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Trumpís seven-country entry suspension is not a Muslim ban wrapped in a paper-thin national security rationale. By Nolan Rappaport

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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.

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Updated 02-01-2017 at 06:51 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Nolan says that Trump's ban affects "only" about 12 per cent of the worlds estimated 1.6 billion Muslims. In other words, the ban "only" affects about 192 million people. That is about 2/3 of the currently estimated population of the US.

    I don't want to argue with Nolan about whether 192 million people is a large or small number of people, because these judgments are subjective by nature, but I think Nolan would at least agree that 192 million are more people than he would be able to fit into his living room.

    Roger Algase
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    You are right. it's a lot of people. But you and others have claimed that the Executive Order is a Muslim ban. It's not. It's a ban of people from seven countries that Congress and former president Obama found:

    That they provided support for acts of international terrorism repeatedly and that they have met the criterion for “Countries or areas of concern,” the pertinent part of which reads as follows:

    (D) Countries or areas of concern

    (i) In general. Not later than 60 days after December 18, 2015, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall determine whether the requirement under subparagraph (A) shall apply to any other country or area.

    (ii) Criteria. In making a determination under clause (i), the Secretary shall consider—

    (I) whether the presence of an alien in the country or area increases the likelihood that the alien is a credible threat to the national security of the United States;

    (II) whether a foreign terrorist organization has a significant presence in the country or area; and

    (III) whether the country or area is a safe haven for terrorists.

    Those findings are the basis for the ban, not the fact that the people in those countries are predominately Muslim.
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Of course, this sort of argument was Donald Trump's fig leaf, to mention a well known Middle Eastern product.

    But are we supposed to believe that when for most of the past year while running for the presidency Trump has been promising to ban Muslims, with the only questions being some or all, how many, and from where, and doing everything he can to build up a climate of hate against American as well as foreign Muslims, including suggesting the possibility of setting up "many" databases to track them and their places of worship: and, after being elected as America's Leader - in -Chief amid all of the Furor (no German language pun intended!) created by his loss in the popular vote, appointing Steve Bannon, who believes that the West is at war with Islam, and Michael Flynn, who believes that Islam is a cancer rather than a religion, to high positions in his administration, a ban against almost 200 million people from several countries where almost everyone (except for a small handful of Christians here and there) just happens, by some strange coincidence or twist of fate to be a Muslim, that this edict is not indended a Muslim ban?

    Trump has been our Big Brother for less than two weeks, and already George Orwell is taking over in America, it seems.

    Back in the era of Calvin Coolidge and the bigoted whites-only 1924 Johnson-Reed immigration act which Trump adviser and soon to be Attorney General Jeff Sessions has had such hig praise for, and which Bannon's Breitbart News has also supported by implication if not directly, at least people who wanted to keep immigrants whose ethnicity or religion they didn't like out of the country were more direct about it.

    When the law almost entirely cut off immigration from Eastern Europe, where most of the world's Jews lived, the law's framers were clear that they didn't want Jews. Same for other unwanted ethnic/religious groups (almost everyone except white protestants from the "Nordic" countries of Western Europe).

    Exactly whom does Donald Trump expect to believe that the seven country ban is not a Muslim ban, and that it is not in all likelihood just a prelude to adding other Muslim countries to the list, as his order contemplates? How naive and docile does he think the American people are?

    Having said that, let me turn to where I am in agreement with Nolan. He says that the national security rationale is not "paper-thin". I totally agree with that statement. The rationale is not nearly as thick as paper. It is more like Graphene, a substance used in filters, which is said to be a million times thinner than paper.

    How many of his national security advisers did Trump consult with before announcing the ban? Why did John Kelly, Trump's newly appointed head of the Department of Homeland Security, have no knowledge of the order before it was signed, even though he now has much of the responsibility for implementing it?

    How many independent national security experts have said that this ban will make America safer, rather than putting America at risk by disrupting our relations with allied countries which are also Muslim? None that I know of.

    What is Steve Bannon, a white nationalist journalist with absolutely zero national security experience, but an abundance of hate toward the Muslim world, doing on the president's National Security Council?!!!

    This is where the ban not only hurts Muslims. In the way it was conceived and in the way and it is being sold by pure propaganda rather than reality, it is a danger to the American people and our democracy which depends on facts. But the American people are not so easily fooled. Not all of the people, all of the time.

    The most frightening and dangerous thing about the Muslim ban order is the authoritarian way in which it was handed down, without consultation even with Trump's fellow Republican Congressional leaders or with the heads or staff of the agencies involved. Yes, Trump has broad power to keep immigrants from entering the US under Section 212(f). But this section has been used sparingly up to now and, given the complexity of our immigration system and the great number of agencies involved it was never meant to be dictated from on high by a strongman president and a tiny circle of white supremacist, immigrant-hating advisers.

    During the campaign, those of us who warned about Trump's pretensions at authoritarian rule and his admiration for foreign dictators were poo-pooed as alarmists, character assassins, and worse.

    Now, in Trump's executive orders, especially relating to immigration during the past week, we are seeing something much worse, more frightening than the ban of nearly 200 million people from entering this country purely because of their religion, on specious, Trumped-up national security grounds.

    We are seeing government by decree and what could be the beginning of the end of America's democracy.

    I will close with one further comment. Sometimes even this president can do something good. Trump has appointed an outstanding federal judge, Neil Gorsuch, one with great sensitivity and empathy for the basic rights of immigrants, even those here illegally, to the Supreme Court.

    I predict that if Trump's Muslim ban, which has already been the focus of a number of federal court orders restraining various parts of it, ever reaches the Supreme Court, Justice Gorsuch, unless he recuses himself for one reason or another, will be among the first to vote to strike Trump's un-American, and on its face unconstitutional, Muslim ban order down.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-03-2017 at 08:42 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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