In his first campaign ad, Donald Trump has taken anti-immigrant fear and falsehood to a new level of demagoguery, even for him. Here is the text of the ad as reported by NPR:

"The system stays rigged against Americans. Syrian refugees flood in. Illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay. Our border open. It's more of the same, but worse."

It then continues with the message that Trump's America is:

" Terrorists and dangerous criminals: kept out. The border: secured. Our families: safe. Change that makes America safe again."


First,, the ad lumps predominantly Muslim Syrian refugees together with "illegal immigrants committing crimes" as if they were all the same. This leaves out the fact that Syrian refugees come to this country legally, after extensive background checks which normally take at least two years to complete, according to the New York Times. See:

Moreover, the reported violent crime rate among Syrian refugees in the US, or among the 784,000 refugees in general who have entered the US since September 11, 2001 is extremely small, according to the The Atlantic magazine. See:

Most mendacious of all, however, is Trump's claim that a "flood" of Syrian refugees are coming into the US. The Obama administration's quota is exactly 10,000. This is not per month, or per year. It is the total.

Even Canada, with a much smaller population than the US, is in the process of taking in 25,000 Syrian refugees, with no reports o violent crime on their part that I am aware of.

In a nation of 300 million inhabitants, how does 10,000 legal immigrants from any country or religion amount to a "flood"?

Trump's ad also overlooks the fact that, according to published studies, the crime rate among immigrants as a whole is lower than it is for American citizens.

See: Alex Nowrasteh, Cato Institute, July 14, 2015:

Immigration and Crime - What the Research Says

(Sorry, I do not have a link - please go to Google.)

Trump's ad, consistent with so much of his rhetoric during this presidential campaign, is based on a "flood" - a flood of anti-immigrant fears and falsehoods.

And Trump's continued demonizing of Latino and Middle Eastern immigrants as "criminals" and "terrorists" is not something that affects only immigrants. it has the potential to undermine the foundations of America's democracy itself.

The National Socialists were able ot extinguish democracy by exploiting anti-Jewish fear and hatred that had been rampant in German society for at least a hundred years.

Donald Trump and his white nationalist supporters are now threatening to do the same in America by raising the specter of a country supposedly torn apart by crime and terror in order to pour gasoline on the flames of prejudice against Latino, Muslim and other minority immigrants.

Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, Roger has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from various parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards.

His email address is