America may be moving closer to actual fascist rule, as the campaign by top DHS officials to squelch any opposition to Trump's mass arrest and deportation agenda aimed at expelling millions of Latin American, Asian, Middle Eastern and African immigrants went into even higher gear than before on January 16.

In my January 5 comment, I discussed the threat by acting ICE Director Thomas Homan to have Sanctuary City officials prosecuted for the crime of "harboring" or "assisting" unauthorized immigrants if these officials refuse to cooperate with the DHS in carrying out this form of what amounts to ethnic cleansing. See my blog comment:

ICE Director's Threat of Criminal Charges Against Sanctuary City Officials Undermines Democracy and Assists Trump's Authoritarian Agenda

On January 16, the Washington Times reported that DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told the Senate Judiciary Committee that her Department has asked federal prosecutors to see if they can file criminal charges against Sanctuary City officials who refuse to cooperate with DHS deportation activities, and that the Department of Justice is "reviewing what avenues may be available".

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Even before the Trump administration took office, Attorney General designate Jeff Sessions, who as a Senator in 2015 authored an "Immigration Handbook for Congressional Republicans" that praised the same openly white supremacist 1924 "national origins" immigration act which Adolf Hitler wrote about admiringly some 90 years earlier in Mein Kampf, also raised the specter of prosecuting Sanctuary officials who don't fall into lockstep behind Trump's program of expelling and excluding millions of immigrants who don't happen to come from white countries such as Norway, which Trump said on January 11 that he wants to favor over dark skinned African and Caribbean countries.

The federal laws against "harboring" and "assisting" unauthorized immigrants are extremely broad, and could be interpreted to apply to anyone, including an American citizen, who provides any kind of help or benefit, such as shelter, medical or legal services, or even failing to report such a person to the authorities for deportation, to an immigrant who is in the US without legal permission.

The threats of prosecution against Sanctuary officials by top Trump administration officials could be only the beginning of a program to fill up America's jails with anyone who opposes or speaks out against Trump's deportation agenda. The road leading from mass deportation and exclusion of non-white immigrants from what Trump calls "shithole" (or "shithouse") countries to full-blown fascism in America may be much shorter - and closer - than most Americans would like to think.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law