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  1. "Pocahontas", Puerto Rico and (Right Wing) Populism: Trump's Prejudices Against Minority Americans Also Explain His Immigration Policies. Roger Algase

    Update: November 29, 11:07 am:

    It's not just "Pocahontas". Trump has also just retweeted an extremist anti-Muslim hate video from the UK, causing outrage in both the UK and the US.

    Update, November 29, 9:23 am:

    For a comment by Princeton University Professor of Religion and African-American Studies professor Eddie Glaude, Jr. stating that Trump's "Pocahontas" racial slur was an attack, not only on Native Americans, but on all brown-skinned people, see:

    With every new slur and racial attack against non-white people in general, and immigrants in particular, coming from the president, it becomes more and more difficult to escape the conclusion that deeply rooted racial prejudices are at the very core of Trump's immigration agenda.

    My original comment appears below.

    The notion of a president of the United States using a demeaning racial slur against a group of people he is purportedly honoring and praising for their contributions to American society would be unthinkable for most Americans, even in the "Donald Trump Era". But that is exactly what Trump did on November 27 in a speech to a group of elderly Navaho native Americans who had rendered invaluable service during WW2 by developing a code which could not be broken.

    Even in the midst of his praise for their service, Trump was unable to avoid using his favorite racial epithet against native Americans: "Pocahontas."

    To put it into perspective, what would the reaction be if a US president were to address a group of African-Americans while talking about "Uncle Tom". or if her were to give a speech in front of a Jewish organization containing a reference to "Shylock"?

    But this story is not significant just because of a single racial remark (made while Trump, in an arguably even more serious insult to Native Americans, stood in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson, a president who became famous for exterminating them).

    This one single racial epithet is a window into the denigrating attitude that Trump has shown toward non-white Americans in other, far more serious instances, notably in his response (or lack of it) to the hurricane disaster in Puerto Rico. It is also reflected in his courting of white nationalists, also known as Right Wing Populists.

    One might even say that the 3 "P's" of Trump's disparagement of non-white Americans, "Pocahontas", Puerto Rico and white nativist Populism, tell us more about the purpose of Trump's agenda of making drastic reductions in immigration from non-European parts of the world than any fancy, convoluted immigration executive orders or policy statements coming out from the White House or the DHS could possibly do.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 11-29-2017 at 11:07 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. If Trump Really Believes in "Defending Western Values", He Should Heed the Pope's Call to Respect The Dignity of All Immigrants. Roger Algase

    As described in detail in my November 20 post, Donald Trump's July 6 Warsaw speech was a virtual manifesto for keeping non-European immigrants out of the United States in order to preserve the "values", "civilization" and "traditions" of "the West" which Europe and America had "inherited" from "our ancestors" (white ones, that is). Indeed, Trump, in that speech, called protecting the borders of "the West" "the most fundamental issue of our time."

    However, even though Trump gave his speech (which had very uncomfortable echoes of the "Blut und Boden" - ("Blood and Soil") slogan of the Nazis who once occupied Poland and exterminated Warsaw's Jews with the help of their own Warsaw Ghetto Wall -which Trump's proposed Mexican Border Wall inevitably brings to mind) in Poland, one of the most Catholic countries in all of Europe, the president's interest in "Western Values" does not seem to extend to paying any attention to the words of the Pope, one of the greatest symbols of Western traditions and values of all time.

    Reuters, in a November 24 article:

    Pope criticizes politicians for stoking racism over immigration

    reports that the Pope has issued a message called:

    "Migrants and Refugees: Men and Women in Search of Peace"

    The article quotes Pope Francis as follows:

    "Many destination countries have seen the spread of rhetoric decrying the risks posed to national security or the high cost of welcoming new arrivals, and doing so demeans the human dignity due to all sons and daughters of God."

    The Pope also said:

    "Those who, for what may be political reasons, foment fear of migrants instead of building peace are sowing violence, racial discrimination and xenophobia, which are matters of great worry for all those concerned about the safety of every human being."

