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  1. Trump Says Immigrants Hurt US Workers, But His Plan Only Helps Rich. Roger Algase

    No one seriously disputes that a major part of Trump's campaign appeal has been in his promises to better the lives of middle and lower income American working families who have been "left behind" by globalization and who believe that their jobs and livelihoods are threatened by immigration.

    Trump's speeches blaming immigrants, both legal and illegal, for American job losses and lower salaries are typical of his scapegoating tactics: Here is a typical quote, this one from his July 21 acceptance speech for the GOP nomination (pages 16 and 17 - official text from his campaign website)

    "Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African-American and Latino workers.

    Some commentators have praised Trump for "backing up" his speech with some 242 different footnotes, but let us take a moment to look at the footnotes that he cites for the above quoted statement: (Footnotes 193 to 197):

    Footnote 193 is from a publication by a Senate Subcommittee chaired by Trump supporter Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), arguably the most anti-immigrant ideologue in Congress and a strong Trump supporter. So much for any vestige of objectivity about that one.

    Footnotes 194 and 195 are from the notoriously biased anti-immigrant organization Center for Immigration Studies - forget about any objectivity there.

    Footnote 196 simply cites the "U.S. Census Bureau." It doesn't say what US Census Bureau report it refers to or what is in that report.

    Finally, Footnote 197 to Trump's speech refers to a Pew Research report. OK, now finally Trump has given us a footnote from an objective and respected source. But what is the title of the Pew Research report, according to Trump's own footnote? It is:

    "Latinos Increasingly Confident in Personal Finances, See Better Economic Times Ahead"

    How does that footnote support Trump's gloomy assessment of "higher unemployment and lower wages" among American citizen Latinos?

    Few if, any, observers have the slightest doubt that this kind of demagogic anti-immigrant economic populism has played a major role in Trump's winning the Republican nomination.

    And Trump hasn't been content with just blaming immigrants for allegedly taking away American jobs, he has also promised action, including the mass expulsion of 12 million mainly Latino and Asian immigrants, and the elimination of two of the most important, if not the two most important, legal immigration programs, including H-1B visas and labor certification green cards, as I have written about in detail, with appropriate references and citations, in previous comments on this site.

    In keeping with his economic populism, Trump has also pledged to rein in the power of wealthy groups such as investment bankers and hedge fund managers.

    But how much would Trump's economic proposals actually do to help ordinary American working people, as opposed to benefiting the same wealthy moguls whom he has criticized in his campaign speeches?

    First, look at the people whom Trump has picked as his economic advisors. They are mainly a group of billionaire investment bankers and hedge fund managers, as explained in a Reuters article called:

    Trump's economic advisory group clashes with populist image

    See:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-us...-idUSKCN10G2iO

    As the Reuters article points out, these are the same people whom Trump has been railing against, almost as much as he has been bashing immigrants, in his campaign rhetoric. What an insult to the ordinary working people of America whom Trump professes so much concern for every time he lets loose more invective against minority immigrants.

    And what about the substance of Trump's latest tax proposals? Who benefits most? You guessed it - the same wealthy special interests, not average American working people.

    See an article by Robert Frank on cnbc.com August 9:

    Tax loophole in Trump's plan would create windfall for the rich

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/09/tax-l...-the-rich.html

    and also:

    POLITICO, August 9:

    Trump's backdoor tax cut for the rich

    http://www.politico.com/agenda/story...he-rich-000185

    When it comes to improving the conditions of the ordinary working people of America, including those in the "Rust Belt" states who may be struggling to keep up with changes brought on by the global economy, it seems that Trump is very generous in offering them speeches scapegoating minority immigrants.

    But in terms of real economic benefits, it seems that Trump's main interest is in providing tax cuts for his fellow billionaires and other wealthy friends, rather than doing anything concrete to raise wages or the standard of living for average middle class or working class Americans.
    ______________________________
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green card. Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 08-15-2016 at 11:21 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Could Trump's Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Lead To More Hate Crimes? Roger Algase

    Reuters reports that a Muslim Imam , Maulama Akonjee, and a second man were fatally shot on August 13 while walking home from afternoon prayers in Ozone Park, Queens, NY. Both men were wearing religious garb at the time.

    The report does not have any information concerning the shooter's identity or motives, but witnesses say that they saw a lone gunman.

