Update: February 21 at 10:21 pm:

The Hill reports that a Muslim organization, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, has challenged Donald Trump to a debate in a letter which also makes the following charge against the Republican presidential front-runner:

"Ever since you announced your run for Presidency of the United States, you have scapegoated the American Muslim community and other minority groups for all your perceived ills of America."

The letter also accused Trump and his supporters of being:

"scared of anything that is different from you."

The news item did not say whether Trump has agreed to the debate or replied to the letter.



Update: February 21 at 1:27 pm:

POLITICO reports that Donald Trump has now tweeted, in a variation of his "birther" attack on Ted Cruz, that Marco Rubio might not be eligible for the presidency, since he was born to immigrant parents, even though Rubio was born in the US (Miami). Trump did not say why this would make Rubio any less of an American citizen at birth than was the case with Wong Kim Ark, the US born child of Chinese immigrants who were barred by law from ever becoming naturalized US citizens themselves, but whose (Wong Kim Ark's) US citizenship by birth was upheld by the US Supreme Court in 1898 and which decision is still the law of the land in the United States of America today.

According to the same POLITICO story, Trump later tried to back off from the tweet in a TV interview, saying that he was merely retweeting someone else's comment for the purpose of discussion.



My original post follows:

The February 20 Republican South Carolina presidential primary, not unexpectedly, has resulted in a huge win for anti-immigrant extremist candidates. The Hill reports that a CBS News exit poll found that 75 per cent of the voters in the primary said that they support Donald Trump's proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. See


Trump won a big victory in the primary, with about 32 percent of the vote, and his extreme proposal, which clearly violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the First Amendment to the Constitution, may in all probability have helped him outpoll his two main opponents, Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

The argument that Trump's proposal does not violate the Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom is, of course, based on the doctrine of "plenary power" over immigration in the executive and legislative branches of the government. This doctrine itself, as I have pointed out previously, dates from the time of the Chinese exclusion laws, which were not exactly a shining example of the principles of freedom and equality on which this nation was founded and which the Constitution was meant to protect.

While supporters of Trump's Muslim ban argue that there is no constitutional right of non-US citizens to enter the US (see Kleindienst v. Mandel, S.Ct, 1972), one has to ask if they would be making the same argument if, say, Congress passed a law banning all non-citizens who had ever owned or used a gun for private purposes from entering the United States.

If such a law were ever enacted, we would no doubt be hearing quite a bit from gun rights supporters about how the Second Amendment allegedly takes precedence over the plenary power doctrine, which is nowhere expressly written in the Constitution.

Anti-immigrant extremists also won another victory in South Carolina when Ted Cruz, another anti-immigrant hard liner, and Marco Rubio, a former supporter of immigration reform and more recent anti-immigrant turncoat, who has now adopted Cruz' draconian proposal to strip all DREAMERS of their work permits and deport them, finished in a virtual tie for second place in the primary voting.

See salon.com February 19:

Marco Rubio flip-flops on immigration: The GOP's most "electable" candidate just got even more extreme


Et tu, Marco?

Now that with the departure of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush from the campaign scene, to be followed inevitably by Ohio Governor John Kasich in the near future, there are no longer any Republican presidential candidates left with more "moderate" proposals on immigration, one has to ask whether the Cruz/Rubio strategy of trying to out-Trump Trump on extreme hard line immigration policies has any chance of paying off.

As soon as one catches up with Trump on immigration, he comes up with something else even more outrageous and "unthinkable".

What will be next? A Nuremberg Laws type of proposal to strip American Muslims of their US citizenship and deport them, as the Nazis did with the Jews? Use of torture against Central American children who show up at the US-Mexican border (or Wall) seeking asylum?

As my colleague Matt Kolken has been pointing out, many Central American children are already being detained by the Obama administration under concentration camp conditions.

Trump has also made the unimaginably obscene suggestion that some Muslims should be shot with bullets dipped in pigs' blood.

Haroon Moghul, writing in The Guardian on February 20 in response to this unspeakable remark, also comments about the unwillingness of both Cruz and Rubio to stand up against Trump's Islamophobia, in contrast to more principled Republican candidates such as Governors Bush and Kasich, who may have paid a heavy price at the polls for speaking out against this type of bigotry.



Moghul writes:

"Marco Rubio pretends there's no such thing as Islamophobia...Ted Cruz is all about carpet bombing huge swaths of the Middle East (Why not just drop lots of pigs' heads?...)"

Moghul continues:

"Yet, we are asked to apologize for our religion every time some extremist uses it as a justification for violence. People ask me, over and over again, where the moderate Muslims are as though anything but a fraction are extremists.

Maybe they should be asking where the moderate Republicans went. There definitely seem to be fewer and fewer of those."

With Donald Trump's immigration proposals, no matter how shocking they are to the conscience of anyone who believes in the American values of freedom, democracy and respect for human rights, there is always the feeling that we have not yet seen the end. To the contrary, we may only be at the beginning of a long and dark journey.
Roger Algase is a 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 obtain work visas and green cards.

Roger believes that allowing the cancer of anti-immigrant prejudice to grow in our society endangers the fundamental rights of immigrants and American citizens alike, and puts the freedoms of all of us at risk. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com