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Trump's New "Safety" Ad: A Flood of Anti-Immigrant Fear and Falsehood. Roger Algase

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In his first campaign ad, Donald Trump has taken anti-immigrant fear and falsehood to a new level of demagoguery, even for him. Here is the text of the ad as reported by NPR:

"The system stays rigged against Americans. Syrian refugees flood in. Illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay. Our border open. It's more of the same, but worse."

It then continues with the message that Trump's America is:

"...secure. Terrorists and dangerous criminals: kept out. The border: secured. Our families: safe. Change that makes America safe again."

See:

http://www.npr.org/2016/08/19/490609...ir-in-4-states

First,, the ad lumps predominantly Muslim Syrian refugees together with "illegal immigrants committing crimes" as if they were all the same. This leaves out the fact that Syrian refugees come to this country legally, after extensive background checks which normally take at least two years to complete, according to the New York Times. See:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...ates.html?_r=0

Moreover, the reported violent crime rate among Syrian refugees in the US, or among the 784,000 refugees in general who have entered the US since September 11, 2001 is extremely small, according to the The Atlantic magazine. See:


http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/...rogram/416475/


Most mendacious of all, however, is Trump's claim that a "flood" of Syrian refugees are coming into the US. The Obama administration's quota is exactly 10,000. This is not per month, or per year. It is the total.

Even Canada, with a much smaller population than the US, is in the process of taking in 25,000 Syrian refugees, with no reports o violent crime on their part that I am aware of.

In a nation of 300 million inhabitants, how does 10,000 legal immigrants from any country or religion amount to a "flood"?

Trump's ad also overlooks the fact that, according to published studies, the crime rate among immigrants as a whole is lower than it is for American citizens.

See: Alex Nowrasteh, Cato Institute, July 14, 2015:

Immigration and Crime - What the Research Says

(Sorry, I do not have a link - please go to Google.)

Trump's ad, consistent with so much of his rhetoric during this presidential campaign, is based on a "flood" - a flood of anti-immigrant fears and falsehoods.

And Trump's continued demonizing of Latino and Middle Eastern immigrants as "criminals" and "terrorists" is not something that affects only immigrants. it has the potential to undermine the foundations of America's democracy itself.

The National Socialists were able ot extinguish democracy by exploiting anti-Jewish fear and hatred that had been rampant in German society for at least a hundred years.

Donald Trump and his white nationalist supporters are now threatening to do the same in America by raising the specter of a country supposedly torn apart by crime and terror in order to pour gasoline on the flames of prejudice against Latino, Muslim and other minority immigrants.

________________________________________
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, Roger has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from various parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards.

His email address is algaselex@gmail.com




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Updated 08-22-2016 at 11:20 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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Comments

  1. Unregistered222's Avatar
    I have deleted a post accusing Syrian refugees of committing a sensational crime based on what authorities have now identified as a false story that was planted in right wing media by anti-immigrant zealots.

    Once again, I would point out that this si a site for discussion of immigration law and policy issues, not for spreading hatred against any group or groups of people based on ethnicity or religion.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law


    Updated 08-22-2016 at 08:57 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. Unregistered222's Avatar
    Another ethnic/religious hate comment has been deleted.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 08-22-2016 at 05:46 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  3. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    The quote Roger relies on: "The system stays rigged against Americans. Syrian refugees flood in. Illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay. Our border open. It's more of the same, but worse." It then continues with the message that Trump's America is: "...secure. Terrorists and dangerous criminals: kept out. The border: secured. Our families: safe. Change that makes America safe again."

    Roger claims that “the ad lumps predominantly Muslim Syrian refugees together with "illegal immigrants committing crimes" as if they were all the same.”

    How does the ad do that, Roger? The quote has a series of separate sentences and each one has a very different topics. Let’s start with the first, “The system stays rigged against Americans.” Trump doesn’t explain what he means. Maybe he did elsewhere and Roger left it out. I haven't seen the ad.

    Roger takes issue with Trump’s use of the term “flood.” According to Roger’s explanation later in his blog, 10,000 Syrian refugees isn’t a flood. Maybe not to Roger, but apparently it is to Trump. I don’t know what, if anything, can be inferred from the difference between Roger and Trump on that point. In any case, Obama has made it clear that he wants to bring many more Syrian refugees into the country.

    Trump says, “Illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay.” Unfortunately, Trump is right. According to statistics provided by ICE, in FY2015, ICE released 19,723 criminal aliens who had a total of 64,197 convictions. This included 101 homicide convictions, 216 kidnapping convictions, 320 sexual assault convictions, 352 commercialized sexual offenses, 1,347 domestic violence convictions, 1,728 assault convictions, and 12,307 driving under the influence of alcohol convictions. And this is for a single year.

