Thursday, August 9, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He found an immigration topic he didn't want to talk about.

Trump's current mother- and father-in-law, Victor and Amalija Knavs, became American citizens today

They were sponsored by their daughter, Melania Trump, whose own "chain" of citizenship links to her relationship with Trump. She worked illegally in the United States before her marriage, and would be at risk of deportation under her husband's current enforcement priorities. So would the Knavses, if Trump's "merit-based" system were implemented: they are not wealthy, have not won Olympic gold medals or Nobel Prizes, are not currently employed, and are elderly (just about Trump's age, in fact). All of those factors would work against them under Trump's plan.

Trump, who references exactly this sponsorship program in his frequent attacks on people who come to the United States legally, refused to comment. The White House issued an anonymous statement also refusing to comment, demanding that the Knavses' "privacy" be respected. (The Knavs themselves are the ones who brought the news of their citizenship to light, through their attorney.)

The silence is notable for a White House that just this week proposed barring legal immigrants from the path to citizenship if they had ever used a wide variety of public services in the United States during their permanent residency, including ACA health care tax credits. 

Trump himself is the product of what he calls "chain migration" on both sides of his own family. Both his mother and his father's father followed relatives to the United States who had already obtained U.S. citizenship. 

Why does this matter?

  • Even by Trump standards, this

    is pretty spectacular hypocrisy.