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Trump Switches His Pretext for Muslim Ban, in Effect Admitting That the Original Excuse Was Fraudulent. Roger Algase

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The following comment has been revised and updated as of September 25 at 2:52 am.

In yet another example of how the media tend to be blindsided by the various gyrations of the Trump administration's actions against mainly non-white, non European immigrants, while missing the real significance of these moves, early reports are mistakenly describing the president's announcement on the evening of September 25 of the latest yet version of his Muslim entry ban as an "expanded" ban. For one of the better reports, which still misses the main point, in The Guardian, see:

In fact, as is obvious, even at first glance, the addition of two non-Muslim countries, North Korea and Venezuela, is meaningless. When was the last time that anyone from "Rocketman's" North Korea applied for a visa to enter the US or was admitted to this country? And where exactly is the "US Embassy" in North Korea located?

In the case of Venezuela, the ban is purely symbolic - limited to government officials and their families. No one will be fooled into thinking that the new ban is now aimed against anyone other than citizens of Muslim countries as a practical matter.

To underscore this reality, the six Muslim countries on the new banned list are the same as before - only with Chad replacing Sudan. Big Deal.

But one thing has changed, namely the stated pretext for the new ban. The original pretext was that the banned countries were on a US government terrorism sponsor list - even though no one from any of the countries on the list had ever actually been involved in a terror attack in the US.

Now, the stated excuse for the ban has changed. The latest rationale is that the affected countries are allegedly not cooperating with US efforts to "vet" their citizens who might be applying for visas in the future.

Isn't this change in the stated reason for the ban an implied admission that the original pretext for the Muslim ban, the one that the administration used to defend the ban in so many different federal courts, including the Supreme Court was utterly fake, no more genuine than the story of the panhandler in the old French movie described below who suddenly switched from claiming he was blind to claiming instead that he was deaf and dumb?

At least, one hopes that neither the American public nor the media will remain blind, deaf or dumb to the real significance of Trump's ban against as many adherents as possible of a major world religion as he can demonize, scapegoat and find excuses to keep out of the United States on whatever Trumped-up pretext his administration can concoct.

My original comment follows:

A September 22 report in The Guardian indicates that Donald Trump, who has been frustrated again and again by the federal courts in attempting to bar Muslim immigrants from entering the United States, and who vented his frustration last week in a tweet calling for a "larger", "tougher" and "more specific" ban, may be seeking to accomplish that goal with a different strategy by widening the number of affected countries and changing the pretext for imposing the ban.

It will be remembered that the supposed rationale for imposing his original seven Muslim country ban and its subsequent six country version was that the countries concerned were on a US government terror sponsorship list, even though no one from any of the affected countries had ever been suspected of being involved in a terror attack in the United States.

The new rationale, according to the above report, may be that the countries concerned are failing to cooperate with US "vetting" procedures by withholding certain information about their citizens from US authorities.

According to The Guardian and other media, the new ban may be directed against a wider group of countries, but may also be more "specific" in terms of stricter "screening" questions affecting certain visa applicants or classes of applicants, rather, than banning every citizen of the entire country.

Regardless of changes which may be made in the list of affected countries, in the mechanism for enforcing the ban, or in the pretext for imposing the ban in the first place, Trump's tweet last week made clear that the purpose of the revised ban, if any, would still be the same - keeping as many Muslim immigrants out of the United States as the federal courts will allow him to get away with.

The Guardian's report is at:

To this admittedly irreverent observer, Trump's anticipated change in the pretext for the Muslim ban policy, i.e. alleged failure to cooperate with US "vetting" procedures rather than alleged terror sponsorship, reminds me of an old French movie which I saw many years ago.

In the movie, a panhandler in a crowded Paris neighborhood is soliciting money from passers-by by carrying a large sign saying AVEUGLE ("Blind").

Suddenly it starts to rain, and everyone runs indoors to take shelter from the downpour, including the panhandler, whose cover of pretending to be blind has now been blown away.

But as soon as the rain stops, the panhandler, unfazed, emerges into the street again, but this time with his sign turned around to read: SOURD-MUET ("Deaf and Dumb").

Trump may change his excuses and his mechanisms for barring Muslim immigrants from the United States, but his purpose remains the same - to keep as many adherents of this religion as possible from entering the United States as visitors or immigrants (just as another US statute, enacted almost a century ago in 1924, did with Jewish, Catholic and most non-European immigrants from around the world in a tradition which the Trump administration is following all too faithfully now, but only with some of the targeted ethnic/religious groups changed).
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, receive work visas and green cards through employer sponsorship or family relationships.

Roger's email address is

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Updated 09-27-2017 at 12:14 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    It is apparent that Roger hasn't read the executive order with the travel ban in it, but I don't think he is open to a better understanding of the basis for the two bans, the temporary one that he has grossly misrepresented for months or the new one that just went into effect. So I won't bother to address his allegations about them.

    Nolan Rappaport
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I can understand why Nolan doesn't want to talk about the specifics of Trump's latest Muslim ban, because on even the most superficial examination, whatever justification Trump is claiming for the ban, whether "terror sponsor" list, as before, or "non-cooperation in vetting" as now, falls entirely apart.

    Five of the eight countries on Trump's new Muslim ban list are the same 99 per cent Muslim countries as the ones that were on the first two versions of the ban. With regard to those five countries, not much has changed in the new ban except the pretext: "deaf and dumb" instead of "blind", as in the old French movie I refer to above.

    I don't claim to be a math specialist, but based on my understanding, when more that 99 per cent of the population of a given country happens to belong to a particular religion, and when almost everyone in that country is banned from entering the US, there is good reason to suspect that the ban is directed against that particular religion, especially when the US has a president who based his candidacy in large part on promoting hate against that same particular faith.

    So let's look at the three additional countries that have been added to the list. First, we have North Korea. How many North Koreans have ever applied for visas to enter the US in the approximately 65 years since the Korean War ended?

    My figures say pretty close to zero.

    Let's then look at Venezuela, the second added country. The ban here is limited to certain government officials and their families. Not a real ban at all. More like a joke, added for purely cosmetic purposes to try to make it look as if the ban is not only directed against Muslims.

    Finally, on the new list, we have Chad, a key US military ally in fight against the Muslim terror group Boko Haram - whose violence and atrocities are so horrendous that even ISIS might look pale by comparison - but which doesn't get as much attention in the world press because Boko Haram's victims are black Africans, not white Europeans.

    If the real purpose of Trump's Muslim ban is protecting America's national security, as Trump claims, what is the point of putting America's military ally against arguably the most brutal and feared Muslim terrorist group in the world on the banned list?

    For Chad's role in helping America in the fight against Boko Haram, See:

    Why is an important US ally such as Chad on the new Muslim ban list?

    Where is the sanity in punishing the citizens of a country whose soldiers are risking their lives to stamp out Muslim extremist terrorism and make the rest of the world, including the US safer?

    I am looking forward to Nolan's explanation of that phenomenon. I hope that it will include more than a simple rehash of the tissue of lies in the Orwellian documents known as Trump's Muslim bans 1.0, 2.0 and, now, 3.0.

    Maybe it really is time to bring in the psychiatrists for Donald Trump, as many in this profession have been saying it is high time to do - and as was discussed further in my comments in last week's letters section.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 09-26-2017 at 07:30 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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