    If the president cares as much about the values and civilization of "the West" as he claimed to do in his Warsaw speech, he might want to think about showing a little more respect for the greatest "Western" value of all - the universal value of tolerance and respect for all human beings, as reaffirmed by the Pope.

    And if Trump is not willing to follow the values exemplified by the Pope, he might do just as well by basing his immigration polices on the maxim of the great 1st Century A.D. Roman poet Lucan (Marcus Annaeus Lucanus) who, though not a Christian, lived his short life (before being killed by the emperor Nero) at a time when Christianity was just beginning. Lucan famously wrote (in his epic poem De Bello Civili about Rome's brutal and destructive civil wars of the century just before his own):

    Inque vicem gens omnis amet ("May all nationalities live in harmony with each other.")

    Following both the message of Christianity, as reaffirmed by Pope Francis, as well as the great humanist admonition of a Roman poet of 2,000 years ago, would be a welcome change from Trump's current policies of division, discrimination, deportation and demonization against non-European immigrants.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 11-27-2017 at 05:55 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Trump's Wall is Being Built, Not With Bricks, But By Returning to the Spirit of a 1924 Law Which Hitler and Jeff Sessions Both Praised. Roger Algase

    The following comment has been expanded and revised as of November 26 at 8:59 am:

    We may or may not one day get to see Donald Trump's "Big, Beautiful" bricks and concrete physical Wall. But in terms of immigration policy changes, his Wall of hatred and prejudice against Latin American, Asian, Middle Eastern, and other non-white immigrants is already well under construction.

    If there is one single policy goal that the "Trump Era" will be remembered for by future historians, it could well be this administration's concerted attempt to reverse America's demographics from the movement toward a (more) tolerant, diverse, multiracial, multi-religious and multilingual society which we have experienced since the immigration reform of 1965. This law was enacted as part of the impetus to abolish legal racial segregation of non-white American citizens.

    Instead, Trump's immigration agenda is clearly intended to restore the white supremacist, Europeans only immigration system which America had in place during the previous 40 years, from 1924 to 1964.

    This system, which was designed to eliminate almost all immigration from European countries where large numbers of Jews and Catholics were living, as well as from Asia, the Middle East and Africa entirely, was mandated by the 1924 "national origins" immigration act which Adolf Hitler, writing in Mein Kampf, claimed to have been inspired by. As Jelani Cobb writes in the September 5 New Yorker:

    "The policy [of the 1924 Johnson-Reed Immigration Act] was so defiantly and arrogantly racist that, as James Q. Whitman, a professor at Yale Law School, writes in ''
    Hitler's American Model', it earned praise from Adolf Hitler: "The American Union categorically refuses immigration of unhealthy elements, and simply excludes the immigration of certain races", Hitler wrote in 'Mein Kampf.'"


    Trump's Move to End DACA and Echoes of the Immigration Act of 1924

    Nine decades later, in 2015, then Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), who is now carrying out Trump's draconian mass incarceration and deportation agenda against out-of-status mainly Latin American and Asian immigrants in his role as the nation's Attorney General, also had high praise (though ostensibly on different grounds which will fool no one) for this openly bigoted law in his so-called: Immigration Handbook for the New Republican Majority. For a direct link, see:

    A good summary of these policies of return to an earlier, white supremacist, immigration era appears in a November 21 Washington Post article:

    How Trump is building a border wall that no one can see

    For a direct link to the article, go to:

    The Post's article describes Trump's concerted attempt to turn back America's immigration racial and religious clock to a white, Christian one as follows:

    "But in a systematic and less visible way, his administration is following a blueprint to reduce the number of foreigners living in the United States - those who are undocumented and those who are here legally- and overhaul the U.S. immigration system for generations to come.

    Crosswise agencies and programs, federal officials are wielding executive authority to assemble a ceremonial wall that could be more effective than any concrete and metal one. While some actions have drawn widespread attention, others have been in place more quietly."

