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  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Is Trump's Assault On Immigrants Helping Putin Destroy Democracy? Roger Algase

    The New York Times reported the following on August 10.

    "A Russian cyberattack that targeted Democratic politicians was bigger than it first appeared and breached the private email accounts of more than 100 party officials and groups, officials with knowledge of the case said Wednesday.

    The widening scope of the attack has prompted the FBI to broaden its investigation, and agents have begin notifying a long list of Democratic officials that the Russians may have breached their personal accounts."

    See:

    http://nytimes.com/2016/08/11/us/pol...tack.html?_r=0

    The NY Times report continues:

    "American intelligence agencies have said they have 'high confidence' that the attack was the work of Russian intelligence agencies. It has injected a heavy note of international intrigue into an already chaotic presidential campaign as Democrats have alleged that the Russians are trying to help tilt the election toward the Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump."

    Mr. Trump stunned Democrats and Republicans when he said last month that he hoped Russian intelligence services had successfully hacked Mrs. Clinton's email, and encouraged them to publish whatever they have stolen, although he said later that he was being sarcastic."

    Intelligence and law enforcement officials, however are taking the issue seriously."

    The NY Times report goes on to say that, according to a Congressional staff member who attended a Intelligence Committee staff briefing by the FBI last week:

    "...American intelligence agencies have virtually no doubt that the Russian government was behind the theft."

    What possible motive might the Russians have in allegedly attempting to swing this fall's election in favor of Donald Trump?

    First, there is the fact that the Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin, has already been, at least indirectly, affecting the American election in another way by arguably doing more than any other single person on earth except Bashar al-Assad himself to prolong the Syrian refugee crisis, which Trump has been using as a campaign issue.

    For a comprehensive New York Times analysis of Putin's role in propping up the brutal Syrian dictatorship, which, along with ISIS, has created four million Syrian refugees in Europe and the Middle East (plus a few thousand in the US whom Trump has promised to send back!) see:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/15/wo...awal.html?_r=0

    Second, Putin has been pursuing an agenda of trying to weaken democracy in the West by openly supporting anti-immigrant, proto-fascist parties in Europe. Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael A. McFaul writes the following in the New York Times on July 16:

    "Since returning to the Kremlin in 2012, Mr, Putin has consolidated his hold on power in Russia. With renewed vigor, he's weakened civil society, undermined independent media and scared off big business from supporting government critics. And he's made the United States and its senior officials unwilling elements of his malign strategy.

    He also writes:

    "...Mr. Putin extended his campaign to weaken democracy abroad...


    "Many are impressed and aim to copy the Putin playbook...The leader of France's far right National Front, Marine Le Pen, has praised Putin and his policies; her party has taken a $10 million loan from a Russian bank and seeks another $30 million for next year's presidential election. Nigel Farage, the former leader of the anti-immigrant U.K. independence party, and Boris Johnson...have spoken fondly of Mr. Putin. So too, does Hungary's increasingly authoritarian prime minister, Viktor Orban. The Republican party nominee for president, Donald J. Trump, has frequently praised Mr. Putin. 'He's a strong leader', Trump said in December."

    See:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/31/op...book.html?_r=0

    A great deal has been written on the subject of Donald Trump's commitment to upholding the principles of our Constitution and respect for democratic values, or lack of such commitment, and a discussion of this broader issue is beyond the scope of this post.

    But one fact is clear, and few people who either support Trump or oppose him would dispute this: Trump owes his success in the primaries nomination by the Republican party in large part to his ability to rally and mobilize anti-immigrant sentiment among American voters, just as right wing authoritarian anti-immigrant leaders in Europe who have such great admiration for Putin and in some cases are being supported by him are doing.

    There is now also evidence, which our intelligence officials are looking at very seriously, as the New York Times explains above, that Putin may be trying to subvert America's electoral process in order to install Trump in the White House.

    Could Trump's relentless anti-immigrant rhetoric and his promises of draconian measures against both legal and illegal immigrants if elected be helping Putin accomplish his own objective of undermining democracy around the word, including the United States?