    See Analysis of the April 28, 2016, hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on, “Criminal Aliens Released by the Department of Homeland Security." (May 20, 2016), http://discuss.ilw.com/content.php?6449-Article-Analysis-of- the-April-28-2016-hearing-before-the-House-Committee-on-Oversight-and-Government- Reform-on-%93Criminal-Aliens-Released-by-the-Department-of-Homeland-Security-By-Nolan-Rappaport 


    Roger says, this leaves out the fact that Syrian refugees come to this country legally, after extensive background checks which normally take at least two years to complete, according to the New York Times.

    The FBI Director and the Secretary of DHS both said that they were not able to do background investigations on Syrian refugees. Has that changed? I haven’t heard about it if it has. So Roger, if the FBI and DHS can’t do background investigations on Syrian refugees, what difference does it make how long the background investigations are on Syrian refugees? If there is no information, it doesn’t matter how much time you spend on the examination.
  4. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    One has to give Nolan credit for the ability to come up with creative interpretations of common English words in order give them entirely new meanings - in this case arguing that admitting 10,000 additional refugees to a country o 300 million people, which has admitted more than 760,000 refugees in the past 15 years, amounts to a "flood". (if Donald Trump, chooses to say so, of course).

    In common usage, "'flood" also means "uncontrolled", which is what Trump obviously meant when he said:

    "Syrian refugees flood in."

    As I pointed out above, Syrian refugees have to go through at least two years of screening before being admitted to the US. Nolan argues that screening procedures are inadequate.

    But does waiting for two years to be admitted to America mean that immigration of refugees is uncontrolled, no matter how imperfect Nolan may think the screening procedures may be?

    Nolan's attempt to give now meanings to common words reminds me of the opening lines of Ovid's epic poem Metamorphoses, which begins:

    In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas/corpora -

    ("I will tell about things transformed into new bodies.")


    Nolan has certainly carried out a remarkable transformation of the plain old English word "flood"!

    Nolan argues that the word "flood" is entirely subjective in meaning, and that (in effect) what might seem like a "trickle" (of refugees) to one person might be a "flood" to another.

    That kind of logic reminds me of a statement that either the WW2 Canadian immigration minister Frederick Blair, or one of his underlings, according to a book on this subject that I read many years ago (see below) allegedly made about Jewish refugees during WW2.

    According to the story, which may or may not be accurate, the minister or immigration officer, whichever it was, was asked how many Jewish refugees Canada would have room for after the war was over. He allegedly answered:

    "None is too many."

    According to the book (which has the same title as the minister's above statement - see Wikipedia reference mentioned below), Canada took in a grand total of exactly 5,000 Jewish refugees during all of WW2, compared to the six million who died in Hitler's death camps and gas chambers.

    This was, allegedly, the worst record of any refugee-receiving country in the entire world.

    No doubt, the tiny number of 5,000 Jewish refugees who actually managed to get admitted to Canada, must have seemed like a "flood" to the Canadian immigration minister (or officer) who made the above statement.

    However, in one respect, the Canadian immigration minister or officer was more tolerant than Trump. There is no allegation, as far as I know, that any Jewish refugees in Canada were sent back to Hitler's ovens.

    But Trump has pledged, if elected president, to send the tiny number of Syrian refugees who are already in the United States back to Syria to be bombed, tortured or starved to death by Assad's dictatorship (backed up by Vladimir Putin, whom Trump has been much kinder to than the refugees) or to be beheaded, drowned, burned to death or crucified by ISIS (as Trump himself quite accurately describes the modus operandi of the ISIS monsters in his own speeches).

    Yes, Trump, incredibly, unbelievably, really said that he would send all Syrian refugees in the United States (whose reported crime rate, so far as I am aware, is zero or close to it) back to their war and terror-torn country.

    I am not making an "unsubstantiated" charge. Here is the link:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34397272

    In the Canadian immigration minister's or officer's alleged opinion, no Jewish refugees were still too many. In Donald Trump's opinion, it seems, no Muslim refugees at all would still be a "flood".


    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 08-23-2016 at 08:09 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  5. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    According to Wikipedia, the book I am referring to above has the title:

    None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe 1933-1948

    The authors are Canadian historians Irving Abella and Harold Troper. It was published in 1983. See:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/None_Is_Too_Many

    Ironically, Canada, with a much smaller population than the US, is now in the process of taking in up to 25,000 Syrian refugees, two and a half times the "flood" that the Obama administration has agreed to accept so far. See:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/internati...canada/419832/

    While Nolan apparently believes that doing an effective background background check on any Syrian refugee is an oxymoron (does this also allegedly apply to any Muslim immigrant from anywhere in the world, as Trump argued in effect last December?), Canada has had no crime or terrorism problem with any of the Syrian refugees it has admitted so far, to the best of my knowledge.

    Neither has the US, so far as I am aware.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 08-22-2016 at 09:47 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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