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  1. Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the risk of traveling to Mexico

    by , 03-14-2017 at 02:11 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Mexico Travel Warning


    The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the risk of traveling to certain parts of Mexico due to the activities of criminal organizations in those areas. U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery in various Mexican states. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Mexico, issued April 15, 2016.

    For information on security conditions in specific regions of Mexico, see our state-by-state assessments below. U.S. government personnel and their families are prohibited from personal travel to all areas to which the Department recommends ďdefer non-essential travelĒ in this Travel Warning. As a result of security precautions that U.S. government personnel must take while traveling to parts of Mexico, our response time to emergencies involving U.S. citizens may be hampered or delayed.

    Gun battles between rival criminal organizations or with Mexican authorities have taken place on streets and in public places during broad daylight. The Mexican government dedicates substantial resources to protect visitors to major tourist destinations and has engaged in an extensive effort to counter criminal organizations that engage in narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout Mexico. There is no evidence that criminal organizations have targeted U.S. citizens based on their nationality. Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the level of drug-related violence and crime that are reported in the border region or in areas along major trafficking routes.

    U.S. government personnel are prohibited from patronizing casinos, sports books, or other gambling establishments in the states of Coahuila, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosi, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Jalisco, Colima and Nayarit.

    Kidnappings in Mexico take the following forms:

    • Traditional: victim is physically abducted and held captive until a ransom is paid for release.
    • Express: victim is abducted for a short time and commonly forced to withdraw money, usually from an ATM, then released.
    • Virtual: an extortion-by-deception scheme where a victim is contacted by phone and coerced by threats of violence to provide phone numbers of family and friends, and then isolated until the ransom is paid. Recently, hotel guests have been targets of such "virtual" kidnapping schemes.

    U.S. citizens have been murdered in carjacking and highway robberies, most frequently at night and on isolated roads. Carjackers use a variety of techniques, including roadblocks, bumping/moving vehicles to force them to stop, and running vehicles off the road at high speeds. There are indications that criminals target newer and larger vehicles, but drivers of old sedans and buses coming from the United States are also targeted. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from intercity travel after dark in many areas of Mexico. U.S. citizens should use toll roads (cuotas) whenever possible. In remote areas, cell phone coverage is limited or non-existent.

    The Mexican government has deployed federal police and military personnel throughout the country as part of its efforts to combat organized criminal groups. U.S. citizens traveling on Mexican roads and highways by car or bus may encounter government checkpoints, staffed by military or law enforcement personnel. In some places, criminal organizations have erected their own unauthorized checkpoints, at times wearing police and military uniforms, and have killed or abducted motorists who have failed to stop at them. You should cooperate at all checkpoints.

    State-by-State Assessment: Below is a state-by-state assessment of security conditions throughout Mexico. Travelers should be mindful that even if no advisories are in effect for a given state, U.S. citizens should exercise caution throughout Mexico as crime and violence can still occur. For general information about travel and other conditions in Mexico, see our Country Specific Information.

    Aguascalientes: Intercity travel at night is prohibited for U.S. government personnel.

    Baja California (includes Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada, Tecate, and Mexicali): Exercise caution in the northern state of Baja California, particularly at night. According to the Baja State Secretariat for Public Security, the state of Baja California experienced an increase in homicide rates from January to July 2016 compared to the same period in the previous year. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured, have occurred during daylight hours.

    Baja California Sur (includes Cabo San Lucas and La Paz): Exercise caution in the state capital of La Paz. Baja California Sur continues to experience a high rate of homicides. Many of these homicides have occurred in La Paz, where there have been ongoing public acts of violence between rival criminal organizations.

    Campeche: No advisory is in effect.

    Chiapas (includes Palenque and San Cristobal de las Casas): No advisory is in effect.

    Chihuahua (includes Ciudad Juarez, the city of Chihuahua, Ojinaga, Palomas, Nuevo Casas Grandes and Copper Canyon): Criminal activity and violence remains an issue throughout the state of Chihuahua and its major cities. Travel between cities only on major highways and only during daylight hours.

