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).

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

"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