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  1. How Trump's Mass Deportations Are Undermining the Rule of Law and Destroying Our Democracy. Roger Algase

    Update: June 20, 2017

    Anyone who has any doubts about the sheer cruelty of Trump's deportation dragnet, which has so much in common with that of "law enforcement" under totalitarian regimes, or who might be misled by the argument that Trump's deportations are somehow no different from Obama's, should read Slate's June 15 article:

    Days of Deportation


    The article gives 60 typical examples of utterly harmless people, most of them Hispanic, with no major criminal convictions or in many cases no criminal record at all, who were caught at least temporarily in the quasi-fascist nightmare known as

    Immigration enforcement in the age of Trump.

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/...at-a-time.html

    My original comment follows.

    As democracy in America hangs in a precarious balance caused by Donald Trump's attempt to set himself completely beyond and above the rule of law by threatening to fire special prosecutor Robert Mueller

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/12/u...rump.html?_e=0

    See also:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/0...a-probe-239681

    it is instructive to look at what led to this mortal danger to America's continued existence as a free country governed by law rather than by a one-man dictatorship. See the May 10 article by the respected international journalist Mehdi Hasan:

    After James Comey's Firing, Who Will Stop Trump's Tinpot Dictatorship?


    https://theintercept.com/2017/05/10/...-dictatorship/

    There can be little doubt that this existential threat to our freedom began with Trump's authoritarian mass deportation agenda aimed at the expulsion and ethnic cleansing of up to 11 million mainly Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern and black immigrants from America.

    First, look at Trump's immigration rhetoric both before and after the November 2016 election in which Trump was resoundingly defeated by Hillary Clinton in the popular vote by almost 3 million votes. Wall Street Journal writer Ana Campoy writes as follows in her well researched May 9 article in Quartz:

    The way Trump talks about immigration is a textbook authoritarian technique for consolidating power:

    https://qz.com/975169/the-way-trump-...idating-power/

    "Jason Stanley, a philosophy professor at Yale University and the author of How Propaganda Works, classifies the president's combative immigration speech as 'standard strongman dictator stuff.' Trump employs classic techniques used by authoritarians to convince others to accept their value system of law and order.

    Since the US's current reality doesn't call for law and order [Donald Trump style], Trump must find ways to distort it. [Illegal] Immigration was at historically law levels even before Trump took office. So are crime rates, as fact checkers keep pointing out. Furthermore, research shows there's no connection between the two. Yet in his speech leading up to the November election, Trump described an America under attack from criminal immigrants pouring in through the border - bad hombres, rapists and drug traffickers."

    Campoy concludes:

    "...Trump is exploiting existing anxieties some [white] Americans feel about immigrants and other minorities to secure their [Americans'] open-ended support."

    In addition to being based on the typically authoritarian lie that a targeted minority or minorities are inherently dangerous to the safety and welfare of the majority - one is reminded of Joseph Goebbels' infamous cry, which is so well known to Holocaust history that translation is not necessary:

    "Die Juden sind unser Unglueck!"

    the mechanism of Trump era deportation itself is based on, and infused with, authoritarian practices not unlike those which the world came to be familiar with under fascism.

    Harvard Ph.D and Guggenheim Fellow Norman Pollack writes the following in his February 24 Counterpunch article:

    Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport


    https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02...arrest-deport/

    "Right off the bat we find that aggressive enforcement shall be more inclusive of coverage (any pretext will do, like minor infractions of the law, to start the deportation process) and punitive in execution. As for the full force of the federal government, this makes viable - integral to the machinery and spirit of enforcement - a trickle-down fabric of authority, in which state and local governments are directly involved in the overall process..."

    Pollack continues:

    "The sentence which follows in the [New York Times] article fairly bursts with the entertainment of fascist thought on a sweeping basis:

    'Documents released on Thursday [2-21] by the Department of Homeland Security reveal the broad scope of the president's ambitions: to publicize crimes by undocumented immigrants; strip such immigrants of privacy protections; enlist local police officers as enforcers; erect new detention facilities; discourage asylum seekers and, ultimately, speed up deportations.'"

    Pollack continues:

    "The climate of repression, coming so early in the functioning of the departments and agencies and the administration itself, a warning of what to expect, can be seen in the statement of John Kelly, secretary of homeland security...

    Inculcating fear
    into the body politic obviously invites fast and loose treatment of the rule of law, Trump...already is reaching beyond the constitutional parameters of presidential powers."

    The above may sound somewhat theoretical or abstract, but it brings back some very real childhood memories for Vera Klement, a prominent and accomplished 86 year-old American artist and Holocaust survivor. See: American Prospect

    Begin, Again: Trump Through the Eyes of a Holocaust Survivor

    http://prospect.org/article/begin-ag...caust-survivor

    American Prospect writes:

    "In Trump's calls for the expulsion of millions of undocumented immigrants, Vera hears echoes of her own story. She thinks about the anxieties expressed by Hispanic children who fear their parents will be deported, and recalls her own lost childhood. It was not the reality of the Gestapo's knock on the door that most altered Vera's young psyche (though that reality, when it came, was terrifying enough). It was the way the ever present dread of that knock shifted something fundamental in the home...

    Vera is painfully aware of something else: how marginalizing and demonizing a people changes their relationship in the larger world, and their connections to whom they love."

    American Prospect continues:

    "The president-elect's rendering of all Syrian refugees as potential public enemies...and the assertion of Trump's newly appointed national security adviser, General Michael T. Flynn, that 'fear of Muslims is rational' are also troubling to Vera. She is more aware than most that lives hand in the balance when leaders use such words."

    The above words were written on January 13, one week before Trump actually took office as president and began to make his agenda for mass deportation of Latino and other non-white immigrants and his threat to ban as many Muslims as possible from entering the United States into a totalitarian reality.

    No one would argue with the proposition that Trump is doing everything in his power to implement his authoritarian pledges to expel 11 million mainly Latino immigrants and ban more than 100 million Muslims from coming to the United States because of their religion, just as the Jews were excluded from German society by an authoritarian leader eight decades ago.

    Certainly, despite the appalling cruelty and lack of humanity in the way in which Trump's mass deportation policies are being carried out against Mexicans and other targeted
    minorities

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...rtation-mexico

    does not have the slightest wish or intention whatsoever of committing genocide or exterminating any group or groups of people; and he is clearly interested only in expelling targeted groups from America or banning their members from entering this country, there are still certain parallels that cannot be overlooked between Trump and another leader referred to above.

    That same authoritarian ruler also rose to power by targeting and stoking hatred against an unpopular minority group; and he also demanded absolute "loyalty" from his underlings, just as Trump demanded loyalty from FBI director James Comey prior to firing him and may now be laying the groundwork for firing independent counsel Robert Mueller, something which would eliminate any brakes on the president's power and effectively end democracy in America as we know it.

    If this happens, we can look at Trump's mass deportation of a demonized ethnic group or groups as the catalyst which led to the demise of our democracy, just as the Nuremberg laws anf Gestapo raids against the Jews heralded the end of democracy for all of the people of Germany eighty years ago.
    ___________________________________
    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 permits and green cards.

    Roger's practice is concentrated primarily on H-1 specialty occupation and O-1 extraordinary ability work visas; and on green cards through PERM labor certification and through opposite sex or same sex marriage. Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 06-20-2017 at 07:47 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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