Update, February 3, 7:29 pm.

On the subject of Trump's extended racial immigrant ban, see a brilliant February 3 Slate article by Columbia Law Professor and Immigration legal clinic director Elora Mukherjee called:


The Supreme Court made the African ban possible

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/02/supreme-court-african-ban-possible.html


Professor Mukherjee's article is a powerful indictment of the Republican Supreme Court majority's shameful failure to act as a check on Trump's racism, in the June 2018 Trump v. Hawaii decision which takes America all the way back to the darkest days of the WW2 Kurematsu decision upholding the internment of Japanese-Americans.

My earlier comment follows below.


On January 31, Donald Trump showed proof that everyone who had been concerned that his original seven country "Travel Ban", which was focused mainly against Muslim countries, was only the prelude to a wider ban against brown and black legal immigrants, were right. He added six more countries to the list: Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, Myanmar and Tanzania.

As in the previous ban, the main excuse appears to be that these countries are allegedly deficient in cooperating with US officials in providing information needed to "vet" people coming to the United States. No one takes this fig leaf seriously. The message is clear - Donald Trump does not want nonwhite immigrants coming to the United States for any reason, no matter hoe much they may be entitled to legal visas or green cards under this country's immigration laws.

Especially baring Nigeria, Africa's largest nation, sends a clear message: African immigrants are not welcome in the United States. This latest move brought an immediate storm of condemnation from Civil Rights and human rights groups in the US.Fore more details, see The Guardian:

https://www,theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/31/travel-ban-trump-countries-announcement

What started out as a Muslim Ban against people with the "wrong" religion, has now also developed into a ban against people with the "wrong" skin color.from places that Trump has previously labeled as "shithole" countries.

The "anti-terror" fig leaf justification for the ban is totally irrational, as Vox points out on February 1:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/2/1/21116879/trump-travel-ban-nigeria-immigration

According to that site's report, the ban against Nigerian immigrants will only affect those applying for permanent visas (green cards). The ban will not apply to Nigerians applying for temporary visas such as visitor, student or employment-sponsorship. This makes no sense at all. As Vox points out if a terrorist wants to come to US,from Nigeria, it would be just as easy, if not actually much easier, to apply for a temporary visa as a permanent one. The only possible rationale for making a distinction is that the Trump-Miller administration seems willing to accept African immigrants if they ultimately intend to leave, but not if they plan to stay in the US.

It is also reasonable to assume that banning permanent resident visas only is just a "marketing" device to make the ban seem less harmful and offensive to American values of racial equality in immigration; and, possibly, to give it a better chance of being approved by the federal courts and the public. Once the ban gets past the Supreme Court, then the plan would be to extend it to all visa applicants. At least, this is a reasonable assumption.

The irony in making this kind of distinction is that US immigration law specifically prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, religion or nationality in issuing permanent visas. There is no specific statute prohibiting such discrimination with regard to temporary visas. If racial discrimination against nonwhite immigrants is the real intent of this new ban, as it obviously is, Trump and Miller are reading the immigration laws backwards or upside down.


In my next comment on this topic, I will show how this latest ban against citizens of Africa's largest nation continues Trump's policy of targeting African countries in particular for denial of or imposing obstacles to legal immigration to the US.

The fact that Miller has been allowed to get away with his drastic unilateral revision of America's public charge laws, as discussed in my previous comments, and that that the Supreme Court enabled Trump's Muslim Visa Ban (often euphemistically and inaccurately called a "Travel Ban" in the mainstream media) in the first place, also without the slightest input from Congress, both represent a hollowing out of America's democracy.

The facade of democracy may still be intact (for the moment) as Trump and the Supreme Court appear to go through the motions of administrative rule-making and judicial review respectively. But the substance of democracy, in the form of checks on arbitrary presidential power to make anti-immigrant racism the official Law of the Land is rapidly disappearing. in favor of a one-person "Strongman" Donald Trump dictatorship.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law
Harvard Law School LL.B
Harvard College A.B.