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Can Trump's Anti-Immigrant Agenda Lead to Authoritarian Rule In America? Roger Algase

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Update: January 27, 8:00 am

Just as Donald Trump's proposal to bar all Muslims from entering the US (which he has never qualified to exclude US citizens from the scope of as well as immigrants) threatens the foundations of religious freedom in America, Trump has escalated his dispute with Fox News' journalist Megyn Kelly to the point of threatening the right to freedom of speech.

On January 27, Fox News, which does not exactly have a record of being unfriendly to Trump, since he has made 132 appearances on that network so far according to its statement cited below, issued a blistering statement denouncing Trump for trying to get Megyn Kelly removed as a moderator for the next Republican presidential debate. The Fox statement says:

"...it should be clear to the American public by now that this is rooted in one thing- Megyn Kelly, whom [Trump] has viciously attacked since August and has now spent four days demanding be removed from the debate stage. Capitulating to politicians' ultimatums about a debate moderator violates all journalistic standards, as do threats, including the one leveled by Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski toward Megan Kelley...

We can't give into terrorizations toward any of our employees."

See:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016...l?intcmp=hpbt2

As the famous anti-Nazi pastor, Martin Niemoeller, might say if he were still around in the age of Donald Trump:

"First Trump came for the Mexican immigrants, and I said nothing, because I was not a Mexican immigrant. Then Trump came for the Muslims. and I said nothing, because I was not a Muslim. Then Trump came for me."

This latest incident involving Donald Trump is a good example how how attacks against unpopular immigrants, such as Mexican "criminals" and "rapists" can escalate into an attack against America's most fundamental value of religious freedom though an attempt to bar Muslim immigrants (and US citizens) from the US solely on the basis of religion, and finally leading to an attack on the free speech rights of all Americans, as represented by Megyn Kelly and Fox News.

Attacks on freedom and democracy may begin with assaults on the rights of immigrants, but they do not end there.

My previous update and original comment appear below.

Update: January 24, 11:35 am

The extreme weather which left record-breaking amounts of snow in Washington D.C. New York City and many other places on January 23, caused deaths in multiple states and impacted the lives of an estimated 85 million people in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast was covered in the media as if it was a "monster" storm, of historic proportions, i.e. something unusual which might not be seen again for a long time to come.

But what if this kind of storm becomes the new normal, as an article in The Guardian which a appeared after another devastating northeast storm almost exactly one year ago cited below suggests? None of the many media reports that I saw during the progress of Saturday's storm anywhere mentioned the words "climate change" or "global warming".

Bur as The Guardian article suggests (and as a friend of mine who is a lawyer for the US Environmental Protection Agency also mentioned in a recent personal communication), global warming is an obvious suspect in connection with this storm (based on the theory that higher ocean temperatures create more precipitation), even though it still seems like a taboo subject for most of the mainstream press to discuss.

In the same way, ever since the beginning of the Republican presidential primary campaign, it has become increasing obvious that the rhetoric of the leading candidate, Donald Trump, is not only bringing anti-Latino and anti-Muslim immigration policies which used to be typical only of extreme fringe groups into the mainstream, but he is doing it in a way which threatens America's basic values as a democracy.

Now, just as we may very likely begin to see more stories about climate change as a possible cause of this weekend's storm, the taboo against mentioning the anti-democratic implications of much of Donald Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric is beginning to be breached.

Nor might it be an accident that the connections between Trump's relentless tirades against minority immigrants and his not-so hidden support for authoritarian rule are being pointed out from the right side of the political spectrum, by conservatives, some of them also in favor of more restrictive immigration policies, but who care about America's constitution and democratic values.

Witness the following comment by David Boaz, Executive Vice President of the libertarian Cato Institute, in the recent special edition of the iconic conservative magazine National Review entitled Against Trump:

"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 mob violence; it also legitimizes the kind of inflammatory rhetoric that gives credibility to acts of violence against others."

Is this rhetoric of hate and violence to become the new normal for immigration policy in America? If so, how long can our democracy survive it?

My earlier comments appear below:

The following comment has been slightly revised and expanded as of 9:00 am on January 23.

As Washington shuts down in yet another monster snow storm, once again calling into question the rationality of Capitol Hill's climate change deniers, see

http://www.theguardian.com/environme...-winter-storms

that city's politicians and pundits will have ample time to read through a special issue of the iconic conservative magazine National Review entitled Against Trump which has just hit the newsstands.

This special issue, including articles by its editor Rich Lowry and some 20 other leading conservative writers, contains warnings from many angles about what the writers see as the dangers of a Donald Trump presidency. One of the main themes in this issue is what at least some of the writers see as a connection between Trump's particular brand of opposition to immigration and his tendency toward authoritarianism and one-man rule.

It is noteworthy that few, if any, of these conservative writers can be called pro-immigration "amnesty" or "open borders" advocates by any stretch of the imagination. Almost no one in America was a more vocal critic of the Senate-passed Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill in 2013 than Rich Lowry himself.

The National Review has also been among the chorus of conservatives who have been calling President Obama a dictator for trying to accomplish some parts of immigration reform through executive action in the face of Congressional refusal to do so.

Therefore, this magazine's comments about Donald Trump's anti-immigrant agenda and its potential dangers for American democracy cannot be dismissed lightly. The following comment in one of the articles, by David Boaz, Executive Vice President of the libertarian Cato Institute, sums up the anxieties about Trump that other conservative writers, not only pro-immigrant liberals, are also expressing:

"​From a libertarian point of view - and I think serious conservatives and liberals would share this view - Trump's greatest offences against American tradition and our founding principles are his nativism and his promise of one-man rule."

Boaz continues:

"Not since George Wallace has there been a presidential candidate who made racial and religious scapegoating so central to his campaign. Trump launched his campaign talking about Mexican rapists and has gone on to rant about mass deportations, bans on Muslim immigration, shutting down mosques, and building a wall around America...Equally troubling is his idea of the presidency...He's effectively vowing to be an American Mussolini, concentrating power in the Trump White House and governing by fiat. It's a vision to make the last 16 years of abuse of executive power seem modest."


It is interesting to note that by referring to "the last 16 years of abuse of executive power", Boaz is also including the G.W. Bush administration, which took office in January, 2001, exactly 15 years ago, in his criticism, not only President Obama.

It is even more interesting to note Boaz' own description of some of the responses he has received to his expression of views. At the conclusion of the above article, he writes:

"The National Review symposium was posted last night at 10:00 pm and I took note of it on Facebook and Twitter. And I must say, i was surprised how many of the responses, especially on Twitter, were openly racist and anti-Semitic. That did nothing to make me reconsider my deep concerns about the damage Trump is doing, and could do, to America's libertarian heritage."

One has to ask what kind of demons in the American psyche Trump is raising by an agenda which even many conservatives who also want to limit immigration and who oppose comprehensive immigration reform see as biased and authoritarian.

Boaz' article can be read at:

http://www.huffingtonost.com/entry/d...b076aadcc6a253
_________________________________
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more that 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from many different parts of the world and ethnic/religious backgrounds obtain work visas and green cards.

Roger believes that anti-immigrant prejudice and scapegoating harms the rights of all Americans and can create a clear and present danger to our democracy. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com






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Updated 01-29-2016 at 08:35 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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Comments

  1. Unregistered222's Avatar
    Looks like people are tired of worthless windbags and idiots who make promises and do nothing. If our next president can take care of the illegal alien invasion problem (by any means necessary) he will be praised in history forever by the people of US of America! Go Donald!
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    There is always some kind of argument for putting a dictator in charge of things. Mussolini made the trains run on time. Maybe Trump can get all the "illegals" kicked out and the wall built. In his latest speech, he said that if he were to start shooting people personally himself on Fifth Avenue, he wouldn't lose any votes.

    Maybe he is right and maybe that is his immigration plan. The only question is whether this would be the kind of country that the American people want to live in.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 01-23-2016 at 07:08 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  3. MKolken's Avatar
    For the record, Obama has lied for over 7 years about his deportation policies. Right now his administration is literally kicking in doors in the middle of the night to deport unaccompanied refugee children back to near certain death, or worse. He was responsible for helping kill immigration reform in 2007, and he turned his back on the Hispanic electorate who won him the White house the second he took office. As for the treatment of Muslims under Obama, ask these people if they have felt the hope and change. On top of all that Obama has more deportations and immigration related convictions than any other President in history, while creating remote desert deportation internment camps for babies so he can expeditiously deport children without a lawyer. As a result there is almost a half-million backlog of deportation cases pending before the courts. Nobody really mentions the fact that due to Obama's aggressive deportation policies it would be near impossible given current court resources coupled with the expected retirement of a significant percentage of sitting judges for Trump to deport more people than Obama.

