It is hard to avoid seeing comparisons between the Republican war on immigrants and the Republican war on American women. In both instances, the GOP's cancer of hate has spread from the federal level to the state level. Moreover, the Republicans' willingness to make exceptions to punitive and draconian laws inflicting their extreme, narrow ideology upon society as a whole has virtually disappeared.
Only a few years ago, the Republicans were opposed to "amnesty", but were willing to leave it up to the federal government to decide whom to deport and when. Now, with their vindictive state immigration laws, which we can expect to see upheld in every aspect by a radical right Supreme Court majority, the Republicans have moved beyond merely denying relief from deportation to any group of people, to forcing unwanted immigrants to leave by making their lives (and those of any American citizen who tries to help them) into a living hell.
Like all ideological zealots in every age, the Republicans make no exceptions to their policy of hate. Just as the Inquisition did not want to leave a single unrecanting heretic unburned, today's Republicans recognize no exception to their opposition to "amnesty". Certainly, young people who would have been covered by the DREAM Act should be high on the list of any rational or humane person for relief from deportation, but, reason and humanity carry little weight when politicians are trying to use hate to gain votes.
In the same way, the political use of hate against women seeking abortions has spread beyond the Republicans' original goal of overturning Roe vs. Wade in the Supreme Court, to nullifying that decision through draconian anti-abortion laws at the state level. Only a few years ago, abortion opponents were willing to recognize exceptions for victims of rape and incest, but no more. Now the Republicans' attempts to restrict, or virtually eliminate, access to abortion in many states make no exception, even in these extreme cases.
However, the most, extreme, fanatic and vindictive example of the Republicans' use of hate is in their attempts to block renewal of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This law not only protects American women (and in some cases men) against domestic violence, but it protects immigrants against this as well. By gutting this law, the Republicans would be committing an act of political violence against two of their main targets of hatred, immigrants and American women, at the same time. What America needs is not a war of attrition against unpopular groups of people, such as immigrants and women seeking abortions, but a war against hatred itself.
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.