On January 12, Donald Trump issued a statement in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. including the following words which will be welcomed by all Americans who believe in racial justice and equality:

"Today we celebrate Dr. King for standing up for the self-evident truth that Americas hold so dear, that no matter what the color of our skin, or the place of our birth, we are all created equal by God."

Trump did not say whether his laudable comment about all people being equal regardless of their place of birth applies to immigrants from Haiti or African "shithole countries." as in his widely reported January 11 remarks which have created a storm of worldwide condemnation.


See also: The Guardian:

'There's no other word but racist'


Meanwhile, academics have been pointing out the connection between Trump's comment that America needs immigrants from Norway, rather than Haiti and Africa, and the openly racist 1924 Johnson Reed immigration act which Trump himself may not have yet had time to bone up on while reportedly spending many hours watching Fox News and other TV channels every day, but which the RAISE Act authors, Senator's Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and David Perdue (R-Georgia) must undoubtedly be familiar with, and which Trump's own AG, Jeff Sessions, had high praise for as a Senator in 2015 (along with Adolf Hitler, writing in Mein Kampf nine decades earlier).

For example, Ana Minian, assistant professor of history at Stanford University, is quoted by vox.com as saying the following about Trump's Janusry 11 "shithole" statement:

"What he [Trump] said was basically a form of eugenics - in which he's saying, 'This is the population we want: people from places like Norway.' White people. We don't want people from African countries or from Haiti. That's what's really symbolic here."

She then goes on to discuss how Trump's comment related to the openly racist 1924 "national origins" immigration act.

"What is also an important takeaway out of this message from Trump is that it takes us back to an earlier period, 1924, when the National Origins Act passed...

It [the 1924 act] gave a percentage of allowances for people to come, giving preference to Northern Europe, discriminating against Southern and Eastern Europe, and completely barring immigration from Asia."

Professor Minian also states:

"In 1965 we moved away from this National Origins Act, and part of what it means to say 'we don't want people from these countries' is moving back to that very racist law that existed."


Of course, it is not just a few execrable (no pun intended!) words that Trump said on January 11 that are taking this country back to the bigoted days of the 1924 immigration act, but his entire whites-only immigration agenda.

Abolishing the Diversity Visa lottery, which has been exceptionally helpful to African immigrants, and limiting family immigration to the immediate nuclear family, which would sharply reduce immigration from all areas of the world outside Europe (and very possibly in some parts of Europe as well - talk about "collateral damage"), and passing the RAISE Act, which would limit immigration to people from countries where English is widely understood and college education widely available - i.e. Europe, is just another way of skewing America's immigration system in favor of white immigrants and against immigrants from "shithole countries", i.e. non-white ones.

By making his horrific, bigoted statement on January 11, the president merely took the fig leaf away from the real purpose of his entire anti-immigrant agenda, and made clear for the entire world to see that not only the proposals mentioned above, but also his actions as president - the Muslim Ban, DACA cancellation, TPS cancellations, mass deportation dragnet and "Hire American" attacks on the same, predominantly Asian, skilled immigrants whom Trump claims to be favoring in his "Merit-Based" RAISE Act are not aimed at Making America Great Again, but at Making America White Again.

What is especially alarming about Trump's immigration comments is not only the obvious and crude racial bigotry, at the heart of his entire immigration agenda, which Trump openly expressed on January 11 in the course of rejecting any DACA solution that does not include his whites-only immigration proposals mentioned above (as well as his Border Wall of humiliation directed against Mexican and other Latin American immigrants), but the authoritarian way in which he claims the right to impose this bigoted agenda on America merely by holding the office of president.

On January 14, Trump tweeted the following:

"I, as President, want people coming into our Country who are going to help us become strong and great again, people coming in though a system based on MERIT. No more Lotteries! #AMERICA FIRST'"

Look at the first words: "I, as President, want people coming into our country who...".

To be sure, the executive branch has great power over immigration, but not the power to write the immigration laws. This power belongs only to Congress, not the Will of the Leader, as in in Russia, North Korea or Nazi Germany.

There was also another leader who wanted only "strong" people in his country. The world knows what he did with the "weak" ones. The above slogan "America First" was once the rallying cry of that leader's supporters in the United States. His name was Adolf Hitler.

See: Washington Post, January 20, 2017:

President Trump's 'America First' slogan was popularized by Nazi sympathizers.

(I do not have a link - please use Google to access,)

This is not to say that the president of the United States is anti-Semitic or a Nazi sympathizer himself. Certainly, he is not. But his above words have quasi-fascist associations that imply danger ahead for America's democracy.

So does his white supremacist immigration agenda, as summarized in his openly racist January 11 remarks which, as the above The Guardian news article describes, have drawn world-wide condemnation.

There is also another, more immediate danger to our society and to the rule of law in the president's bigoted comment about African and Haitian immigrants. This involves compromising the independence and integrity of our legal immigration system.

Both immigrants and American citizens who may be sponsoring them for legal visas or green cards have the right to assume that their applications or petitions will be adjudicated fairly, based only on the law and facts of each case, by immigration examiners.

But what happens now if an applicant or petition beneficiary is from Haiti or Africa, regions which Trump has now designated as "shitholes" and which he obviously means to rule out by calling for "Merit-based" immigration which will make America "Strong" and "Great"?

Everyone in America, including immigration examiners, knows that these are are just code words for "White".

How much fairness and freedom from political control of adjudications and Haitians, Africans, or any other non-white applicants/beneficiaries hope for from immigration examiners who know that the head of the government which pays their salaries and puts food on their table does not want these particular people in the country under any circumstances because of the countries they come from and the color of their skins?

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law