This is the third part of my four-part series of comments about Trump's latest so-called "merit-based" immigration plan, This plan would impose educational and English language "point system" requirements that are obviously intended to favor European countries and discriminate against Asian, African, Middle Eastern and Latin American immigrants. The plan is in reality nothing more than a throwback to the white supremacist "Nordics"-only agenda of the 1924 immigration act.

That law was motivated, in large part, by a form of junk science that was popular at the time known as "eugenics", This theory was based on the idea of inherent, unchangeable, racial superiority, with the peoples of northern Europe being on top; Jews, Italians and other Southern and Eastern Europeans being on the bottom, and nonwhites being off the radar entirely. This theory not only became the basis of US immigration law for 40 years, from 1924 until 1964, but it was also the foundation of fascism in Europe.

Daniel Okrent, author of a book entitled: The Guarded Gate, Bigotry, Eugenics and the Law that Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians and Other European Immigrants Out of America, writes the following in his May 19 Washington Post article:

Kushner's immigration plan is a version of a discriminatory effort from more than a century ago

See also:

"But Kushner's new immigration plan, aimed at reducing immigration from specific nations through the virtual elimination of what he and others have disparaged as 'chain migration', and the simultaneous valorization of the highly educated, is simply a version of a blatantly discriminatory effort [Senator Henry Cabot] Lodge [R-Mass] initiated more than a century ago...

Aware of the scant educational opportunities in most of these countries, [Lodge] told his fellow senators that his bill 'will bear most heavily on the Italians, Russians, Poles, Hungarians and Asiatics, and very lightly, or not at all, upon English-speaking migrants.' And, he argued, why should it be otherwise? 'The races most affected' by his test, he explained, were those 'with which the English-speaking people have never hitherto assimilated and are alien to the great body of the people of the United States."

While Trump's statement at a January, 2018 White House meeting that he wanted more immigrants from "Countries like Norway", not from "shithole" countries of Africa, Central America and the Caribbean may have been less elegantly expressed than the bigotry of Lodge more than 100 year years ago, the intent is clearly the same.

As Okrent also writes in this article, it took 20 years after Lodge made the above statement for the bill to become law, due to repeated presidential vetoes:

"Only with anti-European fervor spiking on the brink of World War I, and the new theories of 'racial eugenics' shaping public debate, was it finally enacted over President Woodrow Wilson's second veto, in 1917."

Okrent quots from President Grover Cleveland's 1897 veto message to the effect that the literacy test in Lodge's bill was:

"the pretext for exclusion"

Okrent then explains how Lodge's proposal eventually influenced:the openly bigoted 1924 "National Origins" immigration act which, in his words, doomed:

"...thousands, if not millions, to deprivation and death"

Okrent concludes:

"A plan that sets up 'educational standards' as the primary benchmark for immigration isn't likely to certify too many people fleeing from, say Honduras or Yemen. Reeling in the number of immigrants granted priority to reunite with family members already here will similarly disadvantage much of Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

Jared Kushner - and Stephen Miller and President Donald Trump - likely know very little about Henry Cabot Lodge. But he would be proud of them."

In the upcoming fourth and final part of my comments on the latest bigoted Trump/Kushner/Miller immigration plan, I will discuss the "eugenics" junk science that played such a large part in the enactment of the 1924 immigration act, which inspired fascist movements Europe leading up to World War 2 in more detail.

I will also discuss the parallels with Trump's war on climate change and other forms of science which, in the opinion of some historians and social science experts, such as the respected Canadian scholar Profession Henry A. Giroux of McMaster University, are creating a serious danger of America's turning fascist in the near future.

However, in such a discussion, Trump supporters might, conceivably, argue that unlike the obvious bigotry in Trump's white supremacist immigration agenda, there is nothing at all racist about his climate change denial That policy imperils the survival of all of humanity,.without regard to race, ethnicity, skin color or religion..

Even Henry Cabot Lodge might have had a few questions about that.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law