Many years ago, I heard the following joke:

An American who is seeking the true meaning of life hears that a certain sage living at the top of a mountain in the Himalayas has the answer. So the American decides to visit him.

After a long and arduous trip, full of danger and difficulty, the American finally reaches the top of the mountain and comes face to face with the sage.

"Tell me, Oh Sage, what is the true meaning of life?",

the American asks.

The sage goes into deep meditation, for what seems like hours, and finally addresses the visitor.

"Life", the Sage answers, "is just a bowl of cherries."

The American visitor is outraged.

"What are you talking about?" the visitor asks,

"After all the trouble and expense I went through to come here, nearly risking my life, just to see you, are you now telling me that life is just a bowl of cherries? What kind of scam is that?"

The Sage looks at the visitor with a very puzzled expression. Finally he says:

"Do you mean to say that life
isn't just a bowl of cherries?"

This story comes to mind every time I see someone claim that Donald Trump's Muslim ban executive orders were not issued in bad faith.

Anyone who thinks that either the first version of the ban order, which Trump now states that he regrets having withdrawn, or the current version which is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, meets the standard of being "facially legitimate and bona fide" set forth in Justice Blackmun's majority opinion in Kelindienst v. Mandel (1972), and also meets the requirement of being free from an "affirmative showing of bad faith" announced by Justice Kennedy in his plurality opinion in Kerry v. Din (2015); or who contends that the courts had no power to look behind the face of these orders into the issue of whether the president issued them in good faith, might just as well argue that life is just a bowl of cherries.

The one argument makes about the same amount of sense as the other - i.e. none at all.

I will discuss the above two definitive Supreme Court cases in more detail in a future comment.

Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, Roger has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants receive work visas and green cards.

Roger's main areas of practice include H-1B specialty occupation, O-1 extraordinary ability and J-1 trainee work visas; and green cards through labor certification (PERM) and through opposite sex or same sex marriage. Roger's email address is

In his many years of immigration law experience, Roger has found that careful planning, thorough knowledge of the law and persistent efforts based on mutual collaboration and understanding between lawyer and client are the keys to success. Immigration is not just a bowl of cherries.