Stephen "The Cryptkeeper" Miller doesn't want you to know it was always about Racism. pic.twitter.com/44ngu2uzk0— ???Pippi & George's Dad???? (@Gdad1) August 7, 2018
President Donald Trump’s senior adviser, Stephen Miller, is an “immigration hypocrite,” his own uncle wrote in an editorial published by Politico.
And what’s worse, he added, is to think that his own family would never have prospered had Miller’s current policies been in place when his impoverished relatives migrated to the United States.
In the highly critical piece, retired neuropsychologist David S. Glosser, told a story of chain migration that made the very life of his nephew, Miller, a possibility. And with it, he made the case that it is time to bring this terror to an end.
Tracing his family’s roots back to the “turn of the 20th century in a dirt-floor shack in the village of Antopol, a shtetl of subsistence farmers in what is now Belarus,” Glosser explained that fearful of the anti-Jewish pogroms, Wolf-Leib Glosser fled for America, leaving behind the village where his family had lived for centuries.
With only $8 to his name and no knowledge of the English language, he arrived in America in 1903. His elder son, Nathan, then followed. And after working at sweatshops and peddling in the streets, the pair had gathered enough money to send for the rest of the family, which included Izzy Glosser, Miller’s maternal grandfather, by 1906.
“I shudder at the thought of what would have become of the Glossers had the same policies Stephen so coolly espouses — the travel ban, the radical decrease in refugees, the separation of children from their parents, and even talk of limiting citizenship for legal immigrants — been in effect when Wolf-Leib made his desperate bid for freedom,” Glosser explained.
With such a “classically American” story behind his family, Glosser added, he watched with “dismay and increasing horror” as his own nephew became Trump’s “architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country.”
Rebutting Trump and his supporters, Glosser also took aim at the president’s claims regarding immigrants and the alleged threat they pose. He explained that much like his own family, immigrants today are just people trying to make a better life for their own loved ones.
“Trump wants to make us believe that these desperate migrants are an existential threat to the United States; the most powerful nation in world history and a nation made strong by immigrants,” Glosser wrote. “Trump and my nephew both know their immigrant and refugee roots. Yet, they repeat the insults and false accusations of earlier generations against these refugees to make them seem less than human.”
He went on to harshly criticize Trump and his own nephew for making “policy that specifically disadvantages people based on their ethnicity, country of origin, and religion.”
But he didn't stop there. He also compared Trump to a Nazi leader.
"Trump publicly parades the grieving families of people hurt or killed by migrants, just as the early Nazis dredged up Jewish criminals to frighten and enrage their political base to justify persecution of all Jews," he wrote.
Despite Trump's efforts, Glosser added, all American families have an immigrant story to tell.
"Almost every American family has an immigration story of its own based on flight from war, poverty, famine, persecution, fear, or hopelessness. Most of these immigrants became workers, entrepreneurs, scientists, and soldiers of America," Glosser wrote.
. . . I am so appreciative that Stephen Miller's uncle, Dr. David Glosser, has the courage to speak out and oppose his nephew's and Trump's damaging anti-immigration agenda . . . https://t.co/6w58bNQiON— Katharine Shank (@kathy_shank) August 13, 2018
While Glosser painted a grim picture of what his own nephew has helped to turn his country into, he also offered a solution; he urged Americans to use their vote to make a difference, and most importantly, take a real stand against the racist policies now in effect.
While immigration reform is needed, he explained, “the politicians who have based their political and professional identity on ethnic demonization and exclusion cannot be trusted to do so.”
“As free Americans, and descendants of immigrants and refugees, we have the obligation to exercise our conscience by voting for candidates who will stand up for our highest national values and not succumb to our lowest fears,” Glosser wrote, closing his scathing op-ed.
Trump and Miller have worsened the situation for immigrants in this country to an extent that begs us to question their motives. The fact they have repeatedly used religion and background to target migrant individuals, as Glosser put it, makes it difficult for anyone to question the racist outcomes of their policies.
While we’ve known about Miller’s immigrant past, seeing his own family repudiate him for how little respect he has for his roots reminds us that not all is lost, and that we still have the power to stop these racist policies before they make more victims.
As the statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke once wrote, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” And in the era of Trump and Miller, good men can no longer afford to stay silent.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst