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by Chris Musillo
Over the weekend a federal court in the State of Washington stopped President Trumpís three part ban on immigration of certain nationals. This Judgeís Temporary Restraining Order was affirmed by an appellate court shortly thereafter.
Because this TRO is temporary, MU Law urges all nationals in the three classes listed below immediately to attempt to enter the United States. The TRO could be rescinded at any time. If the TRO is rescinded, the ban will go back into effect, in part or in whole.
The three classes of individuals impacted by the ban:
Barring nationals of seven countries from entering the US for 90 days. The seven countries are: Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. These nationals are barred regardless of whether they have cleared background checks and hold valid nonimmigrant (temporary) or immigrant (permanent) visas.
Suspending the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. This provision also says that once the 120 day period has ended, that the US government must prioritize refugee claims ďmade by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individualís country of nationality.Ē Since Islam is the majority religion in many countries, this provision appears aimed at prioritizing Christiansí refugee claims, which President Trump has stated is one of his goals.
Permanent suspension of all Syrian refugees until such time as President Trump sees fit to lift the permanent ban on Syrians.
Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com and www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
The February 3 order of James Robart, a Seattle federal district court judge, temporarily blocking key parts of Donald Trump's January 27 Muslim ban executive order has certainly created quite a Furor with America's new Leader in the White House.
In response, Trump took to Twitter to blast the "so called judge", thereby recalling Trump's assault against another federal judge, Gonzalo Curiel, because of his "Mexican heritage" during the presidential campaign.
Could Trump's intemperate assault against the independence of the judiciary and the Constitutional separation of powers in the form of his attack on Judge Robart, whom Trump called a "so-called judge", also be part of a larger agenda involving a one-man presidential takeover of the entire immigration system, or at least a large part of it, followed by shutting down most or all of that system?
If one takes a closer look at Trump's Muslim ban order, it will be become apparent that this possibility is by no means as far fetched as it might seem to be at first glance
Howeeve, the fact that Trump's order begins, but does not necessarily end, with banning an estimated nearly 200 million people from seven Muslim countries, does not mean that the order is not anti-Muslim.
Muslims may only be the first step toward one-man total control of immigration. but they are still being singled out and targeted in connection with that first step.
80 years ago, another chief executive in another country issued the Nuremberg Laws as a first step toward taking total control of his society. But the fact that those decrees also had a larger purpose did not in any way lessen their impact on their primary target, the Jews.
What exactly is this larger goal implicit in Trump's January 27 order which I am referring to, and what are the legal arguments that could be made in support of that goal? How valid are those arguments? I will take a closer look at these questions in my next comment
Attorney at Law
Updated 02-05-2017 at 10:35 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
This comment has been updated an revised as of February 3, 2017, 9:25 pm:
Could the following hostile, intrusive, questions contained in a letter from a state legislator that has been received by hundreds of Muslim leaders in Texas become a template for "extreme vetting" of Muslim visa applicants (those who are not already banned from applying for visas because of their nationality, that is) under the guidelines set forth in Trump's Muslim ban executive order discussed below?
See questions listed in the following report:
My original comment appears below.
Donald Trump's January 27 executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim countries and by refugees world-wide is being presented by its drafters as merely a temporary measure, pending review of immigrant screening standards and procedures, in order to make these procedures more effective for national security. This sounds harmless enough.
But what if this seemingly reasonable measure, ostensibly aimed at making America more secure against those who would want to harm our citizens, is in fact much more than that?
What if it is actually the prelude to a one-man takeover of our entire immigration system, in which the rules for admission to the United States, or even granting of immigration benefits for foreign citizens who are already in the United States, are determined solely by presidential decree, without any input from, or even knowledge by, Congress or the affected agencies of the executive branch?
What if Trump's January 27 order is the prelude to a Constitutional crisis, one which may already have begun, in which the president or executive branch agencies under his control set themselves above the law by openly defying or ignoring court orders? This appears to be the rule, rather than the exception in the case of Trump's Muslim ban order, according to a Slate report entitled:
Trump is violating the court orders against his Muslim ban
(Link to be provided if available.)
And what if the order was intended by its drafters to be the first step in setting off a "conflict of civilizations" which could increase the danger of an actual shooting war in both the Middle East and East Asia in which the United States would be involved? See:
At first glance, it would be tempting to dismiss all of these possibilities as merely products of an over-active imagination - hyperbole used in service of a "straw man" argument against the president, or in the words of a federal judge ruling against then governor and now Vice President Mike Pence in a Syrian refugee case: "a nightmare scenario".
But on a closer look at the actual language of the order and the circumstances surrounding it, the ominous implications mentioned above may be more realistic than one would like to think.
Let us now begin to take that closer look:
Trump's January 27 order begins, not surprisingly, with an opening pro forma claim that the purpose of the order is to protect against terrorism.
This is despite the fact that news reports indicate that national security officials, including possibly even DHS chief John Kelly, were kept in the dark about the order until it was issued, and the Muslim ban order has been condemned by national security experts outside the administration as a "huge mistake", which will make America less safe.
Despite its opening references to national security, the order does not take long to show that it is also concerned with a much broader concern, namely, determining what kinds of immigrants are to be allowed into the United States in general, even apart from specific national security considerations.