    Here are the main building blocks of this policy wall, as described in the above article:

    1) Cutting refugee admissions to the lowest level in many years; speeding up deportations (as much as possible, given the backlogged immigration courts) and terminating TPS (which has already happened for Nicaraguans and Haitians, and could ultimately affect almost a million people in the future),

    2) Supporting the RAISE Act, which would annual legal immigration in half, (especially by reducing or eliminating family immigration and less skilled immigration),

    3) Ending DACA for almost 700,000 young immigrants

    4) While this was not mentioned in the above article, Trump's attempt to abolish the Diversity visa is also part of the same strategy.

    The Post could have also mentioned Trump's Muslim ban and "extreme vetting" policies, as well as his attack on skilled and professional H-1B visas under the guise of his "Hire American" executive order. The latter is all the more hypocritical in view of the fact that the Trump's administration's support for the RAISE act is based on a purported policy objective of favoring "merit-based" immigration, i.e. highly skilled workers over all others.

    However, the only "merit" of the RAISE Act is that it would carry out the policy objectives of white supremacist supporters and organizations which have been trying to overturn the 1965 immigration reform law almost from the time it was enacted a half century ago.

    While none of the above policy changes expressly state that they are designed to bring back the alt-right ideal of a predominantly white, Christian America, that is the obvious intent, in view of which parts of the world are being affected most by the above actual and proposed changes.

    None of the changes will have any appreciable effect on immigration from Europe, which is not a source of refugees, TPS holders, Diversity Visa immigrants (to any large extent) or again to any large extent, unskilled workers (with a few exceptions, such as some of the waiters and grass-cutters whom Trump is sponsoring for H-2B visas to work at his Mar-a-Lago and other posh resorts).

    Overwhelmingly, the effect of the above changes or proposed changes will be on immigrants from Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The clear purpose is demographic.

    This is not to say that Trump's attempts to make America whiter through immigration policy changes will be successful. The Post writes:

    "...but demographic experts say there is a small chance they will modify the country's broad broader racial and ethnic transformation, which Trump's critics say is his goal. Census projections show the United States will no longer have a single racial ethnic majority by mid-century, according to the Pew Research Center."

    But this doesn't mean that the Trump administration isn't trying hard to slow down this trend, even if it cannot be reversed entirely.

    The Post concludes its article as follows:

    "But although some of Trump's most fervent supporters see curbing immigration as a way to turn back the United States' rapid racial and ethnic transformation, [William] Frey [a demographer at the Brookings Institution] said it is an unrealistic goal...

    'You can slow the rate of Latino and Asian immigration, but it won't make the population whiter,' Frey said. It will just become less white at a slower pace.'"

    But, evidently, even that limited and ultimately unsuccessful goal is one that Trump and his administration appear to be fundamentally committed to pursuing through changes in immigration policy.

    Trump might still be able to claim that he accomplished more that King Canute, who was not even able to make the waves slow down, even though he commanded them to turn back.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 11-26-2017 at 08:51 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. Big Brother Donald May Soon Be Watching You (Immigrants and Americans) on Facebook (While He Demagogues Egypt Mosque Attack). Roger Algase

    The following comment has been revised and expanded as of November 26 at 12:22 pm:

    A group of 54 "Data Mining" experts from leading universities in every part of the United States sent a letter on November 16 to Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke strongly protesting a plan to make a vast expansion in monitoring immigrants' social media posts for a vaguely defined purpose that could lead to targeting and deportation of immigrants for merely expressing legitimate political views.

    It could also lead to monitoring political comments by American citizens, in a move that could bring America closer to making George Orwell's totalitarian slogan "Big Brother is Watching You" in his famous novel 1984 a reality. For a link to and comment on this letter, see (November 25):

    Extreme digital vetting of visitors to the US moves forward under a new name

    The letter states in part:

    "According to its Statement of Objectives, the Extreme Vetting Initiative seeks to make 'determinations via automation' about whether an individual will become a 'positively contributing member of society' and will 'contribute to the national interests'. As far as we are aware, neither the federal government nor anyone else has defined, much less attempted to qualify, these characteristics. Algorithms designed to predict these undefined qualities could be used to arbitrarily flag groups of immigrants under a veneer of objectivity...