    ...But hyperpartisan Democrats would have you believe that Republicans are the ones that are anti-immigrant.

    As for Trump's "rhetoric of hate and violence," he is just saying what Obama has actually been doing for the entirety of his Presidency.

    But don't blame me, I voted Libertarian.
  4. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    With regard to Matt Kolken's comment, there is certainly a good argument to the effect that Obama has set the stage for Trump's brand of anti-immigrant based fascism, just as Hitler and Mussolini didn't walk into a vacuum, but took over and expanded nationalistic, authoritarian, and in the case of Hitler, anti-Semitic tendencies which had already been put firmly in place by others.

    But no rational historian would say that Hitler and Mussolini were just the same as their proto-fascist predecessors. They were infinitely worse. Nor would it make any sense to say that Trump would be just another Obama.

    Based on Trump's own statements and actions to date, all of Obama's middle of the night arrests, deportations, desert camps, denial of elementary legal rights and storm troopers might one day soon be looked on as a golden age of immigration and respect for constitutionally guaranteed freedoms compared to what Donald Trump could very possibly have in store for us all, immigrants and US citizens alike.

    At least with Obama, we can criticize his shortcomings without any real likelihood of going to jail, suddenly disappearing, or being beaten up and tortured by thugs.

    If Trump becomes president, there might no longer be any such assurances about the fate of his opponents or critics, any more than there are now in the Russia of Vladimir Putin, for whom Trump has expressed so much admiration.

    Public discussions such as this one about whether Trump is only as bad as Obama, or whether Trump could turn out to be unimaginably worse, might become a thing of the past, just as public comments critical of Putin are becoming increasingly rare in Russia.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 01-25-2016 at 11:57 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  5. MKolken's Avatar
    "At least with Obama, we can criticize his shortcomings without any real likelihood of going to jail, suddenly disappearing, or being beaten up and tortured by thugs."

    Ohhh really?

    Border Patrol Agent Tases, Tackles, Handcuffs Woman for Questioning his Authority

    Border Patrol Terrorizes a US Citizen Mom and Her Two Citizen Kids and Slashes Tire During Illegal Stop

    American Detained for Weeks without a single charge for refusing to answer questions at an interior checkpoint

    Citizen Pastor Beaten Tased by Border Patrol for questioning authority

    Arizona border community calls for closure of checkpoint, concerns grow over increased racial profiling and invasion of civil rights


    There are many, many more examples of Obama administration thugs "jailing," "suddenly disappearing," and beating and torturing United States citizens within the Constitution Free Zone where roughly two-thirds of the entire population of the United States lives, but I think you get the point.

    As for your claim regarding public comment becoming increasingly rare in a Trump Presidency, were you aware that Obama is arguably more hostile towards the press than any President in history? He has also prosecuted more whistleblowers than all other presidents combined. Moreover, it is the "illiberal left" that has become increasingly hostile towards freedom of speech.

  6. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Matt's examples are certainly cases of incipient fascism in America. No one can argue with that. But there is also an argument that these are isolated cases, rather than a coordinated policy of repressing all dissent, and jailing or murdering opposition figures of the type that we are seeing in Putin's Russia and other dictatorships.

    If Matt thinks that Obama's shameful deportation policies are all that there is to fascism in America, just wait until Donald Trump takes power, if the American people are complacent and deluded enough to elect him as president. Will the 2016 election turn out to be the equivalent of the Reichstag Fire in Nazi Germany?

    If you think Obama is bad, you ain't seen nothing yet if Trump wins.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  7. MKolken's Avatar
    "If Matt thinks that Obama's shameful deportation policies are all that there is to fascism in America"

    I never said all.

    I would include Obama's:

    Unconstitutional spying program.

    Extrajudicial killings of American Citizens abroad.

    Waging war without congressional authorization.

    The abuse of the IRS audit powers to attack political speech
    .

    Unilaterally acting to restrict 2nd Amendment rights.

    ...and I can go on, and on, and on.
    Updated 01-26-2016 at 11:32 AM by MKolken
  8. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    2nd Amendment rights, Matt?

    2,000 years ago, Julius Caesar, who knew a thing or two about weapons and militias, in the "Gallic Wars" used the term "bear arms" arma ferre to refer only to weapons carried by soldiers serving in a militia or army. This was the obvious meaning of "bear arms" as it must have been understood by the drafters of the Second Amendment, every one of whom can be presumed to have been familiar with the Gallic Wars from their school days.

