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Is Muslim Ban Only First Step Back to Europe-Only Immigration? No Africans Granted Visas for US-Africa Business Conference. Roger Algase

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In another ominous indication that Donald Trump's attempts to ban more than 100 million citizens of six 99 per cent Muslim countries from coming to the United States have very little to do with national security, and a great deal to do with changing America's immigration demographics back toward the Europeans - only policies of the 1924 Johnson-Reed Immigration Act (which Trump's AG Jeff Sessions praised in a 2015 immigration manifesto, and which Senior White House Adviser Stephen Bannon's Breitbart News has also supported), The Guardian reports that every single one of the between 60 and 100 African applicants for visas to attend an annual conference on US-African business and trade at the University of Southern California was refused a visa, even though none of their approximately a dozen different countries of origin was covered by the ban (which the federal courts have temporarily blocked from taking effect in any event).

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...l-trade-summit

The internationally renowned UK newspaper writes:

"The African Global Economic and Development Summit, a three-day conference at the University of Southern California (USC), typically brings delegations from across Africa to meet with business leaders in the US to foster partnerships. But this year, every single African citizen who requested a visa was rejected, according to organizer Mary Flowers."

The Guardian
continues:

"The problems for the trade summit mark the latest example of restricted travel to the US under Trump, whose controversial immigration policies and rhetoric have impacted a wide range of industries and communities. Soccer players, musicians, doctors, tech workers, protesters and others from across the globe have been denied access to the U.S., which has also experienced a slump in immigration since Trump's inauguration."

With regard to the countries of origin for the applicants who were denied visas, The Guardian writes:

"Rejected participants at the trade summit came from Nigeria, Cameroon, Angola, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ghana, South Africa and more, according to Flowers."

Even though Trump's latest six Muslim country ban is not currently in effect, The Guardian also reports than none of the rejected applicants were from any of the three African countries (Lybia, Somalia and Sudan) that were on the banned list.

According to the same report, many of the applicants who had already registered for the conference, which took place with only 50 to 75 participants instead of the 150 to 200 who usually attend, were refused visas after only short interviews even when they brought extensive documentation, such as bank statements and property records.

According to the same article, The State Department has refused to give any explanation for or to discuss its actions in banning visitors to the US from an entire continent.

It appears that the issue of arbitrary bans on entry to the US from parts of the world which may be out of favor with the Trump administration has escalated beyond entry from only half a dozen countries, for which there may have been at least the illusion of a pretext, however contrived, for a blanket exclusion.

According to the report, Mary Flowers also stated:

"I don't know if its Trump or if its the fact that the embassies that have been discriminating for a long time see this as an opportunity, because of the talk of the travel ban, to blatantly reject everyone...These trade links create jobs for both America and Africa. It's unbelievable what's going on."

There was a famous saying in ancient Rome.

Ex Africa semper aliquid novi - "There is always something new out of Africa."

One could update that saying to add that there is always something new from Africa - except visitors to an America in the Donald Trump era in which immigrants of color are feeling increasingly unwelcome.

For those who still believe in and support America's ideal of non-discrimination on the basis of race, religion or national origin which has been the basis of our immigration laws for the past half century, there is another Latin saying, taken from Cicero's famous address against Cataline before the Roman Senate, which might well be addressed to our 45th president and the nationalist advisers at the top of his hierarchy:

Quo usque tandem abutere...patientia nostra?

"How much longer will you continue to abuse our patience?"
_______________________________
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School who has been representing mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world for more than 35 years. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com


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Updated 03-23-2017 at 04:06 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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Comments

  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    If Roger would take the time to read the entire Executive Order, he wouldn't have to guess what the next step is. Trump tasked the heads of the pertinent government agencies to determine what information is needed to vet an alien coming to the US properly and then find out which foreign governments are unwilling to provide that information. The countries with uncooperative governments will be put on a list with the agency heads' recommendations on stopping immigration from those countries until they decide to cooperate.

    Is this another sinister plot? Surely Roger will think that it is. But "only the shadow knows."

    Roger will understand that reference. It you aren't as old as we are, the source is revealed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shadow

    Nolan Rappaport
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Nolan insists that we should take the obviously sham and bad faith "national security" pretext behind the Muslim ban order at face value without looking at the obvious history of intent to discriminate against the Muslim religion and the rights of Muslim US citizens that lies behind that order.

    How naive does Nolan think that the federal courts are required to pretend to be?

    Or does Nolan think that we live in a monarchy where the King can order the federal courts not to question whether his edicts are in good faith and have at least a rational basis?

    We know what is in the order, We also know what led to the order and the obvious anti-Muslim animus by Trump and his top advisers involved in every aspect of its drafting and preparation.

    This animosity against Muslim immigrants and US citizens alike is something that Trump has never tried to conceal. It is one of the few things that he has been consistent and honest about from the time he first proposed a worldwide Muslim immigration ban in December, 2015. He has in fact often boasted about it.

