This blog is concerned with the legal rights of immigrants, not with politics, and my comments about the presidential campaign are only meant to be understood in that context. It is not my purpose ro advocate for any particular candidate.

Those who are concerned about following non-immigration related campaign "issues" such as the latest Congressional attempts to prolong the endless Hillary Clinton Benghazi investigations in the new format of how she handled her email server; or who are interested in the controversy about the exact shape of a Star of David which briefly appeared on Donald Trump's website (and which this father and grandfather of a Jewish convert daughter and her Jewish children now regrets taking down), should look elsewhere.

Anyone interested in my own personal views about these "momentous" stories can find them in Immigration Daily's letters section.

(However for those who hold to the Trump = Anti-Semite theory, Trump's praise of Saddam Hussein, who wanted to wipe out Israel and turn the Jewish state into a "sea of fire" is ac thousand times more relevant than the shape of a particular star (or sheriff's badge) on one of his recent tweets.)

However, campaign trivia aside, it would be absurd to pretend that the outcome of this fall's presidential election will have no effect on the legal rights, and the lives, of millions of immigrants and their families who are already in the United states, and many millions moe around the world who would like to come here to visit,study, work or reside permanently.

For one thing, the two major party candidates have radically different views about the role of immigration in our society, not to mention the role of skin color and religion in determining who should be allowed to immigrate to this country in the first place. There are even differences of opinion between the two in the role that the immigrant ancestry of US citizens should play in determining their fitness to hold certain public offices such as being appointed as federal judges, or whether their places of worship should be put under surveillance.

This is not to mention differences over the question whether our Constitution should continue to recognize the birthright US citizenship of all children born in America, regardless of parentage, or whether we should follow the lead of countries such as North Korea, Burma, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe, among other countries of the world that do not recognize this right.

(In these comments, I studiously avoid any discussion of the immigration views of minor party candidates. I assume that most readers have better uses for their time than analyzing the views of candidates who have no more chance of becoming our next president than any of us who writes comments on this site does.)

However, from time to time, one or the other of the two major party candidates may make statements about issues which may not directly concern immigration, but which reflect their view about democracy and the rule of law in general. These comments are often worthy of discussion because our immigration system as we know it, with all of its shortcomings and imperfections, depends on the rule of law, including basic respect for civil rights and human rights.

Any attempt to undermine these principles, which are the same ones that America was founded on, would be devastating for immigrant rights, if not the rights and freedoms of all American citizens.

This is why the utterly frightening, horrifying comments that one of the two major party presidential candidates, Donald J. Trump, has made in support of two of the worst dictators of this new century to date, Saddam Hussein of Iraq and Kim Jong Un of North Korea, cannot be overlooked.

See the July 6 Washington Post article:Trump's favoroite dictators: In reviled tyrants, GOP nominee finds traits to praise

(Sorry, I can't seem to find a link that works. Please go to and look for the article there, or else use Google.)

Here are a couple of choice morsels from Trump's comments about Saddam, as reported by the WP:

"He was a bad guy, really bad guy, But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good...They didn't read them the rights- they didn't talk, they were a terrorist, it was over. Today, Iraq is Harvard for terrorism. You want to be a terrorist, you go to Iraq. It's like Harvard. Okay? So sad.

One can only imagine the implications of this statement for the rights and civil liberties of any immigrants, or US citizens, whom Donald may choose to accuse of being terrorists or terrorist sympathizers, even if they did not go to Harvard!

But that is only the beginning. The same article also quotes Trump as saying the following about Saddam's gassing of Kurdish civilians, one of the most horrible war crimes in the 21st century to date:

"Saddam Hussein throws a little gas, everyone goes crazy, 'Oh, he's using gas!'"

I am not aware whether Trump has ever commented on Saddam Hussein's above referred to threats to wipe out Israel and turn it into a "sea of fire".

And if there is any rational person who could still argue that Trump's attempt to dismiss Saddam's horrendous war crimes against the Kurds (and other minorities and political opponents) in Iraq does not disqualify Trump to be in charge of America's immigration policies, with all the enormous powers of the president of the United States, then take a look at what the WP quotes Trump as saying about North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong Un:

To be continued.
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School who has been representing skilled and profesional immigrants for more than 35 years. His email address is