    Just because an ignorant and biased Supreme Court was more interested in caving into the gun lobby than in giving these plain words the meaning they have had for the past 2,000 years doesn't mean that Obama is doing anything wrong by restricting so-called "2nd Amendment rights" that an educated and unbiased Supreme Court would never have recognized in the first place.

    This is unless, of course, one argues that Julius Caesar should not be followed because militias did not use guns in his time. I don't think that even Justices Scalia or Thomas would make such a silly argument.

    By the way, I don't mean to imply that there is any resemblance between Donald Trump and Julius Caesar, even though, as we all know, Caesar was also suspected of having dictatorial pretensions, which ultimately cost him his life in 44 B.C.

    But to put Donald Trump in the same league with Julius Caesar would be a terrible insult to someone who is recognized by most historians as one of the greatest men of all time.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 01-26-2016 at 01:21 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  9. MKolken's Avatar
    Are you really citing Julius Caesar as binding precedent to argue that the 2nd Amendment does not include the right of the people to bear arms?

    There you go again removing all doubt.

    Given your unbridled disdain for the Supreme Court of the United States, I will cite to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, not exactly a bastion of Conservative thought, to challenge the teachings of the Great Caesar. In Peruta v. County of San Diego, 742 F. 3d 1144 (9th Circuit 2014), the Court ruled that a responsible, law-abiding citizen has a fundamental Constitutional right under the Second Amendment to carry a firearm in public for self-defense. Although it is conceded that the 9th Circuit isn't within the jurisdiction of the Republic of Rome, so take it for what it's worth.

    http://prevarication.net/wp-content/...ius_caesar.jpg
    Updated 01-26-2016 at 03:58 PM by MKolken
  10. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Matt, the plain language of the Second Amendment links the right to bear arms with service in a militia. Justice Scalia, in his Heller majority opinion, uses transparent sophistry to reach a conclusion that the militia phrase had no meaning at all, even though the framers of the Constitution were not known for inserting meaningless phrases in that document. Justice Scalia's view is very strange, coming from an "originalist" who so often claims the ability to see into the inner workings of the minds of the people who wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights back in the 18th Century.

    If Justice Scalia had taken his own "originalist" philosophy seriously, and had shown any care or respect for legal history (of which Roman law plays an important role, as far as the foundations of our own law are concerned - why are their so many Latin expressions in our own jurisprudence?), he would have to have paid attention to the definition of the words "bear arms" in Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars.

    It is simply inconceivable that the writers of the Second Amendment were any less familiar with Gallic Wars than millions of Americans are with Star Wars today.

    With regard to another point you have raised, to the effect that Donald Trump would be no worse that Barack Obama as far as civil liberties are concerned, Fox News, which is not exactly one of Trump's left wing opponents nor a big supporter of legalization or immigration reform, has just issued a blistering statement accusing Trump of "vicious attacks" and "terrorization" against Megan Kelly.

    Fox has hardly been unfriendly to Trump up to now. Its statement says that Trump has appeared on that network 132 times. But it states that giving into Trump's threats against Megan Kelley "violates all journalistic standards".

    Just as Trump's proposal to ban all Muslim immigrants from the United States (which he has never qualified to exclude Muslim US citizens from its scope, so far as i am aware) threatens the foundations of religious freedom in America, his efforts to dictate to Fox who can be a moderator at the presidential debate threaten the foundations of freedom of the press.

    If Trump becomes president, we can expect to see Nuremberg type laws (or executive decrees) against Muslims. And both Murdoch and Megan Kelley may land in jail, if Fox News is not completely shut down, along with any other media that are critical of Trump.

    That, I respectfully suggest, would be going far beyond anything we have seen so far in the direction of fascism under President Obama.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 01-27-2016 at 06:10 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  11. MKolken's Avatar
    "Matt, the plain language of the Second Amendment links the right to bear arms with service in a militia." "If Justice Scalia had taken his own 'originalist' philosophy seriously, and had shown any care or respect for legal history (of which Roman law plays an important role, as far as the foundations of our own law are concerned - why are their so many Latin expressions in our own jurisprudence?), he would have to have paid attention to the definition of the words 'bear arms' in Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars."