    • Ciudad Juarez: Exercise caution in all areas. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling after dark west of Eje. Juan Gabriel and south of Boulevard Zaragoza. Defer non-essential travel to the areas southeast of Boulevard Independencia and the Valle de Juarez region.
    • Within the city of Chihuahua: Defer non-essential travel to the Morelos, Villa, and Zapata districts, where the travel of U.S. government personnel is restricted.
    • Ojinaga: When possible, travel via U.S. Highway 67 through the Presidio, Texas port-of-entry.
    • Palomas and the Nuevo Casas Grandes/Paquime region: When possible, travel via U.S. Highway 11 through the Columbus, New Mexico port-of- entry.
    • Nuevo Casas Grandes: U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling outside of city limits after dark.
    • Copper Canyon and other areas of the state of Chihuahua: U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel.

    Coahuila: Violence and criminal activity, including homicide, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault, pose significant and continuing security concerns, particularly along the highways between Piedras Negras and Nuevo Laredo. U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to all parts of Coahuila, with the exception of travel to Saltillo, Bosques de Monterreal, and Parras de la Fuente. U.S. government personnel are only allowed to travel during daylight hours to Saltillo and Bosques de Monterreal, and must abide by an Embassy-imposed curfew of 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. U.S. government personnel may also travel to Parras de la Fuente and on toll Highway 40 to Highway 57 and only during daylight hours. State and municipal law enforcement capacity is limited in some parts of Coahuila, particularly in the north of the state.

    Colima (includes Manzanillo): U.S. government personnel are prohibited from intercity travel at night, and from traveling within 12 miles of the Colima- MichoacŠn border. U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to this border region, including the city of Tecoman.

    Durango: Violence and criminal activity along the highways are a continuing security concern. U.S. government personnel may travel outside of Durango only during daylight hours on toll roads and must abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew of 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.

    Estado de Mexico (includes Toluca and Teotihuacan): U.S. citizens should defer all non-essential travel to the municipalities of Coacalco, Ecatepec, Nezahualcoyotl, La Paz, Valle del Chalco, Solidaridad, Chalco, Ixtapaluca, and Tlatlaya due to high rates of crime and insecurity, unless traveling directly through the areas on major thoroughfares. Avoid traveling on any roads between Huitzilac, Morelos, and Santa Martha, Estado de Mexico, including the Lagunas de Zempoala National Park and surrounding areas.

    Guanajuato (includes San Miguel de Allende and Leon): No advisory is in effect.

    Guerrero (includes Acapulco, Ixtapa, Taxco, and Zihuatanejo): Personal travel to the state of Guerrero, including Acapulco, is prohibited for U.S. government personnel with the exception of travel to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo by air. In Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, U.S. government personnel must remain in tourist areas. The state of Guerrero was the most violent state in Mexico in 2015 for the third year in a row, and self-defense groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Armed members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and, although not considered hostile to foreigners or tourists, are suspicious of outsiders and should be considered volatile and unpredictable.

    Hidalgo: No advisory is in effect.

    Jalisco (includes Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, and Lake Chapala): U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to areas that border the states of MichoacŠn and Zacatecas because of continued instability. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from personal travel to areas of Jalisco that border Zacatecas, intercity travel after hours, and from using Highway 80 between Cocula and La Huerta. U.S. government personnel are authorized to use Federal toll road 15D for travel to Mexico City; however, they may not stop in the town of La Barca or Ocotlan for any reason.

    Mexico City (also known as the Federal District): No advisory is in effect.

    Michoacan (includes Morelia): U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to the state of Michoacan, except the cities of Morelia and Lazaro Cardenas, and the area north of federal toll road 15D. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling by land in Michoacan except on federal toll road 15D during daylight hours. Flying into Morelia and Lazaro Cardenas is permitted for U.S. government personnel.

    Morelos (includes Cuernavaca): U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel on any roads between Huitzilac in the northwest corner of the state and Santa Marta, Estado de Mexico, including the Lagunas de Zempoala National Park and surrounding areas.

    Nayarit (includes the Riviera Nayarit coast, including the cities of Tepic, Xalisco, and San Blas): U.S. government personnel may travel to Riviera Nayarit, San Blas, Santa MarŪa del Oro, Tepic, and Xalisco using major highways. Intercity travel at night is prohibited for U.S. government personnel. Defer non-essential travel to other areas of the state.

    Nuevo Leon (includes Monterrey): U.S. government personnel may travel outside the city of Monterrey only during daylight hours on toll roads, and must return to the city of San Pedro Garza Garcia municipal boundaries to abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., except for travel to the airport after 5 a.m.

    Oaxaca (includes Oaxaca, Huatulco, and Puerto Escondido): U.S. government personnel must remain in tourist areas and are not allowed to use public transportation in Oaxaca City. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling on Highway 200 throughout the state, except to transit between the airport in Huatulco to hotels in Puerto Escondido and Huatulco, and they are not permitted to travel to the El Istmo region. The El Istmo region is defined by Highway 185D to the west, Highway 190 to the north, and the Oaxaca/Chiapas border to the east and includes the towns of Juchitan de Zaragoza, Salina Cruz, and San Blas.

    Puebla: No advisory is in effect.

    Queretaro: No advisory is in effect.

    Quintana Roo (includes Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, and Tulum): No advisory is in effect. However, U.S. citizens should exercise caution when traveling south of Felipe Carrillo Puerto or east of Jose Maria Morelos as cellular and internet services are virtually non-existent.

    San Luis Potosi: U.S. government personnel may travel outside the city of San Luis Potosi only during daylight hours on toll roads, and must abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew of 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.

    Sinaloa (includes Mazatlan): One of Mexico's most powerful criminal organizations is based in the state of Sinaloa, and violent crime rates remain high in many parts of the state. Defer non-essential to the state of Sinaloa, except the cities of Mazatlan, Los Mochis, and the Port of Topolobampo. Travel in Mazatlan should be limited to Zona Dorada, the historic town center, as well as direct routes to and from these locations and the airport. Travel in Los Mochis and Topolobampo is restricted to the city and the port, as well as direct routes to/from these locations and the airport.

    Sonora (includes Nogales, Puerto PeŮasco, Hermosillo, and San Carlos): Sonora is a key region in the international drug and human trafficking trades. U.S. citizens traveling throughout Sonora are encouraged to limit travel to main roads during daylight hours and exercise caution on the Highway 15 corridor from Nogales to Empalme.
    Due to illegal activity, U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to:

    • The triangular region west of Nogales, east of Sonoyta, and north of Caborca (including the towns of Saric, Tubutama, and Altar).
    • The eastern edge of the state of Sonora, which borders the state of Chihuahua (all points along that border east of Federal Highway 17, the road between Moctezuma and Sahuaripa, and state Highway 20 between Sahuaripa and the intersection with Federal Highway 16).
    • South of Hermosillo, with the exception of the cities of Alamos, Guaymas and Empalme, and defer non-essential travel east of Highway 15, within the city of Ciudad Obregon, and south of the city of Navojoa.
    • Puerto PeŮasco should be visited using the Lukeville, Arizona/Sonoyta, Sonora border crossing, and limit driving to daylight hours.

    Tabasco (includes Villahermosa): No advisory is in effect.

    Tamaulipas (includes Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, and Tampico): U.S. citizens should defer all non-essential travel to the state of Tamaulipas due to violent crime, including homicide, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault. The number of reported kidnappings in Tamaulipas is among the highest in Mexico. State and municipal law enforcement capacity is limited to nonexistent in many parts of Tamaulipas. Violent criminal activity occurs more frequently along the northern border and organized criminal groups may target public and private passenger buses traveling through Tamaulipas. These groups sometimes take all passengers hostage and demand ransom payments. U.S. government personnel are subject to movement restrictions and a curfew between midnight and 6 a.m. Matamoros, Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, and Ciudad Victoria have experienced numerous gun battles and attacks with explosive devices in the past year.

    Tlaxcala: No advisory is in effect.

    Veracruz: No advisory is in effect.

    Yucatan (includes Merida and Chichen Itza): No advisory is in effect.

    Zacatecas: U.S. government personnel may travel outside the city of Zacatecas only during daylight hours on toll roads, and must abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew of 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.

