In all the excitement over trying to guess whether, at his August 22 Phoenix rally scheduled to begin less than an hour after this comment is written, Trump will or will not pardon former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for defying a federal court order in a case related to Arpaio's alleged racial profiling and other mistreatment of Latino immigrants in the name of "immigration enforcement", the media have largely overlooked the significance of another speech that Trump gave in Phoenix almost exactly one year ago, on August 31, 2016.

In that speech, Trump, for the first time in a major address during his campaign, "pivoted" away from his previous campaign speeches promising mass deportation of Latino "criminals", "rapists" and "drug dealers" and actions against Muslim "terrorists" (meaning almost all Muslims worldwide, in his view).

Instead, he focused on his plans for drastic cuts in legal immigration, completely apart from the issues of alleged immigrant "crime" and "terrorism" which eventually helped him win the electoral vote tally for the presidency (while losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by less than 3 million votes).

In a speech loaded with ominous implications for the America's future as a nation of immigrants based on equal opportunity for qualified applicants from every part of the world, without regard to ancestry, skin color or religion, and heralding a return to the whites-only immigration policies of the 1924 Coolidge-era Johnson-Reed "national origins" immigration act, Trump returned to the same kind of thinly concealed language of prejudice and exclusion against non-white immigrants which was also used to justify support for the 1924 law at the time it was enacted.

The Los Angeles Times described Trump's speech at that time as follows:

"After four decades of high levels of immigration, Trump said, the country needs to 'control future immigration' to 'ensure assimilation'."

The LA Times report continued:

"The model, he [Trump] said, should be what the US did after 'previous immigration waves' - a reference to the restrictionist legislation passed under President Calvin Coolidge that remained in place until 1965.

The goal should be 'to keep immigration levels, measured by population share, within historic norms'."

The above reference is obvious to any one who has the slightest knowledge of US immigration history. The "previous immigration waves" that Trump was referring to involved large scale immigration by Eastern European immigrants, including millions of Jewish immigrants (my own grandparents among them) in the three decades between 1890 and 1920.

The same period also saw large scale immigration by Italians and other immigrants from mainly Catholic Southern Europe, as well as strenuous (and largely successful) attempts by the US Congress to keep out Asian immigrants, beginning with the 1880's Chinese exclusion laws.

As every immigration law scholar who deserves to be taken seriously knows full well, the 1924 law was heavily influenced by the bogus racial thinking of that time known as "Eugenics", which, boiled down to its essence, regarded white Europeans as inherently superior to all other ethnic groups; and, within that group, northern Europeans, known as "Nordics", as superior to all other Europeans.

This thinking was reflected in the law itself, which, to give just a couple of examples, set the annual US immigration quota for Germany at approximately 50,000, and the annual quota for Great Britain (as the UK was known in those days) at slightly over 30,000, while providing an annual quota for India of 100 (one hundred) immigrants per year, the same as the annual quotas for China, Japan and just about every other Asian, Middle Eastern and African country!

(There were no quota limits in that law for people from "Western Hemisphere" countries such as North, Central and South America or the Caribbean.)

It is also a well documented historical fact that Adolf Hitler had high praise for America's 1924 law, writing in Mein Kampf, and he claimed that America was ahead of Europe at that time in "recognizing" racial differences.

This makes it all the more troubling and disturbing that Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) one of Trump's earliest Congressional supporters and now his attorney general with enormous power over immigration enforcement, also praised that same law as recently as in his January, 2015 in his immigration "Handbook" for Congressional Republicans (ostensibly for different reasons - though he also unquestionably must have known about the background and history of that infamous law as well as any other immigration law specialist).

Will Trump, who has recently supported the so-called "RAISE" Act introduced by two Republican Senators which would effectively abolish the 1965 immigration reform law that put an end to 40 years of discrimination against non-European immigrants, and take America a long way back toward the white supremacist spirit of the 1924 immigration act, return to the theme of making America whiter by restricting legal immigration from outside Europe in his August 22, 2017 Phoenix rally?

We will find out beginning in less than an hour after this comment is written.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law