When future historians write about the failed presidency of Donald Trump (whether one term, two terms, or president for life, as Trump has indicated he might prefer), they may very likely single out Trump's egregious abuses of immigrants' human rights as the most defining feature.

(Of course, this assumes that there will be future historians and a future for humanity, something that Trump's Global Warming denial is putting in doubt, as much of America swelters in expected and dangerous 100 degree heat this weekend.)

Just as Presidents George Washington gained America's independence, Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted the New Deal, Donald Trump may well be known to history as the president who separated brown immigrant children from their parents and held them in cages and under other inhuman conditions, who tried to slam America shut against desperate Central American and other brown immigrants seeking refuge and safety from intolerable conditions in their home countries; who tried to ban as many of the world's Muslims as the courts would let him get away with doing from coming to America because of their religion, and who told American citizen duly elected Congressional Representatives who disagreed with his cruel and inhuman treatment of nonwhite immigrant children and adults to "Go back home."

Trump has also tried to defend his appalling cruelty to immigrant detainees, which AOC and others have compared to concentration camps with at least some degree of justification, on the grounds of "deterrence" - discouraging immigrants from coming to the United States through EWB - "Entry While Brown".

But this only adds to the cruelty and disregard for basic human rights. As a result, Trump has been condemned by numerous immigrant rights and human rights organizations, including not only Amnesty International (see my July 18 comment) but also the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet.

The Independent (UK) reported as follows (on July 8):

"Michelle Bachelet said she was appalled by the camps, and said the several UN human rights bodies had found the detention of migrant children may constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, which is banned under international law."

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-border-migrant-camp-mexico-trump-un-human-rights-children-a8994831.html

So what is Trump's reaction to these horrifying reports? Does this son and grandson of immigrants who also came to America to seek a better life, and whose immigrant wife sponsored her immigrant parents who have now just become US citizens show the slightest ounce of compassion or concern for the human rights of immigrants of a different skin color who are being treated more like animals than like human beings?

Not in the lest. instead, in typical Donald Trump fashion, which George Orwell would have well understood, Trump is, so far as it appears, now trying to redefine human rights to show that they don't really exist, or at least that they don't protect his targeted brown and Muslim immigrants.

Former US Under-Secretary of State Michael H. Fuchs write in The Guardian (July 18) that Secretary of State Pompeo is setting up a "commission" to narrow the definition of Human Rights, almost to the vanishing point. See:

Trump is on an Orwellian mission to redefine human rights

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/18/trump-pompeo-human-rights-un-orwellian-mission-redefine

I will discuss the origins and development of human rights and human rights law going back to ancient Greece and Rome in the West, and China and India in Asia, as well as the abysmal failure of the Trump administration to respect these rights in the case of nonwhite immigrant adults and children, in more detail in my upcoming comments on this issue.


Roger Algase
Attorney at Law