    For further information:

    • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Mexico.
    • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
    • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, located at Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, at +52-55-5080- 2000 x4440, (5080-2000 for calls in Mexico City, 01-55-5080-2000 for long distance calls in Mexico) 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. After- hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +52-55-5080-2000.
    • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
    • Follow Twitter and Facebook.

  2. Letters of the Week: March 13 - March 19

  3. Prominent Rabbi and Minister Call Trump's Authoritarian New Muslim Ban, Which Recalls Earlier US Measures Against Jews, Unconstitutional. Roger Algase

    Leaders of two of America's most prominent religious institutions, Rabbi Burton L. Visotsky of the Jewish Theological Seminary and Rev Bertram Johnson of the Riverside Church (both in New York) have issued a joint statement condemning Donald Trump's revised ban on entry to the US by citizens of six overwhelmingly (in some cases, more than 99 percent) Muslim countries.

    Haaretz, one of Israel's leading newspapers, has also compared Trump's attacks on Muslims to the movement to keep Jewish immigrants out of the US in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.



    In their joint article appearing the The Hill on March 12, Rabbi Visotsky and Reverend Johnson pointed to a recent statement to Fox News by White House policy adviser Stephen Miller that the new six country Muslim ban order will "have the same basic policy outcome" as the previous order, which was stayed by the 9th Circuit and other federal courts.

    It would be very surprising if the federal courts, such as the US District Court in Hawaii which is now reviewing the new executive order, ignore or overlook Miller's statement in determining whether there is any material difference between the intent to discriminate against immigrants on the basis of religion in the new six country ban and the original, now revoked, seven country ban order.

    In their statement, Rabbi Visotsky and Reverend Johnson also show clearly, in words which arguably go right to the heart of the matter more directly than the opinions of the 9th Circuit and other federal courts have done to date, why religious discrimination against Muslim immigrants also adversely affects the Constitutional rights of Muslim American citizens to the free exercise of religion

    "This Muslim Ban 2.0 is the next in a series of actions by the adminstration that make Muslim Americans feel unwelcome in their own country."

    And it is not only the rights of Muslim Americans that are affected. As the two distinguished religious leaders also state:

    "That 'same basic policy outcome' violates the principles established in the Constitution. Our nation was founded on the freedom of religion and we must protect that freedom for all Americans today."

    In other words, Trrump's new six country Muslim ban, no less that the first one, is a blow against the religious freedom of all of us in America today, regardless of what religion we may or may not belong to or practice.

    As the grandchild of a another Jewish Rabbi, one who immigrated to America in the late 19th century, at a time of the same type of hostility toward Jewish immigrants that Donsld Trump and his top advisers are now showing toward Muslim immigrants, I can well understand and relate to the above statement by these two respected and courageous religious leaders.

    The above cited article in Haarerz well describes the atmosphere of hatred and exclusion which Jewish immigrants to America had to face in the time of my immigrant grandparents.

    This history, as well as America's history of prejudice and persecution toward Irish, Asian and, let us not forget, Mexican, as will as many other immigrant groups which were not from the "Nordic", Protestant, countries of Western Europe, is woven into the fabric of Trump's Muslim ban orders.

    With regard to Jewish immigrants specifically, Haaretz, in an article written prior to last year's election, stated:

    "The revered Senator Henry Cabot Lodge lobbied against Jewish immigration at the end of the 19th and start of the 20th centuries. He was the driving force behind the literacy test that was aimed at keeping Jews out.

    The Israeli newspaper then contrasts Lodge's "restraint" with regard to voicing his antagonism toward Jewish immigration with Trump's openness in identifying which ethnic or religious immigrant groups he is most opposed to:

    "But in a famous speech in 1897, Lodge refrained from specifying that it was the Jews who were bothering him the most; 120 years later, Trump has had no constraints in identifying Mexicans as murderers and pinpointing Muslims as problematic immigrants who had no intention of assimilating."

    In its decision blocking Trump's first, seven country Muslim immigration ban, the 9th Circuit recognized that the history of that order, including Trump's election campaign statements and proposals, was relevant to understanding that order's real intent, and that this history could mot and should not be overlooked in making a final determination concerning the January 27 order's legality and Constitutionality.

