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  1. Trump Delights White Supremacists With Arpaio Pardon and Hints at Ending DACA in Moves Back toward Racist 1924 Immigration Act. Roger Algase

    In a move that is sure to delight Trump's white supremacist supporters, on August 25 Trump issued a pardon for Arizona's notorious former sheriff Joe Arpaio for his conviction of criminal contempt of court in a case arising from Arpaio's racial profiling and abusive practices directed against Latino immigrants. The Guardian report sums up Arpaio's actions that formed the background to his criminal conviction as follows:

    "Over a 24-year tenure as Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arpaio gained notoriety for detaining hundreds of undocumented immigrants in a tent city jail and forcing them to wear pink underwear...calling his own jail a 'concentration camp'."

    The pardon was immediately condemned by the ACLU, The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), and other civil rights, minority rights and pro-immigrant advocates as an endorsement of racism and an assault on democracy and the rule of law.

    ACLU Deputy Legal Director Cecillia Wang made the following statement after the pardon was issued:

    "With his pardon of Arpaio, Trump has chosen lawlessness over justice, division over unity, hurt over healing. Once again, the president has acted in support of illegal, failed, immigration practices that target people of color and have been struck down by the courts. His pardon of Arpaio is a presidential endorsement of racism."

    Among the civil rights organizations which had condemned the pardon, even in advance (as of August 23) as being a blow against all ethnic minorities in the US, not only immigrants, were the following, among others:

    NAACP, National Urban League, National Congress of American Indians, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, Advancement Project, Demos, PICO, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and Advancement Project

    However, it appears that the spirit of tolerance and mercy that Trump showed toward a notorious persecutor of minority immigrants may be running short when it comes to protecting non-white immigrants themselves from the harshness or unfairness of our immigration laws. Late reports indicate that Trump is coming closer to ending the DACA program which has so far protected up to 800,000 mainly Latino immigrants who were brought to the US illegally as children through no fault of their own from deportation.

    See: Slate, August 25:

    Trump Reportedly Ending DACA in Move That Will Not Upset White Supremacists at All

    (Sorry, I do not have a direct link to that article - please go to Google.)

    The above Slate story also includes a direct link to a January story in The Atlantic about the unequivocal support that Trump's attorney general, Jeff Sessions, who has reportedly been one of the strongest voices urging Trump to end DACA, gave to the openly bigoted 1924 Johnson-Reed immigration act which barred most Jews, Asians and other non-"Nordic" immigrants from the US on openly racially-motivated grounds for 40 years until it was repealed by Congress in 1965.

    Sessions praised this overtly racist law in a 2015 interview with - guess whom? then (and current) Breitbart News editor and until recently, White House senior adviser, Stephen Bannon.

    The question is not whether, in these two latest developments, Trump is moving America back toward the bigoted, white supremacist spirit of the 1924 immigration act (which a young European white nationalist politician by the name of Adolf Hitler also praised in a manifesto known to history throughout the world as Mein Kampf), but only how far and how fast the president is doing so.

    As shown by the above statements of numerous civil rights organizations, not only immigrant advocacy groups, Trump's unpardonable pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose very name has become a symbol of bigotry and hate against immigrants and other minorities, and the president's threat to end DACA, are not only assaults on the rights of immigrants to equal justice under the law, but are attacks against the rights of minority American citizens as well.

    In these actions, especially regarding the Arpaio pardon, Trump is not only taking America's immigration system back toward the 1920's era of open racism, but is also pointing America back toward the pre-civil rights era of segregation and oppression against all Americans of color.
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School who has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards for more than 35 years, without regard to ethnic background or religion, and in the true spirit of America.

    Roger's email address is

    Updated 08-26-2017 at 09:27 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Former Fed. Prosecutor: Trump's Promise to Pardon Anti-Immigrant Sheriff Arpaio Subverts Judicial Independence and Endangers Democracy. Roger Algase

    Many observers might be tempted to dismiss Donald Trump's promise (and it was a promise - Trump said on August 22 that Arpaio could "feel good" about the pardon issue but that the night of Trump's Phoenix speech was not the right time to issue the pardon) to pardon former Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for his federal criminal contempt of court conviction as just another racist dogwhistle thrown out to get cheers from an anti-immigrant white crowd of Trump's base supporters.

    But Chiraag Bains, a former federal prosecutor and and senior counsel in the Justice Department's civil rights division who is now a senior fellow at Harvard Law School's Criminal Justice policy program, warns in an August 24 piece in The Guardian that Trump's threat to pardon Arpaio is much more ominous than that. A pardon would continue Trump's policy of undermining the independence of the judiciary in order to promote his racially oriented anti- immigrant agenda, thereby striking a blow at the heart of American democracy. See:

    Why Donald Trump's plans to pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio are so troubling

    Bains, who served in the DOJ for seven years, from 2010 to 2017, writes, regarding the background of Arpaio's criminal conviction:

    "For years, Arpaio pursued a discriminatory policy of stopping and holding people for whom there was no reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. A federal court ordered him to stop in 2011, but he continued to detain people unlawfully for another 17 months.

    Last month, a different federal judge found Arpaio guilty of willfully defying the court order - a criminal charge that was fairly easy to establish, given that Arpaio repeatedly bragged to national media outlets: 'I'm not going to give it up' and 'nothing has changed'. In short, Arpaio's disregard for the law was flagrant and sustained."

    Bains then goes on to explain the significance of Arpaio's open defiance of the federal court order:

    "Moreover, Arpaio's criminal activity goes to the heart of our system of constitutional rights and accountability. Private plaintiffs and the justice department sued him for violating the constitution. A court enjoined his illegal conduct. He then flouted the court's order - repeatedly. Our system of rights and limited government works only if those in power follow judicial orders or are held accountable for violating them."

    I will continue with my discussion of Chiraag Bains' article about the dangers that Trump's issuing a pardon to Joe Arpaio would pose to America's judicial system, and our democracy, in my next comment on this topic, to appear shortly.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 08-25-2017 at 10:21 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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