    It is not known whether there is any evidence of a hate crime, but Reuters says that residents are feeling increased fear and uncertainty in that largely Muslim neighborhood.

    See:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ne...-idUSKCN10O0X4

    The New York Daily News identifies the second victim as Thara Uddin, and reports that the Imam was an immigrant from Bangladesh from Bangladesh who arrived in Queens two years ago and was a respected religious leader in his community.

    While it is must be emphasized that no motive is known for the crime and the news reports do not say anything about any suspect having been caught, there was no doubt in the mind of at least one resident about who was responsible, according to the Daily News:

    "'That's not what America is about,' said local resident Khairul Islam, 33. 'We blame Donald Trump for this...Trump and his drama have created Islamophobia.'"


    See:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/...901?cid?=bitly

    Meanwhile, in an unrelated development, Reuters also reports that another Muslim immigrant, Itemid Al-Matar, a 32-year old student from Saudi Arabia, has brought a federal civil rights lawsuit against six Chicago police officers for alleged abuse and harassment in connection with her arrest while she was entering a busy downtown Chicago train station on July 4, 2015.

    Her lawsuit claims that in the incident, police threw her to the ground and ripped off her hijab head scarf and niqab face veil.

    According to the Reuters report, the police thought that Al-Matar might have been a suicide bomber because she was allegedly clutching a backpack; but, according to a spokesman for Chicago's Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is representing her in the lawsuit, nothing dangerous was found in her backpack and she was doing nothing illegal.

    Her lawsuit alleges use of excessive force, false arrest, unlawful search, malicious prosecution and violation of her right to freedom of religious expression.

    See:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ch...orefromreuters

    No one could rationally claim that Donald Trump bears responsibility for either of these two incidents, based on what is known so far. The Chicago arrest took place only about three weeks after Trump formally entered the presidential race last year, and at least five months before he unleashed his notorious Muslim immigrant ban proposal in December, 2015.

    In the case of the Queens NY shooting, neither the identity nor the motive of the shooter is known, and they most likely will never be. There could be other explanations than a hate crime, such as possible attempted robbery, as mentioned in the NY Daily News story.

    But whether Donald Trump was responsible for either of these two incidents, and there is no evidence whatsoever that he was, is not the issue.

    The issue is whether, in a climate where fear and prejudice against Muslim immigrants and US citizens is on the increase, Donald Trump's ongoing attempts to pour gasoline on the flames of hatred by demonizing all Muslims as potential terrorists could lead to more incidents of violence and harassment against the millions of Muslim immigrants and US citizens who are living in this country legally and peacefully.

    There is every reason for concern that Donald Trump's inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric, combined with a general atmosphere of support for violence and threats to hang or shoot political opponents such as Hillary Clinton at his rallies; and his vague but dangerous and irresponsible hints of violence by "Second Amendment people", could lead to more incidents of violence and hate crimes against Muslims in America, as well as against minority immigrants in general.
    _________________________________
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards. Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 08-14-2016 at 11:46 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Legal Scholars Blast Trump In NY Times. Trump Hopes Paper Will Close. Roger Algase

    Update, August 15, 1:33 am:

    On August 14, Trump tweeted his own interpretation of what freedom of the press means, as quoted in The Hill:

    "it is not 'freedom of the press' when newspapers and others are allowed to say and write whatever they want even if it is completely false."

    See:

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/...-writing-false

    In other words, freedom of the press means the freedom to print or say anything that Donald Trump agrees with.

    Trump seems to be very attached to the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution, as evidenced by his recent statement hinting that "2nd Amendment people" might wish to use their guns in some undefined way if they don't like his opponent's choice of Supreme Court Justices, but he appears to have overlooked the 1st Amendment to that same Constitution.

    As Trump might have been able to learn from Attorney Khizr Khan if Trump had not been so busy insulting this Gold Star parent and his Gold Star wife because of their religion, the 1st Amendment guarantees freedom of speech to everyone even if the person at the head of the government doesn't like what the speaker or writer says.

    Most likely, Trump's tweet, which was reportedly in reaction to a negative New York Times story about the state of his campaign, was directed toward his stated objective of "expanding" the libel laws so he could intimidate his opponents through lawsuits. But there are disturbing implications to his statement that go well beyond libel law issues.