    For example, developers could stipulate that a Facebook post criticizing U.S. foreign policy would identify a visa applicant as a threat to national interests."

    This last example is by no means merely hypothetical. USCIS form I-485, which is meant to be used by immigrants who are in the United States and are applying to "adjust their status" to become permanent residents, are now required to answer "yes " or "no" "security" question number 47, which reads as follows (in the latest revised 6/26/17 version of this form:

    "Are you engaged in or, upon your entry into the United States, do you intend to engage in any activity that could have potentially serious policy consequences for the United States?"

    Admittedly some immigrants might wish to comment on Facebook about a certain current US president who, in the opinion of many experts, could have a problem giving a truthful "no" answer to the above questions. See the comment by Richard North Patterson, a distinguished retired attorney and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, in the Boston Globe, October 2 entitled:

    The dangerous path of Trump's xenophobia

    But for any immigrant who dares to post such a comment, that might turn out to be the end of any hope of being approved for a visa or a green card.

    As also points out in its comment on the academic experts' letter:

    "Social media surveillance would be difficult to carry out without collecting collateral data on thousands of American citizens in the process, said Rachel Levinson-Waldman, senior counsel to the Brennan Center's Liberty and National Security Program."

    The above again illustrates the biggest danger of all to American democracy and society in Trump's agenda of targeting, excluding and deporting immigrants who come from non-white parts of the world or who hold religious or political views which he disfavors. Inevitably American citizens as well will be included in Trump's immigration dragnet. This could lead to the same kind of totalitarian dictatorship that Orwell so graphically predicted in his novel 70 years ago.

    In another development, in his latest example of shameless demagoguery, Trump has attempted to exploit the deaths of at least 235 Egyptians in a terror attack in a mosque in that country for the purpose of promoting his Mexican Border Wall of hatred and humiliation against mainly Latin American immigrants; as well as his Muslim ban executive order, which federal court after federal court has determined to be motivated by religious animosity and discrimination rather than genuine national security considerations.

    So far, little or no evidence has been produced showing that Trump's Border Wall would be of the slightest value in preventing terrorists from entering the United States. The ostensible purpose of the Wall is directed against Latin American immigrants, few if any of whom have been linked to radical Islamist groups.

    And, as The Hill points out in its story below about Trump's reaction to the mosque terror attack, Egypt is not among the countries that are (or ever have been) included in Trump's Muslim ban list. Therefore, using a terror attack in Egypt as a pretext for pushing the Muslim ban does not make any logical sense either.

    At least, Trump (so far) has not tried to exploit this attack as an excuse to justify his support of the "merit-based" RAISE Act, which would eliminate or drastically cut legal immigration from Asia and Latin America, or for eliminating the Diversity visa, which has been especially beneficial for immigrants from Africa and Asia.

    These proposals, which Trump pushed for after the October 31 terror attack in New York, do, to be sure, have a good deal of "merit" - for members of the alt-right white nationalist, neo-nazi and KKK movements that Trump was so reluctant to condemn after Charlottesville.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 11-26-2017 at 03:11 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Trump's "Sadism" in Ending TPS for 50K Haitians Advances His Immigrant Ethnic Cleansing Goals, and Threatens Humanitarian Disaster. Roger Algase

    Update, November 24, 9:49 pm:

    The discussion below to the effect that Trump's immigration agenda is very arguably based on a vicious streak of personal sadism toward non-white immigrants in general - a delight in inflicting suffering on potentially millions of people though his immigration policies, over and beyond his evidently deep-seated commitment to a white supremacist policy goal, gains added force in the light of his pardon of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an open sadist who boasted of his ability to torment non-white immigrants in what Arpaio himself called "concentration camp" conditions.

