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  1. 4th Cir. Judge: We Cannot "Ignore Reality" of Muslim Ban. Meanwhile, Evidence Grows That Ban Serves Whites Only Authoritarian Agenda. Roger Algase

    Update: December 11, 3:45 pm:

    As I predicted below, the White House has lost no time in trying to demagogue this morning's New York subway attack by a suspect from Bangladesh who came to the US on a legal family immigrant visa, by calling for an end to family based "chain migration" - a common derogatory term used by immigration opponents for legal family immigration from Latin America and Asia. See:
    The Hill: (December 11):

    White House calls for immigration reform after NYC terror attack.

    This continues the president's pattern of holding millions of innocent immigrants responsible for the actions of a few deranged people who are either connected with terrorist groups or, more often, acting on their own.

    My earlier comments appear below.

    Multiple news outlets are reporting that early in the morning of December 11, during the busy rush hour, an explosive device went off at one of Mew York's busiest subway stations, near Times Square. The explosion caused widespread panic and subway disruptions.

    One man. allegedly from Bangladesh, was taken into custody, amid reports of injuries to a few people, including to the suspect himself, according to the Washington Post.

    Even though there is no reported evidence so far that this was anything other than a "lone wolf" terrorist attack, Trump, we can be sure, will very likely lose little or no time in making demagogic attacks on immigrants from outside Europe and using this latest incident to promote, not only his latest Muslim ban, but also his entire white nationalist anti-immigrant agenda.

    Bangladesh is not on Trump's latest six country Muslim ban list.

    My original comment appears below.

    The following comment has been expanded as of December 10 to include a discussion of the danger that Trump's Muslim ban poses, not only to the Constitutional rights of 2 or 3 million Muslim American citizens to practice their religion without becoming the objects of hatred and discrimination, and to America's entire system of immigration based on the equality of all races and religions; but also to our democracy.

    reports that at oral argument before the full 4th Circuit bench on December 8, Judge James Wynn asked the following question concerning the latest version of Donald Trump's ban on entry to the US by virtually all citizens of six Muslim Countries (often misleadingly and euphemistically called a "Travel Ban" in the media, even though the approximately 150 million affected Muslims are free to travel anywhere they want, except the US):

    "Do we just ignore reality and look at the legality to determine how to handle this case? If the reality is that is the purpose, but the legality allows it, does that make a difference?...If the allegation is that this is an effort to ban Muslims from this country and every statement that is made by the individual who is the president who is making it goes to say that, but it is done in a way to say we did a worldwide review, now its legal?
    ​(Italics added.)

    The big question is whether the Supreme Court will ultimately be willing to recognize this obvious reality, especially in view of Trump's latest retweeting of extremist anti-Muslim hate videos from the UK to his 43 million Twitter followers, which Judge Wynn also referred to in his remarks; or whether the Court will continue to hide behind the surface formality of an alleged "national security review" by the administration.

    Meanwhile, The Hill reports that a pair of tweets by Republican Congressman Steve King (Iowa), one of the most outspoken immigration opponents in Congress, added to the growing evidence that Trump's Muslim ban is only part of a larger whites only immigration agenda.

    One tweet quoted Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who wants to ban all non-white immigration to his country, as saying that:

    "Mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life, but a lower one."

    Another tweet stated:

    "Assimilation, not diversity, is our American strength."

    The same article also reports that in March, King, who has also defended the openly racist former Sheriff Joe Arpaio (whom Trump has notoriously pardoned) tweeted a cartoon of the Dutch right wing extremist anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders plugging a hole in a wall that read "Western Civilization".

    Defending "Western Civilization", of course, has long been a code word among white nationalists for cutting off non-white immigration. Therefore, Trump's own speech in Warsaw, Poland on July 6, stating that protecting the borders of "the West" and defending "Western Civilization" was the most important issue of our time, was an obvious white supremacist dog whistle.

    For the official White House text of Trump's Warsaw speech, with its ominous references to white nationalist rhetoric, see:

    More than being just a white nationalist dog whistle, Trump's Warsaw speech was a strong indication that his Muslim Ban is only the beginning of an agenda leading to banning all non-white immigration. legal and otherwise, from the United States.

