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Trumpís seven-country travel ban is just the tip of the iceberg. By Nolan Rappaport

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Too much attention is being paid to a 90-day travel ban in President Donald Trumpís Executive Order
Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States (Order). While it is a serious matter, the temporary suspension of admitting aliens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen into the United States is just the tip of the iceberg. Other provisions in the Order may cause much more serious consequences.

Section 3(a) of the Order directs the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Secretary of the Department of State (DOS) and the Director of National Intelligence, to determine what information is needed ďfrom any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.Ē This applies to all countries, not just the seven that are subject to the 90-day suspension.

Those officials have 30 days from the date of the Order to report their ďdetermination of the information needed for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information (emphasis supplied).Ē


Published originally on Huffington Post

About the author
Nolan Rappaportís immigration experience includes seven years as an immigration counsel on the House Judiciary Committee and twenty years writing decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals.

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  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Update: February 5:

    In the light of Donald Trump's vicious, utterly unconscionable assault against the independence of the judiciary by calling federal judge James Robart's order temporarily blocking Trump's one man attempt to take over much of America's entire immigration system and to ban almost 200 million Muslims from applying to enter the US the work of a "so-called judge", it might not be too early to start drawing up articles of impeachment against a president to whom our Constitutional separation of powers seems to mean nothing whatsoever.

    At the very least, it is not unfair to say that Judge Robart's order blocking large parts of Trump's Muslim travel ban order has created quite a Furor with America's new Leader in the White House. (Pardon my German pun.)

    My original comment appears below

    Nolan's argument that since Trump's order, while immediately affecting only people from certain Muslim countries (almost 200 million, according at least one estimate) could also lead to shutting down most or all of America's entire immigration system world-wide, it wrong to call it a Muslim ban, reminds one of a certain type of reasoning that Socrates and Plato had a word for almost 2,500 years ago.

    That word is still part of our vocabulary today regarding various types of arguments one can make about legal or other topics. It is not one of the more complimentary words in that vocabulary.

    When another autocrat took power in Central Europe eight decades ago, he issued a group of decrees known as the Nuremberg Laws. The Jews, of course, were the immediate and most directly affected targets of those laws, just as Muslim immigrants are the ones most immediately affected by Donald Trump's January 27 executive order.

    The fact that the author of those laws ultimately moved beyond the immediate target to take one-man control-of his entire nation does not mean that the Nuremberg laws were not virulently anti-Jewish.

    Nor is Trump's January 27 decree any less anti-Muslim for being part of a larger agenda as well.

    (This of course, does not mean that I am implying that our new president is either anti-Semitic or a supporter of any form of genocide. There is not the slightest shred of evidence that he is either - despite his inexplicable and inexcusable reported decision to delete any reference in his Holocaust memorial speech to the fact that 6 million victims of the German Fuehrer's ovens and gas chambers happened to be Jewish).

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 02-05-2017 at 01:18 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Lets get some facts into the discussion of Roger's comment. According to PEW --

    The seven nations affected by a new executive order that prevents many of their citizens from entering the United States for the next 90 days accounted for 904,415 legal U.S. entries between fiscal years 2006 and 2015. This group includes visitors, students and diplomats as well as refugees and new lawful permanent residents, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data.

    Entries from the affected countries made up 0.2% of the more than 517 million total entries to the U.S. over the same period. (Entries include individuals visiting the U.S. as well as new lawful immigrants and refugees. They do not include unauthorized entries or asylum seekers. One person may account for multiple entries.) The number for 2015 was 86,000.

    The number over a 90-day period for 2015 averaged 21,500 admissions.

    Roger is mischaracterizing the section of the Order my article discusses. It doesn't start out with the seven countries and expand to a larger group of countries. It starts out with all countries. The designated government agencies will determine what information is needed to properly screen aliens seeking admission and then present a list to Trump of the countries that have refused to provide that information. The aliens from these countries will be denied admission until their governments decide to cooperate. How is this a Muslim ban?

    The 90-day ban is just a way to keep aliens from countries that need extra screening from being admitted until the new screening process has been implemented. How were they selected? Not by Trump. Two of the countries on the list Trump is using were selected by Congress and Obama selected the other five.

    Nolan Rappaport

  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    As I mention above, almost 2,500 years ago, Socrates and Plato coined a word for Nolan's type of argument that is still part of our vocabulary, with less than complimentary connotations. The only difference is that here, Nolan is playing around with numbers more than with words, as the Sophists did.

    Nolan would have us believe that a ban which potentially affects almost 200 million people, all of whom come from overwhelmingly Muslim countries, is not a ban on Muslims as members of a religion.

    I respectfully refer Nolan to the 1924 Johnson-Reed Immigration Act, which at least two of the president's closest advisers on immigration, Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions, both of whom were almost certainly involved, directly or indirectly, in drafting the January 27 order (while Congressional leaders and national security experts were reportedly shut out), have looked to as a model for Trump's immigration policies.

    That law did not specifically ban Jews, Catholics, East Asians, Muslims and Africans based on race or religion. Instead, it virtually eliminated immigration quotas for the countries where they came from under the notorious "national origins" system which was not abolished until 1965.

    The sections of Trump's order which a federal judge in Seattle has blocked (despite a vicious Twitter smear campaign against him by the president), and which judicial order an appeals court has refused (for the moment) to interfere with, are based on the same principle. Trump's order is, in effect, repeating America's dark history of racism and religious discrimination under the guise of targeting certain countries which just happen to be inhabited by members of Trump's/Bannon's/Sessions' gens invisum (to quote Virgil - in English: "hated group of people").

    What would Nolan have to say if an American president were to ban entry from all citizens of Israel, say, on the grounds that that country has been the situs of numerous terrorist attacks and that, without doubt, there are certain individuals in that country who would like to do harm to America?

    In such a hypothetical case, would Nolan not be among the most vocal in expressing his outrage (along with every decent-minded person throughout the world)?

    It is true, as Nolan points out elsewhere, that parts of Trump's order (ones which the federal district court has not blocked notably in Section 3(a) and Section 4 of the order) have wider implications which could affect immigrants from all over the world, not just Muslim countries. That does not mean that Muslims are not the primary target.

    The Nuremberg Laws, which I also refer to above, singled out the Jews for persecution, even though millions of people who were not Jewish also died in Hitler's concentration camps and gas chambers.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-05-2017 at 11:13 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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