    Where is Nolan's basis for claiming that the courts, and the American people, should ignore this obvious reality, or turn aside from at least looking into this issue to see what the real motive for the ban actually is, as the 9th Circuit majority and district courts in Hawaii, Washington State, Maryland and elsewhere have been doing?

    I would respectfully remind Nolan that we live in the United States of America, not Russia or North Korea.

    There is nothing "shadowy" about that.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law


    Updated 03-21-2017 at 07:14 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Nolan insists that we should take the obviously sham and bad faith "national security" pretext behind the Muslim ban order at face value without looking at the obvious history of intent to discriminate against the Muslim religion and the rights of Muslim US citizens that lies behind that order.

    How naive does Nolan think that the federal courts are required to pretend to be?

    The Supreme Court has held that the courts cannot look behind a facially legitimate order. I explain this in an article that appears in today's ILW.com.

    Federal courts flout precedent in blocking Trump's travel ban (March 20, 2017),
    http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/immigration/324764-federal-courts-upend-legal-precedent-in-blocking-trumps-travel

    We know what is in the order, We also know what led to the order and the obvious anti-Muslim animus by Trump and his top advisers involved in every aspect of its drafting and preparation.

    Only if we interpret Trump's campaign statements the Roger does, and I don't. His animus is towards Islamic Extremists who commit terrorist acts. Or does Roger think that all Muslims are the same. Criticize the Muslim terrorists and you are criticizing all Muslims.


    Where is Nolan's basis for claiming that the courts, and the American people, should ignore this obvious reality, or turn aside from at least looking into this issue to see what the real motive for the ban actually is, as the 9th Circuit majority and district courts in Hawaii, Washington State, Maryland and elsewhere have been doing?

    As I said, its based on a Supreme Court decision. I am more interested in the obvious reality that the 9th circuit is basing its decision on the Travel Ban on prejudice against President Trump. It's bad enough that Roger conducts almost daily anti-Trump diatribes. It is even more outrageous when the federal courts block the facially legitimate national security decisions of our president on the basis of prejudice.

    Nolan Rappaport
  4. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I am surprised that a legal scholar such as Nolan, with his extensive legislative and administrative opinion-writing experience, would seriously argue that the courts have no power to look behind the surface language of a statute or executive branch order to determine its real purpose and intent.

    Very often, the real purpose of a law or adminstrative
    directive is the very last thing that the drafters want to put in it, and no one knows this better than Nolan himself.

    What did Nolan expect Trump to say in his seven or six country ban orders:

    "I hate Muslims and I don't want any more of them coming to America" ?

    No one is ever going to say that in a statute or executive order, even though that is very close to exactly what Trump actually said in his December, 2015 campaign speech.

    Nolan's absolutist view that the courts have no business looking behind a statute or executive order concerning entry to the US in order to determine its real meaning and purpose would in effect make the president into a king rather than the head of one of the three equal branches of government in a democracy.

    The Supreme Court decisions that Nolan refers to were related to a consular officer's denying a visa to a single individual, not the president's banning 100 million people from the US, more than 99 percent of whom just happen to share the same religion.

    As the 9th Circuit pointed out during oral argument on Trump's first Muslim ban, the two cases are entirely different. See Kerry v. Din (2015) and Kleindienst v. Mandel, (1972)

    Whenever Nolan resorts to accusing me of being personally biased against Trump, one has to suspect that this is to cover up a weakness in his argument on the law, and this instance is no different.

    Why do I say that Nolan's argument is weak on this point? This is why: Nolan argues that the courts have to accept an executive decision if it is "facially legitimate". But he leaves out the additional requirement set forth by the Supreme Court that the decision also has to be in good faith.

    See Kleindienst, supra.

    While the individual visa denials in those two Supreme Court cases were ostensibly in good faith, based on circumstances that the Court did look into and considered in full detail in each case, no such good faith exists in the two Muslim ban orders at issue here.

    For reasons that I have explained in detail in previous comments on this issue, and that the Ninth Circuit, and District court judges in Washington, Hawaii and other states have explained in their opinions, this essential element of good faith was completely lacking in Trump's two orders, which reflected a consistent record of anti-Muslim "animus" (to quote from one of these court decisions) by Trump and his two top advisers, the extreme right wing journalist Stephen Bannon, who has no national security experience whatever, and Trump's now disgraced and fired national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who called the Muslim religion a "cancer" rather than a real religion. Talk about "animus". Talk about hate.

    There was little or no input from the real national security apparatus, and many national security experts reportedly opposed Trump's ban, some even arguing that it would put America at greater risk.

    Nolan is in effect claiming that the president's good faith in this issue must be presumed solely from the powers of his office.

    That may be the rule in Russia and North Korea. It is not the way the law works in the United States of America.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law


    Updated 03-22-2017 at 08:32 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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