    For more on Arpaio's sadism toward immigrants, see:

    The following comment has been updated and expanded as of November 24 at 9:02 pm.

    This will continue my November 20 post about Trump's decision to end TPS protection for 50,000 Haitian immigrants in another 18 months as part of the larger ideological strategy of ethnic cleansing against non-white immigrants which he set forth in his July 6 address in Warsaw, Poland. See:

    The sheer cruelty and inhumanity in the DHS's decision to end TPS for these immigrants is evident in its appallingly cynical statement that conditions have improved enough since the devastating 2010 earthquake in that country to make it "safe" for the affected Haitian immigrants, most of whom are well-integrated into and contributing to US society, and many of whom have American children who have never been to Haiti, to return to the poorest country in the entire Western hemisphere.

    This is exactly how "ready" Haiti is to take these immigrants back: Ken Appleby, senior director of the non-partisan Center for Migration Studies, stated as follows, as reported in the Huffington Post:

    "Since the earthquake, there's been a series of natural disasters, not to mention a cholera outbreak...Sixty per cent [of Haitians] are below the poverty line. You still have 10,000 cases of cholera in September. There's still thousands displaced or in camps. Infrastructure has been weakened by the hurricanes. Crops have been destroyed so there's food insecurity and hunger is prevalent."

    See, November 22:

    Trump Administration is Sending Haitians Back To A Country Still Mired In Disaster

    Naomi Steinberg, senior director of policy and advocacy at HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), called the decision to send the Haitians back "unnecessary and inhumane", according to She also said:

    " forces families to make impossible decisions. It means that either families will torn apart, or it means that families will stay here and will be taking on the risk of living an undocumented life."

    According to the same report, Steinberg also disputed the Trump administration's finding that Haiti ad improved enough to remove the need for TPS. She said:

    "There is a significant need there for medical care, for education, for work opportunities...We know obviously how the country was ravaged after the earthquake in 2010, and since then there has been a cholera epidemic, and other hurricanes, other natural disasters...there is not an infrastructure in place to absorb all of these returnees."

    Given the extreme hardship and suffering that the decision to send the Haitians back threatens to cause, what could Trump's purpose be in ending the TPS protection that they have had for the past more than half dozen years and which has enabled most of them to become productive, law-abiding and contributing members of American society? (Even Trump does not claim that the Haitians are "terrorists", or "M-13 gang members", as he does with Middle Eastern and Mexican/Central American immigrants.)

    There is always, of course the psychological explanation, based on Trump's well known propensity toward what some experts are calling sadism (based on Trump's evident delight in humiliating and inflicting suffering on people whom he perceives as opponents - or even just as "losers" in general).

    For a exposition of this view, see UCLA philosophy professor and researcher Douglas Kellner's article:

    Donald Trump as Authoritarian Populist: A Frommian Analysis

    Kellner writes the following about how Trump's immigration policies provide clues concerning what what Kellner refers to in his article as Trump's "arguably sadistic, excessively narcissistic, malignantly aggressive, vengefully destructive" personality:

    "Trump's destructive aspects are almost at the heart of his run for the run for the presidency. Revealingly, Trump's initial 'argument' presidency was to build a wall to keep immigrants from pouring over our southern border along with a promise to arrest all 'illegal immigrants' and send them back over the border, a highly destructive (and probably impossible) action that would tear apart countless families."

    Are Trump's subsequent Muslim ban executive orders, DACA cancellation, TPS terminations, mass deportation dragnets, attempts to smear and vilify Latino and Asian immigrants as criminals through his failed VOICE program; and his support for abolishing or cutting back family immigration and less skilled immigration from Asia and Latin America through the RAISE Act; his cutting down refugee admissions to the lowest number in decades at a time when the humanitarian needs are arguably among the greatest and most desperate in all of world history; one could go on and on - any less destructive - i.e. motivated by hate and malice, if not very possibly also by a kind of perverse delight at the anxiety, fear and torment that his immigration policies are causing to millions of harmless people who present little or no danger to America - and are threatening to cause to millions more?

