This comment is revised and updated as of January 30 at 11:10 am:

Outrage continues to grow over the Supreme Court's Republican majority's rubber-stamping of Stephen Miller's racist new Public Charge rule. By barring green cards or legal visas to immigrants who have used or may be "likely to use" a wide range of legal government benefits, including, among many others, Medicaid or public housing subsidies, Miller's rule broadens the meaning of Public Charge far beyond anything previously imaginable in the nearly 200 years that this doctrine has been used in the US.

As I have shown in previous comments, even in a less virulent and inflated form than Miller's version, Public Charge has a long history of being used to discriminate against whomever the unpopular immigrants of the day may have been in any given period of America's history.

This includes, among many others, Irish immigrants in the 1850's, Asian immigrants beginning in 1882 with the first Chinese exclusion law, and Jewish immigrants trying to escape the concentration and death camps of the Holocaust in the 1930's and early 1940's.

Even USCIS director Ken Cuccinelli, an ardent Trump defender who is peddling the falsehood that Miller's new rule is only about immigrant "self-sufficiency" rather than race, has admitted that Public Charge was once used to bar Italian immigrants - as if this somehow made it acceptable!

Now, in its latest, greatly expanded Trump-Miller version, this old form of bigotry will inevitably be used against immigrants from Asia, Africa, Latin America and all other areas of the world except for the relatively affluent, white countries of Europe. Miller himself, whose nearly 1,000 avowedly white supremacist anti-immigrant emails have only recently come to light, has been quoted as saying that his new rule is meant to be "socially transformative". We all know what that means.

Common Dreams describes the sense of outrage over the Court majority's betrayal of basic American values of fairness and humanity by approving Miller's racist rule in its January 27 article:

'Shameful, Disgusting. Disgraceful,' Outrage after Supreme Court Allows Trump's Public Charge Rule to Take Effect

This article quotes presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as follows:

My father came to America at 17 without a nickel, speaking no English...He grew up to be the proudest American you ever saw. Trump's policy is disgraceful. It is not what America is about. We will defeat him and end his demonization of immigrants and the poor."

The same Common Dreams article also quotes CAIR government affairs director Robert McCaw as follows, concerning the Supreme Court majority's disregard for human rights in its decision:

"The Supreme Court's decision will further marginalize immigrant communities and will inevitably create a socioeconomic hierarchy in our immigration system...The Trump administration's policy would quite literally kill people by making them too afraid to seek life-saving medical care, and the Supreme Court seems to agree such a cruel system is acceptable."

It is also worth noting that Donald Trump's own mother came to the US from an impoverished area of rural Scotland. It has been reported that her family was so poor that ten people lived in one room. Stephen Miller's own immigrant great-grandfather reportedly came to the US with all of $8.00 in his pocket. See:



The above shows that Miller's Public Charge rule, and the Supreme Court Republican majority's endorsement of this rule, are not only "shameful " (in the courageous and accurate words of AOC as i have quoted in a previous comment on this topic) but also an example of the most appalling hypocrisy,

My original January 27 comment on this topic follows below:

January 27, 2020, should go down as one of the darkest days in US immigration history, a day equal to the day in 1924 when President Calvin Coolidge signed the infamous "national origins" quotas immigration act which barred most non-white immigration for the ensuing 40 years by limiting all legal visas mainly to citizens of the "Nordic" countries of northern Europe.

The same day could also well be compared with another infamous day in US immigration history, - the day when the first Chinese exclusion law was signed in 1882. This is because on January 27, 2020, the Ideologically driven Republican Supreme Court majority, in a 5-4 decision, allowed Stephen Miller's openly white supremacist and greatly expanded "Public Charge" exclusion rule to go into effect by lifting a lower court injunction against the rule.

Given the disparate impact on immigrants from nonwhite areas of the world and the privileged position that the new rule will give to immigrants from comparatively wealthy white Europe, it is easy to understand why New York Congresswoman AOC immediately condemned the Court's action as "shsmeful."

I will write about this devastating rule, which is much harsher and more biased even than the infamous, openly bigoted public charge rules of the past, in more detail in upcoming comments of this topic.

Of course, the Supreme Court's decision yesterday does not end the litigation over the new rule. The lower courts must still decide on the merits. But allowing this latest act of bigotry against nonwhite immigrants by the Trump regime to go forward is taking America a long way back to a very dark past while the lawsuits against Miller's new greatly expanded new rule, which unlike previous version was handed down with zero Congressional input, continue.

The January 27 decision is also an ominous sign that the final Supreme Court decision on the merits of this shameful new rule will be the same.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law
Harvard Law School LL.B
Harvard College A.