Late on January 3, the news media were buzzing with bombshell Washington Post report (and audio tape!) showing that Donald Trump, (the most fiercely anti-immigrant president that America has had in 100 years, since the time of Calvin Coolidge) made a desperate, and very possibly criminal, phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger urging him to fraudulently "recalculate" the presidential election vote totals in his state in order to show Trump as the winner.

This would appear to be a clear violation of Section 52 of the US Code, which males it a federal felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, to fraudulently tamper with state election results. Trump's threat, also included in the phone call, to charge Raffensperger with a crime unless he fraudulently changed the vote total to show Trump as the winner, could also very arguably constitute the crime of extortion.

Trump's call might also very possibly be a criminal violation of Georgia's election laws - something which Trump has no power to pardon himself for. See, Washington Post, January 4:

Georgia election board member calls for probe into Trump's call seeking to pressure Reffensperger

Regardless of the possibility of criminal prosecution of Trump, which experts have already suggested according to The Guardian, nothing could be clearer proof of Trump's utter unfitness for the highest office in the land, as well as the acute danger to America's legal immigration system (which Trump has done everything in his power to destroy) and to America's democracy itself, during every additional day that Trump remains in office before Biden's inauguration just over two weeks from now.

Regardless of whether Trump is prosecuted or not after he is finally forced to leave office (since he has made clear a hundred times over that he will never leave office on his own) future historians will ask how it was possible for Trump to gain so much power that 40 per cent of Americans now falsely believe Trump's Big Lie that the 2020 election was "rigged" against him.

The answer will surely be that Trump gained this amount of power, which is still threatening the continued existence of our democracy, by exploiting hatred and prejudice against nonwhite immigrants and doing everything possible to prevent them from coming to or remaining in the US legally.

It is also not a coincidence that ,even though the media have been silent on this point , one of the Republican senators whose seat is at stake in the January 5 Georgia runoff election, David Perdue, was a co-sponsor of the failed RAISE Act in August, 2017. This bill would have carried out Trump's goal of eliminating most family-based green cards, as well as Diversity Visa green cards, with the greatest impact on immigrants from outside Europe. Trump was s strong supporter of this openly racist proposed legislation.

But Republican attempts to shut down the immigration system did not begin with Donald Trump. They have been going on for at least the past quarter century, beginning with IIRIRA in 1996. Because immigration and democracy in America are so closely linked, it is no surprise that so many Republican Senators and Representatives are supporting Trump's attempt at a Congressional coup to stay in power against the will of the American voters that will play out on January 6.

Will these Republican co-conspirators against democracy also support a military coup by Trump if the Congressional one fails, as is likely? A possible military coup cannot be entirely ruled out if Trump is mot promptly impeached and removed from office.

On an additional note, The Hill reports on January 4 that Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), who co-sponsored the white supremacist, anti-immigrant RAISE Act together with Perdue, has broken with Trump on the president's attempt to stage a Congressional coup on January 6 to overturn the results of last November's presidential election.

It is a welcome sign that at lest some Republicans, including those who, like Cotton, have been among Trump's strongest allies on immigration, are now finding the courage to stand up against his attempts to overthrow democracy and set himself up as a fascist dictator in America. Predictably, the media report that Trump has reacted against Cotton with the president's usual fury and rag that he directs anyone who stands in the way of his dictatorial ambitions.

Having supported Trump's attempts to shut down legal immigration for nonwhite applicants will not help Cotton in his dispute with Trump now.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law