Section 4 of the order, to be discussed in more detail in a forthcoming comment, has already created so much concern among the immigration bar that even the leader of FAIR a prominent anti-immigrant organization, has cautioned that parts of the order should not be read literally.
This section provides in relevant part, directs the heads of the agencies involved (DOS, DHS, National Intelligence and the FBI to develop a program for a
"...uniform screening standard and procedure, such as...a process to evaluate the applicant's likelihood of becoming a positively contributing member of society and the applicant's ability to make contributions to the national interest"
This provision is utterly mind-boggling in its implications. By imposing a requirement that every applicant for admission to the US has to meet the "national interest" test, one of the most difficult and specialized standards to meet in the entire INA, this part of the order would effective close America's borders to the entire world.
It would give one man, Donald Trump, the power to put a virtual end to immigration in America.
Just in case anyone thinks that the qualifications to enter the US are governed by a statute which some people may have heard of, and which happens to be known as the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), we now learn from Trump's January 27 order that these issues are from now on to be determined by one man and one man only - by the name of Donald Trump:
The order provides:
"The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law."
This would appear reasonable at first glance, as advocating overthrow of the US government by force and violence has long been part of our law as grounds for inadmissibility to the US, Kleindienst v. Mandel, 1972)
However, this sentence could also reflect to views of avowed Islamophobes within the administration such as Stephen Bannon, who thinks that the "Judeo-Christian" West is in an ideological struggle with the Muslim world that could lead to all out war (see below), and Michael Flynn, who believes that Islam as and ideology and a "cancer", not a real religion.
But using entry into the US or the right to receive immigration benefits as a means of thought control, will not be limited to people suspected of terrorism, or even Muslims in general, according to Trump's order, which continues:
"In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including 'honor' killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own), or those who would oppress American of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.
This portion of the order raises an interesting question:
If someone who promotes bigotry or hatred, or persecutes people of a different religion from his own, were to be inadmissible to the United States for that reason alone, would Donald Trump himself (if he were a foreign citizen seeking entry) not be barred from coming to the United States himself on the basis of his numerous attacks on Muslim, Mexicans, and other minorities during his campaign and after the election, including but certainly not limited to, his seven Muslim country ban executive order and his companion order to begin construction of the Mexican border Wall?
And even if Trump himself (as a hypothetical foreign citizen) were somehow able to get a visa and pass through airport inspection, would his openly and unabashedly Muslim-hating advisers, Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn, be able to qualify for visas under the above standard (again on the hpothesis that they were foreign citizens trying to enter the United States)?
Again, while there is certainly nothing new in excluding people who have committed murder or other violent crimes, for whatever motives, from the United States, the reference to "honor" killings and persecution of other religions also appears to be an effort to single out and stigmatize Muslims in general as allegedly supporting these despicable practices, given that a small number of Muslims in fact do participate in these atrocities.
But is it also the Trump administration's intention to bar people who engage in persecution against Muslims on religious grounds, such as authorities in Burma and other Southeast Asian countries who persecute the Muslim Rohingyas, from the United States?
We will probably not hear much about that from the Trump administration.
But the hypocrisy of Trump and those in his inner circle who issued this order, is clearest of all in the last phrase of the above extract:
"...those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender or sexual orientation".
This would appear to exclude most of the members of the North Carolina legislature which passed that state's notorious bathroom transgender law, for example, if they were foreign citizens seeking visas to enter the US.
Vice President Mike Pence, who supported and then was forced to withdraw his state's law allowing private business to discriminate against LGBT's, when he was governor of Indiana would also have a problem in getting a visa under this standard.
It could also bar state legislators in a number of states (as well as their inspiration, Trump adviser Kris Kobach), who have been active in drafting voter suppression laws against minority US citizens.
But beyond the obvious, self-serving hypocrisy of the above section of Trump's January 27 order, is the bigger danger - that of a president making up his own rules about who can enter the United States, without regard to the standards which are in fact part of our immigration laws as they exist.
While INA Section 212(f) admittedly gives the president broad power to exclude immigrants from the United States, there is nothing in either the language or history of the statute that gives the president power to tear up the rest of the INA and substitute his own untrammeled will instead.
I will continue this discussion in a forthcoming comment.
Attorney at Law
Updated 02-04-2017 at 10:39 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
The ACLU Executive Director, Anthony D. Romero, claims that President Donald Trumpís Executive Order suspending the admission of aliens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen for 90 days is ďa Muslim ban wrapped in a paper-thin national security rationale.Ē
If the objective of the Executive Order had been a Muslim ban, it would not have been limited to those seven countries.
According to the PEW Research Center, the ban affects only about 12% of the worldís Muslims. Moreover, of the seven countries, only Iran is among the 10 countries that have the largest Muslim populations.
As of 2010, there were approximately 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, and nearly two-thirds (62%) of them lived in the Asia-Pacific region.
President Trump limited the ban to countries designated pursuant to section 217(a)(12) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This is a reference to a provision in an overwhelmingly bipartisan bill which was passed in 2015, the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act.
Read more at --
Posted originally on Huffington Post
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 the 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 twenty years. He also has been a policy advisor for the DHS Office of Information Sharing and Collaboration under a contract with TKC Communications, and he has been in private practice as an immigration lawyer at Steptoe & Johnson.
Updated 02-01-2017 at 07:51 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs