2018 will no doubt be remembered for its many significant developments in immigration law and policy under the Trump administration, one of which will surely be the solid support that his agenda has received among Congressional Republicans, led by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and now departed House majority leader Paul Ryan.

Recently, for example, in a televised "negotiating" session with Democratic leaders, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, Trump boasted that he could quickly and easily receive the support of his own party in the House for his Wall funding demand, and he turned out to be right.

Principled Republicans, some of whom had been willing to speak out against Trump's agenda of scapegoating and demonizing Latino and other non-white immigrants in the past, were noticeably silent in terms of offering any opposition or criticism in 2018, even while Trump initiated or proposed radical changes in the legal immigration system in order to keep out immigrants who were not from "Countries like Norway."

These changes, about which I will be writing in more detail in the coming days and weeks, include (to mention just a few):

1) Support for the so-called "RAISE Act", which would drastically cut legal immigration levels and skew the system in favor of immigrants from the affluent countries of Europe and against less affluent parts of the world, such as Latin America and Asia, by sharply limiting family immigration and abolishing the (Africa friendly) visa lottery.


2) Numerous changes in USCIS processing of petitions and applications for employment and family-based legal visas and green cards, designed to make the process more complex and lengthy, denials easier, and the risk of applicants/beneficiaries being put into deportation proceedings for denied petitions much greater, and

3) a major rewrite, purely by administrative action and without Congressional approval, of the "Public Charge" grounds of inadmissibility, amounting to one of the most drastic changes in America's laws relating to legal immigration in the past half century, if not in the past 100 years,

4) I will not even mention taking away TPS from hundreds of thousands of non-white immigrants, ending DACA, changing or entirely disregarding the asylum laws, cutting refugee admissions to the bone, etc., etc. and - oh yes, I almost forgot - the Muslim ban.

Who says that Trump is only targeting "illegal" immigrants?

Finally, however, at least one courageous voice within the Republican establishment has been raised in opposition, not only to Trump's agenda, but to his constant vilification and invective against non-white immigrants as "criminals" "terrorists" and threats to "border security".

This voice is that of former Republican presidential candidate and newly elected Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who has a wide reputation for decency and fairness, regardless of whether one agrees with all of his immigration views or not.

In a scathing January 1, 2019 Washington Post oped, Romney writes the following about Trump's immigration agenda:

"..I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist...anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions."

See, January 1,

Mitt Romney: The president shapes the public character of the nation. Trump's character falls short

Never, to my knowledge, has a former presidential candidate spoken out so plainly against the policies of an elected president of his own party.

If other principled Republican figures begin to follow Romney's lead and also voice their opposition, to Trump's agenda, the president may have a much harder time making the radical changes in the immigration laws and and regulations which he and Stephen Miller, egged on my anti-immigration opinion makers such as Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity are now instituting at breakneck speed.

The border Wall is only one part - even just a symbol if you will - of this much larger white supremacist agenda. How successful with this agenda be in 2019 if highly respected mainstream Republican leaders such Mitt Romney are able to drum up the courage to oppose it?

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law