    The Second Amendment contains a prefatory statement of purpose that is attached to the codification of an individual's inalienable right to bear arms, commonly defined as carrying a firearm, which contemplates the necessity of a well regulated militia as a tool of the citizens of the United States to combat a sanctioned standing army raised and supported by a tyrannical national government, either foreign or domestic.

    The founders understood that in order for "the people" to form a well-regulated militia it is essential that individual citizens have the means to fight tyranny with something other than their acerbic wit. As such, the Second amendment codifies the natural "God-given" right of an individual to keep and bear arms (i.e., carry a weapon) outside of a standing sanctioned army. To this end, the Supreme Court in United States v. Miller (1939) ruled that the federal government and the States could not limit the possession of any weapon type that has a "reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia." The opinion was authored by Justice McReynolds, an appointee of President Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, who was a leading force in the progressive movement.

    In his decision, Justice McReynolds explained that a militia is not a standing army of professional soldiers armed and trained by the State, but instead its makeup consists of "the labourer, artificer, or tradesman." Or in other words, ordinary citizens, who are the very people who maintain a natural right to own and carry a weapon of war. Parenthetically, this view was shared by Thomas Jefferson who interpreted “arms” to include the most advanced weapons available, which includes cannons, an infantry, a cavalry and artillery. In fact, Jefferson perceived very few limits on the type of arms required to equip a militia made up of private citizens. Beyond Jefferson, there are also early records from the House of Representatives mirroring the understanding that a heavily armed and equipped militia is made up by private citizens in private possession of weapons of war that would enable them to serve in infantry, cavalry, and artillery units.

    Point being, the Supreme Court and available early interpretations of the actual authors of the 2nd Amendment have already contemplated the meaning of both the prefatory clause, as well as the codification of the inalienable right to bear arms, and in no place in American jurisprudence has Julius Caeser, Roman law, or the Gallic Wars EVER been cited.

    But maybe I didn't look hard enough.
    Updated 01-27-2016 at 11:54 AM by MKolken
  12. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I am sure that Matt is right in saying that Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars has never been cited in any 2nd Amendment court decision. What this says about the general level of education in contemporary America I will leave to readers of this comment to decide.

    What is clear is that the people who wrote the 2nd Amendment must have known this work very well (in the Latin original), as it is a standard beginning Latin textbook (or at least was when I went to high school, not quite as long ago as the 18th century, but in the mid 20th century, which makes me almost as ancient) and I am sure always has been (because of Caesar's plain and clear writing style, so different from the convoluted US court decisions which try to create individual gun rights out of nothing).

    When the drafters wrote the phrase "bear arms" into the 2nd Amendment, it is inconceivable that they could have been ignorant of Julius Caesar's definition of this phrase. The reference to a militia was in the amendment for a reason. Reducing it to a mere hortatory statement of purpose is nothing more than judicial revisionism.

    Hopefully, one day, a more enlightened Supreme Court will review Heller and overrule it (on the same day that they do the same with Citizens United)!

    In the meantime, It would be better for Barack Obama to try to limit guns through executive action than for Donald Trump to continue to make unfunny jokes about shooting people on Fifth Avenue.

    Roger Algase
    Updated 01-27-2016 at 12:38 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  13. MKolken's Avatar
    "What is clear is that the people who wrote the 2nd Amendment must have known this work very well (in the Latin original), as it is a standard beginning Latin textbook (or at least was when I went to high school, not quite as long ago as the 18th century, but in the mid 20th century, which makes me almost as ancient. " "When they wrote the phrase "bear arms" into the 2nd Amendment, it is inconceivable to that they could have been ignorant of Julius Caesar's definition of this phrase."

    So if I am understanding you correctly the older the saying the more precedential weight it carries? If age is the yardstick maybe we should look to cave drawings as our authoritative source.

    But seriously Roger, what is clear is that any lawyer that presents your argument in a court of law will be laughed out of the building with Rule 11 sanctions.
  14. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Black's Law Dictionary defines "Bear Arms" as follows:

    "To carry arms as weapons and with reference to their military use..."

    In essence, this definition is no different from the way Julius Caesar used this term many centuries before when he wrote about how many men belonging to various western European tribes were able to "bear arms" (arma ferre) against Rome.

    Biack's Law Dictionary was obviously following a very old tradition in western civilization with regard to the meaning of this phrase.

    Laugh Black's Law Dictionary out of court, Matt? Rule 11 sanctions on this highly respected legal reference?

    What are you talking about?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law




    Updated 01-28-2016 at 06:35 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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