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  1. Trump's Art of the Big Lie: Blame Democrats for Child Separation, MS-13; Blame Family, Diversity Immigration for Crime and Terrorism. Roger Algase

    Update, May 28, 10:52 am:

    Seung Min Kim, one of the best and most perceptive US immigration reporters anywhere, who used to write for POLITICO before she recently joined the Washington Post, has a May 27th WP story on this topic called:

    Trump falsely blames Democrats for splitting up families, refueling immigration uproar

    Kim's insights in this article (which can be accessed by Google - I do not have a working link) - are well worth reading.

    Among other things, Kim refers to one of Trump's "several misleading tweets during the holiday weekend " While she cannot be faulted for being diplomatic, I think it is even more appropriate to call them "Big Lies", for the reasons explained below in my previous comments, which follow:

    This comment has been updated and revised as of May 27 at 10:43 pm:

    Almost every day brings fresh evidence that immigration policy in the "Trump Era" is based on the strategy of the Big Lie, which has been used with such great success by autocratic rulers from time immemorial and was made famous by, among others, Adolf Hitler. The latest example is a tweet that Trump sent in the evening of May 26 in evident reaction to outrage over his administration's inhumane policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the US border. See slate.com May 26:

    Outrage grows as horror of policy to split children and parents at border becomes clear

    http://slate.com/news-and-politics/2...mes-clear.html

    This is Trump's latest tweet:

    "Pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there [sic - Trump's spelling] parents once they cross the Border into the U.S. Catch and Release, Lottery and Chain must also go with it and we MUST continue building the WALL. DEMOCRATS ARE PROTECTING MS-13 THUGS."

    There are so many falsehoods in the above short statement that describing it as just one Big Lie would be inadequate. If the president's claim to be a "genius" has any basis in reality at all, it might be fairly said to be in the area of compressing the largest possible number of untruths into the smallest possible space.

    First and foremost, Trump's atrocious policy of separating young children from their parents at the US border has nothing to do with existing law or with the Democrats. To the contrary, this is a policy that was announced by attorney general Jeff Sessions as part of his threat to prosecute illegal border crossers as a deterrent.

    This policy is in direct contrast to that of previous administrations, which allowed families caught at the border to stay together while awaiting determination as to their future. See: New York Magazine:

    Trump Blames Dems for His Most Horrifying Immigration Policy

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer...on-policy.html

    Then the same tweet seamlessly moves on to the next Big Lie, namely moving from talking about illegal border crossing to condemning the visa lottery and "chain" migration, (which has now become a term of hatred and contempt used by white supremacists against extended family immigration) - both of which are perfectly legal ways of immigrating which have been used by tens of millions of productive, law-abiding immigrants in the past half century - but whom Trump has constantly tried to link to crime and terrorism without the slightest basis in fact. See. Huffington Post:

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry...b00dbbcb5ba69a

    See also, Time Magazine:

    http://time.com/5005261/donald-trump...mmigrant-visa/

    I will not dwell long on the next Big Lie in this short tweet, namely that work on Trump's Wall needs to "continue". In fact, no work on the Wall has even begun - only repair to some existing fencing.

    Finally, we come to the most dangerous and insidious Big Lie in the entire tweet, namely that the Democrats are allegedly protecting MS-13. The implication in this statement is obvious. If the Democrats are "protecting" dangerous criminals, then they must be dangerous criminals themselves, and America would be better off without an opposition party - i.e., we should become a dictatorship, led by the one Supreme Leader who can save this country - not from the Jews, as in Hitler's use of theBig Lie - but from Latino, Muslim, African and other brown immigrants.

    My (slightly revised) original comment follows:

    A May 25 Washington Post article provides details about the extent to which Donald Trump is so focused on making venomous attacks against Latino immigrants, whom studies who actually have a lower crime rate then native-born US citizens, in order to boost his popularity and shore up his anti-immigrant base, that Trump's chief immigration advisor, Stephen Miller allegedly tried earlier this year to use the tried and true Big Lie strategy made famous as a means to absolute power by Adolf Hitler by having a statement inserted in a DHS report to the effect that the children of immigrants are more likely than US citizens to commit acts of terrorism - even though this statement was totally false!