    This is also something that the Supreme Court might do well to pay attention to if and when (as is almost inevitable) it hands down a decision on the validity of the latest version of the Muslim Ban.

    Brian Klaas, an expert in democracy and authoritarianism at the London School of Economics, and the author of The Despot's Apprentice: Donald Trump's Attack on Democracy, discusses how Trump is:

    "...careening through the soft guardrails of democracy, shattering them without a second thought"

    and how:

    "...Trump keeps at it. In the process, authoritarian behavior is entering the political mainstream and becoming normalized."

    Among many other examples of growing authoritarianism in America, Klaas gives the following:

    "When Trump first issued a travel ban to seven Muslim majority countries, a little more than a year after calling to ban all Muslims during the campaign, there were spontaneous mass protests at airports across the country. When he issued a slightly modified travel ban a few months later, there was no such immediate response and no protests were sparked at airports. Americans had just accepted it...

    This is one of the most insidious features of authoritarianism: it beats people into submission because you can't fight 100 battles all at once. Citizens are forced to pick and choose. Authoritarian leaders are aware of this fact and they exploit it..."

    Will the Supreme Court, where Trump's lawyers are in effect arguing that he has absolute power to ban any classes of immigrants from the US that he chooses, go along with this authoritarian agenda merely because he intones the magic words "national security"? Or will the Court ultimately stand up for America's first amendment guarantee of freedom of religion for all American citizens, including Muslim ones, and for our democratic principles of ethnic and religious equality?

    We may soon find out.

    To read Klaas' article in full, see:

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 12-11-2017 at 05:26 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. 150,000 Starving Yemeni Children Show Extent of Trump's Cruelty in Latest Muslim Ban, Which the Supreme Ct. Has Reinstated in Full. Roger Algase

    In the wake of the December 4 Supreme Court decision allowing Trump's latest version of his Muslim ban to go into full effect pendente lite, the sheer inhumanity behind all of his Muslim and refugee entry ban orders, especially as it affects people trying to escape some of the worst humanitarian disasters in modern history, is becoming more and more apparent.

    A December 6 article describing the effect of the Supreme Court's latest order on members of America's Yemeni community, concerned about the horrendous famine in that country caused by its ongoing civil war, reports as follows:

    "There is a devastating civil war raging in Yemen, and [Yemeni women living in the US] were so visibly shaken by reports of famine..."

    The report continues

    "It makes an already tragic situation even worse, eliminating these and other Yemeni nationals ability to bring family members fleeing the conflict to the United States. Issa-Ibrahim - who is from Syria, another country on the list, doesn't even know when she'll see her own father."

    For just one of many articles on the devastating humanitarian crisis caused by Yemen's civil war, see: Middle East Eye (July 20)

    Nowhere to run: Death follows Yemen's destitute war refugees

    Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that according to the UN, more than 3 million people in Yemen could be pushed into starvation and that 150,000 malnourished Yemeni children could die within the coming months if the Saudi blockade of supplies to that country in connection with its civil war is not lifted.

    The Associated Press also reports that the UN Security Council is warning of the "dire and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen."

    Oxfam America also warns that:

    "Millions will die in a historic famine and public health crisis"

    if the blockade by Saudi Arabia, a major US arms customer, is not lifted.

    While the same article also reports that Trump has, commendably, called on Saudi Arabia to end the blockade of food and other supplies into Yemen, his inclusion of Yemen on the Muslim Ban list only adds to the suffering of potentially millions of innocent people in that country.

    Yemen, of course, is not the only Muslim country with devastating humanitarian problems affected by the various permutations of Trump's Muslim Ban orders, which are nothing but a series variations on the same Islamophobic theme. Trump once again made this clear beyond any possible doubt himself by retweeting a series of hate videos from extremists in the UK purporting to show all Muslims as violent criminals to his 43 million Twitter followers only a week or two ago.

    Syria and Libya are other examples of Muslim countries which millions of desperate people are trying to escape from, but cannot have any hope of finding safety in America because of Trump's ban. And it is even more ironic, that Trump, who purports to be a friend of the Jewish people and has just issued a highly controversial announcement that he will move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, is overlooking the fact that America has already been down the sorry road of barring people facing intolerable conditions in their home countries from America solely because of their race or religion - namely Jews fleeing Nazi persecution - once before.

