On Tuesday, November 3, (or, hopefully, soon after unless delayed by likely GOP legal challenges seeking to throw out hundreds of thousands, or millions, of pro-Biden mail in votes) America will find out if the strategy of fomenting fear, division and hate against non-white immigrants that got Trump elected in 2016 will work again in 2020.

Forget about Russian hacking, Hillary Clinton's email's and even America's outmoded, undemocratic electoral college system which makes the votes of white citizens in sparsely populated states worth more than those of black, Latino and Asian US citizens in densely populated ones. Yes, these had some effect, but what really elected Trump was his relentless attacks on Latino immigrants as "criminals" "rapists" and "drug dealers", and his promise to ban all Muslims from the entire world from entering the US - a promise which the US Supreme Court ultimately ratified (in more limited form) in Trump v Hawaii.

But this was only the beginning of a relentless drive to rewrite America's immigration laws in order to close America off to legal immigration, affecting primarily nonwhite areas of the world, which Trump has referred to as "shithole countries". And this rewriting of the immigration laws - the biggest move to close off America to non-European immigrants since the infamous original 1882 Chinese exclusion law and the equally infamous "National Origins" immigration act 1924 that gave so much inspiration to Hitler and the rise of fascism in Germany - has been carried out entirely without the consent of Congress - which is supposed to make the laws in our democracy.

Instead, Trump's agenda of anti-immigrant hate has been imposed on America through authoritarian executive action. Almost no device to block nonwhite immigrants from coming to or staying legally in the US has been left out of Trump's agenda, as shown in an October 31 Washington Post article:

Trump put up walls to immigrants, with stinging rhetoric and barriers made of steel and regulation

On April 20, (Adolf Hitler's birthday) Trump pledged to abolish legal immigration in the US entirely. While this has not happened yet, Trump is already well on his way to achieving this goal, not only with the new Public Charge rule intended to make drastic cuts in green card approvals, but by redefining H-1B almost out of existence.

Trump has also eliminated most of the legal refugee program, launched a full-scale attack on asylum and TPS, and tried to end DACA, to mention only some of his other authoritarian attacks on legal immigration.

But Trump's (and Stephen Miller's) obsession with putting a virtual end to legal immigration in the US by applicants who are not from "Countries like Norway" (to use Trump's term), is not only a danger to the racially just, fair and diverse diverse immigration system that America has known for the past 55 years. Trump and Miller's focus on legal immigrants as a kind of :internal enemy", or "invaders" is also leading directly to US dictatorship, as some 80 academic authorities on fascism have pointed out in a recent open letter.

See, The Guardian, (November 1):

Scholars warn of collapse of democracy as Trump v Biden election looms


For another sign that not only the future of legal immigration, but democracy itself, is in danger from Trump's reliance on anti-immigrant racism in his attempt to win reelection, see, Huffington Post (November 2)

'Justice is on the Ballot': DOJ Alums say Trump Reelection Could Be 'Point Of No Return'

Nor is Trump above using fascist-style violence to interfere with the election campaign, as in the case of an attack by his supporters on Joe Biden's bus on the way to a Texas rally. The FBI is now investigating the bus attack.


Fascism needs an "enemy" population for the dictator to attack. There is no doubt that Trump has found his "enemy" - non European immigrants, legal and unauthorized. Will this strategy work for him again in 2020 as it did in 2016? We should be finding out shortly.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law