Trump Immigration Policy

Trump Immigration Policy

Yesterday President Donald Trump announced his new immigration policy, which would restrict legal entry to the United States to highly-skilled, rich people who already speak English. If that policy had been in place in the past, Friedrich Trump, the president’s German-speaking grandfather, would never have landed in America, and his Scottish immigrant mother, a domestic servant, would have been denied entry. They were “legal” immigrants for the simple fact that they arrived at a time when there was no “illegal immigration” (for white people, anyway).

More recently, while Donald Trump’s two immigrant wives spoke some functional English when they arrived in the US, they were relatively unskilled, unless pouting and walking on a runway counts.

Even Trump policy advisor Stephen Miller, the anti-immigrant zealot and poetry-hating pest, is descended from low-skilled, impoverished  immigrant great-grandparents fleeing anti-semitic violence in Belarus. They arrived in New York Harbor aboard the German ship S.S. Moltke in 1903, the same year the plaque bearing the Emma Lazarus poem describing their plight was installed on the base of the Statue of Liberty, which welcomed them to the United States.

See Jim Acosta’s recap here.


“Fewer Immigrants Mean More Jobs? Not So, Economists Say,” Binyamin Appelbaum, New York Times

“Acosta versus Miller: A lurking ideological conflict about the Statue of Liberty,”Kyle Swenson, Washington Post

“‘Cosmopolitan’ is a dog whistle word once used in Nazi Germany and Communist Russia,” Amulya Shankar, PRI’s The World


“5 key facts about U.S. lawful immigrants,” D’Vera Cohn, Pew Research Center

“The Decades-Long Campaign to Cut Legal Immigration,” Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker


Short link:

Top image (after a 1917 Liberty Bond poster) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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