    Finally, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, whom Trump has reportedly been in open conflict with for her allegedly failing to carry out his anti-immigrant agenda vigorously enough, succeeded in blocking the false statement from being included, as alternet.org, which has a direct link to the Washington Post story, reports. See, May 25:

    Stephen Miller Tried to Publicize a Lie So Obvious That Anti-Immigrant DHS Secretary Had to Shut It Down

    https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-po...-secretary-had

    The Post reports the incident as follows:

    "When Trump's advisers were writing a report on terrorism this year, Miller had a suggestion: Language saying that children of foreign-born nationals were more likely than non-foreign-born nationals to commit acts of terrorism should be inserted into the report and the accompanying press, according to three people with knowledge of his wishes. But Miller's move was opposed by Nielsen and her top aides, these people said. They said such language was nor substantiated in fact and that a report would not go out from her agency claiming such."

    If this report is accurate, the implications go beyond appalling. This would mean that the Trump administration is so committed to stirring up fear, hatred and prejudice against Latino, Muslim and other non-white immigrants that no lie is too outrageous to be used as a basis for setting immigration policy. It would mean, in effect, that Stephen Miller is playing the role of Joseph Goebbels in this administration, at least when immigration is involved.

    The Post article also reports that at a 2017 meeting with top advisors:

    "Trump reminded them the crowds love his rhetoric on immigrants along the campaign trail. Acting as if he were at a rally, he recited a few made-up Hispanic names and described potential crimes they could have committed, such as rape or murder. Then, he said, the crowds would roar when the criminals were thrown out of the country - as they did when he highlighted crimes by illegal immigrants at his rallies, according to a person present at the exchange and another briefed on it later. Miller and Kushner laughed."

    Again, if this story is true, it brings back horrifying memories of Julius Streicher, publisher of the Nazi journal Der Stuermer, who ran lists of alleged crimes committed by Jews as part of Hitler's extermination and was later executed as a war criminal.

    And this comparison is not made just for rhetorical reasons. Soon after taking office as president, Trump initiated his VOICE program, which involved publishing weekly lists of alleged crimes that mainly Hispanic immigrants had been arrested for or charged with, even if they had not been convicted.

    This program was another example of using the Big Lie technique to vilify and stir up hatred against a targeted minority. While the information concerning the arrests and charges (ranging from more serious crimes such as aggravated assault, to everyday ones such as DUI, and even to the most trivial ones trivial ones such as trespassing and in one case, "Peeping Tom"!) was no doubt accurate, the overall purpose of this now abandoned program was to create the impression that immigrants are more likely to commit crimes than native born US citizens, something that most studies conclude is absolutely false.

    The program was justly and accurately criticized by one immigration advocate as follows, according to the immigrant advocacy site: ThinkProgress.org:

    "The establishment of this office sends a message that the Trump administration is fixated on continuing to stir fear of immigrants while spreading myths about undocumented immigrants and crime."

    And another immigration advocate stated, according to the same site:

    "It is blatantly racist and a dangerous new tool for extremists and white supremacists."

    https://thinkprogress.org/dhs-voice-...-4264019c2381/

    Nothing in these comments is meant to suggest that Trump supports Nazis, antisemitism or mass extermination in any way, shape or form. Certainly he does not.

    But his use of the Big Lie in attacking Latino, Muslim and other non-white immigrants as "criminals" and "terrorists", as part of his attempt to "reform" America's immigration system in order to exclude and expel immigrants from non-white parts of the world, has a very disturbing parallels with the past - parallels which Americans who care about our fundamental values of equal justice for all and about preserving our democracy can no longer ignore.

    For a comprehensive, scholarly analysis by a respected academic authority on the origins of Donald Trump's Big Lie strategy in general, see the following September 3, 2016 Truthout.org article by Douglas Kellner, Chair in the Philosophy of Education at UCLA and author of many books on social theory and history:

    "The Big Lie": How Trump Uses
    Classic Authoritarian Propaganda Techniques

    (Available through Google - I do not have a direct link.) See also, Kellner:

    Donald Trump, Media Spectacle, and Authoritarian Populism

    http://www.uta.edu/huma/agger/fastca...rump-Media.htm

    where Kellner maintains that, in his words:

    "Trump embodies Authoritarian Populism and has used racism, nationalism, xenophobia, and the disturbing underside of American politics to mobilize his supporters..."

    Just as the German Fuehrer did with his country's public opinion.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    algaselex@gmail.com




    Updated 05-28-2018 at 05:09 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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