    And who will have ultimate control over determing immigration policy in the United States? The American people, though a free, fair and un-hacked election process, or an aggressive, powerful, foreign dictator who is admired by and giving support to authoritarian anti-immigrant politicians overseas; and who has, arguably, done as much as anyone else on earth to help create and prolong the greatest humanitarian refugee crisis in the world today?
    ______________________________________
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards for more than 35 years. Rogers's email address is algaselex@gmail.com

    Updated 08-11-2016 at 09:49 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. GOP Senator Blasts Trump For Attacking Ethnic And Religious Minorities. Roger Algase

    Moderate Republican Senator Susan Collins (Maine), who recently criticized Donald Trump for attacking legal Somali immigrants with unfounded charges that they are criminals (see the link to her comments in my August 8 Immigration Daily blogging), has now announced that she cannot support Trump for president.

    In a Washington Post op-ed, She gave her reasons as follows:
    e

    "My conclusion about Mr. Trump's unsuitability for office is based on his disregard for the precept of treating others with respect, an idea that should transcend politics...

    Instead, he opts to mock the vulnerable and inflame prejudices by attacking ethnic and religious minorities."

    Sne Collins then went on to give two examples of Trump's lack of respect for ethnic and religious minorities. One example was Trump's attack on federal judge Gonzalo Curiel:

    Collins stated:

    "For Mr. Trump to insist that Judge Curiel would be biased because of his ethnicity demonstrated a profound lack of respect not only for the jusge but for our constitutional separaton of powers..."

    She also condemned Trump's attack on the Gold Star parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, the American Muslim soldier who died fighting for his country in Iraq. Collins wrote:

    "Rather than honoring their sacrifice and recognizing their pain, Mr. Trump disparaged the religion of an American hero."

    A link to the full WP op-ed can be found by going to the following story in The Hill about Sen. Collins' comments. See:

    http://www.thehill.com/blogs/ballot-...-for-president

    Some of Donald's supporters or apologists argue that his disparaging comments about Muslim, Latino and other minority immigrants should be overlooked or excused because national security "Trumps" everything else.

    However, 50 (fifty!) Republican former national security experts have announced that, despite some reservations about Hillary Clinton, they will not be voting for Trump. In their view, he would be the most "reckless" president in America's history.

    See:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/0...y-trump-226801
    _______________________________
    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 practice focuses on H-1B specialty occupation and O-1 extraordinary ability work visas, J-1 training visas and green cards through labor certification and opposite sex or same sex marriage.

    Roger believes that a functioning and fair immigration system depends on combating and eliminating all forms of prejudice and discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com




    Updated 08-09-2016 at 05:28 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Trump Assails Legal Somali Immigrants, - And Japan's Entire Population. Roger Algase

    Update, August 8, 5:30 am:

    While Trump has drawn intense criticism in both parties for his ongoing attacks against various minority immigrant communities, including people who are living legally and peacefully in the United States as in the case of the Somali immigrants discussed below, he is not without his supporters.

    The Hill reports on August 7 that Rocky Suhayda, Chairman of the American Nazi Party, has announced that a Trump victory would be "a real opportunity" for white nationalists by helping to build pro-white coalitions.

    The same report also mentions that former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has endorsed Trump and is "100 per cent" behind his agenda. See:

    http://www.thehill.com/blogs/ballot-...e-nationalists

    The above does not mean to suggest that Trump has sought out or accepted the support of these groups or other similar hate groups. He has not. But Trump's attacks against Latinos, Muslims and other non-white immigrants and US citizens alike clearly resonate with certain white supremacist groups and are perceived by them to be consistent with their own agenda for America.

    Update, August 7, 11:35 pm:

    Frank Lavin, who served as Ronald Reagan's White House Political Director from 1987 to 1989, has issued a statement on CNN (August 7) explaining why he cannot support Trump for president and intends to vote for Hillary Clinton. Here is an excerpt:

    "Trump falls short in terms of the character and behavior needed to perform as president. This defect is crippling and ensures he would fail in office. Trump is a bigot, a bully and devoid of grace or magnanimity. His thin-skinned belligerence toward every challenge, rebuke or criticism would promise the nation a series of high-voltage quarrels."

    http://cnn.com/2016/08/07/opinions/r...vin/index.html

    These are harsh words, but nowhere does Trump lend more credence and justification to them than in his continuing assaults on minority immigrants, including those who are living in the United States legally and peacefully; and his use of racial slurs and degrading stereotypes against the people of an entire nation which happens to be one of America's strongest and most important allies anywhere in the world.

    See my original post below.

