Almost 100 years have passed since President Calvin Coolidge signed the 1924 National Origins quota immigration act which in effect ended almost all immigration from outside Europe, based on a popular but totally discredited genetic theory of northern white European racial superiority. This theory formed the basis of German fascist ideology was revived by Donald Trump in a Minnesota campaign speech in 2020. The 1924 Act was also praised by Trump's immigration guru Stephen Miller, in his leaked emails.

The 1924 law was officially abolished in 1965, but much of the racial ideology that gave rise to that law still survives in our immigration policy today, as the Brookings Institution shows in detail in a March 26 study entitled:


US Immigration Policy: A classic, unappreciated example of structural racism

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/how-we-rise/2021/03/26/us-immigration-policy-a-classic-unappreciated-example-of-structural-racism/

There are few more glaring examples of structural racism in our immigration policy today than in the visitor visa waiver program, which, with only a few exceptions, is limited to citizens of white, European countries. All other visitors must apply for visitor visas at a US consulate. These visas are often refused based on a totally arbitrary decision by a consular officer that the applicant has failed to overcome the legal presumption (itself very arguably a holdover from 1924 ways of thinking) that the applicant really intends to remain in the US permanently.


Therefore, the difference between coming to the US as a visitor with a visa waiver and having to apply for a visitor visa at a US consulate is not merely a matter of convenience, It means avoiding the risk that the visa will be refused because of the above presumption of intent. This risk of visa refusal turns into virtual certainly if one is applying at US consulates in most African countries or in other less developed parts of the world.

To be continued:

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law