Many of the hard line anti-immigration advocates like the republican President Donald Trump’ Senior Adviser Stephen Miller and the US Congressman Steve King from Iowa forget that they have ancestry who were immigrants. They came here with little monies and education. In other words, they were not coming to the USA based on merit.
Their ancestors even benefited from “chain migration” which means they came to the USA from foreign lands to join up with family. Many came here to escape persecution where their lives were at risk.
Make no mistake. The reason President Trump referred to refugees seeking asylum at the southwest US border as an infestation, he showed us his face of evil, of racism. Anyone who continues to support him is backing a racist who proactively ordered the separation of families as they were requesting asylum at the US border as per the April 6, 2018 memo delivered by the president’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Here is the rest of the story…
On June 21, 2018, Lisa Belkin of Huffington Post penned the following report, “Trump Aide Stephen Miller, Meet Your Great-Grandfather, Who Flunked His Naturalization Test”
A photo of Nison (aka Max) Miller stares out from the screen, sullen and stern, in faded black and white. “Order of Court Denying Petition” is the title of the government form dated “14th November 1932,” to which it is attached, the one in which Miller is applying for naturalization as an American citizen.
And beneath the photo, the reason given for his denial: Ignorance.
Nison Miller is the great-grandfather of White House adviser Stephen Miller, who has taken credit for being one of the chief architects of the administration’s family separation policy. And this 85-year-old document is just one bit of ammunition in a campaign being waged by the unofficial band that goes by the hashtag #Resistance Genealogy.
Believing that the past is prologue, they search online archives for nuggets about the ancestors of public figures and politicians who disparage today’s immigrants. They use tools they developed as a personal hobby to make the point that people like Miller are holding newcomers to a standard that their own forebears could not meet.
“Unless your ancestors came on a slave ship or you’re Native American,” you came here as an immigrant, says Jennifer Mendelsohn, who created the #resistancegenealogy hashtag last summer after Republican congressman Steve King or Iowa was quoted as saying “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” So she went on a genealogy website and quickly documented that King’s own grandmother was one such baby, arriving in 1894 from Germany as a 4-year-old, along with her infant siblings.
“The point isn’t to play ‘gotcha,’” says Renee Stern Steinig, a former president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island, who first found the Miller naturalization application last summer. “It’s to show that we are a nation of immigrants, and you are here because someone else picked up and came here for a better life.” In fact, she is careful to point out that Miller’s great-grandfather being labeled “Ignorant” on that application was probably because he slipped up on a few questions on his citizenship test, not because he was in fact stupid or unworthy of being a citizen — an example of the same harsh, presumptive judgment that she believes is being used against today’s immigrants. Eventually he retook the test and became a citizen.
Another part of Stephen Miller’s family tree seems to have been the first skirmish on this genealogical battlefield. During the summer of 2016, before Steinig found great-granddad Nison, Rob Eshman of the Jewish Journal became intrigued by the apparent hypocrisy of Miller’s description of himself as a grandchild of Jewish refugees while portraying today’s immigrants as dangerous. He reached out to attorney E. Randol Schoenberg, who had famously won the case forcing the Austrian government to return a valuable painting by Gustav Klimt to the Jewish family from whom it had been stolen by the Nazis — the story that was the basis of the 2015 film “Woman in Gold.” Schoenberg has developed an expertise in tracing family histories.
Together he and Eshman followed Miller’s mother’s side (great-grandpa Max was on his father’s side) back to Wolf Lieb Glotzer and his wife, Bessie. That couple arrived from Belarus in 1903 with $8 to their name, escaping anti-Semitic pogroms. In an instance of what today would be called chain migration, they were joined by their son Natan and Wolf’s brother Moses, and eventually by another brother, Sam, who changed his name to Glosser. Sam Glosser was the maternal great-grandfather of Stephen Miller.
Eshman’s article laid out the story, concluding that “Miller demonstrates that in America, truly anything is possible: The great-grandson of a desperate refugee can grow up to shill for the demagogue bent on keeping desperate refugees like his great-grandfather out.”
Eshman went on to pose, and then refute, what has become the most familiar objection to these stories, writing: “But it’s different now, you say. Miller’s forebears came here legally…” It is an argument that Megan Smolenyak, a former chief family historian and spokesperson for Ancestry.com and a regular contributor to the TV series “Who Do You Think You Are?” hears regularly. “It’s a glib, easy response,” she says, “but it ignores history.”
With the glaring exception of the Chinese Exclusion Act, which banned all immigration from that country once its workers were no longer needed to build U.S. railroads, all immigration was legal in America for its first 300 years. So yes, almost everyone who came during those centuries came here legally. Until the early 1920s, all people needed to do to move here was walk off a ship and prove they were basically sane and free of obvious communicable diseases. Had today’s existing and proposed rules been in effect back then, Smolenyak says, a high percentage of the ancestors of current citizens would never have been admitted.
In addition, she says, many who think their ancestors entered completely legally are wrong. Fox contributor Tomi Lahren — who tweeted last year, “We are indeed a nation of immigrants. We are also a nation of laws. Respect our laws and we welcome you. If not, bye” — didn’t know that her great-great-great grandfather had been indicted for forging his naturalization papers until Mendelsohn tweeted that information back to her.
Link to entire article: Trump Aide Stephen Miller, Meet Your Great-Grandfather,