Update, August 24, 1:00 am:

On August 22, the Sierra Club issued a statement about Trump's border wall proposal, which Trump is now insisting on funding by using the threat of shutting down the federal government if he does not get his way, with the following title:



The statement included the following:

"Trump is waiving bedrock protections for border communities, ignoring public health and the environment, and wasting U.S. taxpayer money to build a symbol of hate, fear and racism. Border communities do not support Trump's bigoted policies like unjust travel bans or a boondoggle border wall."

One might add that Trump's border Wall is more than just a symbol of hate and humiliation directed against Mexican immigrants, and by extension all Latino and other non-white American and foreign citizens alike. It is an insult to all Americans and to America itself - a direct denial of this country's core values of racial justice and the equality of all people on which this nation was founded.

By stigmatizing and demonizing Mexican immigrants, and by extension all other non-European immigrants, as inferior, as people to be kept out of the US at all costs, Trump's Wall is also in an even darker and more ominous tradition, that of the Wall that the Nazis built around the Warsaw Ghetto during WW2 in order to make it easier to exterminate the Jews.

as another Republican president, Ronald Reagan, famously told the Russians to tear down the Wall of Communist tyranny they had built in Berlin (and eventually that Wall was torn down), all Americans of good will must do everything within their legal power to make sure the Trump's border Wall of hate and shame is never built.

My original comment appears below.

In an earlier comment which I posted just before the beginning of Donald Trump's August 22 Phoenix rally, I suggested that the president might use the occasion to renew the attacks on legal immigration from non-white parts of the world which he began in another speech in Phoenix almost exactly a year ago, on August 31, 2016.

However, in his most recent Phoenix speech, delivered at a rally with his base supporters, Trump, instead of attacking non-European immigration in general, as he did in Phoenix a year ago, focused his attacks on a particular group of immigrants, namely Latinos, and did so in terms which showed that his attacks on immigration are paving the way for an assault against democracy itself.

For the most complete and incisive report on Trump's speech, one should go, as is so often the case, not to the US media reports, which so often focus on trivial or less important details rather than dealing with the essence of a story, but to the venerable British source, The Guardian (originally the Manchester Guardian) which, for almost 200 years, been one of England's most respected daily newspapers (and which also, incidentally, doesn't try to scam its readers by trying to make them pay to read its articles online). See:


He did this in three ways: First, he threatened to shut down the US government if Congress doesn't provide funding for his Mexican border Wall, which from the start, has been the centerpiece of his agenda of animosity against and attempts to humiliate immigrants from Mexico and the rest of Latin America.

Not only would shutting down the government render the duly elected representatives of the American people in Congress totally impotent, but Trump's obsession with building the Wall no matter what the cost may be, not only in money but in damage to our democratic system, can only bring back memories of other Walls which became the symbols of totalitarian societies.

I refer to the infamous Berlin Wall of Communist tyranny, and to the even more infamous Wall which the Nazis built around the Warsaw Ghetto as part of their plan to exterminate the entire Jewish people.

In this regard, the contrast could not be more dramatic between Trump and and a previous Republican president, Ronald Reagan. Reagan urged the Russians to tear down the Berlin Wall.

Trump, on the other hand (who is now under investigation by a special counsel and two grand juries for alleged possible illegal connections with Russia by himself and/or his close associates) is evidently willing to tear down America's functioning of a democratically elected government in order to build a Wall against targeted minority immigrants.

The next way in which Trump's threatened immigration actions resemble those of a dictator more than the leader of a democracy was in Trump's implied promise at the rally (one which it is quite safe to predict that he will carry out sooner rather than later) to pardon Joe Arpaio.

This would be a clear message to all government officials involved with immigration enforcement that no matter how much they may abuse minority immigrants, they will be exempt from and put above any legal controls over their conduct.

There was a European country, Germany, that once had a "law enforcement" organization that, according to governmental decree, was totally exempt from any judicial oversight or review. It was known as the Gestapo.

Finally, and most dangerous of all for America's continued future as a democracy, there were Trump's extreme attacks on the press at the Phoenix rally. These attacks went far beyond merely challenging of disagreeing with media comments or stories, as is of course the right of every person, from the president on down, in a free society.

To the contrary, they were direct attacks on the legitimacy of a free and independent press in America, consisting of statements that media reporters whom Trump didn't like were not only "crooked" and "dishonest", but that "they don't like our country".

See the above report in The Guardian for further details.

This is not the language of democracy. It is the language of dictatorship - the direction in which Trump's attacks on minority immigrants and his attempts to exploit hatred and prejudice against them are leading America.
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 diverse parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards, without regard to ancestry, religion or ethnic background, in the true spirit of America.

Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com