A federal judge in San Francisco has warned that Trump’s ‘America First’ slogan may be a secret code for racist ideology.
Judge Edward Chen heard arguments on Tuesday for over two hours about whether he should block the Trump administration from overturning portions of a George H.W. Bush-era humanitarian policy that offers U.S. residency to nationals from third world countries.
Bloomberg.com reports: At stake are protections for about 300,000 people from El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Sudan who could be deported en masse if those countries’ Temporary Protected Status is scrapped by the Department of Homeland Security.
While Chen didn’t make a decision at the end of the hearing, he did flag a memo written by former DHS Deputy Secretary Elaine Duke.
In it, she posited that TPS “must end for these countries soon” in order for U.S. immigration policy to be compliant with Trump’s “America first” agenda.
Chen asked a Justice Department attorney at the hearing if the phrase was code for Trump’s racial animus, referring to a January Twitter rant in which the president dubbed the African continent and Haiti “shithole countries.”
“The inference plaintiffs make is that this is code for ending immigration status for those who are non-white. What do you make of that?” Chen asked.
Adam Kirschner, the lawyer for the U.S., responded by pointing out that the TPS rescission policy came from Duke and her former boss, John Kelly, neither of whom are accused of racial discrimination.