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Bush Natl. Security Official Blasts Trump on Immigration, Backs Clinton. Roger Algase

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One of the most frequently heard defenses of Donald Trump's racial/religious attacks on Mexican and Muslim immigrants is that Trump cares about national security (more, allegedly, than Hillary Clinton or even President Obama), and is only trying to protect the American people against crime and terrorism.

Not so, according to 121 members of the Republican national security community who signed a letter on March 3 opposing a Trump presidency. One of the signers, Kori Schake, former director on defense strategy and requirements on the National Security Council during George W. Bush's first term, has now announced that she will be voting for Hillary Clinton this fall.

In doing so, she joins two other former Bush officials, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

The letter that Schake signed in March had the following to say about Trump's immigration proposals:

"His hateful, anti-Muslim rhetoric undercuts the seriousness of combating Islamic radicalism by alienating partners in the Islamic world making significant contributions to the effort. Furthermore, it endangers the safety and Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of American Muslims.

Controlling our border and preventing illegal immigration is a serious issue, but his insistence that Mexico will fund a wall on our southern border inflames unhelpful passions, and rests on an utter misreading of, and contempt for, our southern neighbor."

For the full story and link to the letter, see:

Kori Schake's sister, Katrina Schake, works for the Clinton campaign, but says that this is the first time that she and Kori will have ever voted for the same candidate.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law

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Updated 06-27-2016 at 02:14 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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  1. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    I would be more impressed with the letter Roger refers to if it had included reasons for the 9 core criticisms of Trump. Although I am not impressed with Trump's immigration policies, I am disappointed that so many people are rejecting them on the basis of unsubstantiated claims about them....which are coupled normally with an ad hominem attack. I provided Democratic congressmen on the House immigration subcommittee with rebuttal positions on republican immigration policies for more than seven years, and I never had to resort to conclusory criticism or name calling. The same is true of Trump. Think critically instead of engaging in trash talk and you not have difficulty showing that Trump's ideas would not be effective and in most cases, could not even be implemented.
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Where I disagree with Nolan is over his insistence that Trump's inflammatory rhetoric about Latino and Muslim immigrants (as well as Asians, though this is more in connection with trade policy than immigration) are just another set of immigration proposals of the type that Nolan approached with his unquestioned expertise and painstaking analytic skills as a Congressional staff specialist in this field.

    But Trump's comments about immigration - many of them at least - are of a different order from mere policy statements. From his original attacks on Mexican immigrants as "criminals" and "rapists", to his charge that most Muslims around the world are potential terrorists who are "filled with hatred" for America; his totally baseless and unsubstantiated lie that "thousands" of American Muslims were dancing in the streets after 9/11; his charge that US citizen Muslims in general knew that terror attacks were coming but refused to tell anyone because of their religion - his racially coded charge that Americans "need to take our country back", or that, because of immigration, "we won't have a country - there will be nothing left" - his claim that a federal judge with a distinguished record of fighting against Mexican drug cartels-was a "hater" of Trump personally because Trump didn't like his ruling in a lawsuit in which Trump is personally involved - just because the judge happens to be an American of Mexican ancestry - all of this is the language of hate, fear and demonization, not of rational debate about immigration policy.

    This is why so many leaders in Trump's own party, many of whom may agree with his general view that immigration should be made more restrictive and more tightly controlled, are saying that they are unable to vote for Trump, or even to offer an opinion about whether he is fit to be president.

    Of course, just because so many people in Trump's own party cannot stomach his tirades against minority immigrants and US citizens alike, and are concerned about where his hate rhetoric can lead and its implications for the survival of our democracy, doesn't mean that everything they say about Trump is necessarily right.

    But Trump's critics, especially those in his own party and with good claims to expertise and records of service to our country in the area of national security, which Trump claims as justification for his anti-immigrant attacks, deserve to be taken seriously.

    Nolan, with his blinders toward Trump's reliance on hatred toward immigrant minorities, though expressed so often and in so many different ways, seems to be oblivious to the reality of Donald Trump which almost everyone else in America, whether they support Trump or loathe him, is fully aware of.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 06-27-2016 at 05:23 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  3. Unregistered222's Avatar
    Lol, Roger. This one is actually one funny I bet Trump laughed very hard as well.

    Do you really think the voting decisions of failed Bush administration carnies really interesting to anyone You should just look how miserably Jeb Bush failed at primaries to understand how everybody despises this family and everyone associated with them I bet, some drunk hobo crawling out of his refrigerator box and announcing that he votes for Hillary would have more effects on this election

    BTW. Roger, FBI finally proved that gay night club jihadi murderer had no gay lovers. you failed again...
  4. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Since i am always glad to respond to seriously meant and rational comments, even when I disagree with them, I will make one more remark about Nolan's above comment, the only one posted above in response to my original comment which falls into the category of serious and rational comment, and that therefore merits a reply.

