Update: October 7:

See my comment below about the mortal danger to immigration, birthright citizenship and democracy itself, now that Trump has achieved his goal of turning the Supreme Court into a very likely willing accomplice of his white supremacist immigration agenda but putting Justice Brett Kvanaugh on the court and cementing an extreme right wing majority which is unlikely to challenge Trump's absolute and uncontrolled power over all aspects of immigration and citizenship in the United States.

Whether this country will continue as a democracy open to immigration and citizenship by people of all races, creeds and countries of origin, or whether it will turn into a one-man white supremacist dictatorship surrounded by a wall against non-white people will depend on the voters of America this November.

The only way to resist Trump's white nationalist dictatorship is through the 3 "I's" - 1) Impeachment, 2) Investigation, and 3) Independence of the lower federal courts from Supreme Court control.

My original comment follows:


Certainly, Judge Brett Kavanaugh has every right to defend himself against serious sexual assault allegations by Dr. Christine Ford which would amount to the major crime of attempted rape if proven. It is also a fact that, no matter how eloquent Dr. Ford's testimony at a stacked Senate Committee hearing may have been, Kavanaugh's supporters have made sure that the truth will never be known about these charges, by blocking any kind of independent investigation.

But, serious as these charges are and persuasive as Dr. Ford's accusations may have been, for immigrants and their families, there is a great deal at stake in the Kavanaugh confirmation battle that goes far beyond the issue of his alleged sexual assaults against women, important as that issue is.

In many far reaching and fundamental ways, the future of immigration in the United States, both legal and unauthorized, is at stake in this confirmation battle. And while the word "immigration" was not mentioned at any time during the September 27 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing (so far as I am aware), the fate of an estimated 12 million unauthorized immigrants and their families currently in the United States, and of tens of millions of immigrants from every part of the world who would hope to come to the US legally in the coming decades, was not far in the background of the hearing.

At the outset, it may be no coincidence that the hearing was led by the committee chairman, Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who for at least two decades has been one of the most strident foes of legal immigration in the US, especially the H-1B skilled worker visa which he looks at as nothing more that a breeding ground for "fraud" and for "stealing" jobs from American workers.

Grassley, of course, knows how Kavanaugh would be expected to vote on issues affecting the rights of immigrants if he is confirmed. This is obviously a driving force behind Grassley's rush to get Kavanaugh confirmed, regardless of whether or not the sexual assault or harassment charges by Dr. Ford and other women may have been true.

Second, Judge Kavanaugh himself shredded the image of his own previously claimed impartiality as a potential Supreme Court Justice by launching an impassioned partisan rant against the Democrats in general, at one point,in effect, blaming Hillary Clinton for Christine Ford's allegations.


How objective or impartial is Kavanaugh likely to be as a Supreme Court Justice when critically important issues for the Democrats such as immigrant rights come up before the Court for decision? And what issues might those be?

Amsterdam News columnist Felicia Persaud describes them clearly and succinctly in an article appearing on the same date as the Senate committee hearing, September 27. See:

What Kavanaugh's confirmation could mean for immigrants


Persaud begins her article by quoting the dismissive, if not derogatory, language that Kavanaugh used in a dissenting opinion toward a 17-year old woman in immigration detention who was seeking an abortion as a Circuit Court Judge: "a new right for unlawful immigrant minors in US government detention...".

To be fair, as a member of a three-judge panel in that same case, Kavanaugh had tried to broker a deal with the government which could have led, not only to the young woman's obtaining the abortion, but also to her being released from immigration detention, so he cannot be accused of being overly antagonistic to her in that particular case (Garza v Hargan, D.C. Circuit, October 20, 2017).

But this is only one of many other immigration issues which could very likely come before the Supreme Court during Kavanaugh's tenure during the coming years and decades. Here are some of the others, as mentioned in the above article.:

1) DACA,
2) The Trump administration's attempt to pull out of the Flores settlement protecting immigrant children against indefinite detention,
3) TPS for Central American and other immigrants seeking protection against dangerous conditions in their home countries,
4) Restrictions on asylum and refugee claims,
5) The administration's latest proposal to use acceptance of almost any public benefits as grounds for denying applications to become legal residents or US citizens,
6) The denial of passports to hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of US citizens born on the US side of the Mexican border

One could add to this list the huge elephant in the room that few commentators mention these days, but which is an avowed goal of Trump and many of his supporters - abolishing the guarantee of birthright citizenship for all US born children without regard to race, color, ancestry or parents' status as contained in the 14th Amendment and upheld by the landmark 1898 Supreme Court Wong Kim Ark decision.. These attempts could change the US from being the America that all of us now know into a white supremacist nation resembling the US under Dred Scott or, more recently, South Africa under the apartheid regime.

Persaud concludes her article as follows::

"There are several other cases that could end up before Kavanaugh and the Supreme Court, and it is frightening to think that he will likely tilt the scales of justice in favor of...this xenophobic administration."

In other words, will America continue to be a nation open to qualified immigrants from every part of the world, or will it revert to being a country which once excluded Irish, Italian Jewish and Asian immigrants on racial and religious grounds, and is now trying to do the same to Latino, Middle Eastern and African immigrants, if not all immigrants who are not from "Countries likeNorway" to use Trump's own words?

Brett Kavanaugh, if confirmed to the High Court, could play a critical role in answering that question. For immigrants and their supporters, and for all Americans who believe in equal justice under the law for everyone, not just a powerful wealthy white elite, this is not a reassuring thought.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law