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  1. Ninth Circuit gives green light for much larger travel ban. by Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty Images

    The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a new decision on President Donald Trump’s March 6 Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.”

    The court affirmed the portions of the district court injunction that apply to the 90-day, six-country travel ban, but it vacated the portions of the injunction that relate to the government doing an internal review of its vetting procedures, which could lead to a much larger ban based on a different criterion.

    The Trump exception

    According to University of Chicago law professor Eric Posner, the courts are creating a “Trump exception” to settled law on presidential powers by ignoring the Supreme Court’s admonition in Kleindienst v. Mandel that courts may not “look behind” a “facially legitimate and bona fide reason” when the president exercises immigration authority.

    The Ninth Circuit does mention the Supreme Court’s admonition in Mandel, but gives it only cursory attention (see footnote 9 on page 33 of the decision).

    If the Supreme Court does not intervene, Trump may be faced ultimately with the constitutional crisis of not being able to meet his national security responsibilities as the chief of the executive branch with respect to terrorism coming from Muslim countries, unless he defies the orders of the judicial branch.

    Tip of the iceberg

    The six-country travel ban is just the tip of the iceberg. The internal reviews the court has given approval to can lead to far more serious consequences.

    Read more at --

    Published originally on The Hill.

    About the author.

    Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years; he subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.

  2. Judge Sanctions Kobach for Misrepresenting Content of Memo to President. Should Courts do the Same With Trump's Muslim Ban Arguments? Roger Algase

    Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State who has achieved notoriety for his authorship of Arizona's S.B. 1070 immigration law and other state immigration laws which have been in large part rejected by the courts, as well as authoring numerous state voter suppression laws targeting minority U.S. citizens which have met a similar fate in various state and federal courts, has been fined $1,000 by a U.S. Magistrate for the District of Kansas for misrepresenting the contents of a memo which he prepared for the president relating to possible suggested changes in the Voting Rights Act (NVRA).

    While the case involved, Fish v. Kobach, is not directly related to immigration, the facts leading to the imposition of this sanction against Kobach, who is one of the president's behind the scenes immigration advisers, and who has also been appointed by the president to head a commission whose obvious purpose is only to provide a cover for more attempts to disenfranchise minority, pro-immigrant voters, have much in common with the conduct of Trump's DOJ lawyers in the various Muslim country entry ban ("Muslim ban") cases now proceeding through the federal court system, including the Supreme Court.

    The rationale used by the federal magistrate to sanction Kobach in the above case may also, very arguably, justify sanctions against DOJ lawyers for making the deceptive and bad faith claim in the various federal court Muslim ban lawsuits that Trump's executive orders at issue in those cases were motivated entirely by factors other than religious prejudice against Muslims, and a desire to deprive Muslim U.S. citizens of their constitutional rights to the free exercise of religion and to protection against establishment of religion.

    The full text of the judge's order can be accessed by going to the following POLITICO story and following the link to the full 24-page order in that story.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 06-23-2017 at 10:48 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Federal Judge Halts Trump's Attempt to Betray Over 100 Iraqi Christians by Deportation Back to Danger or Death. Roger Algase

    The Guardian reports on June 22 that a federal judge in Detroit, Mark Goldsmith, has put a 14-day temporary hold on attempts by ICE to deport over 100 Iraqi Christians, many of whom have minor criminal convictions for which they finished serving their sentences long ago, to Iraq, where they face danger of severe persecution or even death at the hands of ISIS.

    The Detroit area Iraqis are now being incarcerated far away from their homes and their attorneys at an ICE detention center in Youngstown, Ohio, in an evident betrayal of Trump's campaign promises to protect Christians and other Middle Eastern religious minorities from persecution.

    See also: POLITICO, June 13:

    Also, see my June 14 comment on Trump's raids against Iraqi Christians.

    What could have possibly caused Trump to turn against a group of people who are arguably the most vulnerable of any in America to the same religiously inspired terrorist persecution and murder that Trump is now using as an excuse to justify his Muslim entry ban orders?

    As the ACLU's complaint in the above lawsuit, Hamama v. Adduccci (E.D.Michigan) states:

    "5. U.S. law prohibits the removal of individuals to countries where they would face a likelihood of persecution or torture. Yet despite the clear danger that many of these individuals face in Iraq, ICE is attempting to deport them based on outstanding removal orders that do not take into account of intervening changed circumstances which should entitle them to protection."