    Trump's definition of freedom of speech would be perfectly acceptable in North Korea today, as well as in the Russia of Vladimir Putin, for whom Trump has had such kind words.

    This definition would also have been well understood in Nazi Germany and fascist Italy, as well as many other dictatorships around the world past and present.

    But Donald Trump's definition of "freedom of the press" has no place in the United States of America.

    And what could Trump's definition of "freedom of the press" mean for discussion of immigration policy? Here is a hypothetical example.

    The truth according to Donald Trump is that Mexican immigrants are mainly criminals and rapists and that many, if not all, Muslim immigrants are potential terrorists who are filled with hatred for America.

    Suppose a newspaper prints an article about a (hypothetical) study showing that Mexican immigrants have lower crime rates than American citizens, or about the 3 or 4 million Muslims who are living in the US peacefully with no known terrorist sympathies or affiliations.

    Since such an article would most likely be considered to be "false" according to Donald Trump, the publication, according to his interpretation of "freedom of the press" could be closed down and the writer jailed (perhaps to be tried by a military commission at Guantanamo).

    Or suppose that a scholarly journal publishes a study showing that H-1B immigrants bring skills and innovation to America that boost our economy and create more jobs for American workers (and such studies do exist).

    But Donald Trump is on record for saying that H-1B visas (for which he has sponsored more than 1,000 workers himself, and which his own wife used in order to work in the US), are bad for American workers.

    Ergo, the scholarly study supporting H-1B visas must be false and therefore unprotected by the 1st amendment according to Trump. What guarantee is there that the editors of the publication in question might not one day find themselves arrested by President Trump's special "1st Amendment task force" and hauled off to prison (or Guantanamo) or publishing something that our Leader-in Chief decides is against the public interest (or, as they say in totalitarian regimes, against the "interests of the state")?

    In that case, we would have a different system of government in America from the one we have now. It would not be one that could be called democracy.

    Update, August 14, 10:50 am:

    In another example of why so many legal scholars are worried about what would happen to America's democracy under a Donald Trump presidency, Trump is now showing that there is one more feature of this form of government, in addition to free speech and separation of powers, that he doesn't like very much.

    It is called elections - that is, unless Trump has a chance to intimidate voters with "election observers" that can only remind one of his promise to create a mass deportation "task force" (which his leading primary opponent, Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, once compared to fascist "jackboots"),

    See:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...midation-fears

    My original post appears below:

    On June 4, the New York Times published an article describing in great detail the ways on which numerous legal scholars, including even law professor John Yoo, who became notorious for trying to justify the use of torture as a Bush administration official, are critical of Donald Trump (whose own support for torture is so well documented that no citation is necessary), for threatening the rule of law in America.

    See:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/04/us...ower.html?_r=3

    Not surprisingly, Trump who has been lashing out at the "crooked media" during the course of his campaign, is now threatening to retaliate against the Times, (although over a different story).

    Specifically, Trump is threatening to revoke the paper's press credentials to cover his campaign, and he has even suggested that the paper is "gonna be out of business very soon".

    See:

    http://www.thehill.com/blogs/ballot-...ia-not-clinton

    If one looks in detail at the reasons why many legal experts, both liberal and conservative, are condemning Trump because of his lack of adherence to America's democratic values, one could ask how long the New York Times or any other paper that says anything critical of him will be allowed to keep on publishing.

    If he becomes president, will Trump have his own version of the National Socialist Volkischer Beobachter or Soviet Pravda as America's only permitted news source?

    Will we be reading the Trump Times instead of the New York Times, Washington Post or any other paper that says something which America's Leader-in-Chief doesn't like?

    In Part 2 of these comments, I will take a closer look at why so many legal authorities on both sides of the political fence are worried about the future of our democracy under a Donald Trump presidency.

    To be continued in Part 2.
    _________________________________
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards. Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com



    Updated 08-15-2016 at 06:22 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Is Trump Bringing European Style Anti-Immigrant Fascism To America? Roger Algase

    Update, August 15, 9:05 am:

    In what could be a major step toward bringing at least a whiff or two of fascism into America's immigration procedures, The Hill reports that Donald Trump is now proposing that immigrants applying to come to America should be forced to take a test of their support for "American values."

    The questions would center on support for religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights.

