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Are Trump's "Within One Hour" Deportations a Danger to Democracy? Roger Algase

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The following post has been revised and expanded as of August 28 at 10:02 am.

Huffington Post
quotes Donald Trump as saying the following on August 27 about criminal immigrants at a speech in Des Moines, Iowa:

"We are going to get rid of the [illegal immigrant] criminals, and it's going to happen within one hour after I take office...We will move justly, but we will move fast. Believe me.


Granted, this may not necessarily represent a reversal of his alleged "softening" on deporting non-criminal immigrants, as described in my two previous Immigration Daily posts.

But it is certainly in keeping with Trump's attempts to demonize Latino, Muslim and other minority immigrants as criminals and threats to America's security which have been his trademark from Day 1 of his presidential campaign over a year ago, when he first launched his attack on Mexican immigrants as "criminals" and "rapists".

But, even if one takes Trump's latest comment at face value, which would not be a great deal different from the Obama/Hillary Clinton policy of prioritizing violent or dangerous criminals for deportation, there is still a very disturbing element in Trump's remark which should cause great concern for anyone who cares about the survival of America's democracy.

This is his promise that deportations (of criminal immigrants) will happen "within one hour" of his taking office. Has anyone told Donald Trump that, unlike the practices of authoritarian leaders whom Trump has has some kind things to say about, such as Vladimir Putin, Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Un, here in America we have a quaint concept known as due process of law?

In his above statement, Trump said that "We will move justly."

What kind of justice is involved in deporting someone in one hour (unless, arguably, the person is already subject to a final deportation order)?

In America, even criminal immigrants have the right to a trial to determine if they really are criminals, and to a removal hearing in front of an immigration judge before they can be deported.

These proceedings are not completed "within an hour" in a democratic country. To the country, this is typical of dictatorships ruled by "strong men" of the image that Trump is trying so hard to project.

Trump's latest statement, therefore, is only ostensibly about which type of immigrants he would like to prioritize for deportation - an issue, which as pointed out above, Trump does not seem to differ on very much from President Obama or Hillary Clinton.

But underneath, it shows a deeply troubling contempt for, or at least lack of interest in, the legal procedures and rule of law on which America's democracy depends.

When this kind of statement is taken in the larger context of Trump's well documented record of supporting torture, restrictions on freedom of the press, violence against his political opponents by his supporters and by "Second Amendment people", retaliation against anyone who criticizes him, and a ban on members of an entire world religion from entering the United States, as well as registering US citizens belonging to that same religion, all as summarized by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post on August 26, see:

The Singular danger of Trump

then, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to avoid using the world "fascism" to describe Donald Trump's agenda and basic attitude toward government.

Milbank also writes:

"[Trump] claims an American-born federal judge can't be impartial toward him because of his Mexican heritage (he says the same thing about Muslim judges)...

Trump brought racism and paranoia into the mainstream with his 'America First' campaign and his leadership of the movement challenging Obama's American birth. He hesitated to disavow David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan...Trump has mocked Asian accents and the disabled. He has said 'half' of the 11 million illegal immigrants are criminals."

And as Milbank concludes in his above article:

"So how do we talk to children about Trump? We tell them what Holocaust survivors have told me: that what Trump is doing reminds them of 1930's Germany, and that grownups are not going to let that happen here."

And if it does happen here, as the American people will decide one way or the other on November 8, how much longer will Washington Post writers or any other critics of Donald Trump be able ro continue speaking out against him without fear of being sent to Guantanamo, which Trump says is a "fine" place for US citizens, not only foreign ones, to be tried?



Isn't that what fascism is all about? Under a Trump presidency, could Guantanamo become America's Dachau or Buchenwald for political opponents of the regime, not just, as at present, a holding (if not also torture) site for suspected foreign terrorists?

And would Guantanamo be America's only concentration camp for Donald Trump's critics and political opponents if he takes over the government next January?
Roger Algase is an New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from various parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards. Roger's email address is

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Updated 08-29-2016 at 10:13 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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  1. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    Roger, its is apparent that he is just saying that he will act right away, not that the criminals will be gone an hour after he takes office.

    You must be aware of the fact that he does not express himself with the finely honed precision of a Bill Clinton. Trump speaks bluntly without regard to political correctness or any sense of a need to provide detailed explanations. I don't care for that presentation style, but a lot of people do. I think it sounds refreshingly honest to his supporters.
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Was Trump also being "refreshingly honest" when he allegedly had his company bring four models into the US with tourist visas in order to have them work here illegally?

    And if these allegations turn out to be true, which would constitute the felony of committing immigration fraud if proven, how "refreshingly honest" were his more than a thousand other visa petitions for foreign workers at his various businesses?

    We simply don't know.

    Please go to

    and explain how "refreshingly honest" he sounds according to the (as yet unproven) allegations described in this article.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 08-30-2016 at 06:42 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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