It would be more comfortable to pretend that we are living in normal times in America, but we are not. Almost every new day brings yet another story from the White House showing that our democracy is in acute and urgent danger of disappearing and being replaced by a fascist Donald Trump dictatorship.

Not all of these stories deal directly with immigration. Many are about items such as Trump's attempts to use the Justice Department to obtain leniency for his friends who are convicted of serious crimes, such as Roger Stone. Even more dangerous, for democracy, Trump is now reportedly in a rage because people who have criticized him or opposed him have not been investigated or prosecuted - not yet.,

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/02/trump-raged-and-swore-his-aides-because-his-enemies-arent-being-prosecuted-report/

The New York Times reports on February 16 that over 1,000 former federal prosecutors and DOJ employees have called on Attorney General William Barr to resign because of his intervention in the Roger Stone case criminal in violation of the most basic concept of impartial justice in a democratic country.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/16/us/politics/barr-trump-justice-department.html


We have already seen this fascist tendency at work in the immigration context, with Trump's pardon of former Arizona sheriff and tormentor of Latino immigrants, Joe Arpaio. But Trump's singling out of so called "Sanctuary Cities" for his campaign of violence and terror against "undocumented " immigrants is also fascist. See: slate.com

Trump administration deploys elite border agents to sanctuary cities

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/02/trump-deploys-elite-border-agents-sanctuary-cities.html

There have been other instances in the past of elite forces being used to hound and persecute minority groups who were out of favor with the nation's leader. But I will leave this to historians of Europe in the 1930's for further comment.

Of course, Trump's supporters try to justify this assault on basic human rights by arguing that Trump is only "enforcing the immigration laws" against "illegal" immigrants. But this overlooks the Trump administration's policies of excluding and banning nonwhite legal immigrants in almost every category.

Most recently, we are seeing this in Trump's expanded Visa Ban against Africans, which has now abandoned the original paper-thin pretext that the banned counties were once "sponsors of terror" - which the Republican Supreme Court majority so eagerly seized in in Trump v. Hawaii.

Now, the expanded ban is openly racist - directed against countries such a Nigeria which Trump calls "shithole" countries because their citizens are mainly black. See, The Guardian, February 16:


Trump is deciding who is American: how the new travel ban is tearing families apart

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/16/trump-is-deciding-who-is-american-how-the-new-travel-ban-is-tearing-families-apart

And the expanded Visa Ban (can we please stop euphemistically calling it a "travel ban"?) is not a ban on "travel" - it a ban against human beings whose race, ancestry and skin color do not meet Trump's criteria of being from "Countries like Norway.")Is also a classic sign of fascism.

America has had racist bans on immigration before - such as in the Chinese exclusion laws and the 1924 bar against Jewish, Italian, Eastern European, Asian, Middle Eastern and African immigrants which Stephen Miller had such high praise for in his recently released emails. But these earlier bans were imposed by the duly elected representatives of the American people in Congress.

Trump's equally racist Muslim and African bans were imposed by the decree of on person only - Donald Trump. The fact that these bans were issued under color of a law giving the president wide powers to bar immigrants in the face of a genuine threat to national security - not a contrived one - makes no difference.

As the Roman poet Lucan wrote 2,000 years ago in he time of the emperor Nero:

iusque datum sceleri canimus

("I sing of legality bestowed on crime.")


The above are not the only examples of anti-immigrant fascism under the Trump administration. The expanded Public Charge rules, which are a blatant attempt to roll.back or eliminate nonwhite legal immigration, perhaps for a generation or more to come, as well as the cruelty an horrors of Trump's "Remain in Mexico" and indefinite immigrant detention policies are also fascist -imposed by degree or what amounts to decree, without the slightest input from Congress. Moreover, Trump's border Wall, another overtly fascist symbol, is being built in the face of Congressional opposition.

I will discuss these developments further in my next comment on this topic.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law
Harvard Law School LL.B
Harvard College A.B.