President Joe Biden has been in the Oval Office for only about two weeks, and he has moved quickly to eliminate some of the most highly publicized features of Donald Trump's white supremacist immigration agenda. President Biden has revoked Trump's Muslim Ban and BAHA executive order,and has halted construction of Trump's illegally funded and openly bigoted border wall.. The new president has also announced an ambitious plan to grant legal status and eventual US citizenship to 11 million "undocumented" immigrants - if Congress approves, which is by no means certain. Biden has also taken step to reunite immigrant families separated by one of the most cruel policies of all of the Trump administration

By this is only a beginning. President Biden needs to do much, much more in order to reverse four years of Donald Trump's and Stephen Miller's systematic transformation of the American immigration system from one built on the principle of ethnic diversity enshrined in our law, into an instrument of racial bigotry and white supremacy.

In order to appreciate the full scope of the reforms that President Biden needs to institute, it is also essential to understand the full extent of Republican white supremacist immigration policies during the past three decades, not just the open anti-immigrant racism of the Trump-Miler era. Republican anti-immigrant racism did not by any means begin with Donald Trump and Stephen Miller. It goes all the way back to the time of President Richard Nixon's infamous "Southern Strategy" of the 1970's. This "strategy" was designed to appeal to white voters who had supported the pre-civil rights era racial segregation and voter suppression laws.

While the Republicans today, 50 years later, may not openly support racial segregation, nonwhite voter suppression is still a major part of their agenda.

The first major effect of the Republican appeal to a "backlash" among white voters against the 1965 immigration reform law, which promoted racial diversity and abolished 40 years of whites only immigration dating from the 1924 "national origins" quotas immigration act, was in the 1996 "illegal Immigration Reform and immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA)

While some commentators have tried to blame the Democrats for this law because it was signed by President Bill Clinton, history shows otherwise. This law was never debated or voted on independently by the Republican -controlled Congress of that time, but was attached as a rider to an "must pass" government appropriations bill just before the presidential election. If President Clinton had vetoed that appropriations bill, there might have been serious consequences that could have cost him reelection.

At least that was the Republicans' strategy. And it worked, because President Clinton did not have the courage to veto the bill. As a result, that law is full of features which are expressly deigned to reduce nonwhite immigration. The "unlawful presence" provisions of the bill with the harsh and dreaded 3 and 10 year bars, are only one of many such features.

The Biden Administration would do well to consider redefining what constitutes "unlawful presence" by regulations or a policy memo in order to lessen the devastating effect of this provision on mainly nonwhite immigrants.

But the above is only one example of Republican attempts to reduce nonwhite immigration over the past 30-years. Another example is the repeated Republican attempts to pass bills that would criminalize immigration violations, even trivial and technical ones, in order to discourage nonwhite immigration.

All this is by way of background to the Donald Trump-Stephen Miller era, which according to some analysts, included as many as 400 rule and policy changes designed to destroy the US legal immigration system in order to keep America white. Of these changes, non has been more destructive than Stephen Miller's new Public Charge rule, which the Republican-majority Supreme Court has allowed to go into effect after it had been blocked by lower federal courts.

When Miller first announced the new Public Charge rule, which expands the definition of "Public Charge far beyond anything previously known to the history of this law (which has been a tool of anti-immigrant bigotry for almost 200 years), Miller boasted that the new rule would be "socially transformative".

Shortly afterward,hundreds of leaked Miller emails showed exactly what Miller meant by ""socially transformative" i.e. returning to the US white supremacist immigration regime of 1924 (which, among other things gave inspiration to Adolf Hitler, as he wrote in his Mein Kampf manifesto.

President Biden has ordered a review the Trump-Miller Public Charge rule, among other Trump administration attempts to impose white supremacy on the legal immigration system. But this alone is not enough.

Part 2 of this 2-part series will show in more detail what makes Miller's Public Charge rule so destructive for America's legal immigration system, and what President Biden needs to do urgently in order to eliminate this rule.


Roger Algase
Attorney at Law