Update, January 23 at 8:51 pm:

For the latest confirmation from the White House that Trump will not sign any DACA or DREAMER related legislation that does not also include drastic cuts in or elimination of legal immigration visas which have benefited tens of millions of immigrants from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East over the last few decades and made America a more racially diverse country, see The Hill:, January 23:

http://thehill.com/homenews/administ...ead-on-arrival

My original comment appears below:

Now that Congress has passed and the president has signed a bill to end the shutdown and reopen the government until February 8, the media are now full of articles speculating about whether the Democrats "caved" by agreeing to funding the government for another three weeks, in exchange for a vague promise by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow debate on a measure to save DACA recipients from deportation.

If there ever turns out to be a Pulitzer Prize for silly and irrelevant reporting on immigration, this kind of comment will certainly deserve to win the prize hands down. The issue is not whether the Democrats "caved" by not taking a harder line on DACA - something that they still have to power to do in other three weeks and therefore have not given away in the slightest.

The real issue is that Trump is using DACA as bait, if not actual blackmail. to persuade immigration supporters to agree to a proposal to abolish family reunification and the Diversity Visa lottery. These two programs have enabled 30 or 40 million immigrants to comet to the United States from Asia, Africa and Latin America during the past 50 years (in the case of family immigration) and more than a million immigrants, many of them from what Trump calls the "shithole" countries of Africa, during the past 20 years in the case of the visa lottery.

Abolishing these two programs is and essential part of Trump's agenda aimed at bringing America back closer to the openly racist, "Nordic countries only" immigration law of 1924 which was abolished in 1965 as part of the civil rights movement to obtain equal justice for people of color in all aspects of our law and society - including immigration.

While it might very well be assuming too much to think that Trump himself has any knowledge of this legal history, he inadvertently recalled it by stating on January 11 that America needs more immigrants from Norway and fewer from Africa. That is exactly (among other things) what the "National Origins" immigration act of 1924 - which both Adolf Hitler and, 90 years later, Trump's attorney general Jeff Sessions wrote about enthusiastically, provided.

For more details on how Trump is cynically using DACA as bait (or blackmail) to try to force DACA supporters to agree to massive cuts in legal immigration from non-white parts of the world as a price for agreeing to legislation to help the DREAMERS, see Jamelle Bouie's article in slate.com:

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/...=recirc_recent

See also Jane Coasten's even more detailed and comprehensive analysis in vox.com:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-polit...down-far-right

And for a report on the latest Republican House proposal to make draconian cuts in legal immigration from non-European areas of the world in exchange for DACA relief see:

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/37...ration-bill-to

The Lotus Sutra, one of the most famous and best known of all of the ancient Buddhist writings, includes the following parable (in Chapter 3, translated by Burton Watson):

"Shariputra, suppose that in a certain town in a certain country there was a very rich man. He was far along in years and his wealth was beyond measure. He has many fields, houses and menservants. His own house was big and rambling, but it had only one gate. A great many people - a hundred, two hundred, perhaps as many as five hundred - lived in the house. The halls and rooms were old and decaying, the walls crumbling, the pillars rotten at their base, and the beams and rafters crooked and aslant."

The passage continues:

"At that time a fire suddenly broke out on all sides, spreading through the rooms of the house. When the rich man saw the huge flames leaping up on every side, he was greatly alarmed and fearful and thought to himself, I can escape to safety through the flaming gate, but my sons are inside the house enjoying themselves and playing games, unaware, unknowing, without alarm or fear. The fire is closing in on them, suffering and pain threaten them, yet their minds have no sense of loathing or peril and they do not think of trying to escape."

The house in that parable could be compared to the old, crumbling structure of racial and religious prejudice in America's immigration history going back, if not earlier to the Supreme Court's notorious 1857 Dred Scott decision ruling that people brought to America or descended from people who had been brought to America as slaves could never be US citizens because of the color of their skin.

This decaying house of bigotry with its rotting pillars also dated back to the time of the anti-Irish Know-Nothings and the Chinese exclusion laws of the middle and second half of the 19th century. It also inlcuded the 1924 immigration law mentioned above which not only cut off all immigration from Asia, the Middle East and Africa, but also discriminated against immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe and added to the death toll in Hitler's gas chambers and ovens by barring Jewish refugees from finding safety in the United States in the 1930's and during WW2.

While large parts of this rotting edifice were torn down by the 1965 reform law which abolished the racist national origin quotas of the 1924 law, part of this decaying building remained in the form of a white supremacist "backlash" leading to the harsh anti-immigrant provisions of IIRIRA in 1996.

Now this rotting edifice of prejudice and discrimination against non-European immigrants has caught on fire with the attempts by Trump and his advisers such as Jeff Sessions and Sessions' former aide Stephen Miller (as well as, formerly, Stephen Bannon), to undo the 1965 immigration system based on racial equality by eliminating or sharply reducing family immigration, which was at the heart of the 1965 law, and pushing to cancel the Diversity Visa lottery which has benefited immigrants from every part of the world for the past two decades.

The children trapped inside the burning house and largely unaware of the danger facing them are today's legal immigrants from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East and other would be immigrants from outside of white Europe, and their sponsors, supporters and advocates.

There is considerable awareness and activism by immigration supporters of specific immigration issues such as DACA, the Muslim Ban, Refugee restrictions, Sanctuary Cities, etc.. But there is much less realization that America's entire system of legal immigration is now on fire thanks to Donald Trump, and it will burn down if this fire of racial hatred and intolerance continues to spread.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law
algaselex@gmail.com