According to a POLITICO news story dated June 29, 2010 regarding the Senate confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), asked her what she had been doing on Christmas day. The point was, obviously, to emphasize the fact that she is Jewish. Justice Kagan immediately got the point, and answered (as POLITICO quoted her)

"Like all Jews, I was probably at a Chinese restaurant."

https://www.politico.com/blogs/politico-now/2010/06/kagan-i-spent-chritmas-at-chinese-restaurant-027851

As I also recall this incident, Lindsey Graham, to his credit, voted to confirm Justice Kagan even though she had been appointed by President Barack Obama of the opposite party. Graham also later distinguished himself by joining the courageous bipartisan "Gang of Eight" which sponsored a Senate Comprehensive Immigration reform bill (that went nowhere in the Republican-controlled House).

Graham had not yet become the sycophantic, groveling, partisan, Trump-supporting hack that he has turned into today - presumably out of fear of losing his Senate seat if Trump bashes him with too many hostile tweets.

In fact, there is a long-standing tradition of Jewish immigrants eating in Chinese restaurants on Christmas day, as Joseph Nees writes in a December 25 Salon article:

The tradition of Jews eating Chinese food on Christmas started on New York's Lower East Side.

https://www.salon.com/2019/12/25/the-tradition-of-jews-eating-chinese-food-on-christmas-started-on-new-yorks-lower-east-side/

Nees writes that this custom;

"...actually has a real cultural history starting on the lower East Side with the restaurants that were there."

He continues, that, as opposed to Italian restaurants with Christian iconography that did not always make Jewish customers feel welcome, they were more comfortable in Chinese restaurants"

"In Chinese food, you found a lot of the same flavor profiles that you do in sort of traditional Jewish cooking - whatever you may think of as that."

(For readers who may not know New York all that well, Manhattan's Lower East Side was the traditional home for early 20th century Jewish immigrants. It is now mainly a Chinese neighborhood.)

But the Jewish and Chinese communities in America are not only linked by food preferences. They are also linked by a much darker history of exclusion and rejection. !n 1882, Chinese immigrants became the first group to be barred from the US by nationality ant ethnicity by federal law, when the first of the notorious Chinese exclusion laws was enacted by Congress.

It would be more than 60 years until the last of these laws was officially abolished in 1943. And in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge signed the notorious "National Origins" quotas immigration act which was expressly designed to put an end to Jewish immigration from Eastern Euro[e. This law also completely cut off immigration from China and all other parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as from most of Southern and Eastern Europe.

The 1924 law, based on racist "Eugenics" pseudo-science which also gave rise to Nazi ideology in Germany, and which law Adolf Hitler praised in his Mein Kampf manifesto, was not abolished until 1965.

According to almost 1,000 of his recently released emails, Stephen Miller, Donald Trump's top immigration guru and architect of today's restrictive, white supremacist administration policies with respect to both legal and "unauthorized" immigration, is a big supporter of the racist 1924 law and regrets the fact that it was eventually abolished. This is even though Miller's own immigrant great-grandfather was Jewish.

The fact that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of desperate Jews trying to escape from the concentration camps, ovens and gas chambers of Nazi-occupied Europe in the 1930's and early 1940's were turned away from the US because of the 1924 law does not seem to bother Miller, so far as any of his public comments would indicate.

One might wonder where Miller, who has been directing America's most malevolent and racist agenda against non-white legal and "irregular" immigrants since the 1924 statute was abolished, spent his Christmas, the holiday celebrating universal goodwill and love among all humanity, this year.

One might, with good reason, doubt that it was in an eating place associated with any of America's immigrant communities that do not meet Donald Trump's definition of desirable sources of immigration reportedly made two years ago at a January, 2018 White House meeting: "Countries like Norway."

Trump's racist remark takes us full circle back to the "Nordics only" 1924 law which Miller reportedly endorsed so highly in his emails. And these are not just idle remarks, White supremacy is now becoming official US immigration policy more and more with nearly every new rule, executive order, or pronouncement that comes out of the White House, DHS or EOIR.

Maybe we should look at this racist agenda as part of Trump's and Miller's "Christmas present" to America. We can also count on seeing many more of these white supremacist immigration policies from this administration in the coming New Year 2020.

Roger Algase
Attorney at La
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