As Pope Francis addresses Congress today, September 24, with his expected message of support for immigration reform and return to our traditional values as a nation that was built on immigration, immigration opponents continue to show why his call for tolerance and compassion toward immigrants is so badly needed in America now.

While the focus of anti-immigrant rhetoric during the past few months has been on Donald Trump, who is relatively new to the immigrant-bashing business after having sponsored almost 1,000 low wage Mexican immigrants for visas to work for his own companies, long-time immigration opponents are still at work thinking of every possible way they can to vilify immigrants in general and turn public opinion against them.

Few people have been at this game longer than New York Post columnist Michelle Malkin. As the child of immigrants from the Philippines herself, she is obviously in a good position to know how much "harm" immigration is doing for America, and how "vital" it is to stop more people like her own mother and father from coming to live in America.

And as the American citizen daughter of immigrant parents herself, Malkin is especially qualified to expound on the "dangers" of allowing legal immigrants to become American citizens, or at least to do so more quickly and efficiently, and with less red tape.

However, on reading her latest diatribe about why she believes that DHS should slow down naturalization procedures, rather than make them more accessible to qualified legal immigrants, it turns out that the main threat to America presented by new citizens is that, in her view, they might vote Democratic instead of Republican.

This is clear from the title of her latest pontificating on this subject (no pun intended): Homeland Security finally gets cracking - to register Hillary voters (September 23).

It is also obvious from her three concluding paragraphs:

"The dysfunctional DHS can't control our borders. It has failed to prevent massive fraud in our asylum, student visa, visitor visa, tech worker visa and immigrant investor green card programs. And the department is overwhelmed with paperwork from 10 million applicants for Obama's executive amnesty waivers.

But when it comes to signing up new potential Democratic voters in droves, the feckless feds run a NASCAR-ready well oiled machine."

But, just in case anyone missed it, Malkin makes clear that her biggest reason for opposing immigration is purely political, namely that too many immigrants might vote for the wrong party:

"Suicidal Republicans who continue to hand over the open-borders keys to their hit and run opponents reap what they sow." (Italics added.)

In other words, immigrants may come here illegally. They might, allegedly, come here with legal visas that are fraudulently obtained (though Malkin doesn't give a single actual example of fraud in any of the legal immigration programs she is attacking). Immigration applications may cause backlogs in government agencies.

(However, where Malkin got her figure of 10 million "executive amnesty" applications from is a mystery. At the time that DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the only program for relief from deportation she refers to was implemented, the administration estimated that, at the most, slightly over 1 million young people (DREAMER's) were eligible to apply at most. If Malkin is referring to some other "executive amnesty" program, she does not tell us what it is. The "10 million" figure appears to be delusional - but then again, respect for the truth has never been one of Malkin's strong points.)

But even if Malkin's highly exaggerated and totally unsubstantiated charges of immigration fraud and " executive amnesty" application backlogs were true, those are not the worst accusations that she makes against immigrants. Clearly, the worst thing that immigrants can possibly do, in Malkin's view, is to exercise their right according to law to become American citizens and then vote against her Republican party.

Pope Francis is being accused by some immigration opponents of meddling in US politics by bringing a religious message of tolerance, compassion and humanity toward immigrants. Never mind that many of these same people have no problem with supporting a Kentucky county clerk's bigoted attempts to use claimed religious belief as an excuse for openly defying the law (and several court orders) by refusing to issue marriage licences to same sex couples.

But the attempts of Michelle Malkin and others like her to stir up hatred and animosity against immigrants, in this case on the grounds that they might vote for the Democrats, shows how relevant the Pope's support for immigration really is and how badly his message is needed in a society that has become so badly divided and polarized along political and racial lines.

To read Malkin's comments in full, see:

http://nypost.com/2015/09/23/homelan...illary-voters/

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Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 30 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas, green cards and US citizenship (regardless of which party they intend to vote for).

Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com