As America struggles to emerge from a four year period under a chief executive who tried to institute a regime of mass deportation of unauthorized immigrants and to shut down most of America's legal immigration system in order to keep the US as white as possible for as long as possible ("Countries Like Norway" in Donald Trump's words); and whose idea of democracy was to threaten to investigate, prosecute and/or lock up leaders in the opposition party (Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden); while doing everything in his power to subvert the results of a fair presidential election, including inciting a violent insurrection against the Unites States Congress; it is salutary to reflect on the fact that, almost 2,500 years ago, in the 5th Century BC, ancient Athens had a better understanding of the need to uphold the human rights of immigrants and to protect democracy from being subverted than the United States is showing today.

In a treatise written during that period by an author whom some scholars have speculated to have been Xenophon but who has never been definitely identified, the writer discusses the pros ad cons of both oligarchy and democracy. His conclusion can be compared to Winston Churchill's famous statement that democracy is the worst possible form of government - except for all the others.

But first, let us see what this anonymous ancient writer had to say about immigrants in Athens. He writes:

"...we have established an equality...between our resident aliens and full citizens, because the city stands in need of her resident aliens to meet the requirements of such a multiplicity of arts and for the purposes of her navy. That is, I repeat, the justification of the equality conferred upon our resident aliens."

See: Greek Historical Documents: Naphtali Lewis: The Fifth Century B.C. A.M. Hakkert, Ltd., Toronto 1971, page 54

Can humanity be said to have made any "progress" in recognizing the human rights of immigrants, when, almost two and a half millennia after the above was written, a supposedly "advanced" country like the US elected a leader in 2016 who blasted nonwhite immigrants as "criminals", "rapists", "drug-dealers" and "invaders" while trying to shut down the legal immigration system so that it would become impossible for most nonwhite applicants to become lawful "resident aliens"?

Can 21st Century America really be looked upon as more advanced than 5th Century BC Athens when this same leader, who is now spreading the Big Lie that he really "won" the 2020 election, remains the head of a party that has been trying for at least the past 30 years to slam America's gates shut against immigrants from everywhere in the world except white Europe, in an attempt to return our immigration system to the infamous "National Origins Quotas" immigration act of 1924 - a US law which provided inspiration and support to the fascist movement in Europe?

In the second part of this two part-series, I will discuss the same anonymous 5th Century BC writer's analysis of Athenian democracy and the need to protect it from being subverted; as compared with US democracy today, which is in mortal danger of being destroyed by a quasi-fascist ideology fueled by anti-immigrant racism.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law
Harvard College A.B.
Harvard Law School LL.B