    For an opinion holding that Trump's cancellation of DACA, in particular, was done a a deliberately sadistic manner, see Charles Blow, writing in the New York Times on September 7, as follows:

    "...[Trump] also made the sadistic and emotionally manipulative act of professing his 'love' for the Dreamers last week, while moving to bring them pain this week.

    This didn't need to be done. This was done out of spite and hostility."

    But beyond Trump's own particular psychological makeup and its effect on immigration policy - including but not limited to his border Wall, which has little or no purpose except as an expression of Trump's hatred for and wish to humiliate Mexican and other Latino immigrants - a psychological syndrome about which there will no doubt be more than enough speculation as long as he remains in office; and, in all probability, much longer than that; one cannot avoid the issue of how his specific actions of cruelty and hostility toward ever expanding groups of targeted immigrants fit in with his larger agenda.

    And what is this larger agenda? More and more obviously, with every one of his unfolding series of actions - whether it be the Muslim ban executive orders, the wide expansion of people who are now being targeted for mass deportation, the drastic reduction in refugee admissions, his support for the RAISE Act, which would affect mainly Asian and Latin American immigrants by eliminating most family based and less skilled immigration - while Trump at the same time seeks to make approvals for highly skilled primarily Asian H-1B workers far more difficult - it becomes and harder to avoid the conclusion that Trump is deeply committed to reversing the demographic trends toward a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-lingual society which have come about through America's immigration policies of the past 50 years.

    Indeed, it might not be an exaggeration to say that this fundamental alteration of America's racial makeup in a move back toward the openly white supremacist immigration (and domestic) policies of an earlier era might well turn out to be the most enduring legacy of the entire Trump presidency.

    Trump's ultimate goal is, without any possible serious question, taking America back toward the openly bigoted white Christian Europeans only immigration policies of the 1924 "national origins" immigration act which Trump's white nationalist base supporters wish has never been repealed (and which both Adolf Hitler and Trump's own AG, Jeff Sessions, had high praise for some nine decades apart, as I have pointed out in more detail in previous comments).

    Univision commentator Jorge Ramos writes as follows, specifically from the standpoint of Trump's assault on family immigration, which has never (at least during the past almost 100 years) been a problem when most or all of the immigrants involved were white, but is now being attacked with the racist term "Chain Migration" when most of the immigrants obtaining green cards through family relationships are not:

    "In 2015, about 43 million immigrants were living in the U.S. (13.5% of the population), according to the Migration Policy Institute, and the top countries of origin were: Mexico, India, China, the Philippines, El Salvador, Vietnam, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, South Korea and Guatemala.

    When Trump speaks against '
    chain migration' he's using coded language. What the president really means is that he doesn't want any more immigrants from Asia or Latin America coming to this country and staying...

    the past he has said he wants to implement a merit-based system for immigrants coming to this country. That sounds like a nice idea, but in practice, this would give priority to immigrants from wealthy, English-speaking countries. Which means white immigrants.

    Then, after also discussing Trump's cancellation of DACA and the already implemented or (at the time of writing) likely forthcoming termination of TPS for Haiti (since actualized) and several Central American countries; as well as Trump's proposed Mexican border Wall and Muslim country entry ban orders, Ramos continues:

    "Presumably, Trump is trying to reverse the processes of tolerance and diversity that will transform this country into a nation of minorities by 2044. Census officials have predicted that by that year, more than half of all Americans will belong to an ethnic minority (that is, any group other than non-Hispanic white alone."

    And then, Ramos concludes:

    "It seems that Trump's goal is to delay this reality by removing as many immigrants as possible and preventing the entry of many more."

    Now we know why Donald Trump is so eager to create a humanitarian disaster by sending some 50 thousand Haitian immigrants back to a devastated country which is in no position to receive them. This is just one more step along the road to Trump's ultimate goal of ethnic cleansing of non-white immigrants from America.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 11-24-2017 at 09:50 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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