    This raises three questions:

    First, how many Republican legislators or officials would be able to pass such a teat? Would Donald Trump himself, who has called for a ban on Muslims from coming to America based only on religion and has never expressly retracted this bigoted proposal, be able to pass the test?

    Would his VP pick, Gov. Mike Pence, who was forced by outraged public opinion to seek repeal of an Indiana law he had signed allowing discrimination against LGBT people on "religious" grounds, be able to pass the test?

    Second, after successfully navigating through this particular exercise in hypocrisy, would the applicant for admission be required to raise his or her right arm straight up and pledge undying personal loyalty Donald J. Trump, as Trump once asked his supporters to do at a rally?

    Third, is one of the main purposes of the test to weed out immigrants who do not come from Europe, which is often claimed to be the source of American "values", with the test of "values" serving the same purpose as the infamous, whites-only, "national origin" quotas of the 1924 Immigration Act?

    More details of this latest attempt to scapegoat immigrants for America's own social and political problems are expected to emerge when Trump speaks later today.

    See:

    http://www.thehill.com/blogs/ballot-...igrants-during

    The following post has been revised and expanded as of August 14 at 6:41 am:

    There is an increasing sense among legal scholars and analysts of government that Donald Trump's attacks on racial and religious minority immigrants, together with his lack of respect for the rule of law and for Constitutional separation of powers could lead to American style fascism similar to that being promoted by the right wing nationalist parties of Europe.

    See:

    Salon.com, December 8, 2015:

    Fascism is all the rage in Europe, and it's coming to America


    http://www.salon.com/2015/12/08/fasc...ing_to_america

    Huffington Post reports on August 12 that a number of conservative legal scholars are so concerned about Donald Trump's authoritarian tendencies that they would rather have Hillary Clinton pick liberal Supreme Court Justices than have to deal with the consequences of a Donald Trump presidency.

    Huffpost quotes one of these law professors, Ilya Somin, a constitutional law specialist who teaches law at George Mason University and blogs for the conservative Volokh Conspiracy website, as follows:

    "Trump has a terrible record on constitutional issues...He seeks to gut freedom of speech...and undermine the constitutional constraints on executive power even more than Bush and Obama have."

    Professor Somin continues:

    "Moreover, over the long term, a Trump victory increases the likelihood that the GOP will become a big-government xenophobic party hostile to civil liberties and opposed to most constitutional constraints on government power - much like the far-right nationalist parties of Western Europe, whose platforms are very similar to his."

    Professor Somin also adds:

    "Such a party is likely to do far more to undermine the Constitution than even a Hillary Clinton victory."

    Professor Somin has also been quoted in the New York Times as expressing concern over Trump's threats to "expand" the libel laws in order to retaliate against his political opponents:

    "There are very few serious constitutional thinkers who believe public figures should be able to use libel as indiscriminately as Trump seems to think they should...He poses a serious threat to the press and the First Amendment."

    See:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/04/us...ower.html?_r=3

    There can be little doubt about what Professor Somin means when he refers to the "far-right nationalist parties of Western Europe".

    See the above cited Salon.com article, to be discussed in greater detail below, and also:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...is-on-the-rise

    The August 12 Huffington Post story:

    Conservative Legal Scholars Prefer A Liberal Supreme Court To A President Trump


    can be found at:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...504d4d3?sectio...

    To be continued in Part 2 of these comments.
    _______________________________
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College, where he majored in Government, and Harvard Law School. He has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards for more than 35 years. Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 08-15-2016 at 08:05 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Trump Opens Door To Fascism By Calling For US Citizen Guantanamo Trials. Roger Algase

    "Fascist" is a highly charged pejorative word, which is all too frequently bandied about as an insult used to indicate that someone strongly disagrees with the targeted person's views. Normally, using this term adds little or nothing to any serious discussion of immigration or any other issues.

    Just as I believe that insulting and pejorative terms against immigrants (or their families), such as "illegal aliens" or "anchor babies" or even "amnesty" (instead of "legalization", or "deferred action") should be avoided at all costs, I also believe that the word "fascist" should be used only as an extreme last resort.

    Normally, I prefer to use the more neutral (and politically correct) term "authoritarian" instead.

