Since becoming president, Donald Trump has been accused of making thousands of false statements on immigration and many other issues by fact checkers at the Washington Post and in other independent media. But one of Trump's most blatant falsehoods of all, which is being loudly trumpeted by his supporters at Fox News and in Congress, is the claim that his agenda only involves "enforcing the laws" against "illegal immigration."

While Trump's actions against unauthorized immigrants have reached appalling levels of hatred and cruelty, as in his notorious "family separation" policy last year and attempts to impose a regime of indefinite family detention this year in conditions which UN observers and other human rights organization have compared to concentration camps, Trump and his arch-henchman, Stephen Miller, are also conducting a wide ranging war against legal immigration - especially from non-white areas of the world which Trump refers to as "shithole" countries.

There has now been a great deal of media attention focused on the devastating effect that Trump's and Miller's new Public Charge rule would have on nonwhite legal immigration if the injunctions against it that three separate federal district court judges imposed on October 11 are ever lifted. The new Public Charge rule is the biggest attack on legal family immigration since this was made the centerpiece of America's entire legal immigration system in 1965.

Since most family-based immigration over the past five decades since then has come from outside Europe, eliminating family immigration (other than though immediate relatives) has been one of Trump's and Miller's top priorities. But they have no chance whatsoever of getting Congress to agree to this.

Trump's equally bigoted companion executive order requiring most legal visa applicants to show that they can afford expensive private health insurance is still set to go into effect next month (unless also blocked by the courts - as it almost certainly will be) has also received a great deal of media attention.

But there has been much less focus on the fact that these two actions are only parts of a wide-ranging plan to remake America's entire legal immigration system in a white supremacist image recalling the openly bigoted, "Nordics"- only "national origins" immigration act of 1924.Trump and Miller have been putting this wide-ranging, white supremacist agenda into action every since Trump's first week in office when he issued his initial Muslim ban executive order.

Because of the drastic consequences that these two actions could have on nonwhite legal immigration unless permanently struck down by the courts, it is instructive to look at the many other parts of Trump;s agenda aimed at keeping legal immigrants of color out of the United States.

Pemiel Ibe , a Nigerian immigrant and policy associate at American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), lists many of these in her October 3 article:

Trump's attacks on the legal immigration system explained

(Sorry, I do not have a URL link available - please use Google to access.)

She lists the following ways in which Trump (and Miller) have attempting to radical changes in Americas's legal immigration system to exclude nonwhite immigrants by executive action, without going through Congress.

- slowing down processing of legal immigration applications and issuing unprecedented numbers of hostile RFE's,

- cutting legal refugee admission to almost zero - (only 18,000 in fiscal year 2020),

- diverting USCIS personnel to assist ICE, i.e .making fewer officers available to grant legal immigration benefits

- placing "Wait in Mexico" and many other barriers in the way of lawful asylum seekers

- closing down overseas immigration offices

- attacking the diversity green, which is especially popular with legal immigrants from Africa by making the application process much more difficult - or impossible for some people - especially those who face difficulties or delays obtaining passports from their governments,

- raising the costs of filing immigration applications

Ibe's list is far from complete - it only has some of the main highlights of Trump's and Miller's assault on legal immigration. She does not .mention the attempts to end DACA and cancel TPS for hundreds of thousands of immigrants, for example.

Butt it is not only the attempts to bring back 1920's and 1930's style racism as the Law of the Land in legal immigration that is of major concern - it also that fact that the Trump administration id doing this entirely by executive dicktat - without going through
Congress as required by America's democratic system and separation of powers.

NPR describes this in detail in an October 10 article:

How the Trump administration uses 'Workarounds' to reshape legal immigration

To be continued in Part 2 of this 2-part series.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law