Update, 9:35 am, July 19:

I could not help noticing the many comments in the July 18 issue of Immigration Daily about topics such as EB-1 retrogression and EB-5 regional centers. I have no intention of overlooking the importance or relevance of these subjects.

I do not practice in the EB-5 field myself, and I only very occasionally handle an EB-1 extraordinary ability green card case - such as one I wrote about last year in which the USCIS Texas Service Center, on its own motion, and for no valid reason, revoked an I-140 approval which had previously been granted. even though there was no new information in the case and no relevant change in the law.

It took about a year, but I was ultimately successful in having the I-140 EB-1 approval in that case reinstated by the AAO, as I also wrote in a blog comment last year on this site.

But without in any way downplaying the importance of these and other day-to-day immigration issues which are crucial for our clients, such as the alarming and unjustified rise in utterly meritless, if not totally incompetent, RFE's in a variety of H-1B and other cases which I will also write about in more detail in a forthcoming post, one has to ask whether it is not also important, or even more so, to write about the existential threat to our entire immigration system as we know it that is very arguably being posed by the Donald Trump candidacy and the apparent takeover of the Republican party by a proto-fascist right wing extremist faction whose commitment to democracy is, to put it very mildly, open to serious question.

As immigration lawyers, are we too busy rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic?

I write the above out of a sense of extreme urgency in view of the litany of hatred and insanity by speaker after speaker against immigrants and those who stand up for their rights in the event known as the opening day of the Republican National Convention that took place in Cleveland on July 18.

The best description of this was by Washington Post editorial writer Stephen Stromberg in his July 19 article::

"The GOP's despicable first night of the Republican national Convention"

(Sorry, I do not have a link - please go to www.washingtonpost.com)

The sheer madness and hatred of speaker after speaker, who tried to demonize all immigrants as killers of innocent Americans, and who, in effect, accused President Obama and Hillary Clinton of treason in allegedly putting the interests of immigrant terrorists over those of the American people, threaten to turn this years presidential election into a replay of the 1932 election in Germany which ultimately led to installing Adolf Hitler in power.

Now that a late poll shows Trump only 2 points behind Hillary Clinton nationwide, it is way past time for immigration lawyers to speak out about what may be an existential threat to our democracy and to our immigration system that depends on that democracy.

Let the deck chairs on the Titanic take care of themselves.

A previous update and my original post apprear below.

Update, 1:52 pm, July 18:

What is the real objective of Trump's immigration policy proposals? According to respected commentator Juan Williams, the only purpose of proposals such as building a Wall with Mexico and banning most (if not all) Muslims from around the world from coming to the United States, is one goal only - to gain white working class votes. Williams writes:

"Trump's approach 'opened the door to assertions of white identity and resentment in a way not seen so broadly in American culture in over half a century, according to those who track patterns of racial tension and antagonism in American life', the New York Times reported last week.

The Times wrote that Trump's campaign has 'electrified the world of white nationalists.'"



It may be worth noting that the reference to "white identity and resentment" a half century ago cannot help but bring up the fact that it was in 1965, exactly a half century ago plus one year, that the racist "Nordics-only" Immigration Act of 1924 was finally abolished by Congress and replaced with the ostensibly race-neutral immigration system that we have had ever since.

Is it the goal of Donald Trump's draconian anti-Muslim and anti-Latino immigration proposals to bring that bigoted 1924 law, or its equivalent, back almost 100 years later, in the 21st century?

My original post follows:

According to a July 16 article by David Smith about Donald Trump's background in The Guardian called: Donald Trump: the making of a narcissist, Trump's grandfather, a German named Friederich Trump, immigrated to the US in 1885, became a US citizen and changed his name to Frederick.



The Guardian
continues, writing about Fred, Frederick's son and Donald's father, who married a Scottish woman, Donald Trump's mother:

"Fred claimed to be of Swedish, not German, descent because of anti-German sentiment in the US between the world wars. Until 1990, including in his 1987 best seller The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump himself claimed Swedish, not German, ancestry, even though his German grandmother lived across the street from the family until her death. It was an intergenerational white lie that arguably speaks volumes about Trump's life and career of truthiness."

Based on the above report, it would seem that Trump had less respect for his own real immigrant ancestry (of which he has every reason to be proud in actuality - not the least because of Germany's standing today as a beacon of tolerance and welcome for the same Middle Eastern refugees from tyranny and terrorism whom Trump wants to keep out of the United States) than do most members of immigrant groups such as Mexicans and Muslims.

These are the groups whom Trump has attacked and demonized on the basis of their "heritage" - including U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over a lawsuit alleging that now defunct Trump University made promises to its students that were no more truthful than Trump's claims about his ancestry were according to the above article.

For more information about Trump's German ancestry, see


See also the following February comment by Leonid Bershidsky in Bloomberg News:

"The similarity between the way the U.S. treated Germans during the world wars and the was Trump wants it to treat Muslims is striking. And if, in the late 19th or early 20th centuries, the United States had as restrictive an immigration policy as Trump proposes,, his grandfather couldn't have come in the first place - or returned when Germany rejected him."


Why is Donald Trump's ancestry worth writing about at all? Isn't America a nation which judges people by their ideas and principles, and their ability to contribute to our society, rather than by their ancestry, the color of their skin or their religious beliefs?

Obviosly, it doesn't make any difference whether an immigrant comes to the US from Sweden, Germany, Ecuador or Malawi. Or at least it should not. There would seem to be no point in Trump's alleged attempts to mislead the public about which Northern European country his grandparents happened to come from.

Immigration to the US is supposed to be based on merit, as defined by our immigration laws, not race or religion.

But maybe someone should tell that to Donald Trump, whose drastic threats to close our borders to and engage in mass deportation of Latino, Middle Eastern and other non-white immigrants could, in effect, take America back to the not so distant days when our immigration laws made it difficult, if not nearly impossible, for anyone who was NOT of Trump's real or claimed ancestry, or of similar so-called "Nordic" ancestry, to immigrate to the United States.


Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For mote than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards. Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com