Update, December 25, 11:00 a.m:

As Donald Trump's DHS reportedly considers an inhuman plan to separate the parents and children of families fleeing gang violence and other intolerable conditions in Central America from each other upon arrival at the US border in order to "deter" more such migrants from seeking safety in the United States (see below), Pope Francis spoke on Christmas Eve about another family immigrant experience

This experience was about a couple who, while expecting a child, were, like many of today's immigrants, forced to leave their home against their will and journey to another place where no one wanted them. Their names were Mary and Joseph.

In his Christmas Eve address, the Pope said:

"By decree of the Emperor, Mary and Joseph found themselves forced to set out. They had to leave their people, their home and their land...their steps were weighed down by the uncertainties and dangers of those who have to leave their home behind.

they found themselves having to face perhaps the most difficult thing of all. They arrived in Bethlehem and experienced that it was a land that was not expecting them. A land where there was no place for them.''

The Pope continued:

"So many other footsteps are hidden in the footsteps of Joseph and Mary. We see the tracks of entire families forced to set out in our own day. We see the tracks of millions of people who do not choose to go away, but, driven from their land, leave behind their dear ones. In many cases this departure is filled with hope, hope for the future; yet for many others this departure can have only one name: survival. Surviving the Herods of today, who, to impose their power and increase their wealth, see no problem in shedding innocent blood."

Pope Francis then stated, concerning the divine presence,

"He is present in the unwelcomed visitor, often unrecognizable, who walks through our cities and our neighborhoods, who travels on our buses and knocks on our doors."

The Pope then spoke about the meaning of Christmas with regard to immigration:

"Christmas is a time for turning the power of fear into the power of charity, into power for a new imagination of charity. The charity that does not grow accustomed to injustice, as if it were something natural, but that had the courage, amid tensions and conflicts, to make itself a 'House of Bread' ["Bethlehem" in Hebrew, as many readers certainly know], a land of hospitality."


America's president has promised to make America a country where people say "Merry Christmas" (as if it were not already such a country). But will he also show that this is a country whose administration understands and is carrying out the meaning of Christmas in its policies toward immigrants who do not happen to belong to the majority white ethnic group, and who do not have the extreme wealth of the privileged supporters whom Trump and his party have just showered with a Christmas gift of huge tax cuts which threaten to cause severe economic hardship to the great, less affluent, majority of people in America, both citizens and immigrants?

If Donald Trump wishes to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, as so profoundly and beautifully described by the Pope in his above message, instead of using the holiday as just one more symbol of favoring the wealthy, predominantly white Christian elite whom both Trump's immigration and economic policies are intended to place in a privileged position over everyone else, a good place for him to start would be by ordering DHS to tear up the horrendously cruel and vindictive plan reported below to separate Central American immigrant parents from their immigrant children, and throw the plan in the trashcan where it belongs.

My original comment appears below.

Steven Rosenberg, writing in alternet.org on December 21, reports on a Washington Post article by Nick Miroff concerning consideration now being given by the Trump administration to a plan to separate undocumented immigrant children arriving with their parents at the US border from violence-prone and gang-infested countries such as Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala by holding their parents in federal detention centers, while detaining the children in separate HHS children's "shelters".

This plan, which even a spokesman for the influential anti-immigrant group Center for Immigration Studies, Andrew R. Arthur, admitted "might seem heartless", brings back memories of Nazi Germany, which also used a similar tactic, as described in Rosenberg's report. For further details, see:

Trump Revives Plan to Separate Immigrant Children from Parents, Reviving Tactic Used by Nazi Germany


What could possibly induce the Trump administration even to consider resorting to this level of cruelty and inhumanity in its treatment of immigrants, no matter how important it might think the objective of showing lower statistics on illegal border crossing by non-white immigrant children is?

The answer is that, just as the Nazis maintained that their Jewish and other untermenschen victims were not fully human beings, the Trump administration has a major problem about recognizing that immigrants from non-white parts of the world have any kind of human rights worth respecting.

Salon.com commentator Chauncy DeVega writes the following in reaction to Trump's recent speech demonizing more than a million legal immigrants, mainly from Asia, the Middle East and Africa, who have come to the United States in the past two decades under the Diversity Visa lottery, without any noticeable harm to this country except for one recent attack by a deranged lone wolf terrorist, as the "worst of the worst":



"Donald Trump believes that immigrants (read: nonwhites and Muslims) are human garbage. Proving that point, Trump gave a speech to FBI graduates in Virginia last Friday [December 15], where he said this:

'You think the [foreign] country is giving us their best people? No...What kind of a system is that? They come in by a lottery, they put them in a bin. But in his hand when he is picking them is really the worst of the worst. "Congratulations, you're going to the United States, OK."'...

Fascists use racism, nativism and ethnocentrism to win and maintain power. Trump has learned that lesson well."

DeVega's voice is by no means the only one pointing out the fundamental racism which underlies all of Trump's immigration policies, and which leads naturally, not only to the kind of inhumanity toward minorities that Trump's DHS is now reportedly considering, but to authoritarianism and the end of the rule of law.

Max Boot, who, far from being a left wing liberal, is well known as an an advisor to Republican politicians such as John McCain, puts Trump's racism toward immigrants and other non-white minorities into a larger context, one which threatens democracy itself. POLITICO Magazine quotes Boot as follows regarding Trump:

"...he's undermining the rule of law. He's obstructing justice. He's lending the support of the presidency to monsters like Roy Moore...He is engaging in the most blatant xenophobia, racism and general bigotry that we have seen from the White House...

All these things...are very corrosive of the future of American democracy."


I will close this comment by wishing all ilw.com readers a joyous Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, Roger has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards.

Based on his years of experience representing immigrants in H-1B specialty occupation, O-1 extraordinary ability and other work visa cases; and in obtaining green cards through labor certification (PERM) and through marriage and other family relationships, Roger understands the importance of immigration to the lives and careers of people coming to America from all over the world.

Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com