    One answer would be that Trump's promises to protect Christianity and Middle Eastern Christians in particular were never meant seriously. See a February 11 article by Lebanese American University teacher Halim Shebaya entitled:

    Is Trump a saviour for Middle Eastern Christians?

    Or is he a false prophet?

    The immediate reason, as also reported in the media, was Iraq's decision to reverse its previous policy of refusing to accept deportees from the US, as part of an apparent deal to be taken off the original list of seven Muslim countries whose citizens were banned from entering the United States.

    But there is a strong argument to be made that the deeper reason is Trump's own glorification of his mass deportation policies and evident desire to create a legacy as the president who expelled more Middle Eastern, Latino, Asian and black immigrants from America than any other U.S. president in history.

    As the great Iraqi poet, Al-Mutanabbi, wrote over 1,000 years ago:

    Wa taazumu fi 'ayn assaghir assagharuha,

    Wa tasgharu fi 'ayn al azim al-azaimu.

    "Small people think that their small actions are great,

    And great people think that their great actions are small."

    (I apologize for any imperfections in transliteration or translation - I am not a classical Arabic scholar.)

    Few people (other than, no doubt, top Trump administration officials such as Stephen Bannon and Jeff Sessions, who have both advocated a return to the Europeans-only policies of the infamous Johnson-Reed "national origins" immigration act of 1924) would argue that the president's attempt to expel up to 11 million unauthorized immigrants from America, no matter what the cost might be in human suffering, puts him among the second group of people whom this famous medieval Iraqi poet described above.

    The only comfort one can take is that the "Donald Trump Era" of persecution against minority immigrants in America will not last forever; and one day this country will return to its ideals and values as a nation that welcomes immigrants without regard to ethnicity, color, or religion; as embodied in the Statue of Liberty, and in the 1965 immigration reform law which is now under such great attack from the president's above inner circle of immigration advisers, and from Trump's supporters in the white nationalist movement.

    As Hafez, a world-famous poet from what is now a Middle Eastern country which Trump still has on his banned list, Iran, wrote in Persian in the 14th century:

    Yusofe gomgashte baz ayad be kanon: qam machor.

    Kolbeye ahsan shavad roozi golestan: qam machor.

    "Joseph, who was lost, will return to Canaan: do not grieve.

    The house of sorrows will turn into a garden: do not grieve."

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 06-23-2017 at 10:46 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Trump's Muslim Entry Ban Orders Were Issued in Good Faith - If You Believe That Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries. Roger Algase

    Many years ago, I heard the following joke:

    An American who is seeking the true meaning of life hears that a certain sage living at the top of a mountain in the Himalayas has the answer. So the American decides to visit him.

    After a long and arduous trip, full of danger and difficulty, the American finally reaches the top of the mountain and comes face to face with the sage.

    "Tell me, Oh Sage, what is the true meaning of life?",

    the American asks.

    The sage goes into deep meditation, for what seems like hours, and finally addresses the visitor.

    "Life", the Sage answers, "is just a bowl of cherries."

    The American visitor is outraged.

    "What are you talking about?" the visitor asks,

    "After all the trouble and expense I went through to come here, nearly risking my life, just to see you, are you now telling me that life is just a bowl of cherries? What kind of scam is that?"

    The Sage looks at the visitor with a very puzzled expression. Finally he says:

    "Do you mean to say that life
    isn't just a bowl of cherries?"

    This story comes to mind every time I see someone claim that Donald Trump's Muslim ban executive orders were not issued in bad faith.

    Anyone who thinks that either the first version of the ban order, which Trump now states that he regrets having withdrawn, or the current version which is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, meets the standard of being "facially legitimate and bona fide" set forth in Justice Blackmun's majority opinion in Kelindienst v. Mandel (1972), and also meets the requirement of being free from an "affirmative showing of bad faith" announced by Justice Kennedy in his plurality opinion in Kerry v. Din (2015); or who contends that the courts had no power to look behind the face of these orders into the issue of whether the president issued them in good faith, might just as well argue that life is just a bowl of cherries.

    The one argument makes about the same amount of sense as the other - i.e. none at all.

    I will discuss the above two definitive Supreme Court cases in more detail in a future comment.

    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, Roger has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants receive work visas and green cards.

    Roger's main areas of practice include H-1B specialty occupation, O-1 extraordinary ability and J-1 trainee work visas; and green cards through labor certification (PERM) and through opposite sex or same sex marriage. Roger's email address is

    In his many years of immigration law experience, Roger has found that careful planning, thorough knowledge of the law and persistent efforts based on mutual collaboration and understanding between lawyer and client are the keys to success. Immigration is not just a bowl of cherries.

