Some people have been arguing, on and no doubt elsewhere, that there is no real difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on immigration policy, so that it makes sense to throw away one's vote entirely by casting a ballot for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson or Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

(If one is really determined to throw one's vote away, I can suggest a more creative and interesting way to do this than by voting for this year's equivalents of Ralph Nader and Patrick Buchanan in 2000 - in terms of chances of getting elected, not in terms of policy. If one lives in Texas, for example, one could show up at the polls with a university issued student ID instead of a gun permit.

That would have the same effect in enabling that person to have his or her vote make any difference in determining who will win the presidency in November as voting for Johnson or Stein would do.)

The theory that Hilalry is no different from Trump on immigration is based on some negative statements that Hillary has made in the past about Central American refugees and supporting deportation in order to "discourage" unauthorized immigration. Admittedly, those were not good statements and they did sound a lot like what Donald Trump is saying now.

Moreover, just as Trump's record on some non-immigration issues that are beyond the scope of this comment is not exactly unblemished - think Trump University and Atlantic City Taj Mahal - Hillary is not without her detractors on some aspects of her background.

We can expect to hear a lot this summer and fall in the way of attempts by Trump and his supporters to distract attention from the very real and profound differences between him and Hillary Clinton on immigration by playing the 20-year old game of making scurrilous personal attacks on her that have nothing to do with policy positions on immigration or any other issue - going back to all the old, long-discarded canards about Hillary and her husband - - Paula Jones, Whitewater, Vince Foster, Benghazi and other mostly imaginary scandals, or even ones that may be more real, but still hyped and exaggerated for political reasons, such as Hillary's emails - maybe one of the most yawn-inducing scandals ever among average American voters. Monica Lewinsky - where are you now that Hillary's detractors really need you?

But let's get back to immigration policy and the idea that there is no real difference between Hillary and Donald in this regard - that both are equally anti-immigrant. Nothing Hillary has ever said can even remotely compare to Trump's repeated attempts to demonize Mexican and Muslim immigrants as "criminals" and "terrorists", as well as, more recently, even attacking American-born children of such immigrants or American citizens in general of who share the same "heritage" or religious belief.

Hillary has never engaged in demagogic rants that we "won't have a country" if (non-white) immigration continues, or that we need to "take back our country" from (non-white) immigrants. However, just in case there is still anyone left who seriously thinks that there is no difference between Hillary and Donald on immigration, Hillary has now clarified the most essential differences between in a June 24 op-ed in the Arizona Republic newspaper.

For a link to Hillary's full oped, see:

Hillary introduces her proposals, which center on a) comprehensive immigration reform to avoid breaking up families, as opposed to Trump's deportation "task force" (which Senator Cruz onece aptly called "jackboots"), b), breaking down barriers instead of building walls, and c) bringing more legal workers into the formal economy in order to create jobs and boost wages, as follows;

"And while our system fails to provide certainty to immigrant families, political figures like Donald Trump turn them into scapegoats for many of the challenges facing American families today. His bigotry and fear-mongering may be an attempt to divide our country..."

Hillary also writes

"When he [Trump] praises local figures like Gov. Jan Brewer, he's endorsing their heartless and divisive policies. And when he speculates about ending birthright citizenship,, he's suggesting undermining the Constitution and tearing American children away from the country they know and love."

Admittedly, more specifics from Hillary Clinton on her immigration plans would be welcome. But does this mean that there is no difference on immigration between her and Donald Trump?

Think again.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law