For far too long, from the first Chinese exclusion law in 1882 to the misleadingly named Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act" of 1996 (IIRIRA), prejudice, hostility and discrimination against immigrants have been at the foundation of America's immigration system. During their four year hold on power, Donald Trump and Stephen Miller did everything in their power to amplify the demonization and vilification of immigrants, especially ones from non-white parts of the world, and to shut down large parts of our legal immigration system.

The BIden administration has reversed or cancelled some of the most openly bigoted and inhuman measures that the Trump regime imposed against immigrants, such as the Muslim Ban, the Miller Public Charge rules and the attempt to destroy the H-1B visa by redefining "specialty occupation" out of existence. But many other discriminatory policies from the Trump regime, such as the hypocritical use of Title 42 of the US Code on bogus public health grounds to keep out Haitian and Central American asylum-seekers still remain.

Many other other policies that go against universal human rights principles have been so deeply embedded in our immigration system, and for such a long time, that no one even notices them any more. These include long and unreasonable delays in granting immigration benefits, denial of benefits based on a host of trivial or meaningless technicalities, lack of due process, and many other human rights abuses.

About a dozen years go (the exact year and date are unfortunately not listed, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) issued a report entitled:

Immigrants' Rights are Human Rights: Universal Guarantees of Rights to All People

(Sorry, no URL is provided for this report either - please use Google to access online.)

This report is one of the most succinct, and at the same time, comprehensive, discussions of what universal human rights for immigrants involves. I will discuss this report, which includes a description of human rights protections that should be at the foundation of the immigration laws of all nations, including the US, that profess to believe in the values of humanity, justice and equality for all people, regardless of race, color, nationality, religion or ancestry, in upcoming comments.


Roger Algase

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