Of all the many ways in which Donald Trump's and Stephen Miller's agenda against nonwhite immigrants betrays America's most essential values of equality and respect for the dignity of life of all people, regardless of race, color or religion, two recent immigration developments show how far their program of persecution has cast America back into the abyss of hatred and inhumanity.

The first of these is a recently announced plan to incarcerate immigrant children at a military base at Ft.Sill, Oklahoma. This same base was once used to intern Japanese-American citizens because of their race during World War 2. It is impossible to ignore the resemblance.

The second, and even more ominous and destructive development, is the proposal by Trump's top immigration policy guru Stephen Miller, an arch-foe of nonwhite immigration who could not unfairly bear comparison with Torquemada or Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor in the thoroughness and broad reach of his persecution methods, to ban all refugees from coming to the US. This unspeakably inhuman proposal, whose only purpose is to make America whiter by cutting back or ending legal immigration from outside Europe, recalls one of the darkest episodes in all of America's immigration history - when the the US turned away Jewish refugees from Europe, many of whom later died in Nazi death camps.

By making this abysmally inhuman proposal, Miller is not only going against the principle on which America was founded as a nation of refuge from tyranny and persecution, but he is betraying his own heritage as the great-grandson of a Jewish immigrant to America.

Mari Matsuda, a writer and law professor whose father was interned in a different camp in 1942, writes, concerning the bigoted history of Ft. Sill and other Japanese-American internment camps:

"We now acknowledge that War II's incarceration was driven by racial hatred. It was a failure of democracy that our nation came to regret."

She continues:

"Ft. Sill is not an anomaly, but it is a reminder of the ongoing violence of settler colonialism, racism, and xenophobia that have defined far too much of our nation's history."

See, USA Today (July 11):

Trump plan to send migrant kids to Ft. Sill again shows worst of America

But there is an even more deadly part of America's immigration history that Miller's latest exercise in bigotry against brown immigrants brings back. This is America's refusal to let in more than a tiny faction of the desperate Jewish refugees who were trying to escape Nazi persecution in Europe. Washington Post columnist writes about this in her article:

Thee 1930's were a dark period for immigration policies. There's one way today's could be worse.

Recalling the infamous history of the ship S.S. St Louis, which was filled with Jewish refugees, but refused entry to American shores 80 years ago this month Rampell writes:

"It's hard not to think about such shameful episodes of U.S. history amid our current treatment of the huddled masses yearning to breathe free."


Incarcerating Japanese-American citizens because of their race and turning back Jewish refugees seeking to escape the death camps of Europe were two of the most shameful episodes in America's immigration history.

Donald Trump's and Stephen Miller's agenda of making America "free" of brown and black immigrants through racial exclusion and mass expulsion is well on track to be a third abysmal period of hatred and persecution.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law