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Sessions' Worst DACA Misrepresentation of All Was Implying that Minority Immigrants Can't or Won't Assimilate. Roger Algase

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In his September 6 speech announcing Donald Trump's phasing out of DACA, Attorney General Jeff Sessions outdid himself in repeating racist falsehoods about immigrants in general, and about the DACA program in particular, which have become a staple of immigration opponents for the past two decades (after they succeeded in enacting IIRIRA in 1996) if not for the past half century, when the 1965 immigration reform law that the alt-right and its ideological predecessors who opposed immigration from outside Europe have never accepted was passed.

Among Sessions' baseless accusations, as I pointed out in my own Immigration Daily blog comment that same day, were claims that immigration increases crime and makes America less safe, that DACA is illegal and unconstitutional as an open and shut matter (despite the strong arguments made for its legality, in, among other things, a letter to Trump signed by more than 100 immigration law professors); and, least tenable of all, the myth that DACA immigrants (or immigrants in general) steal jobs from American workers.

But Sessions' speech also included an even worse patently false accusation, one that immigration opponents have been using for more than 100 years against Chinese, Jewish, Italian and many other unpopular immigrant groups - namely that today's immigrants don't want to assimilate or have problems assimilating to American "culture".

As the grandchild of Jewish immigrants who came to America from Eastern Europe around the last decade of the 19th century, when the great wave of Jewish immigration was just beginning that lasted for the next three decades until it was cut off by the bigoted, anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic and anti-Asian 1924 immigration law that Sessions had such high praise for less than three years ago (as mentioned in my earlier comment) I am old enough to remember personally how common this despicable accusation was against Jewish immigrants not so many years ago.

I also remember the deliberately ironic reference that the composer Leonard Bernstein make to this canard in his famous musical: Candide, which contained a song (about Jews during the Inquisition) with the refrain:

"I am easily assimilated."

I would respectfully point out to Mr. Sessions that being easily assimilated is just as true of the overwhelming majority of today's Mexican, Muslim, Asian, and all the other non-European immigrants whom he and the president are so eager to keep out of or deport from the US now, as it was true then about the Jewish, Italian, Asian, East European and other non "Nordic" immigrants who were stigmatized by white supremacist politicians of that period as "unfit" or "unable to assimilate" almost a century ago, when the openly bigoted 1924 immigration law that Sessions (and Adolf Hitler, 90 years earlier) praised so highly was enacted.

For a link to the full text of Sessions' DACA speech, including his remarks about the alleged need to reduce or cut off immigration in order to give (mainly -non-European) immigrants who are already in the US time to "assimilate", see my September 6 Immigration Daily blog comment.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law
algaselex@gmail.com

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Updated 09-09-2017 at 05:01 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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