On December 29, 2017, Donald Trump tweeted that he would get rid of "horrible" "Chain Migration" i.e. immigration by parents and siblings of US citizens, and he has made that demand a non-negotiable cornerstone of DACA related negotiations at all times since.

But Philip Bump points out in the January 29 Washington Post that Trump would not be here at all, let alone the president of the United States, if it were not for the very same "Chain Migration" on both sides of his family that he now condemns so strongly.


How 'chain migration' brought us the Trump White House

(Direct link is available by going to:


and clicking the washingtonpost.com link provided on that page.)

As Bump explains, Donald Trump's grandfather came to America from Germany to join his sister in the US, and Trump's mother came here from Scotland to join her sister.

And it was not only Trump's ancestors who made today's White House possible through family immigration. Bump also reports that Vice-President Mike Pence's maternal grandfather came to America to join his brother, who had himself immigrated a few years earlier to join his aunt. Pence's grandmother's parents were also immigrants from Ireland.

Bump's article also relates that the great-great grandfather of Stephen Miller, who is widely considered to be responsible for formulating and drafting many of Trump's proposals to sharply reduce immigration from outside Europe, immigrated to America from Belarus to join his brother-in-law.

So far as is reported, none of these immigrants had the advanced education, special skills or high salaries that would be required to qualify them today under the RAISE Act which Trump and Miller so strongly support. Nor is there any reason to assume that Trump's German grandfather or Miller's Russian-Jewish ancestor had the level of English language proficiency that the RAISE Act would require today. Most immigrants at that time from continental Europe did not, and daily newspapers in German, Yiddish, Italian and other European languages were just as common on the newsstands then as Spanish, Korean and Chinese ones are now.

What has changed since the time that these White House ancestors came to the US in the late nineteenth or early 20th centuries without any special skills or education, and America today? Was there such a shortage of unskilled workers in America then that America needed to import unskilled, uneducated people from Europe?

Not according to any history book that I have ever seen. Or, maybe America did need some unskilled, uneducated workers, in those days. But, we can quite be sure, America did not "need" these workers unless they were white. That was the message of the late 19th and early 20th century Chinese exclusion laws.

The reason why "Chain Migration" was accepted then and is under such ferocious attack by the president and his advisers now is clear. In those days most the immigrants who came to America because of family connections were primarily white Europeans.

Today they are not. That is the difference.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law

To be continued.