Update: December 8:

Willie Horton and Clarence Thomas were not the only legacies of the late president George H.W.Bush which helped pave the for Donald Trump's persecution of brown immigrants.

Trump has now picked William Barr, who had a shameful anti-immigrant record as Deputy Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush, to replace Jeff Sessions as Attorney General.

For the ACLU's statement on Barr's immigration record, among other issues, see:

No Relief: William Barr is as bad as Jeff Sessions - if not worse


I will discuss the ACLU's statement about William Barr's immigration policies in more detail in a forthcoming comment.

My original post follows below:

As the eulogies pour in for the late president George H. W. Bush, whose call for a "kinder, gentler" America contrasts so strongly with the constant stream of anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy-making now coming out of Donald Trump's White House, also unfortunately leaves behind a less positive legacy regarding immigrants and fundamental immigrant human rights, including the right to equality and freedom from racial discrimination as upheld by the United Nations.

First, through his infamous "Willie Horton" ad during the 1988 presidential campaign, Bush brought overtly racial attacks on minorities into the mainstream.To be sure, Willie Horton an African-American US citizen convicted of rape, was not an immigrant. But Bush'd use of this odious racial stereotype to accuse his opponent, Michael Dukakis, of being soft on crime, directly anticipated Donald Trump's vilification of Latino immigrants as "criminals" and "rapists" during the 2016 campaign, This rhetoric, which accuses his Democratic opposition of promoting crime and terror by "flooding" America with brown immigrants, and which is also backed up by draconian administration policy measures against both legal and irregular immigrants is a direct continuation of Bush'd "Willie Horton" strategy.

Bush's other main immigration-related legacywas his then and still controversial appointment of Justice Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. Thomas has taking a dim view of the proposition that immigrants have any Constitutional rights as all, as exemplified in the Recent Supreme Court case of Sessions v Dimaya,.

In this case,even Trump's own appointee, Justice Neil Gorsuch, sided with the Court's liberals in sticking down an INA section under which the administration sought to deport an immigrant on criminal grounds as unconstitutionally vague.

Thomas disagreed, questioning the Court's right to overturn statutes a unconstitutional in general



The United Nations has identified Equality and Freedom From Discrimination as a fundamental human right of immigrants, as I will show in detail in a forthcoming comment. George H.W. Bush's immigration-related legacy of Willie Horton and Clarence Thomas has not been helpful to upholding this right