Will the Trump-Miller attempts to make America whiter by reducing legal immigration backfire, as similar attempts have in the past?

According to a recent story initially appearing in the Washington Post, Donald Trump, egged on by his chief immigration consigliere, Stephen Miller, who has frequently been accused of being motivated by white supremacist ideology and whose own childhood Rabbi recently spoke out condemning him for "malice, violence and brutality" in connection with the inhuman child separation policy this past June (which was finally cancelled due to nationwide public outrage, but which Miller is reportedly threatening to revive in a different, so-called "Binary Choice" form - see my September 11 and October 15 Immigration Daily blog comments), is now going into high gear with Trump's demagogic attacks on a reported increase in desperate families appearing at the Mexican border to seek refuge from gang violence and other forms of persecution in their countries.


See also a CBS News report about Trump's latest threat to close the border over an "onslaught" of (non-white) immigrants:


But while attacking so-called "illegal" immigration has been a tried and true strategy of immigration opponents for many years past in order to gain public support (and win elections), the Trump administration is now directing at least as much fury at legal immigration, which is now under a coordinated assault from many different directions.

Many of these are below the radar of headline-grabbing public scrutiny, but are no less devastating to the hopes and dreams of immigrants seeking legal status,, including the high-skilled immigrants whom Trump falsely claims to favor over the "chain migration" legal family immigrants whom he condemned as "horrible" for America in a December 23, 2017 tweet and has continued to attack at almost every opportunity.

A September 20 POLITICO article describes some of the ways in which USCIS, under the direction of Lee Francis Cissna, is bowing to the demands of Trump and Miller by making legal immigration much more difficult and precarious.for people who are qualified under our laws and are applying in accordance with the law. See:

The Man Behind Trump's 'Invisible Wall'


These new obstacles in the way of legal immigration include, among others:

1) Allowing USCIS examiners to deny applications and petitions without issuing RFE's that give the applicant or petitioner a chance to respond to what are often minor - or many cases, totally mistaken objections that are often due to simple carelessness, lack of training or experience, or even outright bias on the part on the part of the examiner.

To give just one example, I recently received RFE's in two separate and entirely unrelated cases where the beneficiaries needed to show that they had bachelor degrees. Even though their submitted academic transcripts clearly showed that they had the required degrees in each case, the USCIS examiners issued RFE's claiming that the transcripts did not indicate the degree received.

In each case, the degree was indited on the transcript in smaller print, not huge bold letters, and the examiner evidently didn't take the time or make the effort to look at the transcript carefully. Under the new procedure, both cases might have been denied instead of attracting RFE's, causing considerable delay, additional expense, and very possibly even worse to the petitioners and the people seeking the legal status requested.

2. Sending Notices to Appear for deportation hearings in cases where the applicant's or beneficiary's legal status depends on approval of the petition or application in question.

When this new policy is combined with the policy of issuing denials without RFE's described above, even what should normally be a routinely approved petition or application for an immigration benefit can instead become a trap leading to deportation merely because of an immigration examiner's carelessness or lack of experience (not to mention ignorance or misunderstanding of the applicable law in the case at hand - the cause of countless RFE's and denials over the past years and decades).

3) A new denaturalization task force which could lead to revoking citizenship for thousands, if not millions, of new Americans because of minor or unintentional mistakes in their citizenship applications

4. Arguably most insidious of all, Miller and his allies propose using a wildly inflated and distorted interpretation of the "Public Charge" grounds of inadmissibility to deny green cards to immigrants who use common government benefits which millions middle class and working class Americans routinely use without any problem; or even, reportedly, having a less than perfect credit rating!

The public charge exclusion grounds have a long and infamous history of being used to bar immigrants who were unpopular or considered undesirable because of their ethnicity - beginning with Irish immigrants in the 1840's, Asian immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and, most shamefully of all, Jewish immigrants seeking to escape Nazi persecution in the 1930's. Many Jewish would-be immigrants who were denied visas on Public Charge grounds later wound up in Hitler's ovens and gas chambers.

This radical new proposed change in immigration policy without Congressional approval could very likely deprive millions of immigrants of green cards or other legal status, and it merits a separate forthcoming discussion.of its own which I will write about in the near future.

There can be no question that these and other similar assaults on legal immigration by the Trump regime are racially motivated, as Carthage College (Wisconsin) Professor Mimi Yang describes in an comprehensive and perceptive 2017 article::

The Trump Wall: a Cultural Wall and a Cultural War.


Ironically, as a Washington Post article by Julia G. Young points out, immigration restrictions aimed at preserving America's white majority have very often backfired and increased non-white immigration in the past instead of reducing it, See:

Policies meant to whiten America almost always backfire.

(I am sorry - I do not have a direct link - please use Google to access.)

I will discuss this article in more detail in Part 2 of this comment.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law

*Of course, as Professor Yang's article makes clear, history shows that. "cultural" is nothing more than a euphemism for "racial" when immigration is under discussion.