    Thanks to Trump's Muslim and refugee ban orders, and the Supreme Court's latest action in allowing the latest order to take effect in full pending a final decision, barring the most vulnerable and desperate people imaginable from this Land of the Free and Nation of Immigrants is once again the Law of the Land in America, just as it was in the 1930's when the Jews of Europe tried to escape Hitler's genocide, as a wide range of US Jewish leaders recognized immediately when the original version of Trump's Muslim and Refugee ban was issued last January. See:

    Jewish Groups Across the Spectrum Unite in Condemnation of Trump's Refugee Ban

    What has happened to America's role as a country of refuge for the oppressed and a nation of humanitarian values, when, instead of making plans to airlift as many of Yemen's starving children as possible to the United States, our president and his administration keep on battling in court to stop as many people as possible from as many almost 100 per cent Muslim countries as possible from coming to the United States on a variety of constantly changing pretexts?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 12-08-2017 at 10:34 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. With travel ban, SCOTUS can correct for lower courts' anti-Trump bias. By Nolan Rappaport

    © Getty

    According to Eric Posner, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, the lower U.S. courts have created a “Trump exception” to settled law on presidential powers with their travel ban decisions. They have ignored the Supreme Court’s admonition that courts may not “look behind” a “facially legitimate” reason for an executive order, which in these cases was a national security interest in stricter vetting.

    Trump appealed to the Supreme Court, but his case became moot when he replaced the temporary travel ban with a permanent program with the Presidential Proclamation he issued on September 24, 2017, “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats.”

    When fourth and ninth circuit courts enjoined implementation of his proclamation, he went back to the Supreme Court. On December 4, 2017, the Court ordered stays of the fourth circuit and the ninth circuitinjunctions.

    The Court did not state its basis for granting Trump’s stay request in either decision, but stays are not granted for meritless cases. I expect Trump to prevail on the merits of his case.

    According to Trump’s memorandum in support of a stay, the proclamation is the culmination of an extensive, worldwide review process, which was conducted by multiple government agencies to determine what information is needed from each foreign country to adjudicate an application by a national of that country for a visa, admission, or other benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    The baseline incorporates three categories of criteria:

    1. Identity-management information. The United States expects foreign governments to provide information needed to determine whether individuals seeking benefits under our immigration laws are who they claim to be. The criteria in this category include whether a country issues electronic passports embedded with identity data, and whether it reports lost and stolen passports to appropriate entities.
    2. National security and public-safety information. The United States expects foreign governments to provide information about whether nationals of their countries who seek entry into United States pose national security or public-safety risks. This includes such things as whether the country releases suspected terrorist and criminal-history information when it is requested.
    3. National security and public-safety risk assessment. This includes an evaluation of national security risk indicators, such as whether the country provides a safe haven for terrorists, and whether it regularly fails to accept back its nationals who are subject to final orders of removal from the United States.


    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.

  4. With travel ban, SCOTUS can correct for lower courts' anti-Trump bias. By Nolan Rappaport

    Accidental post. Please delete.

    Nolan Rappaport

    Updated 12-06-2017 at 04:35 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Supreme Court Ignores Trump's Islamophobic Tweets, Upholds Latest Muslim Ban and Moves US Back Toward 1924 "National Origins" Exclusion. Roger Algase

    Update, December 5 at 6:26 am:

    The Guardian newspaper quotes the Center for Constitutional Rights as issuing the following statement about the Supreme Court's December 4 decision to allow the full latest version of Trump's Muslim ban executive order to take effect pending that Court's final decision on the merits of the ban, while completely ignoring the president's retweets of anti-Muslim hate videos by a right wing UK extremist to Trump's 43 million Twitter followers; even though disseminating the videos showed beyond any possible dispute what Trump's real reason for the ban orders has been right from the start:

    "We will not allow this to become the new normal...Whatever the courts say, the Muslim ban is inhumane and discriminatory. We must continue to demonstrate that we reject and will continue to resist the politics of fear, anti-Muslim racism, and white supremacy."

