In reaction to the deaths of two young Guatemalan children in DHS custody, Donald Trump and his DHS secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, appear to be taking opposite approaches to the increase in Central American asylum seekers at the Mexican border.

Trump is demanding more Wall funding and harsher immigration laws, while Nielsen is asking help in dealing with the "humanitarian crisis" of "vulnerable" populations at the Mexican border, on the other.

According to a December 29 story in The Guardian,


Trump is focused entirely on the Wall as a means of deterrence, without regard to the cost in human suffering among asylum-seekers non-white parts of the world. This is the same policy of intentional cruelty that led to the disastrous "child separation" policy last June, which even Trump himself was forced to abandon because of widespread outrage among Americans across the ideological spectrum..

However, it seems that the president has not learned anything from this fiasco, which also attracted worldwide condemnation. According to the above report, Trump's tweeted the following.:

"Any deaths of children or others at the Border are strictly the fault of the Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies that allow people to make the long trek thinking they can enter our country illegally. They can't. If we had a Wall, they wouldn't even try."

Aside from the utter lack of remorse or compassion of the deaths of the children or the suffering of their families, and his deliberately ignoring the fact that his own administration is preventing all but a few asylum-seekers from presenting their claims at legal crossing points, this statement reflects a fundamental inhumanity and disregard of the human rights of refugees as recognized by international law, including the UN Compact on Migration that has just been ratified by 152 nations of the world, in the face of shameful U.S. opposition.

In a December 28 tweet, Trump not only demanded more Wall funding as a condition of ending the government shutdown, but he also demanded a change in the "ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with".

Trump did not say what these "ridiculous" immigration laws were, but based on numerous statements he has made as both candidate and president, one can assume that he means the laws that allow people who allow asylum seekers to present their claims even if they entered the US at unauthorized crossing points, and the laws that prohibit indefinite detention of immigrant children.

But those are by no means the only immigration laws that Trump has condemned. He has also called for the abolition of the Diversity Visa green card lottery, which, not by coincidence, happens to be quite popular with applicants from Sub-Saharan Africa, which Trump regards as a "shithole" area of the world.

Trump has also called to abolish extended family immigration, which he calls by the racially charged pejorative term "chain migration" when it involves brown people from outside Europe, but he has never had any problem with his white mother, grandfather and, more recently, his wife's parents, for having used the same method to immigrate to the US.

In a forthcoming comment, I will discuss in more detail how Trump is trying to change America's entire legal immigration system to favor white immigrants and exclude non-white ones, in a turn back toward the overtly white supremacist US pre-1965 immigration laws.

Meanwhile Time reports that DHS Secretary Nielsen issued a statement on December 29 during a visit to the border promising more medical screening for immigrant children. She also stated as follows:

The system is clearly overwhelmed and we must work together to address the humanitarian crisis and protect vulnerable populations."

Which policy will win out in Donald Trump's America - more harsh repression by the president to stop or slow down non-white immigration to the US at all costs, or reason and compassion in the face of a major humanitarian refugee crisis?

And if Trump and Nielsen in fact have opposing views on this issue, how much longer can she last as DHS chief?

These questions will no doubt be of increasing interest during the coming year to everyone who is concerned about preserving the non-discriminatory immigration system which America has had for the past half century and preventing a return to white supremacy as the foundation for our immigration laws.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law