This comment will continue my discussion of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' directive to all US Attorneys to increase the number of criminal prosecutions of, not only immigrants, but also American citizens, who "harbor" or "assist" unauthorized immigrants under INA Section 274 (8 U.S.C. 1324). I began this discussion in my Immigration Daily comment appearing om April 12.

In that discussion, I pointed out that while Section 274 is generally used to prosecute immigrant smugglers, its language is so broad that it could be used against almost anyone who has any type of contact with someone whom he or she might have reason to believe could be in the United States without legal status - i.e. almost anyone who is not white or who speaks with a foreign accent (or does not speak English at all).

I will illustrate exactly how broad this statue is in my forthcoming discussion of the 2011 Federal District court case of U.S. v. Costello (S.D. Illinois).

First, however, let us look at what Sessions' real objective is, in all probability, in planning to increase the number and scope of prosecutions under this wide ranging statute. Is his main purposes to make America more law-abiding, as he claims?

Or is his real goal (also supported by Trump's plan to increase his "Deportation Force" to police state proportions, as described in alarming detail in an April 12 story in the Washington Post with the title: Trump Administration moving quickly to build up nationwide deportation force ) to set back racial equality in America by almost 100 years by bringing back at least the spirit, if not that exact letter, of the 1924 Johnson-Reed Immigration Act which cut off immigration to the US from most parts of the world other than the "Nordic" countries of Western Europe?

In two very recent statements, Sessions has heaped lavish praise on this law, whose openly "national origins" immigration quotas were the foundation of America's immigration system for four decades until the law was finally abolished in 1965 during the civil rights era.

Is this era of movement toward racial justice and equality, the era of Martin Luther King Jr., now over, to be replaced by what Sessions himself, in his recent speech in Nogales, Arizona, called the "Trump era" - an era of racial inequality and repression?

The Atlantic quotes Sessions as saying the following about the 1924 law in a December, 2015 with - not surprisingly - none other that Stephen Bannon himself, then the head of Breitbart News:

"When the [immigration] numbers reached this high in 1924, the president and congress changed the policy, and it slowed down immigration significantly, we then assimilated through the 1965 [sic] and created the really solid middle class of America, with assimilated immigrants, and it was good for America."

When I see this statement, I cannot help but be reminded of the ironic song:"I am easily assimilated." from Leonard Bernstein's famous musical Candide, which deals with the persecution of the Jews during the Spanish Inquisition.

(Another famous song from that same Musical is called: "What a wonderful day - for an Auto da Fe.")

The above references to persecution of the Jews are by no means irrelevant to Sessions' above comment.

Jewish immigrants were only one of the many non-"Nordic" ethnic groups of the world who were almost totally banned from immigrating to the US under the 1924 law that Sessions has expressed so much admiration for.

Eastern European, Middle Eastern, Asian and African immigrants were also almost entirely barred. Therefore, when Sessions used the term "assimilated" above, the immigrants he was referring to were almost exclusively white, Protestant, citizens of Northern European countries.

Nor can Sessions possibly plead ignorance of the contents and purpose of the 1924 law which he has shown so much admiration for - not only in December, 2015 but also in January of that same year, when his office published an immigration "Handbook" for Congressional Republicans containing similar statements in support of the 1924 Immigration Act.

For a link to the full text of this manifesto, which blames immigrants for just about every problem facing America today, just as a certain German Leader screamed "Die Juden sind unser Unglueck" eight decades ago (English translation should not be necessary for anyone who has the slightest knowledge of European history between 1933 and 1945). see:

Jeff Sessions has been accused of many things. But being ignorant of American immigration history and of the real purpose of the 1924 law (which, for example, allowed approximately 50,000 immigrants a year from Germany, approximately 34,000 from Great Britain, and exactly 100 immigrants a year each(!) from India, China, Japan and most other countries of the Middle East, Asia and Africa) is not one of them.

In my forthcoming comment, I will return to INA Section 274 and show how it could, and in all likelihood will, be used as a means to stifle opposition to the above objective of returning America closer to the time of this 1924 law, and intimidating, not only "Sanctuary City" mayors and police chiefs, but millions of ordinary Americans from associating with, having even the most normal kinds of dealings with, or lending any kind of support to the Latin American, Middle Eastern, Asian, African and Caribbean immigrants who are being made to feel less and less welcome and more and more threatened in the "Donald Trump era" of America.

If Jeff Sessions carries out his program of expanding prosecutions under INA Section 274, once again, as was the case for 40 years beginning almost a century ago, non-European immigrants will not be so "easily assimilated" in Donald Trump's America.

Nor might millions of Americans who have any kind of association or contact with unauthorized immigrants, let alone advocating on their behalf or helping them in any way to assert their rights, be so easily acquitted.
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants, from divese parts of the world, receive work visas and green cards without regard to ethnicity, color or religion.

Roger's email address is