — from the employers’ point of view. In particular, one of their areas of practice is business immigration, and one of their partners in that area is Angelo Paparelli, one of the most prominent immigration lawyers in the nation. He frequently writes and speaks in favor of H-1B.

So, Lipnic’s status as an Obama appointee in charge of worker discrimination redress may mask less attractive connections.

18 thoughts on “The Subtle Subterranean Networks of DC

      • The general public does not know of the problems of STEM workers and that many other professions are or will be adversely affected by federal policies and laws. Until many more are making demands for changes to their home state elected legislators, these people will only hear from the corporate supporters of guest worker programs. These legislators need to hear personal stories from their constituents. These websites are widely read and respected (Sorry, I do not remember the incident you report; I’ll check it out.) and could generate support for the changes needed to protect American workers.


  1. I doubt things could go that smoothly for H1B lobbyist under Trump admin.
    Names of Kris Kobach, Steve Banon and most importantly Jeff Sessions are also floating around for important immigration related roles. There could still be STEM green card related stuff that could pass through. Businesses might also negotiate by suggesting to eliminate certain family based and diversity immigration categories which could bring the annual immigration count to less than 1M. Session’s goal is to bring immigration down .. In the past he has said he is willing to negotiate for skilled immigration if other numbers are cut down.

    Considering a republican majority in congress such a move is possible


    • Immigration reform proposals leave out the very demographic groups that in the 1800s and pre-war WW2 1900s whose descendants made the US what it is today.

      This is evident in my study of the genealogy of both my self and my husband. My husbands ancestors date from the 1600s – including a slave kidnapped off of the streets of London. Mine immigrated from Europe in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They were poorly educated with the men working in the northeast coal mines as laborers. However, their children left the mining towns after WW2. Of my mother and her siblings there are a physician married to a nurse, an engineer also married to a nurse, two automobile factory workers, a chemist married to a physician, and a nurse married to a physician.

      My other grandmother came by boat and saw two of her younger sisters die on the voyage; she began working before 15 in the factory (per census data) and eventually became a nurse. My grandfather was a cabinet maker. My father was a physician and his sister was a teacher married to a small business owner.

      Based on today’s immigration law, none would have been admitted to the US.

      People like my grandparents are the ones now immigrating illegally because they have no legal way to come. We must find a way for the low skilled, uneducated individuals to have a legal way to enter and become permanent residents with a path to citizenship. They are more important to the future of the US than the well educated workers who are coming only to make money so that they can return to Asia and South Asia to retire.


      • @ Cathy On what facts or observations are you claiming that Asian/South Asians are just here to make money and then will return to retire? So far, anyone who has immigrated to the US has done so looking for better opportunities and a better life. Based on your understanding it looks like only those who are uneducated and have gone through extreme hardships such as your grandmother shall be allowed to look for a better life. Just because one is educated, that does mean there are no hardships or there is no desire to seek and earn a better life.

        Secondly, Immigration proposals choose to leave out those hardworking people that you are mentioning because the American public only likes those people if they come from certain sections of Europe. Else, there are a lot of them that fits your demographic definition who might want to immigrate from India/China/Mexico/middle east. Shall we bring them? I think we should. I don’t know about you, but the vast majority of those Americans, who do not like non-European immigration would be skeptical and will give reasons like the descendants of non-European hard workers won’t bring the success that our descendants brought to this nation or worse they will make this nation a third world country.


  2. Rumors are not necessarily facts, but these are very disturbing, but not surprising. Trump said he was anti-h1b, then 3 days later effectively recanted that statement. Either way, I predict we are looking at H-1B expansion in the next 4 years if Trump remains in office.

    However, there are numerous people already calling for his impeachment and some say its possible.

    However, impeachment simply means that a president is charged with a crime. He can be impeached and stay in office as Bill Clinton did. He isn’t removed from office until he is actually convicted. Nixon was never impeached because he resigned before the proceedings were final. Clinton was actually impeached because he lied under oath and not because he cheated on his wife.


    • In the incident you cite, I considered it a reversal, but a kinder interpretation would be that he clarified his position, which apparently is to oppose H-1B in general for support it for foreign workers hired from U.S. university campuses as foreign students. I was and am upset by that, because both kinds of H-1B hires are harmful to American workers, but even many critics of H-1B believe the two categories are quite different.


    • Dennis, I find your post troubling. There is nothing at this time that suggests that the President-elect has committed any crime or intends to do so.


      • I had previously thought that the crime had to be committed in office, but apparently not. As for previous crimes, I don’t recall all the details, but Trump started a “get rich quick” clown college and then absconded with all the tuition money. I think that is what they are looking at.

        On another Trump note, I said before (maybe not here) that if Trump was elected, that he would shut down our local airport (Palm Beach International). He didn’t like the fact commercial airplanes were flying over his mansion. He sued the airport and lost when he was just Billionaire Trump, now he has the power to enforce it by decree as President Billionaire Trump. They have already been put on notice to cease operations over his mansion when Trump is in town.

        Guess who appoints the FAA commissioner….

        Worst of all, he plans to stay here during the winter months.


  3. No saviour from on high delivers
    No faith have we in prince or peer
    Our own right hand the chains must shiver
    Chains of hatred, greed and fear.



  4. Trump, Hillary – What is the difference? Hillary supported offshore trade agreements and non-immigrant visas for a long time. Trump said something different. He may be lying but… oh well.


  5. The Seyfarth Shaw connection might not be as bad as it seems. Law firms that represent big business sometimes hire specialists from the other side to aid their litigation strategies, and it’s not necessarily a sell-out when a lawyer accepts such a role. They gain useful insight into the other side, just as the law firm does, and it’s a solid credential that means they’re respected across the profession. Law is a funny profession.

    In this case it’s relevant that Lipnic did not stay with Seyfarth Shaw, and presumably did not seek appointment as a partner.


  6. I don’t think we have to worry much about her past. It’s like a former prosecutor turned defense attorney. The defense attorney is not going to do a bad job for his client because of his past job as a prosecutor. Her new “client” is trump.


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