    My original comment follows:

    In my two recent comments in reaction to Trump's horrifying retweets of anti-Muslim hate videos originally posted by a woman with a record of right wing extremism and Islamophobia in the UK, I contended (on November 29) that Donald Trump had demolished whatever claims to good faith national security reasons he might ever have had in issuing the various versions of his Muslim entry ban orders.

    I also argued that, in the light of these vicious presidential tweets, which brought back disturbing memories of the subsequently executed Nazi war criminal Julius Streicher's attempts to label all Jews as dangerous criminals in his infamous Der Stuermer publication, the Supreme Court should immediate reopen the Muslim ban litigation and strike down every word of the latest version of Trump's executive order on this topic from beginning to end.

    In a follow-up comment, posted on November 30, i also presented extracts from the ACLU's comment on the same issue. This comment also argued that Trump had irretrievably undermined his legal argument to the effect that the various Muslim ban executive orders were allegedly justified by genuine national security considerations by retweeting the hate videos to his 43 million Twitter followers.

    However, on December 4, the Supreme Court did the exact opposite of what I had urged and what the ACLU had also indicated was the correct legal approach. Instead, in a 7-2 decision, with only Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor dissenting, the High Court upheld the latest version of the Muslim ban, without any exceptions or limitations, for the duration of the federal court litigation on the ban.

    This will, by the terms of the decision, last until the Supreme Court itself issues a final disposition, either by refusing to grant certiorari after the 4th and 9th Circuit Courts render their final decisions (which of course is extremely unlikely), or by granting certiorari from one or both of these anticipated decisons and issuing a final judgment (almost inevitable).

    While, ostensibly, this latest Supreme Court decision is not on the merits, and is only pendente lite, legal experts were quick to point out that the Court was very likely tipping its hand about how it is likely to rule on the merits of the entry ban executive order. For links to the two identical orders, each one relating to a different lower court case, see Scotus Blog at:

    For CNN's news story on the Supreme Court decision in the light of Trump's retweet of the UK ultra-nationalist anti-Muslim hate videos, see:

    In these two brief unsigned one-page decisions, without any written explanations, either for the majority decision or the dissent by Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor, the Supreme Court has, very arguably, struck a blow against the integrity and independence of the entire federal court system. It did so by appearing to take at face value a purported "national security" justification for the latest Muslim ban order which Trump, in his latest tweets of the despicably vile videos indended to label all Muslims as violent criminals, has now himself demolished as a total sham, if not an attempted fraud upon the court.

    But the Supeme Court has done more that merely making a decision potentially affecting the human rights of millions of people in the six affected Muslim countries (since adding two non-Muslim countries to the latest version of the ban order was never anything more than cynical window dressing that no one took seriously), and the constitutional rights of 2 or 3 million Muslim American citizens to have their religion treated on an equal basis with all others and not made into an object of scorn and contempt.

    This latest decision also goes a long way to sanction banning entire populations from entering the United States purely based on their citizenship or national origin, in a throwback to the openly bigoted 1924 immigration act which banned almost all Jews, Catholics, Asians, Middle Easterners and Africans, as well as Southern and Eastern Europeans, from immigrating to the United States on racial and religious grounds, using national origins as a transparent excuse.

    In the December 4 decision, therefore, in addition to striking a blow against the equal rights and status in our society of American Muslim citizens, and bolstering the claims of a president with pronounced authoritarian tendencies to dictatorial (or imperial) control over the entry by non-citizens to the United States, the Supreme Court has now taken a major step to resurrecting the practice of legitimizing bigotry on the basis of national origin, in a throwback to the discredited ideology of racial and religious prejudices of a century and more ago.

    2,000 years ago, a young 1st century A.D. Roman poet, Marcus Annaeus Lucanus (Lucan), writing about the murderous civil wars of the previous century in his epic poem De Bello Civile (before he himself was murdered by Nero, one of the worst tyrants the world has ever known), penned the immortal words: iusque datum sceleri canimus ("I sing of legality bestowed on infamy.") Nothing could better describe the attempts to legitimize the obvious bigotry which, as Donald Trump has made clear again and again, in every possible way, forms the basis of his Muslim entry ban orders, including the one which the Supreme Court has just upheld.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 12-05-2017 at 01:00 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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