Trump’s Quest to Make America White Again
US President Donald Trump's recent remarks about Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries have confirmed once and for all that his administration's immigration policy agenda is driven largely by racial animus. The last time the US took such an approach, it was applauded by none other than Adolf Hitler.
NEW HAVEN – See if you can guess the author of this quote: “The American Union feels itself to be a Nordic-German state and by no means an international porridge of peoples. This is revealed by its immigration quotas ... Scandinavians … then Englishmen and finally Germans have been accorded the largest contingent.”
Those words were written by Adolf Hitler in 1928, in praise of American immigration laws at the time. To be sure, references to Hitler should not be invoked lightly. For all the ugly things coming out of President Donald Trump’s White House, not least his denigration of Haiti, El Salvador, and African states as “shithole countries,” the United States is still a long way from resembling Nazi Germany.
Trump is a kneejerk authoritarian and a throwback to the old days of white supremacy in America, but many more institutional checks would have to fail before he could bring about the end of American democracy. And even with respect to immigration policy, there is a profound difference between the Trump administration’s mass deportations, however cruel and stupid, and mass murder.
We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.
To continue reading, subscribe now.
Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.
Already have an account or want to create one? Log in