As the shock of Donald Trump's desperate extension of his dictatorship over the legal immigration system that began with his 2017 Muslim Ban, continued with Miller's drastic, white supremacist February 24 Public Charge rule and advanced even further with Trump's April 22 "pause" in allowing green card applicants to enter the US, immigration advocates must not forget the "sleeping giant" that was included in the "60-day" pause (which, of course is designed to last as long as Trump remains as president).

This "sleeping giant" is of course the "30-day" review which was ordered as part of the ""60-day" that Trump and Miller could add additional restrictions at will - while disregarding the Constitutional requirement to obtain the consent of Congress that is at the heart of our democracy.

Of course, Trump must be planning to add additional restrictions. "Merely" banning most green card applicants from the entire world from entering the United States is hardly likely to be enough to satisfy Stephen Miller or other anti-immigrant bigots who want to shut down the entire legal immigration system and take America back to the overtly white supremacist 1924 immigration regime that Miller reportedly praised in hundreds of recently released emails. We can be sure that a wider bar on legal immigration is being planned. It is only the details - whether extending the ban to immigrants seeking temporary visas from outside the US, or extending it to legal immigrants already in the US - or both - that remain to be decided on.

But how would Trump set the stage for a wider immigration ban? That is where his appalling failures to protect the American public against the spread of the deadly coronavirus and his insistence in "pivoting" the nation to "reopening" the economy, no matter how many hundreds of thousands of Americans might die as a result, become relevant.

In order to extend and widen his legal immigration ban, Trump needs to increase the pressure to find a scapegoat. In the past, whenever he needed a scapegoat, nonwhite immigrants from every part of the world,have been his favorite, knee-jerk target. There is no reason to think that this is about to change.

By way of background, it is important to note that, before anyone had heard of coronavirus, Stephen Miller was already pushing to use "disease" as a pretext to close America's borders to immigrants: See, NY Times, May 3:

Before Covid-19, Trump Aide Sought to Use Disease to Close Borders

To be Part 2 of this 2-part series.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law