Update, October 3 at 9:18 am:

Understandable sympathy for Trump (and some White House staffers whom he may have infected or been infected by) because of his illness, which is very arguably the self-inflicted result of his own campaign of deliberate deception, downplaying and denial of the dangers from this plague which have undoubtedly contributed to the deaths of more than 200,000 people in America so far, should not be allowed to divert attention the imminent threat that Trump and his servile Republican enablers present to our democracy.

There cannot be any question that Trump's white supremacist racism, which is at the heart of his and Stephen Miller's anti-immigrant agenda, is an important part of this threat. Columbia Professor and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz writes the following in The Guardian: (October 3):

"Even more disturbing was [Trump's] refusal to denounce white supremacists and violent extremists such as the Proud Boys, whom he instructed to 'stand back and stand by'. Combines with his refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power and persistent efforts to delegitimise the voting process, Trump's behavior in the run-up to the election posed a direct threat to American democracy."


My original comment follows:

Every human life is precious, and I join the entire nation in wishing our president and the first lady a full and speedy recovery from Covid -19, for which they have both tested positive, according to the latest announcement.

At the same time, while wishing the president the very best of health, it is also important to look at the health of America's legal immigration system under his administration. While the president and his administration's spokespersons would like us to believe that any action short of mass deportation against more than 10 million "undocumented" immigrants would be a setback for the rule of law in America, the reality is that the health of our legal immigration system is in far more serious danger. The Trump administration, led by Stephen Miller, has done everything in its power to close off almost every avenue of legal immigration in America, with the greatest impact on legal immigrants from non-white areas of the world.

The list is long: First there was a ban on immigration from a number of Muslim countries, which has subsequently been extended to some predominantly non-Muslim countries in Africa and Asia. Then came the attempts to end DACA and TPS; to make it almost impossible to apply for asylum successfully; to cut refugee admissions to the vanishing point; and most recently, the attempt to make drastic reductions in legal immigration by imposing a greatly expanded and burdensome Public Charge wealth test - also aimed primarily against immigrants who are not from the rich white countries of Europe.

Trump's initial pretext for these drastic attempts to rewrite the immigration laws illegally, i.e. without the consent of Congress, was that he was redirecting the immigration system to promote "merit-based" immigration rather than what he once described as "horrible" family -based immigration. But his administration, again led by Miller, is now trying to eliminate H-1B through new rule-making which, according to the latest reports, would redefine key portions of this program to make approval virtually impossible.

Trump has also used Covid-19, a disease which he once said would go away "like a miracle" and which he regularly refers to by the racist term "Chins plague" and which has now found a home in the White House, as a transparent excuse for instituting a world-wide ban on visas for H-1B applicants located outside the US..

There are also reports of proposed new regulations that would sharply reduce student visas,by eliminating the time period to two years. Meanwhile, a big proposed USCIS fee increase aimed especially against applicants for asylum and for US citizenship had just been blocked by a federal judge. Many of Trump's other actions against legal immigration have also been blocked in the lower federal courts, and even, in he case of ending DACA, by the Trump-friendly Supreme Court.

That Court is now about to become even more Trump-friendly with the expected confirmation of Judge Amy Barrett, who issued a dissent strongly supporting Trump's attempt to revive and expand traditional Public Charge bigotry as a 7th Circuit judge. In summary the health of America's legal immigration system, and the rule of law in that system as expressed by the power of Congress is in very great danger today.

We all hope for the president's speedy recovery from Covid -19. Regaining full health may take much longer for America's legal immigration system.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law