Update: January 8, 10:40 pm.

Trump held off on his original threat to declare a national emergency in order to build his border Wall, in a speech to the nation on the evening of January 8.

An earlier update follows:

Update: January 8: The headlines this morning are announcing that Donald Trump is preparing to make a nationally televised speech this evening at which he will almost certainly declare a fraudulent and utterly baseless "national emergency" to build his Wall of hatred and white supremacy because, in his view, too many brown-skinned women and children are seeking asylum protection at the US/Mexican border in accordance with US immigration laws.

Lehigh University professor Anthony DiMaggio has written a full explanation of how Trump's Wall is part of a larger agenda to being about a fascist America. See: Counterpunch, January 4

The Shutdown as Fascist Creep

I will comment further on this article in my next blog after Trump makes his anticipated announcement

My original comment follows:

From the earliest days of Donald Trump's Muslim
Ban executive order, through the cruelties of his disastrous, failed child separation policy, to his attempt to rewrite the nation's asylum laws on his own against the express mandate of Congress, accompanied by relentless attacks on the courts, the media and the opposition party as "enemies of the people" for opposing his immigration agenda, it has been obvious that the president is using attacks on non-white immigrants to destroy the foundations of America's democracy and head this country toward the abyss of dictatorship.

For just one of the many warnings from legal experts of the dangerous consequences of Trump's attacks on non-white immigrants for the rule of law in America, see attorney and Illinois ACLU Executive Director Colleen K. Connell's November 27, 2918 article about asylum in the Chicago Sun-Times:

Trump trashes the courts so he can rule like a dictator


She writes:

"We need an independent judiciary as a check to protect basic rights...It is a threat to that constitutional order - and our very republic - when the president attacks the judiciary in an attempt to justify lawless actions. And, like the Chief Justice, we must be stirred to action and resolve. Our nation must not bend our principles to the autocratic rule of Donald Trump. Instead, we must hold him accountable within that system."

Now, only a few weeks after this article was written, America faces an even more serious crisis of our democracy arising from Trump's immigration agenda. Trump has now escalated his claim to absolute power by threatening to go around America's entire legal an constitutional system of checks and balances declaring a "national emergency" based on the totally fictitious "border security crisis" presented by a "caravan" of several thousand harmless asylum-seekers, mainly women and children, who are desperately trying to escape violence and other intolerable conditions in Central America by presenting themselves at the border in accordance with U.S.law.

As has happened more than once in recent world history - I will refrain from giving any specific examples in order not to digress from my topic of Trump's immigration agenda specifically,- repeating a brazen, outrageous lie over and over again until an apathetic media and public come to regard it as true is a major step toward the destruction of democracy.

There can be no doubt that Trump's endlessly repeated charges that Central American asylum-seekers are "criminals", "drug dealers" and "MS-13 gang members" who are endangering "border security" and therefore making a Wall necessary is a classic use of the Big Lie.

Now matter how often Trump repeats the lie that these woman and children are bringing "drugs", :"crime" "gangs". "disease" and "human trafficking" to the U.S., there is not a shred of evidence that any of the this is true.

The only "threat" they present is that if Trump follows the immigration laws of the United States and allows these desperate people, among whom two innocent young children have already died in U.S. government custody, to present their asylum claims at the border, he will lose standing with his most rabid white supremacist "base" supporters.

For more on the use of lies a a pretext for building Trump's border Wall, see Jesse Jackson, December 20, 2018:

Trump's Border Wall is Built on Lies About Immigrants


And let there be no misunderstanding about the real purpose of Trump's Wall. It is not aimed only aimed at "illegal" immigrants or at people requesting asylum according to our laws. As Trump has also shown in tweets and other statements too numerous to mention, he also wants to build an "invisible" wall against legal immigration from non-white parts of the world.

In fact, as I and others have also pointed out previously, Trump's wall against legal immigration, including refugees, TPS holders, H-1B, family immigration (which Trump invariably calls by the pejorative term "chain migration" and almost always associates with crime with no supporting evidence) and employment-based visas and green cards in general, is already well under way.

See David Bier, of the Cato Institute:

Trump builds his wall against legal immigrants


But now, with Trump's latest threat to declare a national emergency and bypass Congress completely to build the border Wall, America is on the verge of entering an uncharted territory - one in which our immigration laws will no longer be decided by the American people through their duly elected Senators and Representatives in the Congress of the United States as intended by our Constitution and 120 years of Supreme Court precedent going back to the time of the late 19th century exclusion laws, but will be decided by one man only - Donald Trump.

But declaring a national emergency to build a border Wall which Trump has no chance whatsoever of getting approved by the elected representatives of the American people poses a much greater danger to America than just setting Trump up as a dictator over immigration - an area in which the courts have admittedly given the president wide discretion over the years.

The biggest danger of all is that described by Elizabeth Goitein in a January, 2019 article in The Atlantic magazine, who writes:

"The moment the president declares a 'national emergency' - a decision that is entirely within his discretion - he is able to set aside many of the legal limits on his authority"


The list of actions that the president could take to erode or extinguish democracy in the U.S. including such moves as limiting or censoring access to the Internet to stifle criticism or opposition, is frightening.

Even more frightening is the fact that there is one country which has already built a wall against non-European immigrants and has gone on to eliminate all but a few vestiges of its democracy. I refer to the regime of Viktor Orban in Hungary - one which has also been widely accused of being anti-Jewish as will as being openly anti-Muslim See, Zack Beauchamp, September 13, 2018:

Warning Signs for U.S.: How Democracy Died in Hungary


Ironically, according to Yale Law School professor Bruce Ackerman, writing in the New York Times on January 5, even declaring a national emergency would not give the president legal authority to use the military to build a border Wall. To the contrary, if Trump used solders to build it, they would all be committing a federal crime. See:

No, Trump Cannot Declare an Emergency to Build His Wall


The issue is not whether a group of desperate, vulnerable Central American mainly woman and children seeking safety in the US pose any security threat to this country - obviously they do not.

The real issue is whether America's democracy can survive Donald Trump's relentless invective, demonization and vilification against brown and black immigrants of every category, and his drive toward absolute power to deal with the imaginary threat that non-white immigrants present to the United States

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law