    Updated 06-24-2017 at 08:11 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Could Trump's Silence on Twitter in Response to Attack Against London Mosque Worshippers Hurt His Muslim Ban Case in the Supreme Court? Roger Algase

    Earlier this month, after Donald Trump unleashed a "tweetstorm" in an attempt to defend both his original seven Muslim country entry ban order and what he himself called the "watered-down" six Muslim country version, the media were full of statements by legal experts, such as law professor Josh Blackman of the University of Houston, warning that the president was undermining his own legal argument to the effect that the order was a national security measure, not motivated by "animus" toward Muslims as members of a religion or a desire to discriminate against them.

    For one of many press reports dealing with this subject, see the New York Times June 5 article:

    However, remarkably, Trump abstained from Twitter entirely and issued no personal statement when Muslims were the victims of an attack, such as the one on June 19 in Finsbury Park in London. (The US State Department did issue an official response condemning the attack.)

    The president's uncharacteristic decision to stay away from Twitter and not to issue any personal statement about the latest London attack, has, however, set off a storm of criticism against him in the press for being ready to condemn Muslims in general whenever a Muslim is the perpetrator of a terrorist attack, but remaining silent when Muslims are the victims of one.

    A June 20 article by Christian Christensen in The Guardian, for example, states as follows:

    "Donald Trump didn't send out a tweet after the terrorist attack in Finsbury Park in London that killed one and injured many more. His silence after this attack was markedly different from his immediate, fevered, tweeting after numerous other terrorist attacks in Europe - and that matters.

    For Trump, it's clear that this wasn't the right kind of attacker and these weren't the right kind of victims."

    Just in case that there could be any possible doubt as to what the author meant by the above comment, he continues:

    "In the case of Finsbury Park, Muslims injured by a white Christian man are not 'worthy' of attention because they do not serve Trump's larger project of the demonization of Muslims, refugees and immigrants...Nor do they serve the interests of portraying white Christian Europe (and by association, white Christian America) as the bastion of all that is decent and good."

    Strong and eloquent words, but what do they have to do with Trump's Muslim country entry ban executive order, affecting almost 200 million people, more than 99 percent of whom are Muslims, who, according to its terms, are barred from even applying for visas to enter the United States without any showing or reason to suspect that they might have terrorist sympathies or connections?

    At the heart of Trump's legal defense of this order, and its now withdrawn seven Muslim country predecessor, before various federal courts, has been the contention that his numerous, openly Islamophobic campaign statements, such as his December 2015 call for a worldwide ban on entry to the US by Muslims from every country (including originally US citizens as well), and his statements such as the one that Islam allegedly hates America, should be ignored for litigation purposes because they were supposedly only pre-election talk.

    According to this argument, Trump deserves to be treated as a leopard who suddenly changed its spots from the day that he took over the office of the presidency, and that none of his previous statements (which a 4th Circuit judge found to be "dripping" with "animus" and religious intolerance against Muslims) count any more.

    To the contrary, according to the arguments which Trump's Justice Department has been making before various lower federal courts and the Supreme Court, these statements should be consigned to an Orwellian "Memory Hole" as described in the famous, and all too prescient novel 1984.

    Aside from the fact that many of Trump's actions as president, including his appointment to top positions of two of America's leading Islamophobes, Michael Flynn, who has called Islam a "cancer" rather than a religion, and Stephen Bannon, who regards the Christian West as being locked in a "War of Civilizations" with the Muslim world, not to mention Trump's aforesaid "Tweetstorm" over his Muslim ban orders, show the utter meretriciousness of this legal argument (from the Latin meretrix - look it up in the dictionary), the president's studied silence in the face of a brutal terrorist attack directed against Muslims, not by them, gives the lie to any possible contention that his Muslim ban orders were motivated by anything other than hostility toward Muslims as members of a religion in general.

    Whether the Supreme Court will take note of this self-evident reality, or whether it will choose to let itself be blinded to the obvious truth by some concocted legal fiction, is something that America may be finding out shortly, with enormous potential implications for the survival of our democracy.
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer who has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world, without regard to ethnicity, religion or national origin, and in the true spirit of America, receive work visas and green cards for more than 35 years. Roger's email address is

    Updated 06-21-2017 at 03:17 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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