    After the Orlando shooting, Trump claimed that President Obama himself had terrorist sympathies and was putting their interests ahead of those of the American people.

    One might disagree with particular policies or measures that the current administration has or has not taken with regard to terrorism. But to call the president of the United States a terrorist sympathizer is pure and simple lunacy - even more lunatic than Trump's repeated insistence, against all the weight of reality, that the president is a non-US citizen who was born in Africa.

    How can it be wrong or illegitimate to question whether someone who has so little respect for reality, who will stop at nothing to smear and tear down anyone whom he sees as an enemy or opponent, and who does not mind spreading and promoting any and every wild, delusional fantasy that pops into his mind, is qualified for the highest office in the land, with enormous power over our government?

    Is there something wrong with raising questions, as many legal scholars are now doing, about whether such a president would have the slightest respect for America's system of divided government and Constitutional democracy, rather than governing through torture (which he has also spoken in favor of) and repression of dissent (such as by barring all media which publish articles that are in any way critical of him form covering his campaign - something almost unheard of in a free country like America)?

    Is simply repeating statements that a particular candidate for office has actually made, or things he has actually done, an ad hominem attack? Or is it merely expressing an opinion on the merits of his fitness for office and potentially grave danger to our country and its freedom?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 06-27-2016 at 07:53 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  5. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    When I started working on the Judiciary staff, my background was writing decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals, something I had done for more than 20 years. At the Board, the work was objective and politically neutral. Individual members had some biases, but decision writers were okay so long as their proposed decisions followed Board and Federal court precedents. But when I made objective observations in Congress, I offended people. In the world of politics, people have political positions that they are advocating, and many of them didn't know much beyond the issues they are advocating. This was especially true of immigration advocacy groups. I worked with them once a week for months when I was writing a bill to fix IIRIRA. You might remember it as the Fix '96 bill. It was extremely frustrating until I figured out that I had to view the issues as an advocate for the Democrats, putting objectivity aside the way the defense attorney and the prosecutor do in criminal proceedings. I believe that Trump is going through the same learning process, although his problem isn't objectivity. Nevertheless, he has to learn how to present his positions in a politically acceptable way. And it is very difficult for him. He probably knew very little about immigration issues before he began his campaign, and it's apparent that he doesn't have immigration experts on his staff to help him.

    Trump is making progress though. Look at the way he has modified his initial ban all Muslims position. I think he just wanted to protect America from terrorists and recognized that most terrorist groups that want to hurt us are Muslim, but it wasn't politically acceptable to do it that ineptly. Since then, he has become more sophisticated in the way he describes that position. He is couching it in statutory terms and limiting it the way Congress limited who would be taken out of the Visa Waiver program with the Visa Waiver Improvement Act that was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support after the Paris terrorist attacks. If you want to hear more about this, see my article, "If he is elected to the presidency, Donald Trump will have statutory authority to suspend the entry of all Muslim aliens" (April 20, 3016),,0420-Rappaport.pdf
  6. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    If Trump is in fact becoming more knowledgeable and sophisticated about immigration and more attuned to political reality, as Nolan contends, he has a long record of extreme proposals and utterly false statements he will need to walk back or retract.

    Without doubt, Trump's latest proposal to modify his world-wide Muslim ban and limit it to certain countries where Islamic terrorist organizations are based and where it may be difficult to screen immigrants effectively is a step in the direction of reason, as opposed to demagogy. There may also be indications that he is walking back his mass deportation proposal with his recent claim that he has a "big heart".

    Though what does Trump mean when he says that there are "a lot of bad dudes" in America that we need to "get rid of"? Is he adopting President Obama's program to prioritize violent or repeat criminals for deportation? If so, then why doesn't Trump say so?

    And if Trump would follow essentially the same immigration and deportation programs as are (according to what Obama claims) already in place under this administration, i.e. intensive background checks for immigrants from Middle Eastern and other terrorist ridden countries and deporting serious criminals first, then why is Trump making wild and insane statements such as that the president cares more about terrorists than about the American people?

    That is one immigration-related statement that Trump should retract without further delay if he wants to show the mental stability that even many leaders in his own party have doubts about. There are quite a few others which he will need to retract as well. I have mentioned a few of them in my previous response to Nolan above.

    Nolan's comments would also be more useful if they would stick to known facts, rather than pure speculation based on his sanitized, cleaned up image of Donald Trump.

    For example, Nolan argues that Trump does not have any immigration experts on his staff. That might possibly be true, but it is a matter of record that Trump has been getting immigration advice from Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), one of the strongest and most vocal Congressional opponents of all immigration, both legal and illegal.


    Trump praises Sessions' expert advice on immigration policy

    Yes, if Trump is in fact moving closer toward reason and rationality on some of his immigration proposals, that would certainly be welcome. But he still has a long way to go in that regard, and making excuses for him or trying to explain away his many wild, totally off-the-wall immigration related statements is not going to help.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 06-28-2016 at 05:38 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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