    Donald Trump, who infamously began his presidential campaign by attacking Mexican immigrants in general (not just illegal ones) as bringing drugs and crime to the US and being "rapists" in his June 16, 2015 announcement; and who painted a dark, fear-filled image of an America threatened by "uncontrolled" immigration, an obvious attack on immigration from Muslim and other non-white countries, in his July 21, 2016 acceptance speech (see my recent discussions of and quotes from both these speeches on ilw.com), is now drawing bipartisan criticism for attacking another group of non-white immigrants - legal ones from Somalia.

    See: The Hill: GOP Senator rips Trump over 'unhelpful' remarks about Somali immigrants (August 6)

    See:

    http://www.thehill.com/blogs/blog-br...-about-somalis

    According to the above report and a Boston Globe article which the report contains a link to, Trump made the following comments about Somali refugees who are in the US at a rally in Portland, Maine. Several thousand Somali refugees have settled in that state and are living there legally and peacefully. Here are Trump's quoted words:

    "...we've just seen many many crimes getting worse all the time, and as Maine knows - a major destination for Somali refugees - right, am I right?

    Well, they're talking about it...Maine. Somali refugees. We admit hundreds of thousands - you admit, into Maine and to other places in the United States -hundreds of thousands of refugees."

    And that's not all. The same Boston Globe article (which can be accessed through the link in the above story in The Hill) also quotes Trump as follows, speaking at the same Portland rally:

    "You see it happening. You read about it...You see it, and you can be smart, and you can be cunning and tough, or you can be very, very dumb and not want to see what's going on, folks."

    Once again, Trump's statements are on a collision course with the truth. Pew Research puts the total number of refugees from everywhere in the world who entered the US in the seven months between October 1, 2015 and May 31, 2016 at approximately 33,000, an average of 4,700 per month or 56,400 per year.

    Yes, over a decade, admitting refugees from the entire world at this rate would amount to a half million or so every 10 years, but does this mean that America is admitting "hundreds of thousands" of refugees now?

    Is this not another example of Donald Trump's use of the Big Lie, to stir up hatred and fear, just as dictators and demagogues have done the world over throughout history?

    And how many of these estimated 56,000 worldwide refugees per year are from Somalia?

    Pew puts the seven-month admissions total for Somalia at 6,780, equal to less than 1,000 per month. And this figure isn't just for Maine - it is for the entire United States.

    And how many of these refugees live in Maine? The above Boston Globe article states that 4,000 Somalis live in Portland, Maine's largest city. How does this equal a huge influx of Somali refugees that Trump is implying are coming into the US as a whole and Maine in particular?

    As usual, in his attacks on immigrants, on the disabled, on war veterans and on the grieving parents of a Muslim-American war hero who was killed while defending his country in Iraq, Trump swoops down on his most vulnerable, the most defenseless victims, the ones who are least able to defend themselves and stand up for their rights.

    The Pew Research report is at:

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank...u-s-come-from/

    My forthcoming post will discuss some of the reactions to Trump's attempt to fan the flames of hatred against Somali refugees.

    Incredibly, Trump, in keeping with comments in which he has reportedly mocked Asian accents, has also launched an unforgivable and utterly irresponsible slur again the entire population of Japan.

    As almost everyone in America except Donald trump seems to comprehend, Japan is one of America's staunchest and most reliable allies anywhere in the world. Japan is now facing a very serious and extrmely dangerous possible nuclear missile threat from North Korea, whose dictator, Kim Jong Un, Trump has, also incredibly, had at least a few kind words for.

    See:

    Huffington Post: Trump: If The US Is Attacked, Japan Can Sit Home and Watch SONY Television (August 6)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-japan-sony_us_57a638d8e4b03ba680128d39?kjnyuus0pf95uq5mi&


    and:

    New York Post: Trump praises Kim Jong Un's murderous ascent to power (January 10, 2016)

    http://nypost.com/2016/01/10/trump-p...cent-to-power/

    This raises the question: Is Donald Trump really running to be president of all the American people, with the acceptance and welcoming attitude for ethnic and religious diversity which makes us the greatest country on earth, or is he representing only a specific part of the electorate who would like to turn the clock back to the days when only people whom Trump supporter David Duke likes to call "European-Americans" were welcome in this country?
    ______________________________
    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 skilled and professional immigrants from Japan, South Korea, South Asia, Europe and other parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards. Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com



    Updated 08-08-2016 at 06:54 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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