    But Trump's latest proposal, as reported in the Miami Herald, to try American citizens accused of supporting terrorism before military tribunals at Guantanamo, instead of in regular courts as mandated by this country's laws and Constitution, is so extreme and dangerous to our democracy that I am constrained to use the word "fascist" in order to set off alarm bells.

    Imagine what could happen to any and all of us here in America if Donald Trump is elected president, and the repression and disregard for basic human and legal rights that he has long been advocating against immigrants (see the excellent and exhaustive article by a professor and constitutional law expert cited below) are turned against American citizens as well.

    First, lest anyone accuse me of misquoting or distorting Trump's comments, I will quite them exactly as reported in the Miami Herald. See:

    Trump says Americans charged with terrorism could be tried in Guantanamo

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/poli...e95144337.html

    The Herald quotes Trump as follows:

    "Asked about Guantanamo in the past, Trump has said he would 'like to load it up with bad dudes'. He wouln't specify to the Herald whether as president he would again allow terrorism subjects captured abroad to be transferred to the center.

    'I want to make sure that if we have radical Islamic terrorists, we have a very safe place to keep them', he said."

    The above quote, obviously, is ambiguous about whether Trump would send foreign citizens accused of terrorism or terrorist sympathies to Guantanamo specifically, as opposed to some other location.

    Bur when asked the same question about what he would do with American citizens accused of the sane thing, Trump had no such ambiguities, according to the above report:

    "'Would you try to get the military commissions - the trial court there [at Guantanamo] - to try US citizens?' a reporter asked.

    'Well, I know they want to try them in our regular court systems, and I don't like that at all. I don't like that at all...I would say they could be tried there [at Guantanamo], that would be fine.'"

    Why is this proposal so dangerous? Aren't we already used to the fact that Trump has problems with the US Constitution, especially when the rights of immigrants are involved?

    In this regard, see the comprehensive and detailed article by Political Science Professor Corey Brettscneider, who teaches Constitutional Law at Brown University, entitled:

    Donald Trump vs. the Constitution: A guide

    http://www.politico.eu/article/donal...s-us-politics/

    The danger in Trump's above statement is that, if he becomes president, he can easily call anyone who disagrees with or opposes him on any issue or for any reason a "terrorist" or charge the person with "supporting terrorism", as dictators have done the world over to silence and intimidate their opponents, and then haul him or her off to Guantanamo to be tried (perhaps many years after being charged - see the above cited Miami Herald full story), or perhaps to be held indefinitely without charges or a trial of any sort.

    By now, Trump has become even more famous for lashing out vindictively, if not violently, at his opponents or anyone who disagrees with him than he is for his failed or troubled business ventures such as Trump Airline, Trump Taj Mahal and - oh yes, I almost left it out - Trump University. His attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel and Gold Star parent and immigrant Khizr Khan, Esq. are only two recent examples among many, many others.

    Anyone who thinks that there could be limits on whom Trump might choose to label a "terrorist" need only refer to the latest news stories about Trump's calling both President Obama and Hillary Clinton "founders" of ISIS.

    See:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...aluable-player

    And what else might Trump do to any political opponent or critic whom he might choose to label a "terrorist" and send off to Guantanamo for "trial"? Don't forget that Trump has also insisted that it would be just fine to torture "terrorists" - and not just with that namby-pamby waterboarding stuff either. Trump has made crystal clear that he wants to use the real thing.

    See:The Hill: Trump calls for a 'hell of a lot worse than waterboarding' (February 6)

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/...-waterboarding

    Then, without any doubt, America, and the American people, would learn what fascism in action really means, right here in our own country.

    The deprivations of fundamental legal and human rights that Trump has been proposing in one form or another since the beginning of his presidential campaign (as described in Professor Brettschneider's above cited article), may have begun with his attacks on immigrants. But as Trump's above statement advocating Guantanamo military court trials for US citizens makes clear, they do not end with immigrants.

    The fundamental rights of immigrants are also the rights of those of us who happen to be US citizens. When the rights of immigrants are taken away, the rights and freedoms that we hold sacred as Americans will not remain with us for very much longer either.

    This is the lesson that we can learn from Donald Trump.

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

    Roger believes that protecting the fundamental legal and human rights of immigrants, no matter what their status (or lack of status) may be, is essential to safeguarding the rights of American citizens as well, and to preserving our democracy against the threat of authoritarian rule.

    His email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 08-12-2016 at 12:33 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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