Policy & Analysis
Trump and his administration have already begun long-term policy change designed to reduce legal immigration from non-European countries, in line with white supremacist ideology. The only way we can hope to stop this disturbing trend is by 1) calling it out when we see it and 2) working to elect government officials at all levels who understand that part of what makes America unique and beautiful is the diversity of its people.
To that end, I’ll catalog here the white supremacist policies that Trump and members of Congress support. To read more background on the subject of white supremacist ideology in our government, scroll down to the next section.
June 21, 2017: Trump’s travel ban and his reaction to a spate of terrorist attacks around the world from mid-May to mid-June 2017
April 18, 2017: Executive Order (EO) 13788, titled “Buy American and Hire American”
- will reduce legal immigration, mostly from India and China.
March 6, 2017: Executive Order (EO) 13780, titled “Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States”
- will reduce legal immigration from several low-income Middle Eastern and African countries that currently send the U.S. a large number of refugees.
January 6, 2017: Trump’s plan for a wall along our border with Mexico
- His plan, as posted on his campaign site, will reduce legal immigration by low-income Mexicans
Rebranding old ideas
Many Americans are familiar with David Duke, notorious for his former role as Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. In 2016, he unsuccessfully ran for a U.S. Senate seat in Louisiana. With his website and radio show, he continues to publish his racist ideas. Only now, he seems to prefer the term “Western Man” instead of “Whites”.
Richard Spencer is not as well known, but the 2016 presidential election is providing him a larger platform than he’s had in the past. Spencer is President and Director of the National Policy Institute, an organization that describes itself as “an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world.” In November 2016, Richard Spencer gave an interview to NPR. When asked what policies he’s pushing for, Spencer had several ideas, including the desire to “take a break from mass immigration” and prioritize European immigration. He ended his interview by indicating that his is a long term effort to legally change our immigration system to favor European immigration.
White Supremacists in U.S. Government
Appalled by Duke and Spencer’s ideas, many people hope that they are simply on the fringes of society. In 2017, it’s become clear that there are others who feel the same, and they currently hold positions of power in our government.
For example, on February 2, 2017, Richard Spencer tweeted about Steve Bannon, Trump’s Chief Strategist, and Stephen Miller, Senior Adviser to the President for Policy, regarding their support for the idea of a moratorium on immigration.
The Vox article that Spencer mentions provides a transcript of a podcast between Bannon and Miller that makes clear that both men are very concerned about current levels of legal immigration.
On March 12, 2017, Representative Steve King (R-IA) tweeted his agreement with Wilders, a far-right presidential candidate from the Netherlands.
When asked about this statement in an interview with Tucker Carlson, Rep. King clarified that we need to restore “Western civilization”, and that immigration from other countries that are not like us will hurt our society.
White Supremacist Policy in U.S. Government
It seems that the long-term policy change that Richard Spencer hoped for has already begun. As I mentioned at the top of this article, the only way we can hope to stop this disturbing trend is by 1) calling it out when we see it and 2) working to elect government officials at all levels who understand that part of what makes America unique and beautiful is the diversity of its people.
To learn more about the specific white supremacist policies that Trump and members of Congress support, scroll up to the first section on this page.