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  1. Did Trump Fire Tillerson for Issuing Too Many Visas to Immigrants From Non-White Countries? Will Visas be Harder to Get Outside Europe? Roger Algase

    No one will claim that Rex Tillerson was a popular or respected Secretary of State, and the extent to which disagreement between him and his boss, Donald Trump, over various foreign policy issues led to the March 13 announcement that Tillerson has been fired and replaced by CIA chief Mike Pompeo is beyond the scope of these comments in any event.

    But a by now almost forgotten December 23, 2017 New York Times story indicates that disagreement over visa policy, particularly toward black immigrants, may have had something to do with Tillerson's ouster.

    The Times reported that in a White House meeting, Trump complained that the US was admitting too many immigrants from countries such as Haiti, where, according to the president, "they all have AIDS" and Nigeria, whose immigrants to the US, Trump stated "would never go back to their huts".

    While the White House, predictably, denied these specific statements, there can be little doubt that Trump expressed dissatisfaction with admitting dark skinned immigrants, as he reaffirmed only three weeks later in his notorious "shithole" comment.

    According to the same NY Times story, Tillerson asked in reply to Trump whether the president wanted him to stop issuing visas altogether.

    Nor is there any reason to believe that these were isolated, merely incidental conversations. As long ago as last July, the Washington Post reported that the was a movement inside the White House led by Trump's top immigration Steve Miller, whose record shows that he is no friend of non-European immigrants, and who is widely believed to have written Trump's jingoistic July 6, 2017 Warsaw, Poland speech favoring "Western Civilization"ueber alles (to borrow a favorite expression from WW2 Germany), to switch control over visa issuance from the State Department to DHS. See, July 9, 2017:

    Battle emerging inside Trump administration over who controls immigration and refugees

    (Please go to Google to access - I do not have a link.)

    Ironically, if DHS were to take control of issuing and refusing visas, instead of DOS, that could conceivably make it harder for Trump to carry out a whites-only policy in this crucially important area of immigration, because it is well settled that DHS immigration approvals and denials are subject to review by the federal courts, whereas US consular visa refusals are not subject to court review except in the very narrow circumstances set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in Kleindienst v. Mandel (1972).

    Trump and Miller might want to be careful what they wish for.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 03-13-2018 at 12:54 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. ACLU Lawsuit Will Claim That Cancelling TPS for 200,000 Promotes Trump's Unconstitutional White Supremacist Anti-Immigrant Agenda. Roger Algase

    The Guardian reports on March 12 that the ACLU is preparing to file a lawsuit in the US federal District Court in San Francisco challenging DHS's decision to cancel TPS for 200,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. According to the new story, a draft copy of the complaint alleges that this latest DHS action violates the Constitutional rights of US citizen children of the TPS holders by forcing the children to leave the United States if they want to stay with their parents.

    The article also states:

    "The complaint also contends that the administration's restrictive view of the TPS laws was unconstitutional as it was adopted to further the administration's anti-immigrant, white supremacist agenda."

    Just as the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated one of Trump's Muslim ban executive orders because of the president's strongly expressed "animus" against the entire Muslim religion (not just specific terrorist groups) as a presidential candidate, the above report indicates that the president's equally strongly enunciated hatred and contempt for non-white immigrants in general may be grounds for concluding that his entire set of immigration policies, of which ending TPS is only one part, amount to unconstitutional racial discrimination.

    However, while in the Muslim Ban litigation, the Trump administration argued (with highly questionable good faith) that campaign statements were irrelevant to assessing the motives for Trump's actions as president (as if there were no such thing as fulfilling a campaign promise!), no such argument is available in the case of Trump's attack on black and brown-skinned immigrants as a whole.

    As The Guardian points out, Trump's notorious "shithole" comment about inhabitants of black and Latino countries was made only two months ago, after he had already been the president for almost a full year.

    For The Guardian's full story, see:

    When further information becomes available about this lawsuit and the contents of the complaint, the above comments will be updated.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 03-13-2018 at 09:01 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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