The Trump, Hitler comparison: which dangerous path are we headed down, looking at immigration policy first.
I’ll begin by saying that while I am a very conservatively minded individual when it comes to size of government, rule of law, and other issues I am also ardently anti-Trump.
I have to also say that this puts me at odds with myself. So I am using this post as a way to get perspective on the issue of Trump and what his presidency means. I have no idea where I am going to come out at the end of this post in the way of either linking Trump to a nationalist, possibly facist, and possibly racist agenda or am I going to end up seeing that he isn’t all the things he seems to be or is he somewhere in between?
I am going to read, interpret, research and develop an opinion within this post series and explain my thinking.
The reason I ask which dangerous path are we headed down is a powerful question. On one hand I ask, are we seeing a fledgling attempt at fascism?
Or are we by drawing comparisons of Trump and his policies actually denigrating the historical significance of Nazis and the memory of the Holocaust by making a weak comparison for the cause of vilifying a divisive President for political gain?
I’m going to begin on immigration. It of course has been a central plank to Trumps platform and a very contentious issue for the People.
What has Trump actually been saying?
So here is a Presidential press conference at the White House regarding immigration. The President’s language is very controlled especially compared to his Twitter posts.
Summary. We have to control illegal immigration. We want to build a wall to force immigrants to legal ports of entry, anyone that asks for asylum will get their day in court, this process can be long and he hints that it should be as a deterrent to applying for asylum, we are not going to allow them entry to the country during that process, they will be held in a facility. Families with children will not be separated.
The military will enforce the border and the law. The law needs to be reformed because the asylum system is heavily abused. Any rock throwing or violence will be considered a “rifle” and the military will protect itself. “ Will they fire on immigrants?” President, “ I hope not.”
So this speech stays within the law and does not make claims about the caravan directly being made up of criminals and gangs. However in the middle of the questions he did speak about the violence at the Mexican border then closely after spoke of drugs and gangs. The link can be made but it is a loose association at best.
This is NBCs fact check on the presidential speech. There are errors in his facts but the reality is that the errors aren’t in the meat of the policies. They are inflated numbers, inflated claims of border fortification and an oversimplified version of Obama policy regarding separation of families.
His Twitter rhetoric is very different.
Merit based immigration. He says immigration is good but should be based on what the individual can contribute to the US.
Trump talking about Mexican govt. And halting the migrant caravan.
Trump statements on immigrants. Generalizes saying “Mexico not sending their best.” His comments about violence and rape do however seem to have merit based on the Drs without borders report.
Australian news about Trump. Says he will enforce border.
Trump’s actual policy work. Immigration policy.org. This runs through what he has actually done. Much has been aimed at stopping illegal immigration and making immigration policy more adventagous to the US.
Calling for a change in immigration law. He calls for deportation of illegal immigrants as well as tightening immigration law to enhance the contributions of immigrants to the US.
Proposed change to public charge exclusion law. The president wants to change the use of the public charge exclusion standards for immigration. This means that an immigrant that is likely to rely on public service programs such as welfare, food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid can be denied the ability to immigrate to the US.
Revocation of DACA. What does it do? The act which was expanded by executive order under the Obama administration gives illegal immigrants who were brought by their parents as children the ability to apply for a work permit and also deferred Court proceedings on their status by 2 years. The stipulations keeping education, free and reduced lunches and other programs for children are still protected however according to other research I have done. The Hispanic Federation claims that say this targets childrens' access to healthcare and food are refuted in other sources.
So really aside from significant over generalization about migrants possible criminality and a blatant lie about Middle Eastern terrorists in the caravans at the Mexican border the President has stayed mainly within the confines of reforming immigration law to favor those who are more likely to contribute, ending illegal immigration and changing the way illegal immigrants are treated when they arrive. It was also notable that when making changes to past executive orders the president gave a waiting period for Congress to pass legislation that would cement the past executive orders into law.
This doesn’t match with historical events leading to the Holocaust.
This outlines in general terms what led to the Holocaust as well as Nazi power in post WWI Germany.
Honestly, there are few if any parallels between Nazi policy and Trump policy as pertains to immigration.
There are growing hints at further action that could be seen as parallels to Nazi policy in regard to treatment of migrants and others in the US currently however, particularly in terms of recent actions and statements on possible policies in the future.
Of particular concern is the administrations statements about ending birthright citizenship. This would be the first internal attack on citizenship itself which was a major component of Nazi policy dealing with Jewish Germans early on and is highly, highly, I’ll say again, highly alarming. This could however also be seen as a measure to reduce the incentive to immigrate illegally so that the children of the migrants would get US citizenship. Intent is nearly impossible to pin down however.
Any similarity between Trump and Hitler however does not seem to lie in policies regarding immigration and citizenship however.
I will keep looking elsewhere.