One day last week I attended a CLE program sponsored by the New York State Bar Association covering the latest developments in Business Immigration. The program was presented by a panel of distinguished immigration lawyers with many years of experience and expertise in this field.

The program included many of the most popular and important business and professional visas, ranging from H-1B and O-1 specialty occupation and extraordinary ability visas through PERM Labor Certifications to E-2 and EB-5 investor visas.

No matter what the particular topic was at any given time, there was one consistent theme running through the entire program, summarized by an item in the written course materials prepared by David Grunblatt, Esq. and Rachel Baskin, Esq. entitled:

BUSINESS IMMIGRATION IN RETREAT: IN THE OBSTACLE COURSE CONFRONTED BY FILERS OF H-1B AND OTHER NON-IMMIGRANT VISA PETITIONS

I will discuss subject matter details of this and other presentations in this program in a forthcoming comment. For now, it is enough to say that there was wide agreement that the Trump administration is conducting a broad frontal attack on legal business and professional immigration as we know it today, and is using every possible method at its disposal to delay and obstruct the same Merit-Based immigration which it hypocritically and in Orwellian fashion, touts as a reason for trying to cut back on or eliminate family, diversity, and other less skilled immigration.

The more one focuses on the details of the Trump-Miller agenda, the harder it is to avoid the conclusion that the Trump administration is trying to rewrite the laws governing America's entire legal immigration system into a 1924-style model that will make it almost all but impossible for most non-white, non-European immigrants to obtain legal visas and green cards.

And this raises another question: Why are the Democrats so adamantly refusing to look at Trump's obvious attempts to eliminate non-white legal immigration as much as possible by executive fiat without going through Congress as required by the Constitution as grounds for impeachment.

Do the Democrats seriously think that endless harping on three Latin words will be enough to put an end to the Trump Era, and its mortal threat, not only to legal immigration as we know it, but to America's democracy itself?

The Democratic leadership's expectation that three short Latin words, Quid Pro Quo, will be enough to impeach Donald Trump and remove him from office are so shortsighted and misguided that it would almost be comic - if it were not so tragic. When I say tragic, I mean not only for immigrants and immigration supporters, but also for all Americans who care about the future of our democracy and about preventing this country from turning into the kind of totalitarian state described by George Orwell in his novel 1984

First, these three little Latin words could easily be wiped out by five Greek words that are already coming to Trump's defense.

In his nearly 3,000 year old poem; Theogony (Theogonia) the Greek poet Hesiod (thought to have lived around the same time as Homer) presents a detailed description of the origin of the gods according to classical Greek mythology.

But just at the point where he is really getting into his story, he suddenly stops and asks: "But what is all this to me, about an oak or a rock?"

(In Greek, alla tiei moi tauta peri dryn ei peri petrein;)

The last five Greek words of this line;peri dryn ei peri petrein("an oak or a rock") are exactly what most Americans, Democrats and independents, not only Republicans, will be asking themselves as the impeachment hearings drag on.

To be sure, What Trump is accused of - threatening to withhold urgently needed military aid to Ukraine - a country which most Americans would have a hard time finding on a map - unless its government agreed to help him dig up dirt on a Domestic political rival - is reprehensible. It is also very possibly illegal, since Congress had already appropriated the military aid money.

But does this rise (or sink, would be a better word) to the level of depravity and danger to America that is normally associated with the word impeachment? When all is said and done, the great majority of voters - both those who are against Trump as well s for him, may wind up not caring any more about his phone call to Ukraine's president any more than Hesiod did about an oak or a rock.

But there is a far more urgent and serious reason for impeaching and removing Trump from office - one which could have a fundamental effect on our society, out principles and our democracy, and which risks turning this country into a totalitarian regime of the type that Orwell was only able to imagine.

This ground for impeachment, which the Democrats are deliberately ignoring and ruling out even though it is right in front of them like an 800 lb. elephant in the room, is Trump's racist campaign of hatred and persecution, including egregious human rights violations, against both legal and unauthorized non-European immigrants.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media continues to compartmentalize the Trump-Miller agenda of abuses of power and human rights violations by focusing on each point in isolation - whether child separation in 2018 or indefinite detention and "Remain in Mexico" now, on the unauthorized or lawful asylum side of the equation, or on the recently promulgated Public Charge and health insurance decrees aimed at barring most legal visa applicants.

But in order to understand the real danger that the Trump regime poses to America's current legal racially equal immigration system and our democracy, we have to turn to a non-conventional outlet, namely the World Socialist Web Site, and its October 2 article:


Democrats exclude Trump's fascist anti-immigrant policies from impeachment inquiry

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/10/03/pers-o03.html

The article begins with a description of a reported White House meeting in which, according to the New York Times, the president of the United States of America had suggested filling moats around his border Wall with snakes and alligators and putting flesh-piercing spikes on top of the Wall.

Referring to this horrifying example of pure sadism against non-white immigrants, in a story which was promptly buried and forgotten by the media, the WSWS article states:

"That such Hitlerian proposals are discussed in the Oval Office by the president and his chief advisers- down to the details of cost...shows that Trump's immigration policies are calculated to abuse and terrorize immigrant workers."

The article continues:

"Trump is the malignant product of a political system poisoned by decades of... attacks on democratic rights. A country whose Declaration of Independence attacked the king of England for 'obstructing the laws for the naturalization of foreigners' and 'refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither' is now led by would-be despots whose proposals for torturing asylum seekers would shock the conscience of people living in the dark ages."

Yes, Trump's phone call to a foreign leader to try to force him to help Trump smear Joe Biden and skew the 2020 election was reprehensible and certainly should be investigated.


But should this be a substitute for a far more serious and dangerous abuse of power by the Trump administration that could affect the safety, welfare, and fundamental human rights of tens of millions of actual and potential immigrants by sealing America's borders off against them solely because they do not have the same ancestry as people from "Countries like Norway", to quote Donald Trump's own reported words?

If the Democrats think that three little Latin words, Quid Pro Quo will be enough to remove this threat to America's immigration system, and our democracy, they may be sadly mistaken.



Roger Algase
Attorney at Law