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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

  3. Lawsuit Filed vs. DHS for Separating Parents, Children in Asylum Detention, as Ignoring Human Rights Brings US Closer to Dictatorship. Roger Algase

    Just over a year ago, on March 4, 2017, I warned about DHS plans to separate asylum-seeking children from their mothers, and I compared it to the actions of a tyrant in ancient Greek drama.

    Now, a class lawsuit vs. DHS by the ACLU alleging that separating mothers and children seeking asylum by detaining often at long distances from each other with minimal phone communication only is now Trump administration policy in practice shows that my warning was not without foundation.

    The most widely publicized example of this abuse has involved a Congolese mother and her 7-year old daughter who were detained separately at facilities 2,000 miles from each other while seeking asylum, until the mother (but not the child) was suddenly released - obviously in response to public outcry over this example of inhumanity.

    However, according to a report in The Guardian, one advocacy group, the Women's Refugee Commission, has identified 429 cases of family separation in detention under the Trump administration, ranging from toddlers to young teenagers.

    As I pointed out in my comment last year, incarcerating parents separately from their young children is not just a matter of drama involving ancient Greek tyrants (such as the one I mentioned in Euripides' Medea - who, according to that play, orders a mother and her children to be deported together, not separately).

    It is a practice typical of modern dictators as well. Therefore, while one should perhaps not be surprised that the administration of a president who cannot tolerate the idea of darker skinned immigrants from "shithole" countries in Africa or the Western Hemisphere coming to the US with any kind of visa or authorization would engage in the barbaric practice of locking up parents separately from their young children, all Americans should be concerned of this latest example of America's relentless march toward dictatorship based on Donald Trump's agenda of making our immigration system whiter.

    For more details on the ACLU's lawsuit, see:

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 03-12-2018 at 11:19 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Sessions criticizes federal judges for slowing Trump's national agenda. By BRENT D. GRIFFITHS

    NOTE: You might be glad that liberal judges are doing this to Trump, but how will you feel if they get away with it and the Trump-appointed conservative judges do it to future Democratic presidents?

    "We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will soon send a clear message to the lower courts ...," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. | Susan Walsh/AP Photo

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Saturday railed against federal judges for impeding President Donald Trump's national agenda, telling students at a conservative gathering that a handful of judges are making themselves "super legislators" by authoring sweeping decisions in the heat of legal fights.

    "In truth, this is a question of raw power of who gets to decide the policy questions facing America: our elected representatives, our elected president or unelected lifetime-appointed federal judges," Sessions told the Federalist Society's 2018 National Student Symposium at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington.

    On topics like Trump's proposed travel ban and the ending of an Obama-era
    immigration program, Sessions complained that a single federal judge is ableto issue a nationwide ruling that stops the administration in its tracks. Knownas a nationwide injunction, such a ruling applies beyond the particular peopleinvolved in a case and remains in force even when another federal court sideswith the administration. Such a split occurred this past week when a federaljudge in Maryland upheld Trump's decision to end Deferred Action forChildhood Arrivals, but because of an earlier injunction from federal judgesin California and New York, parts of the program remain in place.


    Published originally on Politico.

    Posted by Nolan Rappaport

  5. Sessions Endangers Judicial Independence, and Democracy, by Attacking Judges For Blocking Trump's Actions Against Non-White Immigrants. Roger Algase

    Update, March 13,

    In the latest development, a high-ranking ICE official in San Francisco has just resigned over alleged pressure on him by Sessions and ICE Director Homan to lie about the effects of California's Sanctuary policies.

    My original comment appears below.

    reports on March 10 that the Trump administration has once again attacked the independence of the federal judiciary for refusing to fall in line behind the president's mass deportation and entry exclusion agenda directed against Latino and Muslim immigrants. In a speech to the right wing Federalist Society, AG Jeff Sessions criticized a federal judge for issuing a nationwide injunction against Trump's attempt to revoke parts of President Obama's DACA program, after other federal judges had previously blocked key parts of Trump's Muslim Ban executive orders.

    In his speech, Sessions accused the judges of acting like "super-legislators" who were seeking to exercise "raw power" against America's elected legislators and president (who, some people may still recall, was actually defeated in the popular tally by 3 million votes).

    It is one thing to disagree with a judicial decision that is unfavorable to the president's immigration agenda. That is not only Sessions' right, but, very arguably, his obligation as Trump's attorney general. But seeking to de-legitimize federal judges by denying that they have the right or the authority to rule against the president or his administration is an assault on the independence of the judiciary on which America's democracy depends.

    This latest attack is just one more warning that Trump's immigration policies are not only aimed at making America whiter, but could also lead to making America totalitarian.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 03-13-2018 at 01:30 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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