    One hopes that in the State of Hawaii's lawsuit against the replacement Muslim ban order, and in any other lawsuits that may be brought against that order, the courts will consider not only the immediate election campaign history of Trump's Muslim ban orders, but also their larger context of Trump's mass deportation executive orders targeting Latino, Asian and other minority immigrants.

    And in order to gain a full understanding of both Trump's Muslim ban orders and his mass deportation orders, America's history of persecuting minority immigrants, going back at least to the time of the mid 19th Century Know-Nothings, cannot be lightly passed over.

    David Bier, an immigration policy analyst at Cato Institute, writing in the New York Times on January 27, in response to Trump's original seven-country Muslim ban order, describes this history as follows:

    "...a long and shameful history in this country of barring immigrants based on where they came from. Starting in the 19th century, laws excluded all Chinese, almost all Japanese, then all Asians in the so-called Asiatic Barred Zone. Finally, in 1924, Congress created a comprehensive 'national origins system' skewing immigration quotas to benefit Western Europeans and to exclude most Eastern Europeans, almost all Asians, and Africans.

    Mr. Trump appears to want to reinstate a new type of Asiatic barred zone by executive order."

    In effect, Trump, in his original seven Muslim country order, as in essence unchanged in his new six Muslim country ban order affecting some 100 million people, 99 percent (or close to it) of whom belong to that religion, is trying to bring back America's long and shameful history of barring immigrants from the US on the basis of race and religion.

    And Trump is not even trying to do this by Congressional action, which might at least provide a fig leaf of "legality" under the Plenary Power doctrine set forth by the Supreme Court in the dark and shameful time of the Chinese Exclusion laws.

    Instead, Trump is trying to wipe out 50 years of non-discriminatory immigration policies mandated by the landmark 1965 immigration reform law, which abolished the discriminatory 1924 national origin immigration quotas, by one -man executive fiat.

    Bier also alludes to the authoritarian nature of Trump's ban, which, according to mostt if not all news reports, was drawn up without any input, or even knowledge, by Congressional leaders in either party, or even Trump's own national security or foreign affairs experts:

    "...Mr. Trump asserts that he still has the power to discriminate, pointing to a 1952 law that allows the president to 'suspend the entry' of 'any class of aliens that he finds are detrimental to the interests of the United States."

    Bier continues:

    "But the president ignores the fact that Congress, the restricted this power in 1965, stating plainly that no person could be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person's race, sex, nationality, place of birth or place of residence.'...

    Mr. Trump may want to revive discrimination based on national origin by asserting a distinction between 'the issuance of a visa' and the 'entry' of the immigrant. But this is nonsense. Immigrants cannot be legally issued a visa if they are barred from entry. This all orders under the 1952 law [INA Section 212(f)] apply equally to entry and visa issuence, as his[January 27] order acknowledges."

    Bier continues:

    "While presidents have used their power dozens of times to keep out certain groups of foreigners under the 1952 law, no president has ever barred an entire nationality of immigrants without exception."

    Herein lies tha biggest danger of all in both Trump's original Muslim ban order and in is slightly scaled down, essentially cosmetically changed one, which, as quoted above, still seeks to achieve "the same basic policy outcome".

    The danger is that by claiming that he has the right to a vast expansion of the unilateral power to exclude immigrants that was actually conferred by Congress or has been used by any previous president, Trump is taking one more giant step toward imposing authoritarian, one man rule in America.

    This can only remind us of how another chief executive in a different country used a different set of enactments, aimed against the same ethnic/religious group that Senator Henry Cabot Lodge was so anxious to keep out of America, as a stepping stone to solidifying absolute power in his country just over 80 years ago.

    These enactments, promulgated in Germany in 1936, were known as the Nuremberg Laws.
    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, without regard to ethnicity, religion or nationality, obtain work visas and green cards in this land of freedom and equal opportunity for all.

    Roger's email address is

    Updated 03-13-2017 at 10:04 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs


    by , 03-10-2017 at 12:34 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    The Department of State has just issued the April 2017 Visa Bulletin. This is the seventh Visa Bulletin of Fiscal Year 2017. This blog post analyzes this month's Visa Bulletin.

