The hand-wringing over Donald Trump's likelihood of winning the Republican presidential nomination on the part of "moderate" or "establishment" Republicans borders on the comic, given the Grand Old Party's tolerance for, if not active support of, right wing politicians and pundits who have been demonizing and scapegoating Latino, Muslim, black, and Asian immigrants for more than 20 years, while warning about the decline of white "culture" and white majority status in the United States.

Certainly, Trump's attacks on Mexican immigrants as "criminals" and "rapists" are offensive, as well as his call for banning all of the world's more than one billion Muslims from entering the US as potential "terrorists" purely on the basis of their religion, without any evidence that they have jihadist ties or might harm the United States.

But wild and extreme as Trump's invective may be to Americans who believe that this country was founded on the principles of respect for diversity and the belief in equality of all people, his minority immigrant-baiting did not appear in a vacuum. To the contrary, it is based on a foundation that has been built up during at least the past 20 years by right wing anti-immigrant extremists and their supporters.

Here are just a few of the names of prominent political leaders and writers who have built their careers on attacking Latino and other minority immigrants as somehow dangerous or undesirable or America during the past two decades:

Governor Pete Wilson (R-California), Senator Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado), Patrick J. Buchanan (writer and former presidential candidate) late Harvard Professor Samuel Huntington; writers Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin and Peter Brimelow (the latter himself an immigrant to the US).

The above is not to mention more recent right wing anti-immigrant public figures who have been attacking Latino and other immigrants and promoting draconian anti-minority legislation since well before Trump came on the scene: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R), Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), Sen Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) - the list goes on and on.

Among writers, Rich Lowry of the National Review and William Kristol of the Weekly Standard, who are now two of Trump's strongest critics on the right, were leaders in the successful effort to derail Comprehensive Immigration Reform back in 2012.

Therefore, it is not unreasonable to ask whether, in the words of Robert Kagan, writing in the February 25 Washington Post, it could be accurate to say that: "Trump is the GOP's Frankenstein monster."

(See the WP home page - I do not have a link.)

But merely naming names and repeating catchy newspaper oped titles is not enough to give a full understanding of how anti-immigrant agitation during the last two decades or more has given rise to what many Republican leaders, not only pro-immigrant advocates, see as the potential disaster of a Donald Trump nomination and, even worse, presidency.

In order to understand Trump, it is important to look at the history of the anti-immigrant movement, including legislation and legislative proposals, over the past 20+ years in detail.

This is exactly what a careful and thorough scholar of this period, Doug Brugge (now Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University) has done in his article Pulling Up the Ladder: The Anti-Immigrant Backlash, which was originally published in 1995 and has been more recently updated.

Even though Professor's Brugge's background is in medicine and environmental science, not law or political science, his article is essential reading by anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the significance of Donald Trump's anti-immigrant attacks today.

This article will be discussed in more detail in Part 2.

The link is:
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 professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards. His practice focuses on skilled worker employment (H-1B and Labor Certification), extraordinary ability (O-1 and EB-1) and permanent residence through opposite or same sex marriage.

Roger's email address is