This will continue my comment in the September 19 ID about the Republican assault on minority voting rights and its effect on immigration. Harold Meyerson has written an article on the Washington Post website, dated September 20, called: "The GOP is trying to rig the 2012 election". It discusses a proposal by Pennsylvania Republicans to split the state's electoral vote in the 2012 election according to Congressional district, rather than following the "winner take all" method used in almost all other states.
Like most states, Pennsylvania is heavily gerrymandered, with 8 of its 12 Congressional districts solidly Republican. This means that no matter how the vote went in that state, even if there were a huge turnout for the Democrats in Philadelphia or other cities with large numbers of minority voters, the Republicans would still win the state's electoral vote count by a 2-1 margin. There are reports of similar proposals by Republicans in other states that are normally Democratic or swing states, but, like Pennsylvania, now have Republican legislatures and governors. Of course, there are no proposals to change the voting system in states that are already solidly Republican.
This radical perversion of democracy would render the votes of minority and less affluent Americans meaningless and make it virtually impossible for the Democrats ever to capture the White House again. Barack Obama might go down in history as America's last Democratic president. America could become an oligarchy ruled by affluent whites, in which minorities, middle class and working class Americans would have no voice.
This death of American democracy could quickly lead to the closing of America's borders against most or all non-white immigrants and the expulsion of a large number of those who are already in this country. It could also lead, sooner or later, to changing the Constitution to abolish the 14th Amendment's guarantee of birthright US citzenship for all children born in the US and replacing it by a system based on the citizenship or immigration status of their parents.
This would, in effect, bring about a whites only birthright citizenship policy, just as the dissenting Justices in the landmark 1898 Supreme Court Wong Kim Ark case, upon which the doctrine of universal birthright citizenship depends, advocated. There are two warnings in this. First, it is suicidal for the Obama adminsitration to continue its policy of ethnic cleansing and mass expulsion of minority immigrants though Orwellian programs such as "Secure Communities". This only ensures that minority Democratic voters will stay home next November, or vote Republican out of protest (if they are allowed to vote at all).
Second, it is equally suicidal for the pro-immigration community to look at immigration as only an issue by itself without taking into account the larger war against all minorities. The current attempts to restrict legal immigration while engaging in mass expulsion of minority unauthorized immigrants, conducted by an African-American Democratic president who is engaging in cheap and cynical pandering for white Republican votes, are not only terrible politics. They could put American democracy itself in great danger.
Roger Algase is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been practicing business immigration law in New York City for more than 20 years.