This is the third and final part of my 3-part series of comments dealing with the Trump/Miller administration's latest, and unspeakably reprehensible plans to bar non-white immigrants from coming to America, and to engage in mass expulsion of those who are already in this country as legal permanent residents, by expanding and distorting the Public Charge Grounds of inadmissibility beyond all recognition.and reason.

As shown in the first two parts of this series,the new policies which Trump, the son of a poverty-stricken immigrant mother from Scotland, and his White House anti-immigrant zealot, Torquemada and Grand Inquisitor Stephen Miller, the great-grandson of an impoverished Jewish immigrant, involve twisting and inflating the public charge inadmissibility rules beyond all recognition in order to make immigrants who use almost any form of public assistance not only ineligible of legal visas and green cars, but subject to deportation if they are already in the US as legal permanent residents.

By reviving use of the public charge provisions, Trump is taking America back to some of the darkest days of our immigration history, when the public charge grounds were used as an instrument of hatred and oppression against Irish Catholic immigrants in the 19th century, and then again against Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler's concentration camps and gas chambers in the 1930's.

But there is a special twist to Trump's proposals - exceptional cruelty against children in immigrant families - something this nation already saw in Trump's abominable "zero tolerance" child separation policy last June, which he was finally forced to abandon in the dace of massive public condemnation across America's entire political spectrum. But as one of the darkest chapters of all in the ugly history of America's rejection of Jewish holocaust victims, reveals, Trump's singling out children as victims of especially cruel and inhuman policies is not new either.

City University of New York (CUNY) professor Hidetaka Hirota, a leading authority on the history of Irish immigration to America and author of the book Expelling the Poor, states, with regard to the public charge laws:

"But at the same time, such policy would not have developed if there was no strong cultural and religious prejudice, especially against Irish Catholics. Ethnic prejudice really facilitated the formation of state policies that targeted the destitute."

See:

The History of Trump's Policy on Poor Immigrants and Public Benefits (The Atlantic, February, 2917)

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/trump-poor-immigrants-public-charge/515397/

This deplorable policy of using public charge grounds as an instrument of ethnic and religious prejudice against immigrants took an even more ominous turn in the 1930's, when it was used to bar Jewish immigrants who were trying to flee Hitler's concentration camps and gas chambers.

Ana Mendelson writes the following memoir in a November 28, 2018 memoir in the publication Jewish Times:

"The U.S. viewed my family as unwanted 'economic burdens,' thereby ruling out America as an escape route from Nazi Germany."


See:

Public Charge Laws Prevented My Grandmother's Escape From Nazi Germany

https://jewishtimes.com/87406/public-charge-laws-prevented-my-grandmothers-escape-from-nazi-germany/opinion/

But there is a new, and exceptionally cruel twist to Trump's white supremacist anti-immigrant public charge agenda - targeting families that use public benefits to help their children, including US citizens children. See, Washington Post (December 18, 2018):

A proposed new 'public charge' puts children's health insurance at risk

The Post writes:

"Additionally, the Kaiser Family Foundation report concluded that the proposed change could lead to Medicaid and CHIP enrollment among citizen children with non-citizen parents dropping by somewhere between 15 percent and 25 percent. The low end of that range would mean 875,000 kids losing coverage under those programs; the higher estimate would mean 2 million losing coverage."


And as this article points out, these are American children who would be devastated by Trump's agenda of barring or expelling their immigrant parents in pursuit of his racial goals - not "merely" immigrant children, such as the ones who were torn away from their parents and locked in dog cages under Trump's infamous family separation last year.

But, in fact, Trump's policy of targeting children in immigrant families for particular expression of his cruelty and animosity toward immigrants who are not from "countries like Norway", as he notoriously stated in January 2018, is not new in our history.

In February 1939, shortly after the horrendous 1938 Kristallnacht attacks against the Jews in Nazi Germany, New York Senator Robert Wagner proposed a bill that would have admitted 20,000 Jewish children form Europe to America as refugees. The bill failed, because of widespread anti-Semitic sentiment in America.

See,
Slate, March, 2017):

After Kristallnacht, America chose not to save Jewish children from the Nazis

https://slate,com/news-and-politics/2017/03/after-kristallnacht-america-chose-not-to-save-jewish-children-from-the-nazis.html

Contrary to what some of Trump's detractors argue, there is little, if any, evidence that Donald Trump is anti-Semitic or has any kind of prejudice or animosity against the Jewish people. But his relentless persecution and demagoguery against brown and Muslim immigrants, including the exceptionally cruel use of public charge grounds against their children, brings back one of the worst periods of anti-immigrant prejudice in America's history.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law

A.B. Harvard College, 1959
LL.B Harvard Law School 1962