In the latest attempt by the president to avoid responsibility for his own inflammatory statements, his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, claimed on July 31 that Trump's July 28 speech in Long Island New York, urging immigration officers and local police to be "rough" with arrested gang members suspects (and by extension all immigrants, see below), was just "making a joke".

If that was true, it could only be called a sick joke, one made at the expense of millions of Hispanic and other minority immigrants.

But of course, anyone who actually reads his remarks or watches the video of the speech can see beyond any reasonable doubt that the speech was not a joke, but a deadly serious attempt to use the MS-13 gang to demonize, humiliate and urge violence against all non-white immigrants.

While almost all of the press coverage of Trump's MS-13 speech focused on the issue of the president's endorsement of police brutality in general, something unheard of coming from a president of the United States (at least during my lifetime, beginning while Franklin D. Roosevelt was still president), but not by any means unheard of coming from fascist dictators such as Mussolini or Franco

most of the media stories tended to downplay the connection which Trump tried to draw between MS-13 gang members and Latino and other minority immigrants in general, including the millions who have no criminal records whatsoever.

However, one commentator on, an attorney by the name of Raul A. Reyes, who is also a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors, has shown the courage and the honesty to describe Trump's attack for what it really is - an attempt to demonize all Hispanic immigrants, not just members of criminal gangs who should, of course, be given top priority for deportation if found guilty of any crimes.

Reyes' article is called:

The real message in Trump's MS-13 speech

Reyes writes, in plain words that it is hard to refute in good faith:

"'We've started nipping it in the bud,' he [Trump] declared, referencing crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. He proudly referred to the comments made on the day he announced his presidential run, when he called immigrants from Mexico drug dealers and rapists - in a sense doubling down on the bigoted remarks that offended many Latinos."

Reyes continues

"Then again, that was Trump's real message. He wasn't on Long Island solely to take aim at MS-13, let alone announce any specific plans (beyond deportation) for eliminating them. Trump was on Long Island to conflate undocumented immigrants with crime once again and ti use demonization to try to justify his administration's harsh and inhumane deportation policies."

While no one would attempt to justify or excuse the horrible murders that have in fact been committed by MS-13 gang members, Reyes emphasizes, in his conclusion, that they and other criminal immigrants are not the ultimate targets of Trump's rhetoric. or of his actions:

"Meanwhile, immigration agents are detaining and deporting moms and dads of American kids, pastors and DREAMers. In fact, according to the government's statistics, immigration arrests are up by about 40%. This increase, however, has been driven by arrests of folks without criminal records; arrests of undocumented immigrants without criminal records [have] spiked by more than 150% since January. This is the reality of immigration enforcement that the Trump administration does not want to call attention to..."

In other words, Trump is stirring up fear of criminal immigrants from Central America in order to justify mass deportation of millions of Hispanic and other minority immigrants who have been involved in no criminal activity whatsoever.

This is not a new tactic. Dictators the world over, and throughout history, have tried to stigmatize and demonize targeted immigrants and other minority groups as criminals or dangers to security in order to force them to leave, or otherwise do away with them.

This has been the case ever since (if not long before) the emperor Tiberius expelled the Jews and followers of Isis (the Egyptian goddess, that is) from Rome in 19 A.D. on the pretext of engaging in alleged subversive activities of one kind or another - historians have never been sure of exactly what they did to incur the emperor's wrath.

But, obviously, in reading comments of both ancient and modern historians on this incident, it would appear that Tiberius expected to gain in some way from expelling members of these evidently unpopular minority groups.

There can not be any serious doubt that Donald Trump is attempting to do the same thing in moving ahead with the mass deportation of some 11 million Latino and other minority immigrants, and that MS-13 is nothing more than a pretext.

This is the real message of Donald Trump's July 28 Long Island, NY MS-13 speech.

For more details about Tiberius' expulsion of Jews and Isis followers almost exactly 2,000 years ago, see:
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School who has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards for more than 35 years. Roger's email address is