The following comment has been revised and updated as of 11:10 am, February 6.

In Europe, beginning in the 10th Century and continuing until the beginning of the 19th, there was an alliance among rulers known as the "Holy Roman Empire". The French philosopher Voltaire famously said the only thing wrong with with using this name (Sacrum Imperium Romanum in Latin) is that the alliance wasn't Holy, wasn't Roman, and wasn't an Empire.

In the same way, Donald Trump's unilateral "temporary", "limited" ban on immigration affecting nearly 200 million people from seven Muslim countries, and on refugees from all over the world, in the interests of "National Security", is neither temporary, limited, or based on National Security. Instead, it is an attempt to put America's entire system of admitting foreign citizens under one-man control, with implications that could undermine the rule of law in every aspect of American society. See:

Indeed, Trump's Justice Department lawyers are now arguing in the 9th circuit Federal Court of Appeals that INA section 212(f) in effect gives the president the same powers as a dictator, accountable only to himself, in deciding which foreign citizens can be admitted to the United States.

See: Huffington Post, February 5:

Trump Lawyers To Court Reviewing Muslim Ban: Stay Out Of It

This argument, which has enormous implications not only for immigrant rights, but for the freedom of all Americans, will be examined more closely in my upcoming comment, which will also show that the doctrine of executive "Plenary Power" over immigration, which is at the heart of Trump's argument, does not apply when the rights of American citizens are affected, something that is unquestionably the case here, as the states of Washington, Minnesota and a host of private organizations are arguing before the 9th Circuit as this is being written.

But, first, let us look at an argument which is being made in some quarters to the effect that Donald Trump's January 27 order isn't really a "Muslim ban" because other immigrants from all religions and every country could be affected too.

It is true enough, as will be shown in more detail in my next comment on this topic, that Muslims may not be the only immigrants affected by Trump's ban. But that does not mean that Muslims are not the primary targets, just as the 1936 Nuremberg Laws in Germany were aimed against the Jews, even though they ultimately led to the loss of freedom for everyone living in Germany.

Despite the clumsy attempts in Trump's January 27 order to hide its anti-Muslim bias behind a thin veneer of pretense of supposedly refining immigrant and refugee screening procedures, the history of anti-Muslim rhetoric by Trump and his top immigration advisers during and after the presidential campaign can leave no doubt about the order's real purpose.

See Slate:

Trump's executive order on immigration is a Muslim ban.

(Sorry, I do not have a link to this article. Please go to Google.)

In the words of the above article, there is a "mountain of evidence" that this was a principle purpose of the order, though certainly not its only purpose.

It is not necessary to rehash all the statements that Trump made during the campaign about Muslim terrorists who were allegedly "pouring" into the US at the invitation of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, whom Trump, labelled as "founders and MVP's of ISIS" in order to understand Trump's real purpose in drafting the seven country ban.

Nor is it necessary to go into detail about Trump's threats to curtail the rights of US citizens who belong to the Muslim religion by registering them, setting up "databases", and conducting surveillance of their places of worship, let alone his appointment of Islamophobes such as Stephen Bannon, who thinks that the Muslim world is in a culture was with the "Judeo-Christian West" and Michael Flynn, who has called Islam a "cancer" rather than a religion, to high positions in his administration.

Anyone who argues that Donald Trump's January 27 order is only a "per country" ban, and not one aimed against Muslims because of their religion, might just as well argue that America's WW2 Japanese-American internment was not racially motivated, since it only applied to Japanese living on the West Coast, not in other parts of the US.

Or, even more absurdly, one might argue that the infamous late 19th Century Chinese exclusion laws were not racially motivated, because they only banned Chinese laborers, not Chinese "merchants". In spirit, and, arguably in the letter of his January 27 order as well, Donald Trump is taking America back to that dark time in our history.

But let us move on. While it is undeniable that Trump's January 27 order targets Muslim immigrants primarily (and not only from the seven countries mentioned - it clearly contemplates adding other countries to the list, most or all of which would without any serious room for doubt turn out to be Muslim as well) - it also goes far beyond being merely a Muslim ban.

There is language in Sections 3 and Section 4 of the order, to be discussed in my next comment on this topic, which could effectively seal off America's borders against all immigration (or at least against immigration from outside the white countries of Europe) in a return to the spirit of the 1924 Johnson-Reed immigration act for which both Stephen Bannon's Btreitbart News and Attorney General designate Jeff Sessions have shown so much sympathy, as i have discussed in previous Immigration Daily comments and also do not need to repeat here.

I will have more to say about this larger objective of Trump's January 27 order in an upcoming comment.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law