Bloggings on Immigration Law
by Roger Algase
Iran may soon be reaching the point of no return with its nuclear program. This aggressive fascist dictatorship, whose power depends on having slaughtered, imprisoned and tortured its opponents in the wake of its fraudulent June, 2009 election, is now in the hands of its Revolutionary Guard, whose respect for democracy and human rights is about the same as that which the Nazis showed in Germany.
All indications are that Iran is determined to acquire nuclear weapons, no matter what the cost, and to use them - primarily against Israel, which Iran's leaders have called an illegitimate, "one-bomb" state (a reference to the number of bombs it would take to destroy Israel). It is not only Israel that is in danger, however. Iran could use nuclear weapons to intimidate the entire Arab world or even Europe -goodbye Arab spring. But one does not have to be a supporter of Israel's far right regime (and this writer is certainly not) in order to worry that Iran intends to carry out a second Holocaust, this time a nuclear one.
According to reports in some of the world's most reliable newspapers, such as the Financial Times and the Guardian, Iran may be about to enter the "zone of immunity" in which its entire nuclear weapons program may be located so far underground that no Israeli or even American strike would be able to reach it. This may make a military strike, or strikes, against Iran essential before the US election this November in order to avet catastrophe.
What does any of this have to do with the future of immigration in America? Only this: let us adopt the laughable assumption that that Iran is going to the extreme lengths of defying the entire world and building its underground complex only to develop the capacity for "nuclear medicine research", and that it is not a nuclear threat. Even in this case, millions of American voters will take the Iranian nuclear threat seriously anyway.
As the Financial Times points out in a February 20 article by Edward Luce, just one billionaire, Sheldon Adelson, whose money kept Newt Gingrich's campaign afloat for far too long, is prepared to spend whatever it takes to sink Obama over the Iran issue. Adelson is a strong supporter of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who appears eager to strike Iran before it is too late. I am not aware that Adelson is concerned about about immigrant rights in America one way or another.
Disaffected Obama supporters, or outright opponents, may include not only Jewish and fundamentalist "Christian Zionist" voters, but Americans from all faiths and ends of the political spectrum who see Iran, unlike Saddam Hussein, as a real, not manufactured, threat to world peace and who, on moral and humanitarian grounds, do not wish to see a second Holocaust take place or the world become a far more dangerous place.
Many of these voters are in favor of more liberal immigration policies, and an end to the politics of using Latino immigrants as scapegoats, while keeping minority and less affluent US citizens away from the polls through restrictive voter ID laws. But faced with a choice between re-electing a president who, while arguably the lesser of two evils on immigration, may be perceived as weak on Iran, and voting for a Republican who may take immigration back closer to the era of the Chinese exclusion laws, but who pledges that Iran will have no nuclear weapons, many pro-immigration voters may still vote for a president who takes the harder line on Iran.
If President Obama persists in relying on "sanctions" or "negotiations" which may be perceived by millions of voters as ineffective, will there be enough Iran apologists or nuclear threat deniers left to re-elect him without those crucial votes? If not, we may see an extreme Republican immigration hard-liner take over the White House next year, thanks to Iran.
The biggest threat to the future of American immigration may come, not from Arizona, not from Alabama, not even from Kansas, home of Kris Kobach, the author of racist anti-immigrant laws and avowed enemy of minority voting rights, but from Tehran.
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.
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.