Will Long US History of Anti-Immigrant Bias Result in Trump's Shutting Down the Government? Roger Algase
POLITICO reports that the government could conceivably shut down later this month in a dispute over whether to include a cutoff in funding to Sanctuary Cities in the new federal budget, as Donald Trump is evidently insisting.
If there is a shutdown, as we all know from previous experience, USCIS would continue operations, since it is funded by user fees, but the DOL and DOS would both shut down, resulting in a halt in labor certification and H-1B filing as well as visa processing.
Moreover, a dispute over cutting off funding for Sanctuary Cities (and other sanctuary jurisdictions), which immigration advocates are arguing would violate the 10th Amendment, even as A.G. Jeff Sessions darkly hints at criminal prosecutions against Americans who "harbor" or "assist" unauthorized immigrants - which could conceivably include mayors or other officials of sanctuary jurisdictions - might not be the only immigration-related issue leading to a shutdown.
Funding for Trump's super-expensive Mexican border Wall and for possibly even more expensive expansions in his projected "Deportation Force" could also lead to a government shutdown.
But something as drastic as a federal government shutdown, even a short one (and there is no guarantee that this or any other shutdown would be short, especially given the president's apparent insistence on pursuing his ultra-restrictionist immigration agenda) does not only have its roots in the immediate events leading up to it.
In the case of immigration restriction, America has a very long history of taking extreme measures to discriminate against or exclude ethnic or religious groups which have been unpopular with the public and political leaders at any given time.
As everyone knows, this history goes back at least more than 150 years, to the time of the anti-Irish Know Nothings in the mid 19th Century, continuing with the Chinese exclusion laws of the 1880's and 1890's, not to mention the 20th century of racial/religious exclusion against most non-"Nordic" immigrants, continuing right up until 1965.
Anyone who thinks that this dark history is entirely behind us, and that it has no relevance to Trump's 6 (formerly 7) country Muslim immigration ban, to his mass deportation agenda, or to the other disputes going on over immigration policy today, in what A.G. Jeff Sessions, who has himself recently had high praise for a 1924 immigration law that was one of the most racially restrictive in this country's entire history, now calls the "Trump era" of immigration, would do well to read the two excellent very recent articles on this history cited below:
If Trump's nationalist policies do lead to a federal government shutdown over immigration, and let us hope there will not be one, these two insightful articles could go a long way toward explaining the reasons why.
Attorney at Law