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4th Cir. Judge: We Cannot "Ignore Reality" of Muslim Ban. Meanwhile, Evidence Grows That Ban Serves Whites Only Authoritarian Agenda. Roger Algase

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Update: December 13, 10:18 am:

On December 12, the State of Alabama came within an inch of electing Republican Roy Moore, an even more outspoken white supremacist and anti-Muslim bigot and immigration opponent than Iowa Republican Representative Steve King (see below), to the US Senate.

Among other statements which Moore has made as a candidate and former state Chief Justice are: not only supporting Trump's call to ban all Muslim immigrants in the world from entering the US, but also denying Muslim US citizens the right to hold office because of their religion; abolishing America's constitutional protections against slavery and racial discrimination; and abolishing the constitutional right of women to vote; while making Christianity America's official religion.

While the mainstream media were euphoric about Moore's narrow loss (apparently by less that a single percentage point as of this writing), Moore has not conceded, and a recount (without an accurate record of scanned ballots - that was prevented by an Alabama appellate court just before the election) that could swing the election to Moore is not yet beyond the realm of possibility.

Regardless of the final result, the most ominous feature of this election for America's future as a country of democracy and racial equality is that Trump, in opposition to many other Republican leaders in Alabama and throughout the nation who repudiated Moore, endorsed him and actively campaigned for him. This is yet another indication that Trump not only supports Moore's extreme hatred of Muslims, as reflected in Trump's latest entry ban executive order which is still under review by the federal courts, but Moore's entire white supremacist agenda.

This is one more indication of the changes which may very likely be in store for US immigration policy in the "Trump Era". It is also yet another, and even more graphic, indication of how prejudice against a particular group of immigrants, in this case Muslims, can lead to putting the basic rights of all Americans, as well as the foundations of our democracy itself, in acute danger.

Update: December 11, 3:45 pm:

As I predicted below, the White House has lost no time in trying to demagogue this morning's New York subway attack by a suspect from Bangladesh who came to the US on a legal family immigrant visa, by calling for an end to family based "chain migration" - a common derogatory term used by immigration opponents for legal family immigration from Latin America and Asia. See: The Hill: (December 11):

White House calls for immigration reform after NYC terror attack.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administ...-terror-attack

This continues the president's pattern of holding millions of innocent immigrants responsible for the actions of a few deranged people who are either connected with terrorist groups or, more often, acting on their own.

My earlier comments appear below.

Multiple news outlets are reporting that early in the morning of December 11, during the busy rush hour, an explosive device went off at one of Mew York's busiest subway stations, near Times Square. The explosion caused widespread panic and subway disruptions.

One man. allegedly from Bangladesh, was taken into custody, amid reports of injuries to a few people, including to the suspect himself, according to the Washington Post.

Even though there is no reported evidence so far that this was anything other than a "lone wolf" terrorist attack, Trump, we can be sure, will very likely lose little or no time in making demagogic attacks on immigrants from outside Europe and using this latest incident to promote, not only his latest Muslim ban, but also his entire white nationalist anti-immigrant agenda.

Bangladesh is not on Trump's latest six country Muslim ban list.

My original comment appears below.

The following comment has been expanded as of December 10 to include a discussion of the danger that Trump's Muslim ban poses, not only to the Constitutional rights of 2 or 3 million Muslim American citizens to practice their religion without becoming the objects of hatred and discrimination, and to America's entire system of immigration based on the equality of all races and religions; but also to our democracy.

POLITICO
reports that at oral argument before the full 4th Circuit bench on December 8, Judge James Wynn asked the following question concerning the latest version of Donald Trump's ban on entry to the US by virtually all citizens of six Muslim Countries (often misleadingly and euphemistically called a "Travel Ban" in the media, even though the approximately 150 million affected Muslims are free to travel anywhere they want, except the US):

"Do we just ignore reality and look at the legality to determine how to handle this case? If the reality is that is the purpose, but the legality allows it, does that make a difference?...If the allegation is that this is an effort to ban Muslims from this country and every statement that is made by the individual who is the president who is making it goes to say that, but it is done in a way to say we did a worldwide review, now its legal?
​(Italics added.)

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/...hearing-287242

The big question is whether the Supreme Court will ultimately be willing to recognize this obvious reality, especially in view of Trump's latest retweeting of extremist anti-Muslim hate videos from the UK to his 43 million Twitter followers, which Judge Wynn also referred to in his remarks; or whether the Court will continue to hide behind the surface formality of an alleged "national security review" by the administration.

Meanwhile, The Hill reports that a pair of tweets by Republican Congressman Steve King (Iowa), one of the most outspoken immigration opponents in Congress, added to the growing evidence that Trump's Muslim ban is only part of a larger whites only immigration agenda.

One tweet quoted Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who wants to ban all non-white immigration to his country, as saying that:

"Mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life, but a lower one."

Another tweet stated:

"Assimilation, not diversity, is our American strength."

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/36...ricas-strength

The same article also reports that in March, King, who has also defended the openly racist former Sheriff Joe Arpaio (whom Trump has notoriously pardoned) tweeted a cartoon of the Dutch right wing extremist anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders plugging a hole in a wall that read "Western Civilization".

Defending "Western Civilization", of course, has long been a code word among white nationalists for cutting off non-white immigration. Therefore, Trump's own speech in Warsaw, Poland on July 6, stating that protecting the borders of "the West" and defending "Western Civilization" was the most important issue of our time, was an obvious white supremacist dog whistle.

For the official White House text of Trump's Warsaw speech, with its ominous references to white nationalist rhetoric, see:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press...nd-july-6-2017

More than being just a white nationalist dog whistle, Trump's Warsaw speech was a strong indication that his Muslim Ban is only the beginning of an agenda leading to banning all non-white immigration. legal and otherwise, from the United States.

This is also something that the Supreme Court might do well to pay attention to if and when (as is almost inevitable) it hands down a decision on the validity of the latest version of the Muslim Ban.

Brian Klaas, an expert in democracy and authoritarianism at the London School of Economics, and the author of The Despot's Apprentice: Donald Trump's Attack on Democracy, discusses how Trump is:

"...careening through the soft guardrails of democracy, shattering them without a second thought"

and how:

"...Trump keeps at it. In the process, authoritarian behavior is entering the political mainstream and becoming normalized."

Among many other examples of growing authoritarianism in America, Klaas gives the following:

"When Trump first issued a travel ban to seven Muslim majority countries, a little more than a year after calling to ban all Muslims during the campaign, there were spontaneous mass protests at airports across the country. When he issued a slightly modified travel ban a few months later, there was no such immediate response and no protests were sparked at airports. Americans had just accepted it...

This is one of the most insidious features of authoritarianism: it beats people into submission because you can't fight 100 battles all at once. Citizens are forced to pick and choose. Authoritarian leaders are aware of this fact and they exploit it..."

Will the Supreme Court, where Trump's lawyers are in effect arguing that he has absolute power to ban any classes of immigrants from the US that he chooses, go along with this authoritarian agenda merely because he intones the magic words "national security"? Or will the Court ultimately stand up for America's first amendment guarantee of freedom of religion for all American citizens, including Muslim ones, and for our democratic principles of ethnic and religious equality?

We may soon find out.

To read Klaas' article in full, see:

https://www.alternet.org/books/donal...tarianism-book

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law
algaselex@gmail.com

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Updated 12-13-2017 at 09:18 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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