Multiple news stories are highlighting the fact that Donald Trump has appointed a new Secretary of State, current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who, reportedly, agrees with Trump's agenda more than the ousted DOS Secretary, Rex Tillerson was alleged to have done. Will this personnel change affect visa issuance, particularly to applicants from the non-white parts of the world whom Trump has, from the time when he began his campaign up to the present, identified more with being threats to America than assets to our society?

Trump has, after all, made "extreme vetting" of immigrants a centerpiece of his policy on admissions to the United States, and, shortly after taking office as president, he emphasized that he only wants immigrants who"love" America and "love our values".

Given the broad discretion that US consular officials have over visa issuance, based on the principle of minimal interference from the courts beginning with late 19th century Supreme Court decisions under the infamous Chinese exclusion laws, up to the 1972 Kleindienst v. Mandel decision issued at the height of Cold War anti-communist attitudes, it is of some interest to see what Pompeo's record, if any, has been concerning issues which might affect decisions on visa issuance.

In this regard, a March 14 article in Al Jazeera provides some useful information. See:

Mike Pompeo on Muslims, torture and Guantanamo Bay

According to this article, Pompeo, during his successful House campaign in 2010, posted a link to a blog containing in a racial slur (which I will not repeat here) against his Democratic opponent, Raj Goyle, whose parents immigrated to the US from India. Pompeo subsequently apologized, saying that this was inadvertent on his part.

In 2013, in response to the Boston Marathon bombing, Pompeo issued as statement blaming Islamic leaders across America as being allegedly complicit in the attack.

The same article also states that Pompeo supported "enhanced interrogation", i.e. torture, of terrorist suspects, and condemned President Obama for closing the notorious CIA "black sites", namely secret prisons where torture took place.

However, as CIA director, Pompeo has not reopened any of these torture sites.

Pompeo's deputy and replacement as CIA director, Gina Haspel, reportedly personally oversaw torture at a secret CIA location in Thailand herself, in 2002. In one case, according to a news report, torture was carried out so brutally that the victim was at first thought to have died.

What does this say about America's "values" in the Donald Trump era, which the president expects immigrants to "love" as a condition of admission to the United States?

For more details of Haspel's alleged participation in CIA torture, see.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law