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Trump, Coulter, Buchanan: Is Bigotry Affecting Our Immigration Laws? By Roger Algase

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For more than a century, the Anti-Defamation League, which was founded in 1913 to combat anti-Semitism during a time of high Jewish immigration to America, and which has earned the respect of decent Americans everywhere for fighting against all forms of hatred and prejudice ever since, has strongly condemned not only Donald Trump, but also columnists Ann Coulter and Patrick Buchanan (a former presidential candidate) for their attacks on Latino immigrants.

In a July 1 article, Mainstream Figures Demonize Hispanic Immigrants with Bigoted Rhetoric, the ADL points out that Trump is not alone in spreading hate against Mexican and other immigrants. It also mentions Ann Coulter's latest book Adios America! The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole.

Aside from its inflammatory title, Coulter's book contains lines quoted by the ADL as follows:

"How can any immigrant assimilate if Americans refuse to mention their little cultural annoyances such as littering, drunk driving and child rape?"

The ADL also quotes Coulter as saying that Americans should fear Mexicans more than ISIS terrorists.

http://blog.adl.org/tags/adios-america

Coulter has gained support from another writer who is well-known for his anti-immigrant views, Patrick Buchanan. According to the ADL, Buchanan wrote the following in his recent column Is Third World America Inevitable?

"...if the next president embraces amnesty and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, that will mean the end of the Western nation we have been, and the beginning of America's life as what Ann calls, unapologetically, a 'Third World Hellhole.'"

It is important to note the thrust of what both Coulter and Buchanan are saying (along with Trump). They are not talking about the rule of law, protection of American workers or border security and the need to combat terrorism, which both advocates and opponents of immigration can readily agree are legitimate subjects of discussion for immigration law and policy. Instead, they are stigmatizing immigrants for who they allegedly are - dangerous, inferior people who will destroy America and turn it into a "hellhole".

When Buchanan, especially, talks about America as a "Western" nation, there can be little doubt that his meaning is another adjective that begins with the same letter as "Western". This is the classic language of hate, little if at all different from the invective that was being used against Jewish, Asian, Eastern European and many other immigrants at the time the ADL was founded.

It might hardly be a coincidence that both Coulter and Buchanan have been accused of prejudice against Jews, a once persecuted immigrant group which is now generally (though perhaps still not entirely) accepted as part of mainstream American society.

For a comment on Coulter's alleged views concerning Jews, see an October 14, 2007 article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz entitled Ann Coulter's dream of a Jew-free America.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/ann-coul...erica-1.231042

Buchanan, for his part, has a long history of anti-Semitic comments, only some of which are mentioned in a September 3, 2008 Huffington Post article: Patrick Buchanan Quacks Like a Nazi Sympathizer.

Certainly, Donald Trump is not alone in his attacks on Mexican and other Latino immigrants. He has company. Is it good company? Readers will have to judge for themselves.

Readers may also ask, what is the point of calling attention to bigoted comments about immigration from certain public figures whose influence (one would hope) might be limited to certain sectors of the US electorate?

The ADL answers this question at the end of its article:

"Taken together, these comments demonstrate that anti-immigrant rhetoric is not just an issue for white supremacists and other extremists but is very much part of the mainstream. While you have a Constitutional right to be a bigot in this country, there are usually social and economic consequences."

It should be added that there are legal consequences as well, in terms of adoption of harsh anti-immigrant laws and policies in response to public prejudice against certain immigrant groups, or failure to adopt more immigrant friendly measures such as Congressionally enacted legalization for unauthorized immigrants or an increase in the H-1B cap for skilled workers.

It may be easy to try to dismiss Trump as a "clown", Coulter as a "publicity seeker" or Buchanan as an extremist. But they have many followers and great potential to move our immigration system backwards in the direction of the discriminatory, unequal and unjust system that it used to be for much of our history. Their influence should not be underestimated.
__________________________________
Roger Algase is a New York lawyer and graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping primarily professional and skilled immigrants obtain work visas and green cards for more than 30 years. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com










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Updated 07-15-2015 at 04:19 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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