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Letters of the Week: January 18 - January 22

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  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    According to a January 18 article in the British Newspaper Daily Mail, British MP's who were debating whether or not to bar Donald Trump from the UK because of his inflammatory comments about Muslims have called him a "dangerous fool who fuels the flames of terrorism". with "poisonous" views about Muslims.

    At the same time, they concluded that Trump should not be banned from the UK because that would be making a martyr of him.. According to the newspaper, 570,000 people had signed a petition calling for Trump to be banned from coming to Britain because of his anti-Muslim comments.

    The decision by the MP's not to attempt to infringe on Trump's free speech rights can be considered wise - a good deal wiser than Trump's attempt to stir up hatred against an unpopular religious group by barring them from immigrating to or visiting America solely because of their religion, and without requiring any proof of terror connections.

    Trump's proposal brings back disturbing memories of a certain European leader who seized power in his country 83 years ago this month by targeting another unpopular religious/ethnic group.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 01-18-2016 at 04:57 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    In another incident showing how the rise of Islamophobia and other forms of anti-immigrant prejudice which Donald Trump and other Republican candidates, officials and pundits have brought to the surface during during the 2o16 presidential primary campaign, the New York Daily News reports that four Brooklyn, NY residents who boarded an American Airlines Toronto to New York flight were kicked off the flight by the captain and flight attendants at the last moment because they looked "too Muslim". One of the four was not even a Muslim, but a Sikh wearing the turban associated with his religion.

    There was nothing in their behavior indicating any disturbance or danger to the flight. The men are suing The airline for damages in Brooklyn federal district court.

    The citizenship/immigration status of the men was not clear from the article, but since the Toronto airport has CBP immigration pre-clearance in effect, the men had clearly already been inspected by US immigration officers and were not thrown off the plane for any immigration-related reason.

    The above goes to show that politically motivated prejudice against Muslims seeking to enter the US as visitors or immigrants is also affecting the rights of Muslims, or non-Muslims who may "look" like Muslims, who are already legally living in the US and may even be US citizens.

    When the genie of religious or racial hatred and discrimination against immigrants is let out of the bottle, the rights of everyone in America, including US citizens, are put at risk. The Daily News story is at:

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 01-20-2016 at 05:48 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Can unleashing hatred against immigrants based on race or religion lead to totalitarianism in America? A Canadian professor and political wanalyst, Henri Giroux, argues that it can, in an article on the site entitled Facism in Donald Trump's United States. See

    Commenting about Trump's proposal to ban all Muslim immigrants or visitors from entering the United States, Giroux writes:

    "What almost none of the presidential candidates or mainstream pundits have admitted, however, is not only that Trump's comments form a discourse of hate, bigotry and exclusion, but also that such expressions of racism and fascism are resonating deeply in a landscape of US culture and politics crafted by 40 years of conservative conterrevolution. One of the few politicians to respond to Trump's incendiary comments was former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley (D), who stated rightly that Trump is a 'fascist demagogue".

    Giroux continues, writing about Trump,:

    "There is a disturbing totalitarian message in his call to 'make America great again' by any means necessary. The degree to which Trump expresses his support of violence, racism and the violation of civil liberties, visibly and without apology, is unprecedented in recent national political races. But the ideas he espouses have always been present under the surface of US politics..."

    Giroux then goes on to quote Trump as follows, in connection with a news report to the effect that Trump would not rule out special ID cards for Muslim-Amerircans

    "we're going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that everybody is feeling that security is going to rule...And so we're going to have to do certain things that were frank;ly unthinkable a year ago."

    Giroux comments:

    "Trump's call to do the 'unthinkable' is a fundamental principle of any notion of totalitarianism, regardless of the form it takes...

    Trump's demagoguery bears a close resemblance to the discourse characteristic of other fascist leaders....

    Trump and his ilk merge a hypernationalism, racism, economic fundamentalism and religious bigotry with a flagrant sense of lawlessness. His hate-filled speech is matched by an unsettling embrace of violence against immigrants and other oppositional voices issued by his supporters at many of his rallies. This type of lawlessness does more than encourage hate and other violent mob mentalities; it also legitimizes the kind of inflammatory rhetoric that gives credibility to acts of violence against others."

    I will continue my discussion of Giroux's thoughtful and incisive comments about Donald Trump and the connection between exploiting anti-immigrant hate and totalitarian ideology in my next Letter to the Editor comment.

    I am not only referring to Trump's attempts to exploit hatred against Muslims, but also to his hate-filled remarks about Mexican immigrants and his call to use a special "task force" to deport 11 million mainly Latino immigrants and their American citizen children.

    Trump's main opponent for the presidential nomination, Senator Ted Cruz (D-Texas), who is hardly a pro-immigration advocate and who claims to be even to the right of Trump on a number of issues, has rightly called Trump's proposed deportation special force "jack boots", an obvious reference to Nazi storm troopers.

    An arguably left wing Canadian professor is not the only person who sees a connection between Trump's immigration proposals and totalitarian ideology.

    A former Canadian (!) US presidential candidate who shares many of Trump's hard line views on immigration is also warning about the totalitarian implications of at least one of Trump's most popular (among his supporters) and often repeated immigration proposals

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 01-22-2016 at 08:55 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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