    April 2017 Visa Bulletin

    Final Action Dates

    Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card).


    All Charge-
    Areas Except
    Those Listed



    MU Law Analysis

    All Other: The EB-2 has been current for many years. The EB-3 progression continues, moving an additional two months. Consular processed EB-3 are effectively current.

    China: The China EB-2 date again moved up one month. The China EB-3 again date progressed nearly six months, just as it did in the March 217 Visa Bulletin. The China EB-3 continues to have a more favorable date than EB-2, as a result of many Chinese EB-3 workers "upgrading" their applications to EB-2.

    India: EB-2 India moved up about 3 weeks, while EB-3 India stayed essentially the same, unfortunately.

    Mexico: Mirrors All Other in all aspects.

    Philippines: EB-3 moved ahead by nearly six more months. The Philippine EB-3 number essentially cleaned out most of the 2010, 2011, and 2012 EB-3 visas in less than 6 months. This is what we have expected. (Our note from September 2016: "This is consistent with internal MU Law analysis which sees this category progressing into 2013 by the Summer of 2017.").

    Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at and You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  5. Why Trump's New Muslim Country Entry Ban Order Has No Chance of Being Upheld In Federal Court. Roger Algase

    The State of Hawaii is the first state to file a lawsuit in Federal District Court against Donald Trump's revised order banning entry to the US by citizens of six overwhelming Muslim countries (at least some, if not all of which are more than 99 per cent Muslim), and which also provides for additional countries, almost certainly Muslim ones as well, to be added to the banned list later on.

    According to the latest reports, at least four other states, including New York, are planning to join the lawsuit, which has been filed in the United States District Court for the District of Hawai'i and is entitled:

    State of Hawai'i and Ismail Elsikh v. Donald J. Trump (et al), Civil Action No: 1:17-cv-00050-DKW-KJM

    For a link to the full complaint, go to:

    The complaint sets forth the full history of Trump's Muslim ban orders based on Trump's campaign statements and other statements by his top advisors and makes clear beyond any possible doubt that the motivation for the orders was to exclude Muslims from the United States based on their religion only.

    It then goes on to show how the discrimination against Muslim immigrants on the basis of their religion adversely affects the rights of Muslim US citizens, including but not limited to the individual plaintiff (a Muslim Imam), his family and members of his congregation. Details of this portion of the complaint will be discussed below.

    Finally, the complaint describes how the interests of the State of Hawaii itself, as a center of religious and ethnic diversity, and with an economy dependent in large part on tourism, are damaged by the ban.

    For the following reasons, it is virtually certain that the federal courts, including but not limited to the district court in the above case, will strike down the new Muslim ban order, despite the fact that it cures some of the more obviously egregious aspects of the original ban, such as the exclusion of lawful permanent residents ot the US coming from the affected countries.

    First, the purpose and intent of the new ban, no less than the first one, is obviously to discriminate against immigrants and visitors based on their religion. As will be shown below, the "national security" justification for the ban is so thin as to verge on being a fraud on the court. See:

    Second, the basic Constitutional guarantees of free exercise of religion and prohibition against establishment of religion are affected by the ban in a way that retrains and intimidates Muslim US citizens from the free exercise of their religion.

    Third, contrary to the arguments which the Trump administration unsuccessfully brought before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in connection with the now revoked original seven Muslim country the courts have the power, and the duty, to look behind the ostensible reasons for the presidential finding under INS Section 212(f) that entry to the US from the banned Muslim countries is against the interests of the United States.

    It is true that this section gives the president wide power over entry into the United States by foreign citizens. But we are not (yet) at the point where Adolf Hitler could say, as he did:

    "For 24 hours, I was the Supreme Court of Germany."

    To be continued.
    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 from diverse parts of the world, and from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds, obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger's practice is primarily concentrated in H-1B specialty occupation and O-1 extraordinary ability work visas, J-1 training visas, and in green cards through labor certification (PERM) and through opposite sex or same sex marriage. His email address is

    Updated 03-10-2017 at 07:16 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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